• Sunday, March 03, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Delta woos investors in move to grow State economy beyond oil

businessday-icon

In line with governor Emmanuel Uduagha led government three-point agenda, Delta State has renewed its move to attract investors and achieve non-oil driven economic growth.

In a meeting of the business community with Governor Uduagha, he assured investors of the State’s commitment to deal with security issues and other challenges limiting investors coming to Delta State.

The state government three-point agenda centres on peace and security, infrastructure development, and human capital development.

Emmanuel Uduagha
Emmanuel Uduagha

In attracting investors, the state governor who noted that Delta State is not unaware of the challenging issues around lands acquisition, legal issues, and business registration; said”Because the time it takes to acquire land is a big minus for us in Delta, one of the mandates we have given the lands bureau is to reduce the time it takes to obtains a C-of-O.”

On lingering legal issues, governor Uduagha said his government has also given the ministry of justice the mandate to deal with hanging legal issues. For business registration, in Delta, we are pursuing a solution to reducing the cost of registering businesses in Delta.”

The big names at the meeting include MTN, Nigerian Stock Exchange, SPAR, UPDC, Vigeo Holdings, among others. The purpose of the meeting which had in attendance leaders of private sector and Delta State senior government officials was to know the incentives investors requires from Delta State.

“We need to look beyond oil. Our three point agenda captures important areas we need in achieving desired growth beyond oil. We are working on developing power generation so as to substitute the costs for those in our rural communities. We are developing Warri port to ease trade. The road leading to the port which ordinarily is a Federal road is being constructed by Delta State. There is another port development coming. It is a deep-sea port at Obiligwe escravos. We are also doing a lot of programmes in ICT development. Also, we are developing Warri industrial business park which acts as a cluster for businesses,” he told participants at the meeting held in Lagos.

Bismark Rewane, chairman, Delta State economic advisory team said at the meeting that Delta State has developed a concept of economic growth beyond oil.

He said:”Looking around the world, countries that depend on oil were not competitive. We have devoted time in developing an economic scorecard for Delta State.”

“We believe that for us to be competitive, we have to reach out. The objective is that we want Delta State to be the most attractive investment destination across West Africa”, Rewane added.

Earlier in his presentation at the meeting, Doyin Salami, a leading economist at Lagos Business School noted that “if you look at Nigerian economy today, you will see a lot that applies to Delta State.”

Salami said “Delta State has the foundation and has been building the foundations of attracting investors. Delta State has an economic space that is worth investing in”.

Also a the meeting, Tom Griffin, managing director, West Africa, ControlRisks while assessing Nigeria’s risk and outlook said “despite improvements in some areas, Nigeria remains a challenging environment in which to do business by global standards.”

By: Iheanyi Nwachukwu