The Ondo State government says it is planning to attract investment worth $2 billion to the state, towards creating 70,000 new jobs for the unemployed youths and the development of the state.

The acting governor of Ondo state, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa stated this while declaring open develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit holding in Akure the state capital.

Acting governor Aiyedatiwa stated that the government would focus on key potentials in agriculture, natural gas and mineral resources, and renewable energy to engage over 100 donor partners and 1,500 investors.

Mr Aiyedatiwa pointed out that the objectives of the summit was aimed at  showcasing Ondo State’s investment potential, promote it as a premier investment destination, and foster a conducive business climate that attracts both local and international investors.

Mr Aiyedatiwa added that the Ondo state government remained committed to supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses, recognising them as the backbone of the State’s economy.

He said, “Our State’s investment potential is boundless, spanning various sectors that offer enticing opportunities for growth and prosperity. Agriculture, with its abundant arable land and favourable climate, presents vast potential for agribusiness ventures, agro-processing, and value-addition Industries. Ondo State is rich in natural gas and mineral resources, including bitumen, limestone, granite, coal, kaolin, and glass sand, paving the way for investments in mining and solid minerals exploration. Our State is on the cusp of a remarkable Industrial revolution, with the manufacturing sector offering immense possibilities for Investors seeking to establish processing and value- added industries.

“The realm of renewable energy points to us a greener and more sustainable future. Ondo State is blessed with abundant renewable energy sources, such as solar and biomass, making it an ideal location for investments in renewable energy generation and related infrastructure. In addition, the tourism sector holds enormous promise, with our State’s captivating landscapes, wildlife reserves, historical sites, and cultural heritage which already attract visitors from far and near.

“To drive investments in these key sectors, the “Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit” aims to attract $2 billion in investments to Ondo State, create 70,000 new jobs, and engage with 100 donor partners and 1,500 investors. These targets demonstrate our ambitious vision for a vibrant and thriving economy that uplifts our people and enriches their lives.

“The response from potential investors thus far has been highly encouraging, with growing interest in exploring the investment opportunities that Ondo State offers. Our previous summit has borne witness to remarkable success stories, illustrating the effectiveness of this platform in attracting Investments and fostering economic growth in our State and enormous values to our partners and investors.

“One such success story lies in the corridor of agriculture. Several investors have shown keen interest in agricultural projects, leading to the establishment of large-scale farms, agro-processing facilities, and fruitful partnerships with local farmers. Notably, the “Red Gold Project,” an agricultural initiative implemented by the Ondo State Government, has gained significant traction. This project focuses on promoting the cultivation and processing of oil palm, another major cash crop in Ondo State. The “Red Gold Project” stands as a testament to our State’s commitment to agricultural reforms and the empowerment of our farmers.”

In a remarks, the deputy resident representative, operation a.i ,UNDP Nigeria, Ms Fati Attahiru commended the Ondo state government for the Initiative.

Ms Attahiru, pointed out that government at all levels must recognize the private sector as a dependable partner if it must achieve its goals towards developing the country and tackle development challenges.

In an address, the director general, Ondo state performance and project implementation monitoring unit, PPIMU, Babajide Akeredolu, said, “As a delivery unit, PPIMU is committed to ensuring that the goals and objectives of the REDEEMED Agenda are achieved through effective monitoring, collaboration, and the spirit of “One Administration”. We have prioritized Collaboration, Communication, Collection (of data) and Coordination as key success pillars on this mission. We firmly believe that the marriage of development and investment promotion is essential for the sustainable growth of our state.

“As a strategic unit in the State’s administration, PPIMU has played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders for the successful delivery of various projects including the Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit. Our actions secured the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU).

“Through these and many more collaborative engagements within and outside the State, PPIMU has ensured that critical stakeholders are identified and encouraged to play crucial roles in contributing to the summit’s objectives.

“Today, I am also honoured to highlight the remarkable achievements of PPIMU, particularly in its collaboration with its Technical Partner, the delivery unit of the Republic of Senegal known as the ‘Operational Office for Monitoring the Emerging Senegal Plan (BOS/PSE)’, through the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“In 2021, PPIMU embarked on a journey to instil a performance-based culture in the State, seeking the expertise of AfDB to establish the unit and develop frameworks for monitoring and implementing critical projects. The efforts of PPIMU were further augmented by the gracious hosting of the BOS team by our esteemed Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, following the main work of the Transition Strategy and Implementation Committee (TSIC).

“The successful 5-DAY DEEP DIVE Workshop organized by PPIMU brought together key stakeholders from within the Civil Service, resulting in the creation of a comprehensive roadmap for executing critical developmental projects in the State. This has served as the foundation for instilling a performance driven culture within the State”.

Other speakers, panelists, and industry experts who spoke at the opening ceremony of the three-day summit, expressed their readiness to partner the ondo state government towards developing the state.

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