FAYEMI TO ATTRACT $100MILLION TO EKITI FOR DEVELOPMENT
Ekiti state government has said efforts are at top gears to attracts a whopping sum of $100million to invest in some critical infrastructures that are key to accelerate the socio-economic development of the state.
The State Commissioner for Information, Hon. Olumuyiwa Olumilua made this known while addressing a press conference to herald the activities marking first year anniversary of Governor Kayode Fayemi with the theme, “Walking the talk…Restoring values, Enhancing Impact.”
Olumilua said government was already into partnership with some private investors and development partners that would eventually attract to the state over $100million to finance Ekiti Knowledge Zone, Special Agriculture Processing Zone, Ado-Akure Road, and Ekiti Airport as well as $5million to revive the moribund Ikun Dairy farm.
These projects, according to him will ensure that Ekiti becomes the hub of the service and knowledge industry in Nigeria, consolidate the state’s place as a leading agricultural hub, and also improve access and connectivity for business and recreational travellers.
“Other projects include the World Bank funded NEWMAP and RAAMP projects which will improve the water supply to Ekiti people, and open up rural access roads to enable the easy evacuation of our farm produce.”
“Ekiti State is about to conclude a joint venture partnership with Promasidor Nigeria Limited, to revive the moribund Ikun Dairy Farm. The Shareholder Agreement for the new company to be formed to manage the Dairy farm will be signed this month, with Promisador as the core investor, while the State will retain a minority interest, through its investment company, Fountain Holdings.
“This will attract a new investment of $5 million into Ikun Dairy Farm, which will be used to buy equipment, provide the appropriate herd of cattle, and develop an out-grower scheme for providing feed for the cattle.”
He affirmed that government would continue to invest heavily in education and healthcare of the people to ensure a skilled and healthy workforce. He explained that human capital forms the basic requirement to attract investments and other rewards to the state adding that the State’s development plan is hinged on the need to lay a solid foundation for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The commissioner confirmed that government would leverage on the state’s competitive advantages and history by focusing on agriculture and agri-business, knowledge and economy services, tourism and hospitality, and solid minerals saying it would prioritize development of the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, and the Special Agriculture Processing Zone that will make Ekiti the destination of choice for investors.
“Our people still remain our greatest asset, and we will continue to invest heavily in education and healthcare, to ensure that we have a skilled and healthy workforce. Human capital is one of the most important requirements to attract investments, and our goal is to improve both education and healthcare outcomes, by ensuring that our people get the requisite quality contemporary education, which will qualify them to take up the jobs that will be created by new investments in the State.
The commissioner, however deplored the immediate past administration in the state over the bastardisation of every facet of Ekiti life, including economy, education, health, sector and many more.
He expressed the readiness of Fayemi led administration to defray the N57 billion owed by the last administration , being accumulation of oustading salaries of workers, pension, gratuities and other emoluments.
“Governor Fayemi has ensured regular payments of salaries since he came last year October. Before the advent of this administration, workers and our people were owed salaries for reasons known to them and all they were getting is a sachet of rice and between N200 and N500 under the stomach infrastructure scheme. We have been able to change the narratives.
“Before we came, all major business owners and development partners had fled Ekiti. The only visible people doing businesses in Ekiti are the Yahoo boys. But we are gradually returning the trust and reclaiming our glory back”.
He said a total of 85,000 pupils are being fed daily through the federal government powered school feeding scheme, saying the programme in conjunction with the free education policy have shored up enrolment in schools.
“It is now compulsory for all children of school age to be enrolled in schools and any parent who defies this executive order will be held accountable, ” Olumilua said