The former Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has stressed the need for the investments to be drawn from ongoing Osun Economic and Investment Summit to centre round the people of the state.
This according to him will further enable the citizenry keep faith with the government and join hands with the investors in making their businesses flourish with the resultant effects as an upward push to make the state’s economy more buoyant.
Represented that the former deputy Governor, Mrs Titi Laoye-Ponle at the opening of the summit on Tuesday in Osogbo, Aregbesola commended Governor Gboyega Oyetola for deeming it fit to organize a platform for partnerships and investment for economic prosperity to the State of Osun.
Below is the full text of his address;
THE ECONOMIC SUMMIT AND OUR PEOPLE
It is always a pleasure and joy to be in Osogbo by whatever means. Whether physically or virtually, Osogbo has an attraction that is very difficult to dismiss. From the days of struggle for the leadership position, through the heady days of direct control and now that a friend is in the saddle, Osogbo and Osun hold a fascination that is beguiling. I therefore salute all those who are here for this important gathering.
I must first congratulate the state government for the giant strides made in the past one year, overcoming all the futile legal hurdles in its path, putting in place a cabinet ready to deliver and for being set on achieving its goals of delivering maximum service to the people.
Yes, the people. They are the centre of the universe of the state, politics and government. Everything must be for and about them.
I am therefore calling on all our people, across politics, religion and ideological divide to join hands for the development of our state. We must strengthen the cycle of human development leading to prosperity and higher revenue for the government to be able to carry out more infrastructure and human development efforts.
This economic summit is an indication of the government’s seriousness on firing on all cylinders in executing the governance agenda. Once again, I congratulate Governor Gboyega Oyetola for being able to assemble this august and eminent experts and pull this through.
An economic summit is the peak of efforts to manage the resources of a political space, community, council, state and nation for high productivity by the people for their own prosperity. We are therefore gathered to rigorously pursue ways and means to mobilise our people to identify to the fullest theirpotentials, opportunities and resources for maximum productivity and through that create wealth for themselves, the state and nation.
Experts are here to support this process. I believe also that investors are in the train. I join the government and people in welcoming them to our state.
The eight years of my administration was devoted to strengthening the capacity of the people in culture – Omoluabi ethos, education, Oyes – infrastructure, security and discipline.
Omoluabi ethos is the equivalent of the protestant ethics identified by the German sociologist, Max Weber, as the infrastructure of the mind that forms part of the foundation of the economic development of the West starting from the 19th century. These are the disposition to hard work, honesty, frugality, discipline and saving culture. Education provides the skilled manpower while infrastructure is the bedrock of any meaningful economic and industrial take-off.
This foundation is necessary to make the subsequent efforts easy and meaningful. Coupled with other endowments such as fairly regular power supply, mineral resources, nearness to the mega market in Lagos and highly educated manpower, Osun is a treasure trove waiting for investments.
Agriculture holds a huge promise, much as the various minerals,particularly gold, cultural tourism is eminently on the card of investment portfolio, IT outsourcing centres, education, agro-processing industries etc. As we all know, Ile Ife, the fountain head and spiritual capital of Yorubaland, can be marketed to the Yoruba diaspora as well as our annual festivals like Iwude and Olojo. Nothing comes close to agriculture in both in food and cash crops for food production, revenue generation and job creation, with very huge potential on return on investment.These are areas of interests for investments. I call on investors to develop interests in them.
Osun holds sway for meaningful investments with good returns. A responsible and highly cultured people is key to successful investment. Our people epitomize this and many more, therefore our partners have no fears on their investment because we are the virtuous people. We are hardworking, honourable, decent and trustworthy. We however shun exploitation. We therefore demand openness and transparency from our partners as much as we guarantee integrity and dignity in our relationships.
I, on behalf of all our people, welcome you all to this event where opportunities meet investments that promise prosperity and happiness.
I wish the organizers and participants a purposeful engagement.
I thank you all for your kind attention.
Osun a dara!
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola