By Khadijah Abdullaji
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered to partner with Osun government to boost the state’s economy.
A deal is being worked out following a meeting in Abuja between Governor Gboyega Oyetola and Ambassador Fahad Al Taffaq.
The envoy, who hosted the governor, promised to support the state’s dry sea port, its agriculture development plans and to explore “further ways to support the state in the short, medium and long term.”
Al Taffaq promised to visit the state next month to assess its economic advantages, saying: “we want to see how we can add value to our people.”
He invited Osun State to next year’s Dubai Investment Forum, “which is the biggest investment event in Dubai and attended by major investors worldwide.”
The envoy said 30 businessmen from UAE would be visiting Nigeria and explained that the biggest business between Nigeria and UAE is in gold trade. He said the majority of gold in his country comes from Nigeria
Governor Oyetola told the envoy that Osun has gold in abundance and looking to partner with investors to see that the gold deposit translates to economic advantage of the state and its people.
He also called for support in the area of agriculture because Osun is an agrarian state.
He told the envoy that the state “is a centre of commerce with a lot of infrastructure where access to land by investors is unrestrained because of the Land Bank policy in place”
He explained that no community would disturb an investor because the government warehouses portions of land for investment with the Land Bank policy.
The governor said power is stable in the state especially in the capital city which has an average 16-hour daily supply; saying, the access to the rail can ensure easy transportation of goods from the state to Iddo Terminus in Lagos for export through the ports in Lagos.
Oyetola also promised to work out special incentives for investors in the state.
During his meeting with Bangladeshi High Commissioner, Mr. Md Shameen Ahsan, at the Osun State House (Awolowo House), Oyetola reiterated his readiness to receive investors into the state with full support and incentives awaiting them.
The governor said: “We need countries that can facilitate our agriculture plan, part of which is the establishment of farming settlements in each of the nine federal constituencies.”
He added: “I see the great importance of technology in agriculture. We need support in this area.”
Bangladesh is an agrarian country which exports food to many of its neighbouring countries.