Top businessmen in Oyo State and host of traditional rulers on Friday joined the State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to woo foreign investors to pick the State as their investment destination of choice in Nigeria.
The participants concerned at the Oyo State International Business Summit which held at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London Kensington, on Friday, May 19, 2023, where the Governor of the State held his audience spell bound for hours.
The meeting was called to draw international investors to the great economic potentials and opportunities abound across length and breadth of the State.
In a State that has witnessed some ugly past in terms of real economic development, the current efforts by its handler and chief executive, Governor Makinde deserves accolades from all and sundry.
The Governor held series of business meetings with potential investors where business communities, stakeholders, traditional rulers, captains of industries, legislators, and cabinet members including members of the First family and political associates converged to discuss the way forward for real economic growth and development for the State.
Some of the participants included the Governor himself; his wife, Mrs Tamunuominini; the trip’s Coordinator Peter Eledan; Speaker and the Deputy Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly; serving House of Representatives’ members; Chief of Staff to the Governor; commissioners amongst other economic advisers of the Seyi Makinde-led administration.
The list also included a former Speaker of Oyo Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; the Olugbon of Ile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, alongside other monarchs from Afijio and Ibarapa areas of the State including some Ibadan senior chiefs and Mogajis.
Some leading investors in the State like billionaire businessman, Engr Dotun Sanusi, Chairman of Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, Akanran Ibadan; a frontline serial investor, Dr Abib Olamitoye and a host of other State indigenes based in the Diaspora, spoke to this reporter on the sideline.
The State Governor in his presentation titled: ‘’Your All Access Card to Sustainable Investments in Oyo State – Follow the Data”, copiously quoted from all available statistics and employed the use of data and logic to convince his audience.
According to him, “Through all our efforts in these past four years, we have been able to better our economic standing among Nigerian States. It is on record that Oyo State is now one of the top five economies in Nigeria. We now have a GDP of $8.67 billion in 2022. This is a growth of about 50% in 4 years. The number of enterprises within the state grew to 1,872,941. And we attracted Foreign Direct Investment of $65 million.
“Against this background, I am sure you would like to know how you can join the thousands of investors in Oyo State and benefit from the huge Return on Investment that has led to about a dozen of these investors joining us at this summit to learn about how they can expand their business.
“The questions I will be answering in the remaining part of my presentation are:
“What are the investment opportunities available in Oyo State? How can you, as an investor, benefit from these opportunities? and
“What has the Oyo State Government done to ensure our incoming investors get the support they need? So, let’s start with the investment opportunities available in Oyo State.
“I will just give an overview based on our focus sectors. I am sure that these opportunities will be discussed over and over as the programme continues. So, our focus sectors are: Agribusiness; Solid Minerals; Sustainable Energy and Tourism.
He also talked about some Infrastructure projects that are available to investors.
In his comment, Dotun Sanusi also a close friend of the Governor could not hold back his joy on the success of the meeting in London.
According to him, ‘our Governor despite just winning second term and rightly deserving some rests, is taking governance to utopian height as he is living to his promise that he won’t rest on his oars until the State takes its pride of place as the best and investors destination of choice in the country.’
Dotun Sanusi continued: ‘the Governor took the international investors through the historical antecedents of the State; its rich culture, accommodating spirit of its people and their untapped resources in mining, great hospitality and agricultural potentials.
‘His Excellency without any doubt is the best man for the job of governing our dear State at a time ile this. He is putting his energies and resources to ensure we are able to achieve what our people ought to have been enjoying before now.
‘I saw him displaying dexterity and professional
Marketing strategies so much so that he is to me our Chief Marketer. You need to also see his wife, displaying rare qualities of a people selling the State like never before. I am proud of them.
‘The gains of this meeting will start manifesting sooner than expected because global investors saw sincerity of purpose in him and were able to figure out his efforts at changing the shenanigans of our State for the better in the last four years,’ Sanusi added.
Corroborating Sanusi, a leading investor and owner of Ibadan Central Hospitals and hospitality-haven, Academy Suites in Ibadan, Dr Abib Olamitoye said he was encouraged by the progressive leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde and felt obliged to support in his capacity to draw investors to Oyo State.
Abib Olamitoye said: ‘ My job is to persuade those wishing to start hotels to come to Oyo State instead of London, Lagos, or Ogun State. And to supply convincing data to them. I was able to do just that and by the grace of God, gains of this efforts alongside the overall genuine interest of His Excellency will start manifesting in Oyo State.’
Oyo State is an inland state in southwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Ibadan, the third most populous city in the country and formerly the second most populous city in Africa. Oyo State is bordered to the north by Kwara State, to the east by Osun State, and to the southwest by Ogun State and the Republic of Benin. With a projected population of 7,840,864 in 2016, Oyo State is the fifth most populous in the Nigeria and its economy has grown in leaps and bounds suggesting that its current population stands at about 10 million in line with the expansive growth of its people occasioned by the current economic expansion agenda of the Seyi Makinde-led administration.