The Ekiti state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has stated intentions of his administration to again partner with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in fostering development in the state.
Fayemi at the event themed, “Investing in Ekiti -Facts Behind the State Economy” at the NSE in Lagos, Nigeria, assured present and future investors of the state that there are a series of relevant policies and legislations in the pipeline aimed at improving ease of doing business in the state.
The event was an avenue for the Governor to discuss key areas of collaboration with the NSE and to dialogue with the capital market community on areas of support to finance projects and invest in the state.
The Ekiti state Governor, while luring investors, said Ekiti used to be number four in ease of doing business before he left office in 2014, but it is now number 32.
Fayemi, who also doubles as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, however, said that his administration is targeting the third position going forward.
While seeking the support of the Private Sector in the expansion of social investment programmes for youths in the state, Fayemi said:
“We have also passed the Law establishing the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA).
“Once the agency commences full operations, it will drive our Ease of Doing Business reforms, and provide investors with a one-stop shop to deal with investment-related matters.
“Our belief is that Ekiti is ready for more of such investments, and we are available to answer questions on investment opportunities that exist.”
On the issue of security in the state, Fayemi said there is an improvement and that the government is collaborating with neighbouring states to ensure the state gets rid of criminals and bandits to end the menace of kidnapping as security is tantamount to business growth.
His words: “We have renewed our focus on peace and security, which is the foundation of any economic development and started investing in developing the infrastructure required to make Ekiti a competitive destination for business.
“We are quite concerned about the increasing spate of violence against ordinary citizens and it is the duty of the government to provide security and welfare of the citizens.
“The steps we have taken since we assumed office is to work in collaboration with neighbouring states because those things just cut across, particularly as it affects kidnapping and banditry to make the highways safe.”
The Governor said that the state had a long history of partnership with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and promised that the state would continue to partner with the Exchange to grow the economy.
He noted that the two Bonds raised by the state in 2001 and 2011 had been fully repaid and the citizens are still enjoying the yields of the investment made.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, commended the Governor for his reform-minded leadership in Ekiti:
“The Exchange builds awareness and attracts local and international investors.
“We wish to partner with the state and its agencies to achieve the benefits of privatisation of its state owned enterprises and other initiatives of both entities across various sectors.
“It is my hope that this interactive session of Facts behind the State Economy will create the strategic in-roads for innovative capital market solutions to the developmental needs of the state and benefit of the good people of Ekiti State as well as collaboration and support between Ekiti State, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the capital market community.”
Onyema applauded the Governor for being committed to grassroots development, as it is positively impacting the lives of the citizens of the state:
“We acknowledge your Excellency’s progressive leadership and reform-minded approach in managing the economy of Ekiti.
“Your strategies towards revitalizing the agricultural, manufacturing, mining, trade and tourism sectors, which together account for 75 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) are also commendable.
“For instance, you have increased the proportion of capital spending in the 2019 budget to 44 percent from 31 percent in 2018; and channelled budgetary resources toward pro-growth projects.
“We recognize that to build a sustainable economy for the estimated 3.5 million citizens of Ekiti, supported by vibrant sectors, both state-owned and private sector enterprises will require access to right-sized capital.”
Amaka E. Nliam