Ogun woos investors with new economic clusters

The Ogun State Governnent says it has created six economic development clusters in the three senatorial districts of the state to attract more investors to do business in the state and raise its Internally Generated Revenue.

The state Commissioner for Finance and the Chief Economic Adviser to Governor,  Dapo Okunbadejo, disclosed this at a cocktail organised by the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service for companies and institutions operating in the state.

Okubadejo said the  clusters were established in Ijebu-Ode, Remo,  Magboro, Abeokuta and Imeko areas of the state.

Okubadejo explained that the new clusters could be likened to industrial estates.

He, however, noted that the new initiative was much bigger than normal industrial estate.

The commissioner said the Magboro Economic Development Cluster has huge expanse of land that is currently being developed to an industrial estate.

He said with the creation of these clusters, the state could easily take advantage of African Continental Freeze Trade Agreement that is essentially making the whole Africa a single largest economic bloc in the world.

Okubadejo  said, “We have six economic development clusters across the state. They are well balanced to take advantage of the peculiarities of those locations and where we are spending significant resources in infrastructure.

“The first one is Ijebu Economic Development Cluster, which is around the Ijebu Epe new toll road we have just constructed.

“This will have a lot of cities in there including medical city, automobile city, knowledge city, smart city, MSME park and the hub financial centre.

“We are currently master planning these clusters such that we can easily attract those industrial concerns into those places.”

He added, “We also have the aerotropolis in the Remo Cluster. The aerotropolis in a nutshell is simply called an airport city where you carefully plan the real estate around the airport that would cater for other commercial concerns such as logistics and distribution.

 “So companies that actually have their warehouses there such as light manufacturing would also be near there so that people can produce and export.

“So it is a whole city and that city is properly planned. The location of this agro cargo airport is one that is easily accessible. It is right at the intersection between Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and Shagamu- Benin Expressway.

“So, there can’t be better accessibility than that as even the Lagos airport is at a dead end.”

The Chairman, OGIRS, Olugbenga Olaleye, said the government had created enabling environment to encourage ease of doing business which has increased revenue accrued to the state.

Olaleye said, “As at the half of this year, we have done N54bn of our IGR. By third quarter of this year, we had done more.”

The event, held in Abeokuta, has in attendance representatives of companies and institutions, who were referred to as tax agents.

 The companies include Honda Manufacturing Company, Federated Steel Mill Limited, Dangote Cement Transport Limited, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, CCECC Nigeria Limited, Dangote Cement, Crescent University, Chrisland University, Ballin Transport and Logistics, Nestle Plc, Wema Bank, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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