By KAZEEM MOHAMMED
Investors and Development Partners have identified Osun as a state with huge comparative advantage for both local and foreign investments.
They were on the panel of discussants on the second day of the State Ecnomic Summit, held at Aurora Event Center, Osogbo on Wednesday, when they noted that all potentials required for investment to trickle in were available in the state.
Some of the investors include, Bolaji Balogun, the Vice Chairman, Chapel Hill Denham Group; Chinua Azubuike, CEO InfraCredit; U.G Mohammed, CEO, Transmission Company of Nigeria; Manisha Doookhony, MD Rwenzori Consulting; Prince Tunde Ponle, Chairman MicCom Golf Hotel and Resort; Oladipo Bakare, CEO, Dipson Plastic; Ifeoluwa Oyedele, Executive Director, Niger Delta Power Holding among others.
In their individual discussions, they identified security, stable electricity supply, low labour cost, low cost of living, arable land and location among others as the factors that put the state in vintage position.
The partners noted that the proactiveness of the government would determine how willing investors would be encouraged to come and partner with the state.
Mohammed noted that, the power National Control Center in Osogbo was already an advantage, saying the company is working on another four substations in the state, saying this had put Osun in a vintage position for investments.
Oyedele on his own said what the government should rather work on was to act fast on how to bring investors down, rather that procastinate for other state to hijack the opportunities.
Balogun expressed concern that despite the advantages available, many notable investors who are indigenes of the state have not seen the need to invest in the state.
He said: “the reality is that partnership from local investors would do Osun and Nigeria as a whole more good interms of economic development than waiting for foreign investors.
Ponle said the state must not be too desperate to start its quest for industrial development in a too big way, saying that might not be forthcoming immediately.
According to him, “What the government should do is to start small. Small scale industries can be encouraged by giving them what they need by creating industrial village, with electricity and access roads to start.
“This will bring up small scale industries and grow to something big”, Ponle stressed.
Azubuike said, raising money through Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the state economic development might not be a problem but it requires political will and respect for agreement.
He encouraged the government to put in place legal framework that would give investors guarantee of seriousness on the part of government.