Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has emphasized on the need to diversify from an oil dependent economy to sufficient agricultural economy for all round development of Nigeria.
He disclosed this while declaring open the 12th Gateway International Trade Fair in Abeokuta on Tuesday, while emphasizing that it has now become pivotal to nation’s growth.
This year trade fair is themed ‘Energy and Agriculture, a panacea to Economic and Sustainable Multi-Sectoral Growth: Ogun Pathway to Economic Prosperity’.
Governor Abiodun ably represented by his Deputy, Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele cited its Ministry of Agriculture that has been constantly working with farmers towards increasing their yield in a bid to increase productivity while partnering the Federal Government and African Development Bank in developing Agro Processing Schools across the state.
He added that the creation of Agro Cargo Airport in Ogun being the first of its kind in Nigeria is a project aimed at changing the entire business landscape across the state and to create at least 20,000 direct jobs in its first year of operation.
Furthermore, he stressed on the importance of trade fair to include an avenue for expansion of trade, promotions of economic diversification,adding that it proved as a verification platform for business owners to display their goods and services to the world.
He hereby called on more public private partnership, stressing that the state is extremely committed to partnering with the private sector in ensuring industrial development in the state.
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Kikelomo Longe appreciated the state government, organising committee members and corporate bodies who have contributed to the hosting of this year’s edition.
She noted that the importance of agriculture and raw materials to industries cannot be underestimated which informed the governor’s decision to invest meaningfully to improve the sectors.
Similarly, Chairman, OGUNCCIMA Board of Directors and past President of NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson thanked the present administration in Ogun, led by Prince Abiodun for his unflinching support and investments in the sector, saying that the sector was one to reckon with if any government wants to succeed.
Also Speaking , the ODUACCIMA President, Chief Wole Akinwande, and his NACCIMA counterpart, Mr Ude Udeagbala, represented by Otunba Dele Oye, said OGUNCCIMA was one of the most organised Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria because it has almost the highest industries in the country, assuring that NACCIMA will continue to partner OGUNCIMMA in its efforts to develop the state chambers of Industries.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President, Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Engr. Mike Akingbade, commended the state government for the support to host the 12th International trade fair as well as exhibitors for being part of this year’s trade fair and for contributing towards improving the economy prosperity of the state.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of a kiosk and cheques to four beneficiaries to assist them in their businesses.