By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has kick started the Osun State Business Growth Initiative through strategic partnership with federal and international organisations and agencies.
In line with his commitment to transform Osun from a civil service state to a business and industrial state, the Governor in Abuja in the last two days directed the hosting of two top flight meetings to address business Growth and industrial foundation for Osun State.
While a delegation had far reaching discussions with the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority on reviving Osun free trade zone and kickstarting the agricultural processing zones, another team was at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to develop a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen SME growth in the state.
The team that met the SMEDAN management led by Senator Akogun Lere Oyewumi had the Chief of Staff, Hon Kazeem Akinleye and other top government officials in attendance. Organized by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Rev Bunmi Jenyo, the meeting had the full presence of directors and top management of the agency.
Senator Oyewumi who spoke on behalf of the state delegation informed SMEDAN management of the state’s readiness to tap into all the programmes of the agency to develop Osun businesses.
“You can see our delegation is strong and this demonstrates our readiness to grow the Osun business potentials. We seek revival of previous agreements and the creation of new ones. Our government is business friendly”, Oyewumi said.
The Director General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya told the delegation that Osun is receiving full attention of the agency, citing various initiatives such as the proposed training facility within the Industrial Development Centre, Osogbo, ongoing identification for development of small cluster business zones, matching fund programme advertisements and the conditional grant scheme.
“We have had several MOUs with previous Osun state governments. Now is the time to build up a new one that will be very comprehensive”, the SMEDAN boss noted.
At NEPZA, both parties agreed to accelerate the revival of the Living Spring Free Trade Zone which has been moribund for years.
The Osun Government team led by the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry and the NEPZA team led by the agency Managing Director, Prince Adesoji Adesugba agreed on the following; resuscitation of the Livingspring free trade zone, partnership on the development of the Special Agriculture processing Zone and development of the state investment promotion agency.
Speaking on the ongoing partnership deals which cover the United Nations Training agency, Governor Adeleke noted as follows : “Our administration is working hard to develop the state business sectors, we need new partnerships with several federal and international agencies.
“I have the sense of urgency to change this label of civil service state. We want our industrial sector to grow. Therefore, we have to develop the abandoned free trade zone, this will drive inflow of investment. We hope to get the SME industrial clusters off the ground, need mini-industrial parks all over the Senatorial districts. We are reviewing the Omoluabi economic zone to make it truly functional.
“With the state cabinet in place, I seek to quicken the pace of our delivery. That is why we are hosting several delegations locally and internationally. That is why we are targeting national and global agencies. As a businessman before now, I am convinced that developing our business is the best way to grow the state.”.