…70,000 jobs on the way
Francis Akinnodi & Samuel Edu
Ondo State is warming up to becoming first Nigerian state to develop a comprehensive gas strategy, positioning itself as the Gas Hub of West Africa.
This is just as the government declared that the ongoing economic summit in the state is aimed at attracting $2 billion investments to the State, create 70,000 new jobs, and engage 100 donor partners and 1,500 investors.
“This visionary strategy is aimed at harnessing our abundant gas and energy potential and is poised to attract significant investments in gas adoption and related industries.”
Acting Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa said the development of an Inland gas corridor with access to large gas reserves presents lucrative opportunities for investors seeking to capitalise on Nigeria’s evolving energy landscape.
He said, “To create an environment conducive to investment, the government of Ondo State has implemented various measures. We have simplified business registration and licensing processes by “Reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks and streamlining procedures. Our investment-friendly policies, laws, and regulations provide a protective framework that safeguards investors’ interests while offering a predictable business environment.”
He explained that the development of industrial parks and special economic zones were aimed to provide dedicated spaces and incentives for businesses to set up and expand operations.
Aiyedetiwa noted that the targets of the summit demonstrate the ambitious vision for a vibrant and thriving economy of Ondo state that would uplift the people and enrich their living standard.
“To drive investments in these key sectors, the “Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit” aims to attract $2 billion in investments to Ondo State, create 70,000 new jobs, and engage with 100 donor partners and 1,500 investors. These targets demonstrate our ambitious vision for a vibrant and thriving economy that uplifts our people and enriches their lives.
“The response from potential investors thus far has been highly encouraging, with growing interest in exploring the investment opportunities that Ondo State offers. Our previous summit has bore witness to remarkable success stories, illustrating the effectiveness of this platform in attracting investments and fostering economic growth in our State and enormous values to our partners and investors.
“Our State’s investment potential is boundless, spanning various sectors that offer enticing opportunities for growth and prosperity. Agriculture, with its abundant arable land and favourable climate, presents vast potential for agribusiness ventures, agro-processing, and value-addition industries.
“Ondo State is rich in natural gas and mineral resources, including bitumen, limestone, granite, coal, kaolin, and glass sand, paving the way for investments in mining and solid minerals exploration. Our State is on the cusp of a remarkable industrial revolution, with the manufacturing sector offering immense possibilities for investors seeking to establish processing and value-added industries.
“In addition, the tourism sector holds enormous promise, with our State’s captivating landscapes, wildlife reserves, historical sites, and cultural heritage which already attract visitors from far and near,” the Governor said.
“The realm of renewable energy points to us a greener and more sustainable future. Ondo State is blessed with abundant renewable energy sources, such as solar and biomass, making it an ideal location for investments in renewable energy generation and related infrastructure.
In a remark, The Deputy Resident Representative, operations, UNDP Nigeria, Ms Fati Attahiru applauded the Ondo state government for organizing the summit at this critical time.
Attahiru, noted that government at all levels must recognize the private sector as a dependable partner if it must achieve its goals towards developing the country and tackle development challenges.
According to a Gas energy expert, Mr. Kehinde Alabi, “Nigeria has enough gas reserve. The estimated power required by Nigeria according to disco is 30,000mgwt but our power plant has the capacity to generate 17,000mgwt.
Speaking on what needs to be done for the state to maximize its full potential, Alabi said government must collaborate with private sectors.
Speaking on power generation by states, the managing Director, Siemens Energy Limited Mr. Seun Suleiman noted that energy is right to life.
He stressed that there are lots of challenges bedeviling the power sector key of which he said is the overlapping functions of government agencies and that of energy transmission.
Speaking on how the state can navigate through energy transition, the guru in the energy sector said “there is need to draw an energy transition plan for the state.
“In doing this, we need to know how much power we can generate, distribute and transmit. A state like Ondo needs energy mixed study because what works here may not work elsewhere.
“We as well need to install mini grids in the villages across the state because people in the remote areas also need power.
“In summary, Ondo State needs to take the bull by the horn because no investor will come to invest in the state’s power sector if the state fails to make the first move.”
A participants and Partner, the Firma Advisory, Ms. Chinenye Uwanaka said government must take advantage of the recent constitutional amendment and electricity law newly signed by the government.
“With the constitutional amendment and the electricity bill recently signed into law, there is no monopoly in the power sector.
“This implies that states can now generate power locally. The Ondo State government should do well to take advantage of this new constitutional revolution in the nation.”