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The Managing Director of Ecobank, Mr Patrick Akinwutan has acknowledged that Ogun state is a viable place to invest in the country.
Mr Akinwutan, said this on Friday at the Executive Council chambers of the Governor’s office, Oke-mosan, Abeokuta.
The Ecobank MD commended the state government’s Private Public Partnership approach while revealing that the approach has been gaining momentum especially in the areas of Women Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise Scheme (MSME), Agriculture and Health.
Akinwutan appreciated the members of the State’s cabinet for being supportive in every way possible.
He reiterated the fact that Ogun state is one of the leading lights in the area of doing business amongst all the states in the federation.
He further solidified the interest of the financial institution, ECO bank in supporting and partnering with the State in all ramifications, adding that the history and rating of the state places it at a unique position to leverage on the Capital Market.
He noted that his institution would support the state to fund long-term projects and the state government’s interest to make the state an education hub by investing in areas like Information Technology, Physical Infrastructure and Digital Learning.
“I will like to reiterate that we stand ready to support you in attracting investments to find the long-term infrastructure project that you have rightly embarked on.
“We understand that such projects will require long-term financing, the history and rating of Ogun state places it at a unique position to leverage on the capital market, through various instruments; bonds and long term investment instruments and we stand ready to collaborate and support you on this journey”,he said.
The governor in his remarks called on Ecobank and other financial institutions in the country to join hands with the State government to fix the Lagos/Agbara and Ota/ Abeokuta federal roads.
He revealed that his administration was on the verge of getting the federal government’s approval to embark on the rehabilitation of the roads using the Private Public Partnership approach.
“Let’s see what you can do for us in terms of Infrastructure, I am sure you are aware of the Agbara corridor which is the biggest industrial hub in this country; the road leading from Lagos to Agbara is a nightmare, that road is a Federal road but we’ve decided to take on that road as a State.
“We’ve made representation to the federal government so many times in terms of coming to reconstruct this road, that place is so important to us, we’ve decided to take that road on and we are constructing it under a PPP arrangement.
“We hope perhaps Eco Bank will be interested in this PPP model of ours and how we are funding it, probably in partnership with other banks, the same thing goes for the Ota-Abeokuta road as well which is in such a state of disrepair, it is terrible,” the Governor said.
Abiodun also noted that his administration was looking at supporting vulnerable groups in the society through the provision of single digit zero interest loans .
He called on the financial institution to partner with the State Government in providing loans that would in turn help the beneficiaries improve on their businesses.
“We are looking to support our vulnerable groups in the society, our women who are basically the strength of the society, they are very hard-working, all they need is little capital.
“We aim to provide loans for them at very single digit zero interest rate and we know that they will pay back, they are religious about paying back, let’s see how we can work with Eco Bank to design a model that will allow us to support them,” he said.