Oyo State Government has indicated its readiness to partner with investors from the United States of America in developing the entire value chain of the state's agricultural and mineral resources sectors.
The state government disclosed that it was well-positioned within the agriculture and solid minerals sectors to be open and accessible for both local and foreign direct investments.
Speaking at the third International Trade and Investment Summit of Nigeria US Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) held in Lagos, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, represented by his Special Adviser on Trade and Investment Mrs. Oyefunke Oworu, said the theme of the summit 'Identifying partners to maximise business opportunities in Nigeria' was in conformity with Oyo state's restoration agenda.
She said that the presence of Oyo state government at the NUSACC Investment Summit attests to the Chamber's commitment in creating and sustaining an enabling environment to promote cordial business relationship between businesses in Nigeria and the US.
"As a result of this, there is need for prospective investors like you to work together with Oyo state to fully harness investment opportunities and achieve our dream of creating a society devoid of poverty, unemployment and under-development," she said.
Oworu said it was necessary for investors to take advantage of the opportunities in the country which has made it the most sought-after foreign investment destination that it is.
She explained that within the solid minerals sector, Oyo state was at a geological advantage to potential investors, who would be allowed to exploit and process the diversity in the spectrum to their full development for local and international demand.
Some of the mineral deposits Oyo state has in abundance, Oworu noted, include marble, granite of diverse colours and usage, red clay for construction, metallic minerals like tantalite, cassiterite and columbite.
She also mentioned that great quantities and variants of gemstones such as sapphire, emerald, tourmaline and gold among others are also present in the state.
"As I speak, the state government has mapped out effective strategies on how to effectively explore these abundant untapped solid minerals via a functional Public Private Partnership mechanism and I am glad to inform you that we have recorded improvements in this regard," she said.
She noted that agriculture was a major driver of growth for the State and Nigerian economy, with Oyo currently positioned as one of the top five agricultural producing states in the country.
She further listed the measured yield capacities in metric tonnes per annum of various crops being cultivated in the state such as cocoa 39,301; beans 180,917; cassava 1.52 million; fresh fruit bunches 290, 976; maize 225,000; palm oil 731,585 and palm kernels 45,642.
Furthermore, she pointed out that Oyo State was peaceful, politically stable and economically viable with the combination of high level of road development, social infrastructure creating maximum potentials for investment in industrial, tourism, housing and allied development sectors in the state.
In his presentation at the summit, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley, represented by the American Embassy Economic Officer, Rob Foley, revealed that American small and medium scale businesses were becoming more aware of the Nigerian market's huge potential especially in the non-oil sector, and were showing interests of being part of it going by the number of enquiries that flood the economic office.
Chairman of the chamber, Chuck Nnabuife observed that when it comes to investments, Nigeria was still largely undeveloped, which was the reason the chamber decided that it was important to team up those professional Nigerians that live in the US, with American companies and bring them to Nigeria.