The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said his administration was making concerted efforts to ensure the state moves to the third position on the ease of doing business rating in the country.
Fayemi, stated this last Friday, during the presentation of "Facts Behind the State Economy," to the capital market community at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Lagos. According to him, the Ekiti, which used to be number four before he left office in 2014, later fell to number 32.
He, however, assured investors that his administration was working very hard to bring it back to top three by putting in place relevant policies and legislations to improve ease of doing business.
Fayemi, who is also the Chairman, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), said the state was also committed to creating a conducive environment for investors and businesses.
He said security in the state has improved, noting that the government was collaborating with neighboring states to ensure the state get rid of criminals and bandits to end the menace of kidnapping.
"We have renewed our focus on peace and security, which is the foundation of any economic development; and started investing in developing the infrastructure required to make Ekiti State a competitive destination for business.
"We are quite concerned about the increasing spate of violence against ordinary citizens and it is the duty of the government to provide security and welfare of the citizens.
"The steps we have taken since we assumed office is to work in collaboration with our neighboring states because those things just cut across, particularly as it affects kidnapping and banditry to make the highways safe," he said.
He stated that government social investment programmes needed to be expanded and made more effective to create jobs for the youths, stressing, however, that government could not create jobs in massive terms without the collaboration of private sector.
"It is the private sector that could fly that process but we have the duty to make the climate and condition for job creation available for the private sector to thrive. "
"We have also passed the law establishing the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA). Once the agency commences full operations, it will drive our ease of doing business reforms, and provide investors with a one-stop shop to deal with investment related matters," Fayemi said.
He said that the state's focus on agriculture, especially a Special Agric Processing Zone, would not only improve the productivity of farmers, but also provide the infrastructure required for processing activities.
"Already, the market is responding to our approach, and we expect to close a partnership on the currently unutilised Ikun Dairy Farm, with a leading dairy company in Nigeria soon. Our belief is that Ekiti is ready for more of such investments, and we are available to answer questions on the investment opportunities that exist," he added.
Fayemi, noted that the state's tourism assets also provide significant investment opportunities, disclosing that at the appropriate time the state would seek investors for some its existing assets, as well as several Greenfield opportunities.
"This will be complemented by a clear strategy on attracting business, recreational and medical/wellness tourists to Ekiti State," he said.