The Ondo State government has said bitumen importation into the country would soon become a thing of the past with the establishment of the State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA) to woo investors to tap into its huge deposit in the state.
The Special Adviser to state Governor on Development and Investment, who also doubles as Chief Executive Officer, Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Boye Oyewumi, disclosed this in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
The state governor had earlier launched Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA) with a promise to provide necessary assistance and enact enabling laws to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks that may hinder rapid development in every sector of the state.
At the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome), venue of the event, the Governor said the state would be the next investment hub, calling on genuine investors to seize the opportunity.
According to him, the State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, was providing an enabling environment which has been making serious investors to partner with the government and ensure that bitumen importation into the country becomes history.
He particularly said one of the cardinal goals of ONDIPA was to end importation of bitumen into Nigeria as soon as possible.
“I don’t think it is the business of any government to run a business. What they are meant to do and which this government is doing is to provide an enabling environment, so we have serious investors partnering with the state to make sure that bitumen importation in the country becomes a thing of the past.
“This government is not in the habit of conducting business on the pages of newspaper, take it from me. The Akeredolu’s government with the support of the Federal Government be sure that importation of bitumen will soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria,” he emphasised.
Report has it that Nigerian government spends over N300billion annually on bitumen importation when Ondo State has the largest deposit of bitumen in Africa.
Oyewumi noted that Akeredolu-led administration in the state was opening opportunities to new investors and also ensuring access of different infrastructural development to investors.
He said presently, investors have access by air to come to the state from Lagos in 35 minutes through Air Peace daily business flight to do their business and go back.
He noted that the mandate of the new agency was to tell the business world who we are, how we have fared and what we intend to do to make life worth living for our people.
YOMI AYELESO, Akure