News Column

Jonathan Lauds Oshiomhole for Attracting Investments to Edo

July 22, 2014

Francis Onoiribholo

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for attracting investments into the state, saying the Governor is an investor's delight.

The President gave the commendation during the commissioning of Presco BioGas Power Plant Project at Obayanto, Benin City.

Represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, the President said, "for any form of investment, policies are critical, but the enabling environment is far more important."

He therefore commended the government of Edo state, and in particular the governor, describing him as the type investors want to work with, as someone dynamic, and having clear understanding of economics and the importance of investments in their states. He expressed hope that the cooperation that has sustained Presco will be extended to other industrial establishments in Edo State.

Dr. Aganga said the Federal Government will continue to partner with states like Edo in its policy to bring about results which Nigerians expect from governance.

Commenting, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, while appreciating the management of Presco and the Federal Government in its industrial policy said, "part of the problem of our democracy is that we spend too much time talking politics and very little time discussing the economy, investment, wealth creation among others and yet we know that the capacity of the political class to bring prosperity to the people requires that we generate wealth.

"Part of the challenge in the Nigerian system is that the Nigerian party sytem does not support businesses that require long-term gestation. If you borrow at 20, 22 or 25 per cent, it would be difficult to break even.

"When nations in Europe are lending at four to six per cent, we lending at 20 to 25 per cent is crazy, and so I appreciate those facilities that enable you to access loans in single digit.

He said: "We need to do more to ensure that there is policy coherence beyond what we see in terms of what what we do as government both at the federal and state levels. As you know, trade has never been free, nation-states must formulate policies that are informed by their enlightened self-interest.

"Nigeria's policy should come first before that of West Africa and we do not have to be apologetic about it. Our country should be our centre-point, Nigeria should be the primary purpose of trade policies, foreign policies and diplomacy."

He said the Federal must stop the practice of granting waivers, saying "waivers are very damaging to businesses. It distorts the level-playing field, it confuses investors because the rules are unclear and it creates corruption, because the exercise of such discretion cannot in any way be objective."

The governor assured that "Our people are friendly, they are hardworking, they are creative and as former labour leader, I can boldly say that Edo people are the most productive of all the working people in Nigeria."

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Source: AllAfrica

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