The Canadian Government shown interest in investing in the agricultural and technological sectors of the Ogun State economy as a move towards strengthening over 60 years of the bilateral relationship with Nigeria,
The Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jamie Christoff, who stated this at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when he paid a courtesy call on the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday, disclosed that his country was also interested in the infrastructural sector of the state.
Ambassador Christoff observed that Ogun has numerous opportunities that could attract Canadian investors, saying he was in the state to know more and discuss with government officials on areas that would be of mutual benefit to both parties.
“Canada has a long-standing bilateral relationship with Nigeria expanding over 60 years, and this relationship covers many aspects, but one aspect that I think is very important is economic development.
“For us in Canada, we see potential, interest in the sector of agriculture, clean technology, we talked a little bit about infrastructural development as well.
“I come here looking for friendship and representing Canada’s interest, but I can see through my drive here this morning that there are opportunities here that will serve both our interests,” the ambassador submitted.
In his response, Governor Abiodun said Ogun with over 16,000 square kilometres of land is blessed with human and natural resources, noting that the land is suitable for the cultivation of food and cash crops
“We have vast land and vast resources. We have lots of mineral resources from limestone, which is about two-thirds of our land and others, including silica and huge forest reserves. All these make us the industrial capital of Nigeria as most companies have their financial headquarters in Lagos, while their major manufacturing factories are located in Ogun State.
“We host two biggest cement factories in Nigeria, probably in Africa. As an industrial capital, we are close to the busiest sea and airports in Nigeria and we enjoy a crisscross of gas pipelines and all these factors have made us a preferred choice by investors”, he stated.
Governor Abiodun emphasized that the adoption of the Public Private Partnership was to turn the push to a pull factor, to enable the people to gain from the overflow of Lagos State, adding that provision of needed infrastructure such as a good road network was to open up the state and attract more investors.
While describing Ogun as unique and strategically located, the governor informed the Canadian envoy that his administration was currently constructing an airport, just as plans were on to build a seaport at Ogun Waterside Local Government Area and a dry port at Kajola.
Abiodun further explained that the five pillars of his administration, as encapsulated in Infrastructure, Social well-being, Education, Youth Development and Empowerment and Agriculture (ISEYA), was meant for the good of the people, stressing that his government would continue to provide a conducive environment to attract more investors into the state.
He, however, called on Canadian businessmen and women to explore the huge investment opportunities that abound in the state, assuring that his government is ready to work with them.
Governor Abiodun congratulated the Canadian diplomat on his new job, noting that his vast and rich experience while serving his country in various African countries had prepared him for the task ahead, saying the state was looking forward to working with Canada for the mutual benefit of both parties.