/Ekiti ready to take advantage of African investment windows -Fayemi
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Ekiti ready to take advantage of African investment windows -Fayemi

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Ekiti State will take full advantage of African investment windows in order to make it a one-stop shop for investment.

The governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, made this assertion on Tuesday when he spoke about the need to tap into the opportunities that abound in the investment windows.

Speaking in Abuja at the 2019 African Investment Forum Roadshow, Fayemi said his administration had commenced steps towards making the state a destination of choice for investors.

The investment forum, which was organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and African Finance Corporation (AFC) was attended by local and international investment firms as well as representatives from the public sector.

Dr Fayemi who is in partnership talk with the African Development Bank, AfDB, for infrastructure and agricultural development of Ekiti State, said that it was not enough to approach a market place with “bankable projects” but efforts must also be geared towards making the business environment conducive for investment.

“In Ekiti State, we are preparing for this year’s (Africa Investment) Forum, and are keen to take full advantage of the market place. We have passed the law establishing the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency, EKDIPA, and are currently operationalising the agency. Once the agency commences full operations, it will provide investors with a one-stop shop to deal with investment related matters,” he said.

While noting that Nigeria needed about $ 3 trillion over the next 30 years to bridge her infrastructure financing gap, Fayemi said it was inevitable that the country sought “private capital to deliver the infrastructure stock required to grow our economy and put millions of young Nigerians in jobs.”

Fayemi who stated that the AIF’s road show would complement a lot of positive initiatives of the Federal Government, added that Nigeria was open to business even as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum was focusing attention on investment promotion and job creation.

His words: “I am confident that after this roadshow, both the government and private sector institutions will have a better appreciation of how to present bankable projects that will lead to Nigeria receiving a much higher investment commitment from the AIF, compared to our outing in 2018.”

Earlier, AfDB Senior Country Director (Nigeria), Mr Ebrima Faal, had said that the road show was aimed at changing the face of investment in Africa; adding that it was a multi-stakeholders approach dedicated to advancing development in the continent.

Faal put the bank’s 2018 closed deals in Nigeria at $7.1 billion while it funded projects worth $38.7 billion in Africa.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Senior Director, African Finance Corporation (AFC), Mr Taiwo Adeniji, said infrastructure had always been a major challenge in Africa as its deficit had reduced the continent’s GDP by 40%.

Adeniji said the deficits were massive in the various sectors but efforts were geared towards “changing the narrative by matching funding with good projects.”