The Ekiti State Government has restated its commitment to partner with individuals and corporate bodies to boost the economy of the state through Banana export and other non-oil products.
The state’s Commissioner for Trade and Industries, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, said this when declaring open a one-day stakeholders’ forum on “Banana Development for Export” on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti.
The commissioner said that the various proactive programmes embarked upon by the investors-friendly administration of Gov. Kayode Fayemi had created an enabling environment for investment to thrive in the state.
He listed some of the measures to include, the establishment of a cargo airport to ease transportation of goods to and from the state and government’s clearing of 5,000 hectares of land for farming.
Olumilua also said that the state had facilitated the establishment of the National Export Promotion Council (NEPC) office in the state to eliminate the stress of going to Akure, Ondo State, before exporters could access the support of the council.
He said that the “One-State-One-Product (OSOP)” initiative was an essential part of the “Zero Oil” plan, whereby all states of the federation were to identify at least one strategic export product and its alternate product, based on their comparative advantage.
Olumilua said since Ekiti was one of the highest producers of banana and cassava in Nigeria, the partnership with NEPC would go a long way in supporting the agenda of tracking economic, agricultural and industrial revolution in the state.
“It is a known fact Ekiti is landlocked, and has virtually no prospect in oil production. The state however, has always been very rich in agriculture.
“The intention of government to make poverty becomes history through investment in agriculture in the state has become more emboldened with the massive opportunities dotting the landscape,” he said.
The commissioner urged participants to participate actively to achieve the desired result of ensuring the ease of doing business and boosting the economy of the state.
Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Director/CEO of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, lamented that the almost total reliance on oil, had left the country vulnerable to the price changes of an extremely price volatile commodity.
Awolowo, who was represented by the Regional Coordinator of NEPC, Mr Samuel Oyeyipo, commended Gov. Fayemi’s efforts at developing non-oil export products in the state.
He said that the vision of NEPC was to make the world a market place for Nigerian non-oil exports, for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Awolowo said, “The global outlook for banana has been on the rise, and will continue on the upward surge in the years to come.”
He assured that NEPC would continue to collaborate with the Ekiti government to develop its non-oil export to boost the economy of the state.(NAN)