Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has described himself as a baby governor still learning the rope.
Speaking to news men last night, July 25 at the end of the Presidential Policy Retreat held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Dapo Abiodun said: “I think for me as a baby governor, this experience is a very exciting one coming from what we had – KPMG, McKinzey, NESG, fellow governors and so many people.”
He said that all the stakeholders came together, particularly with the input of the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole “and we all deliberated on so many issues all geared towards moving Nigeria forward in the right direction.
“It’s been a very exciting opportunity. We talked about increasing the ranking of Nigeria on the global Ease of Doing Business Index which basically shapes perspective and the willingness of anyone to come and invest in Nigeria. We talked about affordable housing in Nigeria, we talked about how to achieve that.
“A a lot of time was spent on the disposable income of our citizenry and how did they save to own a home.
“So consequently, we spoke about affordable loans – how do we access loan that would be affordable not loans at 18 percent. We spoke about security, particularly we spent time discussing about security. I am sure you are aware that we the governors of the South West have gotten together and we are discussing the issue seriously. “Graciously, one of our members from the private sector suggested a national security trust funding mechanism which requires that private sector puts together considerable amount of money and also the federal government would match that fund and that would be managed by the private sector.
“It’s something similar to what Lagos State has in place with all the governors. It’s something that accountability would be put in place. So we spent a lot of time on security because security is very important and I recall that I mentioned the fact that for me and Lagos, Ogun stands to benefit from everything that Lagos cannot provide.
“We are there to provide what Lagos cannot afford to have and that is why we are called the Gateway State. We are gateway to at least four states and we are also bordered to another country.
“I mentioned to them that only last night (Wednesday) there was a kidnap situation on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and this morning (Thursday morning) on my way to this conference, there was an attempt to kidnap four people. They kidnapped two and two escaped. That Lagos-Ibadan expressway is the busiest highway in this country, not only that it is so important to the economy of my state, Lagos State and the entire country.
“The minute people begin to leave in fear, the minute people begin to have that foreboding fear that something may happen that way, it would kill the economy of the state and the country.
“How do we say we are creating an enabling environment for a public-private partnership when people cannot move freely from Lagos to Ogun an hinterland without the foreboding fear of being kidnapped.
“We spoke about road infrastructure, different funding mechanism as agriculture and we spoke about healthcare. There was the emphasis that states should take ownership of healthcare and agriculture.”
Governor Abiodun said that Ogun State under his Leadership, has started a lot of reforms part of which is the setting up of Ogun State investment office.