Delta State Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa [above] has said that the diversification of the state economy from oil dependent to non-oil export is his administration’s desire and goal.
Governor Okowa stated this at the weekend at the Delta State Special Day of the 2015 Lagos International Trade Fair at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.
Okowa, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, said that the state’s participation in the Trade Fair was a testimony of his administration’s desire to stimulate the rapid growth of the state’s economy.
“Our participation in this year’s event is a testimony of Delta State Government’s desire to stimulate growth by way of accelerated development of commerce and industry, revitalization and diversification of our economy, promotion of non-oil exports, exposition of made-in-Delta products, development of agricultural and agro-based industry, prospects for foreign and local investments and giving direct attention to the role of the private sector in economic development of the state”.
Okowa said the idea of trade fair and exhibitions, especially, with this year’s theme of “Enhancing Value Addition in Non-oil Economy”, fits well into his administration’s SMART Agenda and Prosperity for all Deltans.
“It is our firm belief that trade exhibitions remain one of the most potent ways of promoting growth and development of potentials in emerging economy such as ours. They provide local producers and other participants, the needed platform to exhibit their products and by extension, foster and stimulate entrepreneurship. In essence, it fits well into my administration’s SMART agenda and Prosperrity for all Deltans”, he asserted.
Highlighting efforts made by his administration to create wealth and direct employment in the state, Okowa said: “Several entrepreneurship programmes on job and wealth creation have been put in place. These include the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP), Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and the Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP) where various youths from the state are currently undergoing various internship training in various skill acquisition centres across the country”.
Advising oil producing countries to key into the vision espoused by the theme of the Trade Fair, Okowa said it is important to develop our primary products in such a way that we would have a thriving economy, with or without oil.
“There is the urgent need to develop our agricultural sector to serve as catalyst for meaningful industrialization backed by local inputs. As a matter of urgency, we should capitalize on this clarion call to reposition our economic interest and further influence investments in the non-oil sectors in a more pro-active fashion”.
He said a conducive atmosphere for investments in Delta State is already being created, especially with the upgrading of the Asaba International Airport to accommodate cargo airlines and the establishment of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency to address expedient issues within the State Capital Territory.
“Our unique investment potentials are numerous and our business environment is clement, favourable and secure. I urge all business-minded industrialists, local and foreign entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to come to and do business in Delta State.
“My administration will ensure the creation of private-sector-driven economy and intensify efforts aimed at giving active support and due recognition to foreign and indigenous investments”, he assured.
In her address, Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Barr (Mrs) Mary Iyasere, reiterated the readiness of the state to partner with willing investors.
According to her, “Delta State Government is determined to create the enabling environment for business to thrive. In order to achieve this objective, the state is willing to partner with well-meaning investors in the non-oil sector to achieve its set goals”.
She announced the planned 2016 Delta Trade Expo, which she said would be held in Warri immediately after the 2016 Lagos International Trade Fair.
Governor Okowa, in company of the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, thereafter undertook a tour of the Delta State stand where various products and items made in the state were on display. He also visited the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on the invitation of the Japanese Government Office for Trade & Investment.
He was received and conducted round by Taku Miyazaki, the Trade Commissioner and Managing Director of JETRO, Lagos.
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