Ogun State Ministry of Commerce is one of the key ministries that Gov. Ibikunle Amosun does not joke with. This is because the Ministry is, in no small measure, boosting the government’s efforts by looking inwards and increasing revenue generation and also providing an environment that is conducive to business growth and reduction of unemployment.
In cooperation with the Bank of Industry, the ministry has provided loans for different categories of businessmen/women and entrepreneurs to set up economic ventures. Other measures introduced which has made doing business easy in the state has not only improved World Bank’s ease of doing business rating from 35th to 5th position, but it has also attracted the World Bank’s commendation in 2014.
The ministry is not leaving any stone unturned in its determination to put an end to illegal mining, by imposing stiff penalty, while spurring legal activites to make solid mineral exploitation a source of revenue generation through collection of levies. When City People recently conducted its research, it found out that the Ministry led by Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, the Commissioner for Commerce has done to improve on the economic profile of the state over the last 6 years. What has the Ministry been able to accomplish in the last few years? Read the answers blow:
Empowerment of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) to the tune of N1bn in loans in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI).
(1) Rehabilitation of facilities at 4 markets across the state. (OlabisiOnabanjo International Market, Ijebu Ode; Oba Lipede Market, Abeokuta; June 12, market Abeokuta and Sagamu International Market).
(2) Construction of 5 new markets in the capital city, Abeokuta: (Sapon, Itoku, Omida, Laderin, Isale-Igbein).
(3) Creation of 2 additional industrial parks of 10 hectares each for Ogun East and West senatorial Districts in tandem with the Administration’s policy of even development of the state. (Please note that the third Senatorial district already has an industrial park at Onijanganjogan).
(4) Empowermentof 110 Cooperative Societies and 7 Business Enterprises comprising loans to 1,037 individual direct beneficiaries from various trades, which include Adire/Kampala production, Block and Concrete production, Artisans, Poultry and Fish farming.
(5) Youth empowerment training for unemployed graduates towards self-realisation in the entrepreneurial skill development. 1,000 youths were trained and are being encouraged to form Cooperative Societies in groups of 10 members each to access loans of up to N5m per group, through the N1bn OGSG-BOI MSME Development Fund.
(6) Facilitating growth of investment by forwarding land allocation requests of various investor companies to the Bureau of Lands and Survey and Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation for land allocation. The Ministry supervises the activities of the One-Stop Shop Investment Center (OSSIC) serving investors in the State, and it has helped to facilitate ease of doing business for investors and it increase the level of economic growth through investments in the state. This is evident in the following:
(7) More than 120 new companies have been set up in Ogun State to date;
(8) Contribution to an increase in IGR of the State;
(9) It has facilitated World Bank’s Ranking of the State in terms of Ease of doing business which had been which had been moved from 35th position to 5th in 2014;
(11) Approximately, 75% of Foreign Direct Investment in attracted the country between 2011–2016 came into Ogun State while the Domestic Investment in the State between 2013 & 2016 is as follows: 2013 – N377bn; 2014 – N515bn; 2015 – N128bn; 2016 – N55bn (first quarter)
(12) Maintenance of industrial relations with establishments operating within the state. This was achieved through regular consultation with the Organised Private Sector such as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ogun Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA), Nigerian Association of Small-Scales Industrialist (NASSI), Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME), Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON) and others.
(13) This creates a unique avenue for a two-way communication and feedback from private sector;
(14) The measure encourages Private Sector involvement in policy formulation and implementation
(15) It induces mining of solid minerals for revenue generation and reduction of illegal mining activities to the barest minimum. Effective monitoring was greatly enhanced by engagement of more officers to supervise mining sites, and mining has grown by 40%. There was also sensitisation of artisan miners on proper mining administration, and the expansion of our operational base through the effective utilisation of our 9 zonal offices for effective monitoring by our officers. Furthermore, there was awareness creation through radio and television jingles as well as illegal mining inscription sign posts conspicuously placed at illegal sites. Results include a reduction in illegal mining activities by 35%, and increased revenue generation through payment of inspection levies, and penalties for non-compliance with best mining practices. Need we say more!