Story by Olabode Jegede
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has said the state government is considering raising fresh State government Bond on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) after a successful payment of N20 billion Fixed Rate Infrastructure Development Bond.
When asked if the state visited Exchange to raise fresh bond to finance key projects, he said “We will make it public when we are ready to raise Bond on The NSE. Market and general public will be informed.”
Fayemi during his first tenure as Ekiti state governor, 2010-2014 raised N20 billion Bond to finance a number of projects including the Ikogosi warm spring redevelopment, the Ekiti Water Works construction, as well as the refinancing of high-interest borrowings by the state.
He noted that the State ease of doing business has increased from 4th to 34th position, stressing that his second tenure is tackling the issue with the establishing of Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA) bill to drive the ease of doing business.
Speaking at “Facts behind the State Economy” in Lagos on Friday, assured investors that his administration was working very hard to help the state emerge top three in the country in ease of doing business by putting in place relevant policies and legislations to improve ease of doing business.
Fayemi, who also is the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), highlighted his economic agenda in the state by transforming it into an attractive investment destination for investors, delivering sustainable economic growth, creating employment opportunities, and lifting millions of Ekiti citizens out of poverty.
He also noted that following his return as Governor of Ekiti State, development partners such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Gates Foundation, and so on, have all returned to the state to help facilitate development.
The Governor stressed that the government’s social investment programmes needed to be expanded and made more effective to create jobs for the youth.
He added that the government could not create jobs in massive terms without the collaboration of private sector.
According to him, “It is the private sector that can fly that process but we have the duty to make the climate and condition for job creation available for the private sector to thrive.
“Once the agency commences full operations, it will drive our Ease of Doing Business reforms, and provide investors with a one-stop-shop to deal with investment related matters.”
Fayemi also noted that security in the state had improved, adding that government was collaborating with neighboring states to ensure the state got rid of criminals and bandits to end the menace of kidnapping.
“We have renewed our focus on peace and security, which is the foundation of any economic development; and started investing in developing the infrastructure required to make Ekiti a competitive destination for business.
“We are quite concerned about the increasing spate of violence against ordinary citizens and it is the duty of the government to provide security and welfare of the citizens.
“The steps we have taken since we assumed office is to work in collaboration with neighboring states because those things just cut across, particularly as it affects kidnapping and banditry to make the highways safe,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, acknowledged that Ekiti State successfully utilised the capital that was initially raised on the NSE which has positioned the state for growth.
Onyema said the governor was committed to grassroots development, which was positively impacting the lives of the citizens of the state.
According to him, “As The Exchange builds awareness and attracts local and international investors, we wish to partner with the State and its agencies to achieve the benefits of privatisation of its state owned enterprises and other initiatives of both entities across various sectors.”
“It is my hope that this interactive session of Facts Behind the State Economy will create the strategic in-roads for: innovative capital market solutions to the developmental needs of the state and benefit of the good people of Ekiti State; as well as collaboration and support between Ekiti State, the NSE and the capital market community.”