Delta State would soon witness industrial revolution as moves are already on to place it on global reconning.
This was disclosed by Comrade Sunny Ofehe, Executive Assistant on External Relations and Diaspora to the Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori in an interactive session with selected Journalists in Warri, he said that, “we can attract minimum of $1billion in foreign direct investment to Delta State in the 2024 quota”.
Chief Ofehe said that this administration was poised to promote Delta State to the global community noting that the state was the gateway to the South-South and South-East regions of Nigeria.
While assuring that the state would have a wagon of foreign investors soonest, the Executive Assistant said that Delta was the only state with two major functioning airports.
He said that the Asaba Airport had an international standard runway that could land even an Airbus A380 while the other airport located in the State’s commercial nerve centre, Warri.
Accordng to Comr. Ofehe, “Delta State today is the only state with four major Seaports in the world, we have about 165 kilometers of Coastline, which can also open doors to many economic activities including huge potential in blue-economy.
“And of course, currently we’re the largest producer of crude oil in the country, and we have the highest gas reserve in the country.
“So we have all the abundant natural and mineral resources, even solid minerals to be precise, beside, we have high human capital development in the state because we pride ourselves as the state with the highest tertiary institutions in this country.
“So, selling Delta State is as easy as selling anything that is good, and that is why we want to take a different approach this time around and look into how we can showcase the state beyond the crude oil that we are generally known for,” he said.
Chief Ofehe said that the current administration was working tirelessly to harness all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies( MDAs) and jiggle all the officials that had been appointed and saddled with various responsibilities of projecting the state’s potential in natural resources and human capital development around the world.
“So when you talked about the issue of oil theft, you talked about how we would assure investors. That’s why the focus of this current M-O-R-E Agenda is on the area of infrastructure and security. Hopefully when we start rolling out those policies, we will be able to deal with those challenges that have been confronting us before now,” he said.
Comr. Ofehe said that Governor Sheriff Oborevwori had presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N725 billion that was passed by the State House of Assembly and signed into law by him.
He said that the approved budget was made up of N317 billion in recurrent expenditure, while the sum of N408 billion is for capital expenditure.
According to him, the budget has been tagged, the “Budget of Hope and Optimism”, which is geared towards putting the economy of the state on the path to sustainable growth.
He added that the budget would boost both domestic and foreign direct investments with increased productivity while at the same time enhance the ease of doing business in the state.
The Executive Assistant to the Governor on External Relations and Diaspora said that the budget is cutting down on recurrent expenditure in order to free up more funds for the sustainable financing of the state’s critical infrastructure and human capital.
Comr. Ofehe spoke further, “for the first time, the government is focused, improving the ease of doing business so that we can attract domestic and foreign direct investments and improve productivity while sustaining the growth of our domestic economy.
“Remember that since the commencement of this administration in the last six months, there has not been a single borrowing.
“Therefore, we are not only guaranteeing the security and safety of our Diaspora investments but we are also assuring them of a better business investment climate in Delta State.”
On the moribund textile mill in the state, Chief Ofehe said, “we used to have Asaba Textile Mill in Asaba.
“This current government is seriously looking into attracting investment into the area of textiles in order to become the hub of textile products not just within Nigeria but across sub-Saharan African.
“In doing this, we will be able to create jobs for our young population while exposing them to modern system of textile production and the finishing. I can assure you that Delta State will become the red carpet of the global fashion industry.”
He said that the task of attracting foreign investment into the state was not challenging to him because he had stayed in Europe for over 28 years adding that he regularly meets with people and friends who own companies and were willing to invest in Africa and most especially in Nigeria.
“Just recently, I came with some European investors and Dutch experts on flood managements and shoreline protection. We even embarked on a trip to several communities in Escravos in Warri South-West Local Government area of the State and they were amazed with what they saw. They all planned to visit again and bring their knowledge and expertise.
“Whenever, I visit Delta State with foreign investors, I always ensure that they see our urban and rural communities and their lifestyles. They also see the potentials we have in both natural, mineral and human capital development,” he said.
Omr. Ofehe, however, identify insecurity and infrastructure dearth as some of the challenges hindering investments.
“In order to mitigate these challenges, this administration has devoted almost 60% of the 2024 budget on infrastructure particularly the construction of access roads, major expansion and fly-overs across the major cities.
“The Governor has also taken security as one of his major priority, meeting regularly with all the major security stakeholders in the state and providing the needed support and encouragement for effective discharge of their duties,” he said.(INDEPENDENCE.NG)