Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has stepped up moves to bring investors from China to the state by assuring the investing public of their individual safety and that of their valuable assets, saying that the government is on a mission to improve the quality of lives of its people by bringing development to the state that would leap frog the economy.
The governor stated this at the weekend while addressing about 1000 Chinese investors on the need to participate in the Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone Development Limited in the state at the Great Hall of the People in China.
Governor Ajimobi reiterated that the FTZ was a significant departure from previous experiments in Nigeria as it was being anchored on the China-Africa Industrial Capacity assistance and cooperation model, saying that the project has its bilateral as well as functional sister relationship with the Guye-Tangshan Free Trade Zone in China to form a ‘sister’ Free Trade Zone platform and that it would further thedeepening of the bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria.
According to him, “Oyo state is genuinely and sufficiently interested in the Chinese industrialisation model. To this end, we recently kick started an industrial revolution in Oyo State, Nigeria, with the turning of the sod of the $2.5billion POLARIS – PACE SETTER FREE TRADE ZONE on a 1,000 hectare parcel of land in Ibadan the state capital.
“The Government of Oyo State is on a mission to improve the quality of lives of its people by bringing development to the state that will leap frog the economy. We are conscious of the fact that this can be better achieved in conjunction with proven and tested investment partners,” the governor noted.
He explained that a ready local and national market awaits the investing partners, adding that with a largely youthful state population of approximately 10 million people and a national population of over 180 million, there are huge potentials for manufacturers and service providers in this barrier free business environment.
The governor said, “the state’s economy is an emerging one. This presents no limits for the investing public as the economy can be expanded and stretched without limitations.
The future of the market and economy will therefore be controlled by the activities of today providing enormous opportunities to our investing partners.
“Investors are also assured of up to 100% foreign ownership of businesses in a Zone where foreign capital investment can be repatriated at any time, with capital appreciation thereon. Profits and dividends are also allowed to be remitted offshore in this ready export market that serves as a platform for strong international competitiveness,” Governor Ajimobi assured.
It would be recalled that The Oyo State Government recetnly turned the sod of aPolaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone Development Limited in conjunction with a Chinese company, China Polaris Group, which will cost the partners the sum of $2b with the initial take off of $500m.