We Must Repair Our Economy To Free People From Poverty— Makinde

  • As Oyo International Trade Fair returns after 15 years

Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, declared that despite the challenges and hardship facing the country, all hands must be on deck to repair the economy rather than trade blames.

The governor maintained that one of the ways to achieve such repair is for the country to shift its focus to export orientation instead of import substitution.
He noted that developing export market rather than focusing on producing for local consumption will help in improving the economy and the currency of the country.

Governor Makinde stated this at the opening of the Oyo State International Trade Fair known as “EXPOYO 2024,” which returned after a 15-year hiatus, noting that his government remained open to bringing prosperity to the state.

While declaring open the event with the theme, “Showcasing the Economic Potentials of Oyo State Through Agriculture, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises”, at the Permanent Trade Fair Complex, Sango, Ibadan, Governor Makinde noted that though people argue that allocations from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) have doubled, states only have 26 per cent of the allocations and that all stakeholders must work together to bring Nigerians out of the current hardship.

Governor Makinde also said that with the return of EXPOYO, the fair will now be an annual event, pointing out that despite insinuations that second term governors are often laid back in terms of performance, his government resuscitated the event and has been breaking new grounds in expanding the state’s economy.

He said: “It is my pleasure to be here to declare open the International Trade Fair ExpOyo 2024, and I want to assure this gathering that it will be an annual event.
“We all know that people say second-term governors don’t work but this did not happen in my first tenure but it has happened in the ongoing second tenure.

“This is a very tough period for us as a country. Economically, things are not going the way we want but this is not the time to give up. It is the time to look at opportunities, because opportunities are always lurking in the corner when there are challenges.

“For us in Oyo State, we are not giving up. I can see notable industrialists here. It is about time we changed our orientation. People will talk about what we produce in Nigeria and showcase the economic potential of Oyo State.

“We are not interested only in things that we will consume locally in Oyo State. Import substitution means you are looking at only your own market. Export orientation means we want to produce here and sell to the world and earn the necessary foreign exchange.

“For us here, it is a challenge for OYCCIMA and the industrialists in our midst. We must develop our export market and attract foreigners so that, in the years to come, this exhibition will become truly international. As for OYCCIMA, we have a conducive atmosphere not just for exhibition but for trade and industrialisation. We want to attract investments to Oyo State.

“It is not acceptable to me or to any of us here that a state, which is 120km away from here, is generating over N65 billion every month in IGR and we are struggling to generate N4 billion monthly.”

While promising a conducive environment for trade and industrialisation to attract investors to the state, he charged OYCCIMA to also attract foreign investors so that the fair would become really international in the years to come.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, Chief Ademola Ojo, said Governor Makinde has been expanding the economy of Oyo State by working in concert with the players in the private sector and leveraging the state’s potential to move the state forward.

While calling on the people of the state to be part of the epoch-making fair, Ojo equally assured that Makinde’s administration’s policies will continue to enhance ease of doing business in the state.

Also in his address, the President, Oyo State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr. Daniel Gbadero, appreciated Governor Makinde for his exceptional economic transformation agenda and his support towards the success of the “EXPOYO 2024.”
The governor and his entourage later inspected the trade fair exhibition ground.

Present at the event were the former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Hamid Gbadamosi; member of the Board of Trustees, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief (Mrs) Mutiat Ladoja; a former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Mrs Onikepo Akande; foremost industrialist, Chief Bode Amoo; representative of the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin and Justice Akintola, who represented the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima.

Others were the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olanike Adeyemo; Chief of Staff, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi; former Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka; Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Oyo State Elders Council, Dr. Saka Balogun and Elder Wole Oyelese respectively as well as members of the Oyo State Advisory Council.


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