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Agro Cargo Airport will turn Ogun into agricultural hub — Abiodun

Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun has said that the Agro Cargo Airport being built by his administration would turn Ogun into an agricultural hub of West Africa when it is completed next year.

Abiodun, who stated this while receiving the Executive Officers of S.I.A.O Partners, independent professional service and accounting firm in his Oke-Mosan Office in Abeokuta, added that the airport would also be a hub for the aviation industry.

“We are confident that by the end of the fourth quarter of next year, we should commission the airport. Construction has gone very far; we are looking to turn that airport to a hub of agro cargo activities in the West coast of Africa,” he noted.

In a related development, Governor Abiodun also shed light on why the state joined other states in the fray to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).

Speaking when he played host to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in his office, he said his administration decided to take advantage of the VAT controversy with a view to ensuring that Ogun gets a fair share from the money being generated from the system.

He explained that despite the huge revenue being generated from VAT, the state’s share does not reflect what it generates, insisting that the state’s action on the issue was to ensure fairness.

“We generate so much money, yet we don’t have a bigger chunk of that same fund that we worked with our sweat and blood to generate,” he noted.

The governor lamented that the country is spending so much subsidising petroleum products, thus wasting funds needed to provide basic amenities, which would fast-track development.

While informing the ICAN leadership that his administration was strictly adhering to all the tenets of good governance, Abiodun said the state generated the sum of N75bn in the last nine months and was working towards surpassing it next year.

On the State’s Accountability Index (AI) position of ICAN, he observed that Ogun has moved from the 29th to the 19th position, expressing his administration’s desire to see the state in the first three positions next year.

Speaking earlier, the ICAN President, Mrs. Comfort Olu Eyitayo, noted the exemplary leadership style of the governor, which she said has impacted positively in the health, education, youth development and other sectors of the economy of Ogun.

Abiodun, while disclosing that his administration has laid the foundation for the private sector participation in the economy of the state, through various initiatives such as the Public-Private Partnership Office, the Ogun Investment Promotion Agency as well as the Business Environment Council, told the SIAO team that the state agencies would help boost the state’s ranking in Ease of Doing Business Index.

He stressed that his administration decided to ask for a special status for the state from the federal government because of the numerous federal roads that transverse the state, saying, “if the special status is granted, it will aid the state in reconstructing more roads belonging to the FG.”

The governor, who further said that his administration apart from constructing interstate roads is also constructing inter-city and intra city roads, declared that his administration has constructed about 270 kilometers of road in less than three years.

Speaking on behalf of the S.I.A.O partners, the Managing Partner, Ituah Igbodalo, appreciated the state government for its stride in infrastructural development, adding that his organisation was ready to partner with the state in other to leverage on the economic opportunities embedded in the Gateway State.