Thank you for inviting me to be part of your history, the commissioning of your solar plant here in Ibadan. We are definitely adding this to the many other historical firsts in Oyo State. Years from now, when people talk about how Nigerian Breweries took the first step in shifting from conventional electricity to renewable energy, the records will show that it started in your Ibadan brewery.
I am particularly excited about this commissioning because it involves a vital aspect that should drive human endeavour – sustainability. And I must add that this is a challenge to us, politicians. If a corporation like Nigerian Breweries is thinking of making the environment better, then the primary thought for politicians should be how to make society better for the citizens.
And so, for us here in Oyo State, we took on that challenge even before it was thrown. As our administration reaches the midpoint of its mandate, we are still thinking about sustainability. Not just the sustainability of the environment, which both the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources as well as Energy and Mineral Resources are concerned about, but the sustainability of our new ways of doing things.
How do we ensure that the higher level of public-private sector synergy we created in the past two years is maintained?
We know that if there is one thing politicians love, it is to outdo the previous administration somehow. So, we have raised the bar on good governance a little higher. So that when the next administration comes in, they will want to outdo us, which will benefit the people of Oyo State.
So, one of the questions we asked ourselves earlier on in our administration is: Why would anyone want to do business in Oyo State. Working with the answers we received, we have proceeded to build an environment that supports enterprise.
For example, as we reconstructed the 65km Moniya-Iseyin road, farm estates began to spring up along that route. And even closer to you here, we have continued the dualisation of the 7.3km Agodi Gate-Old Ife road-Adegbayi Junction with a spur to Alakia-Ibadan Airport (3.3km) Ibadan. We also have the Iwo Road bus interchange with the bus terminals at Iwo Road and New Ife Road.
We understand the significance of the work that corporations like the Nigerian Breweries are doing in providing employment for the people of Oyo State. And so, we strive to make life easier for them. And we are happy that our efforts are yielding results. Nigerian Breweries would not be thinking of investing more in Oyo State if the investment outlook was poor.
Our Quarter 1, 2021 Business Expectation Survey indicates that businesses in Oyo State maintain a positive outlook despite the national challenges. The over 2,000 surveyed companies across the state showed an over 70% positive outlook and confidence. We plan to build on these positives to continue to foster an enabling business environment.
So let me use this opportunity to invite more businesses to come to Oyo State. We always say we are open for business. Our agencies, the Oyo State Investment and Public-Private Partnership Agency (OYSIPA) and the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) have served as primary agencies that drive our policy of accelerated development in Oyo State. So, talk to us. Our doors are always open. Let us know how we can work with you to provide the needed support for your businesses to thrive.
Let me also mention that in the coming year, while still remaining focused on building and maintaining infrastructure across the state, we are looking to expand the investment base. So, we are interested in ideas that will develop our tourism industry. Nigerian Breweries products, of course, complement the hospitality industry, which is a subset of the tourism sector. So, if you are thinking of adopting or branding one of our numerous tourist attractions in Oyo State, we will be happy to discuss such mutually beneficial ideas.
Our gratitude goes to the Nigerian Breweries which as part of its corporate social responsibility has continued to support the community here. Your reconstruction of the shops at Mokola Hill has transformed it to a standard viewing centre. Just recently, you gave three power bikes to the Oyo State Road Transport Management Agency to assist their operations. Thank you so much.
And thank you again for having me. My prayer is that you continue on this path to achieve your green ambition of 70% renewable energy usage across all your breweries by 2030, that you continue to grow from strength to strength, and, of course, bring more of your business here to the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
God bless you all.
~ Governor Seyi Makinde, May 20, 2021