Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, said the federal government had supported the 36 states of the federation with N1.19 trillion naira as at September 2017.

He said the funds were made available to enable the states meet the challenges of shortage of funds for the execution of programmes in their respective states.

Osibajo, who said this in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital at the maiden Kogi state economic and investment summit, said the funds had enabled some state governments to embark on capital expenditures.

According to him, the funds were made available through the excess crude account, the Paris Club refund, loans among others to the states.

He explained that parts of the funds were the entitlements of the state that they legally had access to, while some of them were loans to be repaid.

The vice president noted that the present administration had the highest capital expenditures in two years, adding that these were evident in the ongoing railway line construction, road constructions, hydro power project.

He said the summit came at the right time that the country was trying to reduce its dependence on oil and increase its non oil income with the promotion of agriculture and the abundant solid mineral resources across the country.

He stated that the country was spending $3 billion annually on importation of them rice, adding that the trend had changed since the federal government encouraged local rice production.

He however stated that the private sector remained the key to the economic growth of the country, reiterating the commitment of government to the development of business and industry.

Osinbajo said Kogi state is strategically located with vast mineral resources that could make it a hub of commercial activities, adding that the summit was capable of reinvigorating and inspiring the people.

The state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said the summit was packaged to change the identity of the 27 years old state from a civil service state to an industrialised one.

He said his administration had in the last two years prepared the ground for economic and industrial breakthroughs for the state by solving the problems that had been hindering economic growth in the state.

Bello said the state is now safe for investors and investments, adding that the problem of security had been tackled.

He said, “We are changing the toga of a civil service state to an economic and commercially viable one and we want investors to collaborate with us and contribute to the prosperity of the state.

“Kogi state is now open for business, we want to be signing MoU, I invite the private sector to collaborate with us in our bid to develop the state, Kogi state is for serious business”.

The minister of solid minerals development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in his presentation, said the bulk of the revenue of Kogi state should be internally generated based on the abundant mineral resources in the state.

He however said mining was not a business that should be tied to the tenure of any executive as it is a long term investment that outlived the maximum two term tenure of any executive.

The minister said the federal government had taken major steps to make mining attractive, adding that N5 billion had been made available at the Bank of Industry for small scale miners to develop their trade.

The deputy governor of Kogi state, Simon Achuba, who is also the chairman of the organising committee of the summit, said the event was organised to come up with ways of eliminating dependency on federation account.

He said the summit would reposition the economy of the state, noting that with the right investments in the state, it could feed the country.

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