Home Economy Agbowo Shopping Complex: Why Seyi Makinde’s prosperity model for Oyo State is working well. – Lanre Oguns

Agbowo Shopping Complex: Why Seyi Makinde’s prosperity model for Oyo State is working well. – Lanre Oguns

by Mustapha Olamide
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Oyo State, as at today is one of the rapidly growing economy in Nigeria as a result of the effort and strategic blueprint of Governor Seyi Makinde and his team of brilliant minds.

Oyo State, as at today is one of the rapidly growing economy in Nigeria as a result of the effort and strategic blueprint of Governor Seyi Makinde and his team of brilliant minds.

As we all know, a country or a State, cannot make any meaningful progress when it is not economically viable or attractive to businesses or investors. And like many States in Nigeria, who already has stockpile of both domestic and foreign loans by the previous administrations, there is little or nothing governor in such States can do to change the economy, except they think outside the box.

When Seyi Makinde emerged as governor of Oyo State in 2019, he didn’t start to complain or go through the normal blame game route, most of the elected government officials usually use, as an excuse/getaway for not delivering on their mandates to the people.

In his case, he had the knowledge of what he was going into as a governor, who must not pretend to be working, but must be working round the clock by a way of systemic but pragmatic approach in order put the State on economic prosperity.

His predecessors would always wait for FAAC, tiny IGR and plenty borrowing to run government, without making effort to think outside the box, and greater percentage of these funds were looted. This is why they kept on owing salaries, refused to pay pensioners and acted like emperors to the people of the State, as you know, since Seyi became governor, he has not fail to pay civil servants their salaries as and when due. He has also commenced payment of pension backlog, his predecessors left unpaid before he came into government house, because he finds it repulsive that people who puts so much to work are being owed.

Read also: Gov. Seyi Makinde flags-off the remodelling and renovation of the new Agbowo Shopping Complex

Seyi came up with what is known as Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), and Public Private Partnership, to stimulate and rapidly turn the economy around, and this is working well for the State.

With the little funds from FAAC and IGR, the government knows that, they have a lot of financial commitments, such as payment of salaries etc, which must not fail, and they are very sensitive that, if they must not fail in these areas, they must find alternative ways to fund goverment projects, such as road and other infrastructures, that will in turn, enable the economy to improve, so that in the short, medium and long term, the IGR of the State can greatly improve.

This APFA initiative, allow contrators to inject their several billions of Naira into Oyo economy with understanding, so that the government can concentrate on other critical areas of governance. In fact, this is first of its kind in Nigeria. It take a thinking and working goverment to go in this direction.

What this means is that, he want to jump start the economy by making sure that friendly business environment are provided for investors, also making sure that whatever support the government can provide to see these businesses survive are adequately provided.

Agbowo Shopping Complex for example, like many other moribund public infrastructures that has been laying fallow for several years unattended, was constructed by the administration of late Chief Bola Ige in 1983 on 30 plots of land, strategically located in a prime area, has now been handed over to a private business on a PPP arrangement for re-branding and remodeling, and this is a step in the right direction. It is better to give this facility to those who can manage it, than to allow it to continue to depreciate, and fall apart to wreckage.

Before now, this complex has been under an agency of government, who may have not run it the way it should be ran, until this concession came up.

The complex, according to government is concessioned for 50 years, and the investor, Whitestone Global Limited, is spending about N4.9b to turn this historic building to a 4-star hotel, which in a way can conveniently compete with hotels such as, Eko Hotel in Lagos.

What this strategic arrangement will do in the immediate, is to create massive jobs for lots of unemployed citizens, from even the remodeling, to when the hotel will kick off full commercial activities and also help to power up other economic activities in the business hub where it is located.

Local, foreign and multinational corporations and companies, such as Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, Shell, Universities etc will now be rest assured that there is now a beffiting place they can use in Ibadan to conduct their businesses.

If you read the right news, and not the jaundice being brandied about by some people whose aim is to maliciously blackmail the governor, note that, past administration also tried to do same concession at over N8b, but failed. This is what GSM has now successfully done for less than N5b.

“When you put in effort and do want they (Opposition) cannot do during their tenure in office, they get angry and begin to sponsor all sort of publications. But, the public can clearly see what GSM is doing in their best interests, and not complaining, except for the political hawks. With Agbowo back to life and business, so many people who have been unemployed will now start having decent jobs.”

As we know, goverment have less to do in terms of job provision, they only need to create friendly and viable business/economy environment, for those bringing in their billions to thrive, such as this concession with Agbowo Shopping complex.

But, some enemies of the State will always find a way to fault the government in anything just to score cheap political points, as you already know, they say these things deliberately to mislead the people, as they themselves are surely aware that, they are not making sense in any antagonistic write up they are putting up. Imagine some of them saying that Agbowo Shopping Complex concessioned for 50 years is a win for the citizens, and Whitestone Global Limited, but a huge loss to the government. Why is it a loss to the government, when the business of the government in the first place is because of the people?

One Moruf Smith, even went ahead in his write up, which he may have been paid for by detractors to put up, ” Makinde’s Concession of Agbowo Complex: Is 4.9Billion Naira Equal 50years?” to make wild allegation, which if he is called up to defend himself, might end up in serious trouble.

One of his argument was that 50 years is too long for a concession, and I don’t know if he is aware that the land where his father built (if he has), was leased to him by the government under the land use act for 99.9999 years. Would he come out to attack goverment in same manner that the lease to his father is also too long?

Follow up comment to Moruf Smith:

“I just read through his piece and I can’t but imagine the nature of coordinations behind thoughts of the writer.”

“Jumping upandan” I think the writer should have opted to write a short bedtime story to help our little folks who haven’t been able to go to school as a result of the pandemic. Obviously, the length of the write-up he attempted is too much for his coordination.”

How will you say “The present concessional arrangement of 4.9bn equals 50 years is a win to Messrs Whitestone Global limited, a win to people in terms of job opportunities AND in the same paragraph you said it is a huge loss to Oyo state….. Can someone tell him that any thing termed as a win for the people is a win for the government of Oyo state?

“Asides from his lack of knowledge, I think he lacks the ability to coordinate his thoughts and those of his pay masters.” ~ Mr Jimoh

One thing they find very hard is how to fault the Governor’s integrity, because he was the first in Oyo State to publicly declare his assets at the time he came into government, because he came not to amass wealth for himself, but to serve the people transparently.

Going back to GSM’s prosperity model for Oyo State, you’ll clearly notice the resuscitation of many other moribund public infrastructures, capable of helping the growth of the economy, such as the expansion of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Ibadan Airport, so that it can commence full flight operation soon.

There is a dry port at the Moniya Axis of Oyo State, together with Lagos-Ibadan rail system. For those who are business savvy, they are already giving big kudos to GSM for his insight over this heavy business corridor coming up soon, because countless numbers of direct and indirect jobs are coming up in this area too. Affordable housing, road infrastructures are also not taking back seat in his agenda. Looking at how he has fared so far, he needs more encouragement, than the destructive behavior of the oppositions.

GSM has big plans for Education and healthcare, we can clearly see this in how he is handling the case of COVID19 in the State. Free education and school support kits were provided to students. Surely, when the earnings of goverment improves, he will surely do more, but certainly, GSM will commission more projects in this his first term than any governor ever in Oyo State, looking at how he is giving and following timeline to contractors to the State government.

Permit me to say this, all the efforts of goverment at reviving the economy is working, as report shows that people are already relocating to Oyo State to continue their businesses, because of how flexible and profitable it has now become to do business in the State.

The governor clearly said in one of the report I read that there is no need to continue to live on rent seeking kind of economy, that the way forward is to be creative in enabling a fertile environment for private driven economy, therefore relaxed, gave concessions and support to businesses. The truth is that the more businesses that springs up in Oyo State, the more jobs and even additional revenue for the government.

It is only those who do not understand basic economics, that are jumping up and down, and to stop futher embarasing themselves in the public domain, they need to CALM DOWN, just as that young boy in the viral video told his mum.

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