The government of Ekiti State is set to hold its maiden economic development and investment summit, hosting major dignitaries from various areas of the Nigerian economy. Ekiti State is positioning itself as an attractive destination for investors.
According to the governor of the state, Kayode Fayemi, the state is gearing for recovery from the economic downturn and is assured of a positive outlook for its economy.
“We are on a mission of recovery and economic restoration together, and I assure you of our firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure, and prosperous Ekiti State. The resources may be limited, but our resourcefulness and creativity are unlimited,” the governor said.
The state government is positioning itself as a people-centric government that is concerned about even growth and development across the region. The state has in recent times, improved its investment in human capital development by providing access to quality and affordable education for its people.
The state saw increased investment in education in terms of funding examinations and providing a conducive learning environment for students to learn and remain inquisitive in the search for knowledge. Notably, according to the state’s accountability report for the first quarter of 2021, about N1 billion has been spent on prompt payment of WAEC exam fees of students across the state.
Similarly, the state has also recorded some form of investments in the agricultural sector. Worthy of note is the over $5 million investment by Promasidor in the revitalization of the Ikun Dairy Farm. Also, private agriculture investments in the rice and cassava value chain by Stallion, JMK Foods, Promise Point and FMS Farms.
However, the fiscal numbers show a grim picture of the state’s ability to generate revenue internally and attract foreign investments. Notably, the state’s total revenue recorded multiple declines in February and March 2021, resulting in a deficit despite efforts to reduce its recurrent expenditure.
Financial highlights for Q1 2021
- A total of N11.1 billion was generated as revenue in the first quarter of 2021, while its total recurrent expenses stood at N12.62 billion in the review period, indicating a deficit of N1.53 billion.
- The state’s salary to statutory allocation ratio stood at 76%, indicating that over 3/4 of the state’s statutory allocation was spent on salaries in Q1 2021.
- The sum of N1.5 billion set aside for rainy days has been exhausted also due to significant revenue shortfalls.
A major observation from the state’s report is that the bulk of its revenues go into recurrent expenses, leaving capital expenses with little or nothing. This is a major concern for the current administration and it has resulted in the planned summit to help drive the state’s economy forward.
Meanwhile, its intervention in the agricultural sector is poised to spur investor’s interest in the sector as there are visible improvements that can foster the sector’s growth and spark positive sentiments among investors, ultimately culminating in increased private sector participation and the generation of funds needed to finance the sector as well as expand it.
The need for the government to generate alternative sources of revenue has been recognized and efforts are being made in that regard.
About the summit
The session, which is themed, “Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development – Lessons for sub-national” will be held on Thursday, 14th October 2021 at the Civic Centre, Ado Ekiti. The event is set to host the likes of Professor Osinbajo, the Vice-President of Nigeria, Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna, Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State amongst others.
The summit will also receive stakeholders such as MD, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr Bruno Gruwez, Chuka Mordi, the CEO of Ellah Lakes, Mrs Bunmi Akingba, the CEO of FMS Farms and many others.
This summit also comes with its expectations as it is expected to help drive double-digit growth over the next decade, attract the necessary private sector investment to spur economic growth and provide the necessary infrastructure to boost the state’s attractiveness to investors.