The Ogun State Government has sought for speedy approval of N83.5b loan request from the 1.68 percent Development of Natural Resources Fund (DNRF) from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC), to improve on agriculture, tourism and other relevant sectors of the economy.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun made the request in Abeokuta while playing host to members of Fiscal Efficiency and Budget Committee of the Commission led by its Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Dibal, who were on evaluation visit to the State.
Abiodun explained that the release of the fund would help diversify the State’s economy, as well as complete the ongoing construction of the first Agro Cargo Airport in the country, adding that the fund would also be used to develop the agricultural, solid mineral, culture and tourism sectors, towards the enhancement of Adire production and its value chain.
He noted that the Agro Cargo Airport which would be equipped with modern facilities including Agro Processing Zone, when completed would serve as a Cargo Hub for the West-coast of Africa and provide job opportunities for the teeming youths.
“Today, we are building the first real Agro Cargo Airport in the country, the decision for that airport was made before this administration, but it was a very objective decision, that location is about a kilometer or less from the busiest highway in this country and also about half a kilometer from the Lagos/Ibadan expressway. So, access and evacuation are not problem, it has about 5000 kilometers of land preserved for the project.
“We intend to tap into the Natural Resources Development Fund and knowing fully that 1.68 percent is being warehoused under this fund for the judicious allocation to the three tiers of Government by RAMFAC. We believe that we can justify application for N83.5bn. In fact, it is a conservative request and I think it should be upwardly reviewed”, he explained.
He said the State was blessed with abundant mineral resources including limestone and granite, saying, part of the fund would be used to address the problem of environmental degradation arising from mining sites, for the safety of residents.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Dibal, said the visit was part of the process required to access the loan, saying it would help all tiers of government diversify their economy base, which in turn would create alternative sources of revenue and reduce dependence on oil.
Alhaji Dibal, expressed delight with economic potentials in the State, stating that the Commission was briefed by officials of the State on the sectors the funds would be channeled, as recommendations would be made, having in mind the objectives of creating the fund.