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[NIGERIA] : South-West governors to bid for Murtala Muhammed Airport concession

South-West Governors have agreed to jointly bid for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Concession. The resolution was reached at the end of the two-day quarterly Western Nigeria Governors’ Forum held at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), while Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) was represented by his deputy, Yetunde Onanuga.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting and read to newsmen by the Director General, Development Agenda for Western Region, DAWN, Oluseye Oyeleye said that the States of the regions as as bloc would bid for the concession of the international airport.
The communique said the region would be monitoring the process for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Concession in a bid to acquiring it and developing it into a world class infrastructure.
The governors also agreed that Lagos State is now formally a member of the O’dua Investment Group with a total of 115 million shares thus growing the share equity of the company to 690 million and that the states in the region would embark on a Rice Accelerated
Program for Integrated Development (Western RAPID) to further consolidate actions on food security and job creation in the Region.
The governors added that a Regional Agriculture Summit be held in Ibadan, Oyo State in May 2018 and sponsored by Lagos State and that the DAWN Commission, Focal Representatives and Agriculture Commissioners hold a technical session with Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and develop a state by state roadmap in four weeks before the Regional Agriculture Summit scheduled for May 2018.
More so, the governors agreed that the DAWN Commission should work on reviving Regional Inter-School Football Competition and that the DAWN Commission should conduct a study on the successes in education in Ekiti State for peer learning/adoption among the Western Nigeria states.
They also agreed that the DAWN Commission, and the Focal representatives should structure a programme on the Omoluabi Ethos of the Yoruba people.
The governors further confirmed Mr Oluseye Oyeleye as the substantive Director General of DAWN Commission.
However, Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, who represented Governor Amosu, raised some reservations about the land deal, saying that the State Government on account of previous issues with Lagos on the similar subject matter would be refraining from releasing land to the State until the said issues were resolved.
Nonetheless, Onanuga said: “We will be prepared to sign this memorandum later when some of these issues are straightened out.”
When asked by journalists on way out of the issues raised by Ogun State, Governor Ambode said he was optimistic that all the States would join in the effort to ensure food security and create jobs for the people.
He said: “What has happened is that we wanted to expand the agric output of our rice mill and in doing so, we decided that all the south west States should be able to cultivate rice and supply paddy to the proposed rice mill that is coming up in Imota in Lagos.
“So, what we have done is that four other States have agreed to sign the Memorandum of Understanding which they have actually done today and so what is happening between Lagos and Ogun is that there were some minor issues that were outstanding before and based on that they could not sign today but you could also hear that they are committed to signing when those issues are resolved.
“We are having a 32-ton per hour rice mill in Imota and we are going to require 32,000 hectares of paddy cultivation which even the whole of the south west cannot even provide but because we are interested in integration and also independence, it is important that beyond going to Kebbi or Kano, all the south western states should also benefit from it and the idea is that we are trying to procure land there but we will also use the people and the farmers in the respective states to cultivate the land and by so doing we have created employment in those States and we will be off-takers to the paddies that they are producing and so I am able to buy it and also use it for my own rice mill and then sell it in Lagos and so I create employment across the region and at the same time put money into the pocket of our people,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, Governor Aregbesola described the incorporation of Lagos State into the economic framework of the south west region as historic and long coming since 1948, adding that the development would strengthen the O’dua Investment Group and drive the development of the region. 

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