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Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has called for increased collaboration and partnership with both local and international development agencies to ensure comprehensive development of the state’s economy.

Ekiti News reports that the Governor made this request on Tuesday during a strategic meeting with Heads of Development Agencies at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.

Governor Oyebanji emphasized that with the right partnerships and collaboration, the state’s development goals could be significantly accelerated through mutual cooperation and resource sharing.

He stated that Ekiti State is not seeking help, but rather partnership and collaboration that would accelerate growth and development.

The Governor underscored several reforms aimed at creating a favorable investment climate, noting Ekiti’s top rank on the transparency index and its status as the safest state in the country, making it an ideal place for business.

Governor Oyebanji mentioned that his administration is dedicated to realizing the state’s 30-year development plan through partnerships and collaborations with both national and international development partners.

He said “We are government that is reform minded, transparent, we are accountable and am leading a team that is competent and committed to the mandate of this administration.

“Everything we are doing in Ekiti is already planned for. We know the track we are following, we know the step we have taken and we are trying our best within the available resources to as a state, but we know that we have the capacity and ability to do more and that is why we have invited you here today to say, please handhold us in areas where your institutions can partner and collaborate with us. Let us work together so that we can deliver good governance to the people of Ekiti State.

“We tick all boxes in transparency, we have regulatory instrument in the state that ensures that we deliver on projects, and for those of you that have one programs or the other in Ekiti, you will know that we adhere strictly to protocols for implementation, and that speaks to our commitment to doing things the right way.”

Governor Oyebanji highlighted efforts by his administration to improve Ease of Doing Business in the state to include the establishment of small claims court, streamlining of business permit, enforcement of contracts, aligning tax policy to remove double taxation, as well as enhanced security among others.

“On Ease of Doing Business, we have gone so far. I head and chair the committee on Ease of Doing Business. We have streamlined business permit, enforcement of contracts . We are at a point of having a one- stop shop physically and virtually that addresses the concerns of investors in the state.“

Governor Oyebanji also revealed that access to the state is being improved with investment in road infrastructure. He also revealed that the Ado Ekiti airport would be ready for commercial operation before the end of the year, adding that the airport is undergoing certification process by relevant aviation authorities.

He said officials of the NCAA and FAAN are currently in the state for the certification for commercial operation of the airport, adding that commercial flights would become operative at the airport before the end of the year.

The airport project, he said was conceived to aide economic development and growth in the state through access to local and international markets.

The World Bank Country Director, Ndiame Diop, earlier in his goodwill message commended Governor Oyebanji for his determination to the state’s development and for engaging with development partners to discuss on ways to improve and leverage partnerships towards addressing development challenges in the state.

Diop said the world bank has committed over 200 million dolars in Ekiti across key sectors such as Education, health, social protection,water and sanitation and women’s economic empowerment with about 60 million dollars disbursed so far.

The Director while commending the state’s good track records of implementation of the bank’s projects, said more projects opportunities would soon come to the state in critical sectors such as irrigation, hydro power, and agriculture, health and education, among others.

Also, the heads and representatives of several other international development agencies including British High Commission, USADF, USAID, Belgium Embassy, Japan Embassy and UNiDOC among others pelleted to strengthen commitment to the state, while lauding the Governor’s regular engagement.

The State Commissioner for Budget, Economic Planning and Performance Management, Mr Niyi Adebayo, in his presentation identified the state’s areas of competitive advantage as well as areas where it requires collaboration.

The Director General, Office of Development Partnerships, Mr Biodun Oyeleye did an overview of the Biodun Oyebanji Administration’s six- pillar development agenda, drawing the attention of ten development agencies to each of ten agenda.

Also at the event were members of the State Executive Council, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Country Directors and representatives of International Organizations and Countries, among others.

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