Ogun State, Investment and Integrity

Ogun State, Investment and Integrity

Monday, March 4, 2024 8:39 am

The President Mohammed Buhari Estate 

The President Mohammed Buhari Estate

Samuel Shonibare

Gathered at an intimate dinner in London, UK, a diverse group of Nigerians and Britons engaged in a spirited conversation regarding investment opportunities in Nigeria. Emeka, a Nigerian participant, fervently extolled the country’s potential for lucrative investments, citing promising returns of over 20% and a myriad of advantages such as abundant resources and a skilled workforce.

However, amidst the optimistic pitches, Haruna, a middle-aged Nigerian, interjected with a sobering dose of reality. He cautioned against the volatility of government policies, rampant corruption at various levels, integrity issues among workers, and other pertinent challenges that investors might encounter. Despite facing opposition from some quarters, Haruna remained resolute, underscoring the necessity of acknowledging these issues for genuine progress to take root.

The discussion’s coordinator, Layi, acknowledged the country’s challenges while expressing confidence in the government’s commitment to address them. Yet, Sule, who had been quietly observing until then, shared a compelling personal anecdote that shed light on the stark disjunction between promises and actual delivery, focusing specifically on investments made in Ogun State during the tenure of former Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

Sule recounted how he and other investors had eagerly purchased land in an estate near Abeokuta named the President Mohammed Buhari Estate (PMB Estate), trusting in assurances of comprehensive infrastructure development from the state government at the time and the integrity of former President Buhari. Initially, the project showed promise, with Chinese workers actively engaged in infrastructural construction activities within the estate. However, progress came to an abrupt halt, leaving investors in a state of limbo for nearly a decade. Despite repeated inquiries, there was no substantive response from the authorities, and the lack of infrastructure severely hampered further development efforts. While some of the investors are still hopeful that the state current government will fulfill its promises, others have transferred their investments to other states in the country and overseas.

This disillusioning experience led Sule to question the integrity of such ventures and cast doubt on the credibility of marketing Ogun State as a viable investment destination. Despite Layi’s attempts to assuage concerns and offer assurances of government intervention, Sule remained skeptical, expressing apprehension about the protracted resolution of the matter.

The conversation served as a poignant reminder of the imperative of honesty, integrity, and accountability in engendering investor confidence and fostering sustainable development. As the evening drew to a close, there was a palpable sense of introspection among the participants, tempered by a shared determination to confront challenges head-on and drive positive change in Nigeria’s investment landscape.

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