Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, on Sunday expressed concern over the spate of kidnapping activities on the Lagos – Ibadan axis, saying the country was at risk of losing its economy if insecurity continues to rise.
The governor, while speaking on Sunday with newsmen after a Presidential Policy Retreat at the State House, Abuja, said that the economy of a country or a state would be adversely affected when citizens live in fear.
“The minute people begin to live in fear, the minute people begin to have that foreboding fear that something may happen their way, it would kill the economy of the state and the country.
“I mentioned to them (at the retreat) that only last night (Wednesday) there was a kidnap situation on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and in the morning of Thursday on my way to this conference, there was an attempt to kidnap four people, they kidnapped two and two escaped.
“That Lagos-Ibadan expressway is the busiest highway in this country; not only that, it is so important to the economy of my state, Lagos State and the entire country.
“How do we say we are creating an enabling environment for a public-private partnership when people cannot move freely from Lagos-to Ogun hinterland without the fear of being kidnapped?” he queried.
The governor noted that there was need to provide adequate security on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which, he said, is the busiest highway in the country and very important to the economy of the country.
He said: “So, we spent a lot of time on security because security is very important and I recall that I mentioned the fact that for me and Lagos, Ogun stands to benefit from everything that Lagos cannot provide.
“We are there to provide what Lagos cannot afford to have and that is why we are called the Gateway State. We are gateway to at least four states and we are also border to another country.”
He added: “We spoke about road infrastructure, different funding mechanism in agriculture and we spoke about healthcare. There was the emphasis that states should take ownership of healthcare and agriculture.
“The former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, shared with us the Ethiopian’s model, which to us was a complete contrast of the Brazilian model.
“The Brazilian’s model encouraged farm settlements but the Ethiopian model was a complete contrast to the Brazilian mode. The Ethiopian model was more like the Asian model where you encourage small farmers, youth and graduates, give them ownership of farms and you have what is called farmers’ trainees.
“It was such an insightful opportunity. I think that the conclusions of the last 48 hours should be adopted. I don’t see any reason why it should not be adopted, because the President recapped everything and gave out commitment to ensuring the implementation.”
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