OGUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on Monday admitted that the economic situation in the country is tough.
He said all the 36 states of the federation were affected by the downturn in the economy.
Amosun spoke with State House correspondents shortly after a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor did not disclose the agenda of the meeting he had with Buhari who should have been in Lagos but for the last minute postponement of his planned two-day state visit to the South West state.
Amosun said because of the current situation in the country, everybody must be ready to think out of the box.
He said that was why his state was making steady progress in the area of increasing its revenue.
He said, “Yes, I know things are tough and I am saying this with all sense of responsibility.
“All the states in Nigeria are affected. We are part of the larger context called Nigeria and because of that challenge, people must think out of the box.
“I am happy to report that in Nigeria today, maybe not in the quantum of what we generate but we (Ogun State) are number one.
” If you check the indices that have been released, we doubled our revenue with about 97.8%. The next state to us I think was 41%. We are working hard and we are doing well but there is still lots more to be done.”
He said one of the ways the state government was planning to move the state forward was the recent investors’ forum which focused on agriculture, environment and transportation.
He said his administration decided to focus on the three areas because of the belief that there is no alternative except for diversification.
He said even before the current crisis, the government had realised that the only way to go is to diversify into agriculture which he said was capable of employing people and creating wealth for them.
He added, “Those nations that have got it right, if you see them, you will discover that they have their cottage industries, they are the enablers. That is why we believe that if we zero in on these three grey areas, of course, we will get it right.
“I am happy that we got several investors, particularly those that are not even from Nigeria and so many people that are in Nigeria, that operate here and that is why we showcased everybody.
“I know within the next maybe two years you will see, you will begin to see results. Ogun state is the industrial hub of Nigeria, there is no state that have the kind of resources we have in terms of numbers and value.
“We are not limiting it at that, we want to take it forward. Not agriculture alone, we want to take full advantage of the full value chain that agriculture offers.
“what do I mean by that? I mean that whatever we grow, we must process; whatever we have processed, we must package; and whatever we package, we must market. We must transport it to the final consumer. You know everybody is working, that is what we are trying to do.”
Amosun said his administration would be working hard on roads, rails and waterways as a strategy to improve transportation in the state.
On environment, the governor said his administration was committed to the reduction of