Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria has been positioned as one of the topmost hubs for business, trade and investment across the globe as a result of the Ease of Doing Business put in place by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He made the disclosure at the commissioning of Phase One of the Westlink Iconic Villa, which is a joint venture between Odu’a Investment Company Limited and Chapter 4 Estate Management Limited, United Kingdom, at Alakia, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday.

The commisioning of the Phase 1 of the project, which involves 67 units of five-bedroom detached and four-bedroom semi-detached duplexes and three-bedroom apartment flats, was attended by representatives of the six governors of Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti States, as well as thr Group Managing Director of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adewale Raji, who gave the vote of thanks on the occasion.

According to him, “The Nigerian business environment has been coloured and polarised with lots of challenges, spawning fear as a result of insecurity, uncertainty, political, environmental and cultural disparities. In spite of these challenges, Nigeria is slowly but surely checking the boxes when it comes to the ease of doing business, resulting in the country being one of the topmost hubs for business, trade and investment. Nigeria is ranked 131 out of 190 economies in the world on ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank ratings. This is an improvement after moving 15 places from 146 in 2018.

“In pursuance of this administration’s goal to further improve Nigeria’s ease of doing business ratings, President Mohammadu Buhari inaugurated the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), chaired by my humble self, in July 2016. PEBEC’s primary objective is to catalyse the country’s business environment; and to also maintain a proper business climate.

“No doubt, the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria and the appeal to Nigerians in the diaspora, encouraged what we are seeing here today through this magnificent Joint Venture project… I must commend the effort of the Board and Management of Odu’a Investment Company Limited for initiating this noble project, and ensuring that the First phase of the project is being commissioned today. This clearly demonstrate a blend of private partnership which brings about greater dividends.

“What we see here today, confirms that there is a huge opportunity in Nigeria for investments in real estate industry. While government commits to creating an enabling environment, I will advise that we look to the private sector for investments to galvanize growth in the sector. We must indeed, work together to redefine the real estate industry for the future in Nigeria.”

Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Adebayo Lawal, stated: “Basically, the human being needs food, water, air, and shelter to survive and with that guaranteed, he can launch to conquer new grounds and make more discoveries. Shelter is key because, without it, human existence is threatened. That is why the Oyo State government wholeheartedly welcomed and supported the idea of this estate when it was mooted in 2019. It is also because there is a compelling need to address our housing deficit, which has greatly impacted on our Human Development Index as a nation.

“This initiative of the Odu’a Investment Company Limited bodes well with the deliberate design of the government of Oyo State to make life more meaningful to the people of the state, open up our economy and enhance the quality of life.”

Group Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Otunba Abimbola Ashiru, explained that the project was conceptualised with the aim of improving the lives of residents by providing end-to-end living, recreational and retail experiences, and word-class infrastructure, saying: “The project is a testament to the power of real estate joint ventures and their ability to facilitate the delivery of projects.

“The project also showcases the resources available for viable and well-planned real estate projects, both locally and through the relatively untapped Nigerian diaspora population. We expect real estate projects to better harness the Nigerian diaspora market.”