One of the states in the southwest which hasn’t fully explored the mineral resources it is blessed with is Osun, a state which was created on August 27, 1991, by the military administration of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Despite the fact that Osun is full of honey, it remained a “Civil Service” state while the state government continues to run to Abuja every 30-day to collect monthly allocation which has never been enough from the Federal Government.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring some of the business opportunities in Osun state foreign investors can invest in. Also, we’ll tell you the cogent reasons why investing in Osun is economically viable than some of its competitors in Nigeria.
The 2006 national population census says Osun had 3,416,959 people, but an official figure from the state says there are over four million people. Unofficially, Osun State has close to five million people.
With its capital in Osogbo, Osun State is a neighbour to five states, which include Oyo, Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, and Ogun.
Sectors That Are Open To Investment In Osun State
For Nigerian and foreign investors who are looking for areas they can explore, below are some of the under-explored business opportunities in the state:
- Chocolate Production
- Plantain flour
- Haulage business
- Music training
Cocoa contains a variety of antioxidants and chemicals known as flavonoids which have proven to help in relaxing the veins and could lead to lower blood pressure.
While this has not been sufficiently proven clinically, cocoa seeds are a crucial ingredient for making chocolate, bitter chocolate among other consumable products, this is a great investment production area an investor can explore in Osun.
Before the discovery, commercialisation, and total dependence of Nigeria’s economy on crude oil, Osun (which was carved out of Oyo State in 1991) used to be one of the major contributors to Nigeria’s revenue.
Even as the state government continues to pay lip service to support cocoa farmers, cocoa remains a major revenue to some local farmers in many parts of the state. From Owena-Ijesa down to Ipetu-Ijesa down to Ilesa and to Iragbiji down to Ikirun and some villages under Osogbo, cocoa farmers are not doing badly, this is a market ready to tap.
Investors in chocolate production in Osun will definitely have nothing to worry about materials, the local markets are enough to boost production of the final consumable products that can be gotten from cocoa seeds.
Gold is one of the coveted medals and Osun has in abundance. It is spread across several locations of the state.
But recently, the state has been focusing majorly on where the large deposits of gold are found in Osun which is Iperindo, but there is also large deposits of gold in Ido-Ijesa, Akad, Itaagun, Ifewara, Ibodi, and another community close to Ibokun and several other villages whose names are not on the map.
In October 2017, a Professor of geology at the University of Ibadan, Olugbenga Akindeji Okunlola, revealed that Osun State houses $5 billion worth of gold.
Though Segilola Gold Mine announced its first gold mining outputs in the state in August 2021, the state is so blessed with a large deposit of gold that more gold mining investors need to come.
Gold is so precious that the most prized objects like wedding rings. Medals, jewelry, Oscars, and Grammys are so expensive and a tiny ring made of gold could be worth as much as $1million.
Investors can go beyond exporting gold to foreign countries where they are used to finish prized products, what exactly stops investors from establishing a factory in Osun? An investment in gold will yield huge returns considering Nigerians’ taste for gold-designed products.
Plantain flour is medically proven to be a great alternative for high blood pressure patients. Osun houses thousands of plantain farmers who take their products as far as Ibadan and Lagos to sell. This is another investment opportunity for a business-minded person with the cash to invest in.
Used for beads and for other ornamental products, Osun also has a large deposit of Amethyst across the state which has not been tapped.
While the attention of the state may be on gold, deposits of amethyst can actually bring in billions of naira in revenue for investors and the state from these mineral resources.
Investment in Education
Investment in any South West region isn’t a waste. And Osun is one of the states where investors in education are smiling to the bank.
Do you know?
Government schools have technically collapsed and most of the parents who can bear the financial responsibility take their kids to private institutions even most of the professors take their sons and daughters to a private university for sound training.
The existence of large-scale farm like Tuns, international breweries, and large agricultural products that are ready to transport to cities like Lagos, Ibadan on a daily basis is one of the few ways investors can go into the haulage business in Osun.
Called the gemstone, tourmaline has been proven in helping in detoxification and “increases circulation within the top layers of the skin to help with skin cell regeneration and healing”
It’s a multi-purpose stone and again, this precious stone is lying under the earth in Osun, again, this is another opportunity for an investor.
Other resources wasting away in the state are: granite, feldspar, columbite, talc, and tantalite among others.
With several uses of ethanol which Osun State is blessed with, investors are yet to explore this mineral that is used to manufacture drugs, lacquers, polishes, plastics, and cosmetics among others
Investment in Tourism
Erin-Ijesha and Osun groove appears to be the major tourist attraction centre that get the attention of the foreign tourists due to little investment and attention the two places received from the state government in the past.
But there are other centres across the state that should have been turned into revenue-generating ventures.
As strategically located as the state is, there is no marketplace specifically designed to meet the local needs of the millions online shoppers in the state. That’s an investment gap.
Osun Mall is a household name today in Osogbo because of the efforts of the former governor in the state, but it has yet to fully incorporate online shopping to its business model.
Osun has matured to have a mobility hauling service like uber, there are thousands of fun lovers and individuals who refer would like to use this service.
Apart from Osun Mall gate, where Osogbo residents can find car hire, there is none in other parts.
Is Osun State a Good Place To Do Business?
Definitely, YES. Although, in terms of ease of doing business in Nigeria which was undertaken by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and the National Economic Council (NEC) Osun State came 15th among the 36 states that were ranked with 5.57 points out of 10.
We’ve seen some of the efforts put in place by the leadership in the state to make Osun an investment-friendly state and a destination point.
Some of the actions the state government has taken are:
Some of the investment incentives we noticed the state government under the leadership of Gboyega Oyetola put in place include:
1) The state government in 2019 setup Osun Investment Promotion Agency or OSIPA, indicating that the state is ready to explore its mineral resources that could make the state gain financial independence from the monthly allocation colonisation of the Federal government.
2) Tax holiday to motivate new investors (up to five years)
3) Better power supply than most of its neighbours, makes Osun State one of the best state for investment in terms of power supply.
4) Establishment of Free Trade Zone
5) Osun is peaceful except for some ugly instances of several successful bank robberies in the state.
Challenges of investing in Osun
1) Poor roads in the local areas where gold can be found
2) Delay in obtaining Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) where a state like Akwa Ibom issues C of O within a month to investors, Osun is boasting of three months (which could even take up 6 months if you know no one at Abere, the state secretariat)
3) Inaccessibility of some villages where gold is found
4) Criminal elements around gold sites
However, the above challenges are surmountable through a Public-Private Partnership.