By Olusola Akinbinu.
Industrialization is a social economic mechanism of transforming a group of people or society from an agrarian society, or one of limited commercial viability into an industrial society. This involves the extensive re-organization of the local economy for manufacturing purposes. The impact of industrialization in the concerned communities is noticed in rising income levels among the people, rise in gross domestic product-GDP, increased demand for consumer goods and services of various kinds, and further stimulus to industrial development and economic growth.
Nigeria has not had an impressive story in recent time on Industrialization. Manufacturing of value-added products as a percentage of GDP was about five percent in 2000 (a proportion less than what we had in value-added manufacturing in 1960). Manufacturing soared in Nigeria in the oil boom era (1973-81, with manufacturing share of GDP reaching 11 percent), Ondo state had a fair share of industries within this period, among which include the Nigeria-Romanian Wood Industry (NIROWI), Oluwa Glass Industry, Premier Metals and a number of others, but this had had a precipitous decline owing to a cumulative of national economic factors, like unstable power supplies, political instability, exchange rate parity etc. making the country depend largely on export of natural resources.
Industrial presence thereafter have largely being a remnant of what it used to be, major warehouses have transformed to religious centres. Dense clustered population of people and/or closeness to international waterways (as found of Lagos, Ogun state and Ibadan) have been the major motivation to siting and sustenance industries in Nigeria in the latest periods. This account for why swelling cities due to urban-pull, having high population of vulnerable labour have been the haven manufacturers in recent times. These cheap factors clearly exclude Ondo state as an attractive destination.
The recent calculated steps of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration towards industrialization in Ondo state, and their visible evidences of commencement of operation and production of value-added products is distinctly remarkable.
A conscious and decisive mechanism to transform the society from previous “Civil service” identity into a Commercial and Industrial nerve center. The government, visibly pulling local resources and international expertise together to create an “artificial-economic island”, preparing the ground for a sustainable socio-economic ecosystem for the Ondo State people, where there existed no sufficient “natural motivation”.
These moves by the ondo Governor is aim at ensuring that he delivers on his five-point agenda tagged “JMPPR” among which include, job creation through agriculture, entrepreneurship and industrialization. Also a shared goal with the United Nations in its SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”.
The Ore Industrial Park, located on a 1000 hectare of land, designed as a global standard industrial park with mixed-use development infrastructures, comprising of an industrial environment, residential and commercial use environment. This is to meet the increasing demand for cost-competitive industrial zone in Nigeria.
The Industrial Park provides all required infrastructure for sustainable functionality, which Include roads, 30 Megawatts of power and expandable to 120Megawatts, portable water, commercial areas, security etc.
It is designed to create an estimated 120,000 decent employment opportunity- thereby, mitigating the disturbing rate of unemployment in the society. This is also in line with Goal 8 of the SDG “Decent work and Economic Growth”. The Ore Industrial Park was project launched on 20th of February, 2018, to break the vicious cycle of poverty in the state by industrializing, rather than depending on food crop production and funds from direct sales of natural resources.
Within these period of time, the Ore Industrial park is already hosting four major functional industries, namely, the Ondo-Linyi Textile industry, the Cassava –Ethanol Factory in partnership with NNPC, for local petrol (fuel) blending and ethanol for industries, Trucks and Tricycle Assemblage Plant, and an established Paper mill setting off to commence operations and more are in line jostling for the industrial park arena.
Other critical efforts by the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration at Industrialization in the state include, Establishment and Management of Integrated Sugar Cane Value Chain Project at Ikaro in Ose LGA, in partnership with COCASET NIGERIA LTD Sugarcane to Ethanol Plant having a plantation size of 1,250hectares, The establishment and management of a commercial Scale Poultry Farm and Powdered Egg Plant Project at Emure-Ile, Owo LGA, Ondo State, in partnership with Greenfield Assets Ltd, this will be the largest egg-powder plant in Africa and Middle-East, The establishment of Rice Production Mill of 37,500Mt of rice per annum at Igbara Oke, Ifedore LGA, in partnership with Africa Redcrest Nigeria Ltd, having Rice plantation on 2,000hectares of land and supported by outgrowers scheme of local farmers, The establishment and Operation of Fertilizer Blending Plant (300,000Mt per annum), Sack Woven (10,000,000 units per annum) and Limestone Milling (150,000 Mt per annum) at Ore, Odigbo LGA in partnership with AGTHO Merchant and Company Ltd, An active drive on establishment of Deep Sea port (Port of Ondo) with near completion of the geotechnical and hydrographic surveys as well as the feasibility studies and Conceptual Master plan Design on the Port and The establishment, management and operation of Free Trade Zone at Ilaje Local Govt. in partnership with ZGM Investment Group of Company.
The clustered industrial nerve center (Ore Industrial Park) and the other Industries are situated and planned to play a web of roles in economic development of Ondo State, to resort in an increase in the states Aggregate revenue, increase in National Income, larger contribution of the state to gross national product (GNP), High Standard of Living and High Labour productivity for the working class in the society, Economic Stability, Greater Specialization of Labor, Stimulated Progress for the state in other Sectors