Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi, SAN, has applauded the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for concretizing its promise to establish an ethanol plant at Okeluse,in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Speaking at the singing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Government and the NNPC in Abuja, Governor Akeredolu said he was happy that the NNPC gave the ethanol plant a priority as presented to it by his administration.

Arakunrin Akeredolu said it was heartwarming for him that the largest cassava based ethanol plant in Africa will take off soon in Ondo State with a multiplier effects of providing about one million jobs for Nigerians.

The governor used the occasion to assure investors willing to invest in the Sunshine State of his administration’s sincere commitment at providing the best of business environment to guarantee productive returns on their investments.

Addressing newsmen on the development, the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Otunba Timilehin Adelegbe described the feat as a landmark achievement for the Akeredolu-led administration and for the people of the state.

“It is a plant that produces Bio-fuel for NNPC use and comes with a lot of derivatives.

“By the time the plant begins operation, it will be producing billions dollars of Ethanol, enough to serve the country and for export, he said.

The Commissioner added that 15,000 hectares of land would be set aside for Cassava plantation, saying it would be the largest, not only in Nigeria, but in Africa.

He added that a Steering Committee would soon be put in place for smooth supplies of cassava, the raw materials for the plant.

Earlier the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, hinted that the deal signed at the NNPC towers in Abuja worth $175m,would employ over one million Nigerians in both direct and indirect jobs on completion of the project.

The Secretary to the Ondo State Government SSG, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde signed on behalf of the state, while the Legal Adviser of NNPC  Mrs Hadiza Coomaisie.

The current interests by investors in Ondo State are the outcomes of the maiden Ondo State Investment Forum held this last July in Akure, under the auspices of the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative, PEDI, during which NNPC agreed to invest on an Ethanol Plant in Ondo State consequent upon the presentation on the investible potentials of the Sunshine State made by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.