The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, says the state will soon be the nerve centre of maritime business in West Africa sub-region.
Governor Akeredolu made this known during a courtesy visit on him in Akure by the Management of HESSMAC Consortium led by its Chairman, Chief Ope Bademosi.
The governor stated that with the diverse natural and mineral potentials of the Sunshine State in agriculture, bitumen and gas coupled with its longest and deepest coastline; a seaport in the state would have the capacity to berth any cargo ship which no other ports in West Africa could harbour.
The governor explained that the Industrial Park in Ore would be the tip of the iceberg when compared to the development projects being facilitated by his administration and which would ultimately open up the state and turn around its economy.
“The moment we have this, every other person will be convinced that we should move to Ilaje area where the largest sea port in West Africa is most feasible,” he said.
Earlier the Chairman of HESSMAC Consortium, Chief Ope Bademosi had informed the governor of the desire of his firm to invest in the Ondo State Industrial Park, Ore to help actualise the industrial projections of the present administration by making it create over 80,000 direct employments.
While assurring the governor on the business network of HESSMAC Consortium to attract foreign investments from diverse sectors to Ondo State,Chief Bademosi said his firm was prepared to make Ondo State Industrial Park, Ore, “a business hub like no other place in Nigeria”, with the aim of promoting sustainable industrial developments in Nigeria.
The Chairman who expressed the company’s readiness to support the governor in his determination to transfom the state, said work would conmence as soon as a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, is signed with the State Government.
“It is an open invitation to investors all over the world to invest in the manufacturing at the Industrial Park. Our role as a corporation is to pave the way for investors.
“The development of industrial parks means not only constructing factories, but also setting up and providing all the necessary facilities like roads, power, telecom, water, shopping malls, banking among others. Our job is to facilitate these”, he said.
In a presentation backup with a short documentary on the proposal of the company, a member of the team , Dr. Cornelius Shogunle, said the Ore Industrial Park is good location for business and an important hub, connecting South-West and South-east, South-South and one of the important gateways to Northern Nigeria and probably the most important trade route in modern West Africa.
“Ondo State stands a better chance with the coastline linking Lagos and Benin-Ore expressway is a West African route because through it, one gets to Contonnou in the Republic of Benin easily”, he said.
Dr Shogunle who described power availability as critical element, helping to shape the prospect of industrialisation, said with the initiative of the State Government in the procurement of a tri-fuel 30Megawatts turbine power plant (completed and extended to 60MW), to power all prospective industries within the park; the initiative would definitely make the park operationally attractive to investors to enable the state takes its place in the global market.
He assured that the park will be fully equipped with state of the art technology to ease all transactions adding that an industrial training school for technical and vocational skills would be floated within the Park to cater for its manpower needs.
Also conntributing the Managing Director of the company, Mr Femi Akinkuebi said the shabby industrialization policies in South-West Nigeria, created the vacuum which the Industrial Park would leverage on, for the Industrialisation benefits of the Sunshine State.
“We have seen the advantages which Ondo State has and we are ready to take the risk and its challenges for the benefit of Ondo State people,” he said.
Top government functionaries present during the visit include: the Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi; Secretary to the State Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde; Head of Service, Mr. Oluwatoyin Akinkuotu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale; Special Adviser to the Governor on Development and Investment, Mr Boye Oyewumi.