By Bisi Olominu
Ondo State is gradually metamorphosing into a commercial hub as about 20 blue-chip companies are already investing in the Ore Industrial Park with the injection of over $300million worth of foreign direct investments into the state economy.
The companies were said to have commenced the construction of their factories’ facilities at the Industrial Park and would soon take off.
Making this disclosure is the Chief Executive Officer of Klick Konnect Network International and consultant to the State Government on Investment, Chief Alex Ajipe in an interview with The Hope in Akure.
Ajipe said the direct investments which he described as first of its kind in the history of the state will not only make the state economically viable and independent, but would create job opportunities for the people.
He said further that beside the companies, about 120 other investors have shown interest in investing in the state because of its potentials.
According to him, one of them is a Chinese Mall consisting of over 100 different companies. He said the Chinese Mall will also be established at the Ore Industrial Park.
“In that Chinese Mall, we already have over 100 different companies that have subscribed.
“It is worthy to be mentioned that in this administration, we have over 80 percent of the MOUs signed and sealed, unlike in the previous administrations. This is not the era of signing MOUs that would not be implemented”.
Ajipe said that the efforts of the state government to industrialise the state is taking shape, stressing that the Ondo/Linyi industrial hub in Ore consisting of seven companies are presently operating in the town.
“At this moment, over $300million foreign direct investment have been facilitated to Ondo State at the Ondo/Linyi Industrial Hub and quite a number of them, Ondo State is having equity with interest in them.
“We have the textile factory working, we have the agro-chemical factory working, we have cassava to ethanol factory working, and we have the paper mill, producing paper purp working. When you look at the value chain, you will see that the future of our state is bright.
“Very soon our people selling clothes will no more be going to Gbagi in Oyo State to buy materials. Ore Industrial hub will be accessible to them and marketers from Onisha, Edo, Oyo and even Lagos will be coming to Ondo State to buy fabrics.
“We are therefore going to encourage our people to go into production of cotton which is the raw material for the production of fabrics.
“Ondo State is gradually becoming the commercial hub of Nigeria. I am very close to the industrialisation and industrial revolution going on in the country. Reason why we in the private sector have strategically key into the vision of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“You will see that the federal government is already looking towards Ondo State too for a new seaport. The one it wanted to do In Badagry, Lagos had been cancelled. Lagos/Apapa seaport is congested, so the Federal government is now looking at opening up the sea in the state. Ondo State has the longest and deepest coastline in. Africa, so establishing seaport in the state will open up the state to tourism, hospitality business and more industries will spring up in the state.
“What I am saying is that the state has a brighter future.”
He also disclosed that to make all the new factories operating in Ondo State to stay permanently, the state government has key into power plant project.
“You know that power issue is that of the federal government, but to make investors stay in the state, the state government has invested heavily in the sector.”
For the companies to stand on good footing, he said the government is also investing in power project. It is putting in place the Omotosho Plant to supply power and make the investors stay.
On the Afforestation Project of the state, he explained that the state had given out 10,000 hectares of land to We-Wood and had planted over six million trees for the project.
He said the Afforestation Project is a conjoined project between the state and the company which according to him will give birth to Medium Density Fibers (MDF).
The MDF, he said, is raw material needed by wood based industries expected to flood the state in due course.