By Chris Chimezie
In its continued effort to industrialise the state and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has signed five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Agreements.
At the ceremony held at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s office in Akure, Akeredolu noted that the gesture would further improve the socio-economic development of the state.
The companies with which the state government signed the MoUs and Concession Agreements include Bambi Farms Limited, Intergrated Associate Limited, Premium & Nelson Limited, Alpha Mead Development Company Limited and Kladet Services Limited.
The Governor partly attributed his prioritisation of the industrialisation of the state to his quest to provide employment opportunities for youths and improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to sustain the growth and development of the state.
He said his administration is also committed to the rapid transformation of the state, hence, the signing of the Memoranda of Understandings and Agreements of Concessions.
Governor Akeredolu while commending the companies for indicating their interest, added that their coming is very important as it would contribute to the transformation of the state when their services become fully operational.
He further hinted that the state is blessed with the most veritable tourist centres, like the famous Idanre Hills and the Idanre Golf Coursewhile enjoining the investors to look into the possibility of partnering with his administration towads their development.
While noting the importance of the International Culture and Events Center (The Dome) to the people of the state and the country at large, he said the government cannot have such an asset and allow it to waste or run down.
The Governor, who further said his administration would continue to partner with those prepared to develop the state, stressed that the surest way forward is to have private investments.
He urged the companies to get down to business immediately after the MoUs and Agreements have been signed in order for them to deliver the jobs on time.
Secretary, Ondo State Investment and Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Mr Emmanuel Omomowo mentioned the areas of partnership with the various companies to include: Alpha Mead Development Company Limited, on the renovation, management and operation lease of the Ondo State International Culture and Events Center (The Dome) in Alagbaka, Akure.
He said the Company which would take on the project for a period of 15 years, will complete some parts of the projects that were yet to be completed, like the waterfalls, landscaping, the kitchen and other areas.
“In the first five years, it would pay N40 million, and 10 percent of the gross revenue. In the last 10 years, it would pay 25 percent of the gross revenue to the state government and the company is to complete the critical components of this project in the first 12 months, while the non-critical components will be completed within the first five years of the concession”, he said.
According to the ONDIPA boss, the Intergrated Associate Limited, would develop the Sunshine Housing Estate Project of (350 blocks containing 396 Units) on 32.56 hectares of land along Oda road, Akure.
“Bambi Farms Limited is saddled with the development, operation and management of Oil Palm Plantation on 1,000 hectares of land in Ore Agribusiness, Ore, Ondo state.
“Premium and Nelson Limited will see to the development of the Government Reserved Area (GRA), with modern infrastructure on Sunprime Estate in Abo-Asaakin Community, off Akure/Owo Expressway, opposite Akure Airport, Akure.
“Kladet Services Limited, will work on the management of statutory Revenue collection on Fisheries in Ondo State”, he stated.
Speaking with Government House Reporters, Managing Director of Premium & Nelson Limited, Mr Ralph Alabi described the signing of MoU on the new GRA as a very good step towards providing solution to housing problem in the state.
He said the GRA will provide as much as 12,000 plots of land with facilities and amenities to enhance better housing. He added that the state government believes in the provision of roads, water and infrastructure before people build houses of their choices, rather than people building ahead of infrastructure.
Alabi added that the project, when completed, would provide easy access to inhabitants of Abo-Asaakin community from their homes, to their respective places of work, business and recreation.
Also, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alpha Mead Development Company, Engr Femi Akintunde lauded the present administration for its desire to develop the state and for recognising the limitations, in terms of financial capacity of government to continue pursuing development objectives without involving the private sector.
“It is another way of empowering youths of the state because the private sector brings in efficiency which comes with some capacity development and empowerment. We are going to engage people of the state and train them to work with us.
“The Concession Agreement will also improve the earning capacity of the state government. We are going to stop the situation whereby government has been spending to maintain an asset.
“We will reverse the trend. Rather than government spending, we will generate revenue and the state will begin to make more money from the assets and the services available through efficient management of the facility”, he said.
At the ceremony were: Secretary to the Ondo State Government (SSG), Hon Ifedayo Abegunde, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale, Senior Special Assistance (SSA) to the Governor on Agric and Agribusiness, Pastor Akin Olotu, Chief Executive Officer of the Ondo State Investment and Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Mr Boye Oyewumi, Martins some members of the management staff of the agency.