By Olusola Alatise
In her drive to achieve rapid industrialisation and enhance socio-economic development of Ondo state, the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredoluis collaborating with a team of expatriates and management of ZGM Investment Group of Companies Limited from Ogun State to establish Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Ondo State.
When established, about 25 companies would be registered to commence operations at the zone and each of them would employ at least 500 people.
The facilitator of the project, Mr Oloni Ebenezer, who disclosed this during one of the visits by the investors to the proposed industrial site at Ugbo-Nla in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, said the present administration is determined to prioritize industrialisation of the state through public private partnership with a view to making the state the number one destination for investors in Nigeria.
One of the Directors of ZGM Investments, who led the team, Mr Olabanji Kamoru, said the vision of the company is to establish and operate a vibrant world class Free Trade Zone that would enhance industrial and economic development of Ondo state and Nigeria at large.
While promising that operations would commence as soon as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed, Mr Kamoru said the enterprises to be established at the Zone will include refinery, Glass production, construction materials, manufacturing companies, hardware processing, printing, production of steel pipe, ceramics and batteries among others.
It would be recalled that the state government had earlier sent an eight – man delegation led by the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, Mr Oluwatimehin Adelegbe to assess Guangdong Free Trade zone in Ogun State with a view to attracting the investors to replicate the same in Ondo State.
Mr Adelegbe highlighted several investment opportunities available in the state which include oil and gas, agriculture and power generation, adding that the state also boast of having the second largest reserve of bitumen in the world, with large deposits of various solid minerals such as Limestone in Okeluse Arimogija, Granite Kaolin, Silica Sand amongst others.
During the visit, the Commissioner said that the State has the deepest and longest coastline in West Africa subregion, adding that over 90 percent of the natural resources are yet to be exploited for human and economic development of the state. He equally stressed the need to exploit the available resources through public private partnership.
He further stated that the present administration established Ondo State Development Investment Promotion Agency, (ONDIPA) to ensure that corporate organisations and individual businessmen do business with ease in the state.
According to him, many roads have been constructed and rehabilitated within the first year of Governor Akeredolu in office while the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Ondo state government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of the 50km Akodo-Araromi/Ibeju-Lekki road to link Ondo with Lagos states and ease inter-state transportation between the two states.
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