OYO State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, inaugurated the resuscitated garri processing factory, located at Ilaju community of Ido Local Government Area of the state. The factory, which was established by the former Premier of Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, had been abandoned by previous administrations in the state before it was resuscitated by Makinde’s government. Speaking during the ceremony, the governor said his administration would follow the template of the sage to ensure socio-economic and infrastructural development of the state, while assuring that necessary incentives and enabling environment would be created for farmers in the state.
He equally supported members of Ido Farmers Cooperative Society with N7.5 million as a take-off grant for the factory, which can process a trailer load of cassava into garri on a daily basis.
According to Makinde, “we know that it was the sage, Pa Obafemi Awolowo, that initiated the operation of this factory. He was the real architect of Western Nigeria, who put us in a more advantaged position over several regions that time, and we are toeing the same path in Oyo State.
“So, when members of the farmers cooperative society came to meet me, I told them we will put the factory back on track and, to the glory of God, it has happened. I told the local engineer handling the project to understudy it and if he can successfully fix the factory and make it work effectively, the work he will do next will be the brick factory at Erunmu.
“So, he has got another job for himself automatically as a result of what he has done here,” he said.
He maintained that as part of his administration’s commitment to fixing infrastructure that target the economic expansion drive of the state, the government has included the Eruwa road in the RAAMP projects.
“I want to inform everyone here today that the road from Eruwa to this point has been captured in our RAAMP programme. We will fix it. I also want to tell the Kabiyesi and Baales that the contractor fixing the road from Apete to Awotan to Akufo will, by the time he gets to Akufo, turn his equipment to the right and fix the road linking Moniya. And if he turns to the left side, he will fix the Akufo road to link the Eruwa road here.
“So, I want to assure you that the government of Oyo State will continue to resuscitate all moribund projects to create value for our people. The money you requested for, which will enhance your productivity in this factory, will be given to you because we don’t want the work to stop. We will give you N7.5 million to commence the work. We will give you the cheque here now,” he added.
Speaking at the event, Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, Adeniyi Adebisi, appreciated Makinde’s support and policy thrust, which, according to him, “is aimed at rejuvenating the economy of the state using agriculture as a tool.”
In his address, the chairman of Ido/Ibadan Cooperatives Farming and Produce Marketing Society Limited, Elder Lasun Dairo, said “Papa Awolowo established this factory in 1972 after he left Gowon’s government with 132 farming members, 44 from Ido, 44 from Akufo and 44 from Omi Adio.
“He (Awolowo) appointed five management members, making a total of 137 members. The factory died in 1998 due to bad management.”
The Onido of Ido, Oba Muritala Gbolagade, commended Makinde for resuscitating the factory, just as he implored the people of the state to support his administration in bringing more developments to the state. Chairman of Ido Local Government, Sheriff Aderemi Adeojo, said the governor’s decision to rejuvenate the factory will go a long way in reducing unemployment and enhancing food security.
Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Ambassador (Dr) Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, was represented at the event by the Editor, Saturday Tribune, Dr Lasisi Olagunju; Group Business Editor, Nigerian Tribune, Mr Sulaiman Olanrewaju; Manager, Internal Audit, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, Mr Peculiar Adegbite and the Head, Human Resources, ANN Plc, Mrs Bukola Ezeamaka.
Source: Nigerian Tribune