By Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has said government has no business in running businesses and should therefore leave businesses in the hands of private operators in order to attain optimal efficiency
He added that what should concern the government should be the creation of what he described as enabling environment to attract investors into a state.
Governor Makinde spoke yesterday during the symbolic handling over ceremony of the Pacesetter Fruits Processing Factory, Oko, near Ogbomosho, in Surulere local government area, to an investor – AGvest limited.
Reiterating the commitment of his administration towards reviving all moribund projects in the state, Makinde said his administration would ensure that the state derive value from the money spent on the state-owned projects through Initiatives and policies that would put back the moribund projects into operations.
He further disclosed that the investor -AGvest, had promised to inject N350 million into the business, thereby making the fruit processing factory becomes operational in the next six months.
Earlier in his remark, the Director-General of the Oyo State Investment and Public Private Partnership Agency, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi said the factory was commissioned in May 2007, during the administration of Senator Rasheed Ladoja, but has never functioned for a day.
Ogunwuyi said the agency, under the leadership of Governor Makinde, was mandated to turn around moribund assets/companies of the state, as parts of the vision to achieve an expanded economy across the entire state.
He noted that Oko land and entire Surulere area are agrarian communities with history of abundant fruits production.
He said “This must have been the motivation for situating the factory in Oko, with this historical and agro- ecological, there is, therefore, the need to revive the factory for the socio economic benefits of the people of the community and the state as a whole.”
Ogunwuyi further stated that reviving the fruit factory would prevent post-harvest losses and associated wastage of fruits production, adding that the factory, when operational, would create direct and indirect jobs for the people of the area and also stimulate the production of different varieties of fruits in large quantities by the farming communities, thereby improving the economy of the indigenous farmers of the region.
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In his welcome address, the caretaker chairman, Surulere Local Area, Mr Moruf Gbadamosi, commended the initiative of the Makinde led government to revive the moribund Pacesetter Fruits Processing Factory.
Gbadamosi further appreciated the government’s effort towards the provision of adequate security in the area. He pledged that the entire people of the area would continue to support all the policies and programmes of the Makinde administration.
The Managing Director of AGvest, Mr George Abikoye said the factory would become operational soon after the physical renovation of the structure and installation of the necessary equipment.
Abikoye stated that fruit juice such as mango, pineapple, oranges among other varieties would be the factory’s major products.
He sought for the support and cooperation of the host community saying that his company would not disappoint the people and the state at large.
The traditional ruler of Oko land, Oba Solomon Oyeyode in his goodwill message commended Governor Makinde for the initiative to revive the moribund fruits processing factory situated in his domain.
Oba Oyeyode promised to support the investor handling the factory, saying the success of the investor would be for the overall benefits of Oko sons and daughters.