In just one year in office, the administration of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in Ondo State has been able to attract numerous investments into the state to the tune of about N170billion, cutting across various sectors of the society and with the possibility of providing numerous job opportunities.
Secretary to Ondo State Government (SSG), Hon Ifedayo Abegunde who disclosed this during a chat with the press at the weekend said this is as a result of various Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) the Government signed with various organisations, significantly boosting the Public Private Partnership profile of the State.
He said that CONCASET and the state government signed an MoU for the establishment and management of the Integrated Sugarcane Value chain project for the amount of N3.4billion located at Oma village, Ose Local Government.
Also, WEMS Agro Companies Limited and Akotogbo Land owners signed an MoU for an Integrated Rice project, valued at N4. 2billion.
In addition, he said an MoU was signed between Greenfield Assets Limited and the Government for the establishment and management of Commercial Scale Poultry Farm and Powderised Egg Plant Project, to cost N42billion and located at Emure-ile in Owo Local Government Area.
An MoU was also signed between the government and African Red Crest Nigeria Limited for the establishment of mass rice production costing N12 billion, located at Igbara-Oke in Ifedore local government.
Not done, the government also signed an MoU with Adventium Global Resource Limited for the establishment of Agricultural Project and Food Processing Hub Project, to be financed with $43 million and sited at Jugbele in Owo Local Government Area.
Hon Abegunde revealed that an MoU signed between NNPC and Ondo State Government on the establishment and operation of Cassava to Fuel Ethanol Project, while attracting an investment of $175million and located at Okeluse in Ose Local Government, would create about one million job opportunities.
According to him, N4.6billion is the expected investment from the MoU the government signed with AGTHO Merchant and Company Limited on the establishment and operations of Fertilizer Blending Plant and Sack woven, and located at Ore, Odigbo local government.
Another Agreement, according to him, is between ZL Global Resources Limited for the Integration of the Waste Management system valued at N7. 1 billion.
According to the plan, one Recycle Plant will be located in Akure, an e-Waste Management Plant will be sited at Ore, while a Waste Management Auto-Assembly Plant will be located in Ondo City, with Ondo State Government paid N60 million annually as Internally Generated Revenue.
Various agreements were also signed by the government as enumerated by the SSG. They include the one with Air Peace Limited for air transport service from Akure to Lagos and with Overland Airway to increase Air transport services from Akure to Abuja from 3-6 days in a week, all with a view to further attract investors into Akure.
In addition, HESMARK Industry Limited signed an agreement with the State government for the management of Ore Industrial Park valued at N15 billion and another with PEACE AID Project Limited for the revival of the Auga Cattle Ranch, valued at N4 billion and renewable after 10 years.
The signed Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) and Agreements, according to the SSG, are designed to empower youths and women, create employment opportunities and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the State.
Highlighting other achievements of the Akeredolu-led administration, he said the state government, under the economic and social services, presented the sum of N160 million to 19 communities under the Community and Social Development project.
He also lauded Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the implementation of the State Integrated Financial Management Information System (SIFMIS), which he said would bring about transparency, accountability and simplify government business processes for better service delivery.
Other achievements of the present administration include: Procurement of first class digital equipment and other accessories for OSRC and its resumption for full transformation, prompt payment of workers' salaries and pensions till date and payment of part of the salaries owed by the past administration.
He also mentioned promotion of workers despite the lean purse of the state and inclusion of militants into the Federal Government's Amnesty programme.
Abegunde described as commendable, the convening of the Education Summit with a view to repositioning the sector for optimal performance and accessing of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 UBEC funds after the state paid its counterpart fund, which would assist in the renovation and construction of new school buildings.
Not yet done, the SSG lauded the Governor for supplying seedlings to farmers, activation of 10,000 hectares of the state Afforestation projects at Araromi in collaboration with WeWood company and disbursement of N210 million naira to farmers cooperative societies under the FADAMA III Scheme.
"Procurement of 1,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser to enhance farming, establishment of Agric Mechanization Centres in Owo and Akure, engagement of 18,000 youths for Agric value chain project and attraction of the National Egg Production Scheme in which Ondo State was made the pilot State for the programme in South West, is commendable", he said
He added that also worthy of commendation, is the state's collaboration with the World Bank to facilitate the release of a huge amount of $500,000 to enhance Primary Health Care across the state and striving to ensure that the Ondo State School of Nursing, Akure, becomes a degree awarding Institution as an affiliate of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo City.
Abegunde said: "Despite paucity of funds, I want to commend the Governor in the area of road construction across the state.
"Some of the road projects embarked upon include; access roads within the State Specialists Hospital, Akure, Iwalewa road linking Oshinle and Alafiatayo streets in Akure, the Abusoro road off Ijoka, construction of the internal and access roads within the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa and construction of Sabomi road in Ese-Odo Local Government.
"Others are construction of the Jubilee Ugbe road in Ikare, Oke Alaafia road in Supare, Ilara-Mokin Ikota road, Police Station road in Ore, construction of Virgin road network within GRA to Prison area in Owo, construction of Opasorun road, Bajare /Okemayo and St Joseph roads in Idanre among numerous others. "
He further stated that contractors were also mobilised back to continue work on the Oke – Alabojuto in Ikare-Akoko, three Ondo Township road projects classified as Group II, Phases 1 and 2, the Ikare – Ikaram road and the Iwaro Oka Hill where work is speedily in progress.
He equally maintained that 46 percent the 2018 budget that was recently signed into law by the Governor is on capital expenditure, describing it as the highest in the history of the state which is aimed at addressing infrastructural deficit across the 18 council areas.
Abegunde, who stated that most of the projects would be commissioned to commemorate the one year in office of the Akeredolu-led administration, expressed optimism that the present government will leave no stone unturned towards making life better for the people.