When I was in Tampa, Florida earlier this year to pitch Oyo State to the world, I stated that “there are big opportunities in Oyo State.” That was not an exaggeration. Oyo State is truly blessed with an abundance of human and natural resources. Our job is to harness these abundant resources for the benefit of the people.
And so today, we are here to welcome another investor into our midst. We are bringing to life another company that has laid moribund for over a decade – Pacesetter Fruit Processing Limited. This company was established by the administration of Senator Rasheed Ladoja in 2007. However, it never commenced operations. As I have always stated, government is a continuum and our administration will ensure that our people in Oyo State benefit from any abandoned or moribund project.
Just yesterday, whilst handing over the Agbowo Shopping Complex to its concessionaires, I said the state government has no business running businesses. Businesses should be left in the hands of private organisations who know how to run them and make a profit. The role of the government is to create the enabling environment so that more of these private entities will be attracted to the state. And this is what we are doing in Oyo State. And as you can see, we are getting results.
In this case, we have attracted Messrs Agvest Limited, who will be working with the Oyo State Government on this project. This Public-Private-Partnership is built on an equity restructure model with a capital injection of about N350 Million. You will be happy to know that Agvest Limited has promised to get this fruit plant working within six months. So, I look forward to visiting here in March 2021 and receiving a very chilled cup of mango juice.
Getting this fruit processing plant working will bring economic benefits to Oyo State. Agvest will be creating 65 direct jobs and over 500 indirect jobs. As I mentioned earlier, they will be injecting N350 Million into the Oyo State economy. Producers of our famous Ogbomoso mango will also have indigenous off-takers for their fruits. And they will not only be producing manjo juice but other fruit juices as well.
In fact, I have been told that they have two product lines for fruit juices producing 2,500 bottles per hour and will be running two eight-hour shifts. I am sure that when they ask the workers that will be resuming here in less than six months if this is an audio project, they will have one or two things to say.
Let me again say that the process of selecting the investors for this project was transparent. Adverts were placed, and a transparent, multilayered and competitive (inter-ministerial) selection process was used in the choice of the preferred investor.
Oyo State is open for business.
Allow me at this point to acknowledge the efforts of our Director General, Oyo State Investment and Public Private Partnership Agency, Hon Segun Ogunwuyi. He has been working tirelessly to woo investors into Oyo State. Thank you.
It is now time to symbolically hand over the Pacesetter Fruit Processing Limited to Agvest Limited to the glory of God and the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
~Seyi Makinde, September 24, 2020