In a bid to avert total reliance on allocation from the federation account to pay salaries and fund infrastructure before year 2024, Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Monday, commissioned a modern chocolate factory in the ancient city of Idanre in Idanre Local Government Area of the state.
The factory, though initiated by his predecessor in partnership with a United States based firm, Spagnvola Chocolatiers, was completed by the Akeredolu led administration.
The factory, estimated to be worth N9billion, will produce 2.8Million tons of Chocolate per annum.
Akeredolu said unlike his predecessor, who jettisoned virtually all the projects started by his own predecessor, history shall always remember him for continuing with all the policies of his predecessor without an exception.
The Governor said his dream for Ondo is to be a state that doesn’t rely on allocation from the federation account to pay salaries and fund infrastructure before year 2024, adding that the investment drive of his administration, if pursued, will change the status of the from civil service-oriented to a state of commerce and industry.
“The ultra modern factory came to fruition because i was determined to see it through. The facility consultant contracted by my predecessor wrote a report to me that the factory design was not suitable for a chocolate factory as a result of lack of modern equipment which he said my administration has now provided.
“By the grace of God, I will work to hand over a State that does not rely on allocation to pay salaries by year 2024” Akeredolu declared.
The Governor also said “I want to change our narrative. Enough of Ondo being tagged as a civil service state. We are a hidden wealth of Nigeria. We shall explore all our potentials.
“Let me assure all the good people of Ondo state that this factory shall run independent of politics. It shall be run in line with global best practices.
“To guarantee constant supply of cocoa beans to the factory, the Oda Cocoa Plantation ,which is over 1,744 Hectares, has been resuscitated and made functional with over 250 Cocoa farmers upscaling daily production from the farm
“I will never rest until we win the battle against unemployment in our state through industrialisation, agriculture and technology.
“To consolidate our foothold as the number one cocoa producer in Nigeria, this administration has established a modern cocoa farm at Ijugbere Camp in Ilale, Owo on 8,400Hectatres of land with the capacity to accommodate 2,000 youths who would be resident on the farm with a minimum of four Hectares of Land per person” the Governor, said
In their seperate remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture and Agro Business, Pastor Akin Olotu and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment and Development, Mr. Boye Oyewumi, said the factory was already moribund before the emergence of the current administration.
The duo commended the Governor for continuing with the vision, saying “Akeredolu will be remembered as the model of continuity in governance”
The paramount ruler of the town, Oba Fredrick Adegunle Aroloye Arubiefin, while playing host to Akeredolu and his entourage in his palace, described the Governor as the architect of modern Idanre. He said the people of the town will soon invite Akeredolu to be honoured as Chief Atuluse of the town.
“Soon, you will become the High Chief Atunluse of Idanre. You have done well for my town. The warm reception you received here is an evidence that we love you. We thank you for the roads you have tarred. We appreciate you for the schools and hospitals you rehabilitate here. May God honour you in earth and in heaven” the traditional ruler said.