The Ogun State government has signed a $400m Memorandum of Understanding with a foreign firm, Arise Integrated Industrial Platform, on the development of Olokola Free Trade Zone and Remo Agro Processing Zone.
The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Arise Integrated Industrial Platform, Gagan Gupta, sign the MoU on Friday, at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Abeokuta.
Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, Gupta disclosed that his organisation would focus on the Olokola Free Trade Zone and the Remo Agro Processing Zone.
He explained that the $400m would be for the completion of phase one of the projects, saying by July 2023, the investment would be higher.
According to him, his organisation will focus on developing the infrastructure at the Olokola Free Trade Zone as well as the Remo Cluster Area and the Agro Cargo Airport in order to enhance the agro-processing area.
Gupta who also noted that the intention of the group was to ensure that work starts on the industrial zone by the first week of July this year, added that the group would also focus more on the upstream sector.
The Arise Integrated founder added that his company would bring equity to the floor by leaving 35 per cent open for national players and the state, saying “we would be glad to have Ogun State as a partner.”
“Our ethical moral is that we will have 65 per cent equity and leave 35 per cent open for the national players, including Ogun State. We want the state to be our partner and the state will take some equity and the national players will take some equity,” he stressed.
Gupta commended the level of information made available by the state government to his team when it came on an assessment of the zones to be invested in.
“After visiting Ogun State for two weeks, we were very pleased by the amount of information that was shared. I must confess I had no expectation that the information would be so readily available, it looked like we were dealing with the private sector and not government”, he submitted.
Abiodun commended the company for choosing Ogun and noted that the project would not only create employment opportunities, but would be a training hub as the company would set up a technical training centre to train artisans for the sustenance of the project.
He said, “We are happy to find a partner that is afro-centric; that understands the sub-region and all the issues that pertain to the people and is ready to spend over $400m. We are indeed very excited that you are in Ogun State.
“I am glad you are setting up two economic zones, one in Olokola which will deal with mobility and automobiles and the other one, the Remo Cluster which will take care of agro- processing. We will support you and we will leave no stone unturned. Our support to you will be total. The infrastructure you will bring will lead to more investors coming to our state”.
Article first published on the Punch Website