The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Friday performed the groundbreaking of the $400m first phase of the development of the State Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, punch reports.

The groundbreaking was performed at the Agro Cargo International Airport in Ilisan-Remo.

Abiodun said that the special industrial park for agro-processing and allied products was the first of its kind in the country and would generate over 20,000 direct jobs and individual prosperity.

He added that the project with its first phase was a collaboration between Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms and Ogun State.

According to the governor, the project will be completed in the record time of 18 months.

The governor noted that the agro cargo airport would probably be the fastest constructed international airport on the continent.

He disclosed that apart from the SAPZ, the Nigeria Customs Service had decided to locate one of its biggest facilities in the country and made full payment of N3.2bn for the first 100 hectares of land last week.

Abiodun said the ground breaking was a further testament to the re-established trust between government and the private sector.

He assured that his administration would continue to work assiduously to earn the trust of private investors.

Abiodun lauded the President of the Arise Group, Gangan Gupta for keying into the vision of making the state the industrial hub in the country.

He also acknowledged the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for his support and encouragement to pursue the realisation of the project.

He said, “I must then acknowledge and thank the President of the AFREXIM, Dr. Ben Orama , who I called to discuss further the PPP/SAPZ model with and who arranged the physical meeting with ARISE and myself.”

He explained that the decision by his administration to turn the push factor from Lagos to the pull factor to Ogun, made it to introduce various policies and reforms, and also deploy technology to improve the efficiency of government and increase the state ranking on the ease of doing business index.

“Today, we are adjudged one of the safest if not the safest state in the country. We have constructed over 400km of both interstate roads in three years and six months and worth mentioning that we have at least one road in every one of our 20 local government areas and we have built over 1200 affordable homes across the state creating jobs for artisans.

“We will be back here very soon to commission our international agro cargo airport in another few months and our deep sea port is also loading”, Abiodun submitted.

The President of the ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms, Gangan Gupta, said the company had invested in several African countries and he is happy to be in Ogun state, to contribute to its industrial development.

He added that the company would build industrial platforms that would transform the economy of Ogun.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, in his remarks, described the project as a landmark and a step forward to the economic revolution of Nigeria.

He added that SAPZ would help in agri-industrialization and create jobs for the people, noting “this is going to be a regional trading hub”.


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