Governor Dapo Abiodun has flagged off the construction of a $400million Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) at the Agro-Cargo Airport in Ilisan Remo, Ogun State, South Western Nigeria.
The governor said the project will be executed by the state government in partnership with Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms within a period of 18 months.
He said apart from the SAPZ, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had decided to situate one of its biggest facilities in the country and made full payment of N3.2 billion for the first 100 hectares of land last week.
Abiodun said the groundbreaking was a further testament to the re-established trust between the government and the private sector.
He lauded Gangan Gupta, president of the Arise Group, for keying into the vision of making the state the industrial hub in the country.
He also lauded the support of the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwunmi Adesina, for his support and encouragement to pursue the realisation of the project.
“I must then acknowledge and thank the President of the AFREXIM, Ben Orama, who I called to discuss further the PPP/SAPZ model with and who arranged the physical meeting with ARISE and myself,” he said.
He said the decision by his administration to encourage the push factor from Lagos to Ogun instigated the introduction of various policies and reforms.
He said it also prompted the deployment of 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,” he said.
“We have constructed over 400km of interstate roads in three years and six months and it is 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.”
Niyi Adebayo, minister of trade and investment, in his remarks, described the project as a step forward in Nigeria’s economic revolution.
He added that SAPZ would help in agri-industrialisation and create jobs for the people, noting “this is going to be a regional trading hub”.