NEPZA boss tasks Ondo Chambers on special agro-allied district

The managing director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has urged the Ondo Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (ONDOCIMA) to become active partner in the economic development of the state by establishing a special agro-allied district for the production and processing of agricultural produce for export.

According to a press statement issued Friday by the Authority’s head of corporate communications, Martins Odeh, the NEPZA boss gave the charge Thursday while playing host to the new executive of the chambers in Abuja.

He said the chamber movement was aimed at galvanising sound economic development, adding that ONDOCIMA was set up to make an indelible and positive economic impact in the state.

“The chambers must without further delay constitute itself as an active development partner of the state by making itself an economic springboard in the state. This can happen speedily if a special agro-allied district for backward linkages in the production and processing of agricultural produce can be established.

“The new executive must begin to contemplate on securing a large expanse of land in the state to establish this project as the enclave to provide jobs and a variety of businesses for members and residents of the state.

“Ondo state is blessed with arable land, suitable for all-year-round- farming. The association can also reserve a substantial portion of the proposed district for the production of cocoa which the state has a comparative advantage on,” he said.

He said the pioneers of the state branch of the association had hatched the plans of having such a special agric site and other businesses as well, adding that a number of extraneous factors had made “these dreams unrealisable.” 

Responding, the president, ONDOCIMA, Olugbenga Araoyinbo, expressed delight at the warm reception extended to him and his entourage by the NEPZA chief executive, adding that the visit was indeed an eye opener.

He said Adesugba had continually proven that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the movement of industrialising the country through the Free Trade Zone scheme was not a travesty.

“We are indeed grateful for the suggestion that the association establishes an agro-allied district where our members and investors can be involved in mechanised farming and processing of farm produce for local use and export,” he said.

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