Governor Ibikunle Amosun,
By Rebecca Ejifoma
The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has assured manufacturers of cocoa products that the state would continue to create more conducive environment for the acceleration of industrial growth.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, stated this at the recent launching of a new cocoa-based product called ‘Frangada’ by MultiTrex Integrated Food Plc, held at the company’s premises, in Warewa, Ogun state.
He said Ogun state would continue to encourage and foster good relationship with private investors, adding that government had embarked on various activities in order to accommodate more investors.
“Investment in this company is a wise asset in the future of our state and our country. Ogun state has been one of the largest cocoa producing states with support to farmers for the cultivation of high cocoa beans, which is the main raw material for this company,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of MTIF, Mr. Dimeji Owofemi, said that once, cocoa was the bedrock of the economy of the present South-west region of Nigeria and contributed immensely to the nation’s economy in the late 50s and through the 60s.
“It is in view of the present situation of cocoa business in Nigeria that the present efforts of the Federal Government and the Ogun State Agricultural Transformation Agenda are directed at renewing the glory of cocoa business and industries in the country,” he added.
According to him that was the reason the MTIF decided to make a difference by of the launch of its first Cocoa-based Fast Moving Consumer Goods into the Nigeria and International markets.
Owofemi, who is the initiator of the name, Frangada, disclosed that it was originated from his little daughter. He stated that the product was not merely going into the market but also to create ripples and waves in the Nigeria and international markets. “It is made to give a lasting impression and health benefits to the consumers,” he enthused.
According to him, the health benefits of the Frangada, as a natural cocoa powder include natural anti-depressant but high in antioxidant, nature’s care for blood pressure, blood fever and malaria fever respectively. “It is also able to fight disease, diabetes is reduced, cocoa gives the ability to relax and sleep well and it also reduces pressure on foot; swollen legs.”
The chairman of the occasion, Lisa of Ondo Kingdom, High Chief Akinola Bayo, explained that agriculture was not a way of life but business. “Nigeria has 85 million hectares of land but only 40 per cent is developed. We have a lot of poverty in the midst of plenty. Nigeria should be a major exporter of valued agricultural produce.”
Amosun disclosed that some of the proactive measures put in place are major rehabilitation of existing roads and construction of new ones; maintenance of law and order; ensuring a secure and safe environment and easy access to lands by prospective investors among others.
He said Ogun state was fast becoming an industrial hub, a manifestation of the administration’s five Cardinal Programme. “Increased Agricultural Production and industralisation take a crucial position. It is, however, interesting to note that both local and foreign investors have continued to commission plants and factories with diverse interest in manufacturing and services in various parts of Ogun State.”
However, he said that several new industries were being launched, additional factories were being added to the existing ones and requests for land were being processed for in-coming investors.
Dignitaries present at the event included the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who unveiled the new cocoa product and assured them of working with private investors and other countries like Ghana and Cote d’Ívoire.
Others were Prof. Malaki Aporuda; Group Head, Sales and Marketing, Mr. Tunji Adeleke; Ondo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Adedamola Issac, an Engineer; Mr. Otunba Ogungbe; Mr. Yusuf Isiaka; Representative of the Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. G.O. Keyinde; Mrs. Titilope Hassan of Beverage Drinks at Ogearin; Dr. (Mrs.) Dongo Lilian; Chairman of Ogun State Cocoa Mr. Sesan Sowumi among others.