James Sowole in Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun yesterday inaugurated the first fibre optic cable manufacturing factory in West Africa and the fifth in Africa.
According to the governor, the factory would be a further boost to his administration’s innovation and development of its digital economy infrastructure.
The factory, Coleman Wire and Cable Fibre Optic Company, is located on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Speaking at the inauguration of the factory, Abiodun expressed delight that the pioneer factory, would equally boost the advancement in teaching and learning processes in academic institutions across the state.
He said, “The manufacture of fibre optic cables locally will aid the deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the different sectors of the economy. It will boost tech innovation, advancement in teaching and learning processes in our academic institutions, improve medical care, improve ease and access to data information and enhance internet connection.
“This will no doubt be a boost to our administration’s innovation of digital economy infrastructure.”
Abiodun further disclosed that his administration’s commitment towards building a technologically advanced state had won his administration awards in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and digital economy by the Federal Ministry of Communication, Business Day Newspaper in 2019, Independent Newspaper, Daily Times in 2021.
He added that the awards were in recognition of efforts of his administration to maximise the advantages of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and digital economy.
Abiodun further disclosed that the launching of its digital economy project which aims to lay five thousand kilometers of fibre optic cables across the state would receive the needed boost with the commissioning of the first fibre optic cable factory in West Africa.
The governor noted that the commissioning of the factory would go a long way at conserving the already scarce foreign exchange, promoting tech transfer, generating employment and alleviating poverty.
He called on other well-meaning individuals and organisations to come and benefit from the immense opportunity the state has.
Abiodun, however, used the occasion to remind private industries in the state to be mindful of their responsibility to corporate social values, charging the host communities to display a high level of cooperation and responsibility.
“I urge all private industries in Ogun State to be mindful of their responsibility to Corporate Social Values. The host communities on the other hand should continue to display a high level of cooperation and responsibility. By so doing, all the benefits associated with the presence of industries will be realised.
“In this regard, industries are expected to complement the existing infrastructure facilities that have been provided by the state government through prompt payment of their taxes,” he said.
In her remarks, the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, represented by the Commercial Attache, David Russell, who noted that the impact of the factory would be seen everywhere, added that more jobs would be created for the people of the state.
Earlier in his remark, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Coleman Technical Industries Limited (CTIL), George Onafowokan, who disclosed that the company since its inception had a firm belief in local content, added that the vision of the company was based on the premise of believing in Nigeria and growing local capacity.
George who also noted that the company would build capacity for the country, West Africa, Central Africa and about fifty percent of the continent, added that the plan would make the company the biggest fibre optic cable factory in the continent by September of 2023.
The Minister for Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, represented by Adewale Bakare, commended the dedication of the company to the growth of the economy of the country.
He added that the expansion of the factory from electricity wires and cables to the production of fibre optic cables used by telecommunication companies and other industries, including defense and medicals for various applications in Nigeria and other West African sub-region is a confirmation of the confidence in the industrialisation drive of the federal government.