Osun Eyes $70m, 10,000 Jobs from Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Osun State Government is targeting the creation of 10,000 jobs in the state following the flag-off the Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory on Thursday.

Speaking at the event, the Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, said that the facility will stimulate the economy of the state towards socio-economic growth, development and sustainability.

The ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory situated at Ayekale, along Egbeda-Iragbiji Road, Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of the State, would be achieved through a robust and mutually-benefitting Public-Private-Partnership (PPP).

He said the administration would collaborate with partners and private investors to achieve the dream of making Osun the industrial hub of the Southwest.

The Governor reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to continually adopt creative means to deliver good road network, health facilities, good schools and other facilities as means for developing Osun and putting it on the path of greatness.

The factory was part of the positive responses received by the government from members of the private sector, particularly local and foreign investors who had earlier been wooed during the Osun Economic and Investment Summit held late last year.

When completed, the Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory will be operating on over 21 hectares of land conceded to it as equity, and on a full operation, it is estimated that it will attract about $70 million to the state and generate 10,000 jobs.

The product, ethanol, is one of the safe energy sources the world is turning to as a measure of preventing global warming. It would be converting cassava to ethanol, thus empowering thousands of persons in the chain of planting, harvesting, transporting and processing cassava to ethanol and marketing a final product that is hot in today’s world pharmaceutical and energy market.

Laying the foundation of the factory, Mr Oyetola said his administration was poised to deliver the benefits of democracy to all and sundry and provide an enabling environment for private concerns to establish industries in the State.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the factory to complement the government’s efforts at resuscitating the ailing economy of the state and deliver prosperity to the people.

In his words, “Today is an important day in the life of our administration and the annals of this state as it marks the ground-breaking of another project harvested from the Osun Economic and Investment Summit which was convoked in November last year to reposition the economy of the State and deliver prosperity to the people.

“Coming shortly after the harsh economic realities occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, this flag-off is an indication that our strategy for the delivery of economic prosperity has begun to yield good returns and a sign of the good things to come. We have no doubt that Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory will open a window of investment opportunities for the state.”

“As you all know, our administration is in a hurry to transform the state and deliver prosperity to our people. This determination informed the convocation of the Osun Economic and Investment Summit within one year of coming into office. At that summit too, we promised to hit the ground running.

“We are happy to find a worthy ally in Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory. The management submitted a proposal for the project we are flagging off today a few weeks after the convocation of the economic summit”, Mr Oyetola further said.

In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Mr Sola Oladepo and his counterpart in the Ministry of Commerce, Cooperatives, Industries and Empowerment, Mr Bode Olaonipekun, expressed confidence in the ability of the factory to liberate the State from abysmal economic gloom to enviable wealth.

Earlier, the Chairman of the SMEFUND, promoters of the project, Mr Temitope Ologunoye, commended the administration of Governor Oyetola for thinking outside the box to resuscitate the economy of the state through workable and realistic diversification.

Mr Ologunoye said the factory will be completed in the next 24 to 36 months with a production capacity of 7 million litres of biofuel annually.

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