Attached to the richly populated Ondo kingdom in Ondo State are vast and numerous mineral and natural resources, which hold unlimited potentials for development. The highly fertile soil of the kingdom makes it a rich agricultural destination as this reality makes it possible for the abundance of numerous raw materials needed for various industrial use.
Ondo Kingdom is rich and diverse in availability of expanse of land for agricultural, industrial and commercial purpose, and has access points to road networks with strategic links to the northern, southern, eastern regions of Nigeria and its proximity to Lagos is a great market advantage.
With the above, stakeholders in Ondo are stepping up their drive for investments into the area. The goal, it was gathered, is to guide interested investors and facilitate quicker turnaround for their onboarding process from point of entry to establishment and fortification of business interest in any of the investment sectors.
There is an ongoing community and government collaboration, with diaspora involvement, to make Ondo the investment hub of the South-West region of Nigeria. This drive began with laying the needed foundation for micro industrial development and with the support of the government, by providing basic infrastructure.
This was echoed by a renowned industrialist, Dr. Femi Akinkuebi, who charged the privileged elite of Ondo community across the globe to join hands with government at all levels to propel development that would be in the interest of all and drive more investment and economic activities to the kingdom.
Akinkuebi, who stated this during the ground breaking ceremony of the first Cocoa Cottage Processing Factory in Ondo, urged all Ondo indigenes to use their new status and offices to attract development to the kingdom and the State, using necessary connections and lobbying processes.
While charging all the stakeholders on the need for the people to see community development beyond the input of the government, Akinkuebi commended the lawmaker representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Abiola Makinde, for facilitating the cocoa cottage processing factory, saying this will ensure aggressive drive towards development.
He also called on local government administrators to embark on aggressive food production by investing massively in agricultural implements and inputs to make the town and the state the food basket of the nation. According to him, the Eki Industrial Hub, which houses the new cocoa cottage processing factory will aid community development and called for partnership between government and the people, saying “the people must take the lead”.
While commending Makinde for taking advantage of the Eki Industrial Hub to cite the new project, he explained that the hub has been projected to become an essential part of the state’s economy due to its vast range of features, including uninterrupted power supply, water, security, and internet facilities.
“One of the most critical features of the Eki Industrial Hub is its uninterrupted power supply. This feature ensures that industries in the hub can operate efficiently without experiencing power outages, which can result in significant losses. With the hub’s uninterrupted power supply, industries can focus on their operations and increase productivity”, he said.
The chairman of Ekinvest, Mr. Bimbo Oladapo, who urged the people to tap into the business-friendly atmosphere of Eki-Industrial hub to birth sustainable businesses and project which will contribute more to the development of the community.
Also speaking at the event, a former National lawmaker, Hon. Joseph Akinlaja, reiterated the need for the community to open its arms to accommodate investors in the community. He noted that the present administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has shown its readiness to support community and has continued to give all the support needed to foster more public and private partnership for community development in the kingdom.
The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Ademefun Kiladejo, urged Ondo indigenes both home and abroad to intensify their efforts to pushing for more projects to sustain the progress which is currently being witnessed in the kingdom, saying community development is beyond government alone.
ODES: The investment roundtable
Ondo Development and Economic Summit was designed to support and crate a sustainable economic plan through accelerated expansion of Ondo Kingdom and Ondo State, driven by the private sector, raising the standard of living recipients and broader population.
The economic summit was a ‘people-government’ initiative which was primarily designed to complement the sterling economic contribution by creating a platform and momentum to drive sustainable economic development of the state.
The programme was in conjunction with Performance and Project Monitoring Implementation Unit (PPIMU) Ondo State, Hessmac Consulting, Osemawe and Paramount Ruler of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Adesimbo Victor Kiladejo, Jillo III. Also, the Ondo Development Committee (ODC) as well as other stakeholders were part.
At the maiden summit last year, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, disclosed that with its current enabling environment and other attractive incentives for local and foreign investors, the State is set for its economic breakthrough. According to the Governor, the State under his administration had attracted an investment value of over N65 Billion in the agricultural sector.
The Governor made this disclosure through his Deputy, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who declared open the summit held at Ondo Civic Center, Ondo. He said the State’s highly developed Human Capital, mineral resources, fertile Agricultural land, relative security and more importantly, the hospitable nature of its citizens and residents has made some private investors to choose the state as choice destination for their investments.
According to the Governor, “when we came on board in 2017, we received the mandate to run the affairs of the State with much enthusiasm and concerns. Concern in terms of how to transform the State from the level we met it to an enviable height of sustainable economic growth”.
Pointing out that the State put several platforms in place to coordinate the economic, infrastructural and industrial growth of the State, the governor applauded the Osemawe of Ondo and the entire Ondo community for their self-help projects aimed at promoting the development of Ondo.
In his own remarks at the summit, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, agreed that government alone cannot do all the developmental projects as he appealed to the people of his kingdom to take advantage of the new initiative (ODES) to achieve the community’s development agenda.
EKINVEST: The industrialization drive
The communiqué on the industrialization of the Ondo kingdom for sustainable wealth creation and economic development is one of the key resolutions of the Ondo development and Economic Submit (ODES) 2022.
EKI INVESTMENT HUB (EKINVEST), which was created as a result of ODES 2022, is primarily intended to mobilize stakeholders from the public and private sectors, coordinating their initiatives to promote wealth creation and also help the establishment of a diversified economy.
Eki Investment Hub, also referred to as Ekinvest is an indigenous entity primarily designed to mobilise stakeholders from both the public and private sector, synergizing their efforts to promote wealth creation and also facilitate the emergence of a diversified economy.
The launch of Ekinvest marked the beginning of a more involved, hands-on approach to investment promotion and investor-relations management in Ondo Kingdom and Ondo State. In order to ensure successful attraction of investment and efficient investor-relationship management, Ekinvest designs and implements workable strategies and works in seamless synergy with public and private sector stakeholders.
The launch of EKINVEST marked the beginning of a more involved, hands-on approach to investment promotion and investor-relations management in Ondo Kingdom. To achieve its objectives, EKINVEST is investing following areas: Eki Industrial Hub, Eki ICT Hub, Eki Agribusiness Hub and Eki Enterprise Development Institute.
The 250-acre Eki Industrial Hub in Agbhiye, Igba, is one of the key areas EKINVEST is focusing on. With a good road network and the anticipated dedicated electricity line, economic activity around the industrial area has begun to blossom, and real estate prices have increased within four months of activities.
5000 direct employment and 7000 indirect jobs are anticipated to be created by Eki Industrial Hub. An industrial facility for processing cocoa is being built, and facilities for processing cassava and dry fruits are also in the works.
The goal of Eki Industrial Hub is to establish a business-friendly environment that will provide firms, particularly small and medium-sized ones, with the necessary business incentives to prosper and expand. These incentives include things like a convenient location, power supply, security, water, and infrastructure.
Also, it seeks to encourage the youthful populace the opportunity to become wealth creators by starting their own business enterprise(s). In addition, there are light industry cluster hub and commercial areas in strategic location within the kingdom. Furthermore, it intends to provide employment, facilitate the circulation of money and serve many other roles important to the community, such as public gathering and cultural events.
Why they are part of Ekinvest: Notes on stakeholders
Mr. Bimbo Oladapo
As a prominent and dedicated native of Ondo, Bimbo Oladapo, the Chairman of Ekinvest Company Limited, is deeply committed to enhancing various aspects of Ondo City’s development. His passion for the city’s improvement is the driving force behind his involvement in the Ekinvest initiative.
Bimbo Oladapo firmly believes that the responsibility for a community’s development lies with its own inhabitants. Ondo City, a place of shared ownership, requires the collaborative efforts of its people to thrive. While external support is valuable for expansion, the core foundation must be laid by its indigenous members.
He extends a warm welcome and encourages all fellow Ondo City natives to unite in realizing the collective vision of a better Ondo City. Together, they can contribute to the city’s success story and make it the city of their dreams.
Mr. Adewale Olabode
A youthful and dynamic entrepreneur with a remarkable range of skills and expertise in the intricate realm of the oil and gas industry, Adewale Olabode, is not just a resident of the community; he is a bonafide scion, deeply rooted in the traditions and values of Ondo kingdom. With impassioned conviction, he beseeches the entirety of Ondo’s honorable citizens to unite in a concerted effort to tap into and rouse the latent reservoir of wealth within our community, envisioning a brighter future for all.
Ondo, as a region, possesses a multitude of economic prospects that lay dormant, akin to a slumbering giant. These invaluable opportunities, while present, remain obscured from the gaze of the wider world. Adewale Olabode recognizes that the true glory and potential of Ondo can only be fully unveiled when this latent potential is awakened from its slumber, ready to shine forth for all to witness and partake in its bounty.
Hon. Joseph Akinlaja
Honorable Joseph Akinlaja, known by the revered title “Ina njo Ogiri o sa,” is a highly respected and influential figure within the realm of Ondo city. Having served as a distinguished member of the House of Representatives, diligently representing the interests of Ondo East and West, he has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the growth and development of the kingdom.
Notably, Honorable Akinlaja has been instrumental in ensuring the eradication of landgrabbers, who pose a significant threat and disturbance to the harmony and progress of the city. His philanthropic endeavors and unwavering dedication to the well-being of the community have further solidified his position as a key member of Ekinvest, an esteemed organization dedicated to the advancement of the Ondo Ekimogun Community.
In light of his vast experience and profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, Honorable Akinlaja humbly implores all sons and daughters of the distinguished Ondo Ekimogun Community to unite their efforts and resources in order to collectively create a better and more prosperous future for the kingdom. By working together, they can not only secure the present benefits, but also ensure the well-being and success of future generations to come.
Engr. Kola Olaseinde
Engineer Kola Olaseinde, a distinguished and highly regarded technocrat and business magnate, whose expertise has been sought after and utilized across various sectors of the nation, stands as a shining example of excellence and dedication.
As a prominent and esteemed son of the kingdom, he holds a special place within the Osemawe Palace Forum, a gathering of influential and esteemed individuals who are deeply committed to the growth and prosperity of the Ondo kingdom.
In light of his vast experience and profound understanding of the complexities involved in building a thriving community, Engineer Olasehinde emphasizes the undeniable truth that “one cannot clap with one hand.” This profound statement serves as a reminder of the imperative need for team spirit and collective effort in order to realize the shared vision of a prosperous and flourishing Ondo kingdom that is desired by all.
Otunba Felix Oladunjoye
Otunba Felix Oladunjoye, the Chairman of the Ekimogun Organizing committee, is an individual who is deeply committed to advancing the growth and progress of the city of Ondo. He is also a prominent advocate for Ekinvest.
Otunba F.O seeks more on job creation and employment opportunities, particularly for the younger generation. Otunba Oladunjoye firmly believes that without the establishment of sustainable employment options, the future of the city would appear quite bleak.
His profound faith in the potential of young individuals and his strong commitment to community development is the reason he is not only vocal about his beliefs, but also actively invests his financial resources in initiatives that align with his vision which is the Ekinvest.
Dr. Nelson Osungbemiro
Dr. Nelson Osungbemiro, a highly esteemed and influential member of Ekinvest. A chief lecturer and the Director of ventures and consultancy services in the prestigious Adeyemi University of Education, but also a trailblazer in his own right.
He is widely recognized and admired for his unwavering energy, profound belief in grassroots initiatives, deep-rooted love for cultural preservation, and unwavering commitment to fostering holistic development within the community.
In light of this, Dr. Osungbemiro fervently urges all individuals, whether they are indigenous residents or expatriates, to come together and unite in a collective effort towards the advancement and growth of Ondo City. He firmly believes that it is imperative for every single person to actively contribute and participate in this noble cause, as the task at hand requires the collaboration and dedication of each and every individual.
Why we are attracting investments into Ondo – Team Lead, Akinkuebi
The Managing Director of Ore Industrial Park, Dr. Femi Akinkuebi, who is the Team Lead of the Eki Industrial Hub, speaks on the ongoing activities aimed at driving investments into Ondo Kingdom.
What informed the decision to hold ODES?
Ondo City, with its youth population comprising 65 percent of its demographic, faces a pressing issue regarding youth unemployment. This situation is of concern, as idleness can potentially lead to undesirable outcomes. While both the Federal and State governments have taken measures to address this issue, their efforts have proven insufficient to fully address youth unemployment. Hence, there is an urgent need for interventions at the grassroots level.
To address this concern at the rural level, it is imperative for the community to cultivate a conducive economic environment for its residents. This objective is precisely why the ODES (Ondo Development and Economic Summit) initiative was conceived. Ondo is abundantly endowed with both natural resources and a skilled populace, two critical elements in fostering economic development. Thus, it becomes imperative to harness the economic potential within Ondo City to create viable employment opportunities for its youth population.
How will you describe the success of the summit held last year?
The event was a resounding success, marked by compelling presentations from distinguished speakers. Notable figures such as Engr. Adewunmi of Denki Cable and Wires, Mr. Ayoola, the Managing Director of Bambi Farm, and Dr. Tolani from the UK shared their insights on strategies for navigating and harnessing economic development. The turnout was impressive, with esteemed guests including the Deputy Governor, representing the State Governor, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, and the Osemawe in Council.
Honorable Abiola Makinde, ONDIPA PPIMU, President of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Chinese investors, Jakovie Energy, Tetracore Gas, as well as prominent sons and daughters of Ondo Kingdom, gathered for this two-day event. It served as a platform to outline the path forward, emphasizing the imperative of unlocking the economic potential of the Kingdom. The overwhelming support and commitment from various stakeholders, both local and international, were evident throughout the proceedings.
What are the benefits that the summit has brought so far?
The primary objective of the summit is to unlock the economic potential inherent in Ondo Kingdom. This endeavor encompasses the establishment of an industrial hub, the development of an ICT hub, the expansion of the agriculture sector, and the facilitation of comprehensive entrepreneurship training. Significant progress has already been achieved across these four critical domains. Presently, the Eki Industrial Hub, occupying a sprawling 250-acre expanse of land along the Ondo-Akure Road, stands as a testament to our commitment. Furthermore, the forthcoming ICT hub is poised to materialize shortly. Notably, an impressive 300 hectares of land have been earmarked for the Eki Agro City, a project poised to synergize with the Institute of Enterprise, with the Eki Industrial Hub at its core. These transformative initiatives reflect our unwavering dedication to catalyzing economic growth and development in Ondo Kingdom.
What are the activities ongoing now?
Presently, the Eki Industrial Hub is in the midst of extensive infrastructural development. Investors are actively securing their allocations within the hub, while concurrent progress includes the ongoing construction of road networks and the commencement of various commercial activities.
What are the core objectives of ODES and Ekinvest and how do you plan to achieve them?
The objectives of ODES are succinctly outlined within four critical spheres of focus: the establishment of an industrial and ICT hub, the expansion of agricultural endeavors, and the facilitation of comprehensive entrepreneurship training. These strategic initiatives aim to harness the abundant economic potential inherent in Ondo City for the collective advancement of our community, with particular attention to empowering our youth. We extend a cordial invitation to all concerned individuals, both within and outside our community, to partake in this substantial investment opportunity.
What roles does the government have to play in all these?
A key focal point of the Akeredolu administration’s REDEEMED agenda is centered on economic empowerment. The most effective avenue for empowering individuals lies in providing them with employment opportunities and augmenting their earning capacity. As part of this commitment, the government will facilitate access to electricity, construct external roads to the site, and offer essential infrastructure support.
What is your advice to the people of Ondo?
This represents a significant opportunity for us all, given the influx of foreign investors into our region. It’s a positive indicator. However, it’s imperative that we maximize our potential. When we witness the Chinese, Indians, and Lebanese committing substantial funds to invest in Nigeria, there’s no reason we shouldn’t follow suit in our homeland. Our vision extends beyond Ondo; it encompasses the entire Southwest and Nigeria. Until at least one in every ten of us engages in commercial activities, we will continue our efforts.
I extend this call to all Ondo indigenes, whether residing at home or abroad, to unite and contribute to the economic development of our city. We have various plans in place, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences: You can acquire land within the Eki industrial hub for the establishment of your industry. Alternatively, you can bring your funds, and we’ll assist you in setting up and managing your factory. You also have the option to participate in our ongoing crowd-funding scheme. Let’s collectively build our city and tap into its economic potential.