OYSG, Chinese investors to establish N636b FTZ for automotive, solar power products

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi on has said Oyo State Government and a Chinese conglomerate, China Polaris are now set for the establishment of a N636billion Free Trade Zone for the manufacturing of automotive products, solar power generation.
The Governor said this while speaking at the turning of the sod of the construction work for the project, tagged Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan.
He declared that the “first phase of the project comprising five factories is estimated to cost about N159bn ($500m) and is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of next year, while the entire project is expected to be completed in the next two years”.
According to Governor Ajimobi the turning of sod of the N636billion free trade zone was the outcome of “a journey of five years of intensive hunt for investors in core economic activities in his determination to achieve growth and sustained development in the state”.
“During the period, I was in China for two weeks to seal the agreement, which culminated in the ceremony we are having here today (Tuesday). I’m happy to announce to the people of Oyo State that today berths the result of a five-year intensive hunt for genuine investors to come and partner us in the state,”he said.
The governor stressed that the “Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone is an industrial revolution with the total package of $2billion investment aimed at pushing the state to the top notch, not only in Nigeria but in Africa” saying “the multiplier effect of today’s ceremony is the imminent massive job creation and financial freedom for the government and the good people of our dear state.”
Emphasizing that the project would be ‘the new hub of African economy’ when completed, he urged the Chinese investors to ensure speedy construction works at the free trade zone, with the target of completing the first phase in the next three months.
Speaking, the President of China Polaris, Mr. Zhang Wendong declared that the “Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone will encompass light, medium and heavy manufacturing lines of $2billion. The first phase will cost $500m, which will involve production and assemblage of vehicle parts and solar energy”.
“We are targeting solar energy that will power the whole of Ibadan and its environs. This is the first of its kind in Africa and it will be replicated in other African countries”he said.
Mr Wendong while assuring Oyo State Government of the investors’ commitment to the Polaris-Pacesetter Free Trade Zone project, said the first phase of the project comprising of five factories, would gulp about N159bn ($500m) and would ensure completion of the last phase of the project within the next two years timeline proposed by the state government.
He disclosed that the second phase of the project would include an assemblage of automotive products and production of solar energy to power.

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