The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said his administration’s new focus for development will be agriculture, solid mineral development and industrialisation.
The Governor stated this at the commissioning of the new effluent treatment plant and expansion project of the International Breweries PLC in Ilesa.
This was just as the company promised to do its best in ensuring compliance with payment of taxes to boost Osun’s drive for internally generated revenue.
Aregbesola noted that, given the falling price of oil and diminishing revenue from the oil sector, the state is already looking beyond oil for revenue, sustenance and meeting her obligations to fulfilling his electoral promises.
He commended the company for its vision and forthrightness of the founder, the late Dr. Lawrence Omole and managers of the company for complying with international best practices and the aptness of the commissioning of effluent treatment plant coinciding with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France.
Aregbesola said, “Our new focus is agriculture, solid mineral development and industrialisation. This indeed should be the focus of the wise who is thinking beyond the financial catastrophe that befell this nation since 2013 on account of falling revenue from the Federation Accounts.
Aregbesola also lauded the company for increasing her presence and acceptability, which has translated to increase in market share of the brewery.
He said, “I commend you. But you must do more, not just to dominate your immediate environment but to spread to other regions as well and ultimately make your brands international by venturing outside the country. On our part, we will continue to support you and help to realise your vision to expand.”
The Governor stated that concerns for the environment has been an issue since the industrial revolution and the emergence of cities, noting that the fallout of industrialisation is pollution of the environment from industrial and household wastes.
He therefore described the impression that environmental friendliness is mutually incompatible with development as false, saying, if the right measures are adopted, there will be sustainable development.
He enjoined other industrial concerns in the state to emulate IBL Plc which is complying with international best practices.
Governor Aregbesola added that it is the dream of his government that an industrial hub develops around where allied industries that support you or feed off your operations can develop, prime one of which is agriculture and allied industries.
He said “In October, we signed an MOU with a Chinese consortium to start an agriculture and industrial park in Osun which will be cited in Ilesa. Last month, we also signed an agreement with the IITA to start agriculture demonstration farm and research centre at Orile Owu”.
Earlier in his remark, the Chairman Board of Directors, International Breweries Plc, Ilesa, Otunba Micheal Daramola, commended the state government for its unflinching support towards the growth and development of the company.
He extolled Governor Aregbesola for keeping to the promises he made in 2013, saying the MoU signed between the company and the state government has yielded positive results and tremendous impact in the lives of the citizens of the state.
Enumerating some of the organization’s achievements, Otunba Daramola said the company has been a job provider and development partner to the state.
He disclosed that N1.4billion was expended on waste management in the state, while N1.2 was spent on several projects, as the company equally spent N1.2billion on the new road and new pipeline recently installed and commissioned for use.
Daramola said over N4.8 billion has been expended so far on the new effluent treatment and water pipeline projects, promising that the company would not relent in its efforts to support the train of development in the state.
He described the present administration as being supportive, saying the company relationship with current government has been very seamless.
He said, “The main focus of this company is to ensure that we effect real change and transformation of our immediate environment and the state as a whole for meaningful development and positive improvement.
“We are doing everything to assist the government by empowering the youths through different programmes targeted to reduce the scourge of unemployment.
“Over 120 youths have been successfully selected and financially assisted on running capital to start both small and medium scale businesses.
In his address, the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr. Andrew Ross, said the newly installed Effluent Treatment Plant and Water Pipeline projects were first of it kind in the South-west, saying it remains a milestone for economic sustainability.
He commended the state government for its support, saying its continued cooperation had provided a seamless improvement, growth and development to both the company and the state government.
He promised that the company was ready to assist the government at improving its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by fulfilling its quota on regular tax payment.
Ross stressed further that the company was committed to offering Nigerians world class products, saying its mission was to be the best beverage company in Nigeria.
“The Effluent Treatment Plant and Water Pipeline we are commissioning today is very environmental friendly because it emits clean water.
“This project is of world class standard and this is so, because our company is ever ready and committed to world class products that is why our company has been progressing geometrically.
The Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, commended the company for the introduction of modern technology into its operation just as he saluted the efforts of the management and staff of the company in its bid to realize the dream of the organization.