The Osun State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese firm, Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, to establish a N216 billion industrial park in the state. The signing ceremony was held at the Government House Banquet Hall in Osogbo, the capital. Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the state agreed
to allocate 200 hectares for the industrial park. The governor said the partnership would support the state in six different investments; cocoa bean processing, chocolate and food processing, salt processing, cassava starch processing, gold mining and power plants.
He added that Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited is investing $600 million in the park Aregbesola, who described the partnership as part of his administration’s efforts to raise the bar of local and foreign investment, noted that the agreement will support the state’s economic drive. Reading a copy of the agreement, the governor said the project takes off in January, promising that Osun State will support actualisation of the proposed industrial park.
The agreement reads: “On November 28, 2017, Jangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited held talks with the State Government of Osun, Nigeria, on the investment to establish an industrial park in Osun State. “Through full communication and negotiation, both sides reached resolutions which are summarised as follows: ‘The Osun Government of Nigeria agrees that Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited will invest to establish the industrial park in Osun State who will allocate 200 hectares of land for the industrial park.
“The total investment by Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited on the industrial park is $600 million. The first phase of the project includes six projects: cocoa bean processing, chocolate and food processing, salt processing, cassava starch processing, gold mining and power plants. “The construction project of Jiangsu Wuxi Tiahu Industrial Park will strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations of the State Government of Osun and Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The government will provide policy guidance for the construction of Jiangsu Taihu Wuxi Industrial Park and give support of energy, infrastructure and other aspects. After the completion of the project, favourable tax terms will be given. “The state government will set up a working group for the construction of Jiangsu Taihu Wuxi Industrial Park, which is responsible for the docking and service with China.
The two sides agreed that the project will start in 2018.” The General Manager of Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, Mr. Liu Jianhui, hailed Aregbesola for tapping into opportunities to develop the state’s commercial potential. He said the company decided to establish the project in the state, having understudied its economic potential to grow foreign investments. Liu Jiangsu assured the state of fruitful partnership, to create a robust bilateral economic relation between the state and the Chinese firm. He said: “We are bringing a huge investment into the State of Osun to complement existing investment in cocoa processing industry and support the state economically, commercially and industrially. “We have very strong confidence in the fact that the partnership would in no distance time bring about dividends to both parties as the state’s potential would be appropriately utilised.”
Members of the State Executive Council (Exco) at the ceremony include Deputy Governor Mrs Grace Titilayo Laoye Tomori, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Ajibola Bashiru. Others are: Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr. Ismaila Jayeoba Alagbada and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr. Stephen Babatunde Ajilore. The Chinese delegation included the General Manager of Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, Mr. Liu Jianhui, Assistant General Manager, Shanghai Golden Monkey Group, Mr. Zhang Hua and representative of Nigeria Skyrun Cocoa Industrial Products Limited, Ms. Xu Feng.