The Ondo State government has flag – off the production of 1.5 million Granite marbles and dimension stones at Afo Community in Ose local government area of the state.
The flag – off of the project was part of the activities marking the First year anniversary of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu administration in the state.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said the state will relief the country from importing huge amount of Granite marbles for local construction factories and other consumers.
Besides, Fayemi informed that the State will soon begin producing asphalts from the production of Bitumen which will commence before the year ends. The minister disclosed that 3.5 million meters of Granite marbles are imported into Nigeria out of the 4million Granite marble consumed in the country annually.
Fayemi who noted that with the 1.5million annual production of Granite marbles and dimension stones in the state, said the project will save the county hard earned foreign exchange, create employment opportunities and substitute for import.
In his words: “I want to thank Mr. Governor for the Flag-off of this project . The importance of solid mineral, particularly dimension stones in our country cannot be over emphasized
“Every year in Nigeria, we consume about 4million square meters of granites marble in this country. Out of that 4million that is consumed and utilized by our construction factories and various consumers, only about half a million is produced locally, so we import 3.5million meters of dimension stones like this from China, Italy, Spain and all other country where they produce this.
“This is a much larger factory of dimension in Ondo state. What his does, is save Nigeria hard earned foreign exchange. What is produced locally here, which will be cut, polish by them and I can see it here, If not something better than what you can from China and other places it will compete favorably with them.
“So, you can imagine what this does to a small community like this when it is in full production. Our local people here will be employed, the transport bussiness is going to be good , the government can also utilize this for the construction work going on in Ondo state and other neighboring states and ultimately, we would ensure that import is substituted.
“So , for me, this is a success story for the Ministry that I superintend and I want to thank the Governor and the Afo Community for making this possible. “Most people do not know the resources that are buried under the soil in this country until you start excavating them and you start turning them into wealth, people will not appreciate the importance of allowing our natural endowment to be developed by us. ”
Fayemi lauded Akeredolu for putting more efforts in the non-oil sector of the economy, especially with projects like the Multi-million Poultry and Egg powder plant in Emure, Ethanol plant in Ose and other Agriculture initiatives of the Akeredolu led administration.
According to him, “As we face challenges in the hydro carbon industry, we know that the non-oil sector is going to offer us the way out
“Many of the projects that Mr. Governor is commissioning has a lot to do with the non-oil sector, whether is the ethanol plant or the poultry and egg initiative or the Agric sector and the solid mineral sector. As we are doing this, by the end of this year, I know that we will be producing alphats made from Ondo state bitumen.
“So, that shows all of the efforts that the Governor and the government of Ondo state are beginning to yield fruits. We can only support the Government and Mr. Governor to continue to put more efforts in order to see more of this factory here. “What you are seeing in Afo, you will see it at Supare. Supare used to have some of the best products in the dimension stone segment and it is still there, so, when you add that to it and you add others in the surrounding communities, you can imagine what that will mean in not just Akoko, but the entire Ondo State. This will yield more dividends to Ondo State and to Nigeria. ”
In his speech, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu assured the people his administration’s commtiment to ensuring that the state becomes the desire destination for investors. Akeredolu promised to put more effort into bringing more Investors into the state so as to develop every community in the sunshine state.