The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has decried importation of glass into the country despite the huge availability of the needed raw materials for its production in the state.
Governor Akeredolu spoke on Thursday while receiving investors from the Horn Glass Industries from Germany led by the Chief Executive Officer, Stephan Meindl.
The Governor recalled that when the Moribund Oluwa Glass was functional, it was supplying the then Peugeot glasses for windscreen and mirror as part of the production of the vehicles.
The Ondo State Government had signed a Public Private Partnership agreement with the ZMP Industrial Limited for the establishment of 600 Tonnes per day capacity float glass factory in Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.
Akeredolu said there is no better company to establish glass factory in the state than the Horn Glass Industries having been involved with the establishment of the Oluwa Glass over three decades ago.
He said: “You are involved with Oluwa Glass and you are the one that built it. I don’t think there is a better company to start a new state-of-the-art Glass Company than you.
“Importation of glass into this country is unfortunate. Oluwa Glass was the one supplying Peugeot windscreen and glass. But government involvement in Oluwa Glass killed it.
“But today, we have equity participation. We are not going to stiffen anyone who is interest in developing the state. Our participation will be minimal so as to make it effective.”
Governor Akeredolu charged the investors to be time conscious, adding that time is of the essence.
“Time is of essence. We are running against time. Please start now. Undoubtedly, we are waiting. The state will be glad to have a glass factory back after 35years,” he noted.
Horn Glass Industries Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stephan Meindl, said his firm is ready to establish the glass factory with modern technology and unwavering commitment.
The Secretary, Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency, Emmanuel Omomowo, who explained the process and terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed, said the Sunshine state is endowed with Silica Sands which has a the raw material needed for the glass production.
“We need to bring in high-net-worth investors to actually collaborate with the state to develop our silica resource and the value of this investment is over 250 Million Euros and when it is converted to Naira, it is over 162 Billion Naira.
Omomowo said, “the State Government in this project is having the stake of over 20% while the investor, ZMP Industrial Ltd. has 80% and ZMP Industrial Ltd. is also working in collaboration with a renowned technical partner called Horn Glass Industries.
“That the technical partner, Horn Glass Industries was the one that built Oluwa Glass and now they are coming now to build a new green field glass factory and because it is a joint venture and we have an SPV, Special Purpose Vehicle to drive it.
“It will create a lot of employment, we can talk of investment value that is worth over 160billion that is coming to the State. It will also have other multiplier effects within the State, it is going to enhance our economy, it is going to create job employment, expand our revenue business.
He added that “It is a great deal that is actually coming to the State. And going through their profiles, they have the technical expertise. That is why we are talking of project reference that Oluwa Glass developed over 30 years ago which is going to be built again with newer technology, with a better approach. So, it is a good deal for the State”.