Bad roads hurting manufacturers in Agbara, Ota clusters
by ODINAKA ANUDU
February 12, 2018 | 12:37 am| | | Start Conversation
Ogun State is currently seen as Nigeria’s number one industrial hub, but poor state of roads at Agbara and Ota are hurting manufacturers that are based in the two clusters.
Manufacturers told Real Sector Watch last week that major roads at Agbara, including the one from Agbara Junction to the industrial estate, are bad and need urgent fixing.
Speaking at the commissioning of Beloxxi Industries’ expansion projects at Agbara, Obi Ezeude, CEO of the biscuit company, urged Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president, to help manufacturers at Agbara and Ota in rehabilitating the roads.
“I urge you to help us look at the roads in Agbara and Otta axis,” Ezeude said.
Okechukwu Enalamah, minister of industry, trade and investment, answered by stating that one of the reasons why the Federal Government set up the Industrial Council was to help manufacturers proffer solutions to a myriad of challenges, including working together to rehabilitate ailing roads such as those in the two areas.
Agbara hosts many manufacturing companies such as Beloxxi Industries, Procter & Gamble, GZ Industries Limited, Sunsteel, Unilever, Nestlé, and Beta Glass, among others. Similarly, Ota plays host to many manufacturing concerns, including Shongai Technologies Limited, Cway Food and Beverages, May & Baker Nigeria, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Drugfield Pharmaceuticals, Alumax Industries Ltd, De-United Foods Industries Limited, and Nigerian Breweries, among many others.
Ogun State’s government data say that over 140 manufacturers set up factories in the state within the last seven years.
A three-year data compiled by Real Sector Watch from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) surveys (2014-2017) show that Ogun is elbowing Lagos in terms of new manufacturing investments.
Ogun has over 70 percent share of manufacturing investments in the country within the three-year period.
Amid the new investments coming into Ogun, manufacturers say that Ogun, being the chief tax collector at Agbara and Ota, should easily have rehabilitated the roads.
“Why is somebody talking to Osinbajo about the roads which could easily be repaired by the state government?” a senior executive in a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) firm located at Agbara, asked while speaking with this newspaper.
“The state government should be able to repair these roads to enable us reduce our logistics costs,” the executive said in anonymity.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of 36 states in Nigeria early in 2017. The data dealt with IGR collected by states between January and June of 2016.
Lagos was highest with IGR totalling N150.59 billion. Lagos was followed by Ogun State, which then collected N28.15 billion.
“There is no doubt that the state is doing its best in terms of attracting investors and providing rebates, but it should prioritise providing infrastructure for industrial clusters that provide most of its revenue,” another senior member of the board of a manufacturing company sited at Agbara told this newspaper.
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