The moribund Cocoa Processing Company in Ede, Osun state, on Thursday received a lifeline with the intervention of two Chinese firms who have promised to resuscitate the comatose industry.
This disclosure was made when the Chinese firms paid a courtesy call on the governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, at the Government House in Osogbo.
The resuscitation of the cocoa products company is expected to create jobs and generate revenue for Osun state, which has been hit by severe budget crisis that has left government workers without salaries for at least seven months.
The two China-based companies -Skyron Corporation and Golden Monkey Group of Company – promised that production will commence at the cocoa factory in the next six months.
David Shi, who led the Skyron group, said the company has been in the business of cocoa processing in the last 10 years and that their firm is similar to that of Ede.
He held that the company was sure of turning around the moribund cocoa processing company in no distant time.
According to him, “Cocoa processing industry is not a new terrain to Skyron having been engaging in similar sector and company in the last 10 years”.
“Skyron group had a turnover of $6.4billion in the year 2014 with visible investment in agriculture and construction sector established across the world including Lagos and other states in Nigeria”.
Also, the head of delegation of Golden Monkey Corporation of China, Liu Jin Hiu, assured that aside resuscitation of cocoa industry, a Confectionery Company will also be established.
Mr. Liu also added that the group was ready to embark on massive production of cassava as raw materials for the confectionery.
He said, “Golden Monkey Corporation remains the number one producer of candies and chocolate in China, reviving the cocoa processing company in Ede will not be a problem.
“The partnership with the government of Osun in reviving the cocoa project will end up being a win-win partnership project. We have several investment companies in West Africa, especially Cote D’voire with 55 additional branches throughout the world.”
In his remarks, Governor Aregbesola disclosed that the Osun state was ready to provide an enabling environment for the investors, urging them to consult him whenever they have challenges in pushing ahead the investment.
The governor, who also spoke on cassava production and processing, said the state is the largest producer of cassava in the country.
He assured that land and personnel already committed to cassava cultivation and investment are guaranteed, saying the government will look forward to a speedy revival of the cocoa processing company in Osun.
Mr. Aregbesola also advised the foreign investors to be up to date in the use of technology and equipment by replacing the obsolete machinery in the moribund company.
“We hope that with result-oriented activities and hard work, your company should hit the ground running as we are committed to ensuring that your investment will yield profit as operation commences,” the governor said.
“We desire for others what we desire for ourselves. We therefore challenge you to allow activities to start at the Cocoa processing company in Ede latest November this year.”