By Temitope Mosadomi

 A cross-section of residents of Oko-Ogbomoso wants the Oyo State Government to revive the moribund fruit juice factory in the ancient community as the new cashew harvesting season approaches.

They made the call while speaking with Radio Nigeria on the abandonment of the state-owned fruits factory in Oko, Surulere Local Government Area of the state.

 The Oyo State Fruits Juice Factory was established by the defunct Western Region administration in Oko, Surulere Local Government Area shares boundaries with agrarian communities of Ifelodun and Orolu Local Governments of Osun State, Asa Local Government in Kwara State, Orire, Ogbomoso North and South Local Governments of Oyo State. 

Perhaps the main economic and occupation of the people of the area, farming and the expanse of arable land made the old western state government establish the factory to extract and process cashew juice and nuts for export and local consumption. 

However, the old money-spinning factory has since been abandoned by successive administrations in Oyo State but Governor Seyi Makinde’s visit and relaunch of the factory three years ago brought relief to the people of the area. 

Speaking on the development, a community leader, Mr. Nurudeen Tiamiyu, said a timely resuscitation of the juice factory would provide employment opportunities for the teeming youths and young graduates in the state.    

In his contribution, Mr. Taofeek Yakub, a stakeholder, who explained that the fruits factory was established for the socio-economic growth of the people and the state, pleaded with Governor Makinde to come to the rescue of the unemployed youths in Surulere local Government and other neighbouring councils.

Mr Yakub also reminded the present administration that the resuscitation of the fruit factory would go a long way in repositioning the economy of the state.

On the current state of the old fruit juice factory, a businesswoman, Mrs Alice Akinola expressed dismay and implored the government to bring the operation of the factory under public/private sector partnership for better investment returns.

A former federal lawmaker, Mr. Banji Folaranmi in a remark, observed that the factory was initially meant to add value to Oko township and neighbouring communities, regretting that its sustainability for the economic development of the state had remained a mirage.           

 Mr. Folaranmi appealed to the people of the state, especially residents of Oko, to exercise more patience and cooperate with the present administration to enjoy more dividends of democracy.

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