That Aare Afe Babalola, the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) is a major employer of labour in the Elitist State is no longer any news but his penchant for making the youths self-reliant is worth mentioning and worthy of emulation by well-meaning entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
It is on record that Afe Babalola University reputed to be the fastest growing University in Africa employs hundreds of people and has continued to create more employment opportunities through its outlets and skills acquisition programmes.
The University has gone a step further in its effort’s to empower the teeming unemployed youths through its collaboration with the O’dua group of companies
The Odu’a group of Companies in partnership with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD), is planning an over N12 billion investment for the conversion of the Investment Holding moribund textile industry in Ado Ekiti to
Industrial Park .
As part of the salvaging steps being taken to save the assets of the factory, the institutions are also planning to establish a Vocational and Skills Centre as well as Academic Centre , where diploma in three engineering courses and Advanced level certificates within the already moribund factory.
Speaking at the formal presentation of the project design for effective utilization of the old Odu’a Textile Mills on August 22, 2017. In the talent discovery hall of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti where the event took place, ABUAD’ founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said the country was at par with Brazil and India in terms of industrial development in the 60’s.
Babalola noted that while the two other countries fought hard to sustain their industrial development strategies, Nigeria derailed and the reason which has accounted for the liquidation of some of the companies that had been in operations in the past.
“The British observed that Nigeria , India and Brazil were to join the league of advanced countries in the 60’s. But today, when the two other countries got it right and joined them, Nigeria didn’t and stressed that this is
worrisome and disturbing
According to him, We shouldn’t allow such textile mills that was the hub of Ekiti’s economy to die. But with this intervention, the factory will bounce to life by becoming an employment generation , vocational and academic centres where people would benefit.
Reacting, the GMD of Odua Conglomerate, Mr. Adewale Raji , said the factory was converted into a Skilled and Vocational Centre under the regime of Governor Kayode Fayemi, stressing that the module adopted then could not sustain the Centre as a veritable training ground for graduates and artisans.
He said the assets wasting away at the textile industry was valued at N600 million by experts, describing the scenario as dangerous to the survival of the southwest region’s economy.
Raji disclosed that a sum of N200m was expended at the time for the construction of builder mart, comprising 50 lock-up-shops and the Vocational Centre, which he said are no longer economically sustainable, stressing
“In this partnership, ABUAD is 60% shareholder while Odu’a Group has 40%. We are very optimistic about the sustainability of the Centre. It is our hope that within a short period, we would develop a reputation for
excellence through the giant strides and accomplishment of its graduates and the industrial products of the proposed Industrial Park.
“we shared the vision of three-in-one technical and vocational centre, entry level certificate and diploma awarding engineering centre and mini industrial park as contained in the proposal .
The objectives of the two partners is geared towards transforming the assets for economic and social gains and for it to become training grounds for future entrepreneurs that will be job creators”,
The director of the ABUAD Directorate of Technological Development, Prof. Adeyemi Aderoba , said with the realization of the proposal, the hitherto moribund factory will offer training in 12 courses, which he said would bear the semblance of a Technical College.
Aderoba added that the industrial park will contain 31 small scale industries with materials for most of them already produced at ABUAD.