Text of the Address by His Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria at the Commissioning Ceremony of Gossy Water Plant at Ikogosi Ekiti.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to the commissioning of Gossy Water plant. This is yet another milestone in our determined efforts to revive moribund projects in Ekiti State. I am particularly excited about this development because of its expected multiplier effects on the economic lives of the people and governance in the State. I therefore congratulate Ekiti-Kete, home and abroad, for the restoration of this company, which is an offshoot of one of our most prominent tourist attractions, the Ikogosi warm springs.
In the ranks of all bottled water in Nigeria, Gossy water of Ekiti state is the only water that passes through countless layers of rock from the aquifer of Natural Springs of Ikogosi, which acts as natural filter before it passes through industrial micro filters, without chemical treatment or additives to enhance the quality or formation. It is pertinent therefore that such gift of nature should not be left untapped.
You will recall that Gossy Water was established as a Joint Business Venture between Ekiti State Government, some private investors and United African Company (UAC), during the time of Governor Adeniyi Adebayo in office. The investments yielded positive turnaround as Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort was the tourist centre of choice for people from far and near, while Gossy Water also made waves in the market thereby boosting the IGR of the State and creating job opportunities for our people.
During our first term in office, we built on the gains made by previous administration by ensuring enabling environment. Electricity supply to power the company was never a problem. Ikogosi Ekiti, the host community of this natural treasure, like many other communities, benefited from the rural electrification project during my first term. It is on record that we restored and extended electricity to many towns across the length and breadth of Ekiti State, and this made running of business easier. We also rebuilt the resort into a world class standard.
It is highly regrettable today that the investments, which could have been generating revenues for the State, went moribund due to lack of conducive environment for ease of doing business in Ekiti State when we left office in 2014.
The result of the neglect is here for us to see. Many will also recall that I visited this moribund plant the day after my inauguration and pledged that this factory will come back to life in the shortest possible time. This is therefore a promise fulfilled and I want to commend the investor, SARO Africa International who worked with government to make our promise a reality.
Even, Ikogosi Warm Springs Resorts has now become the ghost of its former self and hardly enjoys patronage because of its state of dilapidation. However, I assure you all that this administration will ensure that the Resort bounces back and it will be celebrated soon just like we are doing for Gossy Water today. Our focus is to return the Resorts to its pride of place as a first class tourist destination in Africa and make the bottled water one of the best in Nigeria.
All the State investments that were up and running before we left office in 2014, are either in a state of comatose now or no longer in existence, while many existing private businesses folded up due to harsh business condition and environment.
Ladies and gentlemen, history is being made today and I am sure this will excite every well-meaning Ekiti son and daughter. In our quest to ensure smooth running of the company, we have so far solved the power problem in Ikogosi and its environs, fixed the failed portion of the roads to ensure good road network for ease of delivery of products, and made provision for standby security post to ensure adequate security for the environs in general. I am happy to tell you that we have provided an enabling environment for business to thrive without hitches.
As a government, we have mapped out strategic and plans towards the resuscitation of other abandoned and moribund investments in the State. We are also determined to improve ease of doing business in Ekiti State by ensuring that enabling environment is guaranteed. In this regard, we are institutionalising investment promotion with the establishment of Investment Promotion Agency in the State by law and the same time restructuring the Investment Arm of Government, Fountain Holdings Ltd.
Let me at this juncture congratulate SARO Africa International for taking over the Gossy water plant and I can assure you that as a government, we are going to support and patronize you. As you must have seen, the host community is friendly and the people are happy to have you in their midst.
Let me also appreciate the efforts of Fountain Holdings team through its Managing Director who has been working assiduously with the entire crew of SARO Africa International Ltd, to ensure that Gossy Water is revived. I know they wont rest on their oars in getting Fountain Holdings back to its place of pride.
Ladies and gentlemen, on this note, it is my pleasure and honour to commission the production plant of the revitalized Gossy Water, to the glory of God and benefit of mankind.
Thanks and God bless you all.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON