The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote, were among high-profile names who pledged support as the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, inaugurated West Africa’s first fibre optic factory.
The factory, built by Coleman Technical Industries Limited, in collaboration with an American firm, Fibre Business, EMEA, is the fifth of its kind on the African continent.
Speaking at the inauguration of the facility held in Ogun State on Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of CTIL, George Onafowokan, described the project as a response to the call by the Federal Government for rapid development of digitalisation penetration in Nigeria and the drive for local content development.
He also appreciated the government of Ogun State for its support in the course of erecting the facility.
Onafowokan said, “I must admit that it has not been an easy task to maneuver the processes of approval through our board of directors and our financial institutions led by Bank of Industry, which played a major role from conceptualisation of this project to its commissioning being witnessed today.”
On his part, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, lauded the Coleman CEO for the courage to embark on the project despite the daunting challenges being faced by manufacturers at the moment.
Abiodun said, “We are, as a state government, elated to be part of this history. We are the first state to manufacture fibre optic cable in Nigeria. Let me say that what we are witnessing today is another example of numerous developments happening in different parts of our state, and these are no coincidences. They are all results of our deliberate, strategic and methodical approach to governance.
“This is underscored by our vision, which remains to provide an enabling environment for performing private sector partnerships, which we believe is fundamental to the development of this state. In our administration, we have absolute faith in the ability of the private sector to give impetus to the socio-economic development of our state and our country.”
Abiodun further stated that his administration would continue to provide support and impetus to private enterprises in the quest to boost industrialisation and create employment opportunities for the people.
On his part, Adebayo, who was represented by the Director, Industrial Development Department of the Ministry, Mr Adewale Bakare, said the newly commissioned factory had finally positioned the company to meet the demand for cables and wire in Nigeria
He said, “This factory is for the production of signal-transmitting cables for telecommunications for both commercial and industrial uses. This is indeed a commendable achievement for the board, staff and management of Coleman Technical Industries Limited. The company and its products have become a household name in Nigeria. The expansion of your factory, from electrical wires and cables to the production of fibre optic cables is a confirmation of your confidence in the industrialisation drive of the Nigerian Federal Government.”
In the same vein, Wabote hailed Coleman for its backward integration policy of making use of locally sourced materials for production needs.
US Ambassador to Nigeria, Marybeth Leonard, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, were also special guests at the event.