By McPhilips Nwachukwu
Ososa is not one of the largest towns in Ogun State, nay Nigeria. But it has for long been registered in the consciousness of many people within and outside Nigeria. A legend transported it onto the lips of millions of people. That was the great dramatist, Hubert Ogunde, who ruled the stage for decades before he passed on in 1990.
While the memory still lingers, a crop of businessmen is poised to boost the profile of the town near Ijebu Ode. Led by Ikorodu, Lagos State_born economist and investor, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, they have partnered with some foreign investors to establish a mega cassava factory worth a billion naira in Ososa.
On the board of directors are Alhaji Suleiman Adegunwa, Engineer YemisiÂ Shyllon, Mr. Sola Ajayi and the GTBank, which is also an investor in the form of loan it gave and equity it holds in the firm.Â Leading the foreign partners is a South African expert married to a Thai, Mr. Luow Burger, who is the managing director.
When Thai Farm was commissioned in Ososa on Thursday, April 29th, eminent personalities trooped to the town, with drums, songs and tributes loud in the air. Obas, chiefs, village heads, leaders of farmersâ€™ unions and youths from the town and neighbouring ones were present in a large number.
While many expatriates rose to celebrate with the factoryâ€™s management, Ogun State Governor, Otunba GbengaÂ Dniel, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaja Salmot Badru, commended Gbadamosi and his colleagues for setting up the business there.
The deputy governor, who was accompanied by other officials that included the stateâ€™s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Tunji Akinese, assured the companyâ€™s management of the support of the Gbenga Daniel administration.
Thaiâ€™s vision, she explained, was in line with the governmentâ€™s policy to provide employment for the youths, while also liberating its agric sector. Apart from being used as an additive to wheat by flour millers, cassava flour is also used for in the production of biscuits, sausages and other types of snacks.
In an interview with journalists, Shyllon explained that bakeries also use it in bread production.â€œIn homes, it is used for foofoo while it is also used for glue in the carton industry,â€ Shyllon said.
On the role of the Thai in the business, he noted that Thailand was well known for the production of starch, cassava flour and other related products.
Highly fulfilled BurgerÂ saidÂ theÂ company would bring rapid development to farmers, from whom it would be buying cassava tubers on a daily basis.
According to him, Thai Farm has been envisioned to expand rapidly, adding thatÂ the support heÂ has enjoyed from the community had rekindled his vision for rapidly growing the organisation.
He, however, noted that it would maximise the energy and creativity of the youth in implementing its agenda.
Burger said, â€œToday is a very special day for me. A dream has grown into reality. Not long ago, this place was a bush so thick that none of us would be able to enter it. But Thai Farm is an organisation young in heart.
It is going to focus on the young ones because the future belongs to them. In the next 55 months, Thai Farm will be able to spend up to N4m to farmers, in terms of amount of cassava purchased from them, everyday.â€
The compere at the ceremony was a comedian, Kofi, who cracked several jokes that made all and sundry laugh.Â But a cultural organisations and two musical bands also performed before Burger took the guests on tour of the facilities at the factory.