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Ogun recapitalises Ilushin rubber plantation to earn more forex

Ogun recapitalises Ilushin rubber plantation to earn more forex

As part of efforts to increase exports of latex and rubber cup lumps aimed at earning foreign exchange for the Country, the government of Ogun State has moved to raise more funds for Ilushin Estate Limited, a rubber plantation, that was established in 1957 by old Western Region Government but later handed over to Ogun with creation of more States.

Ilushin Estate Limited, controlled by Ogun State Government, sits on 4,000 hectares of arable land used mainly for rubber plantations as well as other agricultural investments, and used to supply latex and rubber lumps to some tyres manufacturers such as Dunlop, Michelin, and others, but the relocation of these investors out of Nigeria, made the Ilushin Estate Limited and other rubber plantations moribund.

Meanwhile, the fiscal and financial intervention being made on Ilushin Estate Limited by Ogun State Government under the Administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun has resuscitated the Rubber Plantation, prompting the issuance of the right issue of 201,000,000 ordinary shares of N1.00 each at N2.48K per share to existing shareholders.

Speaking at the Ilushin Estate Limited Board Meeting held in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital, Bola Owotomo, Commissioner for Agriculture, declared that Ogun State Government and the existing shareholders were sourcing for more funds in order to expand the rubber plantation and other agricultural investments to earn more foreign exchange for Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.

Owotomo, who is the Chairman of Board of Directors of Ilushin Estate Limited, said “Ilushin Estate Limited has been an asset of the State Government but it has not been fully optimised for a long time and when I came on board as the General Manager of Ogun State Agricultural Development Corporation in 2020, we began a turnaround operation in Ilushin Estate Limited.

“The turnaround operation saw its profit grow from N14 million to over N120 million in just 2 years after, this despite the fact that there was no capital infusion into Ilushin Estate Limited.
We were able to pay backlogs of salaries and restructured its operations, we then realised that for us to take advantage of opportunities abound in the rubber industry and in the agric sector, we have to do what we are doing.

“This year alone, we have nursery capacity to plant 240 hectares of rubber this planting season and we intend to double the capacity by next planting season knowing full well that we should be planting 2,000 hectares of rubber within 4 years. Cup lumps are being processed and exported out of Nigeria to earn more forex.

“We don’t have end users of rubber; we don’t have Dunlop, Michelin converting cup lumps to tyres any more in Nigeria, so the cup lumps are being processed and exported to foreign countries, thereby improving forex inflows into Nigeria.”