IWOPIN PAPER MILL MUST BE REVIVED -REP BALOGUN
Abiodun Abudu Balogun, representing Ogun Waterside / Ijebu North/Ijebu East Constituency in the House of Representatives, has said if care was not taken, the multi-billion naira Nigerian Pulp and Paper Mill, Iwopin, Ogun State, may be consigned to the waste bin.
The paper mill was established by the Murtala/Obasanjo administration in 1976 while the Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company, Oku-Iboku, Akwa Ibom State, was established by the Babangida regime but all have gone comatose. Balogun urged the Federal Government to resuscitate the paper mill in the interest of creating jobs.
According to him, the mill would have cushioned the effect of overdependence on imported papers especially by the media industry. He said the project had suffered so many setbacks and neglect by subsequent administrations in the country.
He disclosed that he had established contacts with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the core investor, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, to bring back the paper mill to life. He said the core investor had expressed his readiness to withdraw all the litigations on the matter provided the BPE was ready to fulfil its own part of the bargain towards ensuring that the paper mill is resuscitated.
He enjoined all the stakeholders, the Newspapers Proprietors' Association of Nigerian (NPAN), Nigeria Press Council, the host community and the Federal Government to work together to ensure that the mill is back on the stream:
'The Nigerian press, which is supposed to be the major beneficiary of that project, is also losing. All of us must work together to ensure that the project comes on stream. I got in touch with the BPE and they told me that the issue is already receiving maximum attention. I wrote to Vice President Nnamadi Sambo who is the chairman of the Nigerian Council on Privatisation that oversees the affairs of BPE in July, 2011and I have an assurance that he will act on it.'