Largest bitumen plant in the world

The proposed plan by Owena Bitumen Exploration Nigeria Limited to invest in the vast bitumen deposit in Ondo state has sparked mixed reactions. Led by Musa Ibrahim Mantu, the company’s management visited Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to unveil their intention to invest a billion dollars in exploring the mineral deposits.

Largest bitumen plant
Largest bitumen plant

The team, comprising expatriates from Italy and France, specializes in mining, refining, and processing bitumen and other related resources. Their primary objective is to explore bitumen in Ondo State, with plans already underway for the construction of a processing plant in Ijebu Ode, projected to be the largest in the world.

Governor Aiyedatiwa expressed openness to offering incentives to attract both local and foreign investments into the state’s economy, emphasizing the state’s abundant natural and mineral resources. With plans for infrastructure development and the establishment of a deep-sea port, the state aims to create a conducive environment for investors.

However, some locals, like Olujimi Adekanle from the Ikale community, have raised concerns about the company’s proposal. Adekanle alleged that the company may have ulterior motives, particularly regarding the location of the processing plant in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, instead of in Ikaleland where the bitumen is being explored.

He argued that transporting bitumen to a processing plant in another state would be impractical, emphasizing the need for local involvement and consultation with affected communities. Adekanle expressed skepticism about the company’s intentions, highlighting past instances where promises of bitumen exploration led to disappointment for the Ikale people.

In conclusion, while the proposed investment presents opportunities for economic growth, it also raises valid concerns about transparency, community involvement, and the equitable distribution of benefits from bitumen exploration in Ondo state.

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