Oyo State Government has leased out the popular Agbowo Shopping Complex, adjacent to University of Ibadan, to an investor that would convert it into a premium commercial real estate and a four-star hotel.
Gov. Seyi Makinde disclosed this in Ibadan, while inaugurating the renovation and remodelling of the moribund complex in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Makinde said that his government would be collaborating with the investor, Messers Whitestone Global Limited, in the form of a long lease concession for 50 years, with a capital injection of N4.9 billion.
According to him, the only role that the government should have in business is to create a good environment and the needed support for private enterprises to thrive.
“And this is what we are doing.
“You will readily agree that the injection of N4.9 billion into Oyo State economy is an economic stimulus in the short term, which will translate to broader benefits in the long run.
“The process of selecting the concessionaires was also transparent. As everyone knows, the days of getting contracts from the government solely because a person knows the governor are in the past.
“I make bold to say that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mechanism of the state has been re-engineered for effectiveness.
“And so, in 24 months, that is 104 weeks, this complex will be ready for business. Messrs Whitestone Global Ltd. has given us this assurance,” he said.
In his address, Chief Bayo Lawal, Chairman, Oyo State Housing Corporation, said that the complex was constructed in 1984 with facilities such as 84 shopping units, 10-storey office block and banking halls.
He added that the complex had three departmental stores, cafeteria, night club, 540-seat cinema theatre and 15 groceries shops.
Lawal, however, lamented that successive administrations had neglected the complex, to the extent that it became totally moribund by 2012; thereby, fetching no revenue to the coffers of the state government.
He commended the efforts of the Makinde-administration to hand over the Agbowo complex to Whitestone Limited to undertake the renovation and management of its facilities.