The modern shops known as the Heritage and Cocoa Malls was located inside the Cocoa House in Ibadan and was opened on Thursday.
At the opening ceremony, which was witnessed by the representatives of the Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun and Osun state governments; Chairman, Kakanfo Inn, Dr. Lekan Are; and past chairmen of the company, among other guests, the host and Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said his administration had created the environment for peace, which was necessary for business activities to thrive.
The Heritage Mall, built at the cost of N2bn, was wholly financed by Odu’a Investment Limited, while the Cocoa Mall, built at the cost of N1bn, was developed in partnership with Top Services Limited.
The Managing Director, Odu’a Investment, Mr. Adebayo Jimoh, said the development of the malls was necessary because of the need to satisfy many people in the state, who regularly spent their time and money to travel to Lagos and even abroad for shopping.
“Of particular interest are some expatriates here in Ibadan, who travel with police escorts for their weekend shopping,” he said.
Jimoh added that the malls met the standards obtained in the developed countries, which explained the presence of international brands at the arena.
He also said the projects had created more than 2,000 jobs, and gave an indication of the opening of a similar mall by the company in Apapa, Lagos next June.
Ajimobi said that his government would continue to partner the private sector, international and donor agencies to develop the state, adding that the opening of the malls was in consonance with his transformation agenda.
“I have the belief that there will be a replication of these malls in the remaining states that own the company,” he said.