Ewu Flour Mill, a giant in deep slumber


Ewu Flour Mill, a giant in deep slumber

The Ewu Flour Mill originally known as Bendel Feed and Flour Mill (BFFM) now Prime Feed and Flour Mill is the largest production factory in the entire Bendel State now Edo and Delta States.

Established in 1984 as part of the economic master plan of Prof Ambrose Alli, former Governor of Bendel State, the Ewu Flour Mill popularly called Gidan Flour by the northerners was the economic center of attraction in the entire Esanland outside the University in Ekpoma. It was later Otibhor Okhae Hospital was established to further provide jobs for Esan people.

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It’s main products, the Ivory Flour and Guinea Feed was the best in Nigeria far ahead the Golden Penny Flour by Nigerian Flour Mills. It operated depots across the regions in Nigeria as far as Sokoto and Maiduguri.

In it’s golden era, Ewu Flour Mill provided thousands of direct and indirect employment for production and management personnel. European and other Nationals worked and resided in Ewu and it was like having a mini Europe in Esanland.

Business were booming and landlords and business owners were all smilling to banks.

But today the story is different. The once bubbling production factory, having the only skyscraper building in the entire Esan and Afemai Land is now a complete shadow of itself.

Production came to a halt 5 years ago and later the factory was rented out to Grand Cereals, a small old factory in Jos which was a supplier of raw materials to Ewu Flour Mill.

Between a period of two years, grand Cereals engaged in some kind of seasonal productions activities. To some extent their seasonal production was like a half bread which was better than none compared to the present situation of the world class factory which is now completely left to wrought in the bush without maintenance since a son of the soil investor and evangelist, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome bought over control of the factory and renamed it Prime Feed and Flour Mills.

Hopes were heightened when the man of God bought over the factory some few years ago. Because to some quarters, the fall of the great factory was not ordinary. It has something to do with the spiritual and thus the taking over by a great man of God should turn things around for good.

Three years going yet the factory still remain in locks without hope on the part of the people whose life and economic survival depends on the factory.

Some opinion leaders in Esan argues that since he has bought over the place that he can decide to do whatever he likes with the place. He can even turn it to a crusade ground if he likes. Then what comes to mind is that one, there are good strategic land pastor Chris should have acquired from the elders for crusade ground and even for a private university in Ewu.

From what we heard during the bids or pricing by intended buyers including Dangote and others, Pastor Chris priced higher than other intended buyers because of his childhood marvel of the great sight of the world class factory in his home town of Ewu when he visited village from Benin City in the 80s. According to the unverfied statement, Pastor Chris as a child was told by his mother that he will one day buy the great factory.

These are some of the reasons he Pastor Chris should make the factory work to fulfill his childhood dream. His mother did not wish him to bury billions of naira in a locked up and bushy facility. This is not possibly the dream of his mother for him and the old factory.

And beside, Ewu Flour Mill is the soul of Ewu. Imagine Auchi Town without the Polytechnic and Ekpoma without AAU.

Ewu and Esan people look forward in faith and prayers to a day when the company will be functioning again as it used to be. It will not be easy to get such a giant project in Esan land in the nearest future thus the need to guide what we have jealously and with passion. Because a bird in hand worth more than millions in the bush.

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