Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Nigeria’s former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said the future of the country’s economy looks very bright inspite of the present challenges it is going through.
He said investment in agriculture and allied business is probably the answer to the puzzle on how to get the country out of her addiction to fossil fuels, and over-reliance on rent-seeking enterprises. The former Vice President spoke yesterday in Abuja at the ground-breaking of an animal feeds factory, Rico Gado Nutrition, Nigeria.
Speaking on the viability of the agro-business enterprise, Atiku, said from the experience he has gained in previous venture, agriculture is a key ingredient for unlocking our nation’s future fortunes, adding that it is an opportunity to change the way we Nigerians look at our economy and agriculture.
“Despite the doubts about our economy because of current challenges, we are confident about Nigeria’s future and about our future. I think I speak for my partners in this joint venture when I say: We know what we are getting into, and we’re doing it because we believe in Nigeria, because we believe that Nigeria will overcome its current difficulties, because we believe our nation will change for the better,” he said.
Atiku noted that in spite of cynicism surrounding the establishment of agro-allied industries, he had decided to go into the venture because of his firm belief “that agriculture is a key ingredient in our nation’s future fortunes. I’m proud that today, we’re taking another small step on our long walk to a more diversified, more productive, and more competitive economy.”
The Director of J. Silva Group, partners in the Animal feed project, Joao Barreiro Silva said the Abuja factory is expected to be constructed within thirty-two weeks.
He explained that it would be producing over one hundred (120) metric tonnes of assorted livestock feeds, per annum, meaning 50 tonnes per hour.
“This is in realisation of the huge potential of the Nigerian economy, the largest in Africa. In particular, Rico Gado recognised the flourishing economy of Nigeria which offers several opportunities in Agriculture.”
He said the Abuja plant is expected to attend to the feeds supplement of livestock within the FTC; Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi and Benue States of the Federation.