The future looks rosy for shareholders of Union Dicon Salt Plc as the company has become the core investor in the $100 million Alape Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) in Kogi State. Union Dicon Salt replaces Cargill, a United States based agro-industrial giant.
Already the chief executives of Union Dicon Salt have held a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh in Abuja. According to statement from Union Dicon Salt, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had approved the take-over.
Speaking after a meeting with Union Dicon Salt officials, Ogbeh said:
“I am glad to see that a Nigerian company is taking over this very important project, and is championing the indigenous development of agribusiness. We are not going to engage in policy somersault. We are carrying on with the great idea of SCPZ and we are adding even greater ideas. We are carrying on as we now produce what we call the green alternative: that alternative being agriculture, since oil and gas are unstable sources of income.”
Chuka Mordi and Bex Nwawudu of Union Dicon Salt Plc, who met with the minister, thanked him for his support in taking over the Alape project valued at $100 million. With this, Union Dicon will be cultivating Cassava on 30,000 hectares of land in Alape, Kogi State.
Speaking on the development, Mordi said:
“It is a remarkable opportunity to develop the agribusiness space in Nigeria from a fully indigenous perspective. Union Dicon is listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and it is a wholly Nigerian company. We are grateful for the support given by the Minister, and the Agriculture Ministry, after careful consideration of our proposal. Their detailed understanding and focus on new capital investment, import substitution and job creation really impressed us and allows Union Dicon Plc to move forward confidently in a willing and positive partnership.”
Speaking in the same vein, Nwawudu said:
“The outcome of the meeting would accelerate the progress on the Kogi State project in the next few months. We are ready to move very quickly to site.” We thank the minister for ensuring policy continuity as a priority and the need to ensure local content.”
Union Dicon Salt Plc operates in the Nigerian Consumer Goods, and Agro Industrial Sector, and is building the largest industrial starch processing facility in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, trading at the stock market remained bullish, lifting the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index to an 8-month high.
At the close of trade the NSE ASI appreciated 2.4 to close at 30,127.82 points, bringing the year-to- date gain to 5.2 per cent. Similarly, market capitalisation added N242.2 billion to close at N10.3 trillion.