John Shiklam in Kaduna
Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and the Governor of
the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Friday
performed the ground breaking ceremony for the establishment of a
Potato Farm and Processing falicity worth $120 million in Manchok,
Kaura local government area of the state.
The project, jointly initiated by the state government and Vicampros
Farms Limited, is said to be the biggest potato plant in sub-Sahara
Africa, cultivating 10,000 hectares of land and is expected to
generate 30,000 job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.
Speaking during the ceremony, El-Rufai said the project is very
important to the state as it will create jobs and stimulate a chain
of economic activities that will impact positively on the economic
development of the state and the nation.
He said, Vicampro is not only going to process potato that will serve
local demand; it is also primed for export of its products, thereby
earning foreign exchange for the country.
He noted that Kaduna state is blessed with abundant natural
resources, adding that the government had introduced flexible policies
that will encourage investors.
“We have arable land, and a tradition of farming. Agriculture is a
sphere of comparative advantage for us; and we are promoting
agriculture in our drive to diversify the economy of the state.
“In our determination to generate jobs and reduce our reliance on the
Federal Government for revenues, we have initiated investor-friendly
policies in Kaduna state. We want businesses to feel safe bringing
their investments to Kaduna state. That is why we organised the Kaduna
Economic Summit (KADInvest) between 6th and 7th April, 2016, to
showcase the numerous opportunities and potentials of the state and
how ready Kaduna is for investment” the governor said.
He said with the flexible policies in place, Kaduna is becoming a
much easier place to do business as the state government’s efforts
have already started yielding positive results.
“We have Olam of Singapore investing $150 Million to build the
largest integrated Poultry and Feed Mill in Nigeria. Similarly,
Dangote Group is investing in a 7000-hectare tomato farm and
aprocessing plant in Kaduna state” he said.
According to El-Rufai, Kaduna need of investments in order to create
wealth and jobs so as to tackle the menace of poverty that has
blighted too many lives and inclined many to succumb to machinations
of division, hate and mischief.
He called on host communities in the area to be peaceful as no
investor will want to do business in an atmosphere of insecurity and
urged them to support Vicampro Farms Limited for the project to
become a reality.