Flour Mills Nigeria at the weekend ramped up its Backward Integration Programme (BIP) in the in-country production of sugar, with the signing of a $300 million deal with the Nasarawa state government, north-central Nigeria.
At the event which witnessed the presence of the Governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule, his colleague from Borno state, Prof. Umar Zulum and the Governor of Kwara state, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the company disclosed that the project would be located on 20,450 hectares of land.
The project sited at Umaisha Development Area of Toto local council, was expected to commence immediately with land preparation, including surveys and other initial designs, while the plan is to develop up to 15,000 hectares of sugar cane and construction of a sugar mill after preliminary works.
In his remarks, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the company, Mr. Boye Olusanya, noted that flour mills will embark on construction of schools, recreational facilities and several other amenities as part of its corporate responsibility to its hosts.
As of 2019, sugar consumption in Nigeria stood at 1.4 million tonnes, production was at 38,597 tonnes, while the country imported 1.36 million tonnes during the period to augment local production.
Olusanya stated that since 1978, when the company acquired a 10,000-hectare farm in Kaboji, Niger state, it has continued to demonstrate its commitment to harnessing the nation’s resources.
“As part of our contribution to the backward integration strategy of the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), we are expanding our investments in the Backward Integration Plan (BIP) with the acquisition of 20,450 hectares of land in Nasarawa State.
“This is of course in addition to our already bourgeoning investments at Sunti, Niger state, which is by the way, on record as being the first greenfield investment under the national sugar master plan that is currently producing raw sugar,” he stated.
The company expressed commitment to the success of the NSMP and sought the backing of the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment as well as the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) by pursuing more enabling policies.
Sule, in his comments, said the agreement was in fulfilment of his earlier promise to push for the industrialisation of Nasarawa during his inauguration two years ago.
He explained that the sugar company would stimulate economic activities, generate employment and bring development to the state and advised flour mills to ensure employment opportunities for the people of the state.
“This event is perfectly in line with our resolve and our investment drive to create wealth and ensure employment for our citizens as well as to transform the state into an investment haven where industries are easily set up and run efficiently,” he said.
The governor revealed that several security agencies are currently located in the local government where the project is being located promising to ensure that persons who will work on the project are secure.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment and former Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, while speaking, lauded the state government for keying into the diversification drive of the federal government.
He called on other state governors to emulate Sule in order to make the country self-sufficient, and transform the country to a major exporter of agricultural products.
Abdulrasaq also praised the backward integration policy of the federal government, noting that the state is also expanding its sugar refinery located in Bacita in line with the plan.
Zulum, who also spoke at the event, expressed hope that the project would create jobs and economic growth that would support Nigeria as a whole, stressing that insurgency in the north can be traced to poverty and high rate of unemployment.
Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector
Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.
The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.
“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”
He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.
The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”
The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.
“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”
The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”
OctaFX Launches Dual Life Campaign
International Forex broker, OctaFX has launched a socially conscious marketing campaign called Dual Life aimed at simplifying forex trading and helping Nigerians create wealth.
A statement by the organisation on Monday said that the marketing campaign would celebrate the superpowers of Nigerians who committed their time and efforts to two or more jobs and were successful at each one of them.
It stated that the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign had influencers in the Nigerian lifestyle and entertainment space such as Toke Makinwa, Bovi, Denola Grey, Timini Egbuson, and others at the core of the engagements, establishing the other sides of the celebrities and influencers as entrepreneurs.
While speaking about the campaign, the Marketing Manager, EMEA, OctaFX, Ali Nwadike said, “We wanted to position forex trading as that activity young Nigerians and everyone else, can engage in, even while focusing on their careers.
“From findings, most young Nigerians today work two or more jobs to pay the bills and attain financial freedom. But, we don’t get to talk about this often or appreciate the efforts, hence the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign.
“While some see their jobs as a burden, we want people to see it as an achievement; and promote the school of thought that says one, two, many jobs is not bad especially when you are trying to create wealth.”
Nwadike added that more Nigerians would be exposed to the beauty of keeping their regular jobs and careers while making more money from forex trading with the OctaFX Trading App.
The statement also affirmed that OctaFX had made necessary arrangements from assembling forex experts and compiling training guides in the simplest and relatable form.
AfDB Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as its Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development. The appointment becomes effective from July 1, 2021.
A statement explained that Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior-level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.
Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
“In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 US government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty.
“She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene,” the statement added.
President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said he was delighted to appoint Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
“Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries,” he added.
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