Abuja - South African investors outlined plans to set up an ethanol refinery in Edo State.
Mxolisi Mbetse, Executive Chairman of Industrial Development Holding disclosed such plans during a courtesy visit to Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
“What we want to do in Edo State in the next five to ten years is to completely eliminate the importation of palm oil. We want to ensure that Nigeria becomes the next exporter of not only palm oil, sugar but also ethanol. I was in Brazil and was amazed at the way they used technology to produce ethanol where today Brazil produces billions of ethanol,” Mbetse said.
He told the governor that Edo State was well-endowed with abundant agriculture and natural resources that could sustain industrialization and industrial growth, not only in the state and the geo-political zone but the entire country.
According to Mbetse, the state’s raw material potentialities and the infrastructure already put in place by the government attracted his business conglomerate to come and cite a refinery that would produce and process ethanol using palm-oil and sugar-cane.
He said the large availability of raw materials coupled with the state’s ready labour force would further enhance the industrial base of the state and its output.
“When you look at the issue of agriculture and how important it is to Nigeria and the strategic nature of Edo State, it becomes very necessary that all hands must be put on deck to improve the lives of the people. What we need to do is to, within a foreseeable future, use renewable energy and ethanol is the most important component of this renewable energy. There is no other place to do that than Edo State when you look at the infrastructure that the government has done. The strategic importance of Edo gives me hope that when I look at Edo it is the right place to put up this investment in terms of where you can produce what to be consumed. In terms of where to produce enough sugar, palm oil to be consumed locally, Nigeria is a place to be. You don’t have to go to India or China. Nigeria is our China. It is not just to produce sugar and export it to China. We have to produce and refine,” said Mbetse.
Oshiomhole said the state government was clear on its plans to improve the GDP of the state, saying putting infrastructure in place without attracting the right investors would yield very little.
“We are clear that our responsibility is to encourage business that are pro-people that give the people a sense of ownership. Agriculture offers us a unique opportunity to a make a difference,”
– CAJ News