Abuja - A private firm, Roots Biochemical
Products Limited, has begun plans to establish a 120 million dollar (N22.8
billion) cassava farm and processing plant in Edo.
The prospector for the project, Mr Franz Swanepoel,
announced this in Abuja on Thursday during a visit to the Executive Secretary,
Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs Uju Hassan-Baba.
Swanepoel said that 80 million dollars of the amount would
be invested in a maltose syrup factory while 40 million dollars would go into
He stated that the project would provide direct employment
for over 5,000 skilled and semi-skilled Nigerians, including engineers,
biochemists, agronomists, technicians and farmers.
According to him, the facility will also engage thousands
more as out growers for the production of cassava feed-stock for the factory.
Swanepoel cited the huge market and government’s current
emphasis on the agricultural sectors as the two major factors that informed the
company’s choice to invest in the country.
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He said the project would take off in 2016 after conclusion
of due diligence by the company.
Swanepoel added that he was at the NIPC to avail the company
of the commission’s investment facilitation services to make the process hitch
Responding, the NIPC Executive Secretary, Hassan-Baba
commended the firm for showing interest in the country’s agriculture sector,
which she said was a priority for the current administration.
The Hassan-Baba expressed delight by the value addition
component of the project with huge potential for job and wealth creation,
technology transfer and other deliverables.
She commended the team for making the NIPC its first port of
call, noting that the commission was the only government investment promotion
and facilitation agency in the country.
"I can assure you that all the information and relevant
services you need to operate can be provided here. NIPC will shepherd you
through the entire process.
"You do not need to physically visit other relevant
government agencies because they all have desk officers here in our one-stop
shop in this building,’’ she said.
Hassan-Baba highlighted some of the incentives offered by
the federal and state governments for investors in the agricultural sector, and
urged the company to access them.
She also assured the team of transparency by government,
noting that it would not experience any corruption related issue given the
current fight against the menace.