Kaduna State governor,Malam Nasir El-Rufai,and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor,Godwin Emefiele performed the groundbreaking for the $120 million Vicampro Potato Farm and Processing facility in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of the state.
The biggest potato plant in sub-sahara Africa and its farm is
expected to cover 10,000 hectares of land and generates 30,000 job
opportunities for the teaming unemployed youths.
Performing the ceremony, El-Rufai, said to open Kaduna to business
and investment world,the state worked with the State House of Assembly
to pass a law that established the Kaduna State Investment Promotion
Agency (KADIPA) as an agency that coordinates activities towards
attracting and promoting investment in the state.
The governor noted that,the project is not only going to supply the
local demand; as 60 per cent of the French fries to be processed will
be for markets outside the country.El-Rufai said: “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.
“Today Kaduna is becoming a much easier place to do business and our
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 a processing plant in
El-Rufai added: “Through this Public-Private-Partnership, thousands of
direct and indirect jobs will be created to reduce the high rate of
unemployment and roll back poverty. We need investments across our
state, to create wealth and jobs and conclusively defeat the poverty
that has blighted too many lives and inclined many to succumb to
machinations of division, hate and mischief” .
El-Rufai also appealed to the host community to support and cooperate
with Vicampro to pave way for the attainment of its mission.
Also speaking at the event, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN),Mr. Godwin Emefiele, lamented the drop in oil prices, which he
said had drastically affected the Country’s economy.
According to CBN governor: “There is therefore need for
diversification as the only alternative. What Kaduna State is doing
today is what we want at this moment”.
Emefiele assured the people that the bank would collaborate with the
State government to translate the idea of economic diversification to
reality for the benefit of all.
On her part, the Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha
Abubakar, described the development as a giant stride towards moving
the economy forward.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director of Vicampro company,
Michael Agbogbo, said the company would produce French fries, Irish
flakes and biscuits for local and international consumption.