By Abu Nmodu, Minna
President Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, yesterday disclosed that the company will invest 450 million dollars in agriculture development in Niger State over the next three years
Dangote who gave the hint at the 2017 Niger State Investment Summit in Minna, Niger State capital, said the funds will be used in establishing a large scale rice processing mill to process over 200, 000 metric tonnes of paddy rice.
He said that a state-of-the-art fully integrated sugar refining industry would also be established.
His words: “The Dangote Group is committed to invest around 450million dollars over the three next years to establish a large scale rice processing mill for out growers.
“Our company is also establishing a state of the art fully integrated sugar industry involving the development of over 30,000 hectares of sugar cane plantation and the production of about 500, 000 metric tonnes of refined sugar.
“We are very excited about these investments and look forward to kick starting this mutually beneficial partnership with the government and good people of Niger State.”
Dangote who was represented by Alhaji Mansur Ahmed noted that the company also planned to invest over one billion dollars in agricultural production and processing of selected commodities like sugar, rice and tomatoes across the country.
According to him, Niger has become the destination of choice for investment in the agricultural sector given its rich and vast arable land.
He said that the company was poised to leverage on that toward a virile agriculture based economy.
Dangote said that the group would also continue to engage governments at the federal and state levels where there were great potential to explore investment opportunities.
The Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Mrs Ramatu Yardua said the aim of the summit was to market the state as an investment destination in agriculture considering its enormous potential which were largely untapped.
Yardua said that agriculture was key to moving the country out of recession, adding that the state was committed to creating a conducive and enabling environment for would be investors.
On his part, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said that Niger has the capacity to produce assorted food crops that will feed the African continent.
Osinbajo said this when he declared open a two-day Niger State Economic Submit.
He commended the state governor, Gov. Abubakar Bello for organising the conference, noting that it would assist in attracting various investors, especially in the agricultural sector.
The acting president called on state governments to assist farmers with alternative sources of power, to enable them to process and preserve their farm produce.
He said that the federal government was ready to partner with state governments willing to rehabilitate federal infrastructure in their areas.
“Niger State Government is collaborating with the Federal Government to complete Baro Port”, the acting president said.
Osinbajo said that such projects would create enabling environment for business activities to thrive in the national economy.
He said that Niger was hosting three major hydro dams, adding that renewable energy was the way forward to increase the capacity of villagers and farmers for agricultural investment.
Osinbajo added that there was also the need to improve on roads infrastructure for enhanced agricultural development in the state.
Earlier, Governor Bello said that the state had large deposits of natural resources ranging from hydro carbon at the Bida Basin, gold, copper, tin, iron ore,tantalite, Kaoline and clay.
He said the potentials in the mining sector were wholly untapped and open for investment.