The Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi Sule on Tuesday commissioned a fully automated state of art agro-processing, aggregating, export and commodity trading facility built by Newpal Nigeria Limited in Keffi.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Governor Sule said the 20 tons per hour capacity industry would add value to the agricultural food supply in the country and also for export.
He added that the industry would create jobs for the citizens of the state and also improve the standard of living of the citizens.
Furthermore, the Nasarawa State Governor said “the benefits that Nasarawa State would continue to derive in investment in terms of employment generation and improvement in the living condition of the people within this establishment is enormous.”
While commending Newpal for the investment, Governor Sule said, “it is pertinent to reiterate that this administration will continue to encourage private investment and partnership towards accelerating agricultural development and industrialisation of this state.
“Let me commend Newpal for the sighting of this N1billion investment in our state, I look for to more partnerships with so many other collaborators in order to determine our economic direction in this state”.
In his address, Governor Sule said “I am informed that this industrial outfit with a capacity of 20 tons per hour was constructed by a private initiative and consists of a production facility, state of the art laboratory and other business units.”
The Managing Director of the Industry, John Samuel said the goal of Newpal is to provide food and nutrition security for all Nigerians, create employment for the youths and increase farmers’ income.
Samuel explained that an industrial hub built on the processing of commodity would deepen both intra and interstate trade, attract needed investments and make use of commodities more efficiently.
While highlighting some challenges of Nigeria’s agriculture to include; inconsistencies in government policies, high-interest rate, poor rural infrastructure, poor mechanisation support, lack of extension service providers, low productivity, multiple taxations, inaccessibility to genuine farm inputs to mention a few, he said the trading facility can be used as a manufacturing hub for the food industrial sector and export.
He however, said, “these challenges notwithstanding, Newpal management sees a ray of hope in this all-important sector because Nigeria has a total of 81 million hectares of arable land, several cubic metres of water and 200 million people to feed daily.”
The managing director while noting that Newpal is positioned to be a catalyst for economic growth to food and agricultural business in Nasarawa State, Nigeria and the world, he said the company is prepared to partner with the state and federal government to turn around the fortunes of the sector.
“It is important to also reiterate that the goal of Newpal as a corporate entity is in perfect alignment with the vision of the Government of Engr. Abdullahi Sule, one of which is to provide food and nutrition security for all Nigerians, create employment for our teeming youth, increase farmers income and more importantly to curtail post-harvest losses which have been the bane of our agricultural production in the country. Statistics show that Nigeria loses over 40% of its farm produce due to poor storage infrastructure and value addition”, Samuel added.