A private firm, Agrotech Nigeria, has indicated interest to invest $56m to set up a refinery that will process sesame seeds and maize into oil.
Professor Allananah Otaki, state Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, disclosed this while briefing newsmen shortly after the State Executive Council meeting which held at the Government House, on Wednesday.
Prof Otaki revealed that, the Lagos based firm which specializes in agricultural technology and machinery, tractors, seeds, among others, has approached the council, indicating interest to invest roughly N20bn, for the purpose of producing sesame seeds, maize as well as establish an industry that will process these into oil.
He added that following the council’s exhaustive deliberation on the matter, a technical committee has already been set up to work closely with the investor in order to make sure the partnership is realized.
“We have a timeline and we are working on it to make sure we keep to time so that we can deliver on the mandate of government to further develop the agricultural sector.
“We are very happy to report that many developers are approaching us with this kind of programme and we are keying into it.
“We are wide open and we are also working hard to encourage them and provide the enabling environment to make sure that job is created,” the Commissioner stated.
According to Professor Otaki, all that government needs to do, is to provide 15, 000 hectares of land for the project, which if completed will provide employment opportunities for 15, 000 persons.
Commenting on the effort of the Engineer Abdullahi Sule led administration towards ensuring adequate water supply across the state, the Commissioner pointed out that the state executive council has reviewed the water situation in the state, with the ministry directed to work round the clock to ensure that water reaches every nook and cranny of the state.
He recalled that during the past ten years, communities across the state lived without portable drinking water.
“Engineer Sule is really deeply concerned over this near absence of water supply in our communities. Therefore he gave a marching order to the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, that water supply most be restored.
“So with the lean budget we had, and approved by him, water supply has been restored to most communities in the state. This is not enough, effort is being made to expand this water supply to every nook and cranny of the state,” he stated.