Nigerian businessman plans $750m agro-investment in Edo State
The advocacy of economic diversification received a boost yesterday, when a Nigerian business mogul, Hosa Okunbor and some Mexican farmers unveiled a $750m investment in agriculture in Edo State. The agricultural project is expected to produce 25,000 direct jobs and 60,000 indirect jobs.
The joint venture farm project was facilitated by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and is expected to cover 9,000 hectares of land.
Okunbor and his partners paid a courtesy visit to Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to intimate him of the plan for the multimillion Naira agric projects in the state.
Said Okunbor: “It is my dream project, and I am partnering with investors to realise this dream. It is something very special to me. I am doing this not because of money, but because of what we can give back to the society; it is a legacy project, which will outlive me if done the right way. It is my vision. This is very important to me because at age 30 as a young pilot, I conquered my profession and then left. I went into business and by the grace of God I have been doing well. And with over 60 vessels on sea, I think I have also conquered the sea.
“Now it is the land I want to conquer. For me, this is a passion, which is why I have taken pains to ensure that we do it properly. I have already started with a 20-hectare green house at the bye pass. Some of the green house are arriving this week and before the end of October, we will be producing about 600 tons from the 20 green houses of vegetable every month for both local and export markets.”
Governor Oshiomhole expressed gratitude to God for the project and commended Okunbor for initiating such in his home state.
“I thank you for the confidence you have reposed in your own state by veering into agriculture. I am excited listening to you, and there is no doubt this will help us as a state. I believe the objective of the Wells Farm Ltd., greatly complements the Federal Government’s commitment in the area of food security.
Director General of NEPC, Segun Awolowo, who facilitated the deal said, “The idea is to bring investment into manufacturing and industry in Nigeria and this is the perfect example of such partnering with these people. They are a big company in Mexico and they believe the Nigerian soil is very fertile and we can capture the European and Mexican markets. It takes 28 days to freight to Mexico, but it is 11 days from Nigeria to Europe. So, for them, it is a win win situation. They are investing in 9,000 hectares of plantation and we are able to export all these things to Europe.”
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