Firms invest $50 million to boost agriculture in Ekiti

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From: Bamidele Fashube,Abuja

SIX firms have invested $50 million in Ekiti State to boost agriculture production, Mr. Akintunde Oyebode, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Trade, and Innovations has said.

A breakdown of the total sum shows that Dangote Group and Stallion Group are investing $5 million and $10 million respectively on construction of separate rice mills in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

The State had recently issued a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to Stallion Group.

Oyebode said in the cassava value chain, FMS Farms already set up a $10 million starch processing plant and farm in Ikole LGA, which has already commenced farming activities.

In addition, Promise Point also invested $15 million in its starch processing facility, within the same area, which has also been designated as part of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone.

This is coming after the $5 million investment by Promasidor to renovate and operate the moribund Ikun Dairy Farm, and another $5 million investment by JMK Foods to build a rice mill in Ekiti State.

Oyebode, said the investments are early results of the Government’s focus on building an enabling environment for business to thrive.

In a statement, he noted that many of the investors only have to deal with the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA) to process their land titles and other requests.

“By being responsive to their needs, and carrying out constant aftercare services even when they are fully established, we are showing other investors that Ekiti is the place to be.”

He stated that the State is developing two special economic zones for Agro-Industrial activities and the knowledge economy, adding “apart from those investors who have already chosen Ekiti as a location to do business, we are seeing a lot of interest in the state.

“The recent reduction in Right of Way charges for telecommunication infrastructure was done to complement the planned Knowledge Zone; and to demonstrate a commitment to the digital economy.

“The Knowledge Zone will be anchored around talent produced by universities in Ekiti and its neighbouring states; a well planned mini-city with residential housing and offices; and reliable infrastructure, especially power and broadband.

“The zone, when completed will be Nigeria’s first service-based economic zone, attracting services like business process outsourcing, back-office operations, data labelling, software development/engineering, and startups focused on critical sectors like healthcare, education, agriculture, and consumer markets,”he added.

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