Consistent with the diversification agenda of the current administration, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and his Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), counterpart, Governor Godwin Emefiele, at the weekend performed the ground-breaking for the $120 million Vicampro potato farm and processing facility in Manchok, Kaura Local Council of the state.
The biggest potato plant in sub-Sahara Africa is to cover 10,000 hectares of land and generates 30,000 jobs for the youths.El-Rufai said the executive and legislative arms of government partnered to birth the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) in a bid to up the state to investments and industrialisation.
According to him, the project, at completion, will not only supply the local demand, but also, “60 per cent of the French fries to be processed will be for markets outside the country.”
“We want businesses to feel safe bringing their investments to Kaduna State. That is why we organised the Kaduna Economic Summit (KADInvest) between April 6 and 7, 2016, to showcase the numerous opportunities and potentials of the state and how ready Kaduna is for investment.
“Today, Kaduna is becoming a much easier place to do business and our efforts have already started yielding positive results. We have Olam of Singapore investing $150 million to build the largest integrated poultry and feeed mill in Nigeria. Similarly, Dangote Group is investing in a 7000-hectare tomato farm and a processing plant in the state,” he added.
El-Rufai noted that: “Through this Public-Private-Partnership, thousands of direct and indirect jobs will be created to reduce the high rate of unemployment and roll back poverty.”
Emefiele lamented the drop in oil prices, which he stressed, had drastically affected the country’s economy, pointing out that “there is, therefore, need for diversification as the only alternative and what Kaduna State is doing today is what we want at this moment.”