By Labaran Tijani
National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), in partnership with Kogi State Government is set to invest the sum of $350m into sugar production in the State.
The leader of the delegation from NSDC, Alhaji Salihu Bkeke made this known in Lokoja on Thursday when he led a team of some foreign investors to pay courtesy visit to Governor Yahaya Bello, in Government House.
Alhaji Bkeke said the National Sugar Development Council is being saddled with the responsibility of making Nigeria self sufficient in sugar production, stressing that they have discovered great potentials in the sugarcane production in Oguma, a community in Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
“Kogi state government I must say is agricultural friendly. We have a masterplan with a roadmap on possible ways of achieving this fit. Based on the roadmap we have in place, we look for potential sugar growing states, and Kogi State is one of the best states so far with such opportunities from the feasibility studies done.
According to the Council having discovered Kogi State as one of the state’s with such potentials, NSDC took it upon themselves to seek investors who could come invest in the state and make the dream project a reality.
He explained further that the Council already has two investors, BUA Group and CONTEC Global who are willing to invest into the project, adding that the investors will be needing large portion of land where the projects will be sited.
“As a Council we will assist in every way possible to see that the project take off. On the part of the government land will be needed, access roads, compensation will be given where necessary. The investors are willing to invest, community social responsibility will be accorded priority” he stressed.
Speaking, the Project Director of CONTEC Global, Dr. Sashi Mozumder said his team was in Dekina and Bassa two years ago to collect samples which was studied and turned out to be suitable for the project ,adding that the opportunity will assist the state in the production of Bio fertiliser, animal feed, petro chemical production and others.
“If the state is ready to add any other projects, we are willing and open for discussions. We will ensure a win win for everyone involved, the government, the groups and the host communities” he said.
In his remarks, Governor Yahaya Bello said his administration since assumption in office keyed into the three cardinal points of President Muhammudu Buhari in the areas of security, fighting corruption, reviving and revamping the economy through agricultural revolution.
Governor Bello said any serious government will do everything possible to secure lives, and create job opportunities, adding that the state was blessed with vast arable land fertile enough for various agricultural produce.
“Kogi is fast becoming a hub for investment. We have a deliberate policy here, we ensure we learn from previous mistakes. Your invest will be safe in our state, fill free, because Kogi is safe from criminals.
” With the various efforts my administration is putting in place, Kogi will soon begin to export all forms of agricultural products and I assure of huge returns in few years from your investment” he said.