Nasarawa State Government has signed separate joint venture agreements with three investors, in agribusiness and retail, aimed at turning around the local economy, as well as create jobs opportunities for the people.
The three joint venture agreements were entered into between the Nasarawa State Government and the investors, at a ceremony which held at the Government House, on Thursday.
The investors involved in the agreements are Vertmance Resources Ltd and Silvex International Ltd, for agribusiness, Barlow and Barrow International Ltd, for the establishment of retail and recreational centre in Karu, estimated to cost N2bn and Oasotech and Design, for cassava industrial plant in Azuba.
Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said his administration is in hurry to add value, especially that signing of joint venture agreements are relatively new in the state.
The governor therefore urged the investors to focus on the key performance indicators for the projects, in order to ensure strict adherence to the timeline to deliver the projects.
He emphasized that his administration is in a hurry to see to the maturity of the projects, so that subsequent administrations would inherit the dividends.
Engineer Sule disclosed that the Barlow and Barrow are injecting roughly N2bn inside the Muhammadu Buhari International Market in Karu, within a period of only six months from initiation to completion.
The governor noted that the cassava industrial plant, will not only provide employment opportunities, it will afford the state a window of opportunity to start exporting processed cassava products, especially starch.
For the Nasarawa State Agro Commodity Company, he pointed out that the state is already producing saseme, ginger, with all that remains, is to create opportunities to start exporting such agric commodities.
Engineer Sule decried a situation where Nasarawa State produces the commodities but are taken to either Lagos or Kano to be exported.
He therefore urged both parties involved in the joint venture, to do their best in the area of implementation.
“I’m calling on you and pleading with you. That I do understand you and I understand some of the challenges you will have,” the governor stated.
Engineer Sule was emphatic that Nasarawa needs people who understand how to structure these types of businesses, so that it can be seen clearly where the initiative began, the benefits and value addition, so that the people gain from the projects.
Earlier, in a welcome address, Managing Director/CEO of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the signing of the three separate joint venture agreements in agribusiness and retail, shows that Nasarawa is fast becoming an investors haven in the North Central geopolitical zone and the country at large.
Barrister Abdullahi thanked sister government agencies namely Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS), Nasarawa Market Bureau, Ministries of Agriculture and Justice, as well as the office of the Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, for their role in making the deals successful.
He gave a highlight of the agreements to include the Karu Retail and Recreational Centre, for the development of the Karu mall, with ShopRite as an anchor tenant, the Azuba cassava processing plant that will explore end to end value chain of cassava with focus on five products, ethanol, starch, high quality cassava flour, syrup sweetener and animal feed.
Barrister Abdullahi explained that the cassava processing project will support and empower small holder farmers.
The NASIDA MD added that the Nasarawa agro commodity project, is a partnership that will see Nasarawa key into the global market, since the state produces high grade agro commodities such as saseme, rice and soya beans.
“The projects under the Engineer Sule administration are ambitious, unconventional and forward thinking and as such require our collective understanding to yield results,” he stated.
He expressed confidence that the projects will turn around the state’s economy and translate into more jobs for the people.
In their separate remarks, representatives of the three separate investors, Yahaya Yahaya for Barlow and Barrow International Ltd, Dr Adnan Aminu, Executive Director, Strategy and Innovation, Silvex International, for Nasarawa agro commodity project and Mallam Abdulkadir Hussain, for the cassava processing plant, took time to highlight why Nasarawa State is conducive for doing business.
For Dr. Aminu, ED Silvex International Ltd, the signing of the agreement was the fastest he has seen so far, stressing that there is no state in the country that is ideally positioned for agribusiness as Nasarawa State.