By Ado Hassan Sokoto
Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said that Nigeria must take advantage of its abundant natural mineral resources across the states to develop nation’s economy.
He noted that an all inclusive drive would deepen and strengthen Nigeria’s confidence by attracting boh industrial and economic technologies for it’s growth.
Tambuwal made the call Wednesday at the official ground breaking of the $13 million (N45 billion) OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited blending plant at the Kalambaina industrial area, Wamakko local government of Sokoto state.
He said Sokoto state has the capacity both in human and material endowment to attract competitive private investors in order to position the state in its rightful place of economic prosperity.
Besides, Tambuwal said the state had since outlined an economic rolling plan to drive its vision for profitable medium and large scale production venture in partnership with reputable business entities.
According to the governor , ” we have to work with reality by developing our non oil sector and discourage over dependence on oil revenue source.”
Tambuwal noted that doing so would fast track and engender sustainable support for expanding investment opportunities as well open avenues for incentives to attract genuine participation of existing and potential partners for the benefit of the state .
” We have always strived to deepen the process of ensuring and realizing the process of fertilizers production”, he explained.
Hitherto, while reassuring his administration drive for ease of doing business , the governor said it had since develop a blue print to strengthen interaction and interface under a single roof Lin of action for developing business across all sectors of he state economy.
” We want to boost our food production capacity for sufficiency through actualizing the fertilizer plant which is key in agricultural production.
” For over five years, our administration has been committed to pursuing a vision that would convincingly shift the state from the conventional civil service oriented system to a competing business economy. We want to see how best we can achieve positive economic base through aggressive drive “, he remarked.
Earlier, the Country Manager/ Managing Director, OCP Africa Fertiliser Nigeria Ltd Mr Caleb Usoh said the fertilizer blending plant was muted and designed as an agricultural centre of excellence with a capacity to produce over 200,000 metric tonnes per annum with training facilities for farmers , fertilizers blenders and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain.
” The plant will have modern NPK fertilizer blending equipment, process blending /warehouse, administrative block, trailer park, other ancillary facilities and one stop shop for farmers to access training and all farm inputs.
Accordingly Usoh pointed out that ” it is an opportunity to further boost Nigeria’s agricultural activities”, noting that Sokoto is one of the biggest agricultural hub full of opportunities for self reliance for especially the youths.
” The FG agricultural agenda has leveraged Nigerians to partake in the drive for food production and sufficiency . We need to discourage importation of food which we can adequately produce through diversification “, he mentioned.
Accordingly, the Managing Director said Nigerians should not be discouraged by the level of insecurity in the country, adding ” it should not stop us from our drive for food sufficiency , youths employment as well other economic activities for our survival . When such projects are in place , it will create employment as well tame arrest the problem of insecurity which is carried out by mostly youths.”
Also in his welcome address, Bashir Gidado, Commissioner for Commerce, said the land space for the project was 10 hectares aimed at easing business in the state.
According to him” all the necessary environmental impact assessment had been conducted and except the technologies , all other requirements were locally sourced ” I believe it will a lot of people in the state” he said.
In her brief remarks, Executive Secretary , Solid Mineral Development Fund, Fatimah Umaru Ali Shinkafi said in collaboration with the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative team were in tune with the milestone achievement by the Tambuwal administration for partnering OCP Fertilizers Africa.
According to her it would further launch Nigeria’s economy on a positive slate of development.
She noted that Nigeria was rich in mineral deposits that can be harnessed to its benefit and those of the citizenry.
She commend governor Tambuwal for been proactive, visionary and committed to the course of advancing the state and national economy through agricultural promotion.
” I implore other state governors to emulate and replicate similar drive towards job creation and investors direct participation. I strongly believe that OCP Africa Fertilizer LTS is committed to the future of Nigeria’s economy”, She noted.