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FG targets improved infrastructure for industrial growth

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Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo


BoI earmarks N50bn for food processing

In a bid to build up on gains recorded under its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Ease of Doing Business initiative, the Federal Government has committed itself towards improving infrastructure for investments in the country to thrive.
  
According to the nation’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, over $66 billion worth of investments have been made in different parts of the country, and such trend needs to be sustained for economic growth and global competitiveness.
   
He stated that an important component of the ERGP is the provision of critical infrastructure that will foster an enabling business environment and make the country a progressively easier place to do business.

  
Osinbajo made this known during the commissioning of Beloxxi Industries’ second phase expansion project and laying of foundation stone for its third phase expansion facility in Agbara, Ogun State .
 
Indeed, the Managing Director of Beloxxi Industries, Obi Ezuede had decried the poor infrastructural facilities in the country, noting that the state of the roads leading to the company is an eye sore.
  
Meanwhile, the Bank of Industry (BoI) stated that it has set aside about N50 billion for genuine food processing companies in the country, to save the huge foreign exchange the country spends yearly on food imports while also achieving food security for the nation’s growing population.
 
BoI’s Managing Director, Olukayode Pitan, who was represented by the Executive Director, Large Enterprises Division, BOI, Simon Aranonu, added that supporting food processors is key to developing the nation’s abundant raw materials and creating job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.
  
Aranonu said: “Anytime we import goods into the country, we are basically creating employment for people outside the country, so this country took a bold step to start manufacturing the product they used to import into the country. We have supported them in expanding their production capacity. We basically financed one major production line, because we know the benefit of producing locally. Boosting local production helps to save our foreign exchange and also helps us to develop our raw materials.
   
“This company used to import biscuits into this country. Anytime we import goods, we are basically creating employment for people outside the country, so this country took a bold step to start manufacturing the product they used to import into the country. We have supported them in expanding their production capacity. We basically financed one major production line, because we know the benefit of producing locally.”
  
He added that the Development Finance Institution (DFI) is proud to be associated with Beloxxy, restating its commitment to support genuine Nigerian companies willing to produce locally.

“You can imagine the huge volume of foreign exchange the country will be saving and this would help to stabilize the naira while also creating job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths. This is how the economy can grow and this is how we can employ Nigerians. We are very happy to be part of this event. To feed this nation, we have to produce food and not just to cultivate but to also process. The portfolio we have in that sector at the last count was close to N50 billion that we have committed to food processing companies and believe you me, there is room for more. We want to do more and we are calling genuine manufacturers who are serious in processing food in any form, to please come to the BOI, we have partners who understand your business. The Bank of Industry is set to support genuine manufacturers who are processing food items to feed the teeming population of Nigerians,” he assured.

The Managing Director, Beloxxi Industries, however commended BOI and other finance partners for their tireless efforts in supporting local production, saying this is the only way to achieve the federal government’s economic diversification agenda.

“For us it is dream come true. We had a humble beginning from importation of biscuits to commence manufacturing. The quality of biscuits coming out of this factory is of quality standards and this expansion would see the company dominating the biscuit industry while also discouraging import of the commodity,” he said.


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Yemi Osinbajo
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