Obaseki calls for economic diversification
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has stressed the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy from crude oil, stating that agriculture holds hope and better promise for the country.
Obaseki alluded to the fact that businesses in the country operate in a difficult environment.
He enjoined Nigerians to be resilient in the move to achieve a self-reliant country.
Obaseki disclosed this while commending Farmforte, an agriculture value chain development company, for the construction of its new ultra-modern outlet, Freshforte, in Lagos.
He commended the diligence, doggedness, and passion the company has shown in the agricultural sector, identifying the capacity of the brand to execute the laudable initiative.
He said: “In this country, everybody has great ideas but not many people can implement them. What we have seen is the innovation and creativity put in the creation of the facility.”
He noted that such projects were important as they laid the foundation to create new growth engines for not just the agricultural value chain but the entire economy. He stated the gesture shows amazing and innovative entrepreneurial capacity.
He wished many more Nigerians would understand that Nigeria has changed for good.
“We have no choice than to diversify out of crude oil and agriculture holds such hope and promise. If we see young people quickly understanding that and jumping into that space and beginning to make sense out of it, it is commendable.”
He assured the company that the state government would continue to support and encourage the brand.
Acting Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lagos, Arie Plieger, also called diversification. He said the government needed to create opportunities for small businesses in the agriculture value chain, stating that the organized private sector and government have roles to play in achieving this.
Plieger said agriculture is an asset for Nigeria yet untapped. There would be more opportunities for export in the future if the potentials were rigorously explored. He described the launch as strategic and an example of creative innovation in the agriculture value chain.
In remarks, Co-Founder and co-Chief Executive Officer, Farmforte, Osazuwa Osayi, said the brand plays a crucial role across the agriculture value chain. According to him, Freshforte is a farm to shop initiative poised to tackle issues of logistics and security in bringing produce from the farm to the retail market.
He said the brand creates an environment where a whole lot of experience is guaranteed.
He reaffirmed the firm’s commitment to continually innovate and exceed the expectations of customers.
General Manager, Freshforte, Sinan Soysal, said the store was the last link of the value chain where the agricultural goods were directed to the consumers, thereby bridging the gap and bringing the consumers closer to the farmers.
Soysal added that the company had generated 100 direct jobs and over 500 indirect jobs through farmers, suppliers, and contractors.
He noted that the building was made majorly out of containers.
“The building was made out of 18 containers. Nigeria is the biggest country in the world with second-hand containers and so we are actually helping the environment by using these instead,” he said.