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Wike seeks CBN’s support on $12m cassava project

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to support the state’s $12 million cassava initiative to boost food security, create jobs and earn foreign exchange for the country.

The governor noted that the agro initiative would create over 3,000 jobs and enhance the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.

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Wike made the call during a meeting with the board of the Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt.

The governor regretted that the CBN has failed to accede to the state’s government request for N5 billion to boost the agriculture sector. He noted that if part of the money is invested in the Rivers cassava processing initiative, it would create jobs and reduce the unemployment rate.

According to him, the Rivers Cassava Processing Company would reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported cassava products.

He said the state’s 70 percent equity in the company should be divested to encourage the private sector participation and minimise government interference in the management of the company.

The Rivers State Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Fred Kpakor explained that the multi-million dollar plant located at Afam, in Oyigbo Local Government Area, would create over 3000 jobs, and that in the medium-term, the company would add starch to its products and glucose in the future.

The Managing Director of the company, Reuben Giesen, said the facility will run on environment friendly power from the Rivers State Independent Power Plant and set the pace for industrialisation of the area.

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