Oyo gets N300 billion sugar investment project
The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, has said that the Federal Government is committed to using the sugar master plan to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.
Adedeji, who disclosed this, yesterday, during the ground-breaking of N300 billion Brent Sugar Plantation and Mill in Iseyin, Oyo State, said that the investment by Brent Sugar was a practical demonstration of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari towards building a productive country.
He said government must do everything to get the private sector to venture in projects that could take Nigerians, particularly the youths, out of poverty.
“One of the major tools that we have and which can help us take the youths out of poverty is the sugarcane-based industries.
“We must commend Brent Sugar Limited for deeming it fit to establish this kind of project in this environment. This is not only for Oyo State, but also for Nigeria.
“The mantra of President Buhari is that we must eat what we grow and grow what we eat,” he said. In his remarks, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said industrialisation was the pillar for economic prosperity.
Adesina, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Industrialisation, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelahan, said that the establishment of Brent Sugar was a path to industrialisation and economic prosperity.
He, therefore, urged the people to cooperate with the company, saying there were lots to benefit as a community and nation. Also, Chief Executive Officer, Brent Sugar Limited, Mr. Martins Akinola, said the total investment that would be committed to the project was about N300 billion over a period of five years.
Akinola said that the firm would be cultivating 11,000 hectares for sugarcane plantation, saying that 5,000 will be from the company and 6,000 by out growers.
He said that company would be generating 30 megawatts of electricity using BAGAS and employment opportunities for no fewer than 10,000 people.
The firm boss also said that 300,000 litres of ethanol would be generated from the waste from the refinery. Akinola said that part of their social responsibilities to the Iseyin community would be building of a model school and award of scholarships to indigent students.
He, however, appealed to Oyo State Government to make the road to Ikere Gorge Dam, which would serve irrigation purpose to the company, motorable.
Akinola thanked Buhari, Adedeji and Governor Seyi Makinde for their support, which had helped the company attained the present state.
“We are expecting, by the special grace of God, to be into production and milling in the next two years here in Iseyin. We have technical partners from abroad.
“The equipment and maintenance are going to be handled by our partners from India. About eight of them will join us from February next year.
“This is going to be the biggest investment in Oyo State and I am happy that the state government is a co-owner in the investment,” he said.
Makinde, in his response, promised to ensure the road to Ikere Gorge Dam is constructed and made motorable for all. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Bayo Lawal, said the state government was committed to infrastructural development of the state.
He said that such was evident in the interconnectivity project of the administration aimed at connecting the five zones of the state.
The governor said that the company would be greatly beneficial to the state, adding that it would complement effort of his administration in the areas of poverty reduction, employment creation and infrastructural development.
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