FCT to locate dairy, cassava production sites in three weeks ― Bello
• As Emefiele leads investors on advocacy
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, lead a group of investors to Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, to solicit for a speedy action on allocation of land for dairy and cassava processing companies, the Minister has promised that suitable location would be identified in the next three weeks.
Emefiele on Monday led representatives of WAMCO Friesland Campino, Nestle and L and Z to Bello over the long delay in allocating land for the companies to build their factories in view of Federal Government’s decision to place milk on the official import prohibition list.
According to him, although President Muhammadu Buhari had given approval for the action, CBN decided to allow only six companies that had demonstrated commitment to boosting local production of dairy products in the country the opportunity of continued importing until local production would be more substantial.
“The governor explained that “various collaborative efforts by the CBN and the private sector has started yielding significant results with resultant deliberate measures by the private firms to embrace the backward integration measures and boost job creation and industrialization locally.
“One of these measures is the partnership with milk importing companies to develop the local dairy sector and harness its potential in the interest of the nation.
“This strategic partnership commenced with Niger State Government allocating 31,000 hectares of land to milk companies within the Bobi Grazin Reserve to develop the local dairy breeds for enhanced milk collection and also integrate the local pastoralist and ultimately curb the farmers-herders crisis.
“In furtherance to this initiative is the additional resolve by some milk producing companies to establish milk processing factories in the FCT as it offers a unique environment for industrialisation and also easy access to raw materials from the entire North-Central zone of the country.”
Emefiele explained that establishment of the companies in the FCT will drive industrialisation, stimulate local production of milk and hence the development of the local dairy sector, boost employment generation, facilitate linkages along with the dairy sector in Nigeria and ultimately Conserve enormous foreign exchange that would be required for importation.
“Nestle Plc and Friesland Campina Plc have signified interest to establish Milk processing factories in the FCT and the CBN is ready to work with them to actualize the deliverable of these projects. We, therefore, request you to please assist in the allocation of land in FCT expeditiously.”
Responding, Bello who apologised to the companies for the delay in the approval process said it was due to his desire first improving on infrastructure within the city itself and also trying to improve on the institutional capacity of the various departments of the FCT.
After the CBN and FCT administration established a committee to work on identifying the location, Bello urged the CBN to “come in so that you can also work with us to see how you can give supportive funding for basic infrastructure.
“I will just add that obviously most of these locations now are not accessible. Maybe a plant on the major expressway is possible but when you talk of the grazing facilities and other complementary services, they will probably be off the road.
“That is where we will want the CBN to come in. We have the expertise in terms of engineers, the designers, the architects and even those who will design the road.”