Rivers govt set to employ 4,500 in new cassava plant

The Rivers State government is set to create sustainable employment for at least 4,500 persons in a soon to be inaugurated Cassava Processing Company located at Afam, Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.

The State Governor, Nyesom Wike made the disclosure Thursday after inspecting the plant pointing out that the company when fully operational would also boost agriculture in the state.

He stated that the State Government has a 70 per cent equity share in the project which is in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) of Nigeria.

“We are quite happy that this project which was initiated by the previous administration in 2012 and abandoned has come to the stage of completion.

“When we came on board and saw the usefulness of this project to our economy, we did not hesitate to release funds to complete it.

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“As you can see this project which is about 90 per cent complete would have been commissioned this month if not for the COVID-19 pandemic which has negatively impacted the global economy.

“Let me commend the management of this plant for fast-tracking the completion and the novel initiative that will use mobile machines to collect cassava from the farmers at their various clusters.

“This, will no doubt, reduce the challenge of logistics and increase farmer participation, ” the governor stated.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Rivers State Cassava Processing Company, Ruben Giesen noted that the cassava processing plant when completed would increase income for smallholder farmers by providing an enabling environment for them to sell their cassava tubers.

He also disclosed that the plant would produce about 45 thousand metric tons of cassava flour daily while about 12 thousand metric tons of cassava tubers would be needed for collection by its mobile plants from farmers around the state for processing.

Mr Giesen commended the State Governor for embarking on the project, which he described as the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

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