Posted by News Express | 29 July 2017 | 4,110 times
abx world Nigeria’s agricultural revolution has reached Anambra State, with the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting presided by Governor Willie Obiano this week approving the company’s proposal for the construction of an export processing facility estimated to cost about $150 million.
News Express learnt that the “Ndi Anambra Export Facility Project”, to be sited in Ogidi, the native home of late literature icon Chinua Achebe, will become first Global Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certified conditioning and Food Processing Centre in Nigeria.
Global GAP is the global organisation that assures standard agricultural practice – safe, sustainable agriculture worldwide, of which abx world is the only member from Nigeria.
The facility, expected to be built and completed in Anambra State within the next 12 months, will further complement abx world’s plans with the provision for Boeing 777 cargo plane for weekly agro-produce exports to the European markets.
Confirming the project agreement signing to newsmen at the weekend, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of abx world Nigeria Limited, Captain John Okakpu, described the partnership as “serious agreement that will positively improve the state’s internally generated revenue, generate employment and means to alleviate poverty.”
He explained that when fully completed, the export project is projected to add about N2.75b in internally generated revenue to Anambra yearly and will add well over US$5b of foreign investment to the state’s economy within the next three to four years if managed by the same people that put it together.
According to Capt. Okakpu, the initiator of the project, “This facility will provide employment for 1200 in the State and Nigeria in general; will operate 24/7 and have the capacity to produce over 150 ton of products daily.
“His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano has really step up his unstoppable love and caring to Ndi Anambra and had shown what leadership ought to be. According to Senator Ben Bruce, please, go to Anambra and borrow a chapter in their book. Anambra is more like a Nation-State, thanks to Willie Obiano’s vision and result oriented policies.”
Okakpu disclosed that the conditioning and food processing center will have two units parallel to each other according to Global GAP standard. It will also have a standard NAFDAC/Global GAP chemical, residue, nutritional testing laboratories as well.
“This Center will bring the world much closer to Nigeria in this digital age. It will be built with state of the art cutting modern technology. At full operation, it would have cost about US$150m to build.
“The centre will be certified by GlobalGAP on completion as it will be built under their supervision. The first Nigeria. We have them in Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Ivory Coast and few other African countries. This facility will be 100% fully Nigeria owned,” he said.
Capt. Okakpu further urged the Federal and other state governments to key into opportunities in the agriculture sector. He said: “I hate that phrase ‘beke bu agbara’ (the whites are magicians or sophisticated). We’re ‘agbara’ (sophisticated) too. Don't belittle yourself in eyes of the world with that slogan ‘You can do it too’.
“Governor Obiano believes in building institutions not personal legacies and his results so far have proven that. The conditioning/food processing centre and export project is one of his signature progammes for ‘ndi Anambra’. It will be in the best interest of the federal, states and local governments to embrace opportunities in the Agric sector.”
News Express learnt that abx world has also made provision for two aircraft; one Boeing 777 Cargo aircraft going to Europe from Lagos airport weekly. The other aircraft will convey agricultural produce to Lagos from Anambra State through Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu.
Speaking on why the produce are not airlifted directly from Enugu to Europe, Captain Okakpu said: “Enugu International Airport is not yet certified for EU-bound cargo as the scanning and ETD machines are not there.
“The Boeing 777 is too big for Enugu airport. If that aircraft takes off from there (Enugu), it will impact some facilities at the Airport. ETD machine which is used for scanning the EU bound cargo is functional at Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) in Lagos cargo session.”
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