WACOT Rice Limited, a member of Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group is set to commission its newly expanded 240,000 metric ton rice mill in Argungu, Kebbi state.
The firm hosted the Kebbi State government to a pre-commissioning visit recently as part of its activities to mark the feat.
Governor Atiku Bagudu in company of Nasir Idris, governor-elect, and other dignitaries were part of the Kebbi State government delegation that visited the factory.
Whilst expressing his delight on the progress of the project, Bagudu also highlighted its positive impact on the nation and Kebbi’s suitability for agricultural investments.
“This is another milestone by WACOT Rice. In spite of a very challenging world economy where Nigeria battled two recessions, amazingly this company believed in Nigeria, and they invested in Nigeria, and they showed that Nigeria is a destination for all investors,” he said.
He thanked the management and staff of WACOT for making tremendous contributions to the state with its corporate social responsibility projects.
He assured the company of the state’s continuous cooperation. “WACOT Rice, more than money, has contributed to our self-confidence and economy.”
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“They have not only helped in the production of rice but are processing the highest quality that today, Nigerians and non-Nigerians across the country are confident that Nigerian rice is equivalent to the very best that is being bought elsewhere.”
Nasir Idris, the governor-elect, commended WACOT for its substantial investments across the state, noting that they have vastly improved the economy while empowering people.
“We have witnessed this ourselves, and we are very happy. Our people are engaged and employed in various capacities.
“Definitely, WACOT Rice has reduced the rate of unemployment, and we want to thank the management. We are going to continue to partner with them, and play our own part by ensuring that we continue to create an enabling environment for them to keep operating and growing.”
The expansion project began in 2021 and is 95 percent completed, with full milling operations set to begin in August 2023, thus boosting Nigeria’s food security and Kebbi State’s economy.
The original 120,000- metric tonnes rice mill was commissioned in 2017 by Yemi Osinbajo, vice president.
Farouk Gumel, chairman of WACOT Rice, thanked the Kebbi State Government for the support provided and assured continuous investment in the state.
“On behalf of the management and board of WACOT Rice, I thank the Kebbi State Government under the able leadership of Governor Atiku Bagudu for the support.”
“The existing mill is a 120,000 metric tonnes mill, which we have just doubled to make up to 240,000 metric tonnes/annum.”
“Our interest is to continue to invest in Kebbi State because of the opportunities and enabling environment the government has created.”
The mill’s expansion is expected to impact Nigeria’s food security ambitions positively, and Gumel noted that WACOT Rice would not rest on its oars until the country becomes food sufficient.
“We align with President Buhari’s administration goals for rice and food sufficiency, and I assure you that with this commissioning of our expanded mill, the future is bright for Nigeria.”
Aminu Mohammed Goronyo, president, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), also praised the presence of WACOT in Nigeria. “WACOT is a blessing, not only to Kebbi State but to Nigeria as a whole.
“WACOT has supported this administration, over time, to achieve rice sufficiency in Nigeria, which by extension, is achieving food security. We hope they will continue to play their key role.”