• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Nigeria’s export, jobs receive boost as Valency, British firm commit over N10.5 bn in agro sector

Nigeria’s export, jobs receive boost as Valency, British firm commit over N10.5 bn in agro sector

Valency Agro Nigeria Limited with headquarters in Singapore and British International Investment, BII have jointly invested over N10.5 billion in Nigeria’s agro sector to boost export business and generate jobs in the country.

The firms have already completed a multi-billion naira supply chain complex at Elebolo, in Ibadan, along Ibadan-Lagos expressway which was commissioned recently. They also laid a foundation block for a multi-billion Naira processing plant for agro products to be completed in two years.

The two facilities are situated in 40 acres of land which is about 30 football fields.

Speaking at both ceremonies, Praveen Kumar Jain, Valency Group Chairman said on completion of the processing plant, the facilities will employ over 10,000 people and increase export revenue for the country.

He said Valency is going for serious value addition for agro products.

Also speaking, John Baxter, British High Commissioner in Nigeria said the reason BII is investing is that Britain wants to see opportunities for Nigeria and Nigerians realised.

“Through BII we see this as a fantastic opportunity to make a difference. For me, this difference is increase in employment, and we expect that if this programme does what it supposed to do, additional jobs will be created and 60% of them will be women.

“Equally important is that this project will offer opportunity to small holder farmers who will ordinarily not get access to this sort of processing. But over time, smaller holder farmers actually will see the sense to grow so that their produce will end up in places like this and exported or turned into higher value products” Baxter said.

On his part, Shri Chandramouli Kern, Consulate General of India appreciated investors and the banking institutions that trusted and financed the projects.

“These projects will change the eco-system in this country and these kinds of projects are required in Nigeria at a very fast pace and we are thankful that Valency is taking a lead in this process in Nigeria”, Kern said. He believed that Valency which has presence in other countries will do well in Nigeria.

Itua Ighodalo, non-executive director at Valency who was enthused about the projects said it is important that former British subjects, Nigeria and India are cooperating with Britain to land something that will be truly productive and bring about great employment not just in Nigeria but hopefully all over the world.

He quoted a song by TY Bello, ‘the land is green…and agreed that the land of Nigeria is green and waiting eagerly to accept everyone who comes to do business.

On the new policy on expatriate tax, he said “something will be done about it. We want investors to come to Nigeria to assist us develop this country”.

Benson Adenuga, BII representative in Nigeria clarified that BII is owned 100% by UK government and its mandate is to promote private sector development and do it in a sustainable way.

According to him, one of the areas of focus for BII is food security. “For us what is interesting is that we want to support food and agric across the entire value chain from primary production to agric input – fertiliser, agro chemicals, processing and even export.

“In addition to this investment, BII has the option to invest additional $35 million into Valency and I hope this comes to pass”.

He said the whole of idea of Nigeria producing raw commodity and exporting them to Asia to be processed and then exported all over the world is odd. That is why we are excited to supporting Valency to actually increase processing capacity in Nigeria, add value and this feeds into the entire value chain and everybody benefits and forex earned. “When we support companies that are exporting, we are contributing to generation of forex in Nigeria”, Adenuga said.