• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Africa Consortium set aside ₦58bn to establish agro-industrial hub in Nasawara

Africa Consortium set aside ₦58bn to establish agro-industrial hub in Nasawara

The final report for the establishment of the Agro-Industrial Park by the Africa PPP Advisory Consortium AP3 has been received by the Nasarawa State Government.

The company engaged to conduct feasibility study on the project — which is located at the home of Governor Abdullahi Sule in Gudi, Akwanga Local Government area of the state — submitted the report of its findings Tuesday.

The project, Gudi Industrial Park, will basically be an agro-allied industrial park, that will provide world-class utilities, shared infrastructure and services, and unique tax and legal status to boost productivity by integrating the production, processing and marketing of priority crops.

The establishment of the project is aimed at positioning the State as the centre to produce six priority crops, namely millet, maize, rice, groundnut, sesame, and cowpea, that meets international standards.

The Africa PPP consortium seeks to achieve this by building on the state’s comparative advantage in these priority cash crops and taking advantage of its good topography and proximity to Abuja.

According to the consultant hired to undertake feasibility study on the viability of establishing the Gudi Industrial Hub, Africa PPP Advisory Consortium AP3, has said that, another four years under the administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule, will guarantee stability for the free trade zone to take off.

Gori Olusina Daniel, the Managing Partner of the Consortium, said, the proposed industrial hub, would benefit the people of the state in no small measure.

Daniel emphasized that, with his reelection for another four years, investors, especially the African Development Bank, will be assured of stability under the Governor Sule’s administration.

He added, the proposed Gudi Industrial Hub have broder economic benefits, with the project estimated to cost N58 billion and projected to yield over a trillion naira while providing employment for over 30, 000 people under the first phase.

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“Already the African Development Bank has committed USD450 million, for the creation of free trade zones, with Nasarawa State scheduled to benefit from the second phase of the project”, he added.

The consultant explained that, after due assessment across six local government areas of the state on where to site the hub, Gudi was chosen because of its comparative advantage in terms of critical infrastructures, such as closeness to the international airport in Abuja, link to the Eastern line that will be revitalized, as well as being accessible from the Northwest, Northeast and North central parts of the country.

“Why Gudi? When we started, we were considering about six local government areas. After the site assessment we had to look at this against our experience of what makes an industrial park work,” Daniel said.

He however assured that, even though the hub is sited in Gudi, the economic benefits translates across the entire state and beyond.

“Based on what we have seen, this project is as good, if not better than some of the projects already in phase one,” the consultant assured.

He requested that, apart from conducting the feasibility study, his firm should be allowed to handle some of the contracts under the project.

In his response, Governor Abdullahi Sule, assured that, the Gudi Industrial Hub is very viable, stressing that, his administration will able to achieve a lot in the next four years.

He was confident that, the AfDB will approve the financing for the project with the completion of the feasibility study, which was part of the requirement for accessing the funds.

Governor Sule said, the project is long overdue, especially that 22 states in the country have already established their free trade zones.

“The advantages of Nasarawa State is much higher than so many states. So far in Nigeria, there are 22 states that already have their free trade zones.

“In addition to this, we already have two beverages bottling companies that have shown amount of interest looking for land, and if we tell them already there is a free trade zone that they can do this, I think they will jump into it immediately,” he stated.

Sule appreciated the consultant for going beyond preparing the feasibility, but by getting it to the point of attracting Foreign Direct Investment to the state, when the firm expressed interest in executing some of the contracts for the Gudi Industrial Hub.

Ibrahim Abdullahi, MD/CEO, Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), said, under the project, the state government is expecting to build an agro-industrial hub that has different components, a special agro-processing zone, light manufacturing, a hub for small and medium enterprise.

“The whole essence of the Gudi Industrial Hub is to provide the enabling infrastructure for commercial activities within the Northern region and the country at large to take place.

“The Gudi project has been carefully curated and the economic impact is immense. We are looking at this to be a major hub for agro-processing for the country.

“We are talking about crops in which the state has a comparative advantage especially cassava, sesame, rice, maize and other staple crops.

“The impact and the potentials of this Gudi project is immense and Gudi and Nasarawa State is also geographically advantaged right within the centre of the country, there is access to the national rail, the proposed Eastern line that will be revitalized.

“So we think, this will open up a lots of economic activities within this corridor,” he stated.