Alape Staple Food Processing Project to generate 1m employment – Fanwo

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By Our Correspondent in Abuja

The proposed Alape Staple Food Processing Zone Projec in Kogi State will generate 1 million job opportunity for the people of the state, North-central and inject billions of dollars into the state economy, when operational.

Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, discussed this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists on the rationale behind the 100 million dollars loan for the project.

He said the state decided on the project because it serve as the “electrons to charge the economic battery of the entire North-Central and a part of South- West.”

Fanwo said: “The world economy revolves around borrowing, the borrowing in this case is for productive purpose.

“Our focus shouldn’t be about what is being borrowed alone, but most importantly, on the intent and the terms involved.

” The Alape SCPZ Project is an initiative that will liberate the North-Central and some parts of South-West from economic backwardness.

“It is our responsibility to educate the people on the purpose of the loan. Our people are right to ask questions because government is only a representative of the larger interest of the people.

“The 100 million dollar loan is to be channeled into the massive SCPZ Project in Alape. Kogi state is grateful to be considered for such massive investment in agriculture.

“The project will not only improve infrastructure such as power, roads and water in the area; but also create off taker chains for cassava farmers across the entire North-Central Zone.

“It will also add value to our agricultural produce and lead the way to Nigeria’s drive toward clean energy, through ethanol production.

” This will qualify our nation and state for benefits from the Carbon Credit Fund.

“The multiplier effect is almost limitless; from agriculture to engineering, commerce and industry.

” It is a clear statement from Nigeria that it is prepared for a post-oil era. Kogi is privileged to house this economic development initiative.”

Fanwo,who said a lot of stakeholders were involved in the deal; insisting that it won’t take any negative toll on the finances of the state.

“Governor Yahaya Bello has personally driven this process in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other international bodies.

“It is in tandem with his commitment to food security, agro-economics, job creation and promoting a green world.

“He believes in clean energy as a panacea to a safe environment.
According to the commissioner, Kogi is favoured for the sitting of the project due to its strategic location and comparative advantage.

“Our people should seize the opportunity to transform the economy of the state and the nation at large, instead of nursing a misplaced fear on a loan that has been structured in a way that it won’t affect any of the parties involved.

He expressed the gratitude of the state to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and NNPC for indicating interest to invest in biofuel ethanol refinery within the Zone.

Fanwo expressed optimism that the project would also turn state to economic hub of the nation.

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