By Ali Abare
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi .A. Sule has reiterated the resolve of his administration to ensure the take-off of an incubation centre in Lafia, the state capital.
Engineer Sule made the resolve known while commissioning the first privately-owned agro processing company, the Automated Newpal Nigeria Limited Wharehouse in Keffi on Tuesday.
The governor explained that the incubation centre is expected to serve as the needed vehicle for the incubation of small scale businesses and hatching them into large scales industries through soft-loans to be obtained from the Bank of Industries as well as other Federal Government agencies.
Engineer Sule, whose administration has industrialization as cardinal objective, stressed that this particular effort is geared towards wealth creation, employment generation and enhancing the overall development of the state.
“In this regard, efforts have been concluded by government to provide necessary access road, electricity and other facilities,” the governor further disclosed.
While commending the Newpal Nigeria Limited for siting the company worth a billion naira in Nasarawa State, Engineer Sule called on more investors to come and invest in the various sectors of the state economy, particularly that the state is blessed with 2.7 million hectares of land, out of which 750, 000 are arable in nature and suitable for the cultivation of varieties of crops for both domestic consumption and export.
“This administration will continue to encourage private investment and partnership towards accelerating agricultural development and industrialization of the state,” the governor added.
The governor said already, the state government has entered into partnership with mega companies such as Olam Farms, which is a major producer of rice in West Africa, with not less than 10, 000 youths gainfully employed.
Similarly, the state has also entered into a bi-partite agreement with the Dangote Group, currently cultivating a sugarcane plantation as well as siting a sugar refinery in the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Newpal Nigeria Limited, Mr. John Samuel, said the company is positioned to be a catalyst for economic growth to food and agricultural business in Nasarawa State, Nigeria and the world at large.
Mr. Samuel reiterated that the goal of Newpal as a corporate entity is in perfect alignment with the vision of the APC-led administration of Engineer Abdullahi Sule, which include providing food security for all Nigerians, creating employment for the teeming youths, increase farmers income and more importantly, curtail post-harvest losses which has been the bane of the country’s agricultural production.
Also speaking at the event, the Emir of Keffi, who doubled as the chairman of the occasion, HRH Alhaji Shehu Usman Chindo Yamusa, appealed to the governor to create enabling democratic environment to allow traditional rulers in the state explore investment opportunities.
The traditional ruler further urged the governor to seek legal backing to establish three cottage industries across the three senatorial zones of the state, calling for the siting of an institute for agricultural research to be domiciled within the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
The event saw Engineer Abdullahi .A. Sule cut the tape signalling the commencement of activities at the plant, with the governor later taken round the facility led by the GM.CEO of the company.
The governor was accompanied on the occasion by the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmad Tijani, top government functionaries as well as traditional rulers.