By Our Reporter
A team from the Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, are presently in Nasarawa State to carry out feasibilities on a land to be used for the purpose of establishing a multi crop processing zone, as well as for the cultivation of cassava and sugarcane.
Group Managing Director/CEO of the company, Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, disclosed this during a meeting with government officials at the Lafia Government House, on Tuesday.
According to the GMD, a team from the company are in Lafia and ready to move into the land, located in Umuasha, Toto Local Government Area, to carry out feasibility studies on the suitability of the land for the specified projects.
Gbededo explained that the meeting was a follow up on the earlier meeting held in Lagos, when Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, led a delegation on a visit to the corporate headquarters of the company.
The GMD said, his company, being the leading food and agro allied business in the country, is investing in Nasarawa State because the state is agrarian and has lend itself so well to the firm’s philosophy and strategy.
He added that, by reciprocating the visit, Flour Mills Nigeria, meant business and are ready to exploit areas of collaboration with Nasarawa State, stressing that the company is seeking an inclusive development that will yield fruits not only just for the company but also for Nasarawa State and its people.
“The initial discussions that we had in Lagos, we mean it. We mean our desire to look at Nasarawa State and develop processing zone, not just one crop, but multi crop processing zone. So that we can take advantage of synergies that show themselves in the space we want to operate,” the Flour Mills GMD said.
He further disclosed that the company will also look at the out grower scheme, where local farmers will be brought in while the company continues to expand, stressing that it’s important they work with local farmers.
“Because this is not just about Flour Mills, it’s about Nasarawa State as well and the people of Nasarawa State,” he stated.
The GMD said it’s the desire of the company to grow and make Nasarawa State its base.
“We know that we have to act very quickly and that is why we have prepared for this. Members of the team are ready to move in immediately.
“We are not waiting. We have a team here that is ready to move into the land, check all the land, what the conditions of the lands are, the topography of the land, we are ready to start testing the land, knowing whether the land is suitable, what hectarage of the land we will be able to move in quickly and start developing,” he further explained.
Earlier, in an opening remarks, Special Adviser on Investment to the Nasarawa State Governor, Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, recalled that at the earlier meeting in Lagos, the Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, mentioned an opportunity to use their investment at the Toto area, as a flag off of establishing a special agro processing zone.
The SA disclosed that following on that, Engineer Sule immediately borrowed approved for conversation to open with different support groups, specifically, the Islamic Development Bank and African Development Bank, for the establishment of the crop processing zone.
“Out of that meeting, we are also on the verge of achieving double dividends. One, we have the Flour Mills investment, secondly, that also gave us a leeway to start the agro processing zone,” Abdullahi said.
Responding, Engineer Sule, showed appreciation for the company returning the initial visit he led to Lagos, stressing that he knew Flour Mills Nigeria will come to Nasarawa for a mutually beneficial business relationship.
“I wouldn’t have gone to Flour Mills. But I do know that anywhere that Flour Mills goes, you have added value, everywhere you go, you have carried the family with you, everywhere you go, you make your foot print and your presence.
“I am very excited and elated, I am so happy that you have accepted this invitation to be here,” the Governor said.
While pledging total cooperation with the company as it moves into Umuasha, Engineer Sule directed the technical team from the state to give the company a comprehensive presentation, highlighting other options for further collaboration in the state.
He urged representatives of the state government to accord full cooperation and work with the team from the Flour Mills Nigeria, as the company moves into Toto Local Government Area.