Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has reiterated that the focus of his administration was to attract investors into the oil palm and cassava sub-sectors for the manufacturing of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG).
Obaseki said this during a virtual meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, U.S. Embassy Economic Officer, Richard Michaels, U.S. Embassy Political Officer, Brandon Hudspeth as well as some foreign and local agribusiness investors in Abuja.
The meeting was held as part of the activities marking the inauguration of the new U.S. President, Joe Biden, and Vice-President, Kamala Harris.
Obaseki said that in his first term in office, efforts were made to shift to getting the job done by instituting the framework for Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP)
According to the governor, this is in support of oil palm value chain development in the state for the benefit of all.
“At the sub-national tier of government, we focus on moving from lamenting to executing; we are focused on getting the job done.
“This paradigm shift in the establishment of the ESOPP will now include a move toward a renewed focus on Cassava Industrialisation Programme through our land administration and civil service reforms.
“We want to build the capacity of our people to attract private investments in agro-industrialisation,” he said
Obaseki expressed delight in the support and commitment of the ambassador to the plight of farmers and value chain development in the state.
He commended the U.S. continued support for Fayus Inc., an agro-processor and distributor based in Sacramento, California, for its investments in Edo and Nigeria.
The governor pledged an additional allocation of 5000 hectares of land for the firm, while emphasising the need for human capacity development to engage the people of Edo.
Amb. Leonard, who led the team of U.S. officials, commended Obaseki for his expression of interest to attract U.S. agri-business investors in the cassava and oil palm value chains.
The ambassador pledged support to incentivize other U.S. food and agribusiness companies to invest in Africa.
“Fayus Inc.’s $43.7 million investment commitment in cassava new food products development serves as an example of synergy of goals in value creation to drive food security and economic diversification.
“It also encourages jobs creation under the Prosper Africa Initiative and DFC project financing in support of US-Africa investors,” the ambassador said.
Leonard also thanked Fayus Inc., AfricaGlobal Schaffer (AfGS), ShineBridge Global (SBG) and local partners in Nigeria for investing in the country.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Fayus, Inc., Mr Fatai Yusufu, expressed readiness to transform oil palm and cassava value chains in the state.
“We are ready to get the job done in Nigeria and in Edo.
“Over the next four years, we will be milling palm oil in Edo from our investment in the 5,000 hectares of land recently allocated by Gov. Obaseki’s administration.
“Fayus, Inc. is one of six new oil palm investors in Edo with state-of-the-art nurseries boasting of over 600,000 high-performance seedlings ready for planting in 2021.
“Fayus, Inc. is committed to sustainable cassava supply chain infrastructure development and value creation in Nigeria,” he said.