Edo to boost agric investment in 2014 – Ihonvbere

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By SIMON EBEGBULEM

BENIN — Edo State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with 8 international investors who will invest heavily in the agricultural sector to create employment for youths in 2014.

Secretary to Edo State Government, SSG, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, who disclosed this during a chat with professors from Australia and China who were in the state to seek partnership with the state government in the agricultural sector, said it was the desire of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s administration to ensure the completion of all on-going projects in the state, as well as  invest in the agricultural sector to create employment for youths.

He said: “I believe that the focus of the 2014 budget demonstrates clearly that following the huge investment on infrastructure, we will continue to do that as we complete on-going projects but now want to move to all those who will use the infrastructure; the empowerment of youths, women, and community leaders.

“For example, in the Ministry of Agriculture, we have 8 MoUs already signed with international investors who want to go into cassava, rice, palm produce and fruits, among others. These are not businesses that would employ less than a thousand persons.

“The petro-chemical plant that is on-going now, when completed, will employ no less than 2,500 persons. It is a huge petro-chemical plant that has completed its dredging and if you go there, you will not believe the huge investment. Another 20,000 hectare for cassava production to produce ethanol is on-going too and this is another employment generation source but private sector driven.

“The producers of Indomie noodles have come and would be producing to distribute to the South-South. We are not just going to give them land to produce, but they will go into manufacturing of various products too.

“We are also carrying out revolution in the educational system. There are very few states that have tried that and that is because we have quality, capable and competent heads of ministries and also driven very hard by the commissioners and the governor himself.”

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