The coast is getting wider and clearer for the consolidation of Kebbi State as leading rice producing state in Nigeria as the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has commissioned N10billion rice mill in Kebbi State, regarded as the largest in Africa.
It would be recalled that Lagos State had during the early part of this administration sealed a partnership deal with Kebbi to produce Lake Rice brand which few months ago arrived the market at a competitive price.
Commissioning the new mill, Prof. Osinbajo explained that the WACOT Rice Mill, which is privately owned, is capable of processing over 120,000 metric tonnes annually, saying the scheme underscored the policy of the government that the private sector must be the engine of economic growth and sustainable job generation.
According to him, “This Mill is important for several reasons: The first is that it is the policy of the FG that it is the private sector that must be the engine of development. It is not just the private sector leading growth, but the growth must be growth with jobs, it cannot be jobless growth we have seen a lot of jobless jobs”.
“But one of the critical things we are seeing today especially with the growth of agriculture is that this is growth with jobs, several thousands of our people are farming and are engaged in farming. I spoke to the MD earlier on and he was saying that in this coming year they are expecting to be engaged with 50000 farms and that is the kind of private sector led growth that we want to see.
“The second is that the president laid out in the budget of scheme of 2016 that we must grow what we must consume what we grow, it is up to us to grow what we eat.
“This is a landmark achievement here, it is a signal to the rest of the countries that Nigeria is not just opened for business but it is set for development.”
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of WACOT rice mill, Mr. Rahul Savara, explained that the company had a plan of investing further over N100 billion over the next few years in various agricultural value chains to deepen support for governments drive to diversify agriculture.