BY AMECHI OGBONNA
The Federal Government’s agricultural transformation agenda recently received a fresh impetus with the signing of a $400 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for agricultural machinery and automobile manufacturing assembly plant to be sited around the Onitsha axis of Anambra State.
The Executive Chairman of Richbon Group, Chief C J Muonagolu, who signed on behalf of the company, said the factory, on completion, would generate over 6,000 jobs directly and indirectly for Nigerians and facilitate the transformation of the nation’s agricultural value chain.
Muonagolu said he was delighted to be supporting the Federal Government and Anambra State in realising the lofty goal of diversifying the economy in the light of its dwindling crude oil revenue in the international market. He, however, commended the Anambra State administration led by Chief Willy Obiano for tackling the insecurity challenges in the state and improving its investment climate, stressing that the measures already in place would fast track the development aspirations of the state and boost its internally generated revenue.
According to Muonagolu, Richbon Group, which is partnering XGMA of China, the world’s third largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery and allied products was also considering additional investment in production and processing of agricultural products, riding on the crest of its improved business environment to create more jobs for Nigerian youths.
The factory, which is expected to commence production within 18 months from the date of the MoU, will also roll out commercial buses and light trucks to complement government’s effort in the area of mass transit operation and haulage.
He called on the Nigerian business community and other entrepreneurs of Anambra extraction to rally round the administration to boost wealth creation for the country.
Also speaking at the event, Anambra State Governor, Obiano, who signed on behalf of the state government, said his administration would continue to partner serious minded entrepreneurs in the task of developing the state through the provision of conducive business climate and incentives.
He said his government has already signed gas and power supply agreements with leading power and petrochemical vendors to ensure that gas and power infrastructure that would feed the new auto plant and other industrial projects in the state are seamlessly delivered to facilitate their production process.
Obiano said the Richbon project and others recently signed by the administration would help raise the state’s internally generated revenue to over N2.5 billion from the present N1 billion.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Anambra State Investment Promotion Agency (ASIPA), Mr. Joe Billy Ekwunife, has called on investors from across the globe to utilise the improved security and basic infrastructure in the state to explore its rich potentials especially in areas of agriculture, tourism and manufacturing of industrial products, stressing it would help conserve the nation’s scarce foreign exchange currently being expended on importation of manufactured goods.
Source : SunOnline