Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said his administration has established the Nasarawa State Infrastructure Fund, where five percent of the state’s monthly subvention is set aside as savings.
Engineer Sule disclosed this while delivering a speech at the official commissioning of the Pandagric Novum Farms, an integrated feed and food manufacturing company in Panda, Karu Local Government Area, on Friday.
According to the Governor, the NSIF, which is part of the reforms instituted by his administration, will not only build savings for the state but also de-risk private sector investment infrastructure, which he added, is bringing some level of comfort to investors coming into Nasarawa State.
He said his administration has been deliberate about stimulating the economy of the state, building people’s human capacities and creating wealth and jobs for the people, instituting a range of reforms as a commitment to ensuring sustainable growth and development.
While reiterating that his administration is keen on promoting agriculture, considering its immense economic impact, Engineer Sule identified agriculture as the top two key pillars of the industrial revolution being undertaken by his administration.
“Indeed, our state is fast becoming a home for agribusiness and playing host to a number of key agricultural ventures that continue to boost economic activities in our state,” Engineer Sule added.
According to him, agriculture is critical to achieving the aspirations of his administration.
“The competitiveness of Nasarawa is also tied to the agricultural sector given its huge arable land mass, available cheap labour as well as high proportion of small holder farmers that can easily be activated to scale up and connectivity to key states into the North Central zone especially the FCT,” he said.
Engineer Sule expressed appreciation that Pandagric Novum, with the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as core Investor, have acquired about 3500 hectares of land for maize and soyabeans farming in Panda.
He pointed out that, even though Nasarawa State is yet to be considered as one of the top ten states when it comes to maize production, with the investment by Pandagric Novum, the state can now claim to be one of the top states in the country.
He particularly appreciated that Pandagric Novum is not only targeting to harvest 10 tones of maize per hectare, in line with international standards but that the company afford local, small holder farmers, to produce about five tones per hectare, instead of the 1.5 tones they usually harvest.
“The biggest for us is the area of training, that you have continued to train our local people. Today, they are also becoming farmers not only in the area of cultivation but in the area of agriculture,” the Governor stated.
In his speech as the special guest of honour at the event, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the commissioning of the project was a foretaste of many possibilities and opportunities for investments, in agriculture and other sectors in the country.
The vice president called for more private sector investments in the agriculture sector, assuring that the Federal Government will continue to create the enabling environment to encourage more private sector investments in the agriculture sector.
He lauded NSIA for its massive investment in the agriculture value chain in the country spanning over 10 years.
He reiterated the passion with which President Muhammadu Buhari believes in the role of agriculture as a key driver of job creation and economic growth of the country.
President Buhari passionately believes in the role of agriculture as a key driver of job creation and economic growth of Nigeria.
“The NSIA has over the last ten years, invested in different subsectors of the agricultural value chain. In 2014, we know that the Fund for Agricultural Finance was established by the NSIA in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“In 2016, President Buhari set up the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to address the problem of cost and availability of fertilizer. NSIA was enlisted by His Excellency as the project implementing entity,” the Vice President stated.
Prof Osinbajo commended Engineer Abdullahi Sule for the visionary zeal he has deployed in three and a half years of his administration and in making Nasarawa State the number one agric investment hub.
“I think the completion of this project is a tribute to his commitment to making this state a notable state for agriculture. We were here a few months ago for the Nasarawa Investment Summit and so many commitments that were made then where made on the account of the fact that many notable investors feel comfortable working in the state.
“It’s clear that your support for this project is fundamental not just for completing it but also in all that we are hearing today about the great potentials for other investments,” the Vice President said.
On his part, Mr Uche Orji, MD/CEO, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), described Nasarawa State as the ‘best kept secret in agriculture.’