Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, visited the first rice mill to “conceptualized, executed and to be commissioned” under President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The rice processing mill with 120,000 metric tonnes capacity in Argungu, Kebbi State by WACOT Rice Limited, a member of the TGI Group aims to ensure food security and youth employment.
According to the millers, the rice mill is part of WACOT’s expansion plan, which targets a capacity increase with additional rice plants to overall 500,000 metric tonnes in the next few years.
“Located in Argungu Local Government Area, along the Argungu-Sokoto road, the rice processing plant is the first rice mill to be conceptualized, executed and to be commissioned during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” WACOT Rice Limited said via statement.
“Work started on the Mill in February 2016 and is scheduled to be formally commissioned in May, 2017.”
During a pre-commissioning visit to the 120,000 metric tonnes mill on Thursday, Abubakar Bagudu, governor of Kebbi state, hosted Emefiele and Ogbeh, who commended the board and management of WACOT Rice Limited for keying into the “self-sufficiency in rice production” goal of the federal government.
While conducting the special visitors round the N10 billion mill, Rahul Savara, the group managing director of TGI Group, said the mill will produce top quality rice, and that it will generate direct and indirect employment for 3,500 people, adding that over 50,000 farmers will have ready market for their produce.
Ujwalkanta Senapati, WACOT’s managing director, adds that “WACOT views farmers as partners with whom we work hand-in-hand to improve agricultural production”.
Savara further revealed that the mill is “the first rice plant in Nigeria with captive power co-generation facility and that it will generate 1 MW electricity from rice husks, thereby ensuring that all by-products and waste products are fully consumed and the environment is protected”.
On his part, Emefiele lauded WACOT Limited for the feat, adding that the mill will save the country substantial amount of foreign exchange that would have gone into rice importation.
He also assured the farmers that government will continue to do everything to ensure that their products are sold.
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