In what can be regarded as a positive development with the attendant creation of jobs, Folio Holdings Limited, on Thursday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Anambra State Government for the establishment of a 4,000 hectares of commercial agriculture project valued at N60billion.
The project, which will be sited in Awba – Ofemili, Awka North Local Government Area, Anambra State is in partnership with Triton Aqua Africa Limited, Alluvial Farm Nigeria Limited and Choice International Group. Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, while signing the MoU on behalf of the state government, said that the state under his administration had promoted agricultural development to strengthen the economy and provide sufficient food and job security for the citizenry.
Obiano also disclosed that he had invested over N2billion in supporting farmers, saying that the state had over 500 cooperatives and had started recruitment of youths in various segment of the economy. The governor said, “We have started recruitment of youths, especially in agriculture to give them basic rudiment training in agriculture.
“Before my administration, the GDP of the state was N1.8trillion, but now it has grown to N3.9 trillion. From the record, my administration contributed N2.3trillion to the growth.” Obiano also urged the investors to ensure the smooth take-off of the project from the date of issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
The governor, who assured investors of continuity in making the state business friendly, revealed that the state government had over 90,000 hectares of land in the land bank, ready for investment. Explaining, the Managing Director, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr. JoeBilly Ekwunife, said the 4000 hectares agro allied farm which is for rice production, would include an agricultural training institute which is expected to have a three years development timeline. Ekwunife said that other benefits of the projects include creation of 800 direct and 4,500 indirect jobs and food sufficiency among others.
Earlier, the Chairman, Board of Directors of Folio Holdings Limited and Publisher of The Daily Times, Mr. Fidelis Anosike, said they were attracted to site the project in the state due to the numerous security measures put in place by the state government. Anosike said that the project, when fully operational, would project the state in good light, boost socio economic activities and create jobs for the youths.