WACOT RICE TO BE THE LARGEST RICE MILL IN AFRICA
The West African Cotton Company (WACOT), on Friday unfolded new investments in Kebbi State, just as the firm has been given a pat on the back for being part of the socio – economic development drive of the state and Nigeria in general .
The new investments include the second phase of the mega rice mill at Argungu, where the first phase of the large scale rice mill was established five years ago .
The second phase of the rice mill, is a multi million dollars new investment by WACOT in Kebbi State, which according to the Chairman, the current installed capacity is 120,000 metric tonnes and they are operating at 95 percent of capacity. The new investment shall double the capacity to 240,000 metric tonnes making it about the largest in Africa.
The Chairman of the firm, Alhaji Farouk Gumel disclosed this in Argungu , when the Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the Managing Director of First Bank Nig Plc, Dr. Adeshola Adedotun visited the company .
According to the Chairman, the firm will continue to invest and expand as they strongly believe in the robust economic policies of the state and federal governments.
He said that , the funding for the second phase of the rice mill has been secured from First Bank. The WACOT Boss described the bank as an active partner of the company , saying ,” this is beneficial to us , Kebbi and Nigeria .”
He said that the delegation of the bank was visiting to see for themselves the dividends of hard work performed by the company.
” They are also here to appreciate the strategic importance they have given to agriculture, ” he explained .
The Chairman further acknowledged the tremendous support the firm was getting from the administration of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu since its inception.
Also while answering Reporters’ questions, Bagudu expressed delight that Nigeria was now an investments hub and investments destination of choice globally.
According to the Kebbi State Governor, the plausible and beautiful policies of the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari were handsomely yielding fruits .
Bagudu added that , sequel to this happy development, no fewer than fourty seven new large scale rice mills had sprang up across Nigeria .
The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum further noted that , the good omen had positively impacted the state .
According to him, rice yields in the State and the nation had been bolstered , while rice production also shored up.
Bagudu expressed happiness that , more Nigerians were believing in Buhari by engaging in agriculture, especially rice production and eating what they produced.
‘ The mantra of President Muhammad Buhari, let us grow what we eat is working’, he averred.
Similarly, Bagudu stated that , other neighbouring African countries like Benin and Niger republics were now keying into Nigeria’s rice revolution .
Bagudu averred that, history will not forget the enormous contributions of the WACOT Rice Mill to Kebbi and NIgeria,especially the execution of Corporate Social Responsibility projects .
He said ,” the key to national emancipation is in more production and this is part of the laudable federal government policies aim to achieve .” He also commended the CBN for its financial response to the Agriculture sector as well as the First Bank for supporting WACOT to expand its capacity.
The Managing Director of First Bank, Dr. Adeshola Adedotun expressed delight that , their partnership with WACOT was paying off as the firm has progressed steadily.
He noted that Nigeria was now happily a major rice producer as against her previous position of being a major rice importer .
According to him, Nigerians should give themselves enough credit as a country , noting that , great strides had been achieved in spite of the initial pessimism.
He assured that , first bank will remain very close to the company and Kebbi State.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu who is also the Chairman Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production in Nigeria is the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council has earlier held a meeting with officials of WACOT Rice led by the Chairman of the company, Alhaji Farouk Gumel and the officials of First Bank,led by the Managing Director of the Bank, Dr. Adeshola Adedotun.
The governor accompanied by the officials of WACOT and First Bank Nigeria Limited went round to inspect the edifice.