Flour miller targets 40,000 jobs with N2bn sorghum plant investment
The Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc’s new ultra-modern Sorghum Milling Plant, recently commissioned in the business city of Kano is to provide over 40,000 new jobs along the value chain.
The plant which is currently the largest sorghum Processing Plant in sub-Saharan Africa, was acquired at the cost of over N2 billion, and has an installed capacity of 100,000 metric tons per annum.
The categories of new jobs which plant is expected to generate ranges from: direct employment in the plant, to specific jobs in areas of Logistics, Traders dealing in raw and processed sorghum, and input, in addition to extension services.
Checks conducted by BusinessDay indicates that the new production plant of the company is structured on local sorghum cultivation agreement with local farmers entered into by the company in collaboration with KRISAT, an International NGO involved in crop development in Africa based in Kano.
In an address during the commissioning, John G. Coumantoros, chairman of the company, said the new investment is geared at providing quality jobs, social upliftment and economic empowerment in rural areas in the sorghum growing belt of Nigeria.
According to Coumantoros, the latest plant expansion initiative was in line with his late father `s vision of making the company a foremost processor of traditional grains cereals that offers convenience, affordability, taste and nutrition to families in Northern part of the country.
“In line with Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM) Plc`s vision to become the foremost processor of traditional grain cereals that offer convenience, affordability, taste and nutrition to families in Northern Nigeria, the company launched its state-of-the-art ultra-modern Sorghum milling plant in Kano, the largest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This was in line with the vision of my late father George S. Coumantoros, who started the mill in 1978” he noted.
The chairman affirmed his company `s commitment to be one of the largest promoters of Government`s Agricultural Promotion Policy with its on-going investments in agro allied initiatives in its concept of integrated food basket of products with home grown produce.
He disclosed that the investment was meant to position the company as the FMN Group`s hub for local content processing and value addition, as well as a center of Excellence on Research, Development and Extension feeding the nation every day from food produced from locally sourced raw materials.
Shedding more light on the Sorghum plant, Sani Umar, deputy –managing director of the company, the company resolve to go into the production of sorghum as a result of the on-going economic recession which the nation is experiencing which push up cost of sourcing wheat for it operations.
Umar said for now the company had decided to suspend the processing of wheat, and it is now concentrating on sorghum which has gone into a collaborative agreement with KRISAT to source through a local out-grower scheme.
He explained that even though the company has a farm in Niger State it decided to source the sorghum commodity through the out-grower initiative, on discovery that the land of it farm is more suitable for maize cultivation.
The commissioning of the plant was attended by the Executive Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Minister of State for Industry, trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, Deputy-Governor, CBN, Suleiman Barau, Executive Director, Large Enterprise, Bank of Industry, Simon Aranoun, representative of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, and leaders of Farmers Associations.
In his speech at the occasion, Governor Ganduje commended the company and its parent company FMN, and expressed happiness on what he described as “historic and unique commissioning of the plant, the first of its kind in the country and coming within months of Kano State Governments 2nd Economic and Investment Summit with common objectives of revitalizing economic activities and uplifting the welfare of citizens.”
In his remarks, Aisha Abubakar, minister of state for industry, trade and investment, acknowledged the company `s role in promoting Federal Government of Nigeria `s development policies particularly in the area of agro-allied industries in the north.
The representatives of the CBN, and the BoI were unanimous in commending the company and its parent company –FMN for the initiative and pledged their continued support.
They noted that investments such as this are consistent with current CBN Agriculture Initiative, the Anchor Borrowers Scheme and other agro-allied financing schemes that create job opportunities, improve GDP growth, conserve foreign exchange and diversify the economy through the promotion of local content.
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