By George Edomwonyi
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday inaugurated the reactivated Edo Fertiliser Plant in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government which was built 14 years ago.
The Edo Government, in partnership with Wacot group of companies, reactivated the plant which can produce 60,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser in a year.
Speaking at the ceremony, the vice president said that the Federal Government was committed to creating enabling environment for private investors to do business in the country.
Osinbajo emphasised the need to involve the private sector to ensure accelerated development of the country’s infrastructure and industries.
“The Buhari administration takes private enterprise very seriously; we believe that government resources cannot bring about the rapid roll-out we need especially in the area of infrastructure and industrial development.
“It is the private sector that can do so. We are, therefore, committed to making it easy for businessmen to invest anyway in Nigeria.
He said that this was why the present administration set up the Presidential Enabling Business Council.
The vice president called for the involvement of state and local governments in ensuring that private businesses thrived in the country in order to create employment opportunities.
He commended the Edo government for partnering with the private sector to develop the state and for keying into the federal government’s economic diversification initiative.
“Let me again commend the Edo state government for this partnership with Walcot which is already well known for agro-processing,” he added.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki said that the plant was constructed 14 years ago and never operated.
“Vice president, your presence here today is quite significant, because this factory which was constructed about 14 years ago never operated for one day.
Obaseki said that the reactivation of the plant was in line with the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which the present administration launched in 2016.
“We invited Wacot to invest in this plant to bring it back to life so that we can be part of the federal government’s fertilizer initiative,” he said.
The governor said that the reactivation of the plant would help the state to achieve food sufficiency and economic diversification.
“In Edo state we are very confident that we can achieve more and contribute to productive and stronger Nigeria.
“Our investors and farmers will no longer have to search for quality fertiliser and this will, without doubt, increase yield and supply of goods to the market,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of Wacot group, Mr Rahul Savara, said the plant had the capacity to blend over 60,000 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizer.
“As the factory operations gather momentum, we will be creating about 500 direct and indirect jobs, 95 per cent of which will be for Edo indigenes.
“Wacot Group is strongly committed to the vision of attaining food self-sufficiency and economic prosperity through agriculture,” he said. (NAN)