By Omolola Pedro
As part of efforts to boost export activities in Anambra State for improved revenue generation, the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has inaugurated a seed-processing export-based industry, the Panac Industries Limited. Soludo, during the inauguration ceremony at Mgbawa, Ogbunike, in the Oyi Local Council, said the industry, which is the first of its kind in the SouthEast region, was a pointer to the industrialisation drive of the government of the state. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Industries, Obinna Ngonadi, urged business people across the nation, to make investments in Anambra because the state now has open opportunities for investors.
He lauded the company’s Managing Director, Chinedu Aniagboso, for breaking new grounds in the seed-processing industry. Ngonadi, who was accompanied by the Special Adviser to Soludo on Commerce and Industry, Eloka Mmaduekwe, stated that the current administration was committed to supporting activities in the export sector, adding that it had already commenced the creation of an export emporium where all export-bound products would be showcased, standardised, branded, and containerised. He said, “This is a great initiative, exporting processed agro produce is a huge addition to the industrialisation efforts of Anambra including its employment and revenue benefits. We are going to support businesses like this. We have started building an export emporium on a 40-hectare land. That facility will be a standardised point for all Anambra export brands”.
Earlier, Aniagboso had said the company was set up with a view to adding value to Nigeria’s agricultural produce and that it is an export-based seeds processing plant in the state. According to him, the initiative was borne out of years of business opportunities research both within and outside the country. He said the plant, which had a combined capacity of 60 metric tonnes, processes sesame seeds, soya bean seeds and sorghum for export, as he commended the state government for providing the right environment, while also appealing for the provision of basic infrastructure and institutional support for young entrepreneurs. At the event, the Director-General of Onitsha Business School, Prof. Segun Sogbesan, said the only way Nigeria could improve its balance of trade is to encourage export of value added products, urging that nation to move from exporting primary products to processing, to earn more foreign exchange.