The Northern African power nation, Egypt, has declared its interest to have farm plantations in Ogun State. The Egyptian government, under its Food Security Plan, has shown interest in the Agro Processing Zone, located in the Gateway International Agro Cargo Airport, along the Iperu-Ilishan Remo Road in the state. The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun made this known to the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Ogun State Chapter recently, stating that representatives of the Egyptian government would soon visit the state and finalise details of their investment.
The governor informed that he had held an economic bilateral meeting with the biggest conglomerate owned by the Egyptian government, National Service Project Organisation (NSPO), with the North African organisation, expressing its readiness to invest in the agricultural sector of the state. The National Service Project Organisation, led by General Walid Morsi, had paid a courtesy call on the governor in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, declaring that the organisation would focus on the cultivation of food and cash crops, which would be exported to his home country and other parts of the world. He said; “We are trying to make Egypt a hub in the Mediterranean Region and we are partnering Nigeria in the area of agriculture where we can plant and process food and cash crops and send it to Egypt. This partnership would be of great benefit to Nigeria and Egypt”.
The representative of National Service Project Organisation in Nigeria, Mr. Bashir Ibrahim, said the team was in Ogun State to assess its viability, especially in the agriculture sector, where the company intends to focus on. The representative added that the visit had provided the team with an opportunity to see one of the economic zones located at the cargo airport, observing that the state has economic concepts that could not be found in other states across the country. Ibrahim, however, lauded the state government for the cargo airport, which would host the Agro Processing Zone, expressing delight with facilities on ground, assuring that the cultivation of farm produce would not be the only area the company would invest in, but in aqua and poultry farming.
The governor, while responding, informed investors that Ogun State, with more than 12,000 arable land, out of its more than 16,000 total land mass, was suitable for planting food and cash crops, adding that apart from the availability of highly-skilled manpower, as the result of large number of educational institutions, Ogun State is also blessed with abundant natural resources. Abiodun explained further that his administration had embarked on the provision of infrastructure, security and the implementation of the multi-modal transport system, which the cargo airport was part of, noting policy reforms to attract more investors and improve the economic base of the state for the betterment of the people.
“We appreciate the team for choosing our state for the project. We are investor-friendly. We are the agricultural capital that produces cassava, fish, eggs and what have you. We are blessed with abundant natural resources where two-third of our land sits on limestone”, he stated. We have keyed into the Anchor Borrower’s Programme where we cleared land for our people and linked them with off-takers to buy their produce. We see agriculture as a source of food security and employment generation as well as revenue generation”, Abiodun stated. The governor also noted that Ogun State had witnessed the influx of both local and foreign investors in the last four years, saying his administration was ready to welcome investors from Egypt, who are interested in investing in agriculture as the sector serves as a source of food security, employment and revenue generation. He emphasised that his administration was finalising arrangements with other Egyptian companies on other opportunities that would strengthen relationships and benefit Ogun State, and Nigeria as a whole.