The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said the state Government will continue to render assistance to investors in the country.
The Governor stated this during the launch of the Co-Investment Partnership between USAID and Wacot limited, which was performed by the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Madam Mary Beth Leonard.
Senator Bagudu added that it is critical for the investors to know that they will be supported by the state government to generate services .
“We believe that Kebbi is a good place for them, because of the value addition and the support they give to the economy.
The operations of the factory in the community they operate in Argungu and by extension in Kebbi State is satisfactory.
We are very very proud of the company, because they are conscious of their responsibility, to shareholders, environment and their respect for the community”.
He said the partnership between USAID and Wacot is timely, highly desirable and mutually beneficial.
The American Ambassador, Madam Mary Beth Leonard, said the partnership was the first of the seven co- investment agreements initiated to harness the power of the private sector, and said it would improve agricultural production in Nigeria.
According to her, the trade Hub’s grant of $1.5 million dollars will directly support its Argungu Rice Outgrower Expansion Project, allowing WACOT to onboard 5,100 rice farmers, half of which would be women into its program.
“The program is designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholders farmers, lift them out of poverty and respond to food security concerns raised due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The partnership, would also create 8000 new jobs in the next few years, and hoped that, the agreement would open more doors for more partnership in the future.”
The Chairman of Wacot Rice limited, Alhaji Faruk Gumel, said the company was established in Argungu, Kebbi State, because of the abundant potentials of the place.
“The rice Mill started from scratch in 2015, to stardom in 2017. When the company started its operation, the initial challenges it encountered, was successfully surmounted .
Over 2,000 jobs have been created by the company due to the partnership with USAID.
The expansion of the company has given opportunities for more farmers to cultivate more land for rice production.”
Gumel disclosed that when the company was established in 2017, they hardly sold product for three months, because customers were always demanding for foreign rice.
“But today, we are selling Nigerian rice unstoppable, and people continue to ask for it. Everybody wants to become our agent and marketer.”
Deputy Chief of Party for USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub project, Mr Karl LittleJohn , said that Wacot
will create 60,000 jobs across Nigeria, and West Africa through its partnership with USAID on the rice outgrower expansion project.
“The core objective of establishing WACOT in Argungu and the launching of this partnership today is to create catalyst for investments and provide grants to more farmers.
The jobs created would be available across Nigeria and West Africa.
We want to show that we can create jobs. We want to also increase trade investment with our partners across West Africa countries”.