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Edo signs Mou worth N85.5 billion with four Investors - 2015-03-23 07:54:16

BusinessDay - IDRIS UMAR MOMOH

As part of policies to grow its economic base away from over dependence on federation account, Edo State government said it has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) worth N85.5billion with four investors in the agricultural sector.

Two of the companies are to engage in the production of ethanol from cassava and sugarcane.

BusinessDay reports that the investors are to embark in the agricultural production and processes in the state.

Abdul Oroh, the state commissioner for agriculture and natural resources gave the hint during the signing of Mou with the management of Obax Worldwide and Wilhahi Investment Limited in Benin City last week.

Oroh added that the state government was targeting about $2billion investments in the agricultural sector within the next three years.

He said Obax Worldwide limited has concluded plan to invest $250 in the cultivation of cassava as well as establishment of ethanol factory at Ologbo in Ikpoba Okha local government area of the state.

According to him, we are looking at about $500million investment from these four Mou signed by the state government with these investment.

Recall that the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole had late last month signed MoU with the management of Industrial Development Holding based in South Africa for the establishment of an ethanol refinery in the state.

The four investors the state government signed MoU with are Industrial Development Holdings, Obax Worldwide, Wilbahi Investment limited and Ekha-Agro companies respectively.

The four investors are for now to cultivate about 150,000 hectares.

Oroh said while Industrial Development Holding would produce ethanol from sugarcane Obax worldwide will produce the same product from cassava.

He added that Obax worldwide is partnering with the Sunbird Bio-energy to establish ethanol refinery in the state.

He posited that Industrial Development Holding will cultivate 20,000 hectares of sugarcane at Owan East and processed into ethanol and 35,000 hectares at Ovia North East for oil palm.

Obax Worldwide limited would also cultivate 20,000 hectares of cassava at Orhionmwon local government to be processed into ethanol, Ekha- Agro, 10,000 hectares of cassava to be processed into various cassava products while Wilhabi investment limited is to cultivate 20,000 hectares of rice at Ilushi in Esan South East local government area.

The commissioner said 20,000 hectares of land in Orhionwmon local government area has been allocated to the Obax worldwide for the cultivation of cassava to provide raw materials for the company while about 3000 hectares of land will be developed for out growers where not less than 5000 farmers will be empowered.

Oroh who said the Obax worldwides ethanol refinery would commence operations by 2016 attributed the MoU so far signed as a result of the 2012 Agro-business investment summit organized by the state government.

He said about 12 applications have so far been treated by the state government.

He however disclosed that the state government would within the next three years cultivate over 300,000 hectares of new farmland across key food and cash crops.

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