By Nike Popoola
WACOT Rice Limited, a member of the Tropical General Investments Group, has said its expansion project began in 2021 and was 95 per cent complete.
It said full milling operations would begin in August 2023, which would boost Nigeria’s food security and Kebbi State’s economy.
A statement said the group disclosed this when it hosted the Kebbi State Government to a pre-commissioning visit at its newly expanded 240,000-ton rice mill in Argungu, Kebbi State.
The statement said, “The original 120,000- metric tonnes rice mill was commissioned in 2017 by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. Governor Atiku Bagudu in company of the Governor-elect, Dr Nasir Idris, and other dignitaries were part of the Kebbi State Government delegation that visited the factory.”
While expressing his delight on the progress of the project, Bagudu also highlighted its positive impact on the nation and Kebbi State’s suitability for agricultural investments.
“This is another milestone by WACOT Rice. In spite of a very challenging world economy where Nigeria battled two recessions, amazingly this company believed in Nigeria, and invested in Nigeria, and showed that Nigeria is a destination for all investors,” he said.
Bagudu thanked the management and staff of WACOT Rice for making tremendous contributions to the state with its corporate social responsibility projects.
He assured the company of the state’s continuous cooperation.
The governor said, “WACOT Rice, more than money, has contributed to our self-confidence and economy.
“They have not only helped in the production of rice but processing the highest quality that today, Nigerians and non-Nigerians across the country are confident that Nigerian rice is equivalent to the very best that is being bought elsewhere.”
Idris also commended WACOT Rice for its substantial investments across the state, noting that it had vastly improved the economy while empowering people.
He said, “We have witnessed this ourselves, and we are very happy. Our people are engaged and employed in various capacities. Definitely, WACOT Rice has reduced the rate of unemployment, and we want to thank the management.
“We are going to continue to partner with them, and play our own part by ensuring that we continue to create an enabling environment for them to keep operating and growing.”
The Chairman of WACOT Rice, Farouk Gumel, thanked the Kebbi State Government for the support provided and assured continuous investment in the state.
“On behalf of the management and board of WACOT Rice, I thank the Kebbi State Government under the able leadership of Governor Atiku Bagudu for the support.
“The existing mill is a 120,000metric tonnes mill which we have just doubled to make up to 240,000metric tonnes/annum.”
This article has been republished from The Punch