….Gombe debunks allegation that N18b Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park was built by AfDB
No fewer than 4,000 persons registered under the 23,000 unemployed list in Gombe State have secured placement to work in the Special Agricultural Processing Zone Programme.
Disclosing this to journalists on Wednesday in a briefing at the Deputy Governor’s office, Chairman of the consortium of investors Alhaji Shehu Bello, said the employment opportunities would improve the economy of the state.
The SAPZ programme, our correspondent reports is funded by the AfDB and possibly the Islamic bank with consortium comprising companies from India, US, China and home-based companies.
Bello disclosed that the consortium of investors would not only focus on Agriculture, but on conversion of the airport to cargo and exploration of mineral resources.
He said, “We understand that there about 23,000 unemployed youths currently registered with the government, But I’m happy to say that instantly, we can take 4,000 off the list of 23,000 and if that is done, by the time we come back next time, we will register the remaining 19,000 and we will see how we will profile them and engage them into agro business.
“I think we will start from this dry season, and get to prepare better. Possibly, if we can get 4,000 engaged, I don’t think a small achievement. We’re looking at the airport, possibly to become a cargo airport, with the approval of the governor, then we have an avenue to take this thing. There are partners, so many partners lining up who wants to drive on our shoulders to tap these resources in Nigeria, and the resources we discover when we came here, are not just agro industries, there are mineral resources to be tapped. So, I think people should watch out for Gombe, very soon the good news will spread.”
On his part, Muhammad Magaji, noted that the investment was part of the Special Agricultural Processing zone, added “this is a model under the African Development Bank funding. Gombe has been listed as one of the states in the second stream, but we did not wait for the AFDB to be able to begin to put in place what is required for an agro-processing zone to be established in Gombe.”
Also speaking, Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Nasiru Aliyu, justified the huge investment on the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, adding that the establishment resulted in the investors’ interest.
Aliyu said, “The main issue is the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park and Gombe State has made tremendous efforts and they were full of praises, where the government went ahead to establish an industrial park by investing a lot of money over N18 billion even before the coming of the African Development Bank.
“This has also shed more light to the fact that some people were alleging that the industrial park was constructed with a loan from the African Development Bank. So, people have now known the truth, it is a singular effort made by the state government to forge ahead without waiting.”
Also, Director of Agtech Innovation Ltd, USA Dr Dleepkumar Dukuku, expressed optimism that the collaboration would yield desired results, “Most importantly, our mission here is to help government effectively design and implement SAPZ, which is going to be funded by the African Development Bank,” he said.