ALERT | Dangote Group to Create 210,000 Jobs
The Dangote Group will create 210,000 jobs in the agriculture sector between now and 2018, its Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said.
Speaking at the opening of Katsina State Economic and Investment Summit on Tuesday, Dangote said 80 per cent of the jobs would come from the agriculture sector.
“We should pay attention to the agricultural sector for investment opportunities, particularly when the crude oil is now becoming unreliable,’’ Dangote said, in his goodwill message.
He said Brazil, which had same peculiarities with Nigeria, had $350 billion in its foreign reserve, adding that 80 per cent of the fund was from agriculture.
“Brazil is now a leading producer of sugarcane, soya beans, wheat and poultry in the World,’’ he said, noting that he would establish the largest single refinery with the capacity to produce 650,000 barrels per day and two subsea pipelines of 550 kilometers in Delta, Ogun and Lagos.
Dangote promised to assist government to reduce pipeline vandalism as well as provide 12,000 megawatts of power. He, however, called for the creation of enabling environment for investors by identifying areas with comparative advantages.
“You don’t need to call for investors, just create enabling environment for the local ones; you will see the foreign ones gate crashing,’’ he said.
Beans export: Federal Government is working to resolve Nigeria’s EU’s suspension
The Federal Government is working closely with relevant agencies towards ensuring that the European Union (EU’s) suspension of Nigeria’s dried beans exports is lifted in June, the Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, said on Tuesday.
He said government was working towards the lifting of the suspension, which is supposed to end this year. “We have submitted series of reports to the EU here. When we went to Netherlands and China in April, we met with the EU team. And we discussed with them. For us to travel to China for the meeting of pesticide is to let them know we are serious about resolving the relevant issues and to be able to carry out analysis for pesticides,” Isegbe said.
He added that Nigeria has sufficient laboratory equipment to test for aflatoxin. “So, we don’t have any issues with that; we are trying to put our house in order,” he explained.
The EU announced an export suspension measure in June 2015, which affected dried beans from Nigeria. The dried beans from Nigeria was reported to have contained high levels of pesticides considered dangerous to human health.
The suspension is expected to end in June. Isegbe, who described the ban as a national embarrassment, said relevant government agencies were working closely to ensure that past mistakes were corrected before the deadline.
He said Nigeria is expected to provide substantial guarantees that adequate official control systems have been put in place to ensure compliance with food law requirements.
Isegbe however, explained that quarantine service officers were not contacted to test the batch of beans that failed to meet international standards leading to the suspension.
“People want to do business with beans. There is a market for beans overseas, but weevils are destroying those beans and they need to protect those beans from weevils.
“Ignorantly, they applied overdose of the chemicals and the countries of destination rejected them, because of fear that the beans will harm their people and they suspended us,” he said.
According to him, the beans left the border to European countries even when they did not pass through quarantine. “We are asking government to look at the issue holistically if we really have to do export business. We need to re organise how the business should be done,” he stated.
The NAQS Coordinating Director said the Service has been talking to clearing agencies not to bypass quarantine, noting that it does not make sense for any businessman to bypass quarantine and try to export.
He also said the Service had started using radio and television jingles to educate members of the public and farmers on some of their activities.
Isegbe, who said people were exposed to a lot of diseases due to poor packing of food, advised farmers and traders to package their produce properly.
He emphasised the need for collaboration between regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to ensure quality control and acceptance of Nigerian agricultural exports in the international market.
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