Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has appealed to Chinese investors to help Nigeria realize its potential of becoming the food basket of the world.
Osinbajo told the investors and officials from the African Development Bank (AfDB), who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today August 6: “we have a tremendous potential of being the food basket of the world. But a lot of that will depend on how we are able to get high quality inputs, seedling and others, and how we are able to use technology especially the benefits of industrial agriculture to our advantage.
“We believe very strongly that this partnership is the one that will deliver the kind of growth, the kind of quantum leap we are looking forward to. We think that with your partnership with us, especially the agro-allied aspect of it, if it works very well, we can achieve a lot.”
Professor Osinbajo noted that Nigeria is a place where there is tremendous opportunity, adding that the country had the 9th largest arable land in the world “and most of that is still largely untouched.”
Osinbajo said that Nigerian government is currently engaging at the presidential level of government alongside the AfDB to ensure that “our investors have no trouble at all in being able to operate their businesses and do their businesses efficiently.”
Earlier, the leader of the Chinese delegation, Professor Zhao Zhihai, said that a consortium of Chinese investors was committed to the development of Nigeria’s agro-processing zones and especially the agro-allied sector.
this was even as the head of the AfDB team, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, said that the framework of the initiative is to develop a programme that leverages Nigeria’s comparative advantage in key areas of agricultural production.
“The overall investment, under the initiative, amounts to between $16 billion to $25 billion over a period of four years with a strong government support and private sector leadership.”
The Chinese investors are in the country at the instance of the African Development Bank to commence the processes of investing in Nigeria’s agricultural sector under an initiative known as the Agro-Industrial initiative with focus on crop production, forestry, fishery, and livestock production.