A Kano-based entrepreneur, Isa Gerawa, says his new 1,200-tonnes-per-day solvent extraction plant in Kano will reduce importations of soybean and increase its exportation capacity.
He added that it will also create no fewer than 5,000 jobs for Nigerian citizens.
Gerawa, who is the Chairman of Gerawa Global Oil Mills Nigeria Ltd., owners of the plant, said that he had invested $50m (about N18bn) in the facility.
In 2016, Nigeria began exporting soybean at N14.6bn annually as the largest producer of soybean in Africa. Local production is way to go.
Gerewa who disclosed this in Abuja added that the investment was directed at expanding the soybean processing and vegetable oil refining plant in Kano.
He said that the expansion was encouraged by the prevailing favourable agricultural environment in the country.
Gerawa described the wholly-indigenous plant located at Tokarawa Industrial Estate in Kano as the “biggest single oil mill in West Africa.
“The plant has a standard laboratory, 10,000-tonne capacity soybean storage silos, 15 million-litre soybean oil silos and warehouses.
Based on the 2016 statistics on soybeans production output in Nigeria, put at one million tonnes annually, we have the capacity to process more than 25 per cent of the soybean yield from farmers.
All our raw materials are sourced locally. We have soybean suppliers from Katsina State and virtually all states in the north central part of the country,’’ he said.
Gerawa commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for implementing good policies and programmes that were aimed at boosting Nigeria’s food security.
He listed the Anchors Borrowers Programme, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative and the irrigation projects, which had increased water availability in key food-producing states, as key agricultural initiatives that were worthy of commendation.
“However, I appeal to Buhari to ban the importation of all categories of vegetable oil into the country so as to stimulate the capacity of local oil industries to grow and also meet the country’s needs for edible oil.”