By Benjamin Idakwo
Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA has expressed its willingness to partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to improve dairy production in the country. Towards achieving this objective strategies are being put in motion for the establishment of processing plants in the FCT.
This was disclosed during the visit by a delegation of dairy products and agriculture investors led by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele to the FCTA.
Addressing his guests, which include Mr. Ben Langat, Managing Director, Friesland Campina, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, Managing Director Nestle and Mrs Zubaida Damakka, Director, L and Z Integrated Ltd, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello said the visit was coming at the right time as the FCTA was currently focusing on encouraging investment, especially in the agriculture sector in the FCT.
The Minister revealed that the better part of the last four years were spent perfecting infrastructure development in the city centre and strengthening institutions within the FCTA for better service delivery, saying that attention was also focused on developing the business and investment sector.
He said: “During my first tenure, we concentrated on improving infrastructure within the city itself while also trying to improve on the institutional capacity of the various departments in the FCTA.
“I am pleased to say that we have reached some reasonable milestone where we are now happy with the system we have and we can now extend to other activities.
“And for us, agriculture development and also encouragement of investors to the FCT, particularly to provide processing facilities is the next step we are going into and you are coming at the right time”.
Malam Bello, who enumerated the economic advantages and strategic positioning of the FCT in terms of dairy production and food sufficiency, stressed the need for the CBN to cash in towards ensuring that the vision of the Federal Government to diversify the economy is achieved.
The Minister commended the dairy production investors for their interest to invest in Abuja and contribute to the industrial development of the nation’s capital, adding that the FCTA will do all that is required to ensure ease in the entire processes, beginning with the provision of the necessary land to situate plants and factories.
He therefore, directed the setting up of a combined committee to be supervised by the Minister of state, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, comprising the SA, Agriculture to the Minister of state, Chief of Staff to the Minister, Executive Secretary, FCDA, Director, Land Administration, Director, AGIS and representatives of the CBN, and the investors.
The committee was given three weeks to work out viable locations that fall within the Abuja masterplan and a business strategy that is mutually beneficial to the investors and the people of the FCT.
Earlier, the Governor of the Apex bank had commended the Minister for making the FCT safe for the people and creating the enabling environment for doing business, thereby making Abuja one of the top business friendly cities in the country.
He also expressed the desire of the CBN to make all states of the federation, including the FCT, self-sustaining and economically viable.
This, he said, could be achieved through the painstaking measures already put in place by the CBN.
He urged the Minister to fast-track the allocation of land to the investors so that the CBN can bring to bear other incentives to ensure that the investments flourish, thereby making the FCT and the people economically empowered.