Nigeria ready for agribusiness, VP Shettima tells foreign investors – moneyamebo

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has wooed foreign investors to invest in the country’s agricultural sector, assuring them that Nigeria is ready for business.

Shettima made the call on Tuesday in Iowa, United States, while delivering his address titled “Nigeria’s Agribusiness Roadmap for a Prosperous Future” during the 2023 Norman Borlaug International Dialogue.

The Vice President told the gathering that under President Bola Tinubu’s watch, Nigeria has since demonstrated that the agrifood sector is a top priority.

He said the country has 70 million hectares of underutilised arable land, which, according to him, is 75% of the country’s total land mass.

“Our primary objective is to empower our farmers and attract investors. We are increasing primary production to harness the economic potential of agro-processing and industrialisation. This is why, upon assuming office, the President declared a state of emergency in agriculture,” Shettima said.

“The connection between food and national security is too significant for us not to be alarmed by happenings around the world, whether in response to unforeseen disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic or the geopolitical frictions around us.”

Shettima also restated Nigeria’s firm belief in the power of partnership and noted that it was for this reason that the country had prioritised interventions, which he said present profound economic opportunities for investors.

He listed the interventions to include the National Agriculture Growth Scheme (NAGS), the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES), the Green Imperative Project (GIP), and the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programmes.

The Vice President also noted critical areas in which Nigeria was assisting its farmers to increase productivity, stating that “with about 70 million hectares of underutilised arable land, which is 75% of our total land area, Nigeria offers a substantial opportunity to both local and foreign investors to boost agricultural productivity. This is why we’ve embraced the TAAT, GIP, and SAPZ programmes and are investing in agricultural research through the National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF).

“This is why we are helping our farmers increase production and providing essential infrastructure for industries in peri-urban areas to expand their capacity. This, yes this, is the wisdom for our resolve to establish Mechanisation Service Centres in all our 774 Local Government Areas to facilitate essential primary production services.”

Shettima further stated that the government has introduced a range of tax incentives, including tax holidays, deductions for locally sourced materials, labour incentives, and pioneer status incentives, making it easier to conduct business.

“Notably, we’ve opened the doors to foreign investors, allowing them to have 100% ownership in companies and repatriate their profits and dividends without hindrance,” he added.

Declaring that Nigeria was ready for agribusiness, the Vice President pointed out that the country was “committed to the journey towards a world where food security and nutrition are not luxuries but fundamental rights for all.”

Source: The Guardian

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