After four years of rigorous planning, hard work and negotiations, the Delta State Agro-Industrial Park at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku axis is finally ready to take off as the ground-breaking ceremony would be performed this year.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said that at full capacity, the park would host 20 to 30 agro-processing factories and agro-business enterprises.
Altogether, the number of direct jobs that will be created by the agro-industrial park could be up to 4,000 while the indirect economic impacts will cover tens of thousands of farmers and agricultural value chain operators, he revealed.
Governor Okowa gave the assurance in his 2021 budget speech at the state’s House of Assembly on Tuesday.
Most Deltans had wondered why so much delay in the commencement of the proposed project. This was just as the owners of the large expanse of land taken by the state government for the project have continued to show interest in having back their land rather than for it to remain fallow. But Okowa’s assurance that the project is ready to take off may restore hopes.
The governor disclosed that the project is currently at the construction stage under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with a completion period of 18 months, adding that the ground-breaking ceremony would be performed before the end of this year.
“The park is being developed as a multipurpose and multiproduct epicentre of agro-processing, agro-industrial and agribusiness activities to catalyze and transform agricultural value chains in the state,” Okowa said.
“The project is a joint venture between Delta State Government, Mirai Technologies Ltd and Norsworthy Investments Ltd. In this regard, the three parties have jointly registered a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as Delta State Agro-Industrial Park Limited.
“By design, it will have clustered set of infrastructure, facilities and utilities including power, water, security, research and training, quality assurance, sewage, and waste management. Others are marketing and commerce, packaging, warehousing, storage, equipment maintenance, administration, conferences, residential and hospitality.
“The value proposition of the Agro-Industrial Park includes the elimination of persisting infrastructure constraints to agro-industries, diminution of the cost of operations, and enhancement of the overall ease of doing agribusiness.
“The common infrastructure, facilities and amenities will enable firms and businesses to operate smoothly, attain maximal efficiency, maintain profitability, and grow investments over time,” the governor said.
He said that these will foster improved competitiveness of agro-industrial and agro-processing businesses, increased flow of private investments to the state’s agricultural sector, job and wealth creation, sustainable growth, and diversification of the state’s economy.