A team of technocrats and business developers have partnered to invest 500 million dollars to boost the cassava manufacturing industry in Nigeria.
The initiative, under the auspices of Zealhosts Consortium, will enable private sector investment via a programme known as “Project Bolt”.
Speaking on the project, Chairman of Shine Bridge Global and Zealhosts Consortium Partner, Dr Tony Bello, in a statement on Friday, said that the goal was to work together towards revitalisation of the food and beverage industry in Nigeria despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the investors were delighted to have entered into a strategic Public-Private Partnership with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Bello said, “As a team of technocrats and business development partners in Nigeria and the U.S., we are focused on industrialisation of cassava into functional food ingredients for the manufacturing of consumer-packaged goods in Nigeria.
According to him, the initiative plans to support the Economic Sustainability Plan and the National Industrial Plan and the Zero Oil Plan of the FMITI under the leadership of Mr Niyi Adebayo, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investments.
“We have worked with the Minister, Adebayo and the Permanent Secretary, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo with the contributions of staff of the ministry to design the terms of engagement and scope of work under the Industrial Cassava Manufacturing Program of the ministry,” he said.
Bello further explained that six private sector partners in Nigeria and the U.S had been engaged to ensure the successful implementation of Project Bolt which included the Zealhosts Consulting Services, Berwick Agro, ALTS Consulting, H2AFoods Nigeria, Shine Bridge Global with the support of AfricaGlobal Schaffer.
He said it was critical to fast-track Project Bolt, with the project leading to the production of new food products such as snacks, crackers, shawarma and pizza crust made from cassava.
The investors, he added, will provide technical and business leadership to the food and agribusiness sector through co-investments in manufacturing and apply global food safety initiatives and export market promotions to drive import substitution and Forex earnings.
“Together we shall tackle the issues of unemployment, create jobs for our youths, women and smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
“We commit to over 750,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the implementation of Project Bolt and we are present in six states and looking to expand to a minimum of 10 States in food manufacturing in Nigeria,” Bello said.