A group of South African investors have indicated interest to plough $200 million in the agriculture sector in Edo, Enugu and Benue states.
The investors have therefore sort the acquisition of 5,000 hectares of farmland which at the end would provide over 2,500 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians especially the people of the three states.
This was disclosed when the board members of Nigerian Institute for Oil-palm Research (NIFOR) led by its chairman, Senator Lee Maeba, visited Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State at Government House, Benin City.
According to him "God did not make any mistake in citing NIFOR in Benin. NIFOR has on its roll over 2,000 employees and is very particular to mention that nearly 2,000 of these are from Edo State and so we can conveniently say that NIFOR is one of the major employers of labour in Edo State."
Senator Maeba commended the governor in his determination to show commitment to the infrastructural development of the state and sued for its sustenance.
The Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) was established in October 1939 as a Research/Training Institute.
Responding, Oshiomhole told the board members of NIFOR to advise the South African investor to look in the direction of Edo State for investment of the $200 million in the cultivation and production of oil palm on 100,000 hectares of land, pointing out that the state has adequate land reserves and other infrastructure to meet the demands of the investors.
Oshiomhole who maintained that Edo is the safest in the entire nation and that her people are hospitable, noted that other agro-companies that have investments in the state are doing so well that they have asked for more land for expansion.
He told the NIFOR board members that government was willing to approve more land for the Institute if it applies for it.
Oshiomhole noted that government had cause to revoke reserved land from some landlords who were not actual farmers but were sub-letting such land to small-scale farmers and collecting rent on same, assuring NIFOR of government's support whenever such is needed.