In Kebbi, Minister Idris Commends GB Foods’ Long-Term Commitment to Nigeria; Assures of Federal Government’s Continuing Support

In Kebbi, Minister Idris Commends GB Foods’ Long-Term Commitment to Nigeria; Assures of Federal Government’s Continuing Support

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has called on foreign investors to emulate the long-term commitment of GB Foods towards investing in Nigeria. The Minister stated this at the commissioning ceremony of a new tomato processing factory and farm expansion project by the Spanish multinational group, on Friday, March 8, 2024, at Gafara, in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

Speaking during a tour of the company’s 1,500-hectare farm, the Minister said: “GB Foods are resilient, determined and focused, and this is what we want all investors in Nigeria to be. We want people who will stay with us through thick and thin, so that Nigeria can reach the desired destination. This project is a good example of that, we thank GB Foods for believing and investing in Nigeria, and I want to assure you that you will receive all the support you require to continue to invest.”

Minister Idris also stressed the need to amplify positive narratives like this emerging out of Nigeria. “For those who say that it’s only bad stories coming out of Nigeria, this is a very good story to tell. At a time when the media is saying all foreigners, all investors are leaving the country, GB Foods is investing more and more here,” he stated.

Minister Idris added: “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is creating an enabling environment for all. He has invested so much in agriculture, and this is being pursued rightly by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security. Also, the political collaboration between the president and the Governors is also making this possible, along with the investment of the private sector.”

Responding to the company’s disclosure that seventy percent of the 5,000 farm workers are women, the Minister described this as heartwarming, especially against the backdrop of the commemoration of International Women’s Day 2024, with which the commissioning coincided.

The Minister also called on the sub-nationals to join hands with the Federal Government, to support the replication of the project across all the States, for the strengthening of food security in the country.

In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, who represented President Bola Tinubu, said: “This is a sign that there is confidence in Nigeria, under the able leadership of President Tinubu, for foreign investors to come and invest.”

He expressed the administration’s gratitude to Kebbi State for creating an enabling environment for business. “Let me say that this is the second time I’m coming to Kebbi State in a little over a month. First, I visited a Rice Mill, the largest in West Africa, and today I’m visiting the largest tomato factory in Africa, all in Kebbi State.”

After the farm visit, and a symbolic participation in the tomato harvesting process, Minister Idris joined his colleagues and other dignitaries for the commissioning and tour of the new 620 metric-tonnes per-day processing plant, which GB Foods plans to double in the next expansion phase. When completed, the farm and processing facility will be the biggest integrated tomato project in Africa.

The ceremony also had in attendance the Governor of Kebbi State, Dr. Nasir Idris; the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, and former Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu; members of the National Assembly representing Kebbi State, members of the Kebbi State Executive Council, the Emir of Yauri, Dr. Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Juan Sell, and senior executives of GB Foods, including the global CEO, Ignasi Ricou; Africa CEO, Vicenç Bosch; and General Manager, Nigeria, Vincent Egbe.

Rabiu Ibrahim
Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Information and National Orientation