By Temitope Owotoki
The Federal government has handed over some silos across the country to 19 out of 24 concessionaires that are successful in the bidding process of Nigerian silos nationwide.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the hand-over ceremony in Abuja, urged the successful companies to keep and managed the silos well.
Dr Mohammed Bello Umar, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said the event was an actualization of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) on the silo programme which is another milestone in the life of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
He explained that the silos are being concessioned so as to generate revenue for the government as well as encourage private sector investment resulting in optimum and beneficial use of the silo facilities to create wealth for the operators. He added that this will generate employment and stimulate agricultural production.
Engineer Chidi Isuwa, Director Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) explained that explained that 33 concessionaires started the bidding process but 9 were left out for strategic reasons resulting to 24 final bidders.
He stated that the final 24 bidders went through for about 800,000 net tones of the silos.
Isuwa added that at the end of the whole process, only 19 companies successfully won the bidding process and paid a upfront fee of N1.3billion.
He said the concessioned silos will generate N6bn annually into the Federal Government account.
Some of the winners of the bids include Matrxville Consortium, Flour Mills , Ebony Agro Industries, Neon Farms Africa Consortium, Coscharis Farms, and Agro Universal Consortium.
One of the selected concessionaries said the process which started six years ago will positively impact the value chain of farmers across the country.
Ogbeh also used the occasion to appeal to farmers to be involved in the current restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and called on them to ensure that they own at least 40% of the shares.
“We are targeting N300 – 400billion and I want farmers to make sure they own at least 40% of the shares,” he said.