Foodie Naija Update

FOODIE NAIJA UPDATE (FLOUR MILLS MULLS JOB CREATION, FOOD PRODUCTION)

Group Managing Director, Flour
Mills of Nigeria Mr. Paul Gbededo
has said the company is planning to
create thousands of jobs and drive
growth with the establishment
of large-scale farms.

He said the company is committed to driving productivity
and innovation through opportunities offered by markets
through the country.
Gbededo, in a chat, spoke of the company’s performance and
projections in the light of the award received from the Lagos Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (LCCI) as ‘Award for Impactful Contribution to
Economy through Backward Integration’ in the industrial space.

Gbededo said the company acquired its 10,000ha Kaboji
Farm in Niger State about 10 years ago which has grown to become the biggest
mechanised maize farm in the country. It uses 4,000ha to grow
maize.

He added that soybean has been
helpful in its vertical integration, which uses the produce at its feedmills in Ibadan and Calabar
for feeds for poultry.
He said the company is dedicated to sourcing its raw materials locally
and further the development of
the food industry.

The award is in recognition of the company’s efforts spanning about a
decade, when, in the
organisation’s plan, backward integration was adjudged the only way to support its food business
through local content addition as well as
improve food security in Nigeria.

On backward integration, he said
the programme helps to support the group’s manufacturing and
processing business.
For this, the Group Managing Director said it has invested over a billion dollars in the last five years
and projects that an equivalent sum would be spent in another five years in the agro-allied
business.

He added that the company is expanding its portfolio in the
agro-allied space because that would grow the local content and help
support the food business and
strengthen the growth of agriculture,
which would provide more jobs in Nigeria.
On the fall of the naira and impact on the business, Gbededo said there are two sides to the issue of the devaluation of the naira.

“In a way, it has put a lot of stress on our ability to bring
machinery and spares. It increases the naira cost of those inputs and upsets our projections since we operate in a naira environment – it affects our ability to make profits,” he said.
However, he pointed out that on the other hand, there is a
positive side. According to him, using maize for instance, the
commodity sells
about N45,000 – N50,000 per
metric ton, making locally produced maize to be competitive globally;
importing the grain would be at about
N60,000, thus making it a possibility to export surplus, if
any.

Gbededo revealed that it does not need to import maize now to run the operations of the processing
plants. The company, he said, is now
aggregating maize nationwide to
help its 350,000 metric ton plants
annually.
“Except there is a
shortfall in supply, we help boost the
fortunes of Nigerian farmers in earning more,” he said.

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