From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

The Onitsha organised private sector was in an ecstatic mood recently during the inauguration of  an export-based seed processing plant in Ogbunike, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State.

The factory, built by Panac Industries Limited, was the first to berth within the commercial city of Onitsha and its environs and Governor Chukwuma Soludo, who inaugurated the factory, was elated on the development.

Represented by commissioner for industry, Hon. Obinna Ngonadi, Soludo reiterated that the state government had planned to give exporting industries support by creating a market as well as helping to standardise their products. He added that government was setting up industrial clusters to encourage those who want to set up industries to come to the clusters through the ministry of industry.

“We encourage people who want to set up industries to come to us for assistance. We work in collaboration with Standards Organization of Nigeria and Export Promotion Councilto make sure our products carry Made-in-Anambra as brand,” he said.

President of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Chief Kevin Obieri, said the launch came at a time when Soludo was desirous of attracting investments that would not only result in local direct investment (LDI) but also create employment  within the state.

“As the voice of the organized private sector, we are pleased to offer this great initiative by one of our council members, Panac Industries Limited, first in the whole of the South East region.

“Exports are one of the critical economic indices and foreign exchange earning sources that have not been fully explored in Nigeria, especially for a state like Anambra that has all the potential to do so from every consideration.

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“We see this initiative by Panac Industries Limited as a welcome development and a practical example of what we need to do to earn the much desired foreign exchange and ease the constant pressure on the naira and the usual difficulties experienced in finishing our imports,” he further explained.

Managing Director,  Panac Industries Limited, Mr Chinedu Aniagboso, said the vision of the industry is to exploit the opportunities that abound in the agricultural food chain in Nigeria as the nation is blessed with a lot of resources especially in agricultural sector which are yet untapped.

Aniagboso, who pointed out that there are a lot of opportunities in seed processing and extraction, said the products are solely for export, saying that the Soludo administration is passionate about export.

He called on Nigerian youths to acquire knowledge, discover their potentials and be committed and consistent in pursuing their dreams so that they can be able to achieve their desired goals in life.

“We have been exporting since last year but we go to northern states to procure the seeds for export. After one year, we decided to install our processing plant here so that when we get the raw seed from the North, we process it here and sell outside the country. Inside the factory we have already processed seeds waiting for export,” he stated.

On challenges confronting the industry he said they were two: bad roads and lack of security which also affected movement on the roads as transporters charge more to transport from the North to Onitsha as a result of insecurity on the road.

Director-General Onitsha Business School, Professor Segun Sogbesan, described the seed processing facility as first-of-its-kind in the South-East, saying that the facility is capable of producing a minimum of over 60 metric tons of seeds per day. He added that the products already have its market  demands abroad.