A team of technocrats and corporate growth Under the auspices of Zealhosts Project Bolt Consortium, partners together to spend over $500 million in Nigeria’s cassava manufacturing sector.
Dr Tony Bello, Chairman of Shine Bridge Global and a member of the Zealhosts Consortium, announced this in a statement on Friday.
He stated that private sector funding would be channelled into a software known as ‘Project Bolt’ to produce the intended outcome as quickly as possible.
The consortium members included Zealhosts Consulting Services, Berwick Agro, ALTS Consulting, H2AFoods Nigeria, and Shine Bridge Global, a food and agribusiness consultancy service company headquartered in the United States, with funding from AfricaGlobal Schaffer.
According to Bello, the investors are overjoyed to have established a strategic Public-Private Partnership with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment.
The aim, he says, is to work together to revitalize Nigeria’s food and beverage industry as the world grapples with the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a team of technocrats and market growth partners in Nigeria and the United States, we are working to industrialize cassava into usable food products for the manufacture of consumer packaged goods in Nigeria.
“Not only Nigeria, but also international West African, North American, and European markets.”
“We want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his ambitious leadership of the Economic Sustainability Plan, as well as his support for the FMITI’s National Industrial Plan and Zero Oil Plan, led by Mr Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investments.
“We collaborated with the minister, Adebayo, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, and the Director of Industrial Development, as well as ministry personnel, to plan the terms of engagement and scope of work under the ministry’s Industrial Cassava Manufacturing Program,” he said.
Six private sector partners in Nigeria and the United States, according to Bello, have been engaged to ensure the smooth completion of Project Bolt.
Like Usain Bolt, he believes that pace is important in program implementation as they have completed the development of new food items such as snacks, crackers, shawarma, and pizza crust made from cassava.
“Together, we will address the problem of unemployment in Nigeria by creating jobs for our youth, women, and smallholder farmers.
“We commit to over 750,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the implementation of Project Bolt, and we are present in six states and looking to extend to at least ten states in Nigerian food manufacturing,” he stated.
Bello praised president Buhari’s attempts to move Nigeria toward economic diversification through food and agricultural industrialization.
He said that the investors had come to provide technological and business leadership to the food and agribusiness sectors through manufacturing co-investments.
He said that the investors will use global food protection policies and export sector promotions to accelerate import substitution and foreign exchange earnings.