Nigeria’s Apex Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, has been commended for initiating the University-Based Poultry Revival Progrmame, UBPRP, as it will encourage high-level private sector participation, the attraction of investors, job creation, and prevention of capital flight.
The commendation was made during the signing of a Memorandum of understanding between the University of Benin and Unigold Foods Limited to establish a 50 million per annum broiler/chicken production, processing and packaging poultry facility.
The MoU is a Public-Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement under the UBPRP, expected to reverse the trend of smuggling and importation of poultry products into the country. Unigold Foods Ltd is also one of the nation’s foremost food and Livestock Company that could achieve this lofty dream by 2030.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of Uniben, Prof Lilian Salami, said the university is elated with the collaboration and MoU signed with Unigold Foods Ltd, which has led to the creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV, company called United Poultry And Food Company Nigeria Ltd.
According to Salami the SPV will be a national company that will play a key role in the agro-based business space which apart from being a profitable business will facilitate job creation for staff, students, and thousands of youths in Edo State because it will bring about human capacity development in terms of skill acquisition in the poultry industry including other opportunities.
The VC also disclosed that Uniben with its vast experience in research and development will deploy its over 40 years of research and development materials to the poultry business, which will be strategic in the success of its partnership with Unigold Foods Ltd.
She also added that the research materials will help to reduce the cost of production as well as boost the value chains for more direct and indirect job opportunities.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Unigold Foods Ltd, Sir Tony Alile, lauded the VC of UniBen, Prof Salami, and her team for collaborating with Unigold Foods Ltd in the creation of the SPV, company, United Poultry and Food Company Nigeria Limited. He urged the institution to focus on the research and development needed to make the partnership a success as public institutions are not expected to run businesses.
Also speaking at the event, Chief Operating Officer of the company, Richard Obiorah disclosed that the project is a multi billion Naira venture and a fully functional vertical integrated poultry production company that will be at full operating capacity by 2022 with an annual output of 50 million broiler.
“The Management of the University of Benin, especially the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lilian Salami, must be applauded as she has provided enough land from the thousands of hectares of land owned by the University that will make it possible to create a poultry city that will have its own industrial-scale breeder farms, capacity to produce and hatch 2 million day-old chicks on a weekly basis, fully automated processing and packaging plants and an industrial feed mill producing affordable feed for the company and the public at large. Nigeria’s poultry industry is not competitive and is too expensive, hence the reason why consumers buy smuggled poultry which is cheaper, but with the coming of this project and also keying into CBN’s poultry initiatives under the University-Based Poultry Programme, in less than five years the issue of smuggling poultry products into Nigeria which has been happening since 2003 will become a thing of the past”, he stated.
Source: The Vanguard