By Sunday Iduh
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has called on the people of the state to engage in massive cultivation of cassava, in order to feed the ethanol plant being constructed in the state by Bio-Tech Company PLC, Makurdi.
He stated this during a Meeting with Liu Yangxi, Chairman Bio-Tech company plc, Makurdi at the Benue Peoples House.
The governor disclosed that he started talking about investment from China before he even became a minister. He noted that China has been able to change the narratives through good leadership and industrialisation.
According to him, “most people who are not business minded casted aspersions against me when I started talking about investment from China. Investment matters are not done in a day. It takes time. Most people had thought that it was a one day thing.”
“Everyone must work for the success of the company. We need to cultivate enough cassava for the company. Cassava is the raw material for ethanol,” he said.
Governor Ortom also urged the people to create a conducive environment for the company to thrive as it will generate employment and also create wealth.
He gave assurances that the people and government of the state will support the company to succeed so that they can take advantage of other areas for investment.
The governor conferred on the Chairman of the company a title of ‘Hur Or U Tiv’, which means the ‘friend of Tiv’.
Mr Liu Yangxi thanked the governor for granting him and his team audience. He said he was honored to receive the title of ‘Hur Or U Tiv’ and expressed appreciation to the governor and the people of the state.
“The mutual friendship between his Excellency and myself, began more than a decade ago, when his Excellency was the Minister of State for Industry, Trade & Investment. He encouraged me to invest in this country and especially his home town, Benue State. Now with Pure Biotech/Wetech Industry Ltd – the largest Ethanol project ever in Nigeria, using cassava as raw materials, I have fulfilled my promise, and I urge the people to give us maximum protection so that I can do more of this investment just like the way we are doing with other states.
“More importantly, tens of thousands of Benue youths, farmers and others stand to benefit directly or indirectly from the project.
“My presence here today is as a result of a hard fought visionary leadership from his Excellency’s love of getting his state Industrialized for the benefits of the Benue citizens,” he stated.
He encouraged the people to make full use of the resources and reduce import dependence so that the people will get rid of poverty and live a better life.
Liu explained that Nigeria can be great with the right things in place. “40 years ago, China was very poor, far worse than Nigeria today. What China has achieved through 40 years of development, Nigeria can also achieve and achieve better but through the hard work of our own hands and the creation of our intelligent minds, and of course agricultural modernization and industrialization which is what we’re doing,” he said.
He noted that “Pure Biotech is ready to make the most hardworking people multi-millionaires, and all you need to do is to go back and farm cassava. Pure Biotech consume fresh cassava not less than1,500tons daily or dry cassava not less than 500tons daily.