Ekiti State Government, Cavista Holdings sign multi-billion naira MoU to boost cassava farming

Ekiti State Government, Cavista Holdings sign multi-billion naira MoU to boost cassava farming

Thursday, May 9, 2024 9:06 pm

Governor Oyebanji at the MoU signing ceremony

Governor Oyebanji at the MoU signing ceremony

* Now is the time to invest in Nigeria, Gov Oyebanji urges investors at US- Africa Business Summit

*Tells investors to take advantage of President Tinubu’s economic reforms

Ekiti State Government yesterday took a significant step towards agricultural transformation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a leading Nigerian investment company – Cavista Holdings (owners of Agbeyewa Farms Limited) to establish a state-of-the-art cassava farm spanning 100,000  hectares within the State.

The MOU which is worth billions of naira was signed by Governor Oyebanji and the Chairman of Cavista Holdings, Niyi John Olajide on the sidelines of the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit currently ongoing in Dallas, USA.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adeoye Aribasoye; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Ebenezer Boluwade; Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Tayo Adeola; Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akin Oyebode; and Commissioner for Budget, Planning and Performance Management, Mr Niyi Adebayo.

On the Cavista Team were the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Dele Odufuye, Chief Financial Officer, Mr Niran Olajide, Dr. Niyi Arije (Legal Director) Mr. Cyril Akika (Member of the Board of Directors), and senior management staff of the company.

Also present were Chief Dele Kelvin Oye, President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), who is also the Vice Chairman, Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA); Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru as well as other key stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Speaking during the event, Governor Oyebanji articulated the government’s vision for agricultural advancement, emphasizing the importance of strategic partnerships in driving progress. He underscored Ekiti State’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for investment and urged other investors to explore the vast opportunities available in the state, particularly in sectors such as tourism, mining, and the burgeoning Ekiti Knowledge Zone and Special Agriculture Processing Zone.

The Governor described the MOU as a testament to his administration’s commitment to the continuity of programs of the immediate past administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi as enunciated in the State’s 30-year development plan. “This also speaks to the alignment of vision. John ( Olajide) wants to create jobs. We want our people to prosper by creating opportunities for them. So, we found a good partner in John and the CAVISTA group.” He said.

Governor Oyebanji expressed gratitude to Cavista for its unwavering commitment to Ekiti State, which has led to several success stories in the Tourism and Agriculture sectors, bringing about jobs opportunities and income to the state.

“The private sector is very critical to developing our economy, and as a government, we must ensure that the process of doing business is easy, seamless, and top-notch. I am very proud that Cavista has continued to demonstrate confidence in our state, and all their investments are now success stories. So I look forward to the successful implementation of this MOU to the benefit of Ekiti State and Nigeria”.

Echoing the Governor’s remarks, the Chairman of Cavista Holdings, Niyi John Olajide stated that the company had no regrets about investing in Ekiti, adding that its commitment is driven by his desire to create thousands of jobs for the people of the state.

“The success of our investment in Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort and our previous agricultural investment in the state is what encouraged us to embark on this new cassava revolution initiative, to be driven by our subsidiary – Agbeyewa Farms.  We are very proud of our partnership with the state and driven by my personal goal to create thousands of jobs in the state, we look forward to another successful partnership with the Ekiti State government under the distinguished leadership of Governor Abiodun Oyebanji”. He said.

This collaboration between the Ekiti State Government and Cavista Holdings marks a significant milestone in the journey towards agricultural transformation and economic empowerment in the region. The partnership is poised to catalyze growth, drive innovation, and position Ekiti State as a beacon of agricultural excellence in Nigeria and beyond.


* Now is the time to invest in Nigeria, Gov Oyebanji urges investors at US- Africa Business Summit

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji yesterday in Dallas, USA told foreign investors to take advantage of the current economic reforms in Nigeria to invest in the country.

Governor Oyebanji, centre, at the US- Africa Business Summit

Governor Oyebanji, centre, at the US- Africa Business Summit

“This is the right time for any investor to invest in Nigeria”, Oyebanji declared at a panel session, one of the major events at the 2024 US- Africa Business Summit organised by the Corporate Council on Africa ( CCA), citing the current reforms of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration and the synergy between the Federal Government and the state governments.

In attendance at the session were heads of national government and sub-national governments; investors; policy makers and development agencies drawn from different parts of the world, including the Chairman of the Board of Corporate Council on Africa, Mr John Olajide.

Governor Oyebanji, in his presentation also cited a few successful collaboration between Ekiti State Government and some international investors, including Cavista Holdings and  Promasidor to make a case for more direct investment in the state, stressing that the right time to invest in the state is now.

According to Oyebanji “Now we have a reform-minded government that is visionary and we have 36 state governors (I am one of them) and these are people that have keyed into the vision of the President Tinubu’s administration.

“And as I have said, the economies of sub-nationals are so critical to the Nigerian economy itself. So, for any investor that wants a credible return on their investment, this is the time to invest in Nigeria because the market is readily available, the people are ready, and we have a government that is reform-minded, transparent, and trusted by the people.

“Nigerians believe in this government because we have a President that has done it right and all the governors have keyed into his vision as well. So, the time to invest in Nigeria is now.” He added.

Wooing Investors to Ekiti, Governor Oyebanji said the State Government is strong on regulatory frameworks which are designed to protect investors and investments in the state.

“What we are doing is to ensure that we have a stable and predictable regulatory framework and there must be trust because I believe that for any business to thrive, trust is key. You must have a leader that is visionary, trustworthy, and transparent. All these, we have in Ekiti State and that is why I am here today so that we can have more investors like Cavista who are relevant to what we are doing in the State.

“So, the sub-nationals are critical to developing the Nigerian economy, but for them to attract credible investors there must be a clear regulatory framework. The ease of doing business has to be top-notch, security must be guaranteed, put in place the building blocks that will allow businesses to grow and thrive. Things must also be done in a way and manner that will give them the confidence to bring their capital to invest.

“The Cavista story is one of our success stories and I am proud of it. Cavista Holdings came to Ekiti State as a company we were not aware of but they showed interest in one of our moribund assets that has been there for many years and nobody wants to touch it. Calista came to discuss with us but through the help of NIPC, they told us to set up an Investment Promotion Agency so we have an IPA that shields investors away from government bureaucracies.

“So, they do things the private sector way and we also set up a very strong regulatory system. We have a predictable policy because we realized that when you look for development, investors look for returns on their investments. So we have all our businesses plan being driven by the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA) and the Director-General has access to me directly so that when there are issues, I can give the executive backing.

“So we started with the facility at Ikogosi Warm Spring and Resort that we are so proud of, and they told us what is expected of us as a government and because of the recent reforms of the Federal Government, which ceded resources to sub-nationals who can build critical infrastructure to support investments. Now the Resort is a success story, and because of that, we have now migrated from Tourism to the Agriculture

“In Nigeria, there is a central government and there are 36 state governments with governors as heads of states; The Nigerian economy is the aggregate economy of sub-nationals and so if the sub-nationals do well, the country will do well as a whole. The Federal Government realizing this put in place structures to assist subnationals in areas of business development and attracting private investors into their space.

“As a governor of a state, you have responsibilities within the state but there are some critical areas that are better left in the hands of private investors.  So through the Nigerian Investment and Promotion Council ( NIPC), the Federal Government collaborates with states and tells us what we need to do to make the state investment-friendly because capital (finances) will move to a place where they are welcome.

“So, there are healthy competitions amongst the 36 states to get very responsible and credible private sector players into our states.”

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