By Mike Adeyemi
The Kwara State Government has over the years injected about N150 million into the state cashew processing company, Ogbondoroko, Ilorin East Local Government Area of the state in order to boost its production capacity and economies of scale.
The Head of Treasury & Investment, Harmony Holdings Ltd, Hussain Alada disclosed this in a chat with our reporter in his office, at the weekend.
According to Alada, the Kwara cashew processing company was conceded to Olam Nig. Ltd by the state government for the duration of 10 years and the company was on the verge of relocating to Cote D’voire due to poor economic activities, prior to Harmony Holdings’ intervention.
“So far, the Kwara State Government under Harmony Holdings Ltd has injected over 150million to improve the facilities of the company, and presently, about 10,000 square metres warehouse is being constructed at the company to store cashew nuts for all year round production.”
Speaking further, Alada said the cashew processing company has impacted on economic activities of the state with over 1,500 direct labour services engaged.
“If you look at the host community now, economic activities of the area have been boosted a development that has added to the GDP of the state.”
Adducing reasons for the exportation of the nuts for foreign countries for final processing at the expense of having it produced locally, Alada said this is one of the challenges faced by the company presently.
“I think the Kwara State Government should come up with a direct policy to discourage the exportation of cashew nuts to foreign countries by imposing tariff and quota as this would discourage its exportation and invariably prompt the company to set up its plants in the state. Such development would create more jobs and even more revenue for the state government in the form of tax,” Alada explain.
He said some West African countries with comparative advantage in the production of cashew like Ghana, Cote D’voire have come up with direct policies to discourage the exportation of cashew nuts by introducing taxes.
“I think our government too can do same, because if you look at it, lots of funds meant for development are lost into non remittance of exile duties. If this is done it will cause the foreigners to set up their company here in Kwara”.