When rodents, lizards invaded Kaduna multi-million naira rice plant | The Guardian Nigeria Information


You could feel the pain in his face. He was all agony. As he spoke, tears trickled from his eyes. He had sold a lot of his real estate, postponed his wedding, and now he’s in debt. Debts that he’s not sure will be out anytime soon.

This is the story of Abdubakar Abdulsalam, an agricultural engineering graduate from Bayero Kano University, who poured his fortune into the rice milling business that collapsed before it started.

Just like other agribusiness investors whose dreams have been shattered by the adverse business environment, the case of Abdulsalam, a rice processor whose plant is located on the Kaduna-Zaria Expressway in Kaduna state, is no different. Its plant is now overgrown with weeds as rodents, lizards and other dangerous animals have made the place their abode.

“I cry uncontrollably when I visit the facility just by watching helplessly as it rots. This project was frustrated due to numerous challenges such as fraud and lack of money. This is my life investment. I sold my land and property and put my wedding on hold to fund this in 2017 but I couldn’t complete it as we speak. “

Abdulsalam said he was struggling with his project after being duped N2.9 million by a craftsman who was supposed to make a per-boiling and drying machine to expand the machines he was at August 2017 from China for his plant.

“My project hit the rock when I was introduced to a welder whom I hired to do the work. He was supposed to make a rice drying machine for me and I paid him in advance to speed up the job. I regretted my action when I discovered he was wasting the money and unable to deliver my job. That was the beginning of the whole problem for me. I could remember paying him for the Eid-el-Fitr celebration in August 2017. ”

Had his efforts paid off, the facility would have started producing around 10 tons of paddy rice per day, which would have helped significantly in closing the gap in the country’s rice demand.

Abdulsalam said, “By now I would have become an employer who smiles at the bank at the end of each month. My only goal was to get on the federal government’s agenda to feed the country with local produce and to directly and indirectly become an employer for workers with no fewer than 150 employees by creating a state state. Artificial rice grinding plant.

“I wanted to provide the market with high quality, nutritious food, add value to farmers’ production by converting raw materials into finished goods and contributing to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“I spent about N9 million on the project, including a cash grant I received from the government. Acquire land and build a factory to fall level. I bought de-stoner and rice polishing machines, electric motors, and some other heavy-duty machinery from China for the plant, not knowing that there was a bigger challenge waiting for all of my efforts, ”he complained.

Abdulsalam noted that if the project had reached 70 percent, “I would have received a grant from the government, but the two machines needed to reach that level were not available. So I was disqualified.

“None of my attempts to ensure completion before the deadline was positive, even though I had sold my things to meet. My colleagues, with whom we began the journey together, and most of whom received the grants, are now millionaires in the agribusiness employing farmers and youth. One of them is Onyeka Akumah from Farmcrowdy. “

He complained that the rice mill building has continued to deteriorate since the project suddenly stopped, noting that all the roofing sheeting and ferrous metals are starting to rust.

“I cry uncontrollably when I visit my rice processing plant – only by watching helplessly as it rots. This is my life investment. Now the walls of the plant are cracking and lizards and rodents invade the whole place. That alone leads to loss of appetite and demoralizes me. “

Abdulsalam added that although the factory remained inactive, he spent nearly N1m on security guards who secure the property on a monthly basis.

He appealed to the government, well-meaning Nigerians and corporations to work with him to revitalize the plant since he “had done my best to complete the project, even by selling my property and postponing my marriage, but all to no avail. I came to the conclusion that I needed an investor or someone I could work with to make this project a reality. “