The Managing Director of Ore Industrial Park, Dr. Femi Akinkuebi, has disclosed that the multi-billion naira park has world-class facilities to boost raw materials processing in Nigeria and save the country huge foreign exchange wasted on importation.
Akinkuebi, who iterated the need for massive investment in the value chain of raw material, said this recently in Akure while addressing journalists on the capacity of the park located in Ore, the headquarters of Odigbo local council.
Akinkuebi, who is currently managing one of the biggest industrial parks in the Southwest, identified agriculture as a key sector. He stressed that if massive investments are made in the sector, it holds the key to a swift economic turnaround in the country.
“Even though agriculture remains the largest sector of the Nigerian economy and employs two-thirds of the entire labour force, processing of its products to its optimum level is overestimated,” he said.
He also identified sectors such as food processing and furniture manufacturing as areas with huge economic potentials for the nation, especially with the clamour for revenue diversification.
“The market for processed foods has shown both multinationals and indigenous food processing companies and fast food companies competing for unprecedented market share in Nigeria worth $20.55 billion in 2015.
“With the fast growth rate of the food industry, Nigeria’s processed food industry is likely to touch $55 billion by the end of 2021 with Nigeria’s plan to diversify into the agricultural sector after several years of being an oil-dependent nation.
“The sector-wise break up of the food industry in Nigeria shows that processed foods were most consumed taking a lion share of 37.6 per cent followed by protein 42.3 per cent and cereals 30 per cent, Akinkuebi said.”
“While the furniture manufacturing is the largest single sub-sector in terms of employment, it can employ more than 60,000 persons. The global furniture market is projected to reach $800,596 million by 2025 end,” he said.