Under the auspices of Zealhosts Consortium, a team of technocrats and business developers in Nigeria and the United States of America are partnering to invest 500 million dollars to boost the cassava manufacturing industry in Nigeria. The project is tagged “Project Bolt” and it will enable private sector investments in the cassava value – chain. Project Bolt is in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Chairman of Shine Bridge Global and Zealhosts Consortium Partner, Dr Tony Bello, stated that the goal is to revitalize the food and beverage industry in Nigeria that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative plans to support the Economic Sustainability Plan and the National Industrial Plan and the Zero Oil Plan of the FMITI. The Economic Sustainability Plan is set up to stimulate the economy by preventing business collapse, ensuring liquidity, create and retain jobs using labor intensive methods in key areas like agriculture, investments in roads, bridges, solar power, and communication technology. It also aims to promote manufacturing and local production at all levels and advocates the use of products made in Nigeria, and to extend protection to the poor and vulnerable including women and people living with disabilities.
The Zero Oil Plan identified 22 priority countries that would be principal markets for Nigerian products, while 11 strategic products to replace oil and earn substantial revenue for the country have also been identified. Some of these products include palm oil, cashew, cocoa, soya beans, rice, and so on.
Other private sector companies involved in ‘Project Bolt’ include, Berwick Agro, ALTS Consulting, H2AFoods Nigeria, Shine Bridge Global, and supported by AfricaGlobal Schaffer.
Bello added that these investors would provide technical and business support to food and agribusiness sector through co-investments in manufacturing. Furthermore, it will apply global food safety initiatives and export market promotions to drive import substitution and forex earnings. The investors have also committed to creating over 750,000 new direct and indirect jobs in implementing this project.