There is a dire need to change the concept of government or politicians giving cash away to citizens as a way of empowerment. Without value creation, there is no real empowerment. My proposed solution will create value, empower rural dwellers and create jobs in the entire value chain.
There are 17 local government areas in Enugu State and each area should be able to donate plots of land for the establishment of garri processing plants of at least 2MT capacity daily. The process of construction of these locally made factories and continued operation will generate employment opportunities for the farmers, youths and distributors. Operation of each of these plants will require at least 2,500MT per annum of raw cassava for processing. Initial off take agreement with farmers’ cooperatives within the same local government can be established in advance to provide product supply assurance.
Upon establishment of this plant, there is a potential revenue of N90M per annum at a conservative price of N150,000 per metric tonne of processed garri for each plant. If operations are well managed, this facility has the potential of turning out up to 45% profit margin which translates to N40.5M annually. If this profit is assumed to be the same across each local government and if each local government setups up at least 3 of these plants, we will have 51 plants turning out N2.065B annually. This amount is taxable and can provide more revenue to the local, state and federal governments
Each of these factories can actually employ about 25 – 30 persons thereby opening up direct work opportunities for 1,530 Nigerians. This does not take into account the indirect jobs created from cultivating 160 hectares of land to supply each factory. 51 plants will require cultivation of 8,160 hectares of land leading to significant youth engagement for farming, harvesting, distribution, packaging etc.
Enugu State recommendation is just a test case and this can always be replicated in multiple local government areas in different states of the country. Current manual processing of garri in our communities does not allow room for growth, expansion and increase in value generation.
I believe this idea is a very simple one that can be further explored to get more details for implementation. This way, the teeming Nigerian youths will get the jobs they so much deserve, increase revenue for the state/local governments and potentially expand to generating foreign exchange in the future.