Made-in-Taraba Tomatoes, Tea to flood market as state receives Germen investors


Taraba Governor, Darius Ishiaku, on Tuesday said his State would play host to foreign investors this week as a direct fallout of the recent visit by Nigerian governors to Germany.
The governor who fielded questions from State House correspondents when he visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja
was reacting to widespread insinuations that the trip was a jamboree.
Ishiaku insisted that apart from the economic gains of the trip, it was also important to let the outside world that hitherto held the impression that Nigeria was not safe because of insecurity to know that the reverse was the case.
He also revealed that his state had keyed into the production of tomatoes, rice and tea following the diversification programme of the present administration.
He said: “The outcome was very nice. I am expecting some of the investors by next week. They will be here. Actually they should have come on the 28th but I had to travel out of the country.They are coming next week and three of them are already promising.
“We are going to work together. One of them is going to help us in the establishment of a vocational training center, skills acquisition centre in the state and you can bear me out that with the magnitude of the hydro pressure coming we need a lot of skilled manpower, even unskilled but trained, those that are trained to be able to handle the job.
“The trip wasn’t a jamboree. My view is that it was a very extremely good trip because there was more than 200 investors who came and are eager to come to the country but they have fears.
“Some have fears of security, some feel that even the Boko Haram you are talking is happening in Abuja. Some feel that the Niger Delta you are talking about is in Abuja.
“And I had to answer one of them that Julius Berger is the biggest construction company in Abuja. Ask him he is a German. Ask him whether he is living where. He is living in Abuja. He has not ran to Germany which means that Nigeria is safe.
“These are things that you have to tell people out there, sensitise them, make them understand the psyche and allow them to come in to invest.
“We can’t do it alone. So, it was a very useful trip. We went to other towns and we saw a lot of things that could easily generate, harvest money.
“For instance, me and my Mambilla plateau, I have a lot of cattle, see how the cattle waste is turned to power to generate the plant that is running the system.
“These are the kind of things that I want to do so that I don’t have to wait. It is a very useful trip.”
On the current economic recession, he said: “Mr President has set the course by diversification. We are working on diversification. Taraba is known for agriculture, mining, tourism and all things are working and we are working assiduously to make sure that we start running and not walking.
“Our problem is finance but we are doing our best in spite of the financial crunch and very soon we will start to get one or two of the plants or industries that were otherwise closed down, vandalized and looted completely. We want to start them going and that is why going to Germany was very useful to me.
“Already, we have started the green house project which Israelis are building for us and we are going to be bringing in tomatoes here.”By January, you will see fresh tomatoes made in Taraba. Taraba rice is working but we are working on a bigger one. We are working on other fields as the corn and we are working and making sure that we have a lot of plantation of the Highland tea.
“I have just come from India, Dazley, where they are planting tea. We should be able to work on the tea so that the whole Island will be filled with tea. Our tea is registered as the second best in the world after Sri Lanka.”
Speaking on the Mambilla power project, the governor said the project would soon come on stream.
“By the grace of God it will soon start. We are working hard toward its commencement and that will add 3050 megawatts to the grid and help the country in power requirements. It is one of the things that we will have to work seriously to make sure that the power shortage is stopped in the country”, he said.


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