An agro-allied company, Johnvent Industries Nigeria Limited, has said it has invested N3bn to boost cocoa business in Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole.
The Group Managing Director of the company, Mr John Alamu, while addressing journalists in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on the development, said the firm came into the cocoa industry to make a difference.
Alamu disclosed that the company would be officially inaugurated by the state’s Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, next week.
He said, “We acquired the factory from Olam. Olam was the last tenant here and the factory belongs to Coop Cocoa. The nature of acquisition is this: the building belongs to Coop Cocoa while we had 100 percent acquisition of all the equipment of the factory.
“We came in, in the month of April and since we came in, we have invested over N3bn in revamping the entire factory. This investment has been in the area of upgrade of some machineries and complete overhaul of some machineries. There is a whole lot of development; this is not what this place used to be months ago. We have also invested a lot of money into procurement of cocoa beans.”
Alamu said the by-products of the company would be for export .
He said, “Ondo State is the largest cocoa producing state in Nigeria. The biggest challenge for a factory like this is always raw material. But then because we are sited in Ondo State and we have in our procurement strategy plans to do backward integration to support farmers, that would eventually lead to guarantee the supply of our raw materials.
Alamu said the company had signed agreements with some countries, adding, “For the powder, we are not willing to sell that abroad because we don’t want to package all our fortune here and take them abroad since there is a local demand for the powder.”