FirstBank backs WACOT’s Rice Mill expansion project

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FirstBank of Nigeria has affirmed its support for the expansion plans of WACOT Limited, a subsidiary of TGI Group, as the company prepares to double the capacity of its 120,000-ton rice mill in Argungu, Kebbi State.

The bank affirmed this as Board members, led by the Managing Director, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, paid a working visit to the rice mill on Friday, July 30, 2021.

This expansion comes barely four years after the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo commissioned WACOT’s first mill in 2017. Speaking at the end of the site inspection by the FirstBank team, Adeduntan expressed delight with WACOT’s impressive strides and affirmed the bank’s support for the initiative.

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He specifically commended WACOT’s premium household brands such as Big Bull and Patriot, which he referred to as ‘world-class.

Adeduntan noted that, apart from ensuring Nigeria’s food security, the new WACOT mill would continue developing Nigeria’s rice value chain, thereby improving the lives of many small-holder farmers.

He said: “This aligns with FirstBank’s goal of developing the economy through sustainable employment generation. Above supporting WACOT Rice, we’ve seen the socio-economic impact of locating this factory in this state. Therefore, we are committing that we will remain a very close financial partner of WACOT Rice Limited.”

Also commenting, Chairman of WACOT Rice Limited, Farouk Gumel, said the expansion of the existing mill would positively impact Nigeria’s food security ambitions.

“We are delighted to be hosting the Board of FirstBank here in Argungu today. Our partnership has come a long way. The proposed expansion of our mill clearly shows the future is bright,” Gumel said.

Group Managing Director of TGI Group, the parent company of WACOT Rice, Rahul Savara assured that it would not relent in its efforts to develop Nigeria’s agricultural sector and the economy.

Savara stated: “Our goal is to have successful farmers and happy consumers, through an efficient value chain. This investment is another important step in our journey to achieving this, and we are grateful to FirstBank for walking with us on the journey”.

Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group is a global conglomerate with a majority of its investments based in emerging markets. TGI’s investments focus on driving inclusivity and value addition using locally sourced raw materials, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a highly skilled workforce to produce world-class products that are consumed both locally and exported to global markets.