Benue State is blessed with abundant agricultural resources. About eighty (80) percent of the total populations derive their livelihood from agriculture. Major crops produced in the state include yam, cassava, rice, maize, sorghum, soya bean, beni-seed, groundnut. Others are sugar cane, sweet potato, ginger, millet and beans. The state also produces large quantities of tree crops such as oil palm, cashew, coconut, oranges, banana, plantain, coffee and kolanut. Vegetables which include tomatoes, pepper, pumpkin, okro, spinach and pineapples are also produced in abundance.
Benue State also possesses a great deal of livestock resources, which include goats, sheep, pigs, poultry and cattle. The state also has potential for fisheries development owing to its vast fresh water resources made up of inland lakes, River Benue and River Katsina-Ala and their tributaries. The River Benue is the second largest river in Nigeria.
The abundant agricultural potential of the state has created opportunities for investment in areas which include the following:
- Large scale mechanized farming.
- Post harvest processing and packaging of agricultural produce for local and external markets.
- Vegetable oil processing.
- Sugar processing industries.
- Livestock farming, meat processing and marketing.
- Fruit juice production.
- Starch and glue production.
- Livestock/animal feeds production.
- Production of organic and inorganic fertilizers.
Geo-physical surveys and other studies have confirmed that Benue State is endowed with many mineral resources, which can support many industries. These include:
Limestone: currently being exploited by Benue Cement Company Plc. near Gboko. Deposits exist in Ado, Apa, Gboko, Guma, Katsina-Ala, Oju, Konshisha, Makurdi and Tarka Local Government areas. They are vast and of good quality and can be exploited for additional cement plants production.
Glass sand: found in Buruku, Gboko, Katsina-Ala, Makurdi and Vandeikya Local Government areas and good for the production of glass and bottles; useful for oil drilling foundry etc.
Barites: found in Gboko, Guma, Gwer, Makurdi and Ushongo Local Government areas. Useful in oil drilling, production of glass and chemicals.
Kaolin: deposits are found in Apa, Ogbadibo, Okpokwu and Vandeikya Local Government areas. Industrial uses include production of paper plastics, filter in plants, paints etc.
Brick clay: found in Buruku, Gwer, Makurdi and Otukpo Local Government Areas and useful for pottery products, production of building bricks, tiles etc.
Lead/Zinc: found in Ado, Gboko, Guma, Katsina-Ala and Vandeikya Local Government areas. Industrial applications include auto battery production, paint alloys etc.
Coal: deposits are found in Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Local Government areas and can be exploited for energy/fuel, chemicals etc.
Gypsum: exists in Apa, Gboko, Gwer, Konshisha, Otukpo and Ushongo Local Government Areas and is used in the production of cement, fertilizer etc.
Salt: commercial deposits exists state wide.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Benue State is a budding commercial and industrial center. To enhance commercial activities, the State Government has built an ultramodern market of 2500 stalls in Makurdi. The market is of international standard and has facilities such as offices, courts, a police station, bank, clinic, restaurants, community hall, and fire station. Other facilities include a sewage plant, abattoir, power station, and borehole and water storage tanks and children playground.
The state’s rich mineral deposits remain largely unexploited. Given current effort to diversify the national economy by among other measures, exploiting the nation’s solid minerals, Benue State provides immense investment opportunities for industrialists in this sector.
The Benue State government had in the past promoted several industries, which are now being privatized in keeping with current trends. Already the Benue Brewery Limited has been fully privatized with the International Beer and Beverages Industry Limited (IBBI) acquiring eighty-five percent shares. Opportunities still exist for investors to take up shares of other companies whose profiles are given below:
TARAKU MILLS LIMITED
Taraku Mills Limited is one of the nation’s most modern integrated vegetable oil processing plants. It was established at a cost of over fifty-six million pounds sterling. It is capable of processing 72,000 tones of soyabeans per annum into vegetable oil and soyameal; 120,000 tones per annum of maize into vegetable oil, flour, brewers’ grits as well as 72,300 tones of animal feeds and feed concentrates. The company’s products have won national and international acclaim for high quality.
There is high demand for the company’s products. Most of the raw materials are produced locally in the Benue State and are also readily available elsewhere within the country. Owing to lack of working capital, only the maize line is being operated at 5% of installed capacity. The company’s total assets base is in excess of one billion naira (N1b). Taraku Mills Limited remains a very viable venture which promises profitable returns on investment within a short time.
BENCO ROOFTILES LIMITED, ABINSI
Benco Rooftiles Limited was incorporated in 1992 as a limited liability Company.
Benco Rooftiles limited was established to supply high quality roofing sheets. Its products have already won a high reputation for durability and beauty in the construction industry. The raw materials are readily available locally. It is therefore viable and has a high potential for possible expansion to increase output. The Benue state government and the private shareholders are ready to privatize the company and interested investors are welcome to team up with the present shareholders to move the company on the path of greater profitability.
BENRO PACKAGING COMPANY LTD
The company was incorporated in 1978 and commenced production in 1981. The plant has an installed capacity to produce 120 million cement bags per annum from imported kraft paper.
The Company has consistently made profits until in 1994 when it started posting losses. In 1995 the Board of Directors approved the diversication of the production process to include plastics and envelopes.
The Company’s total assets base is in excess of N600m. It remains a very viable and profit making centre for the owners.
INDUSTRIAL LAYOUT, MAKURDI
The industrial layout covering 310 hectares of land was established in 1984. The first phase has 7.1km of tarred road networking covering 30 hectares of land. It has 121 plots divided into:
- Small scale – 0.5-0.40 hectares – 78 plots
- Medium scale – 0.50-1.00 hectares – 23 plots
- Large scale – 6.17 hectares – 1 plot
The second phase of 90 plots is now being developed to accommodate rice millers.
There has been a rush for acquisition of plots by individualists. Plans are underway to supply the layout with water and electricity.
MAKURDI INTERNATIONAL SHERATON HOTEL
The Makurdi International Sheraton Hotel is a 300-room 5-star hotel project, which was incorporated in 1981. Construction commenced in November 1982 by SEFRI Construction of France and work progressed up to completion of basic block structure before it was abandoned in 1984. The value done is currently estimated at several hundred millions of naira.
The hotel project remains viable owing to proximity of Makurdi to the Federal Capital, Abuja, its location as to transit own linking the eastern states and the north as well as the tourism potential of the state now receiving greater attention. The hotel is strategically located as it overlooks the river Benue and its double bridges. The view is ideal for a boating club. The Benue State government has offered the Company for one hundred percent private ownership. Interested investors can obtain greater details on request.
For more information, please contact the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment