Taraba Govt To Sell Off ‘Africa’s Top’ Tea-producing Company

The Taraba State government said it has concluded plans to sell off Taraba Beverages Nigeria Ltd, the producers of Mambilla Highland Tea, to private investors.

Ezikiel Iliya, the Managing Director of the Taraba Investment and Property Development, disclosed this on Wednesday while speaking to newsmen in Jalingo. He explained that the function of the agency was to build government corporations and transfer them to private investors.

This development is coming barely ten days after the Bauchi State government announced its concluded plan to hand over the ownership of Zaranda International Hotels and five other companies in the state to private entities. This decision was greeted with public criticism, especially from the opposition.

READ: Zaranda Privatisation: What You Need To Know

According to research, the Beverages Company Ltd, which produces Mambilla Highland Tea, is one of Africa’s largest green tea sourcing companies, handling over 1.5 million kilos of tea annually. It is located at Kakara, Sardauna Local Government of the state.

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However, Iliya added that more of the state’s companies will be privatized to build new ones. According to him, privatisation is the most common policy that can sustain any public business, stressing that the intention of the state government was to privatise its shares and equity to develop more companies.

“We are not selling the company in its entirety but to transfer ownership structure from the government to private individuals,” he said.

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READ: Despite N36.3 Billion In Releases, Gembu-Serti Road In Taraba Still ‘A Death Trap’

He added that 75 per cent of shares would be sold off while 25 per cent would still be owned by the Taraba State government. Iliya noted that the state government will ensure it hands over the company to worthy entities to ensure its sustainability.

Iliya also announced that the repairs on the Green House, producers of Taraba Vegetables, had begun, in preparation for its privatisation.

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