The Federal Government has initiated moves to resuscitate the moribund facilities at the Omor-Adani Staple Crop Processing Zone to increase rice production under phase one of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme (ATASP–1).
This followed resolution of the challenges between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Water Resources, as both ministries, community leaders and consultants reviewed its activities and resolved to work together henceforth.
The Guardian learnt that that billions of Naira has been earmarked as part of Federal Government’s intervention through the World Bank-assisted African Development Bank (AfDB).
Consequently, the fund covers the N860m contract awarded to Rick Rock Construction Company Limited for the construction of two-span reinforced concrete (Obinna) Bridge, 6.3km gravel-surfaced roads and another 6km double-coat surfaced feeder roads at Adani in Uzo-Uwani Council Area of Enugu State.
The funds also cover the contract awarded to Raycon Company Nigeria Limited for the construction of 16km double-coat surfaced secondary roads at Omor in Ayamelum Council Area of Anamra State amounting to N513.2m.
Moreover, funds have has also been provided for the construction of 17km double-coat surface Rice Mill–Umelum Road and E13–E7 (2)–E7 (1) Road at Omor, Anambra State awarded to Heriprom Engineering at the cost of N545.2m. Also, Raycon Company Limited secured the contract for the rehabilitation of existing Intake and Pumping Station at LAIP, Omor, Anambra State at the cost of N1.8b.
Speaking at the Technical Steering Committee meeting, Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, Nnamdi Onukwuba, disapproved of irregular meeting of the committee, which met last in 2017 and urged synergy of all stakeholders and community engagements.
Onukwuba said the state government prioritises the project, which according to him, promptly made it to pay half of its counterpart fund to ensure the comatose facilities are revived to improve rice production and welfare of Nigerians.He noted that with the closure of the nation’s land borders, rice has become a goldmine, which the Anambra State government under Governor Willie Obiano envisaged and was willing to explore.
Meanwhile, the National Sugar Institute (NSI), Kanpur, India and the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Abuja, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a Sugar Institute in Nigeria.
Executive Secretary of NSDC, Dr. Lateef Busari and Director General of NSI, Narendra Mohan signed the MoU yesterday at the Indian High Commission in Abuja.Speaking, the Indian envoy to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur, said his country had been partnering with Nigeria in different areas including the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).
He disclosed that the current trade volume between India and Nigeria now stands at over $50b, making Nigeria the largest trading partner to India and the largest investment destination. Responding, Busari said the MoU would give Nigeria the opportunity to leverage on India’s technical expertise to develop local capacity for the sugar institute, adding, “The cooperation marks a new chapter in Nigeria-India relations that has transcended trade.”