Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide
Senator Iroegbu, Adedayo Akinwale and Christabel Adah
Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, has disclosed that the Federal Government will construct six bulk produce cargo airports in the FCT and five other states.
Akinjide, who stated this Thursday in Abuja, during a meeting with members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) on Agricultural Show and Exhibition in the FCT, said the cargo airports, which would be located in Lagos, Rivers, Benue and Plateau States would be used to transport bulk agricultural produce.
“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation has concluded plans to construct bulk produce terminals in four international airports in the country to facilitate the movement of agricultural produce within the West Africa sub region,” she added.
The minister also stated that with the rice mill programme put in place by the Federal Government, Nigeria would attain rice sufficiency by 2014.
She said a robust agricultural scheme remained the only way to boost agricultural production for the people of the territory, adding that preparations have been concluded to construct two rice mills in the FCT, one in Bwari Area Council and the other in Abaji Area Council, since the FCT was known for rice production.
“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working assiduously for Nigeria to be rice sufficient by 2014.
“The Federal Government in collaboration with state governments has initiated a rice mills programme and is procuring rice mills which would be distributed across the states and FCT. The FCT is expected to get two of the rice mills which will be located in Abaji and Kwali area councils,” she explained.
Continuing, she said: “There is need to look beyond the construction of infrastructure in FCT, because if robust agricultural is not put in place, fertile lands that were left over will be made use of, thereby leading to shortage of food within the territory, as FCT is now a preferred destination for all. The agricultural sector remained the highest employer of labour, this make it essential to make the sector a commercial one in order to attract the young people.”
While endorsing the agricultural show and exhibition slated for December 5 to 8, Akinjide advised the youths to take up employment in agriculture which, she stated, was financially rewarding.
“The Federal Government has revolutionised the agriculture sector with the development of a new policy aimed at making agriculture commercial. The Federal Government has introduced the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) aimed at revamping the agriculture sector, ensuring food security, diversifying the economy, and enhancing foreign exchange earnings.
“Under the ATA, key initiatives such as the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) have been introduced to support smallholder farmers in the agriculture value chain. The ultimate goal is to ensure that agriculture is practiced as lucrative commercial enterprise that is not only sustainable but also attractive to our youths and young people,” she noted.
Earlier, the Chairman of the LOC on Agricultural Show and Exhibition in the FCT, Alhaji Ari Isa Mohammed, had explained that FCT Administration (FCTA) was partnering with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture to organise the exhibition.
Mohammed said the exhibition would give the farmers the opportunity to showcase to the world and indeed Nigerians what they have been able to produce, saying the exhibition will be an annual event
“The Department of Economic Planning, Research and Statistics is working with the Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat and other stakeholders and has since commenced preparation by setting up a Local Organising Committee for the Agricultural Show and Exhibition,” he said.