Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Taraba State Governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, has reiterated that his administration is determined to ensure that the state produces not less than 10 per cent of Nigeria’s tea demand before the end of December 2016.
Besides, the governor said the state was poised to embark on an aggressive cultivation of rice as part of its efforts to boost its economy and become less dependent on allocations from the Federation Account.
Speaking at a dinner he hosted to break Ramadan fast with Muslims at the government house in Jalingo on Tuesday, Ishaku pledge to support tea and rice farmers in the state in order to achieve the objective within the time frame.
The governor, who maintained that the state had the capacity to feed the entire country, told the people to embrace agriculture so as to change the situation where the state was completely dependent on the federal government for survival.
“I have already promised President Muhammadu Buhari that Taraba will meet 10 per cent of national tea demand by December 2016 and we are committed to achieving that. We have also committed resources to boost rice production and other crops in the state to improve the economy and feed the nation,” he said.
Ishaku further revealed that the procurement and installation of modern tea production equipments at the Mambilla Beverage Industry (Producers of Highland Tea) by his administration was geared towards meeting the December deadline for producing 10 per cent of the country’s tea demand.
In the same vein, he expressed his commitment to rehabilitate the state owned cassava processing plant in Jalingo which broke down about two years ago in a bid to encourage massive production of cassava in the state.
The governor enjoined Muslims faithful in the state to continue to preach peace and live in unity with their neighbours irrespective of their religious affiliations in order to foster peace and development of the state, saying there can’t be any meaningful development without peace.
Also speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the state Muslim Council, Alhaji Inua Mafindi, thanked the governor for the gesture, saying it would go a long way in promoting the spirit of oneness among religious groups in the state just as he admonished Muslims in the state to continue to live in peace with their Christian brothers.
Similarly, the state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Ben Ubeh, urged the people of the state to eschew violence and embrace peace in their various communities stressing that every religion preaches peace.