Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has contracted the state-owned palm estate at Elebele to the Manufacturing and Marketing Company of Nigeria Limited (MAMCON) for a fee of N150 million.
However, government officials said that the payment would be due after a moratorium of six months with the concession fee spanning 10 years.
It noted that the concession agreement was part of the government’s drive to diversify the economy of the state as well as boost the internally generated revenue profile.
In essence, a concession agreement is a negotiated contract between a company and a government. It gives the company the right to operate a specific business within the government’s jurisdiction, subject to certain conditions.
In a joint press briefing by the commissioners for Information, Education and Agriculture at the Government House, Yenagoa, the state explained that many parastatals were bogged down by inefficiency, for which reason it was necessary to commercialise them.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Doodei Week, who spoke on the decisions reached at the meeting on the diversification of the sector, noted that the government had also decided to partner the Central Bank of Nigeria on the funding of aqua-culture projects like the 4,000 hectares rice farm at Isampou in the Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
Other projects slated for commercialisation, he said, included the Epie fish farm to be replicated in all the local government areas of the state and a central fish processing centre for both local and international markets.
He explained that a plantain and banana plantation would soon start with an approval of 1,000 hectares of land to be acquired for the purpose.
“In the commercialisation agreement, there will be a concession fee of N150 million payable to the Bayelsa State government after a six-month moratorium. MAMCON agreed with the government to invest and revitalise the existing palm estate, to put in more infrastructure”, he said.
Further details later