N’Delta: Akpabio in Talks with CBN for Agric Devt

N’Delta: Akpabio in Talks with CBN for Agric Devt

By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Senator Godswill Akpabio, is in discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the First Bank of Nigeria on the Agricultural Revolution Initiative in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Donald Omotayo Alasoadura, disclosed this in Abuja, a statement issued by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitshe, said.
Alasoadura stated that agriculture is a veritable area that is to be tapped into in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, First Bank is ready to give as much as N50 billion grant to develop agriculture, especially in the area of low land rice cultivation and fishery.

He noted that the region is capable of producing rice that can feed Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “I believe that when this comes through, the Niger Delta area will not be the same again as far as agriculture is concerned.”

The ministry, he stressed, had made notable efforts in the area of training and empowerment of youths, women and artisans as over 1,500 participants were trained and empowered last year with N500,000 each as grant to start their businesses or expand existing ones.

He assured that 2022 training programmes would be more elaborate.
Alasoadura stated that the Ministry’s master plan for the Niger Delta region is tailored towards giving basic priorities and improving the region holistically, from education to agriculture, empowerment, electricity, housing, infrastructure, land reclamation, and health.

Others are construction of jetties and canalisation, provision of available funds for development geared towards uplifting the living standard of the Niger Delta people.

In the area of environmental degradation and pollution caused by hydrocarbon activities such as gas flaring, crude oil exploration and oil spillage, the minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that the Ogoni water and sea pollution is being addressed vigorously, stating that “the ministry is also partnering Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources respectively in tackling the menace and bringing lasting solution to the problem.”

According to him, the greatest legacy the present administration would be remembered for is the completion of the East West road, noting that through the ministry’s effort N10 billion from the 2021 Sovereign Sukuk was secured for construction work on the road.

He stressed that the ministry had been able to handle to a large extent industrialisation and economic challenges confronting the region by promoting the welfare of the people and ensuring that peace and tranquility is maintained.

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