Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Benin Republic based agriculture firm, Songhai Farms Initiatives Nigeria , for a technologically drive, food production.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Uyo, the State Governor, Umo Eno, said the scheme is for the fulfillment of the goals of the ARISE Agenda blueprint of his administration.
He described the Songhai agricultural model as impressive, stating that the MoU is a long term pact between the state government and Songhai Farm Investment Nigeria for the replication of a model farm in Akwa Ibom.
He commended the Songhai delegation for coming to the state and assured the company that the model was achievable in the state in view of the state government’s disposition towards agricultural production using the ARISE Agenda blueprint.
The governor stressed that the agro-based investment fìrm will excel in food production, tourism, youth development and job creation.
“I am an entrepreneur. I don’t go into businesses that I don’t understand the bottom line. What we want is what you have captured here. Be our development partner. Develop our youths, train them and use them.
“The things they can do, let them do it. Transfer the technology and let’s see it in the next one year and then we can upscale.
“I am holding this position in trust for Akwa Ibom people. And every day, honestly, if I put one naira into anything, the question that crosses my mind is if this was your money, would you spend it like this. And once that crosses my mind, it becomes a burden,” he stated.
He assured the company of the availability of land in the state to kick start the project on a small and medium scale and stressed on the need for a technology transfer plan as a condition for expanding to enable young Akwa Ibomites to run the model profitably with ease and pleasure within his first term in office.
“We have a four-year tenure. So by the third year, I should begin to wind down this administration by the grace of God. I should have a clear path that as an investor, I am beginning to get back the money. I want to be able to savour the benefits of this project in the life of this administration.
“At that time I must have prepared a group of young people that are also prepared to sustain this so we can upscale easily. These are the things I am looking at as the benefits of this model that we want to create.”, the Governor added.
The leader of the team, Prof. Godfrey Nzamujo, who is the founder of the Agropreneur company, Songhai Farm Initiatives Nigeria, had said that the company is a project of a new African society which has gradually translate to a movement.
He said the company has need for human resources to enable it replicate a model of its farm in the State, stressing that the people must be technologically driven, focused and hard working to keep with the pace of work in the farm.
Prof. Nzamujo commended the vision of the state administration in partnering with Songhai Farm Initiatives for the agricultural investment, assuring that the company will create a paradigm shift in agricultural production in the State and solicited a cordial investment partnership with the state administration.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor sealed the agreement for the State government while Prof. Godfrey Nzamujo signed for the company.