Kogi Agriculture Sector Receive Boost As State Assembly Approves N4bn Loan
To achieve this, the Kogi State House of Assembly at plenary on Thursday 5th October, 2017, approved an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to guarantee Agric Integrated Africa Services Limited, a private company, a loan facility to build a 50 tons capacity rice mill in Omi.
This is sequel to a letter sent to the House by the Executive Governor of the State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, asking for a resolution of the Assembly for the State Government to stand as surety for the company to access a loan facility of N4,017,059,993.16 (Four billion, seventeen million, fifty nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety three naira, sixteen kobo), as that will enable the company to complete the project in record time.
The letter further stated that in line with the New Direction blueprint to promote Public Private Partnership initiatives in the state to create opportunities for the teaming youths to be gainfully employed and also boost the revenue base of the state, with the agricultural sector as vital, the Kogi State Government has taken 10% shares of the equity in the establishment of the Rice Processing Mill.
While reading the letter from the chair, the Honourable Speaker, Right Honourable Kolawole Mathew, called for the contributions of house members to approve a resolution in favour of the State Government to stand as guarantor through the ISPO.
Hon. John Abbah representing Ibaji State Constituency said the rice mill is good news for Kogi State, but noted that Federal Government is talking about the diversification of the nation economy with emphasis on the agriculture sector but was surprised on the independence anniversary speech of the President, that omitted Kogi State regarding rice production.
He further said Nigeria consumes over 6billion tonnes of rice annually, while with the latest improvement in the local production, the country could only produce 4 billion tons still leaving a gap of 2billion tons, which gives an ample opportunity for Kogi State to fill through realisation of the potentials of the project. He consequently gave his maximum support for the resolution in favour of the State Government to act accordingly.
While Hon. Sunday Shigaba of Bassa State Constituency on his part buttressed the fact that the said facility when completed will make Kogi State the hub of Rice production in the north central.
Ruling on the resolution, the Speaker commended the State Government for embarking on such an initiative that is geared towards enhancing the economic base of the State, calling on other well meaning organisations to partner with the State Government in order to move the State to another level of development.