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…As Nddc Moves To Revitalize Abandoned Rice Mills
By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
The Federal Government has said it will support youths in the Niger Delta region who chose to go into agriculture as a way of reducing crime in the region.
This is as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has initiated a private-public-partnership (PPP) process with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and a private firm, Elephant Group, towards revitalizing it’s rice Mill at Elele-Alimini community in Emohua local government area of Rivers State.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri spoke today during a meeting with the board and management of the NDDC and the private firm in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Lokpobiri expressed the hope that when fully functional, the Elele-Alimini Rice Mill will serve residents of Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and other states in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister said, “As one of the steps towards reducing youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region, we have to drive youths of the Niger Delta into agriculture. Go to Peremabiri today, Ogunboss is already growing 50 hectates of rice and we are ready to support time.
“The Elele Rice Mill is strategically located along the East-West Road. When it becomes functional, it will serve Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers States and others in this region.”
Also speaking, Managing Director of the NDDC, Nsima Ekere, said the decision of the commission to revitalize the Elele-Alimini Rice Mill, through PPP process is in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to zero tolerance and wastages.
Ekere stated that the NDDC will use the rice mill, when fully functional to prepare the Niger Delta region towards non-reliance on oil alone but also on agriculture.
He said, “With the rice mill functional, we will be preparing the Niger Delta for a future without oil. We are looking to a future where we will no longer rely on oil but agriculture.”
Earlier in his presentation, Group Managing Director of Elephant Group, Olatunji Owoeye, said the company will rejuvenate the rice mill with modern equipments and create employment for youths of the region.