President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria has guaranteed continued support to the Farmer Governor of Niger State, Mohammed Umaru Bago to achieve his desire of feeding the nation.
President Tinubu made the promise when he inaugurated equipment for mechanized agricultural activities and the irrigation system for the special Agro Processing Free Zone as well as the remodelled and upgraded International Airport renamed after him in Minna.
The President who commended the level of commitment and leadership style of Governor Umaru Bago, said he must support the Governor.
According to him, “I can guarantee you of Federal support. I will partner with you to banish hunger. You are doing the job, and working the talks.
He encouraged him to continue with his aggressive and strong determination to be the number one to feed the nation.
Niger State Governor, Farmer Mohammed Umaru Bago in his remarks, said the State is well positioned to produce 50 million metric tons of assorted food crops annually and be the largest sub-national food exporter in Nigeria.
In achieving this target, the Farmer Governor disclosed that the State Government is determined to attract investments, private sector equity and loans totalling 500 billion Naira annually over the next seven years.
The Farmer Governor also disclosed that the construction of a canal to harness water from the Shiroro Dam is in the pipeline to irrigate 90,000 hectares comprising 236 kilometres of irrigation canals and other associated engineering infrastructure to expand the agricultural production capacity of the State.
He assured that the state would contribute significantly to the federal government’s strategic reserve as it will ensure that all the arable lands in the state are cultivated, adding that the idea would curb insecurity in the state as there will no more be hiding place for kidnappers and banditry activities.
“We as a state will be pleased to provide the federal government with the platform for contract farming for the National Strategic Grain Reserve with vast potential to produce 2 million metric tons of food for the strategic reserves annually.
“This partnership will not only bolster our state’s economy but also strengthen the nation’s drive towards sustainable food security and resilience against external shocks”.
While outlining his administration’s achievements and intentions in the area of agriculture and infrastructural development, the Farmer Governor said his administration has invested in agricultural machinery and technology as it has procured tractors, harvesters, solar irrigation water pumps, Pivot Irrigation Systems, metric tons of NPK/UREA Fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and has also embarked on land preparation and cultivation across the state.
He then called for Federal Government support in the development of Baro Port, the Kainji National Park, and Dry Inland Port Terminals at Bida, Mokwa, Babanna, and Suleja, stressing doing so would accelerate growth and prosperity for all.
On the remodelled and upgraded Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Farmer Governor said the Airport has hitherto been in a State of comatose with the failed runway, dilapidated terminal, absence of fire and safety equipment and runway lighting system among others adding that the domestic terminal which had been under construction for over a decade was abandoned.
He applauded the support of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)for providing quality guidance for the intervention and rehabilitation of the Airport to a global standard.
The Farmer Governor appreciated the President for approving this Airport as a special Agro-processing Free Zone for greenhouses; dairy and meat processing, and Agro-processing storage, aggregation, and other value chain development components.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari said Farmer Governor Umaru Bago has keyed into Mr President’s exemplifying champion spirit for sustainable agricultural development.
The Minister recounted the efforts of the Federal government towards the realization of food security in the Country, adding that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is canvassing partnerships with State governments and all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as relevant institutions to achieve the desired objective.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Governor of Kwara State AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, his Lagos and Benue State counterparts Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia respectively, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, commended Farmer Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago for the feat attained in Agriculture adding that with such level of commitment, and others borrowing a leave from it, the food security agenda of the Federal government would be achieved.
The Estu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alh. Yahaya Abubakar appreciated the President and other guests for visiting and identifying with the laudable efforts of the state government.
The Governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Usman Ododo, former Governors of Niger State, serving and former lawmakers both at the Federal and State levels, members of the State Executive Council, APC leaders both at the National and State levels, Religious and Traditional leaders, and other top government functionaries were present at the event.
Bologi Ibrahim
Chief Press Secretary
to the Governor of Niger State
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