Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Agricultural Land Development Agency, NALDA on livestock production and related agricultural farming.
During the signing the Governor gave concrete assurance to provide all the support NALDA would require to ensure the smooth completion of their projects in Imo State even as he thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for considering Imo State for the intervention.
The ceremony which took place at the Governor’s Conference Hall, Government House, Owerri had in attendance other senior officials of NALDA and Imo State government who witnessed the exercise, particularly the Imo State Commissioners for Agriculture; Livestock Development; Lands, Survey and Physical Planning; and Finance and Coordinating Commissioner for Economy whose ministries are key to the project.
Addressing the audience at the end of the signing, Governor Uzodimma thanked Mr. President Buhari for rolling out the wonderful project that is meant, not only to provide food security, but also to provide gainful employment to Nigerian unemployed youths.
The Governor acknowledged that Imo State alone doesn’t have all the resources to revive all the abandoned agricultural projects and Allied Industries without support.
He therefore expressed gratitude that Mr. President deemed it necessary to include Imo State among the benefitting States in the pilot programme of NALDA to revive abandoned agro projects and even encourage the establishment of new ones.
This, the Governor explained, “shows clearly that the manifesto of Mr. President is working” and therefore commended him for his concern for the welfare of Nigerians, especially through agriculture.
Governor Uzodimma informed that his government is working with the communities who will at the end of the day take ownership of the projects, protect the sites and own the produce.
The Governor enjoined NALDA to, on its own, go beyond livestock farming and do more agro projects in Imo State even as he promised to give them the necessary support to ensure that there is food security, not only for Imo citizens alone but for Nigerians as a whole.
He also urged NALDA to work to ensure that the people earn foreign exchange through exports of their products as the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport is readily available to serve the purpose for exportation of agricultural produce.
Governor Uzodimma seized the opportunity to inform Nigerians that arrangements have been concluded by the Federal Ministry of Aviation to make the Sam Mbakwe Cargo International Airport functional by September this year.
Director of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne informed that “the MOU is an understanding between the Federal Government through NALDA and Imo State Government” and that “Imo State is one of the first to embark on the progressive move of this nature.”
He thanked His Excellency for his proactiveness in cueing into Mr. President’s programmes, especially as it concerns agriculture.
“NALDA is the baby of Mr. President which Mr. President supervises himself,” Ikonne said, and commended the Governor for “taking Mr. President seriously and having Imolites at heart.”
Prince Ikonne said the MOU will bring about the revival of Achara-Ugo Farm Settlement in Emekuku and Songhai Farms at Nekede and that when fully operational, “NALDAA projects will give direct employment to over 40,000 youths in Imo State alone.”
He gave September 2021 as deadline to for the people to feel the impact of what NALDA has come to do in Imo State.
He added that NALDA will go a long way in arresting herders/farmers clashes in the state “because it will create clusters that will bring about peace and animal production in the country at large.”
He reassured that the President has made funds available for NALDA activities and called on the communities where the projects are located to suport the projects “because it will bring development and empower the people of the area and Imo State in general.”