By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of China-Aid Nigeria Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre Project, aimed at ensuring food security, boost agricultural technology and also create millions of jobs for residents of the Territory.
While performing the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday in Ushafa Area Council of FCT, Adesola disclosed that the project is part of the Public-Private partnership initiative of the present Administration which seeks to attract credible investments, as part of efforts to actualize its developmental agenda for the Territory in particular and the country at large.
Adesola, in a statement from Public Relations Officer, Office of the FCT Permanent Secretary, Tony Odey, explained that the FCT Administration is proud to be associated with the project in view of the huge benefits the project will bring to residents of the Territory.
The Permanent Secretary further remarked that the agricultural sector in the FCT has over the years played key role in the Administration’s quest to achieve the desired objective of improved livelihood for all.
He added that the present leadership of FCT Administration has also keyed into President Muhammadu Buhari vision to make Nigeria food sufficient through the implementation of several innovative programmes geared towards repositioning the agricultural sector in the Territory.
According to him, in a bid to ensure that farmers in the Territory are able to access support from government and non-governmental bodies, the Administration recently reorganized the department of Cooperative and Rural Development, stressing that the re-organization has enabled small-holders farmers in the Area Councils to key into agricultural developmental programmes.
Explaining the contents of the project, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe said production of new rice varieties, adaptation testing of the newly-bred rice varieties, conduct of multi-locational and regional trials, enhancement of rice cultivation techniques and training of local agricultural technicians and farmers are the cornerstone of the project.
Represented by the Director of Mechanization and Deputy National Project Coordinator of Green Imperative Project in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Umakhihe further revealed that the project will gulp the Chinese Government 5million RMB Yuan annually and is expected to be completed within 5 years.
Also, in her address, the Director of International Cooperation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Elizabeth Egharedba thanked Chinese Government for initiating the project, which according to her, will boost the economic growth and development of the country.
Earlier, the Group Director, China Electronics Design, Mr. Hun Zhenchang explained that the project is a demonstration of the cordial relationship that the Government of China and Nigerian Government have been enjoying over the years.