By Oduyemi Odumade
In a bid to revamp the rice milling industry and bolster the state’s economy, Governor Mohammed Umar-Bago of Niger State has announced plans to overhaul the region’s rice production sector.
Despite Niger’s reputation as the leading producer of paddy rice in Nigeria, Governor Bago expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of local rice mills, stating that “the rice mills in the state were nothing to write home about.”
Bago made the announcement in Minna, the Niger State Capital at a dinner organised by the Niger State Government for the House of Representives Press Corps.
Governor who emphasized that the days when rice paddy could be taken out of the state for almost free were over said he was determined to bring transformative change to the rice milling industry thereby ensuring that Niger State maximizes its potential as a major rice producer.
To achieve this goal, the state government is in the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding with Gerawa Rice Mill, one of Nigeria’s leading rice mills.
According to him, the collaboration is poised to upgrade the existing rice milling facilities in Niger State, making them more competitive and capable of producing high-quality rice products.
The Governor stated that his commitment to enhancing the rice industry aligns with his vision for agricultural and economic development of Niger State.
He also emphasized the state’s untapped potential, stating that it should not be mired in poverty, given its abundant human and natural resources.
The Governor restated his administration’s efforts to harness these resources for the citizens’ benefit, despite challenges like insecurity.
To alleviate the effects of fuel subsidy removal, he said the administration has secured an agreement to procure 200 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, offering free transportation for students at affordable rates for civil servants.
Furthermore, Bago who highlighted the upcoming Green Economy Summit as a vital opportunity for the state to exploit its vast potential decried the underutilization of shea trees in Niger State, which holds the world’s largest congregation of these trees.
He also said that the state Government aims to aggregate the state’s forests to trade carbon credits with multinational companies, tapping into the green economy.
Chairperson of the House of Representatives Press Corps, Comrade Grace Ike presented an award to Governor Bago in recognition of his outstanding service and contributions to Nigeria’s economic development.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Elizabeth David
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