The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, has expressed the readiness of the Ministry to form a strategic alliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to improve on the agricultural development and provide employment for the teeming youths of the Niger Delta region.
The Minister who disclosed this during a meeting he held with officials of the Bank, when he paid a courtesy visit to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele in his office Abuja recently, said the joint venture would not only help to explore the agricultural potentials of the region but also adding value to its food production.
Senator Akpabio explained that the Ministry has a pilot programme on rice production in the nine states of the region which it is determined to commence, noting that this would help to provide employment opportunities for the people, put a check to hostilities and improve the living standard of the people in the region.
According to the Minister, “the CBN, MNDA and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) cooperation is real, it has come to stay and also commended the CBN Governor for what he has been doing so far in the Anchors Borrowers Programme (ABP).”
The Minister of State, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura commended the willingness and knowledge base of the CBN officials on every aspects of the projects, he expressed the readiness of the Ministry to work with the CBN so that they would be on the same page in doing the needful and driving the process.
Reiterating the Hon. Minister’s position, the Minister of State noted that the vision of Mr. President for the urgent need to develop the Niger Delta people and region, is the motivation that is driving the process. Adding that “with the support of the CBN, we are going to work to ensure that efforts of both sides come to fruition,” he said.
In his remarks, the Special Assistant to the CBN Governor, Mr. Anthony Ikechukwu, noted that the CBN coffers is open to supporting viable projects with no limit to financing in different aspects of agriculture development, if it is evidence based and assures that the apex bank is going to work across the region with the various teams that have been put on ground.