Cross River is taking the lead in the Agro-industrial revolution in Nigeria - Owuna

By Ekanem Ekanem-Faith, CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Ministry Agric. & Nat. Resources

Cross River Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ntufam Okon Owuna has spoken glowingly of the present administration's quantum leap in agro-industrial revolution to becoming a reference point in Nigeria and beyond.

The Commissioner  said this when he  received in audience a seven (7) man delegation of the Bakassi returnees in his office recently.

He expressed his profound gratitude to the Governor for providing succor to returnees through the provision of the Social Housing Scheme and other incentives, adding that the State is in touch with the Federal Goverment to make the returnees part of it's responsibility.

Ntufam Owuna said the State will assist them in the areas of agriculture, which will help reduce poverty and also be a means of livelihood, stating that the Ayade-led administration is passionate about the returnees and is ready to them carry along Agro-industrial revolution of the State.

He told them the State has acquired mechanized agro- epuipment (bulldozers, ploughs and other imputs), informing them that the APPEALS training will commence on Monday, while arrangements are in top gear to make State participate in the  Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE) Project, assisted by the  International Fund for  Agricultural Development (IFAD) saying that they will be given special concession.

"No human being can survive without engaging in Agriculture. Agriculture is the main stay of this economy and the present administration is talking the lead in Agro-revolution. We have done so much in the areas of rice cultivation, maize farming, acqaculture and livestock farming," he remarked.

Speaking on behalf of the Bakassi returnees, the camp leader, Chief Etim Ene said the purpose of their visit was  to request the Ministry's assistance in the area of farming and also help facilitate provision of funds for mechanized farming for one thousand (1000) persons,   funds for fish farming, piggery and poultry farming, acquisitions of modern farm implements, as well as create accessible roads to their farm to enhance agricultural productivity.

Chief Ene appreciated Governor Ben Ayade  for putting up 52 units of 2 bedroom housing facilities  for the displaced people of Bakassi, which, he maintained, are 98% complete, and also donation of hectares of land for cultivation.

He said: "sometime ago the national Commission of Refugees, Migrants and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had trained Five hundred (500) persons on successful farming methods and also provided financial assistance to start up a farm, we have also formed a Cooperative Society named Bakassi Returnees  Orange Court Multi-Purpose  Cooperative Limited to help us come as a group to actualize their dreams of being even better amid losing their ancestral home."

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