Not withstanding the devastation of farmlands by Boko Haram terroriststs in Borno , the state government against all odds made history with the launching of first rice pyramids.
Ramat Square, the venue of the launching filled to capacity as Maiduguri residents in their first time , witnessed the erection of three towered pyramids of 33,000 bags of rice flanked with the Ngeria National colour signifying the place of Agriculture to the present administration , as well as president Muhammadu Buhari’s priority in revolutionising the Agricultural sector, specifically, to reposition the economy coupled with the Agricultural transformation of Borno state by the government of Governor Kashim Shettima in collaboration with Wal Wanne and sons limited.
Despite the setback suffered in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents , the Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) , Wal wanne and sons limited , Alhaji Kabir Abiso , through the anchor borrowers programme of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Agriculture ( BOA) was able to mobilise more than 18,000 farmers across the state, provide them with funding, expertise and mechanization so as to yield positive outcome. Consequently, the end has justified the means, after the bumper harvest, 33,000 bags of rice were harvested.
Unveiling the rice pyramids in Maiduguri, Governor Kashim Shettima pledged to continue to invest and export rice to the foreign counties while urging the participating partners to be more serious and participate seriously in the program and desist from diverting funds and items or facilities meant for the program.
While thanking the Sponsors, CBN and participating partners, BOA, FMOA, PFI and Wal Wanne & Sins Ltd, Shettima said there will be no amount of mischief or criticism from enemies of his government that will stop his government from supporting farmers in the state to produce rice and feed the people.
He warned mischief Makers to distance themselves from his government activities and stop political mischief by way of condemning rice production in the state, instead of appreciating the efforts of government in providing and encouraging farmers by way of supporting and assisting the farmers to produce more food to feed the people and even export outside the country.
” Political opponents have gone to the extent of using security operatives to harass people that were
piling the bags of rice calling the rice and workers names and making anti graft agency to invite the Managing Director of Wal Wanne & Sons Ltd for interrogation.
” instead of the people to support and appreciate or
encourage the people to farm and produce enough food for the people and country, they are busy making mischiefs. However, no amount of mischief will stop my government from producing enough food for the people.
” We thank the security agencies for their support and sacrifices. And anybody that refuses to appreciate Buhari for bringing peace and security to the state and north east, he or she will not even appreciate God Almighty’, Shettima said.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh who was
represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Agriculture , Dr. Bukar said federal government has so far committed over N53 billion to boost rice farming program in the country.
He commended the Borno farmers for producing such large quantity of rice despite security challenges while adding that the Anchor Borrower program has really boosted hope of the farmers generally and expressed hope that more farmers will soon join the program.
The Permanent Secretary said federal government has began mechanized farming across the country towards stopping importation of rice completely from abroad.
The CEO of Wal Wanne & Sons Ltd, Alhaji Abiso Kabir thanked President Buhari for supporting the program
and CBN Governor for financing the program as well as
Governor Kashim Shettima for his support to the program.
He said the program was successful and created billions of naira, jobs and wealth for the people and governments as well as food production.
Alhaji Abiso appealed to the youths to embrace the program for the purpose of food security, job creation and wealth while assuring that the number of beneficiaries will increase next year from 18,000 to 100,000 or 200,000 with the involvement of the state government as the governor pledged