Africa Agriculture 

Delta government seeks N8Bn loan to boost agriculture

The Delta Government has granted its approval for the state to access eight billion naira loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to develop agriculture in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Asaba, said that accessing the loan was part of the decisions reached at the State’s Executive Council meeting.

He said that the State Government had approved a review of the state’s 2020 budget to reflect the reality on ground because of the fall in crude oil price at the international market and the impact of COVID-19.

“We are taking steps and looking beyond the coronavirus pandemic and for that reason, we are examining our 2020 budget to reflect the realities on ground.

“At the council meeting today, we focused on things that will boost our economy and create jobs for our people.

“We are making sure that we boost our agro-industrial park at Aboh, Ogwashi to come on steam. As a result, the Delta government has decided to take advantage of the CBN commercial agriculture loan scheme.

“A committee has been set up to take a look at how we can maximise that particular window.

“And today, the governor has approved for the state to access as much as N8 billion to give strength to the activities in the agro-industrial park.

The commissioner explained that it was going to be a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to boost activities at the agro-industrial park.

“We are convinced that when it comes on stream, it will boost the state’s economy and create jobs for our teaming youth’s population.”

Aniagwu said that the council also gave its approval for the state to access two million dollars as equity fund in partnership with a private company to start mass production of telecommunications towers in Isele-Uku in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, the government has also re-visited the moribund African Timber and Plywood Company in Sapele, which currently occupies a vest area of land.

“As a government, we are already thinking about what we should do. We are taking a look at selling some of the machinery, auctioning some of the machinery and then converting that place to proper use to boost the state’s economy.

“Delta is a state known for its petrochemicals. The state government is also investing in modular refinery to be championed through a PPP arrangement at Okpai in Ndokwa East LGA of the state.

“So, as a state apart from engaging our people, we also create areas to build our internally-generated revenue for the state from the natural resources that God has given to the state.”

Aniagwu warned, however, that with the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state and the country, individuals must take personal responsibility to check the spread of the virus.

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