Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, has disclosed his agency’s plans to partner Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade’s rice revolution programme.
Brambaifa disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on the governor shortly after a tour of the Ayade Industrial Park which houses the rice seeds and seedlings factory in Calabar, yesterday.
Disclosing the object of his visit, the acting NDDC Chair stated: “Your Excellency, part of my mission to Cross River State is to work with your government to revive and strengthen existing partnership, as well as find new areas for collaboration. Of particular interest is agriculture and today, from what I have seen, we have chosen rice value chain which you have demonstrated tremendous capacity with modern equipment and a system of farming.”
According to Brambaifa, “As your government has successfully demonstrated, agriculture remains a goldmine waiting to be fully tapped, away from oil and gas. indeed, no sector offers a greater opportunity for job and wealth creation, as well as overall improved living conditions than agriculture.”
Brambaifa further stated that “Farming and fishing are the traditional livelihoods of our people and they offer us a more certain path to sustainable livelihood and in Cross River today, we have seen digital farming which is what informs our partnership with the state in this direction.
“This is indeed a good thing I’m seeing in cross River today because if we have more of this, we will eradicate hunger amongst the ever increasing population of the country.”
On his agency’s intervention, the NDDC chairman said: “Let me assure that as an intervention agency, we want to seriously intervene in the area of hunger, ensure food security and generate employment for our people and we are starting with rice value chain.
“Let me state here that while I am still chairman of the commission, our main focus will be poverty reduction and wealth creation and with what we have witnessed in Cross River, we are going back to our drawing board to see how we can partner with this hard working, digital governor,” he said.
He reminded the governor that in 2005 the NDDC and the state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on poultry and hatchery joint venture which was designed to ensure availability of day-old chicks and healthy poultry products, as well as help generate employment and create wealth among youths and women in the state.
Brambaifa further called on the governor to collaborate with them to revive the programme which he noted was in line with his economic development agenda, considering the prevailing economic circumstances.
The Acting MD particularly lauded Ayade for What he described as his critical role in the development of the region and promised to revisit as well as reactivate the Niger Delta Development Master plan with a view to rebuilding partnership for sustainable development forum, as a veritable vehicle for sustainable development of the region.
Responding, Governor Ayade who described the appointment of Prof. Nelson Brambaifa as well deserved, appealed to Mr. President to consider the confirmation of his appointment, given his wealth of experience as a ranking and renowned professor of pharmacology in the country.
According to the governor, “Cross River State is starting with agro-industry in our industrialization effort because there is so much benefits in agricultural value.”
While commending the regional body for the planned re-visitation of the Development Master Plan, Ayade urged them to ensure that the review reflects the current socio-economic realities that will ultimately ensure equitable distribution of the common wealth amongst the sisters states for even development and job creation.”
He thanked NDDC for the expression of interest to partner the state in the area of rice value chain, poultry and other agro allied sectors, saying, “Your duty is to build a mental maturation of all the various complex we have in the Niger Delta and use the platform of the NDDC to bring us peace, to create an economic prosperity and equilibrium that allows egalitarian distribution of income to guarantee us the desired peace.”