Ebonyi Govt to embark on commercial rice farming

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–Approves 1.9b for Christmas palliative

By Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State government has announced the plan to access government own lands across the three Senatorial districts to aid commercial rice production.

The state Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Engr Jude Okpor made this known while briefing newsmen the outcome of the executive Council meeting held at the Government House, Abakaliki on Thursday.

However, the state Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Engr. Jude Okpor stated that the sum of One billion, nine hundred million naira (N1.9b) had been approved for the procurement of Christmas palliative for the people of the state.

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The Commissioner noted that the measure was to assist households in the State enjoy the forthcoming Christmas celebration in spite of the economic hardship in the country.

According to Okpor, “Council received a memo from Secretary to State Government on the need to provide Christmas palliatives to Ebonyi people in view of the forthcoming Christmas celebration.

“Council considered the memo and approved the sum of N1.9 billion for the purpose, and also constituted a 13- member committee chaired by the SSG for its implementation.”

Meanwhile, concerning the ongoing distribution of federal government’s palliatives flagged-off in the State on October 1 in conjunction with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Okpor informed that the Council resolved to distribute the materials at polling unit levels across the State.

“The measure he explained, was to ensure that the target households and beneficiaries are directly reached.

Other resolutions reached by the Council, according to the Commissioner, included measures to increase the capacity of the State rice processing industry through commercialisation and increase in local content.

“Council considered a memo on the commercialization of Ebonyi Rice world from the commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and resolved as follows:

“To access government Lands across the 3 Senatorial zones of the State for commercial rice production so as to produce enough input for the smooth operation of the State-owned rice processing plants–Ebonyi Riceworld.

“Council also resolved to principally patronize local rice farmers across the State as major sources of Rice Paddy for processing in the industry.

“This is to serve as part of means of encouraging local rice farmers in the State, not only to gain, but also to increase their production capacity.

The Information Commissioner also added that the screening exercise of the state civil service commission’s recruitment has been extended till last day of October to enable applicants obtain original certificates.

“The Council also received progress report on the ongoing recruitment exercise and the issue of securing original certificate.

“Because of the public perception on the challenge of securing applicants certificates and payment of money, the council asked that they extend the time of the ongoing screening exercise till 30th October.