By The Evangelist News edition, Friday, December 15, 2023.
In line with the ARISE Agenda of the Akwa Ibom State government, the State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno has flagged-off the construction of Ibom Model Farms in Ikot Edibon, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
Speaking at the flag-off, the Governor noted that the farm is the fulfilment of his campaign promise to Akwa Ibom people in the area of agriculture and its full value-chain.
He noted that the farm was conceived during his electioneering campaign because of his belief that the future lies in agriculture. He stated that he had personally sent 31 people for Agric training from personal resources and currently, another 31 are undergoing a similar programme.
The Governor who expressed delight and fulfillment at take off of the project, stressed the need to look at agri-business as the new black gold.
He said contrary to the notion that agriculture is not profitable, major nations around the world make a lot of money from farming, adding that like Ibom Air, the farm will be managed professionally, without government interference.
Governor Eno who had earlier in the wee- hours of the day, stopped at the site for inspection ahead of the flag-off, stated that the location was not because Nsit Ubium is his local government area, but because it was the first LGA to donate land with with a customary Certificate of Occupancy.
He appreciated the Local Government Chairman for his commitment to the project, saying that any local government that provides land, will benefit from the Model Farm project.
The Governor also appreciated the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Offiong Offor, the Director/CEO of Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation (AKICORP), Pastor Imo-Abasi Jacob, and their team members for their tireless effort at getting the farm started.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, explained that the farm will sit on 50 hectres of land, and is not only a farm for food sufficiency, but to create employment opportunities, serve tourism purposes, and a business hub modelled after the Songai Farms in Porto-Novo.
On his part, the Director of Songhai Initiative, Fr. Godfrey Nzamujo said the significance of the initiative is far-reaching, adding that it is not just a farm but a comprehensive and incorporated approach of agriculture aimed at creating a socio-economically viable society.
He said the challenges facing the world and Africa in particular, does not require business as usual, but a new vision and approach, which, according to him, is the philosophy behind the initiative.
In their separate messages, the Chairman of Nsit Ubium LGA, Architect Iniobong Orok, Commissioner for Lands and Town Planing, Captain Iniobong Ekong, former member of the House of Representatives, Barr. Onofiok Luke, Political Leader of Uyo Senatorial District, Senator Effiong Bob and the Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium/President General of Akwa Ibom Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk (represented by the Clan Head of Ubium) appreciated the Governor for the initiative which according to them, is a holistic fulfillment of the ARISE Agenda.