*COMMENCES GOLD EXPLORATION
(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Niger State Government says it has accessed the sum of N1.5 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria to kick start the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) in the state.
Commissioner for Livestock and Fishery, Alhaji Haruna Dukku stated this during the post State Executive Council briefing with journalists in Government House, Minna.
Alhaji Dukku said the scheme which is targeted at empowering 10,000 women and youths between 18-35 years, is also aimed at improving the Agricultural value-chain particularly in the 3 main crops produced in the state (rice, soya beans and maize).
He explained that the scheme was flagged off in 2018 since then the state has been able to access the first tranch of the fund whcih is about 600 Million Naira to run the scheme.
The Commissioner who explained that the fund was meant for infrastructural development in the Agricultural sector of the state said the fund will cover activities including the development of irrigation sites in Chanchaga, Loigi, Agaie, Gbakogi Tamanai; development of 50-hectares oil plantation at Labozhi; development of 200 hectares of cotton farm; development of the infrastructure at the Bobi Grazing Reserve; upgrading of the farming institute at Tegina as well as the upgrading of the Green House farm in Minna.
The Commissioner also said the state government has indicated its interest to partner Elephant Group, a private company in the area of Rice Mill.
The Memorandum of Understanding to that effect will soon be signed by both parties.
In a related development, Commissioner for Mineral Resources Mr Daniel Kolo announced the readiness of the State government to diversify it economy in the Mineral Sector by partnering with an investor in gold exploration.
Mr Kolo said this is part of government efforts towards improving on her revenue generation, considering the dwindling economy of the country and the need to also ensure sectorial development in the State.
The Commissioner stated that the state has already received an investor who is willing to partner with the state in that regards adding that the doors of the State government remains opened for more investors that are interested.
POTENTIAL IMPACT: The scheme has the potential of empowering thousands of jobless youths in the state, improve the Agricultural value-chain particularly in the 3 main crops produced in the state (rice, soya beans and maize), and ultimately develop the state’s agricultural infrastructure