By Adejoke Adeleye/Abeokuta
Ogun governor, Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday unveiled the plan by his administration to establish a 20,000 hectares rice plantation in Yewa North and Imeko Afon Local government areas of the state.
Abiodun who said the farm will the largest in Nigeria when completed spoke during the commissioning of the first phase of the 21 kilometres Iboro-Imasayi Ayetoro road in Yewa North Local government area of the state.
The governor added that the farm will also have the largest rice processing factory in the country, thereby making Ogun state the rice capital of Nigeria.
Abiodun said, with the establishment of the farm, his dreams of turning the state into the rice capital of Nigeria will be achieved, adding that both local and foreign investors have signified interest in partnering with the state on the project.
His words: “Yewa North and Imeko local government areas are known for their agricultural potentials and one of my legacies will be to leave these local government areas and have them defined as truly the bread basket of not just this state, but this nation.
“I have called the Head of Service and the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle that he should challenge all our traditional rulers in this area, we are looking for about 20,000 hectares of land.
“We want to turn this part of Yewa into the rice capital of Nigeria. We already have the investors that have the resources to turn this place into the rice development and rice processing centre in Nigeria and I’m deeply committed to that as that will be one of the legacies of this administration.
“Help us look for the land within the next two weeks and see the wonders that we will perform. Government will not put a dime into it, government will be providing an enabling environment for investors to come and turn this place into the rice capital of Nigeria.
“We will lift up the economic prosperity of this state, it will trickle down down to individual prosperity and the lives of our people will never remain the same again”, the governor said.
Abiodun emphasised the importance of infrastructure, particularly good road network to the development of agricultural sector.
The governor seized the opportunity of the event to flag off the 14km second phase of the road construction, assuring that the project would be completed in due time.
Abiodun said, “This road is a 21km road and we do not think that it will be excusable for us not to begin the construction of this road because we cannot afford the entire budgetary provision at the time we were awarding it.
“But to demonstrate our commitment and sincerity of purpose, we chose to divide it into two phases to enable us complete the first phase, knowing that such will convince every doubting minds that we are indeed, sincere and committed to ensuring that we provided the needed infrastructure across this corridor.
“So, today, we are here to commission the first phase, which is a 7-kilometer beginning from Imasayi-Iboro to Igan Okoto and by the same token, flag-off the construction of the second phase leading to Ayetoro. This will put-paid to all the rumours from mischief makers. Of course, of what benefit will it be if we commence the road and stop it half way? So, let the mischief makers go and look for another job”.