Head of Affairs and Country Representative of DFID, Dr. Richard Montgomery, said that his group was understudying Anambra State especially Onitsha as to know possible areas to collaborate with the government.
He disclosed this when the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, accompanied by the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Professor Stella Okunna paid a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
Montgomery said though the office was attracted by the governor’s personal commendable performance in office which had led them to classify his among the reformist governments, there was no immediate plans for intervention but that the organization was interested in Onitsha and Nnewi as commercial centres to improve business environment for economic growth and job creation.
He said the DFID liaises with the government of Anambra State so as to know the areas the government would want to collaborate with them.
Govornor Obi of Anambra said he reached to the organisation because the state was poor and need help to fill in the budgetary gaps.
The possible areas of intervention, the governor explained, were in almost all sectors of the state economy since all suffered neglect.
Because of the prudent management of its meagre resources, the governor explained that the state was able to tackle challenges in all the sectors namely education, infrastructure, judiciary, health, environment, security among others.
Besides, he said there is remarkable improvement in the state’s growth indices.
The governor said that Anambra was a poor state and that when he came into office in 2006, the state was desperately begging for attention in all fronts. According to him, because there was no existing plan, his government moved quickly to create the office of Budget and Planning to fashion out a vision for the state in respect of short, medium and long term plans for the state.
Lagos to get 12-tonne rice factory
The Lagos State Government has commenced the construction of a rice factory with the capacity to produce 12 tonnes daily, Babajide Bashorun, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, has said.
According to him, the factory, being built under the ‘Rice for Job Projects’, is located at Imota in Ikorodu. He said that more than N600 million from the 2010 budget had been spent on the project while N1 billion was provided for it in the 2011 budget, adding that the government has placed order for factory equipment from South Korea.
He also said that plans were under way to cultivate 35 hectares of irrigated rice farm at Itoga, Badagry, and expressed delight that Lagos had joined the league of rice producing states in a bid to contribute to the growth of the sector and reduce importation.
According to him, the objective of the project include stimulating expansion of the sector, economic growth, poverty eradication, economic empowerment and price stability. He said that under the initiative, more than 152 hectares had already been cultivated with the long grain improved rice variety. “Government is working on two catchments areas of Badagry and Itokin Epe for the rain-fed rice,” he said.