By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang has expressed optimism that Nigeria would again experience a boom in agriculture if beneficiaries of government grants to the sector make judicious use of the funds.
Sen. Enang said the federal government as part of COVID-19 relief programme and to ensure food security in the country has embarked on an emergency agricultural programme to boost large scale farming.
According to him, “the federal government through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Nigeria Agricultural Lands Development Authority (NALDA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Cross River Basin Development Authority released grants to beneficiaries collated through his office to enable them go into largescale agric businesses, as part of government emergency agricultural programme”.
Sen. Enang who made the disclosure while fielding in questions from journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state at the weekend, described the programme as a bold step taken by the federal government to diversify the nation’s economy as the world continues to grapple with Covid-19 pandemic.
He also disclosed that the Basin Development Authority through government’s directive, has handed over all lands within his jurisdiction in all the Niger Delta States to his office for agricultural purposes.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, has also assured Nigerians that the presidency has taken drastic steps to crash the prices of petroleum products.
To do so, he said the federal government has concluded plans to host a National Conference on Artisanal and Modular Refining to integrate local refiners into the mainstream refining in Nigeria.
This according him, underscore the need federal government to partner with those in the creek on how to legalise their businesses towards refining with incountry capacities.
Billed for March 15-17 2021, the National Conference, Enang explained, is in response to the amnesty extended by the federal government to the former illegal refiners.
“We need to agree with those in the creek on how to legalise their business because of the danger the current practice is posing to the environment and the economy of the country.
“Therefore the Federal Government will on March 15th- 17th hold a National Conference on Artisanal and Modular Refining to integrate local refiners into the mainstream refining in Nigeria.
“It is more necessary to do in-country refining to avoid certain duties and charges connected with importation of Petroleum products. with this steps, it would be possible to have the products at less than N100 per liter, because other charges relating to clearing the cargo would have been dropped”. he said.