By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel in Akwa Ibom State has failed in its plan to establish a multi million Naira Cattle Ranch at Adadia in Uruan Local Council of the state, investigations have shown.
Investigations revealed that the state government has invested huge amount of money on imported grass and planted it in the ranch to feed over 2,000 special breed Mexican cows.
Few months to the end of Governor Emmanuel’s administration, the project appears to have been jettisoned, even as the populace are still expecting to have fresh milk produce from the cows, believed to be more nutritious to consumers than evaporated milk flooding the markets.
However, journalists who visited the project site, an old farm location used by the Cross River Basin Development Authority observed that apart from the old buildings and broken iron fence, there was nothing to suggest that the project would see the light of the day, at least under the current administration.
Indigenes of the area when interviewed, disclosed that, “the few white people who were overseeing initial activities and who were residing at the ranch have left after much frustration.
According to them, those expatriates left because their condition became so bad that they could no longer afford to rent vehicles for their movement as they resorted to using commercial motorcycles for their daily movement.
It would be recalled that Governor Emmanuel had in May 2017, unveiled plans by his administration to kick start the ranch project, through a public/private initiative, explaining that cow importation was to ensure fresh milk for Akwa Ibom people as against evaporated milk.
His words, “Fresh milk is more nutritious and will enhance good health and growth among the people of the state. Our consultants are working hard to get the projects started,” the Governor had promised.
Contrary to fulfilling his promise by actualizing the plan, Emmanuel had during a media parley as part of activities that marked the 32nd anniversary of the state’s creation, blamed the frustration on the project on some challenges.
According to him, some unidentified persons set the ranch ablaze not minding the cost of the grasses imported and planted for the cows by his administration.
“There were also many petitions against the project. I thought we could import the cows, cause them to be impregnated so that they would mass produce such breed upon arrival in the state, instead of relying on the local cows to enable us improve our nutritious value,” the Governor bemoaned.
This is even as the imported grass planted for the 2,000 cows expected to be housed in the ranch but burnt by youth of the area, has not been replanted, with buildings at the site meant to house some of the workers in a state of disrepair.
State government officials who were approached for clarification on the status of the project, could not divulge useful information while calls to the immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, whose ministry supervised the project, could not be answered.