The Federal Government has inaugurated a Cassava Processing Plant and a-7 Unit of Staff Quarters in Akwa Ibom State, in continuation of its on-going tour and commissioning of completed projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the Niger Delta region.
While inaugurating the Cassava Processing plant at Afi Uda Community, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state on Monday, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani said: "The mission of the Ministry is to promote sustainable development, peace and economic prosperity in the Niger Delta region, which can only be achieved with promotion of an enabling environment for industrialization, by adding value to agricultural commodities, enhancing the capacities of farmers, generation of employment, increase farmers' income and sustainable food security in the region."
"Nigeria is currently the highest producer of Cassava in the world, the huge cassava production in the country may be wasted if not properly processed and utilised for economic prosperity. The establishment of Cassava Processing plant in Afi Uda community will add value to the Cassava production in Akwa Ibom state," the Minister reiterated.
Pastor Usani noted that the choice of Afi Uda community for the modern Cassava processing plant was in recognition of the people's agrarian nature and the need to ensure that cassava was hygienically processed for both local and export consumptions.
He enjoined the community to ensure effective use and maintenance of the facility.
The cassava processing plant at Afi Uda community has added to the number of such plants that were completed and handed over to various communities in the Niger Delta region by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
i. Cassava Processing plant at Gbarantoru Ekpetiama-Epie community, Bayelsa State,
ii. Cassava Processing plant at Igbotako community, Ondo State,
iii. Cassava Processing plant at Bah Lueku Nyokalena community, Rivers State,
iv. Cassava Processing plant at Isiaku Afara-Ukwu community, Abia State,
v. Cassava Processing plant at Wanakom Cross River State,
vi. Cassava Processing plant at Ngor Okpala, Okwekenta community, Imo State and;
vii. Cassava Processing plant at Mbutu Mbaise, Imo State.
The Minister stressed that the need to empower people economically necessitated the concept of establishing modern cassava processing plant cottage industries in the Niger Delta region.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Aliyu Aminu Bisalla, represented by the Director Community Development and Education, Mrs. Lauren Braide said the project would add value to the people of the community and make them more economically viable.
In his remarks, the Village Head, Afi Uda community, His Royal Highness, Ovong Clement Edet Ekuwem noted: "Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is the first Federal Ministry to come to the aid of Afi Uda community with an empowerment project, the Minister and the Ministry have given Afi Uda a sense of being part of Nigeria."
His highness appealed to the Federal Government to help the community to construct a 5km road to link Afi Uda with neighbouring communities to enable them benefit from the laudable project. In a related development, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, while commissioning a 7-unit Staff Quarters at the Community Secondary School, Ikot Uko, Odoro Ikot, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state, disclosed that the intention of the Ministry was in line with the present administration's vision to revive every sector of the society, including education.
He added that the housing units would address the housing deficit faced by the staff of the school in the past and enhance punctuality of the teachers towards impacting quality knowledge to the students who he said were the future of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.
In his remarks on behalf of the School and Ikot Uko community, the Principal of Community Secondary School, Ikot Uko, Mr. Etim Solomon Akpan said the project had introduced a great sense of beauty to the School community.
"The commissioning of the Staff Quarters for the School has shown the presence of the Federal Government in the School and in Ikot Uko community," he reiterated.
Press and Public Relations,
14th May, 2019