Ebonyi governor champions people-oriented policies for Agricultural development

Ene Okwanihe, Abuja

Many good policies and programmes by past governments in Nigeria have been neglected or stopped due to lack of sustainability and continuity resulting in policy somersault.

In order to avoid such occurrences in his state, the Ebonyi state Governor Mr. Dave Umahi has taken steps to ensure the security of policies by proposing a law that allows citizens own a particular percentage of equity in agriculture and mining investments in the state.

Mr. Umahi stated this while receiving a group of Agriculture correspondents in his office in Abakaliki the Ebonyi state capital South Eastern Nigeria.

He said if governments allow the people have equity in its policies no successive government can come up and do away or scrap some of such policies because it is controlled by the people.

Governor Umahi said the proposed law will ensure that land owners get at least 10% equity of the investments and the state will also own equity.

The rice mega city we are proposing will be powered by government but not run by government. For example If you are an investor and you want to take 5,000 Hectares, we have a law we are coming up with were by land owners will aggregate and form cooperatives so each farm holder will become a shareholder based on the percentage of the area he has,” he noted.

The governor said when all this modalities are put in place the business is controlled by the people and it won’t be dependent on who comes up as governor.

These cooperatives societies will also work in the farms so you won’t see the place of Government in this but they will pay tax to the government it won’t be a question of which government comes and it won’t be dependent on which governor is in power

He added that the approach is good for sustainability in government and will suggest the Federal Government adopts it in the future as a means of stopping policy summersault.

I recommend this for Federal Government; let the investors come very good but the owners of the place have equity in what business that is being done.”

Mr. Umahi further said the state is looking at mechanizing agriculture by improving on the way rice farming is being done in the state.