Managing Director of NDBDA, Engr Tonye David West.
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Basin Development Authority, NDBDA, has embarked on partnership with the Nigeria Police to ensure adequate food security in the region and Nigeria at large.
This as the management of agency has declared its readiness to flood the market with assorted foodstuff from its Songhai integrated farm at Kpon community in Khana local government area of Rivers state and reduce food insecurity in Nigeria.
They also assured that the partnership will provide adequate security presence at its large expanse of farm settlement in the area.
The managing Director of NDBDA, Engr Tonye David West, who spoke during the agency courtesy call on the divisional police officer, DPO, of Bori, said partnering with the police was necessary to provide security to the over 84 hectares of farmland located at Kpon community.
He said the multimillion naira federal government sponsored project, is so dear to the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu because it has the propensity to create jobs and provide food sufficiency for Nigerians.
Engr West said: “As federal agencies, it is only important we partner with you to provide the needed security to the facilities we have at the farms. As you know, we are just about to go into full operations after successfully completing the construction of different infrastructural projects at the Songhai integrated farm.
“Our cardinal objective is hinged on the promise of President Mohammadu Buhari of providing food security to all Nigerians. We have also set machinery in motion to train the youths of the Niger Delta region on skill acquisition for self-reliance and improve their individual economic base”.
Engr Tonye who owned up to the security challenges within the farm community, thanked the security agencies for changing the ugly narrative, adding that the constant presence of police patrol team within the farm settlement would stave off any form of security threat to the project.
“Since we are all federal government agencies, we do not need to work in isolation from each other. As partners, I want to assure you that we will do the best we can to ensure that your men do not have any problems in helping us to keep watch over the settlement.
“It will also interest you to know that the farm settlement is capable of providing sufficient foods for the Niger Delta region. Our eggs, chickens, plantain, banana, fish and different cash crops will soon be on sale. There is also an opportunity to employ thousands of youths through direct and indirect labor. One of the core objectives of the federal government is food security. We have about 25,000 birds, eggs”, he added.
In his response, the Bori DPO, SP Bako Angbashim called on the management of NDBDA to integrate cow grazing and rice farming in to project to create more jobs for the youths of the community as a way of diverting their minds from crimes.
“It was a big challenge to deal with rising insecurity situation in this community and the entire Ogoni kingdom in general. What I will want to plead with you is to integrate cow and rice farming into what you are doing. There is green vegetation here that cow can graze on’.
The DPO who noted the need for drinkable portable water for oil spill affected communities in Ogoni, expressed the Division readiness to sustain the existing peace and crime free in the farm area.
“More so, there is a need for pipe borne water to be provided in the community because as you know, the incessant oil spills have contaminated the source of drinking water. We also know that hydrocarbon pollution remediation project, HYPREP, is working hard to clean up the polluted Ogoni environment. Partner also with the agency in the area of water provision for the community.
“Security is the backbone to every business. NDBDA is under my command. When I came on board, things were almost destroyed. Before now, there was heavy demand on matching ground for everything and people were displaced in IDP camps”, he said.
SP Angbashim said agriculture should be extended to all parts of Ogoni, appealing that cows should be graced and youths be educated on methodology of farming.
“This land is suitable for rice farming, fishing, fowl, piggery, snail, cassava, yam, sweet potatoes farming”.