From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim has disclosed that the State Government would soon commission the Rivers Cassava Processing Company as a model for agricultural development in the State.
Nsirim who disclosed this when he appeared as a guest on a radio current affairs programme in Port Harcourt, said 3000 up takers who will be involved in what he called Cassava revolution have already been engaged.
He said “The truth of the matter in governance is that you cannot take everything at once. But we are looking at this Cassava processing company as a model for agricultural development in the State.
“You know when you want to start something you can start with a little thing at first, progress, see the challenges, and then you move on to the next one, but this one that is going to happen very soon, you can’t find it anywhere in this country.
“It is designed in a way that machines go to the farms, harvest the Cassava, clean them up at the farm and then bring to the factory. The farmers don’t need to go to harvest, they don’t need to enter their farm locations.
“It is novel, so gradually we will be building on this because His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike desires to also make agriculture the centre piece of this administration. So we are kick starting with this Cassava processing company in the next few weeks.”
He assured that with the concentration of large Cassava farmers in the Ikwerre, Etche, Oyigbo ,Ogoni amongst other ethnic groups in Rivers State, the company would not lack adequate supply of raw materials for its effectiveness.
“And this is what we need to note, feasibility study was carried out before siting the project. So, what is happening here is that feasibility study has shown clearly there will be raw materials for this factory. You can’t just go and put an investment when you can’t get raw materials for it,” he said.
He enumerated the socioeconomic benefits of the flyover bridges being constructed by the Governor Wike’s administration adding that aside saving man hours and easy access to economic activities, the government has as part of the contract agreement with Julius Berger, a trainee engineer scheme for indigenes to be equipped with relevant skills in their areas of discipline.
He said it was important to showcase the works of Governor Wike because “what you see happening in Rivers State is essentially an infrastructural revolution and for people who thought that His Excellency,
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike will not even have money to pay salaries when he took over office as governor, I think that it is important for them to see that visionary leadership and strategic thinking can turn a State like ours into a model. And so the truth of the matter is, a lot of people want to come to Rivers State now because of the developmental strides that are going on,” he emphasised.
Nsirim reassured the people of the State of the commitment of Governor Wike to the prompt completion of the new flyover projects to be flagged off at Waterline and Ikoku axis of Port Harcourt, adding that all contracts awarded by th Governor Wike’s administration strictly complied with the Public Procurement Laws of the State.
“You see, why I am excited working with His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Governor of Rivers State is that, follow through, since he came on board, show me one promise he made that he has not kept. I am the Commissioner for Information and Communications when we flagged off the three flyover projects and it was to be delivered in sixteen months. If you go to my Facebook wall people were saying how can this thing be?
“It’s just like that man in the Bible you know, when the prophet said by this time tomorrow food will be all over Samaria and the man said it’s not possible even though God opens everywhere. That’s what people were saying. But today, all of them are complete within schedule.
“It is uncommon in politics, it is uncommon in the governance of Nigeria. What people do, we have seen previous administration here leave behind white-elephant projects. This man’s love for Rivers State, Governor Wike’s love for Rivers State is genuine and he keeps repeating it by saying, “I will not leave any abandoned project for whoever that will succeed me.”
He emphasised that it is the vision of Governor Wike to make Rivers State an investor’s destination of choice, we are trying to make everybody who lives and does business in Rivers State to understand that we have a shared prosperity to protect.