Edo State Government says the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo would be commissioning the 55,000 metric tonnes fertilizer blending plant located at Auchi, the administrative headquarters of Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Godwin Obaseki, the state governor, gave the hint during an inspection of the 450 hectares maize farm at Sobe community in Owan West Local Government Area.
Obaseki had on June 1, 2017 during inspection of the blending plant, disclosed that the company would by June 15, 2017 be commissioned to begin commercial production.
He added that the plant has the capacity to produce seven tonnes per hour and would employ over 100 persons. However, close to two months since the pledge, the plant has not been commissioned for commercial production.
The Governor, during the inspection of the 450 hectares of maize farm, disclosed that the Acting President has agreed to commission the plant.
According to him, the Acting President has promised to commission the fertilizer blending plant in Auchi which is an integral part of the Accelerated Agriculture initiative designed to create jobs in the state.
Obaseki said the maize farm was part of his administration’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative with Saro-Agro Sciences Ltd to accelerate the mainstreaming of agriculture in the state’s economy.
“We flagged off our Accelerated Agriculture initiative three months ago and this maize farm is a product of the initiative. There were few challenges encountered by the farmers and we will go back to the drawing board to ensure that there is significant improvement in the next phase,” he said.
Obaseki, who expressed satisfaction that the first phase of the agriculture initiative was a success, urged youths in the state to embrace the initiative which he said would enhance their socio-economic status.
He added that the second phase would commence in other parts of the state in the next planting season.
He noted that his administration adopted the Public Private Partnership business model so that the youths for whom the programme was created can leverage on the expertise of major players in the agricultural sector and grow into big players.
The governor was accompanied on the inspection by the managing director of Saro AgroSciences, Oluwole Adeyegbe, commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources,Monday Osaigbovo, permanent secretary in the ministry, Bashir Kadiri and other top officials of the state government.
IDRIS UMA MOMOH, BENIN