AN ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF T. A. ORJI (OCHENDO), EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR ABIA STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF A COURTESY CALL TO GOVERNMENT HOUSE, OF THE 7TH JOINT WORLD BANK/FGN SUPERVISION MISSION ON THIRD FADAMA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, HOLDING AT THE EXCO CHAMBERS OF GOVERNMENT HOUSE, UMUAHIA, ON THE 18TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2013
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
It is indeed a great pleasure to welcome all of you to Abia State on this memorable occasion of the Seventh Joint World Bank/FGN Supervision Mission on Third National Fadama Development Project, covering the South-East Zone, and holding in our Abia State.
For us, this marks another milestone in the history of our several fruitful collaborations with the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria, in our passion to quickly develop Abia State
I want to say a big welcome to the World Bank and the FGN Teams for the deep interest you continue to show in Abia, ‘God’s Own State’, especially for giving us this singular honor and privilege to host this august gathering. To the officials of our Sister States who are participating in this epoch-making event, I say ‘Nnoonu, Unu Abiala!’
You will recall that just a few weeks ago, our State played host to the Good Governance Team of the Federal Government, led by the Honorable Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku. It is instructive to note that our many legacy projects inspected by that team, truly attested to our Government’s sincere desire to transform our State and make a difference.
But I can clearly state here that some of these acclaimed legacy projects will not achieve their full effects, without a sustained healthy and well-fed citizenry, which the FADAMA Projects seek to emphasize.
Therefore, the agricultural sector and other goals of the FADAMA Projects will remain in the front burner of our march towards transforming Abia State.
I acknowledge the noble objectives of FADAMA, which is targeted at the rural poor. This is why our Government had taken the lead in quickly keying into the programme, when it was launched at the Federal level. We had immediately released N15 million Naira as our preparatory FADAMA Project-fund in 2009.
We will continue to honor our obligations in-spite of the paucity of funding, and I have directed the Accountant General of our State to make all outstanding remittances to Abia State FADAMA 111, without further delays, beginning from the end of February, 2013.
I have also been reliably informed of the high level of commitment of our Local Government Areas to ensure the success of the project in Abia State, and our Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, has been accordingly instructed to ensure that all funds accruing to the FADAMA 111 project from the LGAs, be deducted at source, in order to ensure a steady cash-flow into the project.
It has been of immense joy to see the huge impact that Abia State FADAMA 111 is making in the lives of our people, especially through the sub-projects that are spread throughout the State. I therefore make bold to say that the Agricultural Revolution, which we have embarked in this State, has received a great push from FADAMA 111 projects, and will be absolutely incomplete without them.
Our Administration is committed to transforming the agricultural sector of our State and Nation’s economies, and in line with the visions of the Federal Government. This is why Abia State wasted no time in accessing and disbursing to genuine farmers, the N1 billion agric-loan backed up by the FGN/CBN efforts. We have equally continued to provide some improved cocoa seedlings, fertilizer and other required agro-inputs to our farmers to improve farm products.
Right now, we have commenced the establishment of our Liberation Farm Projects in our 17 Local Government Areas of the State. This is to revive interests of the youth in farming and create young agro-entrepreneurs. We have equally continued to make remarkable efforts in our rural infrastructure to help drive rural development, create wealth, and raise the level of food security in our State.
Finally, I wish to most sincerely, commend the World Bank/FGN Team for this initiative, and appeal to you to ensure the project is extended for its immense benefits to our citizens, and especially in sustaining the agricultural value chains we have commenced building for the sustainable development of our State.
On this note, I wish you a very fruitful deliberation in all your subsequent sessions while in the State. May God guide and protect you throughout your stay in Abia State.
Thank you and God bless Nigeria!