The Imo State government says it is in partnership agreement with Kebbi State government in agricultural and educational development.
The State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, announced the plans at an executive meeting on Wednesday held at the Government House in Owerri, the capital of Imo state in south-east Nigeria.
He said that the state government was going into the partnership to tackle the current economic situation in Nigeria which had giving room for states to look inward.
Governor Okorocha said that the partnership programme would majorly be in rice production while the educational development will be in the area of Teachers training.
The Way To Go
He also told the gathering that his administration was more determined than ever to deploy all machineries to ensure that the partnership would be sustained for the benefit of Imo people, expressing hopes that Imo state would become an agrarian state which would sustain and generate more Internally Generated Revenue for the state.
Responding to comments of the delegates of Kebbi State the Governor said: “Now that you have heard from the horse’s mouth, this will now corroborate my back to agriculture policy for civil servants.
“Agriculture is still the way to go in this period of economic recession. The government will do all it can to invest in this partnership not for we the officials but for the benefits of all Imo citizens”.
The Governor also disclosed that the partnership would not only be in agriculture but also education.
Highlighting that Imo State is known for educational development and that the state has well qualified teachers, he said the state government would partner with Kebbi State government in training thousands of their teachers.
Apart from the presence of the executive members of the Imo State government, in attendance at the meeting was also the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress led by Comrade Austin Chilakpu. They all met with the Kebbi State government’s delegates led by Mr Saidu Argungu.
Kebbi State has been a success story in agriculture, especially rice production and Imo State is looking to adopt the Kebbi State template to join the list of states producing rice in large quantity in Nigeria.
Mr Argungu had earlier told the gathering that he had inspected most of the communities across Imo state where rice production could be more viable.
He said: “Imo state has all it takes to be one of the state in Africa that will become the largest producer of rice if the state government can invest in it and take farming and agriculture more seriously as the benefits and proceeds cannot be overemphasised”.
“The agricultural potential, especially in rice production, I see in Imo State since the last two days that I have been touring most of the communities is enormous.
“It is even more than the oil you have. If the government pays more attention to this rice farming, at the end of one year, Imo may be the largest exporter of rice in West Africa because Imo has water and favourable soil that is not present in other states” Mallam Argungu said.