Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has warned local government administrators and political office holders against diversion of agricultural equipment for personal use.
Governor Bello who gave the warning in Lokoja at weekend while commissioning agricultural equipment worth several millions of naira and unveiling the confluence rice, , said the procurement of the equipment was aimed at enhancing agricultural production in the state.
He noted that government will not condone any act that will hindered the real farmers from gaining access to the equipment .
“I will not take it lightly with any administrator of local government who interfere with the management and control of the tractors. The main objective of procuring the tractors is to assist the farmers in the local government to enhance their production.
” Any attempt to divert the tractors, government will not condone it” he said.
He pointed out that aside the engagement of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the sector , his administration will continue to assist local farmers and youth who are willing to earn living through agriculture.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Agriculture Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba disclosed that the current administration has done a lot to key into agricultural programme of President Muhammadu Buhari as a way of diversifying the nation’s economy from oil.
He noted the the establishment of 50 tonnes capacity per day of rice mill in Ome, Yagba west local government area of the state will enhance rice production and place Kogi state among the leading rice producers in the country.
Oloruntoba further disclosed that the state has been selected by the federal government as one of the six states that will benefit from National Egg production programme through poultry farming, adding that 135 people from the state will benefit from the N4.2 million that will be given to each farmer to kick start the programme.
In his goodwill message, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Edward Onoja , said the state government is already in partnership with investors from Israel for the production of fruit and tomatoes , saying the effort will generate over 20,000 jobs for the people of Kogi state.
He stated that the confluence rice will be distributed to all the wards in the state as government gesture for Christmas and new years celebration.
The agricultural equipment commissioned include 40 tractors, 40 ridgers , 40 harrows, 40, ploughs and 1500 power tillers.
Others are 10 boom sprayers , 10 combined harvestors and 10 planters which will be distributed to farmers free except tractors that will be managed by farm instructors in the local government area of the state.