By Festus Ahon
ASABA—GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, performed the ground-breaking of a 3, 000 hectare oil palm plantation and processing plant in Akwukwu-Igbo, Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state as part of efforts to boost agriculture in the state.
Performing the ground breaking, Okowa said his administration’s investment drive was yielding results and congratulated Norsworthy Farms and Allied Industries Limited for establishing the farm in the state.
He said: “I see this exercise as a good example of private sector participation in the economy. It is really encouraging when private sector organisations partner government in the pursuit of sustainable development.
“I am convinced this is a major step forward in the development of viable business in the agricultural sector, which is a part of the key element of private sector participation in the development of our state.”
“This farm which comprises 3, 000 hectare Oil Palm Plantation, a 10-ton per hour palm oil mill, a palm oil refinery and a palm kernel crushing plant, will no doubt, change the face of Oil palm industry not only in the state but, the country.”
Assuring the people of Akwukwu-Igbo that the road from the community to Ugbolu would be captured in the 2019 budget, Okowa urged traditional rulers across the state to make land available to investors.
Earlier in his remarks, Managing Director of Norsworthy Farms and Allied Industries Limited, Mr. Gabriel Ugbechie said over N6 billion has been budgeted for the project.
Also, Chairman of Oshimili North LGA of the state, Mr. Louis Ndukwe said oil palm played important role in the development of Nigeria’s economy in the past, observing that its value chain would bring about speedy development to the area as well as boost job and wealth creation for the people.