Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River says President Muhammadu Buhari will soon inaugurate an empowerment programme called G-Money meant to boost agricultural activities in the state.
The governor made this known when he briefed State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
According to him, G-Money is an empowerment programme designed to create job opportunities for young people in the agricultural sector of the economy.
”As part of the discussion with Mr President, we have agreed without a specific date but agreement in terms of period, he will be visiting Cross River state to commission yet again, a new programme called G-money.
”G-money is an empowerment of young people through agriculture, job creation through agriculture, establishing massive equipment.
”We, as a state government procured the equipment from John Deere of the United States, the biggest company in the world for deforestation, land clearing, land preparation for agriculture.
”With the partnership we have with Tata, the local partner, we have made order and taken delivery of a large number of tractors, bulldozers, payloaders, excavators, the list is endless,” he added.
The governor expressed the hope that the programme, when fully functional, would create jobs for over 2,000 young persons who would have at least 5,000 hectares of farmland for rice.
He said: ”Mr President will flag off the G-money programme, which is a green economy focusing on agriculture as a way forward.
”For a country that imports rice, where rice is our staple food with the northern and southern parts of Nigeria, it is a key project to Mr President, lifting women and young people out of unemployment by creating green jobs for them.
”So , the president has given his approval that he is coming to do the grand commissioning of the G-money programme and all the requirement we have procured, including the new factory, that is the slaughter house for poultry.”
On the Bakassi deep seaport, Ayade revealed that the Calabar port had started receiving light vessels with a tonnage of about 6,000 tons.
He said states from the northern part of the country and neighbouring countries like Niger and Chad would benefit immensely from the seaport.
”Mr president understands indeed that coming into life, the Bakassi deep seaport with an evacuation corridor to north is like taking the Atlantic Ocean to northern Nigeria.
”It is a strategic way of putting an end to the insurgency, militancy, kidnappings and the Boko Haram issues.
”Because, indeed once people are hungry, then the bestiality and the criminality becomes evident.
”If we don’t create an alternative corridor and as a country we remain wholly dependent on Lagos, for which the Lagos State governor has cried out, ‘please let other ports work so that we can decongest Lagos’, now if we don’t create that…
”Let’s look at it from the security point of view, if you can burn down Atlas Cove or make it impossible for goods to get to Lagos, in two days Nigeria can be captured.
”We don’t have strategic food reserves, we don’t have strategic storage or petroleum products, so in event that you are unable to get in and out of Lagos, what else? Then you are in trouble,” he said.