By Emmanuel Elebeke
The federal government says its agricultural plan in the country has started yielding results.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the remarks in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State, when he led a Federal Government delegation on an inspection of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, which also hosts the tallest national flag pole in Nigeria and the second in Africa at 50 metres high.
The minister noted that the federal government’s Anchor Borrowers programme and Fertilizer Initiative are revolutionizing agriculture in Nigeria.
He said the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which was launched by the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, in 2015 to boost the nation’s agricultural sector!, has now catalysed the production of such crops as rice, maize, wheat and tomato, among others, and boosted local productiution on as well as conserved the nation’s foreign exchange through marked reduction in importation.
“Then, there is the Presidential Ftilizer Initiative, which is aimed at stimulating local production of NPK fertilizer by reviving moribund fertilizer plants and the local blending ferilizer industry, making
fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and saving $200 million in foreign exchange and N60 billion in budgetary provision for fertilizer subsidy, and of course creating thousands of
jobs in the process,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed lauded the foresight of the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, for keying into the initiatives, thus attracting private investments like the Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, to his state.
“With these and the ingenious programmes of the state government, Jigawa is a shining example of the success of the Federal Government Agricultural Revolution. I implore other farmers and other states to take advantage of the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to revolutionize agriculture in their areas,” he said.
The Minister commended the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company
Limited, Alhaji Faruk Adamu Aliyu, for his massive investment not just in agriculture but in tourism by hoisting the tallest national flag pole on the farm, which will go a long way in attracting tourists to Birnin Kudu.
“Today’s visit is a double-barrelled one, aimed at showcasing successes in agriculture as well as in tourism. Malam Farouk has, as they say, used one stone to kill two birds. Not only is he showcasing success in agriculture, he is also helping to make Jigawa a choice destination for tourists by erecting the tallest Nigerian flag pole in t⅘he country. This is good thinking for which I commend him,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, Alhaji Faruk Aliyu, said the 70-hectare sprawling complex is involved
in poultry farming with 120,000 layers and broilers, dairy with 400 heads of cattle, a 40-tonne per hour fertilizer blending plant, and a greenhouse that produces between 15 and 20 tonnes of tomatoes weekly among other farm products.
He said he decided to erect the second tallest national flag on the African Continent in order to solidify the nation’s unity and inspire patriotism among Nigerians.
“This is all in furtherance to uniting the country and making our people believe in our country,” he said.
The Minister was accompanied on the visit by the Directors-General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari; Nigerian Television Authority, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed; Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Mansur Liman; Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Folarin Coker and the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Prof. Abba Isa Tijani.