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Governments of Imo and Abia states have agreed to jointly revamp the agriculture sector in the two states to boost the economy of the Southeast geo-political zone.

The two sister states began the move on Tuesday with the flag-off of the 2019 farming season at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Umuahia, Abia capital. While Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo was represented at the event by his deputy, Gerald Irona, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia was there in person.

Ihedioha said: “We are here to support the Abia government and the Bank of Agriculture in their bid to promote agriculture in the south-eastern part of Nigeria. We commend the efforts of Abia under the leadership of Chief Okezie Ikpeazu for introducing palm plantation, and the hope of exporting palm produce soon.

“I urge farmers to take advantage of the opportunity created by the Bank of Agriculture to access improved seedlings, loans and extension services.”He disclosed Imo government’s commitment to revitalize Adapalm Nigeria Limited, to realize its core mandate of boosting palm oil production and by-products.

On his part, Ikpeazu said Abia government under his watch was happy to partner Imo in agriculture, noting that his administration would not pay lip service to the sector. He recounted the successes achieved so far by the state government, urging their sustenance.

The occasion witnessed the joint planting of yam seedlings by the two states to kick-start the season and the launch of the new Bank of Agriculture building in Umuahia for the Southeast.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has donated and installed 100 solar-powered streetlights worth over N31 million to Ezeagbogu in Ezinihitte Mbaise Council of Imo.

The project was officially commissioned and handed over to the community by Governor Ihedioha and the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Yukata Kikuta, on Tuesday. In his speech, Mr. Kikuta said the project fell under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP) of the Japanese government.

According to him, in the past 20 years, Japan has funded over 170 projects in various parts of Nigeria worth over $12 million. He added that Japan, in partnership with Koyo Corporation (a technology company) and Development Dynamics (a non-government organization), has commenced training of youths in the maintenance of the project and would, in two years’ time, trained about 100 youths in various fields of technology.

His words, “Japan is strongly committed to supporting Nigeria as declared at the sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD VI). The Embassy of Japan hopes that this assistance will contribute to the improvement of safety in the community, and will strengthen the amicable relationship between Japan and Nigeria.”Ihedioha lauded the Japanese government and the facilitators of the project, Ufotonnie International Limited and Development Dynamics. In appreciation of the gesture, the community conferred Enyi Ukwu (good friend) of Ezeagbogu chieftaincy title on the envoy.

Source: The Guardian

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