The immediate past governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, has commended Governor Ben Ayade for his efforts towards industrialising the state, stressing that the establishment of Africa’s first vitaminised rice mill in Ogoja is a phenomenal project.
Imoke, who accompanied his successor to inspect the installation of equipment at the rice mill, said the automated rice mill would create employment, increase rice production and make the state a hub for rice production in the country.
He said: “This is a phenomenal project that speaks volume of the governor’s not just vision but the timing of a project of this nature.”
While acknowledging the “intellectual money policy,” of Ayade, the former governor added that the secret of such a gigantic project, especially when the state earns the least from the federal allocation, could only be a product of critical intellectual exercise.
“I love the location and this can capture all the rice in the central and north, and ideally situated in terms of access to the market. A lot of people feel that Nigerian rice is not as qualitative as it ought to be, but with a mill like this, though I am not an expert, I believe that the quality of rice that will be processed here will beat local standard.”
Earlier, Governor Ayade explained that “We have a team here from Germany who is working to make the plant run fully on solar, two megawatts of power and two megawatts of battery storage. So, days and nights it will run without recourse to diesel.”
Offering further insight on the planned power system, the governor disclosed that “if you want to run on diesel, it means you will be operating at a loss and that is why the team is here with me from Germany because they have been tested and proven in the industrial park in Calabar. So, we want to extend that and have them to do this plant.”