Uduaghan guarantees [10,000] hectares as Delta, British firm sign MoU on rice, cassava, fish production

The Delta State Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with a British firm, Trans4mation Pistton Field Nigeria Limited, to promote agriculture and turn the state into a formidable food basket.

While Delta State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Dafe Akpedeye (SAN) signed on behalf of the State Government, Mr. Stephen Liney signed for Trans4mation Pistton Field.

Speaking during the ceremony Tuesday, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan promised to allocate more land to the firm while guaranteeing the security of the ten hectares already given to the firm for 25 years. According to Dr. Uduaghan, “For us in Delta, we have agreed we will provide the minimum of 10,000 hectares of fertile and appropriate land and I want to assure you that once you start off and we see that the project is booming, we will definitely give you much more than that. And this land will be adequately stipulated and we are giving you a security of tenure for 25 years which will be subject to review.”

While urging the company to bring its expertise to bear on the execution of the project, Governor Uduaghan warned communities in the area of their operation not to force the company to employ more than it could afford. He said: “I urge you to provide all the necessary expatriate labour to oversee the project and you will employ as much local labour reasonable possible for the programme.I want to underline that word “reasonably possible” so that our people can understand. Because it is a private company and there’s a limit to which it can employ labour.”

Dr. Uduaghan said his administration believes in Private Public Partnership, especially as resources coming to the state from the Federation Account are very lean and not enough to execute the Three-point Agenda of the government.

“For us to be able to achieve the three point agenda, we have looked at various areas, and looked at funds that come to the state from Federal Allocation, we found that what is coming in terms of federal allocation and the internally generated revenue is just a small percent of what is required to be able to move the state forward to get to where we believe we should be as a state,” he said, adding that “the next strategy is to extend out hands of fellowship to the private sector to join us in our private-public partnership, and I think you are one of the companies that we have discussed with so far.”

He commended the company for its interest in the state in its effort to create food security and employment for Deltans. “I am particularly glad that you are starting from an area that has to do with the stomach because stomach is the gateway to other parts of the body in terms of nutrition and if you don’t take care of it the other parts cannot function,” he said.

The Group managing Director of Trans4mation Pistton Field, Mr. Stephen Liney said his company has a track record world-wide in the agricultural sector.

Stephen who solicited the government’s assistance for work permits for expatriates expected for the project, said the project will involve the production of rice, cassava and fish in the state.

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