DUTSE – Jigawa State Governor, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar has assured the management of Great Northern Agriculture Limited that the state is on course towards the actualisation of a sugar factory in the state, adding ‘no amount of blackmails will deter us in achieving this set objectives’.
Speaking at the site of the firm at Gagarawa during an unscheduled visit, the governor reiterated that the Gagarawa sugar project was a done deal by the special grace of Allah as the project was going on ahead of schedule with sugar cane yield from the seed plantation averaging 100 tons per hectare or almost 20% more than expected.
Furthermore, he assured of the government’s commitment to the actualisation of the project, adding no amount of cheap blackmail would deter it The General Manager who conducted the Governor round the expanded plantation of 150 hectares in the 1st phase and would get to 1,000 hectares by the end of the year on the way to meeting the 12,000-hectare target in three years.
The plantation has the largest and most sophisticated fertigation plant in the country where a fully computerised control room regulated irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide application throughout the plantation is done automatically using sensors in the field.
He explained that an irrigation canal 17km long and costing over $37 million will carry excess water from the Hantsu river to the plantation barrage, and will afford farmers along the route the opportunity to engage in dry season farming for the first time.
When asked about the news item credited to the outgoing House of Reps member, Sani Zorro claiming the house had passed a motion condemning the project, the Governor said he had stopped dignifying Sani Zorro’s incoherent outbursts on the issue with any response and referred reporters to the newly elected member of the house representing the zone, Nazif Sani, to speak on behalf of his people since they had reclaimed their mandate from the previous representative
The member-elect representing Gagarawa Gumel, and Maigatari Hon Nazifi who accompanied the Governor to the site expressed his delight with the pace of work so far and said the community had already began to enjoy the benefits of the project with the permanent employment of several Agronomy graduates from the host local government and the use of local labour for transplanting the cane.
He said the project which will produce 100,000 tons of sugar when completed would also have a fertilizer plant, seasoning factory and produce MDF and HDF as well as generating about 5MW of power, was absolutely in line with the government’s resolve to promote mega agric investments in the country and save the country scarce foreign exchange from the import substitution.
The member-elect also dismissed the claim credited to the former rep member representing the zone, saying his attempt to move a motion in the house for the 2nd time to disparage the project failed miserably as his colleagues dismissed it at the first instance and advised him to have a rethink on the issue.
He said the story appearing in one of the papers that the house of reps was probing the company was a tissue of lies and consistent with former rep Sani Zorro’s penchant for bizarre and incredulous press releases relating to the project.
According to him, this ranges from his allegation that the company was taking the cane to China to process and insinuation that it was not growing cane but acquiring the land to prospect for diamonds.
He said the people of Gagarawa were tired of Sani Zorro’s negative representation and had accordingly voted him out with a huge margin.
Hon Nazifi urged the outgoing Rep member to commit the remaining six weeks to the expiration of his tenure in office to apologise to the people for his diabolical attempts to scuttle a multi-million Dollar legacy project when he could not point to a single empowerment initiative anchored in his constituency in the last four years.
Honorable Nazif advised the people in the area to cooperate with the company and continue exposing the few bad eggs in their midst that was being used to give the project a negative image, and said the law will deal with anyone who engages in illegality irrespective of his standing in society.
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