The Nigerian Army on Thursday sought partnership with the Ebonyi State Government on rice processing and agriculture in general to achieve mutual gains.
The Chief of Transformation/Innovation of the Army, Maj. Gen. Edward Nze, disclosed this when he led a delegation from the Army headquarters in Abuja on a courtesy visit on the Governor , Chief David Umahi.
Nze said the Army had in 2012 laid foundation for the building of the Nigerian Army Campo Ration Factory in Abakaliki with a view to partnering the state to promote agriculture in the country.
The Army chief thanked the state government for donating some bags of Abakaliki rice to the internally displaced persons in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states and conveyed the goodwill message of the Chief of Army Staff to governent and the people of the state.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, Brig. Gen Umaru Mohammed, said the military was ready to meet the people of the state on their farmlands.
“All over the world, the military take part in various things. Here in Nigeria, we have been hearing about Abakaliki rice and it will be our pleasure that we partner with you in area of processing this rice so that we don’t need to rush to any other place to buy rice. Even Dangote will not need to import rice but will just come down to Abakaliki to buy.”
Responding, Governor Umahi, represented by his deputy, Barrister Kelechi Igwe, commended the army for their vision in area of agriculture and assured them that his government would be ready to partner them.
He said their idea was in line with his government’s policy in area of agriculture and described Abakaliki rice as best rice with high nutritional value all over the world.
He said, “Abakaliki rice is the best rice in the world with high nutritional value.
“We, as a state, already have a policy trust geared towards agriculture and it will be our pleasure to partner you. If you need human resources, you will get that from us in abundance but we will always climb on your back whenever it comes to the issue of money because you are Federal Government while we are state and it is a known fact that Ebonyi state is one of the states that get least allocation.”