The Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Donald Omotayo Alasoadura, yesterday, disclosed that the ministry is making relentless efforts in collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through First Bank of Nigeria on the Agricultural Revolution Initiative in the Niger Delta region.

According to the Minister, the Bank is ready to give as much as N50 billion grant to develop agriculture especially in the area of low land rice cultivation and fishery.

Alasoadura disclosed this in an interview session with the minister in Abuja. He made this assertion with the promise that the region could produce rice that can feed Nigeria as a whole. “I believe that when this comes through, the Niger Delta area will not be the same again as far as agriculture is concerned.”

He alluded that the Ministry has made notable efforts in the area of training and empowerment of youths, women and artisans as over 1,500 participants were trained and empowered last year with N500,000.00 given to each person as grant to start their businesses or expand existing ones, assuring that 2022 training programmes would be more elaborate.

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Alasoadura stated that the ministry’s master plan for the Niger Delta region is tailored towards giving basic priorities and improving the region holistically.

In the area of environmental degradation and pollution caused by hydrocarbon activities such as gas flaring, crude oil exploration and oil spillage, the Minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that the Ogoni water and sea pollution is being addressed vigorously stating that “the ministry is also partnering Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources respectively in tackling the menace and bringing lasting solution to the problem.”

He reiterated that the greatest legacy the present administration would be remembered for, through the platform of the Ministry, is the completion of the East-West road.

He further stated that the Ministry has been able to handle to a large extent, industrialization and economic challenges confronting the region by promoting the welfare of the people and ensuring that peace and tranquility is maintained.

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