<<< By Matthew Ajai-Kume and Terna Injua >>>
The World Bank says it will support initiatives of the Ortom administration in developing the agriculture value chain in Benue State.
Country Director of the Bank, Africa Region, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud stated this today when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit on Governor Samuel Ortom at his Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.
Mr. Benmessaoud said they were impressed with the efforts of the Benue State Government in developing the agriculture value chain and harnessing the capacity of youth to improve productivity in various sectors of the economy.
He said the World Bank already has a solid mineral development plan with the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals and encouraged the State Government to seek ways it could benefit from the programme.
The Country Director said the Bank has been following the crisis in Benue State and extended the condolences to the government and people of the state. He added that the Bank has a livestock policy from which states such as Benue could benefit.
Responding, Governor Ortom thanked the World Bank team for the visit and requested the organisation’s intervention in the efforts of the State Government to develop the agriculture and solid minerals sectors.
The Governor said Benue is richly endowed with arable land and mineral resources such as limestone, iron and zinc which need to be harnessed to fill the gap of unemployment and poverty.
He stated that the World Bank could assist the state to address the issue of land preparation to ensure all year round farming and provision of equipment as well as storage facilities to boost mechanised agriculture.
The Governor commended the Bank for its programmes in some states and urged it to replicate the gesture in Benue, giving assurance on the willingness of the state to key into the strategic development plan.