Two new rice mills are to be established in Ekiti State to boost food security and generate employment opportunities in the state.
The State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this on Thursday while speaking on FOCUS NIGERIA, a current affairs programme on the Africa Independent Television (AIT), also debunked allegation that he has been tampering with local government funds.
Fayemi revealed that the state chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) had written a letter to him that the allegation of illegal deduction of council funds levelled against him is not true.
The governor, however, maintained that he would not accept a private apology from the union insisting that only a public apology from the leadership of the local government workers is acceptable.
He also maintained that the ongoing staff audit of the local government system in the state will be completed before the commencement of payment of new minimum wage to council workers.
The governor disclosed that the two rice mills, which are products of his administration’s collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, will be sited in the state because of its position as one of the biggest centres of rice production in Nigeria.
Dr. Fayemi who revealed that he had just received a letter from the Federal Government on the two new rice mills also disclosed that the three senators from the state had agreed to pooled their constituency funds together to set up an irrigation project.
The governor explained that the irrigation project expected to gulp N600 million will boost farming and make Ekiti the food basket of the nation.
He stated that the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) scheme was put in place by his administration to incorporate younger generation into agriculture to succeed ageing farmers.
Fayemi noted that the scheme which has generated thousands of jobs was also aimed at increasing yield in cocoa, oil palm, cassava and rice where the state has comparative advantage over other states in the federation.
The governor revealed that the first phase of the Ikogosi Warm Spring tourist resort will be commissioned in October as part of activities marking the second anniversary of his administration.
He absolved his administration of blame on the non-conduct of the local government election saying the election was initially scheduled to hold on February 4 before the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secured a court injunction stopping the poll.
Fayemi categorically warned against classifying Ekiti as one of the states deliberately halting democracy at council level saying as a believer in the rule of law, he would not want to disobey a valid court order.
The governor said he has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in a bid to upturn the verdict of the lower court on the council election declaring the readiness of his party for the election once the case in court is disposed of.
On the controversy generated by the attendance of the American Democratic Party convention by some Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders including himself, Fayemi revealed that they were validly invited.
He explained that about 300 African leaders cutting across various parties were invited by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to participate in the Democratic Party convention.
Fayemi listed other personalities that attended the convention to include former Senate President and PDP chieftain, Mr. Ken Nnamani, ANPP National Chairman, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai, Kenya Prime Minister Rahila Odinga, among others. “We were all invited by the NDI and it was an invitation extended to us. I was invited because of my long-standing relationship with the Democratic Party”, Fayemi said.
The Ekiti helmsman said the Governor of the Year award bestowed on him by LEADERSHIP Newspapers will ginger him to work more for the people of the state who are already feeling the impact of his government.
Describing his policies as non-discriminatory, Fayemi pointed out Ekiti residents are already benefiting from free health services, social security scheme, infrastructural development, free education and laptops to students and teachers in public schools.
Last modified: September 20, 2012