Chief John Okiyi, the Commissioner for Information in Abia State, says the government is committed to building an agro-allied industrial cluster at Ubani Ibeku, near Umuahia, the state capital.
Okiyi said this on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on some of the resolutions of the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House, Umuahia.
He said the project was designed to achieve up to 80 per cent in agricultural production in the state, with emphasis on cassava, palm and rice.
He said: “We are not going to be primary producers but intend to build industrial clusters which will extend the value of these crops.
“If we are able to site industries that will take off the excess that will come from our farmers, we think we would be adding more value to the crops.
“The value chain involved in the crops is massive.
“We think that our efforts should not end in planting improved seedling.
“We want to ensure that the full value chain is achieved.”
The commissioner said the Abia State Government was ready to give support to farmers in the state through the provision of modern agricultural equipment.
Okiyi said that the state government would use the Public Private Partnership model to execute the project, adding that a committee had been set up to source for private investors.
According to him, the state government will prioritise the completion of ongoing projects and also pay attention to improving education, road infrastructure, job creation, health and security.
He said the EXCO also approved the deployment of arbitration process to resolve long standing contract issues.
He said the decision to adopt an arbitration process was informed by the need to fast-track the development agenda of the present administration.
Kalu said the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Works were directed to reach a reasonable agreement with former contractors with respect to projects and outstanding bills from past administrations.
Okiyi said: “We are calling for social mobilisation in support of the Abia agenda for sustainable development and not political agenda.
“This is our state.
“It belongs to the ruling party and those in the opposition.”