by crossriverwatch admin
Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives on today described the Constituency project of Hon Nkoyo Toyo, the member representing Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives as extraordinary.
The Speaker who made the remarks while commissioning the 50 hectre Agriculture Business Farm and Park project at Atan Okoyong in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State to empower Agro Entrepreneurs, said the project is purposeful and worthy of emulation by other members of the House including himself. “The initiative is extraordinary and has the capacity of empowering hundreds of people and every lawmaker including myself should emulate it”.
He said lawmakers are supposed to engage solely in the business of lawmaking but have to resort to constituency projects because of the poverty ravaging the people; this has necessitated the law makers to engage in the process of initiating projects to support the executive. “We only initiate the projects while the MDAs handle the process of awarding contracts contrary to what people think that we are the ones who handle the award of contracts and award such contracts to ourselves”.
The Speaker congratulated the lawmaker and called on the people of the constituency to give her another opportunity so that she can attract more projects to the place.
Senator Liyel Imoke, the Cross River State governor stated in his speech that Nkoyo Toyo’s empowerment project is visionary and a clear departure from what others are doing by handing their constituents with okada (motorbikes) or Keke NAPEP (tricycles) as empowerment which do not improve the economy and is capable of killing the beneficiaries. “I have never supported the giving of Okada to people as empowerment and it is a killer empowerment; it is not good for the economy and if you don’t take care, it can kill you”. The governor said.
He said Okada cannot bring change to the life of anybody and for the many beneficiaries of Okada over the years from politicians as empowerment, nobody has come to him to say that the Okada he was given has after one year produced another Okada of a Keke NAPEP not to talk of a taxi. “This empowerment is a different perspective which is sustainable and in the next ten or fifteen years when she is no longer in the National Assembly, the project will still be here to produce many agro entrepreneurs, new technologies in agricultural processing, more co-operatives, and new increases in agricultural yields”.
Senator Imoke said the place should not be given the traditional name of farm given the image such a name connotes in the minds of most young people who have come to see farming as not being able to provide them with funds and resources to better their lives given that their parents spent several decades farming without much to show for it. “This is an industry not a farm because every product that will leave this place apart from the vegetables would be processed, including the piggery and the poultry, the banana and even the plantain which have to be turned to plantain chips”.
Hon Nkoyo Toyo on her part said the initiative started in 2012 and after initial challenges over the acquisition of the land has expanded to accommodate 21 cooperative societies and has partnerships with SMEDA, NDDC and Basin Development Authority.
She said she grew up in the farm as a farm girl, her father being a farmer and she was engaged in farm matters in her private business. “I tried to bring all my experiences and ideas together to work out this project to change the lives and land of my people”.
She said every aspect of farming including transportation, seedlings production, processing of products, are to take place in the farm to put pay to the wastage of agricultural products produced in the area. “We incubate every business idea and bring it to fruition and we will make sure that every person who has a good business idea is supplied the needed funds to start and grow the business and in 2013 we disbursed the sum of 25 million naira and in 2014 that sum has been increased to 50 million Naira.”
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