By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government has said it hopes to test run its ultramodern rice mill in Ogoja within 60 days.
The consultant for the project, Mr. Chris Agara disclosed this to newsmen at the site of the facility shortly after conducting the governor, Senator Ben Ayade and his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu round the factory.
“I am sure if you come here by the end of September or the beginning of October, we will carry out the first test run of the factory,” said Mr. Agara even as he hoped that it will be ready in eight weeks.
Agara who said that the project was the first of its kind in Africa also disclosed that equipment for the factory had arrived the country and await clearance at the port.
“What you have here is vitaminised rice mill, the first of its kind in Africa.
“If you come here by next week the entire equipment meant for this factory will be here. They are all at the port now being cleared and so in the next few days precisely one week, the entire equipment that will be used in the factory will be on ground,” Agara said.
The mill, if completed, is expected to boost the rice value chain in the state.
Also, it is expected to compliment the automated rice seedlings and seed manufacturing center commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari last month as well as other rice initiatives of the state government.
Meanwhile, the governor is expected to attend the funeral of late Mr. Stephen Ukpukpen tomorrow at Obudu. He was the member representing that local government in the House of Assembly until his death.
Ayade had earlier attended a valedictory session in the late lawmaker’s honor in Calabar before departing for Ogoja where he attended briefly, the empowerment program of Senator Rose Oko.
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