Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Wednesday inaugurated 100 units of Massey Ferguson Tractors for distribution to the 21 local government areas of the state to boost post-flood farming activities in the state.
Bello, who inaugurated the tractors as well as some farm implements and educational materials in Lokoja, said that the gesture was part of his government’s efforts to meet the yearnings and agitations of the citizens for good governance in the state.
He said that his administration undertook similar ventures in 2017 and 2018, adding that this year’s intervention was a proactive one, in view of the flood that had ravaged about 10 local government areas, destroying crops and retarding farming activities.
He said that the tractors were procured to facilitate the immediate resumption of farming activities in the state after the recession of the floods.
Bello also said that the tractors would also be of benefit to youths and women beneficiaries of the cluster farming project that was launched on Tuesday by the World Bank Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project
“We don’t have to wait for the people to demand; rather we provide their needs before they demand,” he said, adding that the educational materials were meant for pupils and students.
“If you want your community to feel the impact of government; you must educate your child and that’s why we provide these educational materials,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Salami Ozigi Deedat, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, described the distribution of the 100 tractors as unprecedented and a major revolution in the agricultural sector of the state.
He said that with the intervention, the sector would have the capacity to guarantee food security in the state and contribute to the food sufficiency of the nation.
Deedat said that procurement of the educational and instructional materials for distribution to public primary schools was an intervention that would facilitate the access of the children to quality education.
The Ohimege-Igu of Koton-Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isah-Koto, in a goodwill message on behalf of Kogi Council of Chiefs, said that the tractors would be of immense benefit to the farmers, as it would enable them to engage in mechanised farming after the flood.
The monarch noted that the wealth of nations resided in the rural communities and solicited the assistance of the government by providing more crop seedlings for farmers across the state.