Cross River ultra modern rice mill ready December, to engage 20000 workers
By Ashie Osor
Barring any unforeseen development, the ultra modern rice mill being built by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State in Ogoja will be completed by December this year.
This was disclosed by the General Manager, AA Universal Agro Industries Ltd, Francesco Antonio Lucarelli, the contractor handling the project.
Lucarelli who has spent over ten years in Nigeria handling such projects said: “The Cross River Rice Mill is an ultra modern with a storage capacity of over 6500 metric tonnes,” making it the biggest in Nigeria.
According to him, “the project for which all equipment had arrived the site since April this year will be completed by December,” adding that, “at the moment, the 37 metres height elevator, the 3000 by two tonnes silos and the 500 by one tonnes silos have all reached advanced stages.”
Speaking on the project, a former Special Adviser to the Cross River governor on projects, Friday Aruko Odey, explained that “the Rice Mill produce varieties of rice, create job opportunities, enhance revenue generation as well as boost the economy of the state.”
Odey disclosed that “on completion, over 20,000 employees will be engaged to meet the basic three shifts work style in the milling factory.”
He affirmed that the project will be completed by December, adding that the vision behind it, will stand the test of time.
Earlier at the Ayade Integrated Farms, owned by the governor, Pastor George Ejikang, the manager of the farm located in Bebi, Obanliku local government area, disclosed that “in a day, the harvester machine harvests about 1500 tonnes, an equivalent of 150 bags of 50kg per bag.”
He said the 515-hectare farm employs over 100 workers, thus improving the local economy even as it exposes the farmers to mechanized farming.
Ejikang reckons that the Ayade Farms along with other rice farms in the state will benefit from the establishment of the ultra modern rice mill in Ogoja.
“The Rice Mill will in Ogoja will add value to produce from the farm and other farms across the state. It will save farmers the stress of taking their harvest to other states in search of milling machines, which has been the practice.”
For the duo of Elizabeth Kanu and Cecilia Ejino, both staff of Ayade Integrated Farms, the benefits to the local community has been immense.
Kanu, aged 18, says she has saved enough money from her monthly salary, to pay her tuition in the university.
On her part, Ejino, a single mother, said: “My salary has really helped me to take care of my daughter and younger ones who barely had little or nothing to eat before I started working here.”
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