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N10billion investment expected in Cross River rice project

The governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, on Wednesday said the state was expecting a N10 billion investment in its rice production project in the state.

He said his administration would work with foreign partners for the success of the project.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja, Mr. Ayade said the state had engaged a Swiss-based company that would construct modern rice mill to ensure high input and throughput rate.

“This is part of what I discussed with the president. Since we have a special commercial credit facility, we have requested for N4.8billion.

“If we have that, it will support us. But basically in terms of the investment outlay, the investment is over N10billion and there is also a foreign element, which is a function of what the foreign partners are bringing.

“We are also in contact with a company in Switzerland that is building a Rolls Royce category of what a modern rice mill will look like, with a very high input and throughput rate with a very high return,” he said.

The governor explained the state had decided to go for the high-end technology to avoid losses during production. He explained that with some of the old rice mills, 45% losses were recorded from an input of 80% paddy.

Mr. Ayade told journalists that as part of the economic reforms of the state, the Bakassi Deep Sea Port will kick off in a short while.

He said the preliminary works had been completed and equipment moved to the site.

The governor added that Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, would soon be concluded.

“The project is real and that is part of what I discussed with Mr. President and the president has given his commitment that he will support the deep sea port and the evacuation corridor, which is the 260km super highway,” he said.

The governor also declared support for Mr. Buhari’s anti-graft war, saying it had restored the business image of the country.

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