The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said it will revive its rice processing plants with a combined capacity of 210 metric tonnes per day at Elele Alimini in Rivers State and Mbiabet-Ikpe in Akwa Ibom State.
The NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, stated this after inspecting the 180 tonnes per day facility at Elele Alimini recently.
Ekere expressed displeasure over the non-utilisation of the rice mill which was completed in 2008. He lamented that the firm engaged to run the facility allowed it to lie idle for 10 years, an action he described as ‘unconscionable’, noting that the situation would be redressed urgently.
“What is important is to get this facility up and running and stop the huge waste of government resources. We will negotiate with private investors and set the process rolling in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
Ekere further stated that the resuscitation of the two rice mills would encourage the local communities to grow more rice and expand the agricultural value chain.
“You can’t put the kind of resources that NDDC committed to this project and then allow it to just waste.
“Nigeria as a country is still importing a lot of rice and we spend billions of dollars importing food, yet we have a facility here that can actually help to reduce the amount we spend on food imports but we just leave it idle. We want to see that this mill is functional, so that we can begin to employ people,” he concluded.