Peremabiri (Bayelsa State) – Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Wednesday, commended Federal Government for supporting rice project undertaken by ex-militant leader, Paul Eris in Southern Ijaw creeks of Bayelsa.
The IYC President, Mr Pereotubo Oweilaemi, said “permitting Tanko Farms owned by Eris, ex-militant leader popularly known as `General Ogunboss’ to use a section of the 2500-hectare Peremabiri Rice Farm for rice farming was a step in the right direction.”
Oweilaemi gave the commendation at the Tanko Farms when he led a delegation of youth body to visit Eris at his country home in Peremabiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
He said the rice farm which created jobs for over 100 youths, had great potential to create wealth and more job opportunities for youths from various Ijaw communities.
He added that the farm project would also help in solving youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.
The IYC president said “I want to commend Federal Government for deeming it necessary to do something tangible through our brother to ensure that our people are meaningfully engaged.
“I said it at various fora that when Niger Delta youths are meaningfully engaged, it will curb restiveness in the region and this rice farm is one key project that can solve the crisis situation in the region.”
Oweilaemi, however, appealed to government to do more by establishing more agricultural projects that would absorb more youths, noting that the swampy nature of the region’s terrain was suitable for rice farming.
He assured Eris that the IYC would stand by him in the rice farm project, noting that the former militant leader had proven to be a true Ijaw son who had shown sufficient interest in the progress of the Ijaw nation.
In his remarks, Eris said the 53.5-hectare farm currently has two rice milling machines with over 100 workers.
He said he had received 320 bags of paddy through Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the first quarter of 2017.
He also informed the youth delegation that government had also awarded him a 10-tonnage rice mill to boost production.
He, however, said the lack of access road to Peremabiri was the greatest challenge affecting businesses in the area. (NAN)
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