By Essien Ndueso.
In January and February, APC through its campaigns media director Chief Eseme Eyiboh criticized Ibom Air as a scam and urged the international community to ‘torchlight’ the fraud by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
By July of the same year, the APC campaign spokesman criticised the government for not recruiting his son into the airline, stating that his son has requisite qualifications. Meanwhile, the same man had all the opportunities to have applied and put forward his son’s cv, but he refused and chose rather to attack the airline, in the name of politics.
Today, the Ibom Agricon Rice, christened as Family Rice, is on course, producing at least 2.5tons of rice a day. A visit to the rice mill at Ini local government today reveals that over 25 young people from Akwa Ibom State, mostly graduates of Engineering, Food Science and other related fields, have been engaged to operate the various machines used in the production. The bottlenecks that came with obtaining certification from NAFDAC has been surmounted and the rice product having been fully certified and cleared, can now be circulated in the market. It is also clear that a depot for this product is soon be opened in Uyo and other parts of the state and distributors and other allied service providers are expected to be interested.
The produce for the mill, are obtained from the Ibom Agricon Rice Farm in Ini, and other rice farmers in the state who have the long grain family rice specie, can also supply the factory, rather than being helpless at the mercy of shylock rice dealers from other places.
Ibom Agricon Rice Mill is operated through the Public Private Partnership model of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s industrialization programme, and has government’s 20 percent equity participation. It was commissioned by the Governor on December 15, 2018. To cut the cost of running the business at a moderate cost, the Governor recently directed that modalities to link the factory with a dedicated power line for constant power supply, be activated.
Apart from rice, the factory also produces Bran which is used as feed for livestock.
(C) Essien is a Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation