The sum of N744 million has been approved by the Ebonyi State Government in the interim for distribution to farmers profiled in the agricultural programme of the State for the year 2018.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Ikechukwu Nwobo, disclosed this at the Government House, Abakaliki, during a joint media briefing on the outcome of the State Executive Council Meeting by selected members of the State Executive Council.

Nwobo, who explained that the approval was to enable the farmers defray the cost of land preparation, also disclosed that another sum of N500 million was approved for buying of rice paddy by the Government in preparation for the forthcoming farming season, while the sums of N46 million and N10 million were approved for purchase of more Urea Fertilizers and additional rice seeds respectively for the farmers in the State.

The Agriculture Commissioner noted that the amount approved for purchase of rice paddy was meant for the buy-back policy of Government meant to encourage farmers to engage in profitable, massive production of rice.

Nwobo explained: “You know, this approval is very important.

“To facilitate the value chain of the programme we are doing, we must have to buy back the rice we have been investing in because through the buying back of the rice by this approval, farmers would be able to make profits from their investment in the previous years.

“It will be made and packaged under the Ebonyi Rice World to enable it be distributed to the appropriate quarters.”

Briefing under his Ministry, the Commissioner for Education, Rt. Hon. Sabinus Nwankwagu, disclosed approval for the handover of the Urban Central School, Abakaliki to its original owner, the Anglican Church.

Nwankwagu added that Council also directed his ministry to liaise with the appropriate authorities to facilitate the handover of another school at Owutu-Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area to the Catholic Mission as requested.

He said the move by the Government was to further guarantee qualitative education for Ebonyi State children.

On security, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Umahi on Internal Security, Kenneth Ugbala, said the Executive Council approved a two-day intensive training for members of the State Neighbourhood Security Watch.

The training, which, according to Ugbala, would be held on August 3 and 4 at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, has been designed to properly equip both old and additional members with the requisite security tips towards enhancing their performance.

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