Alex Otti Promises Agriculture Revamp, 300,000 Jobs In Abia State

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News in brief: Abia state governor, Alex Otti, vows to revitalise the agriculture sector, aiming for it to become a key player in the disrupted global supply chain.

Abia state governor, Alex Otti, has promised to give the state’s agricultural sector a facelift while addressing several other problems. During his inaugural address on 29 May 2023, he highlighted several pain points of the citizens that his administration will focus on.

One of the key areas was the agricultural sector, which is becoming a popular topic among Nigerian politicians. However, as this article as shown, these plans require deliberate efforts to come to fruition.

For his part, Otti mentions that the global supply chain disruption caused by Russian and Ukraine’s conflict provides an opportunity for his state. “In the interconnected world, we can occupy a crucial niche in the disrupted global supply chain. We can quickly position ourselves as the alternative production and service hub for both the West and Asia,” he said. With abundant fertile lands, Abia state can easily provide agricultural products like palm oil, cocoa, and crops for international trade.

However, making great strides in the sector requires boosting the state’ business environment to make it more welcoming and repairing infrastructure. Also, the governor will have to look into mordernising farming techniques and equipment, as well as providing high-quality inputs like fertilisers and seedlings. Irrigation facilities, extension services, and access to credit are also essential.

Creating 300,000 jobs and infrastructural makeover in Abia state

On the latter, Otti said that his government will partner with commercial banks, local and international development agencies, venture capitalists and independent investors to provide a ₦10 billion funding for 20,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in agriculture and other ‘high impact areas’ like ICT, small-scale manufacturing, fashion, and leatherworks. The governor hopes that these businesses can provide 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.

In addition, he mentioned that the reforms in the power sector gives the state an opportunity to provide steady electricity access to entrepreneurs in the agro industry and others. “Our administration shall also make sure that the major obstacles to business success such as poor road networks, over-taxation and restricted access to local and global markets are timeously dealt with,” Otti further said.

Overall, Abia state’s new governor wants his state to occupy a position in the top 5 ranking of the “Ease of Doing Business” index in Nigeria. He will encourage ‘genuine public private sector collaboration’ to help actualise this dream.

While Dr Alex Otti has said that he will establish an Ombudsman office to handle complaints and a special Unit to drive project implementation, we will also keep track of his promises as it relates to agriculture in Abia state and you can have a front row seat to these updates by subscribing to our newsletter.

Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya is a tech reporter of over five years, fiction writer, SEO expert and an editor. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and was previously shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize 2018.

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