The Central Bank of Nigeria has placed order for the Cross River Rice Seeds and Seedlings multiplication Factory to supply N8.5 Billion worth of vitaminsed rice seedlings to them.
Governor Ben Ayade disclosed this at the factory, saying the order from the apex bank is for onward delivery to the states.
The governor lamented that the current Covid 19 global pandemic has affected the evacuation of the seedlings which have since matured for transplanting, to customers and farmers across the country.
Ayade said the state may lose billions of naira to the Coronavirus pandemic unless the Central Bank of Nigeria itself and the federal government urgently stepped in.
According to the governor, the sudden outbreak of the global pandemic in Nigeria and the subsequent partial lockdown of the country has affected efforts to deliver the order.
Ayade pleaded with CBN and the federal government to ensure that the billions of Naira worth of rice seedlings do not become waste.
He wants the CBN to indemnify the state against any monetary loss arising from the situation.
“We have a massive order of over N8.5bn from CBN through the rice program and through the Anchor Borrowers Program and in partnership with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN .
“It is my sincere commitment, it is my sincere wish and aspiration that CBN will appreciate the value of the life of these seedlings.
“Having made that order and having secured an LPO to procure and deliver to the various states of Nigeria for this dry and wet seasons rice farming, Cross River state has massively invested in the seed multiplication and seed cultivation to seedlings. Now, we are prepared and fully ready for delivery.
“You can see the massive expanse of seedlings that are ready for delivery now but we have challenges of the off takers in line with the order that was made by CBN. This so because of lockdown of states , lockdown of the country,” the governor lamented.
His words: “Please let us not allow these seedlings go to waste because of coronavirus. Federal government has to do something to protect the lives of these young seedlings, looking so fragile, so beautiful, so fresh and willing to change the landscape of agriculture, particularly the rice beneficiation process.