Connect with us

Africa

Akwa Ibom State Govt in Nigeria caught in multibillion Naira rice farm scam

Published

on

The immediate-past Governor, Udom Emmanuel [left], and the current Governor, Umo Eno [right] exchanging banters

Five years after the Akwa Ibom State Government in Nigeria claimed to have set up a rice farm at Ikot Ekwere Ubium community in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area to boost food sufficiency in the state, Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) can authoritatively report that the purported rice farm is a hoax.

Recent visits to the community by our correspondent revealed that the project, although initiated by former Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration in 2018, never saw the light of the day as the acclaimed “foreign investors” who were to partner with the government, later abandoned the project till date.

The state government, under the immediate past governor, persisted in listing the purported rice farm and borehole project as its achievements in the community.

Particularly, the project was published on the campaign pamphlet of Udom Emmanuel in 2019 when he visited the Local Government Area for a campaign tour on Tuesday, January 29, 2019.

A copy of the booklet was given to our correspondent by a member of the Akwa Ibom community.

It was reported that the project was worth 2 billion Naira.

Ikot Ekwere Ubium is the hometown of the political leader of Uyo Senatorial District, Senator Effiong Bob.

It’s also home to Hon. Otobong Bob, the member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

Reason for the abandonment

Barr Victor Bob, an indigene of the community, who was Secretary, Foreign Direct Investment Committee, which was entrusted with the task of overseeing the project, mentioned attack by herdsmen as reason for the ‘investors’ decision to quit.

See also  Nigerian state hires 400 anti-truancy officers after securing $4 million World Bank grant

“The development was not peculiar to Akwa Ibom State.

“Nigeria became a red zone due to incessant attacks by cattle rearers in different parts of the country.

“No investment is worth the life of any investor,” he said.

In a chat with Diaspora Digital Media, Barr Bob however declined revealing the identity of the purported foreign partner.

Meanwhile, the name of the ‘investor’ is not also available in public domain.

The immediate-past Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, during his campaign in 2019

The immediate-past Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, during his campaign in 2019

This reporter gleaned from a reliable source that what stalled the project was the state government’s failure to release counterpart funding for it.

Three visits to the Ministry of Lands were futile as our correspondent could not meet the Permanent Secretary in order to assess the current ownership status of the land.

Rumours have it that the land has been commandeered by some “powerful individuals” in Akwa Ibom State.

Implement the project or return our land, landowners demand

Meanwhile, some landowners in the community have appealed to the Akwa Ibom State Government to implement the project, or return their land back to them to ease their hardship.

They have also appealed that compensation be paid to them.

They decried that the land which served as their source of livelihood has been made to lay fallow.

Mr Ime Phillip Etukudo, an elderly member of the community, said he had over 50 stands of oil palm tree on his parcel of land prior to the takeover by government.

Mr Etukudo, a retired primary school teacher, solicited for compensation to be paid to him in order to help him cater for his needs:

See also  BREAKING: Finidi George appointed as new Super Eagles head coach

“I am currently suffering from health challenges including a fractured limb caused by an automobile accident.

“I lost over 50 stands of oil palm trees there. Please, the state government should pay me and other land others.

“Yes, I know that land belongs to government, but we should be compensated on humanitarian grounds.”

When contacted, Etteidung Effiong Jimmy, village head of Ikot Ekwere, pledged support for the Akwa Ibom State Government.

He, however, solicited that the project be revived by the administration.

About Akwa Ibom

Akwa Ibom State is a state in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

It is bordered by Cross River State to the east (spanning approximately 114 km or 71 miles), Rivers State to the west (covering about 52 km or 32 miles across the Imo River), and Abia State to the west and north (extending for 151 km or 94 miles).

To the south, it is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean.

The state derives its name from the Qua Iboe River, which traverses the state before flowing into the Bight of Bonny.

Key facts about Akwa Ibom State:

  • Creation Date: Akwa Ibom State was carved out from Cross River State on September 23, 1987.
  • Capital: The capital city of Akwa Ibom is Uyo.
  • Local Government Areas: The state comprises 31 other local government areas.
  • Population: As of 2016, Akwa Ibom has an estimated population of nearly 5.5 million people.
  • Geography: The state’s landscape includes the Central African mangroves in the coastal far south and the Cross–Niger transition forests in the rest of the state.
  • Notable rivers include the Imo and Cross rivers, while the Qua Iboe River bisects the state before flowing into the Bight of Bonny.
  • Wildlife and Biodiversity: Akwa Ibom is home to the Stubb’s Creek Forest Reserve, which houses threatened wildlife species such as crocodiles, monkeys, and guenons.
  • Offshore, the state boasts diverse marine life, including fish populations and cetaceans like bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales.
See also  Aggrieved land owners demand compensation from governor in southern Nigeria

Akwa Ibom State, with its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, has been described as the “Land of Promise”.


For Diaspora Digital Media Updates click on Whatsapp, or Telegram. For eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles, write to: citizenreports@diasporadigitalmedia.com. Follow us on X (Fomerly Twitter) or Facebook

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Updates

Malian Singer Rokia Traore Detained in Italy Amid Child Custody Dispute

Herve Renard Emerges As Top Contender For Vacant Super Eagles Coaching Job

Senegal’s Oil Discovery: A Game-Changer for the Economy?

IGP Egbetokun’s Shameful Antics: A Betrayal of Public Trust

INEC Verifies ADC Secretariat Ahead of Polls 

Kagame Faces Familiar Rivals As Rwanda’s Presidential Election Campaign Begins

Despite Huge Investments, Unviable Airports Dot Nigerian States

Terror Strikes Russia: Coordinated Attacks Leave Multiple Dead

Nigerian who failed WASSCE 17 times honoured with two doctorate in US

How 1,301 Pilgrims Died During 2024 Hajj In Saudi Arabia

Subscribe to DDM Newsletter for Latest News