Port Harcourt — President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend commended the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, for investing in agriculture through its supports to farmers in the four states of their operations in the Niger Delta region.
President Buhari gave the commendation in his recorded video played at the 23rd Farmers’ Day Celebration, tagged: ‘Farm and Fortune’, organised by the NAOC-Green River Project at Agip Plant Propagation Centre in Obie, Ogba/Ebema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The President emphasized on the need for the country to make adequate investment in the agricultural sector, adding that farmers were the true heroes of the land.
Buhari expressed regret that Nigeria hitherto neglected agriculture, assuring that the Federal Government was now wiser to make investments in the sector; and urged farmers to make good use of opportunities in the agriculture sector.
According to him, “I commend the Nigerian Agip Oil Company for their efforts in repositioning Agriculture. I urge others emulate the examples set.
“I urge you the farmers to make good use of the investment made by the company. We want to make farming our bedrock. We neglected farming in the time past, but we are wiser now as a nation. We will also take precautions of bad harvest.
“Agriculture is a veritable tools for economic recovery. It engenders better living standard and ensures food security. Agriculture will improve food security and provide jobs. Farmers are our authentic healers now and years ahead.”
Also speaking, the District General Manager of NAOC, Mr. Alessandro Tiani, assured that the company would continue to build sustainable projects and development for its host communities, in line with the opportunities embedded in the Green River project.
Tiani explained that the Green Rver Project was geared towards greater collaboration between the host communities and NAOC JV.
“Eni will continue to build sustainability into all its activities, focusing on the development of people and reorganizing the great opportunities embedded in the Green River Project.
“As a company, we will continue to pride ourselves with the Green River Project being one of our company’s most impactful projects as an integrated programme of agricultural entrepreneurial development, created to promote a path of autonomous development in the Niger Delta.”
For his part, the Managing Director of Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation, NPDC, Mansur Sambo, charged oil firms to develop and positively impact on the communities where they are operating.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here to celebrate with farmers. NNPC before was in the business of oil exploration only, but we don’t want that again. We want that the companies should develop the communities playing host to their operations.”
NAOC, a subsidiary of Italian ENI – an integrated oil and gas company, operates in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Imo States in the Niger Delta region.