Akwa Ibom abandons plan for cattle ranch
Akwa Ibom State Government seems to have jettisoned plans to establish a multimillion naira cattle ranch at Adadia in Uruan Council of the state as activities at the site have stalled.
This is even as the imported grass planted for 2,000 cows expected to be housed in the ranch but burnt by youths of the area have not been replanted, and buildings at the site meant to house workers are in a state of disrepair.
Correspondents, who visited the site, an old farm location used by the Cross River Basin Development Authority, observed that apart from the old buildings and broken iron fence, there was nothing to suggest that the project would see the light of the day, especially under the current administration.
Indigenes of the area also said: “The few white people who were overseeing initial activities and residing at the ranch had left after much frustration.”
It was learnt that their condition became so bad that they could no longer afford to rent vehicles for their movement as they resorted to using commercial motorcycles.
Governor Udom Emmanuel had told journalists at a media parley as part of activities that marked the 32nd anniversary of the state creation that his administration had backed out of the project due to some challenges.
According to him, some unidentified persons set the ranch ablaze not minding the cost of the grasses imported and planted for the cows by his administration.
“There were also many petitions against the project. I thought we could import the cows, cause them to be impregnated so that they would mass produce such breed upon arrival in the state instead of relying on the local cows to enable us improve our nutritional value,” the governor lamented.
Recall that Emmanuel had in May 2017 revealed plans by his administration to start the project, a public/ private initiative, explaining that the cow importation was to ensure fresh milk for Akwa Ibom people as against evaporated milk.
Fresh milk is more nutritious and will enhance good health and growth among the people of the state. Our consultants are working hard to get the projects started,” the governor had promised.
State government officials, who were prodded for clarification on the status of the project, could not divulge useful information, while calls to the immediate past agric commissioner, whose ministry supervised the project, were not answered.