The Federal Government has approved the concessioning of 20 out of the 33 silos in the country which would make it earn a whopping N6billion in the 10-year period of the first instance.
But the government said that it would remain the owner of the silos and at the end of 10 year it can neither renew, revoke or takeover the silos and “operate them ourselves.”
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ogbeh explained that each of the silos had not less than 100000 metric tons capacity, adding that arrangement had been perfected to ensure that the concessioning is terminated in the event that any investor failed to perform.
He said, “The advantages of the concessioning include, private sector groups with these silos in their possession will drive the production of grains where these things grow more suitably. We have request for grains from different parts of the world, soy beans, sesame, sorghum and millet.
The minister also noted that the development would boost production of grains across the country, saying that there was high demand for grains export from the country.
He said “Today we presented a memo to council seeking to concession the silos which have been built in different parts of the country. A total of 33 silos exit with a capacity of 1,360,000 metric tons of grains and there are spread almost evenly through the geo-political zones of the country.
“In 2014, government decided to concession some of these silos, so that the private sector can help use them and pay a fee to the federal government.
“The process was carried out by the World Bank, the concession committee of government, NGOs, private sector and the ministry of agriculture. It has taken this long to arrive at this because the processes are very slow, we wanted absolute accountability.
Speaking also at the briefing, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleman Adamu, who said he briefed FEC on the current flooding in parts of the country, noted that the prediction on intense rainfall and attendant flooding had come through.
He said government was still observing the flow of River Niger and the water level which had only reached 11.91 metres, away from the 12.4 metres that caused tremendous disister in 2012.
Adamu dispelled the rumour that the flooding in Nigeria was a consequence of the release of water from a dam in Cameroun, saying that no such thing happened.
On the refusal to evacuate from flood prone areas and measures by government to help out, he said: “we have to continue to appeal to communities to stop blocking water channels.”