The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has unveiled plans to revive its defunct 180-tonne per day rice mill located in Elele Alimini, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, as part of concerted efforts to guarantee food security and create job opportunities in the region.
According to a statement issued by the NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni, the NDDC Executive Director of Projects, Victor Antai, expressed disappointment after an inspection visit to the currently non-operational rice mill established originally as part of the Commission’s industrialization drive.
Antai stressed that the rice mill project, described as the biggest in the Niger Delta region, was expected to produce 180 metric tonnes of rice daily and provide ample employment opportunities for youths in the region after returning to full production capacity.
The NDDC official also outlined plans for the Commission to interface with the Elephant Group, initial partners for the rice mill project, to find solutions to factors that led to the stoppage of operations in 2022. He assured that the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, is committed to unlocking the site to continue the actualization of set goals.
Additionally, Antai emphasised the importance of connecting the factory to a dedicated power line from an injection station to deliver the steady electricity needed to power operations and machinery and cut production costs.
The statement hinted that the inspection visit was partly in response to complaints lodged by a staff member of the Elephant Group, Uchechi Emejuru, on the previous dependence of the mill on a 500KVA transformer rather than the 800KVA capacity suitable for smooth operations.