Obanliku Local Government Council in Cross River says it is focusing on the production of cocoa and other agricultural products in plans to boost its revenue in 2013.
Benjamin Ambe, the council’s Chairman, made this known while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ogoja.
He said that the council had procured seeds and seedlings of some high-yield crops in which it had a comparative advantage.
He stressed that the new revenue drive had become imperative because of the dwindling monthly allocation to the council.
"We want to return back fully to agriculture in order to boost our revenue base.
"This is in view of the reduction in the monthly allocation to local governments in the state, following the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom,’’ he said.
Ambe said that the council had received some seedlings and inputs from the state Ministry of Agriculture as part of the Agriculture Transformation Agenda.
"So, we are planning massive agricultural transformation in 2013,’’ he said.
Ambe said that the council had completed its poultry farm project, adding that it was also considering the establishment of a rubber plantation.
He lauded the efforts of the Gov. Liyel Imoke to key into the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), adding that the council was ready to exploit the potential of the programme to empower the people and increase productivity.
Ambe noted that Obanliku Local Government Area was blessed with enough agricultural resources that were capable of generating more revenue for the state.
"We have enough high-yield plantain, banana, pineapples and maize,’’ he said.
Ambe said that the council had many lofty programmes under its four-year Medium-Term Development Programme that commenced in 2006, with agriculture as one of its priority focus.
He, however, said that paucity of funds was responsible for the non-implementation of some projects in the programme.
He, nonetheless, said that with the expected increase in revenue from agriculture, "we will do better this time around’’.