Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, says the state will begin exporting rice by next year.
Lalong said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor said Plateau was competing with Kebbi in the area of rice production, adding that this would boost the economy in the long run.
“Plateau and Kebbi are now competing in rice production and by next year, we will start exporting rice from Plateau,” he said.
He added, “The President is always excited when you talk about agriculture, and the President developed a special interest in Plateau and other states that are already diversifying from oil into agriculture. In my state, we have put a lot of effort into agriculture. So, I came to give him an update on what we are doing and also seeking intervention in the area of solid minerals.”
Lalong lamented the killing of a 76-year-old monarch, Saf Ron-Kulere, who was killed by gunmen in July.
He said investigations were still ongoing but argued that Plateau State was no longer in crisis.
The governor said, “I think the attitude of leadership itself will encourage change. You will recall that when I came into office, I inherited crises and killings but a month after I was sworn in, we never heard of any killing in Plateau; so confidence was restored and we encouraged people to interact, gave everybody a sense of belonging and there is now peace in the state.
“In the past, you had places where Christians couldn’t go and places where Muslims didn’t go but right now, they have forgotten that Jos was once like that.”