By Ibironke Ariyo
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has issued an Outlined Business Case (OBC) Certificate to Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) in respect of the Ozalla farm, Edo state for production of rice and Palm kernel.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Controller General, NCoS, the Acting Director General, ICRC, Mr Michael Ohiani, on Tuesday in Abuja, urged the service to go into immediate procurement phase, as recommended by the commission.
He said that the farm in Edo state was about 1,900 hectares, majorly for rice and palm kernel production.
He said the project would not only add value to inmates and correctional service but also help in reduction of importation of palm oil.
According to him, N4.8 billion would be injected into the farmland and the concession, and that the period is for five years.
“The essence of the visit is to rub minds with the CG as he is newly appointed, and we have quite a lot of projects that we want to do that will have impact on the Correctional Service.
“This will help inmates who have been to prison to be better off when they come out, as they will be properly equipped.
“It will also help them when they get to larger society to be able to contribute their own quota which will help them not to have tendencies of going back to criminal acts.
“We have done the Aba shoe Garment factory, Aba, Abia state and Janguza Tannery in Kano early this year.
“Now, we want to go further on self-sufficiency in terms of food production. We have big hectares of land in Edo not only for palm oil production but also for rice production.
“We also have workshop where inmates can be trained so that when they come out, they will be able to cater for themselves and their family,” he said.
Ohiani said that there were other Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in the pipeline that required further collaboration with the commission.
This he said, was in order to attract investors, such as Correctional Centres land swap and other farm centres across the nation.
“The good thing about it is that it is private sector project. Government is not putting a dime into the project.
“ICRC will continue to provide necessary support and partner where necessary by providing capacity building programmes for the PPP unit staff,” he said.
The Controller General, NCoS, Mr Haliru Nababa, said that the programme of his administration focuses on inmates reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.
Nababa said that the concession of the NCoS projects through PPP was intended to bring in modern equipment and machineries that would enhance skill acquisition and development for both inmates and staff.
“I, therefore, solicit for your assistance towards expediting the process for other PPP projects earmarked for advertisement very soon.
“We look forward to working with the commission subsequently,” he said.(NAN)