Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday opened a 200,000 capacity yam facility at the Zaki Biam International Market in Benue State.
The market is assumed to be the biggest yam market in the world, accounting for about 70% of the yams cultivated in the country with over 200 trucks loading two million tubers of yams weekly.
Osinbajo, who commissioned the project via video conference, noted that despite its impressive output, the market has little storage capacity and its infrastructural facilities are way below the size of the commerce that goes on there daily.
Hence, the Federal Government deemed it fit to give the market an economic uplift, especially in pursuit of its agricultural reforms.
Amongst the facilities also commissioned by VP Osinbajo were 660 units renovated stalls/sheds, a newly-built Police Station and Market Administrative Building as well as eight units of toilet.
The market also has a Solar-Powered Borehole with an overhead tank as well as newly constructed and well-linked internal roads with drainage system.
Governor Samuel Ortom, who spoke during the commissioning, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the giant strides taken by the Federal Government in repositioning the nation’s economy, particularly the Economic Diversification Programme
He also appreciated the Federal Government for the relative peace and security in Benue and the North Central geo-political zone through the activities of Operation Whirl Stroke and other security outfits.
The governor while also thanking the presidency for the project, explained that 60 percent of the Nigerian economy reside in the informal sector and that was why the deliberate policy by the Federal Government to intervene in the informal Sector was indeed strategic to revamping the economy.
Ortom maintained that the facility inaugurated would have direct impact on millions of poor households and will go a long way in supporting livelihood, preventing post-harvest loses and ensuring food security in Benue State and beyond as he added that the location of the project in Zaki-Biam (the traditional yam producing area of Benue State) was therefore strategic as the facility will serve as hub for Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States.
Credit: Daily Trust