Oriental Energy Resource Farms Limited has signed a land lease agreement with the University of Ilorin, to promote maize production and research.
Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi, Chairman of the Group, said at a brief ceremony in Maiduguri on Thursday that the agreement entailed a 21-year lease involving 10,000 hectares of land.
Indimi said that the company would engage in maize cultivation, procession and value addition for export purposes and to meet local demand.
He stated that under the agreement, the company would contribute capital and entrepreneurial skills while the university conduct research and ensure effective manpower utilisation.
The chairman said the pact was in support of the federal government’s policy on economic diversification.
According to him, the move will also encourage agricultural activities aimed at achieving food security as well as job and wealth creation.
“As a firm, we are into other businesses which include farming, we are trying to contribute our part in ensuring food security,” he said.
Ndimi said the company also had the plan of cultivating farms in about 100,000 hectares of land in other parts of the country.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, commended the firm for the initiative, saying, “this partnership will change the fortunes of the university”.
Abdulkareem said that as part of the agreement, the university had leased 10,000 of the 15,000 hectares of land to the company to encourage agricultural activities.
He added that the agreement would facilitate research, encourage productivity, processing and academic excellence.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by the university’s Pro-Chancellor, Dr Abdullahi Oyekan and other principal officers.