Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, on Tuesday, said that the state government would privatise the ongoing Taraba Agro Greenhouse project, when it was completed.
Ishaku said this in Jalingo while inspecting construction works at the site of the project.
He said that government could not effectively manage and sustain such a project, judging from the way which other state-owned companies had been handled.
“I will not make a mistake of leaving the project in the hands of civil servants to run it and oil their pockets, at the expense of the taxpayers.
“I met 25 moribund state-owned companies when I came on board in 2015 and I have worked hard to revive five of them; we are still doing everything possible to fix more.
“To me, it is better for us to have 10 or 20 per cent shares in our companies and get private investors to buy shares; we then share dividends at the end of every year, rather than allowing the companies to become moribund in the hands of government.
“Government has no business doing business but it has to take the initiative and provide the enabling environment and infrastructure for private investors to come in and run the businesses profitably,’’ he said.
The governor said that the state government had gone into partnership with Overland Airlines, which was scheduled to commence daily flight operations from Jalingo Airport by next month.
He said that the airline would transport vegetables from the greenhouse project site to other cities, adding that it was expected to carry one tonne of vegetables from the farm to Lagos on a daily basis.
“We will supply Abuja by trucks and later we will extend our services to Kano and Port Harcourt, all in a bid to expand our market across the nation.
In his remarks, the Project Manager, Mr Gil Navon, said that 80 percent of the construction works were carried out by Taraba citizens, who had been trained on the job to handle such constructions with expertise in the future.
Navon, an Israeli citizen, said that the greenhouse project had so far utilised five hectares of land, out of the 15 hectares earmarked for the project.
The greenhouse project site has already started the cultivation of vegetables such as tomato, lotus and cucumber, among others. (NAN)