The Federal Government has commenced the process to concession 22 out of it 33 silo complexes across the country to the private sector.
Government said the concession of the silos would ensure availability of affordable grains across the country.
The silo complexes were established by the government to provide immediate food relief in times of emergency, provide appropriate mechanism, and guarantee minimum price scheme to make farmers earn remunerative prices for their produce. It was also designed to provide a mechanism for price stabilisation and storage capacity for excess production, and reduce post-harvest losses.
Speaking at the silos concession financial bid opening yesterday in Abuja, the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Engr. Chidi Izuwah said the concession will sustain the development programmes of the agricultural sector under President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “What we are doing today is transformational for the agric sector in line with the plans of the President to transform the agric sector
“If we have a system where our rice is harvested by harvesters and taken to silos, we don’t need to spend billions of naira installing de-stoners.”
He explained that the concession of the silos is consistent with the holistic value chain intervention of the President in the agric sector.
In his remarks, the Acting Director, Food and Strategic Resource Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Shehu Bello explained that the concession would be done in a transparent manner and in partnership with the ICRC in line with the extant regulations.
He noted that move was also in line with the Public Private Partnership of the Federal Government whereby the private sector is the engine room of economic diversification.
He said government will continue to play a regulatory role after the concession of the silos in order to ensure that they are properly utilized.