By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has expressed the determination of the Administration to overhaul Gwagwalada Women Food Processing Center, in order to enhance economic growth of rural women.
To this end, she revealed that the FCT Administration will collaborate with the private sector to bring about the viability of the center to meet the set goals.
Aliyu gave this indication while addressing journalists at the end of tour of facilities in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Territory.
She, however, frowned at the under-ultilization of some of the equipment at the center, noting that if properly put to effective use, the center is capable of producing food supply that could be enough for the Territory.
The Minister further revealed that the Administration will sought for experts that could put the machines to good use, stressing that advertorial will be placed in national dailies for applications.
“We have seen a lot of state of the earth mechines rangging from bread milling, bread making, knitting machines, rice processing machinces among others.
“Interestingly and saddly too, they are brand new machines but not put to use. Basically, this is a case of abandoned project.
“I don’t know what it is intended for, but we are going to revisit it completely and revive the Food Processing Unit of the Women Developing Centre to produce groundnut oil, garri, rice, even bread enough to supply FCT in totality.
“This will also go by PPP arrangement. By and large, from what we heard from the women, it has been difficulty for them to operate the machines.
“We are going to advertise in newspapers to find experts who will be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt their ability to operate machines and from there they shall be equipped and the building restructured.
“As you can see the structures are weak because it been decades there so we will try to see how we can upgrade and strengthen the facility before the operation. Then with this, we will be able to empower the women,” Aliyu noted.
In a related development, the Minister also called for total relocation of Gwagwalada abattoir instead of upgrading the facilities, arguing that renovation of the abattoir will amount to waste of public funds.
According to her, “to even say a facial uplift or upgrade of that facility is a waste of resources. I dont even know where we will begin the repair of what they call abbatoir, practically that place is calling for a total new abbatoir”.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Adamu Mustapha Danze, assured the Minister that the council has already identified a suitable site for the construction of a new abattoir.
He, however, called for a stakeholders meeting to harmonize all views regarding the establishment of the new abattoir in Gwagwalada Area Council.