According to reports, the Abakaliki Rice Mill Limited has finally agreed to relocate from its present site to a new mill as directed by the state government.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the relocation issue pitched the company against the immediate past Ebonyi State Government, which made it seek litigation at the National Industrial Court.
The company withdrew the matter from court and decided to engage in dialogue with the present administration.
The state government has also acquired the United Nations International Development Organisation modern-rice mill located at the new site.
The House of Assembly recently passed a law to back the acquisition but under the condition of relocating to the new mill for optimum efficiency.
Joseph Ununu, the Company’s Chairman, told NAN on Sunday that the decision was taken because of the government’s “humane” approach to the issue.
Ununu said: “The present government’s relocation policy has a humane face unlike the previous one, which had no sincere plans for the relocation.
“The present government dialogued with us and made provisions in addition to creating an environment conducive for our business to thrive.”
According to Ununu, the government allowed the millers to acquire the new mill with powers to manage and make necessary refunds within six years.
He said: “The previous government in contrast ordered us to relocate within one month or face demolition and even failed to provide an operational mill for us.
“The present mill has abundant land for requisite ventures, which made the millers happy and ready to cooperate with the government.”
Ununu noted that the relocation would not be immediate because structures at the new mill are not completed though arrangements are in place for the completion.
He said: “We would relocate as soon as the structures are ready and it is imperative to note that we have commenced operation at the facility.
“We are happier because the government authorised us to retain the present structure, rehabilitate and make it a rice market, where people across the globe would purchase the produce.”