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Grow only improved seedlings, CNFA urges Kogi cashew farmers

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By Friday Idachaba

Country Representative, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) Mr Toyin Olorunfemi, on Tuesday advised cashew farmers in Kogi to plant and grow the new improved seedlings to boost cashew production for export.

Olorunfemi gave the advice at a one-day training for cashew farmers on the “Methodology of Planting the New Improved Cashew Seedlings called Polyclonal cashew seeds.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was part of the Cashew Farmers Field Day event under the CNFA Pro-Cashew Project which held at Cashew House, Ogidibeje junction, Agbeji, Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi.

Olorunfemi said the Pro-Cashew Project anchored by Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Ochaja station, was aimed at helping to build relationships with relevant bodies and nations.

He said that the training would also build the capacity of the farmers to leverage on such relationships to boost cashew production in the state through enhanced access to inputs.

The CNFA Country Representative noted that access to improved seeds and planting materials had been a major challenge for cashew farmers, necessitating the intervention by development partners to make available improved seeds.

Also speaking, Dr Dele Adeniyi, Head, Ochaja station of Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, said the collaboration with the Pro- Cashew project and the Cashew Farmers Union would improve cashew production and marketing.

Adeniyi urged the farmers to allow the training received to impact their practice, stressing that Nigeria could no longer depend on oil as all efforts were being channelled towards diversifying to Agriculture.

Earlier, Mr Stephen Ahiaba, President of Cashew Farmers Union of Nigeria (CFUN) explained that four African Countries were benefiting from the Pro-Cashew Project.

Ahiaba maintained that Kogi state, as a major producer of Cashew, would continue to take the lead in deploying modern technology in the production of Cashew

He noted that Nigeria had been acknowledged as a major producer of Cashew among other few African countries as attested to by its exporting capacity.

Mr Jeremiah Onugba, former Director, Agric. Services in the Ministry of Agriculture and one of the cashew farmers described the training as very rewarding and commended the organisers. (NAN)

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Flour Mills readies to invest $300million on sugar refinery in Nasarawa

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From Abel Daniel, Lafia

Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc has
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nasarawa State Government on its readiness to establish sugar refinery in Toto Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The signing of the agreement took place on Friday at the Nasarawa State Government Lodge, Asokoro in Abuja.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State said the MoU was in fulfilment of his promise during inauguration two years ago.

The governor explained that the sugar company would stimulate economic activities, generate employment and bring development to the state.

Governor Sule explained that the state government would ensure that most of those that would work in the company are from the state.

He said his government had already provided land for the project adding that he would collaborate with the Federal Government and security agencies to ensure smooth operation of the company in the state.

Sule added that his government would want the company to also engage in massive production of cassava in the same area for flour production.

Group Managing Director (GMD)/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FMN, Omoboyede Olusanya, lauded the state government for giving the company the opportunity to help to address e some of the conomic problem in the state.

The GMD explained that the company would invest an initial $300 million in the project and would cover 2,450 hecters of land.

The CEO of FMN said the sugar company would stimulate economic activities in the state and provide employment opportunity to the people of the state.

Olusanya added that as part of their social corporate responsibility, the company would build schools and recreational facilities among others in the community.

On his part, Richard Adeniyi-Adebayo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment commended the Nasarawa State Governor for keying into the Federal Government efforts to diversify the economy

He therefore called on the governor’s of other states to emulate Governor Sule in order to make the country self sufficient and even be in position to export agricultural products.

The event had in attendance Richard Adeniyi-Adebayo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Governors of Borno and Kwara States, Professor Umar Zulum, Abdurraman Abdulrazak.

Others are National and State House of Assembly members from Nasarawa State, Commissioners among other government functionaries.

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Abuse of expatriate quota by Telecommunication industry prompts House of Reps to set up ad-hoc committee for investigation

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Abuse of expatriate quota by Telecommunication industry prompts House of Reps to set up ad-hoc committee for investigation

By Aminci Audu

The House of Representatives moved on Tuesday for thorough investigation of the abuse of exptriate quota by telecommunication sector in Nigeria by setting up an adhoc Committee for that purpose
This followed a motion moved by Rep. Bello Shimkafi (PDP Zanfara State).
The House noted with regret that the expatriate quota guides were being flaunted with indiscriminate employment of expatriates even when there are qualified Nigerians who can fit into the positions.
While moving his motion, Bello decried the sabotage by indigenous agencies who connive with their foreign counterparts in bringing immigrants indiscriminately.
He also expressed concern over the lukewarn attitude of the Federal government the issue of expatriate quota at a time the country is battling with insecurity and youth joblessness.

According to him, “There us a clause in the expatriate policy which provides for two Nigerians to understudy an expatriate, to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology.
“Some of those foreign companies have taken advantage of this clause in active connivance with the Nigeria Immigration Service and other agencies to bring as many of their nationals as possible, sometimes illegally, in gross disregard for the law.
“The abuse of expatriate quotas by those foreign companies is not deemed a national security issue by the Federal Government, particularly  at a time when youth unemployment and terrorism stares the country in the face
“Expatriates enjoy unimaginable pay and privileges while their Nigerian counterparts are paid pittance and treated with disdain in their own country and many competent Nigerians
lose their jobs and the country loses multi-million dollars annually.” He indicated.

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Put an end to ticket-racketeering, House Representatives challenges NRC

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Put an end to ticket-racketeering, House Representatives challenges NRC

By Aminci Audu

In a bid to eradicate ticket racketeering, the House of Representatives  has challenged the Management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and Secured 18 Company Limited to strengthen their internal mechanism.
It was in an effort to provide the much needed alternative means of transportation between Abuja and Kaduna that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 launched th
Abuja-Kaduna train services.

The House challenge was coming on Tuesday, sequel to motion sponsored by Hon Zayyad Ibrahim, APC-Kaduna State, on the increase in passengers leading to fraudulent business dealings in the train station.

The ugly trend had prompted the Minister of Transportation to officially launch Automated E-Ticketing System with a view to addressing complaints of the menace.
The lawmaker observed that despite the launch of E-Ticketing, Ticket-racketeering has continued unabated as tickets are sold to customers at exorbitant rate.
“The increase in the number of passengers led to ticket-racketeering, an ugly practice
that led to the arrest of five (5) suspected train ticket racketeers in 2019 by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and on 21 January, 2021.
“The Minister of Transportation officially launched the Automated E-Ticketing System to address complaints of ticket racketeering.
“Ticket racketeering, which the E-Ticketing System sought to eradicate, is still ongoing with reckless abandon
Tickets can no longer be adequately accessed online due to the nefarious activities of some people who hoard the tickets only to resell to passengers at exorbitant prices.
He decried the menace saying, “If the activities of racketeers are not curbed, passengers will continue to be denied the privilege of accessing the train services as, sometimes, a train may leave the station without carrying the required number of passengers, because the tickets are not accessible or affordable to most of the passengers.

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