Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says with the phenomenal increase in rice production and processing in the country, Nigeria will be exporting the commodity in the next two years.
The minister stated this on Thursday in Kura, Kano state during an assessment tour of the impact of the border drill on the entire rice production value chain.
Nanono, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed led stakeholders and a team of journalists on inspection of a cluster of cottage rice mills in Kura.
The team also visited four integrated rice mills in the state which are Al-Hamsad Rice, Kura Brothers Rice Mill, Tiamin Rice Ltd and Umza International Farms.
“The way and manner we are going in the production of rice, in the next two years, we will start exporting rice outside the country.
“For those that are worried about the partial close of our borders, we are not doing this to hurt the people but to protect the future of the country, provide jobs and food sufficiency.
“Government will continue to give support to rice farmers to achieve this goal,” he said.
The minister said that Kura is an agrarian settlement known for irrigation farming in rice, tomato, maize and other items, mostly consumed in the Southern part of the country.
He said farmers in Kura had, however, concentrated on rice production following the border drill and the ban in rice importation.
Speaking in the same vein, Mohammed assured that the federal government would continue to support the stakeholder in the rice production value chain.
He, however, appealed to rice growers and millers not to see the loans given to them as their own “share of the national cake”.
“They must understand that when loans are not paid back, it will be difficult for them and others to get more loans,” he said.
Alhaji Ali Idris, Chairman Kura Rice Processing and Marketing Association called on the government to sustain the border closure, stressing that Nigeria has the capacity to feed itself and the neighbouring countries.
Idris, who spoke in Hausa language, said since the closure of the borders and the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to achieving self-sufficiency on food production, his people were fully back in business.
He disclosed that over 10,000 youths in Kura Local Government were gainfully employed in the rice production value chain and they produce about 5000 tones of rice every day.
He commended the Federal government for supporting them with modern machine and urged provision of polishers, de-stoners to further enhance their production.
Another miller, Adamu Habu called on the government to sustain the border closure because of its impact on the economy.
He said more people were being employed in the rice production value chain and supporting the economy.
The President of Integrated Rice Millers Association in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Umza, said the border closure had impacted positively on rice industry nationwide and in particular, Kano state.
He said prior to the closure, the industry had been battling with foreign rice market forces which threatened its coexistence.
Umza said that the border closure had helped to transform the rice value chain in Kano state and government should sustain it.
“Kano state, by virtue of its agrarian origin has provided a conducive atmosphere where rice milling activities thrives.
“The state has the largest concentration of integrated rice processing mills as well as clusters of cottage rice mills scattered across nearly all the local government in the state.
“Of the 35 registered integrated rice mills in Nigeria, about 12 are domiciled in Kano and more are coming up, which makes Kano undoubtedly the capital of rice processing in Nigeria.
“An estimated 5000 metric tones of finished rice is turned out daily by the combined integrated mills and cottage mills in Kano.
“This is shared in the ratio of about 60 per cent from the cottage mills and 40 per cent from the integrated mills.
“Combined, the mills employ about 10,000 people either directly or indirectly,” he said.
Umza urged the Federal government to sustain the good work of securing the borders and hence the economy.
He said, if the policy is sustained, the industry would continue to grow and provide food and employment to the rapidly growing and urban population.
EFCC Is Being Ran By An Inside Cult Called ‘The Magu Boys’ Or ‘The Chairman Squad’ — Shehu Sani
Shehu Sani, the former senator representing Kaduna central has reacted to the ongoing investigation against the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu who was suspended on Tuesday July 7.
In a Facebook post the former Senator shared, he accused Magu of running a “cult” in the agency. Sani alleged that the select team of ”vicious and cruel” officers known as “the Magu Boys” or “the Chairman Squad”, operate exclusively and with impunity and only report directly to their boss.
He added that he believes a lot of revelations will be coming out from other marginalized and honest officers in the anti-corruption agency.
Contrary to the facade you see from the Outside,the EFCC has been run by an inside cult called “the Magu Boys” or “the Chairman Squad”:They are a select cream of vicious and cruel officers who operates exclusively and with impunity and only report directly to their boss.The inside cult is the dark and immoral aspect of the agency engaged in persecution,blackmail,frame ups and cruelty.The cult has been the wheel behind the ordeal of their embattled Boss.Until they are rooted out from the agency also.I believe a lot of revelations will be coming out from other marginalized and honest officers in the so called anti corruption agency.!
2023 Presidency: Exercise Caution —Minister Tells Ndigbo
The South-East geopolitical zone must avoid associating the desire for the 2023 presidency with their region to avoid putting off other regions that could support them, a minister of Igbo extraction has warned.
Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, urging Ndigbo to exercise “caution” in its quest for Igbo presidency.
According to him, other ethnic groups that had produced Nigeria’s president never associated it with the name of their tribes.
Nwajiuba advised Ndigbo to put forward a presidential candidate with national appeal to stand a realistic chance of producing Nigeria’s president in 2023.
The minister added that in no previous election was the Igbo barred from vying for the nation’s highest post.
Nwajiuba said, “Anybody talking about Igbo presidency should be careful because there was never a time we heard about Hausa presidency. When the Yoruba were contesting, we did not hear of Yoruba presidency, why is our own different?
“Remember that before Obasanjo won in 1999, he contested for the ticket against Ekwueme. There was never a time we as Igbo did not contest in the primaries, the only thing was that we were not voted.
“There is no time people involved in politics will cede a position to anybody. Up to 2015, the only tribe that did not contest for the APC primaries is the Yoruba, is it not true? The North West ran, North East ran, North Central vied, South East vied.
“If Owelle Rochas Okorocha had defeated Buhari in the 2015 APC primaries, are we going to be talking about Igbo presidency now? But what is important if the Igbo want to become president, it’s not for you to say it’s your turn.
“Anyday you bring out an aspirant that is acceptable to other Nigerians, that is the day you indeed want the position of president in Nigeria. All you need is majority. Buhari won the APC primaries with 3,886 votes.
“That’s what we counted, I was a returning officer in that election. Kwakwanso came second, then Atiku, Rochas, then Nda-Isaiah. I can still recall these things.
“So there was never a time it was ceded to Buhari. The people that voted for Buhari outnumbered others in that primaries. So when we bring out an acceptable aspirant, he will eventually win. That is what you are supposed to start searching for now. Even if the Igbo cry from now till thy kingdom come, if they don’t bring out a person that is acceptable to other Nigerians, nothing happens.”
Nwajiuba noted that in 1998, Dr Aex Ekwueme was on course to win the PDP ticket until Senator Jim Nwobodo came into the picture and shared the South East’s votes.
To avoid a similar situation in 2023, Nwajiuba said, the South-East must go on soul-searching and consultation to produce a candidate that will be acceptable by all and sundry.
EFCC Told Me to Claim $25,000 Against Shehu Sani — Star Witness
The case of $25,000 fraud against former senator Shehu Sani has taken a new twist as the star witness has claimed that he was coerced into accusing the former senator by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The proprietor of ASD Motors, Alhaji Sani Dauda told the court at the resumption of proceedings on Tuesday that he was asked to claim that Shehu Sani defrauded him of $25,000 by the EFCC during cross examination.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over the resumed hearing on Tuesday as Alhaji Dauda made the revelation under cross examination by counsel to the former senator, Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi.
He was asked how much he gave to Shehu Sani and for what purposes. He also asked to confirm the bill of quantity for a car he sold to the accused.
He was asked further if the funds given to Sani was to bribe the EFCC and the Ministry of Justice to which he answered;
“The amount was $13,000, but the $25,000 was forced on him by the EFCC operatives as exhibit against Mallam Shehu Sani. Nobody was there when Shehu was given the $25,000 and no one was there when he refunded the money to him.
When the money was refunded to me EFCC said I must bring it, but I said no that I have recovered my money but they insisted I have been cheated that I should return the money to them.”
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