Buhari Commissions N50b Sugar Estate In Niger

President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the N50 billion Sunti Golden Sugar Estate which he said will employ 10,000 people directly.

Speaking in Sunti in Mokwa local government area on Thursday, Buhari said the magnitude of nvestment in the sugar estate is a clear manifestation that the policies on economic diversification  of the government is attracting the right kind of support and engagement.

“With N50 billion invested into Sunti  Golden sugar Estate, this makes it the largest Agro-allied investment in Nigeria today. The sugar factory will produce 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually, employ 10,000 people directly and a network of 3,000 small scale outgrowets of sugarcane. ”

The President stated that the socio-economic impact of the company’s investment cannot be quantified as lives would be changed and the impact on the national economy will be significant.

He further noted that the benefits of the River Niger have been overlooked for long stressing on the need for proper utilization of the masses of bodies and how it can be converted for commerce and investment.

Buhari then reassured Nigerians that the administration is committed to the transformation and diversification of the economy adding that they will continue to support businesses and investors by creating enabling business environment.

He stated that sugar have been identified as a key commodity that is critical to national food security adding that the sugar factory will help stem the tide of importation of sugar, save foreign exchange and create wealth amidst rural poverty.

In his address, Niger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello said Nigerlites are proud farmers adding that the sugar estate would utilize the farmers and make them productive.

He said that 2018 have been earmarked as the year of agricultural revolution in the state calling on investors to invest into the state which is a perfect model for investment.

Bello said that the sugar mills which is one of the two sugar mills in the country will produce 4,500 metric tonnes of sugar per day.

The governor then appealed to the President for the speedy completion of the Suleja road,  Tegina-Kontagora road and Mokwa-Jebba road in order to attract more investors into the state.

The Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr. John Coumantaros said the Sunti sugar factory is to ensure that local sugar is produced in Niger state adding that the factory is showcasing the shift in the focus from crude oil to agriculture.

He said that the Sunti Sugar factory will save Nigeria 100 million dollars on foreign exchange every year strengthen the capacity and economic status of the people.

The Chairman commended President Buhari for his policies which have been good and have lead to private sector growth across the country.

The Sunti Golden Sugar Estate occupies 17,000 hectares of land in Mokwa local government area of Niger state out of which 10,000 hectares is being used as sugarcane farm.

Gunmen Attack Police Station In Niger State

A police station was attacked by unknown gunmen yesterday in Lemu town, the headquarters of Gbako local government area of Niger State.

According to reports, the gunmen freed some criminals held by the police. It was gathered that the 10-man gang stormed Lemu town in two Hilux pick-up vans and fired sporadically into the air to scare away members of the community. The gang invaded the Divisional Police Station in the town and took away some criminals detained in the station.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dibal Paul Yakadi, rushed to the community immediately he heard the news. The state government has, however, imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew while vigilance group members have been mobilized to go after the gunmen and arrest them.

Meanwhile in Akwa Ibom State, there seems to be no end in sight for violent clashes in Etim Ekpo Local Council as at least three persons have been reported killed following a bloody rival cult clash between Icelaand (the red) and Debam (the white) groups.

Among the dead is Okon Nkanang, a retired police officer from Nkanang compound in Ikot Udobong, and Akpan Inyang, from Ntuk compound in the neighbouring Ikot Obioma village.

Inyang, according to local sources, was killed by the Iceland group, in place of his brother, a member of the Debam group, said to have escaped soon after sighting the gun wielding Icelanders
on motorbikes en-route their compound at Ikot Obioma.

Although the motive behind the killing of the retired policeman could not be ascertained at press time, it was gathered that the deceased might have been a security informant or relation to a wanted member of the Debam group.

The incident occurred at Ikot Udobong, Ikot Obioma and Edem Akai group of villages in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of the state. Several persons were also injured in the exchange of gunfire between the rival groups.

On Wednesday, the same rival groups clashed along the Edem Akai axis of Iwukem-Etim Ekpo-Abak highway during which a commercial bus driver was killed and his bus burnt with eight passengers sustaining injuries.

Worried by the total collapse of security in the council, concerned stakeholders and elders called on the governor, Udom Emmanuel, to “save the people from the carnage”.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Odiko Ogbeche, said men of the command were working frantically to restore normalcy in the affected communities and urged the people to always volunteer information on activities of hoodlums in their neighbourhoods.

 

Meningitis Kills Four In Niger State

Four people have died from Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Niger State as the state has recorded the outbreak of the disease.

Presently about 31 cases have been reported with nine laboratory tests confirmed.

The four deaths were recorded in Katcha Local Government Area of the state.

The State Commissioner of Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril confirmed the case to journalists at a briefing on Wednesday morning.

However, two Local Governments are said to be affected by the outbreak which are Katcha and Magama Local Government Area, both in Niger state.

Three Sisters Abducted By Gunmen In Niger State

Three sisters of the impeached chairman of Munya Local Government Council in Niger State, Malam Yahuza Mohammed, have been abducted by.

According to reports, the sisters were abducted at 1;30am on Saturday, at the local council chairman’s residence in Kuchi community.

The chairman, who was served with impeachment notice earlier in the week by the legislative arm of Munya Council was not in the residence when they were attacked.

However, a source close to the family told Daily Trust that the kidnappers placed a call to the chairman demanding N150 million ransom for the release of the girls.

The State Police Spokesman, ASP Mohammed Dan-Inna Abubakar, confirmed the abduction of the three sisters.

He said “We have no knowledge of the demand for ransom but officers and men of the command have since swung into action to rescue the girls and apprehend those behind the kidnapping.”

 

Police Threaten To Impound Vehicles With Concealed Number Plates In Niger

The Niger State Police Command has said that it will soon commence impounding vehicles with concealed number plates, adding that the drivers of such vehicles will be arrested and prosecuted.

The police, in a statement, said the illegal concealment of vehicle number plates had been traced to increasing cases of kidnapping and other criminal acts in the state.

The statement signed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammad Abubakar, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), added that: “The police command will not hesitate to arrest any person or group of persons seen to be driving vehicles with concealed plate numbers and whoever is arrested will be charged to court in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act.”

He expressed dismay that members of the public including top government officials drove their vehicles with covered number plates in the state.

Abubakar said that the command had directed all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to enforce the provisions of the Act.

Bello Swears In 14 New Commissioners

Governor of Niger State, Mallam Sani Bello has sworn in 14 new commissioners, warning them against all forms of corrupt practices.

Speaking at the occasion in Minna on Wednesday, Bello also urged them to work hard to uphold the confidence reposed on them.

“It will interest you to know that we have put in place a mechanism to monitor, evaluate and assess your performance.

“I congratulate you and urge you to take this call to service as a golden privilege to contribute your quota towards the development of our dear state.

“I have no doubt that your appointment will further boost our resolve to transform the state to one of the most socio-economically developed in Nigeria,” he said.

The governor urged them to be proactive, exhibit high sense of patriotism and work hard to enable his administration to consolidate on its achievements in office.

He said the state government would not tolerate laxity and disrespect to established rules and regulations.

Bello had in November last year submitted names of 18 nominees to the state House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioners following the dissolution of the cabinet in October, 2017.

The commissioners include Alhaji Idris Jibrin, Alhaji Zakari Bawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Panti, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, Hajiya Rahamtu Yaradu and Alhaji Mohammed Mundi.

Others are Dr Mustapha Jibrin, Alhaji Mamman Musa, Hajiya Amina Musa, Alhaji Ibrahim Shiroro, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro and Mr Nasara Dan-Malam. (NAN)

NAFDAC: N11.5m Expired Drugs Destroyed In Niger

Ministry of Health and Hospital Services in Niger State say it has, in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, destroyed expired drugs worth N11.5m.

Dr. Mohammed Makunsidi, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, who disclosed this to journalists, explained that some of the destroyed drugs had been in the stores of various health facilities in the state for over 10 years.

According to him, the destroyed drugs included expired HIV and Tuberculosis drugs as well as hand sanitizers among others.

Makunsidi, who was represented by the Director of Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Muhammad Ndagi, said the drugs and consumables with short expiry dates were brought to the state by partners for national programmes.

He said, “As a responsible government, the expired drugs and consumables were being destroyed to safeguard public health by preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.”

The permanent secretary explained that the National Drugs Policy and the National Drug Distribution Guideline both prescribed that every state must have a drug distribution centre as a solution to the problems in the health commodities and supply chain management.

He noted that since the establishment of the Niger State Drugs and Hospital Consumables Management Agency, the activities at the central medical store had tremendously increased.

While commending the state government for its commitment to the provision of necessary funds for the smooth running of the agency, he gave the assurance that the agency would ensure the orderly and systematic supply of genuine drugs and consumables to all the health facilities across the 25 local government areas of the state.

Makunsidi also disclosed that the coming of the Logistics Management Coordination Unit which is domiciled at the Central Medical Store would enhance data collection and information sharing among various health facilities and agencies.

The state zonal coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr. Anikoh Ibrahim, admonished the management staff of the ministry and its agencies to be proactive in the discharge of their duties.

Ibrahim, who expressed dissatisfaction that the drugs were kept for a long time, queried why they were not distributed to health care facilities for the people to use.

He advised the ministry to always reject drugs and consumables with short expiry date

Gov. Bello Denies Plan To Sack Teachers

The Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello on Wednesday has denied plans by his administration to sack primary school teachers in the state.

Governor Bello gave this assurance while inspecting the newly established Niger State Professional Teachers Development Institute at Maraban Dandaudu, in the Muyan Local Government Area of the state.

The institute was established to produce primary school teachers for public schools, especially in the rural areas.

The governor had said that some primary school teachers with fake certificates in public schools were being investigated, accusing them of being responsible for the poor foundation of pupils and falling standard of education in the state. The statement was interpreted by many to mean that the governor was planning to sack to teachers.

But allaying the fears, the governor said, “I learnt of a rumour making the rounds that we intend to sack primary school teachers following the misconception of what I said about the falling standard of education occasioned by inadequate qualified and competent teachers in our primary schools.

“I received calls that people are afraid we may retrench primary school teachers, especially those with faulty certificates. The truth is that there is no such plan. We don’t have enough teachers, so we are not sacking rather we are going to train and retrain our teachers and those with the bad case will be sent back to school.”

Gov Sani Bello Seeks Global Investment In Agric, Trade, Infrastructure, Solid Minerals, Tourism

Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has called on investors in the United States and other part of the world to explore opportunities available in the state in the areas of agriculture, solid mineral infrastructure, sports and tourism.

Governor Sani Bello stated this at Niger State Business Roundtable organized by African Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ACDBC) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United State.

Governor Sani Bello said that his desire and determination was to make Niger state a hub for both local and international investors in the areas of agricultural value-chain, infrastructure, solid minerals tourism and sports through linkages and establishment of enabling environment, instituting credible, transparent and proactive governance structure.

“Niger state is a bundle of opportunities and fertile ground for any investor. We are strategically located close to the capital city, Abuja. We have largest land mass in Nigeria – fertile, uncultivated and ready for use for large mechanized farming. We have solid minerals. We have a youthful population and peaceful environment. We have an international airport. We are linked by railway to the seaport.

“Above all, we are building a governance structure that engenders good governance, transparency, accountability and investor-friendly environment.”

The Governor who said that he was determined to make Niger state an international player in the export of Shea butter revealed that the state was working towards establishing export produce- conditioning centre to meet international standards.

”We are here to have firm discussion with Pennsylvania in the area of trade, agriculture, solid minerals , sports and tourism. We need technical support on how we can develop our economy. It is very comforting to know that Pennsylvania is the 6th largest economy in United States and 18th largest economy in the world. I believe a strong partnership between Niger state, Nigeria and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will go a long way towards improving the economy of the two states.

“ We want the partnership to cover the entire value-chain: Production, processing, storage and marketing. We want improved yield and new technological that would increase yield per acre; we want mills for processing ; we want storage facilities; we want ready market for the finished produce. ”

Earlier in his remarks, Lt Governor Micheal Stack 111 described the state of Pennsylvania as an agrarian state and indicated willingness to collaborate with Niger state towards boosting commercial agriculture. He promised to facilitate investment in mechanized farming that would revolutionize Niger state agriculture through low-interest bank loan .

On Governor Sani Bello’s delegation were Niger State House of Assembly, Member Representing Bida 11 and Chairman House Committee on Works, Hon. Mohammed Alhaji Haruna, Chief of Staff, Hon Mikhail Al-Amin Bmitosahi, Commissioner for Investment , Hajiya Ramatu Yar’adua, Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe and Commissioner for Justice, Bar Nasara Danmallam.

Blood Bath In Niger As Herdsmen Attack

The Imam of Etogi village in Gbara ward of Mokwa Local Government Area in Niger State was among the 21 persons reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen on Saturday morning.

The imam was said to be leading 20 other faithful in an early morning prayer, when the herdsmen attacked them with dangerous weapons and embarked on a killing spree.

Eight other members of the community who were not inside the mosque were equally attacked and wounded.

An eyewitness said those injured had been taken to the Mokwa General Hospital for treatment.

He told newsmen that the attack by the herdsmen was a reprisal for killing of a herdsman by the villagers during a disagreement.

He said the disagreement occurred between some Fulani youths and members of the community.

The herdsmen were said to have maintained a settlement near the community on the understanding that a percentage of the proceeds from their harvest would go to the village head.

However a disagreement was said to have ensued when the herdsmen failed to remit the agreed fee to the village head at the end of the last cropping season.

The herdsmen, it was learnt, later claimed that the parcel of land belonged to them.

But the community was said to have demanded for the agreed amount, a development that led to a free for all fight, resulting in the death of one of the herdsmen.

This was said to have infuriated the herdsmen who reportedly mobilised support and unleashed mayhem on the villagers on Saturday morning, leading to the death of the 21 persons.

“The attackers killed everybody in the mosque, including the Imam,” one of the eyewitnesses said.

The disturbance, it was learnt, caused commotion in the village, forcing women and children who were woken by the disturbance to flee.

Police public relations officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, when contacted, confirmed the incident, but said “20 people were killed during the early morning attack”.

Elkana described the attack as “a reprisal’ for an earlier killing of a herdsman by the villagers.

“The killing of a herdsman was managed but it appears they were not satisfied and decided to retaliate,” Elkana stated, adding that eight people sustained various degrees of injuries during the attack.

The police spokesman said mobile policemen, operatives of the Department of the State Services (DSS), and other security agencies had been deployed to the troubled community to restore law and order.

Source: This Day

BOA Disburses N2.4bn Loan to Farmers

Bank of Agriculture (BOA) Managing Director, Dr Kabiru Adamu, has revealed during a visit to Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello that the BOA had disbursed N2.4 billion loan to farmers participating in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in Niger.

Adamu noted that this was part of the federal government’s determination to to revive the nation’s agriculture sector and other Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that would benefit from the loans. He siad “The BOA has disbursed a total of N2.4 billion loan in Niger through its operations in Minna, Kontagora and New-Bussa.

“We are honoured to notify you of the bank’s interest to strengthen the relationship existing between our two organisations.

“Beyond the ABP, we want to collaborate with your government to cover more grounds of mutual benefit.

“We want to lend our support by partnering with your government in ways that will help modernise agricultural practices…

“If you can make available your areas of intervention within few weeks, we will partner with you in developing our agricultural sector,’’ he said.