Agriculture Government News

Cross River state to partner UAE’s Largest Agro-Investors for cash crops, ornamental plant production

In furtherance of the Agro- industrialisation drive of Governor Ben Ayade, the Cross River State Government is partnering the United Arab Emirate (UAE), for the cultivation, on commercial scale, of cash crops in the state.

At the ongoing Annual Investment Expo in Dubai, Governor Ayade was represented by the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation (MIDC), Dr. Inyang Asibong, the State Chief Economic Advisor Dr Francis Ntamu and the Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River State on International Development Cooperation and Investment, Mr Victor Edet.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the state delegation, Dr Ntamu brought to the fore, the investment opportunities in Cross River of which UAE’s largest Agro investors, Dubai Elite-Agro were interested in partnering with the state to deepen the cultivation of cocoa, oil palm, rice, maize, potatoes, vegetables and horticultural plants.

The 3-Day Investment Expo holding at Dubai’s Exhibition Centre, is one of the world’s leading investment platforms for captains of industries across the world.

Experts and delegates to the exhibition compare notes on the techniques of growing, sourcing, exporting and marketing of agricultural products to other nations.

According to the SA on Int’l Devt. and Investment, UAE technical experts in arid land cultivation and horticulture will co-invest with the State to boost flower production in Obudu, Northern Cross River due to its temperate climate and other seasonal factors.

The Commissioner for MIDC disclosed that the synergy with Elite-Agro in terms of technical support is needed to boost the cultivation of the crops, including flowers grown in the hinterlands of Obudu for export purposes, particularly with the ongoing construction of the Obudu International Cargo and Passenger Airport by the Governor Ayade led Administration.

Also attending the exhibition are the Governor of Niger State H.E Sani Bello,
Governor of Ekiti State H.E Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Kwara State H.E Abdulraman Abdulrazaq, Governor of Plateau State H.E Simon Lalong, Governor of Bayelsa State H.E Douye Diri and other top Government functionaries.

Agriculture Government News World News

What’s happening to World Bank funded APPEALS programme in Cross River State? – Inyali Peter

Again, just like in 2016 or 2017, the World Bank funded APPEALS programme is on the verge of collapse in Cross River State. While other states have completed implementation of several batches, Cross River, after over three years into the project are yet to successfully a single batch.

This project is a five years programme. The Cross River contract like other states is left with less than two years to end yet no single programme have been concluded.

In His Excellency, Sen. Liyel Imoke’s administration, the state provided funds for its counterparts funding which was why beneficiaries got up to N3m grant. But now, unexpectedly, the State government has said no money which is why the grant has dropped from about N3m to around N2m yet, no success still.

Part of the project includes World Bank releasing funds for infrastructural development. Other states have completed construction of roads, schools, etc from this project. In Imoke’s administration, alot of infrastructural projects were completed including some community roads that I know in Obudu.

But now, no single infrastructural project has been completed despite World Bank giving approval for the implementation of this aspect of the project. What’s happening?

Although beneficiaries have started receiving alerts but those alerts are useless because they can’t access the funds. And if government and APPEALS management don’t agree on how to engage service providers to commence implementation, the money will be there till when the project ends, World Bank will retrieve the funds back.

There are only two reasons why this project that’s thriving in other states is failing in Cross River. Either the state government is having unnecessary interference with the view to tamper with the funds, which as part of the rules of the Programme, World Bank forbids, then it’s as a result of the incompetence of the current Management team.

I’m investigating to unravel more facts and I’ll publish the outcome of investigation no matter who’s ox is gored. However, before that, I want to appeal to relevant government authorities and officials, including the Governor and the project managers to address whatever is delaying the implementation of this programme so that Cross Riverians who have benefited can be paid, access their funds to set up their businesses.

It took several articles from me which attracted Nigeria’s World Bank country Cordinator to intervene before the government allowed the process continued in the only one that has been implemented by this administration. More than six hundred Cross Riverians were empowerred with over N3m each. Besides, that was part of the last set of the Imoke administration’s project. But since the project was renewed under this administration, no single implementation has been done.

This is about our state and our teeming youths and women who are beneficiaries of this project. We can’t continue to keep quite when some top people continue to frustrate the exercise for selfish reasons. Thus, I call on well meaning Cross Riverians and the media to look into this programme and speak up. It’s about all of us; not APC or PDP.

Already, the state is behind other states and there’s high risk that the project may not be renewed. Even the funds available to the state now may not be exhausted and World Bank will retrieve what’s left. So, let the Government and Managers of the programme not kill this great project that the Imoke administration attracted to the State.

Inyali Peter

Agriculture Government News POLITICS

BREAKING: Buhari sacks two Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Ministers of Power, Saleh Mamman and his Agriculture and Rural Development counterpart, Alhaji Sabo Nanono.

The President also announced the redeployment of two Ministers to take over from them.

The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar is to take over as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development while the Minister of State for Works, Abubakar Aliyu, is to take over as the Minister for Power.

In the brief statement read by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said the process of rejigging his cabinet is going to be continuous.

Details shortly…

Agriculture Government News POLITICS


…says Agriculture is our greatest endowment by mother nature.

The State Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade has called for a concerted efforts of the South-South zone to achieve food security not only for the region, but also for Nigeria and the world at large.

Senator Ayade made the call in Calabar while flagging-off the United Nations South-South region dialogue on Food Systems Summit (FSS) at the Transcorp Hotel.

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu enjoined the individual farmers, agro-business operators, corporate bodies and Government to come together in an unbreakable partnership to dialogue and seek ways of improving our food systems.

He maintained that Cross River State Government consider Agriculture as one of its greatest endowments by mother nature, adding that with a vast array of arable land, our soils are second to none in fertility and annual weather conditions for Agricultural activities.

Governor Ayade opined that Agriculture and food security are indispensable factors in the overall development of any state or nation, adding that apart from providing food which we will depend on, it also provides a vast opportunity for business activities and employment.

The convener and permanent secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu intimated that the Dialogue is premised on the call by the UN Secretary-General to all the world leaders to participate in a segment that will help establish a future direction for food systems.

She stated that it is expected that the outcome from all the dialogue will be presented in the forthcoming summit scheduled to hold in New York in September 2021 as part of actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goals -SDGs by 2030.

Mrs Idowu emphasized that the objectives of the Zonal Exploratory Dialogue therefore, is to enable the states explore different options to solving National Food Systems, examine the possibilities of making it inclusive, efficient, resilient and sustainable.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ntufam Okon Owuna asserted that the submit is meant to deepen our food security systems and come up with strategies that will emancipate the South-South Agricultural hub and our Nation concomitantly from the shackles of poverty as we thread the path of economic emancipation, national growth and development.

The Exploratory Dialogue 2021 by the South-South States -Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers featured goodwill messages from representatives of development partners in the region, Commissioner for Agriculture Akwa Ibom State, Ministry of International Development Corporation -MIDC, Dr. Inyang Asibong as well the private sectors.

Deputy Governor’s Press Unit, Calabar.

Agriculture Government News Security

Insecurity: Don’t spare any Fulani herder guilty of killing, kidnapping, Northern elders tell FG

Worried by the profiling of Fulani herders as kidnappers and killers, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has urged the Federal Government to fish out those giving the region a bad, maintaining that not all of indulge in such acts.

Its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement, yesterday, cautioned religious and political leaders against taking advantage of the situation to inflame passion capable of plunging the country into civil unrest.

Baba-Ahmed, however, expressed reservations over an attempt by some leaders in the South-East and South-West to eject Fulani herders in their regions, adding that the act was a breach of their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

He said: “Northern Elders Forum is constrained to invite the nation’s attention to the dangers of sustained attempts to raise tensions and create fears among Nigerians until, presumably, they lead to major crisis involving groups and regions in the country.

“In the last few weeks, the Forum has led many responsible groups and individuals to appeal for restraint and respect for the law in the way we engineer developments that cause tensions, or react to them.

“Now the nation is facing imminent threats from persons who are bent on pushing all of us nearer to disaster, to help them achieve their nefarious goals.

“The Forum particularly notes that continuing narratives and threats, including comments from seemingly responsible Nigerians and even elected officials who swore to protect the rights of all citizens and the survival of the country, are raising fears and passions that could make it easy to break more laws of the land and pitch citizens against each other.

“There are efforts to create multiple sources of falsehood in videos and other inflammatory materials in the media clearly targeted at inciting people to act violently against each other.

“Allegations of planned or actual genocide are being made with reckless abandon, and even the international community is being lobbied in futile efforts to sell the fiction that some groups are intent on mass extermination of other groups.

“The latest communication by the Yoruba Council of Elders to the United Nations is an example of lamentable desperation of some groups to erode our security and integrity as a country, and it is more regrettable that it is the handiwork of so-called elders who should forfeit all rights to that honour.

“Northern Elders Forum commits to continue to work to retrieve the country from the dangerous cliff where it has been placed by irresponsible people, many of them in positions of responsibility.

“We have plans to meet with governors in the North and South to improve responsible collaboration and synergy, and we intend to visit communities where we have influence to lower tensions and provide assurances and comfort.

“We repeat our demands that Fulani who have broken no laws must be protected from abuse wherever they are.

“We ask all governments to identify criminals among the Fulani and subject them to the laws of the land.

“Similarly, we demand the cessation of threats and attacks by local ethnic defenders on Fulani communities. People who have broken the law by attacking and harassing Fulani for just being Fulani must be brought to book.

“We encourage all law-abiding herders to stay put and seek protection, and if they cannot be protected, to relocate to safer areas in the country.

“We urge northern governors to prepare to receive law-abiding Fulani herders who may be compelled to re-locate. We urge all northerners to assure Nigerians from other parts of the country that they are safe and welcome to continue to stay in the north.

“The Forum repeats: it is not a crime to be member of any ethnic group, and no one has the right to attempt to expel any Nigerian from places where they live lawfully.

“The Forum advises President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors to consult and explore measures that will lower tensions and assure all Nigerians that we live in a country where laws have meanings, and all citizens have equal rights to live under secure environments.

“The fight against armed criminals must be pursued on all fronts and with a lot more seriousness.”

Agriculture Government News

Nigeria borders will remain locked and the keys thrown into the lagoon.

Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nanono Sabo. Photo: TWITTER/FMARDNIG

The Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, has said Nigeria borders will remain locked and the key is thrown into the lagoon.

He stated this, yesterday, at the flag-off ceremony of the distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers affected by the recent flood in Kebbi State. He explained that the Federal Government was not ready to reopen the borders, so as to boost the country’s agricultural sector.

He said: “Nigerian farmers have been performing well by producing such food items as rice, millet, guinea corn, and Shea butter, among others. We are not ready to reopen the borders, which is why the Federal Government is ready to support the dry season farming to regain what farmers lost to the flood disaster.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Adamu Aliero, supported the continued closure of borders, to encourage the growth of local rice farming.

He commended federal and state governments for supporting flood victims in the state.

The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu Abubakar, represented by the Deputy Governor, Col Ismail Yombe Dabai (rtd.), thanked the Federal Government for the kind gesture. He assured me of equal distribution of the items.

He appealed to the Federal Government to increase the quantity of the items, to enable them to go round the affected people.

The items shared included rice, millet, guinea corn, and beans, among others.