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Minister Lauds Conducive Business Environment In C’River



The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, has commended the administration of Governor Liyel Imoke for creating a conducive environment which has turned the state into investors’ haven.
The minister made the commendation in Calabar, recently, while commissioning ultra-modern integrated feed mills, Eastern Premier Feed Mills Company Limited, a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.
Aganga described Governor Imoke leadership as visionary, business friendly and proactive, attributes he said have encouraged investors to do business in the state.
“I commend Governor Liyel Imoke for operating a business friendly environment for investors. In the last three years, they have always had something fantastic to say about the state and its people. I cannot thank you enough for creating such environment in the country,” he said.
“General Electric went round the country in search of where to establish its business but finally chose to invest in Calabar and I am happy they are investing more money in a technical school to train the young ones in line with it capacity needs to support its multi billion dollars investment in the state,” Aganga maintained.
He disclosed that the country was witnessing tremendous growth under the present administration through its various policies and reforms to stimulate the industrial sector, adding that the Industrial Revolution Plan was aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s industrialization, diversify its economy as well as increase revenue.
“We cannot only depend on oil because the nation has a large expanse where everything can grow and we cannot become rich if we must remain the eighth oil producing nation in the world, and we should not only produce raw materials but also be involved in production and processing.”
The minister lauded Flour Mills for being one of the first to key into the industrial revolution plan by investing in various businesses to create employment in many parts of the country.
Imoke said the commissioning was a celebration of confidence which the investors have in the local economy which shows that Nigeria is not only safe and good to do business but has opportunities to do business.
According to him, “I am excited that Flour Mills will increase its investments in the state, and in few years, Cross River will become Chicken Republic. I appreciate the President because what we are seeing today is a realization of his transformation agenda to turn Nigeria into the largest economy in Africa.”
The governor explained that the state, through its policy, has created the right environment to become investors’ haven to attain the status of a key destination through PPP, stressing that “we do not only want to be investors’ haven but also the next industrial hub in Nigeria.”
The Chairman Flour Mills PLC, Mr. John G. Coumantaros, disclosed that the mill was the largest in sub Saharan Africa with capacity to create 1000 direct and indirect jobs with the hope of turning Cross River into a “Chicken Republic” adding that its products are intended to produce biggest, fattest, most tendering and delicious chickens in Nigeria.
He said the company intends to diversify into other agro-allied-based investments in the state to boost production.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Rolf Burckhardt, said the mill is capable of producing 70,000 metric tons daily and that Calabar was found suitable for it because of available seaport, suitable labor and raw materials and that their target was to serve the entire poultry farmers in the federation.


Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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