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South Korea Completes Bida Rice Mill, Sept

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The Korean International
Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has said that it would complete its rice mill project in Bida and hand over same to the Federal Government in September.
KOICA’s Country Director, Mr Jung Sang-hoon, told The Tide source in Abuja last Tuesday that the project was initiated in 2007, but was halted for a while due to technical challenges the company had.
According to him, operation resumed at the site of the project in 2013 and is presently 90 per cent complete.
“Your current government is stressing on the importance of agriculture and the modernisation of the agriculture sector.
“We (KOICA) have several projects; we have rice processing centre in Bida, and cassava processing centres in Kogi, Enugu and Ogun states.
“In case of the rice processing project, the delays came from our side; we were unable to find alternative replacements (contracting companies).
“In 2012, when I came, I made some reports.
“My new approach at the time was to find collective association of agriculture machinery production companies; they followed my advice and were able to resume.
“Now the process became very swift and prompt; virtually 90 per cent has been finished and recently, Korean technical experts installed machineries and their Nigerian counterparts were also there to learn.
“Within September, I believe it will be finished.“
Jung said KOICA was currently working closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Niger State Government on the project.
According to the country director, the agency has budgeted 1.8 million dollars (or N357,749,754.05) for the execution of the project while the Federal Government has set aside N41.3 million for the same purpose.
He said in 2008 KOICA and the National Food Reserve Agency signed the relevant documents that would inaugurate the project.
Jung also said that KOICA and the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) signed an agreement for the establishment of cassava mills in Enugu, Ogun, and Kogi states.
He said: “Unfortunately, the cassava mills project has not been implemented as we planned because of the delay in customs clearance on the side of Nigeria.
“KOICA is a government organisation and cannot hold the money down if we cannot justify
the reasons for doing so.
“So, we had no choice but to cancel the project because we could not justify the delay.
“The partner for that project was NAPEP which has been scrapped and we have no partners to use the funds at this stage.“
He said KOICA allocated 1.6 million dollars to the project while the Kogi Government and NAPEP allocated an additional 600 thousand dollars.
He said the Enugu and Ogun governments were yet to provide their counterpart funds.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to do all that was necessary to revive the project.
“On our side, I think we have adequately invested and would say this is a loss for the Nigerian government also.
“I think the government authorities should let us utilise the available funds by getting the contract and this can be done in one year,“ he said.
He said the cassava mill project has been extended to 2016.

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Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority

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The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja. 
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years. 
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage   – NEITI

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Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)   has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.

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Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains. 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives. 
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area. 
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.

By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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