The Federal Govern
ment has been urged to double its efforts in boosting Cassava production.
A local cassava farmer, Mr. Riches Amadi made the call while fielding questions from pressmen at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
He said the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari should call a strategic meeting of stakeholders in the sector to know its problems and prospects.
Amadi, said it was not time to make promises about the sector, but a time to make frantic efforts and ensure that it was revamped.
He hinted that the industry was saddled with the problems of production and supply of cassava product as well as low pricing and insecurity.
According to him, the sector must be equipped with the latest tools that could encourage local production of the product.
He noted that farmers in the rural areas must get enough encouragement from the government, if there are plans to boost cassava production.
The local farmer hinted that another way to encourage cassava production was to ensure that rural areas are property linked with good road network.
He argued that poor road network was one of the factors militating against the growth of cassava production.
The Tide gathered that the Federal Government has almost concluded plans to revamp the Agricultural sector and has also planned to be exporting cassava products.
Meanwhile, Riches Amadi has appealed to cassava farmers in the state to come together as family in order to properly channel their matters to the government.
Oil Prices Slide Downward As Coronavirus Spreads
Oil prices tumbled four percent yesterday, as the rapid spread of a coronavirus in several countries outside China left investors concerned about a hit to demand.
Global shares also extended losses as worries about the impact of the new virus grew, with the number of infections jumping in Iran, Italy and South Korea.
Brent crude was down $2.42, or 4.1%, to $56.09 a barrel. U.S. crude futures fell by $2.12, or 4 per cent to $51.26.
“Oil prices will remain vulnerable here as energy traders were not pricing in the coronavirus becoming a pandemic,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“While some parts of China are seeing improving statistics with the coronavirus, financial markets will remain on edge until we start seeing the situation improve in Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan.” he said.
South Korea’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, grew increasingly isolated as the number of infections there rose rapidly, with some airlines suspending flights to the city until March 9 and March 28, respectively. The country reported its seventh death after raising its infectious disease alert to its highest level.
Italy reported a third death from the flu-like virus and 150 infections.
Iran said it had confirmed 61 cases and 12 deaths, with most of the infections in the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom. Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey imposed travel and immigration curbs on the Islamic Republic.
“We should not underestimate the economic disruption as a super spreader could trigger a massive drop in business activity around the globe of proportions the world has never dealt with before,” Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note, yesterday.
Oil prices received some supports after local health officials in China said yesterday that four provinces had lowered their virus emergency response measures.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, said on Sunday that the world’s largest energy consumer would adjust policy to help cushion the blow to the economy from the virus outbreak.
Goldman Sachs said commodity prices could fall sharply before Chinese stimulus efforts later this year helps the sector achieve its 12-month return forecast of about 10%.
“The promise of stimulus has made commodity markets act like equity markets, building up risks of a sharp correction,” the bank said in a note.
In the United States, the oil rig count rose for a third straight week. Drillers added one oil rig last week, bringing the total count to 679, the highest since the week of December 20, energy services firm, Baker Hughes Co said.
By: Taneh Beemene
Ogoni Clean-Up: Youths Want Probe Of HYPREP’s Expenses
A group known as Ogoni Youth Federation has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to commence investigation into the alleged massive financial fraud and corruption going on in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
The Ogoni youth reaction followed the revelation by the Chief Operating Officer for Downstream, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Roland Ewubare, at the House of Representatives Committee on Environment meeting held at National Assembly Complex, last week.
The NNPC official said that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its Joint Ventures Partners, had paid the HYPREP a total of US$360,000,000 which is equivalent to One Hundred and Twenty-Nine Billion, Six Hundred Million Naira.
The youths, in a press statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said, “We reiterate our warning to NNPC and its JV partners not to release further funds meant for the implementation of the Ogoni environmental clean-up project to the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), until proper account has been made over US$360,000,000 received thus far.
“It is unfathomable that with US$360,000,000 (N129,600,000,000 billion) in the kitty of HYPREP already, Ogoni communities are still condemned to drinking, cooking, bathing and fishing in heavily contaminated water with benzene and other carcinogenic materials in concentration over 900 times above the acceptable maximum as stipulated in the WHO guidelines. The reality of the Ogoni clean-up is that there are more lies than truth surrounding the exercise”.
RSG To Set Up Gas Monitoring Task Force
The Rivers Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr Peter Medee, has said that the Rivers State Government will soon inaugurate a gas monitoring task force in the state to complement the effort of the federal government in compliance to the new task policy introduced by the Department of Petroleum Resources. (DPR).
The Commissioner disclosed this during a technical workshop organised by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for LPG Depot operators and gas user in Rivers State at the Horlikin Events center in Port Harcourt during the weekend.
The Commissioner said, “in realisation of the significant role and benefits of the state, especially in safety culture, monitoring and elimination of sharp practices in the LPG depot operators, the Rivers State Government will soon set up a gas monitoring task force, this effort to compliment the activities of the DPR and the Security Agencies to enhance effective management system in the implementation of the new gas policy in Rivers State.”
He said the Rivers State Government was aware that the guidelines for Good Safety Practice in the LPG industry have been developed by the World LPG Association (WLPGA) to provide global LPG industry participants with tools to ensure that market place, and more importantly the customer is not compromised by unsafe practices.
He pointed out that the guidelines identify the key stakeholders within the the LPG industry and also describes their responsibilities to ensure a safe environment for LPG dealers in the supply chain.
The Commissioner described Rivers State as the hub of the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria noting that the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Chief Barr Nyesom Wike was determined to take advantage of the availability of Liquefied Petroleum Gas ( LPG) for industrial transformation and development of the State.
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