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C’River Votes N1.7bn For Food Bank Commission

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President, National Agricultural Foundation/Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (left) with Sarkin Keffi III, Alhaji Shehu Yamusa, at the 2016 National Agricultural show in Keffi, Nasarawa orecently.

President, National Agricultural Foundation/Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (left) with Sarkin Keffi III, Alhaji Shehu Yamusa, at the 2016 National Agricultural show in Keffi, Nasarawa orecently.

The Cross River Gov
ernment has budgeted the sum of N1.7 billion for the establishment of a food bank commission in the state.
This was disclosed by the State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, while receiving a delegation from HB Heritage Bank led by its Coordinator of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Mr. Godwin Ukwat on a courtesy visit in his office in Calabar, Monday.
Ayade said that the Food Bank Commission is structured in a manner that each local government will have a director.
He expressed the willingness of the state government to key into the Home Grown School Feeding Programme on the condition that it is given the free hand to run it.
The governor decried the fact that the practice of agriculture in the country was still at the subsistence level; stating that it was time the country embraced the use of technology in farming.
“We are at a time where agriculture is driven by technology in developed countries; where farming is in the hands of big farmers and infrastructure such as roads, water and power are provided,” he stated.
He argued that it would be counterproductive to encourage farmers to continue with “stone-age” agricultural practices which do not even provide insurance cover for the farmers.
In his presentation, the HB Heritage Bank, Head of Agric-Finance, Mr. Gbenga Awe, said that the home grown school feeding programme is one of the social safety nets of the Federal Government, which seeks to employ 300,000 youths in the country.
He disclosed that the programme is meant to feed school pupils from primary one to six with the aim to encourage learning, asserting that it is usually difficult for a child to concentrate and learn with an empty stomach.
Awe further explained that the scheme would be funded on the basis of 60 per cent for the federal government and 40 per cent for the state governments.
He outlined the benefits to states to include a boost to Internally Generated Revenue as it brings a large population of persons from the informal sector to the formal sector thereby expanding the state access to the tax base.
He listed states that are already signed on to the programme to include, Kaduna, Zamfara, Osun, Oyo, Jigawa, Benue and Enugu states.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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