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Ayade Inaugurates 57-Man Cocoa Allocation Committee

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has inaugurated a new Cocoa Allocation Committee in Cross River State to oversee new allocation to allottees after sales of forms and report back by March 15, 2019.
Ayade, who was represented at the occasion by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development, Dr Oscar Ofuka, urged the committee members to be serious with the task assigned to them as the state was targeting annual production of about 500,000 metric tons and to become number one producer of Cocoa in Nigeria.
Ayade said that apart from increasing production output, his administration had built an Ultra Modern Cocoa Processing Factory in Ikom as a way  to bring value addition by processing the beans for export and to encourage Cross Riverians to plant Cocoa. 
He said the committee must drive the state’s policy of managing government- owned cocoa Estates maximally through transparent and equitable cocoa allocation exercise.
Among the terms of reference given to the committee were: sales of  forms to allottees and turning  in of  their report for final approval by 15 March, 2019; undertaking the verification of ocoa land in the four government estates; categorising the existing plots as to determine the lease fees payable to government per hectare; ensure that 70 percent of allottees are given to the landlord communities in line with the out of court settlement agreement amongst others.  
The committee’s inauguration which took place at the Conference room of the Cross River Agricultural  Development Project was attended by the CRADP Programme  Manager, Dr Chris Agaji and Director of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Innocent Obim while the Chairman of the Cocoa Allocation is Mr Collins Ogar and Mr Richard Ada as Secretary as well as members of the public.

Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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City Crime

Rangers Retain 20 Players For Next Season

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Management of seven-time Nigeria league champions, Rangers International F.C have concluded plans to retain only twenty-two players that featured for the team in the fast winding-up 2018/2019 season.
General manager of the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Prince Davidson Owumi made this revelation, Monday, as preparations are on to welcome back the players from the two-weeks break sanctioned by the club.
The former NPL and Warri Wolves boss confirmed that the players whose services were needed for the coming season have been contacted and are expected back in the coal city next week.
“Yes, we have started preparations for the coming season as we have made contacts with the players needed to help us achieve our target both on the continent and domestic scene.
Only twenty-two of the players that featured for us in the ending season will be privileged to wear the club’s jersey in the coming season. Most of them have been reached and negotiations concluded. Those reached will be known as soon as they return from the break,” said Prince Owumi.
The General Manager further said, “I can also confirm that we have had successful discussions with some players that we hope will add some strength to the team as our target on the continent and domestic scene remain intact.”
It would be recalled that Rangers ended the 2018/2019 abridged NPFL season on the third position at the end of the season’ championship playoff while its forays on the 2019 Total CAF Confederations cup ended in the group stage.

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City Crime

Group Condemns Spate Of Violence In Rivers

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A Port Harcourt based advocacy group, Advocacy for Peace, Good Governance and Social justice has condemned the spate of violence in Rivers State.
The president of the group, Mr. John Cement, who stated this while chatting with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, warned that unless urgent measures are taken to step up security, hoodlums would continue to wreak havoc in the state.
Mr. Clement, who was speaking against the backdrop of the killing of two policemen at Timber Area of Port Harcourt, expressed regrets that the proliferation of small arms had remained unchecked.
He said everybody was a victim in a crisis situation.
Mr. Clement remarked that most hoodlums that were causing mayhem in the state, had infiltrated from neighbouring states with pockets of Rivers indigenes.
He called on the police to be proactive in order to maintain peace in the state.
Mr. Clement urged the police to make use of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to locate the identity of criminals ravaging the state.
He noted if the police were able to have a data of criminals in the state, it would be easy for them to fish out hoodlums.
The president urged all to support the police in their effort to fish out criminals in the state.

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UK Alert: A’Ibom Says State Peaceful, Safe

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The Akwa Ibom State Government has faulted the UK government for the travel ban issued on its citizens tagging the state along with 20 others in Nigeria as unsafe in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the state government stressed that Akwa Ibom remains one of the most peaceful, safe and secure states in Nigeria.
The letter addressed to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria said it is incontrovertible and unvarnished fact that Akwa Ibom remains one of the most peaceful states in the country.
Recall that the British government had warned its citizens not to travel to 21 states in Nigeria because of kidnappings, terrorism, militancy and diseases.
In a statement posted on its website and updated on Monday, June 17, 2019, the FCO said frequent attacks by terrorist sect Boko Haram in the restive northeastern region of Nigeria, raids by armed bandits in the northwest and north-central states, kidnappings across Nigeria, fatal diseases like Ebola and Lassa fever and militancy in the south-south, have made Nigeria a dangerous destination for the rest of the world.
Making allusion to statement by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham during a courtesy call on the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel in October last year, the SSG said the GOC had commended the peaceful nature of the state and rated it as the most peaceful and violence-free of all the areas under his command.
“A similar sentiment was also expressed by Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, the commander of the Joint Task Force in the Niger-Delta region.
“The US Ambassador, W. Stuart Symington had visited Akwa Ibom State on two occasions within the last one and a half years. No Ambassador would visit a State that is considered unsafe.
“During the recently concluded Presidential/National Assembly, Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, in spite of the threat and boasts of the people on the opposite side of the political divide to unleash violence, the elections were adjudged peaceful, credible and free.
“The Commissioner of Police in charge of the elections in Akwa Ibom State, Ibrahim Kaoje in his report of the elections to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of the Department of Operations stated that the elections in the State were conducted under the freest, credible and most peaceful atmosphere.
“The Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 during a courtesy visit to the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, also commended the peace and security citizens enjoy in the State,” it said.
The SSG in the letter said that the state had been receiving droves of investors from all parts of the world into the State for the purposes of investing their ‘peaceful, safe and secure environment. The SSG stressed that all the above would not have been possible if the State is not safe, peaceful and secure.
“Finally, we wish to state emphatically and unequivocally that Akwa Ibom State is peaceful, safe and secure and remains an inviting location for foreign investors, and other Nigerians who daily troop to the State to enjoy our famed cuisines and the hospitality of our people,” it read.

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