The first batch of Cross River Rice Seedlings for the South South zone has arrived Bayelsa State.
The first truck load of rice seedlings is part of the N3 billion order placed by the Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) with the support of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Chairman of Bayelsa State RIFAN, Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko confirmed the arrival of the seedlings in a telephone interview.
“Yes, we have taken delivery of rice seedlings from Cross River a few days ago and we have started planting,” Ogbianko said.
“We do not know much about the transactions, but they brought the seedlings to us and asked us to start planting,” he added.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River recently disclosed that RIFAN had placed a N10.8 billion order for the supply of rice seedlings from the state’s automated rice seedling factory to the southern states.
Ayade, who stated this during the recent inauguration of wet season rice farming for 2019 in Calabar said the state would also provide all the seedling support services to the states.
“This reflects a full realisation of the vision for a rice seeds and seedlings factory in Cross River,” the governor said.
“The payment for the supply is not done by individual farmer or state, but coordinated under the RIFAN- CBN programme, so that is the way to handle it.
“Before we make a supply to a state, we receive an order from RIFAN, go to that state, do a valuation of the preparedness of the people and farmers to receive the seedlings.
“We then have a list of all the potential recipient farmers and, on the basis of that, we compute that into our system and know the quantity that will be loaded to a particular state,” Ayade said.
According to the governor, other support services offered by the factory include mechanisation support and planting services.
C’River Hosting 36,000 Cameroonian Refugees -SEMA
Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) yesterday said that the state was currently hosting 36,044 Cameroonian refugees in its settlements across the state.
Director General of SEMA in Cross River,Mr Princewill Ayim, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Calabar.
Ayim said the refugees were currently in three settlements in Adagom 1, Adagom 3 and Ukende, all in Ogoja Local Government Area of the state.
Ayim told our correspondent that with the increasing number of refugees been registered by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the number has risen from 35,965 in 2019 to 36,044 in January 2020.
According to him, the figure represents 69.5 per cent of the total number of Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria, adding that the new figure was released by the UNHCR in January 2020.
The DG said that since the crisis broke out in October 2017 in Cameroon over the demand for Ambazonia Republic by the Anglophone Cameroonians, the settlement had continued to witness an increase of Cameroonian refugees into the state through land borders.
Ayim said that the official number of refugees in Nigeria has risen from 51,723 in December 2019 to 51,864 in the latest data obtained by UNHCR.
He added that from the latest figure, 45.9 per cent of the refugees are male, while the female represents 54.1 per cent.
“As we speak, the number of Cameroonian refugees in Cross River has increased from 35,965 in December 2019 to 36,044 in January 2020.
“This is so because the number keeps increasing due to the crisis that is yet to be addressed in Southern Cameroon.
“These refugees are being registered by the UNHCR as they come in. As we speak, the facilities in the camps are been overstretched because of the increasing numbers.
“We wish to call on the international bodies and the federal government to come in and assist the state government in providing certain facilities like water, education, social support and others,” he said.
He told our corrrespondent that the host communities had been very hospitable and cooperative with the refugees, adding that most refugees have integrated themselves with the way of life of the people in the area.
Edo Blames Insecurity On Unresolved Poverty
Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, says calls for the sack of Service Chiefs by some critics, was a misplaced priority that will not solve Nigeria’s security challenges.
Shaibu made the assertion at a meeting with Heads of Media Organisations in Benin yesterday, as part of preparations for successful hosting of the forthcoming National Sports Festival tagged ‘Edo 2020’.
While describing the Service Chiefs as some of the best and competent officers Nigeria could boast of, he said the cause of insecurity was traceable to unresolved poverty in the land.
He explained that even if the President changed his Service Chiefs several times without effectively addressing poverty, people will find excuses to be allowed to be used as tools or weapons of destruction by unpatriotic elements.
“ I know this because I was one of those who screened them and their credentials as a member of the House of Representatives.
“ We know that Gen. Tukur Buratai is a solid combatant soldier with a UN medal; ditto others.
“But there has to be peaceful coexistence among the people. And this can happen only if the people are happy; and the people can be happy only if they are legally gainfully occupied both in their minds and hands.
“And part of ways of finding solutions to the issue of insecurity is through sports. The State Government is determined to contribute its quota in that direction,” he said.
Shaibu said the State Government placed great premium on youths development to prepare them as future leaders.
“ We have seen this huge opportunity and we have invested in it through putting in place massive infrastructure across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state, which has created windows of employment for hundreds of youths.
“It is when government creates conducive environment and creates job opportunities for the teeming youths that we can aspire for peace.
“But when youths become idle with virtually no hope in sight that their minds begin to absorb lots of negative vibes.
“That’s why we are calling for collaboration with the media to effectively assist the Local Organising Committee (LOC) propagate the huge benefits that will accrue to all and sundry from hosting the festival,” he said.
SEEFOR Phase II: Director Assures More Micro Projects For Rivers
The State Employment And Expenditure For Results (SEEFOR) Phase II project will cover the entire state in the execution of micro projects.
The project Director, Community Driven Development Social (CDDS) Project Implementation Unit (PIU) Ministry of Chieftaincy/Community Affairs, Rivers SEEFOR, Sir ThankGod Amaewhule said this in an interview with newsmen shortly after a thanksgiving service at the St. Barnabas Church Igwuruta
Amaewhule said the SEEFOR Phase II programme would consolidate on the achievements already made adding that more communities will be covered in the execution of micro projects while the lives of millions of Rivers people will be touched.
The project director who commended Governor Nyesom Wike for his supports to SEEFOR, also called for upgrading of the Community Driven Development Social (CDDS) to Community Social Development Agency (CSDA) to enable it tackle the challenges of rural development in the state.
He said the thanksgiving service was to thank God for His goodness to staff of the unit throughout last year as well as commit the activities of the unit to God this year.
Also speaking, the Head of Operations, CDDS Piu, Samuel Lorwell said staff of the unit would ever remain grateful to God for his protection and guidance in seeing them through last year despite security challenges in the state.
Lorwell also called for the unit to be upgraded to a full fledged development agency just as it is done in other states in the country.
Also speaking, the Head, Monitoring and Evaluation CDDS-Piu, Promise Fubara urged for the creation of a conducive environment for development to thrive in rural communities of the state.
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