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Wike Pledges To Divest RSG’s Equity Share In Cassava Processing Firm

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says seed money has been earmarked by his administration to encourage massive cultivation of cassava across the state.

Wike made the promise at the inauguration of the Rivers State Cassava Processing Plant at Afam Town in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, last Thursday.

The governor stated the willingness of his administration to encourage proper cultivation of the vast fallow land available in all local government areas of the state to ensure that the processing plant does not lack raw materials.

He said the seed money would not be administered like previous grants offered by the state government, but will be given to genuine farmers after being verified and encouraged to increase production volume of cassava in the state.

“The other day, I went to see one of my friends. I went to his farm of over 56 hectare of land. He’s trying to cultivate cassava and I was very impressed.

“And I told him, that government will identify and verify those genuinely involved and are registered as cassava producers. Apply to us that you want to farm one hectare of land for only cassava.

“Government will give them seed money to continue farming cassava so that there will be no problem of cassava supply to this plant.”

Wike explained that it is no more fashionable for youths and leaders of local government councils to be content raising revenues from stickers.

He urged them to avail themselves of opportunities offered by the cassava processing plant.

He solicited for more loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consolidate the visible gain that has been made already in boosting agriculture in the state.

The governor assured that any of such loans from the banks will be paid off before he leaves office as he has already made a commitment not to leave any burden for his successor.

Wike commended Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC) and the Dutch Government for their courage to partner with the state government to actualise the project, and assured that the company would be allowed to operate as a profit-making private venture.

“So, government will make sure that we do not own more than 10 per cent of equity shares. This will enable the company to run profitably, make revenue, pay taxes and create employment.”

Inaugurating the facility, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, said the plant has become a direct respond to addressing the challenges of food security in Nigeria.

He said his ministry continues to engage bakers on the need to embrace import substitution of wheat and flour by incorporating 10 per cent of cassava flour in their baking activities and the Rivers State Cassava Processing Plant was now available to satisfy that need.

“On behalf of over 15,000 registered farmers in this state and others in neighbouring states, I thank you for this project. Rivers State Government has become pacesetter in this collective efforts of making agriculture work in Nigeria.

“I wish to announce my support by giving cassava farmers with high quality 10,000 stems of cassava cuttings from the National Root Crops Research Institute, and will be delivered to the governor as soon as position.”

In his speech, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said most manufacturing companies today that import either glucose, starch or any other cassava byproducts would be happy to source their demands from this new plant.

With this efforts, Emefiele noted that what was a mere potentials have become a reality towards developing cassava into various byproducts that are needed for the industrial development of Nigeria.

The CBN governor explained that companies like Nestle that import starch and glucose should now begin to procure these raw materials from Nigeria to enable the country save foreign exchange.

Speaking on behalf of the Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okumbor, the General Manager, External Relations, Shell Nigeria, Igo Weli, said experts have said that the local value-addition to cassava via local manufacturing and processing could potentially unlock about $16million in taxes to the government.

“With the Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited, Shell hopes to support the Rivers people to earn much more revenue from the cassava value chain as the company utilises leading technology to process and create more added value from this crop.

“Today, we have the Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited that will process cassava into High Quality Cassava Flour via a unique split processing technology based on the operating principle of taking the factory to the farm gates rather than having the farmer bring the cassava tubers to the factory gate.”

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UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers

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As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.

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Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0

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Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.

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