AFAN Blames Cost Of Cassava By-Products On Farmers’ Losses
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has blamed the high cost of cassava by-products on the losses which cassava farmers incurred three years ago.
The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of AFAN, Mr Femi Oke, made the observation while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, Thursday.
Oke said that farmers invested a lot of resources in cassava farming when the Federal Government introduced the High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) initiative to spur the inclusion of cassava flour in bread production.
He said that in efforts to key into the initiative, farmers had to take loans from commercial banks to produce enough cassava to meet demands.
“We (farmers) were shocked when the flour was not purchased; the debts that consequently accrued discouraged cassava farmers from planting more in the following years.
“For three years, the market for cassava reduced drastically because farmers invested heavily in the cultivation of high-quality cassava varieties after the Federal Government introduced the cassava flour initiative.
“Farmers cultivated a lot of cassava, many of which got wasted; thereby hampering their willingness to plant again in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
“The debts which farmers had to defray became so enormous to the extent that many farmers had no money to purchase cassava stems for planting in the following years.
“This is what is affecting the availability of cassava by-products because most farmers are no longer cultivating.
“We have never had it so bad because it is only when more people go into cassava production that cassava by-products will become cheaper,” he said.
Oke stressed that it was very ironical that cassava was now regarded as an expensive commodity.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to adequately fund the cassava sub-sector to accommodate new farmers so as to expand and develop cassava production.
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that Nigeria produces about 50 million tonnes of cassava annually — the highest in the world.
Coy Averts Labour Action, Pays 5 Months Salary Arreas
The leadership of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Monday, said Clarion Bonded Terminal has apologised for their delay in payment of workers’ five months salary owed.
The MWUN boss disclosed that the management of the off-dock terminal responded swiftly to pay off the salaries to avoid shutdown.
Speaking shortly after a meeting with management of the bonded terminal, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, said Clarion terminal management also apologised to the union for the delay saying it was due to a mix up.
Recall that The Tide Newspaper on Monday reported that Labour union had on Friday shut down operations at the terminal following five months unpaid salary of its members.
The leadership of union deployed senior members of the union, including the President General to the terminal to register its displeasure over withholding of the salaries of members.
The union stated that management of the terminal did not waste time in paying up the said arrears, and also apologised to the union for the delay
Speaking further, MWUN said the terminal had pledged to subsequently work in harmony with the union even as the union promised to lend support.
“Port operation is like that, sometimes correspondences that are supposed to come come to the headquarter, diea not come, but they are sent to the districts.
“The district, which has cordial relationship with their employers, did not report to us here. It was when the matter was blown out of hand that the guys concerned came here by themselves, we took it over by ourselves.
“She has apologised and my own is for her to pay, there is no need to for me to drag it further”, he said.
The Clarion boss, Mrs. Bernardine Eloka, said there was a communication hitch between both parties, noting that letters were written to the inappropriate office of the union.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic,
FG Hands Over Fuel Subsidy Burden To In-coming Govt
The Federal Government has said the incoming administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu will provide palliative measures for millions of Nigerians when petrol subsidy is lifted by June 2023.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this yesterday at the 68th session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
“The subsidy palliatives will be left to the incoming government to implement. We’ll simply hand over to them.
“Of course, we will give recommendations which they are at liberty to either accept or reject”, he said.
The Tide’s source reports that the Federal Government said it had yet to harmonise its efforts with states to provide palliatives to cushion the effect of the gradual removal of petroleum subsidy scheduled for June.
However, it said the concerned committees would soon conclude discussions with key stakeholders as the Buhari regime winds down.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, who addressed journalists at the time, noted that a committee led by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the National Economic Council comprising state governors had been working to resolve the issue for over 12 months now.
Within that period, however, the committee had yet to harmonise its templates, he added.
Abba said, “For over a year plus now, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has been leading a committee working on this and the National Economic Council also has a committee that has also been working on this.
“So, the stage that we are in now is how to finalise the suggestions that have come out from both the Federal Government and the governors’ side.
“Like you know, it is something that is going to affect the entire nation. They will just have to ensure that everyone is carried along, that is both the federal and sub-national governments”, he added.
Customs Rakes In N54.9bn In 3 Months …Seizes Containers Worth N94.6
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Area 2 Command in Onne, Rivers State said it generated the sum of N54, 992, 123, 687.15 billion revenue from January to March, 2023.
The Command Controller, Comptroller Baba Imam, who disclosed this yesterday, while speaking to newsmen in Onne, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers, said the sum was out of the N336bn revenue target for the year 2023.
He said an increase of N1, 132, 925, 556.82 billion was recorded from the revenue, compared to what was realised in 2022.
The Command Controller further disclosed that the Command recorded several seizures, which, he said, reflected its commitment to facilitating only legitimate trade in line with the provision of extant laws.
According to him, the command seized 24 containers laden with refined vegetable oil, comprising a total of 28,860 gallons of 25 and 10 litres of La-Jonic vegetable oil with a duty paid value of N833, 172, 538.42 and two containers laden with 1,165 cartons of Analgin injection and fireworks.
The Comptroller put the duty paid value of the two containers at N94, 652,168.39 million, saying one 20ft. of machete was detained on documentation grounds pending provision of end of user certificate.
“In revenue generation, the command was given a target of N336 billion as revenue target for 2023.
“As of today, the Command has generated a total revenue of N54, 992,123, 687.15 billion which transits to 16.3 per cent of the target. When compared to the same period last year, the Command has an increase in revenue of N1,132, 925, 556.82bn.
“This figure was realized in spite of not having vessels berth in Onne Port for some time due to the election atmosphere.
“We look forward to a continuous rise in revenue generation in the coming months as we expect vessels to berth on our coastline within the next few weeks”, Imam siad.
On anti-smuggling activities, within the past few weeks since he assumed office, he said there has been a harvest of seizures justifying their committed resolve to facilitate only legitimate trade in line with the provision of extant laws.
“This is made visible with the display of a total number which comprises 26 seized containers and one detained container for violation or contraventions of various customs laws and breach of procedures as provided under the revised import prohibition guidelines Schedule 3 Article 4 of the Common External Tariff 2022-2026 as well as Section 46 paragraph (b), (d), (e), (f) and 169 of Customs and Excise Management.
“Twenty four containers laden with refined vegetable oil comprising a total of 24,860 gallons of 25 and 10 litres of La-Jonic vegetable oil. Also seized were other two containers laden with 1,165 cartons of Analgin injection and fireworks with other items”, he said.
He explained that the seizures were made purely with intelligence gathered and 100 percent physical examination, saying investigation was ongoing through its legal and intelligent unit with a view to apprehending the culprits and making them face the law.
Imam also warned that the NCS under his watch will take punitive measures against importers and agents who exhibit any defiant behaviour by not operating in accordance with extant laws of the land.
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