Connect with us

Nation

FG To Establish Two Gum Arabic Processing Centres In Kano, Borno

Published

on

The Federal Government is to establish two additional Gum Arabic processing centres in Kano and Borno States, according to the Director of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mrs Karima Babangida.
Babangida, who made the disclosure in her opening remarks at a capacity building workshop on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Gum Arabic farmers, in Dutse, yesterday, added that the centres are to be established this year as part of the ministry’s efforts at improving the production of the commodity.
The director said the ministry had earlier refurbished the Gum Arabic testing laboratory at the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (RRIN), for quality assurance, and also established a cottage processing centre in Damaturu, Yobe.
Babangida noted that the ministry had continued to build the capacities of Gum Arabic farmers on GAP, as well as supported research and development of the commodity.
“In recent years, the ministry has made various efforts to provide Gum Arabic farmers with improved seedlings, fertilizer, herbicide, tapping knives, storage bags, hammer mill with cyclone, prushers, colour sorting machines and digital moisture metres, so as to improve its production”, she said.
She pointed out that Gum Arabic, otherwise known as ‘desert gold’, was one of the Commodity Value Chains being promoted by the ministry for its many industrial and pharmaceutical uses.
“In food products, it serves as stabiliser, emulsifier and binding agent for chewing gum, ice cream and textile industry.
“Also, the trees are important for combating climate change, mitigating desertification, reducing soil erosion and improving soil fertility,” the director added.
According to her, the ministry was mainly promoting Gum Arabic in 15 states of Northern and Central parts of the country, where the agro-ecological factors were suitable for its production.
Babangida listed the states to include: Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Taraba, Zamfara, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe, Plateau, Niger and Nasarawa.
She added that, the crop provided opportunities for trade, employment and livelihood improvement for rural dwellers, particularly women and youth, involved in gum collection and other value chain activities.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Ernest Umakhihe, Mr Dipo Adegoke, the workshop was organised by the Gum Arabic Value Chain of the ministry, in collaboration with RRIN, to build the technical capacities of farmers on current techniques.
Represented by Mr Ukattah Bernard, Deputy Director, Tree Crops, Umakhihe pointed out that the global demand for Gum Arabic was valued at $373.1 million in 2018, and estimated to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.9%.
“So, Nigeria can key in into this global trend to boost our foreign exchange earnings, create employment and improve the livelihood of farmers.
“It is sad to note that Gum Arabic production is on the decline due to the insurgency and insecurity in the Northern region of the country”, he, however, said.
Also, an Assistant Director from Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment (FMITI), said the ministry had been collaborating with relevant stakeholders to develop and make Nigeria’s Gum Arabic Africa’s number one.
A participant, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of the National Association of Gum Arabic Producers and Exporters of Nigeria (NAGAPPEN), Malam Muhammad Bello, on behalf of other participants, thanked the organisers for the workshop.

Continue Reading

Nation

Reps Urge FG To Revisit School Feeding Programme

Published

on

The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to revisit the school feeding programme, suspended over sundry controversies.
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was a pilot programme launched in 2004 targeting 12 states to provide a nutritious midday meal to public primary school pupils in the country:
In 2016, the programme was relaunched nationally, targeting public primary school children using locally sourced ingredients to improve health, stimulate agricultural production, and boost smallholder farmers’ income.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on January 12, 2024, suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks.
The four programmes administered by NSIPA are N- the Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Special Duties and Finance to invite the Ministers of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Education, and Finance to revisit the program and propose solutions for its future success.”
The House, while adopting a motion on “Urgent call to revisit school feeding policy” moved by the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State, Mr Muktar Zakari, noted that the philosophy behind the NHGSFP is to encourage enrollment into the public primary schools, address childhood hunger pangs, and improve their ability to concentrate, learn, and increase school attendance.
The lawmaker, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, lamented that “The suspension of the NHGSFP by the current administration is unsettling for several reasons, namely reduced school enrollment and attendance, compromised health and cognitive development of the children, and disruption of the income of smallholder farmers.”
He also said “Addressing the programme’s challenges is crucial, but a complete suspension may cause more harm,” noting that “It is important to find alternative solutions or efficient implementation of the NHGSFP to ensure Nigerian children continue to benefit from this important initiative.”
In his words, “The cancellation of the programme is causing an upsurge in the number of out-of-school children, posing a threat to the country’s future and leading to a high rate of crimes, insecurity, and unemployment.”

Continue Reading

Nation

Kogi Lauds Appeal Court’s Verdict On Ododo’s Victory

Published

on

The Kogi State Government has hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court, Abuja that yesterday uAtiku hails Supreme Court judgment on LG autonomypheld the victory of the state governor, Usman Ododo.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the government’s position known in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered in Abuja.
Fanwo described the judgment as “sound,” adding that the it represents “echoes of the indisputable victory” of the governor at the poll.
He said the governor remains unwavering in his faith in the judiciary.
The conmissioner said, “Today’s judgment represents echoes of our victory on November 11, 2023. We campaigned round the state and worked hard to reassure the people that our party is the most reliable to take the state forward.
“November 11 will continue to be remembered in Kogi as the day that Kogites across the senatorial districts united to speak with one voice, birthing a resounding victory for the incumbent governor.
“Today’s verdict has offered another great opportunity for those who lost at the poll and in the courts to join the governor in moving the state forward.”
Fanwo said the court case did not in any way slow governance down as the governor has continued to “roll up his sleeves and deliver democracy dividends to the great people of the state.
“The jubilation that greeted the verdict affirming the victory of the Chief Servant of Kogi is a demonstration of the triumph of the people’s will.”
He urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor to make the state the Confluence of Excellence.

Continue Reading

Nation

Insecurity: Reps Want Modern Technology Deployed In Nation’s Borders

Published

on

The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to deploy modern technology to secure the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion on “Need to employ the use of modern technology to secure the nation’s borders,” sponsored by the member representing Awka North/Awka South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Obiageli Orogbu at Thursday’s plenary.
Consequently, the Reps mandated “The Nigeria Customs Service to beef up the nation’s border security with modern technological gadgets.”
It also directed its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Customs and Excise to “Interface with the relevant agencies of the executive arm to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”
Leading the debate, Orogbu said that there are over 320 illegal routes into Nigeria “That serves as horrendous channels for the influx of inadmissible aliens and goods.
“Nigeria at the moment lacks sufficient security personnel to safeguard the existing illegal routes across the borders. These unmanned routes provide avenues for insecurity, proliferation of arms, and dumping of unwholesome goods into the country;
“The porous borders have provided an impetus to the thriving drug and human trafficking routes all over the country.”
Justifying the significance of the motion, the Labour Party chieftain noted that, “Border policing has since shifted from the mundane use of only human beings to the deployment of sophisticated electronic based equipment for potency.
“The deployment of technologies like electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes to detect illegal entries has proved more effective in western countries than human security.
“Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, (drones) and dark fighter cameras are available to further enhance border controls,” she added.

Continue Reading

Trending