The efforts of Governor Ben Ayade to industrialise Cross River State through its agricultural value chain policy got a major boost with the announcement of a partnership between the state government and Zenith Bank.
This followed a visit by the management of the bank led by its Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu to the various agricultural-processing factories located at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar.
Speaking to newsmen after touring the factories, Onyeagwu said Governor Ayade deserves commendation for his foresight, initiative and determination to create an economy for the state through industrialisation.
According to him, “the essence of all of these factories is what we have been talking about in this country. What I have seen here are factories that are not just integrated but are also properly linked
with the ecosystem.”
He said beyond partnering with the state to deepen the agricultural value chain efforts of the government, his bank is willing to also provide advisory support services to the government.
“When the projects grow and get into incubation level, we could start looking at providing and supporting the government with advisory services to diversify and expand the ownership and move it to private
sector that would manage it,” he said
On economic impact of the Ayade industrialisation policy, the Zenith bank boss expressed optimism that the projects would create jobs, put food on the table and help raise the people’s standard of living.
“It would help change the economic narrative of Cross River and Nigeria as a country. I think Governor Ayade deserves commendation,” Onyeagwu stated
While expressing his joy at the collaboration between his state and the bank, Governor Ayade used the occasion to disclose he had signed a contractual deal with John Del of USA via Tata to supply the state with equipment for land clearing and soil preparation in furtherance of his Agro- Industrialisation drive.
Bridge Collapse: Community, Lawmaker Finger SPDC
Elebele community in Ogbia Local Government area of Bayelsa State has attributed neglect by shell petroleum Development Company, SPDC of provision and maintenance of infrastructural projects sited in their community as cause of the recent collapse of the bridge linking their community with Yenagoa, the state capital and other adjoining communities.
The Ogbia speaking community made these revelation recently when the member representing Ogbia Federal Constituency, Hon. Fred Obua paid them sympathy visit to ascertain the extent of havoc wrecked by the collapsed infrastructure.
Speaking to newsmen, the Paramount Ruler of the community, HRH Osene Osene, represented by the Deputy Paramount Ruler, Isaac Johnny, lamented the difficulties the collapsed structure has caused the community and commuters plying the road, describing it as worrisome.
Osene said the community which, plays host to the multinational oil company, has nothing to show for after many years, emphasizsing that if shell had carried out satisfactory and holistic routine maintenance, the bridge would not have collapsed, stressing that the structure was constructed in 1986 and as such needed regular checks. which would have averted the sudden damage.
Meanwhile, Obua has promised calling the attention of the Federal Government to the plight of the oil producing community.
The lawmaker stated that the ill-fated bridge had not only served the people of the community, but the entire three Local Government Areas in the Eastern senatorial district of the state.
While reiterating his commitment to bringing succour to the community, Obua called on the multinational company operating in the area and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to kick-start the process of reconstructing a new bridge to link the community with their sister communities in order to fast-track development in the area.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
NDLEA Destroys Cannabis Farms In Edo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Edo State Command says it has uncovered and destroyed two hectares of cannabis farms in the state.
State Commander of the Agency, Mr Buba Wakawa, disclosed this to The Tide source in Benin
Wakawa disclosed that the farms located in Ovia North East and Etsako West Local Government areas were estimated to yield 248,088kg of cannabis plants.
He also said that the command had seized 452.36kg of substance suspected to be cannabis as well as Tramadol and Diazepam tablets.
According to him, the achievements were recorded in the last one month.
He further said that no fewer than 11 suspected drug traffickers comprising five males and six females apprehended within the period would be charged to court.
He said that the suspects in their various statements have owned up to the crime of drug trafficking to make money.
The commander lamented that the problem of drug abuse was posing a major challenge to families in the state.
“Most youths who are hooked on drugs have become openly disobedient to parents, dropping out of school and work, and becoming liabilities to their parents.
“Some even engage in stealing, armed robbery, cultism and other criminal activities,” he said.
NSCDC Inaugurates Agro Rangers Unit In Bayelsa
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has inaugurated a special unit, Agro Rangers Unit, to check clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Bayelsa State.
The Commandant of the corps in the state, Mr Philip Ayuba, who inaugurated the unit in Yenagoa, said it was part of the NSCDC’s response to frequent clashes between farmers and herders.
Ayuba noted that such clashes had resulted in killings and wanton destruction of lives and property.
He said the newly-created unit would ensure adequate security of agricultural investments such as farmlands, silos, ranches, livestock and processing industries in the state.
The commandant advised personnel of the unit to be professional in the discharge of their duties.
Also speaking, Dr Boma Spero-Jack, Special Adviser to Gov. Seriake Dickson on Security, lauded the NSCDC for launching the unit and described it as timely.
Spero-Jack said that the measure would encourage investments in agriculture, thereby boosting food security, rapid growth and development.
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