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Wike Accuses CBN Of Playing Politics With Agric Loan

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has alleged that politics has been used to deny the state access to agricultural loans offered by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Governor Wike made the accusation when he hosted the Minister of State for Agriculture, and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri at Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday.

The governor decried the situation where every issue in the country including agriculture has been politicised instead of implementing such policy dispassionately to achieve the intended food security and jobs for the youths.

“I think, I am one of those States that nobody gives loans for agriculture. I don’t know what hatred the Central Bank Governor has for us? We do not know.

“We have been hearing of ANCHOR borrower this and ANCHOR that.

But when it concerns Rivers State, you will hear a lot of things.”

Governor Wike explained that in an idle situation devoid of politics, the Central Bank of Nigeria will partner with the Rivers State government to achieve the objectives of setting up the State owned cassava processing plant.

“Please tell the Governor of Central Bank to remember us too, that we are part of Nigeria. When we applied, they said this loan was N5 billion. We have applied for more than 1year now. They said we should bring this and bring that.

“They said we should bring the co-orporative societies and I say this where the politics comes from. If I want to eat government money, I can seat here and write coorporative societies. Previous administration took loan and said they gave it to coorporative societies of over N3billion. Who are these corporative societies? And the money went off like that.

“And we are telling you see the cassava processing plant that you are supposed to say we will buy into this , we will support the State government. Nothing has happened.”

Governor Wike said even without the loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria, his administration is achieving a revolution in cassava processing that will create jobs for youths and enduring patronage for farmer folks.

“It is not in dispute that to take the country out of where we are, agriculture is key. If we are sincere with reality that agriculture will employ a lot of our youths; give them jobs and achieve food security, then we must do it in such a way that we really mean what we say.”

The governor said the State government will invite the Minister of Agriculture to commission the cassava processing plant. According to him, many companies have keyed in already to buy off what will be processed.

“We have over 3000 farmers who have registered. From them, the company will buy off all their produce. We are happy with this feat.”

Speaking further, Governor Wike expressed surprised over the road projects and provision of solar powered electricity that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture claimed to have provided to rural communities in the State.

He said it is important for the State government to know where those rural roads and solar power are located so that proper recording will be done and letter of appreciation written to thank the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the gesture.

“I am also surprised when you said you’ve done rural roads in Rivers State. I don’t know the roads you did. It is important for us to know them so that we will put it on record, that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture did this road.

“And we will be able to write to you and thank you for doing such road. If you put solar, let us also know. Except you gave it to your party people. There is no way you will do road in my State without the State government being aware.”

Governor Wike also wondered what had become of the spate of abduction of children in succession and shortly afterwards, they are released.

“I saw breaking news, another banditry in Kaduna and taking away students and teachers. The thing is becoming funny. Yesterday, you take 300, two days after, they release them. The next morning, you take another one, the next 24 hours, they’re released.

“So, people know where they are. You take two hundred and something people in a 20 kilometres distance and nobody will know? And in the next 24 hours they’ve been released. What’s really happening?

“Can somebody tell us the truth of what’s going on. It is becoming funny. And why is it so? It is so because we politicise the issue of security.”

Minister of State for Agriculture, and Rural development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri said he is in the State to inspect ongoing and completed projects that will boost rural agricultural activities under his ministry.

He said the federal government is poised to support Rivers farmers with new technology that will address the problems of low yields, allow them have access to improved varieties of cassava produce, chemical for treatment for the seeds and crops protection.

Kelvin Ebiri
Special Assistant (Media) Rivers State Governor

March 15, 2021
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Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (right) presents a souvenir to the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri during the latter’s courtesy visit to the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, 15th of March 2021.

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El-Rufai Remains My Boss Forever, Says Suspended NPA MD, Hadiza Bala-Usman

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The suspended managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, has described Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State as her “Forever Boss”.

She made her first public appearance on Thursday since after she was asked to step aside in order to allow for unfettered investigation of the management of the NPA.

OBSERVERS TIMES recall that Bala-Usman was last week Thursday, May 6, 2021 suspended from office over sundry allegations including remittance shortfalls by NPA to the tune of N165.3bn.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, had in a statement on May 6 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari granted to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to set up a panel of enquiry on the activities of the NPA management and as well Hadiza Bala-Usman’s suspension while the investigation last.

Although she has denied the allegations but on Monday, May 10, 2021, Amaechi carried out the presidential directive by inaugurating a 10-man panel of enquiry, which will probe Bala-Usman and the NPA management.

Meanwhile Hadiza, who hails from Katsina State, showed up in Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday as a member of the entourage of the state governor to the Emir of Zazzau’s palace for Eid-el-Fitr festivities.

She took to her social media handles afterwards to announce her presence with a photo of her seated beside Governor El-Rufai at the Sallah event, saying she was at the event with El-Rufai, her “Forever Boss”.

Hadiza Bala-Usman, apart from the traditional sallah prayer, also made a veiled reference to the ongoing probe of NPA activities, saying she was resolute with a belief that “truth always triumphs.”

Bala-Usman wrote: “Eid Mubarak….”Taqabbalallāhu minnā wa minkum”May Allah accept [good deeds] from you and us”.

“At the place of the Emir of Zazzau with my forever Boss @elrufai. We remain resolute in the believe that the truth always triumphs…Allah’s protection and guidance for alway

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Buhari’s regime has lost ideas, best known for blame game –Gov Mohammed

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The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, has come out hard on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying it is full of blame game, nepotism and corruption.

Mohammed , who made this assertion in an interaction with journalists on Thursday at the Ramat House, Bauchi, after the Sallah parade at the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, said the deteriorating economy which has led to widespread insecurity and poverty in the country, was as a result of loss of ideas by the Federal Government.

Mohammed added that there was truth in the assertion by the Southern governors who recently said that the northern part of the country was favoured more than the south.

If you are not fair and equitable in your administration, in your management, if there is nepotism, only one section is given positions in government, then what the southern governors said is true.

Some people are given too much attention to the detriment of others.

“What we know in this country, as a federation, there is always a balance in terms of appointments of federal offices, in terms of appointments even at the local level because if you don’t practise fairness at the top, then you cannot get it at the lower level. And people will begin to think of self-actualisation, self-determination, and so on,” he said.

Mohammed insisted that the Buhari regime had no ideas on how to grow the economy, noting that it was best known for blame game, just as corruption was thriving in the regime more than previous administrations.

“I think the Federal Government has lost ideas on how to grow the economy. They are just involved in a blame game. What they are best known for is blame game, always saying this and that.”

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Four killed in Customs, smugglers gun fight in Oyo

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Four people have been reported dead after a crossfire between operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers in Iseyin area of Oyo State.

The gun fight caused fear among residents celebrating the Eid-el-Fitr while fleeing for safety

Muftau Abilawon, the former Caretaker Chairman of Iseyin Local Government Council, confirmed the crossfire to Newsmen.

“I have been duly informed by a traditional chief, the Ikolaba of Iseyin, Chief Ismail Tikalosoro, who called me and narrated the incident to me on the phone.

He advised that I brief the special adviser to the governor on security about the matter, which I did immediately, and he has promised to intervene,” Mr Abilawon stated.

He added, “I understand that the four corpses were taken to the palace of the Aseyin of Iseyin, where the chiefs appealed for calm and asked the aggrieved residents to deposit the corpses at Fadoks hospital.

“The chiefs also begged them not to set the Customs base in Iseyin ablaze, which they yielded to, but it was too late for the Toyota Hilux van as it was on fire already before the appeal.”

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