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Over 30 per cent farmland lost to flooding in 2018 – Uduaghan

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The Delta South Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan has lamented the devastating effects of flooding this year, 2018.

He said “it has led to premature harvesting and destruction of farmlands, including fish ponds in the country, particularly in the oil-rich region.”

Uduaghan made the assertion at his Warri residence while speaking in commemoration of the 2018 World Food Day.

The former Delta State governor said 30 percent farmlands have been lost to the ravaging floods.

He said the situation will no doubt result in great losses to farmers, as well as negatively affect the already improving self-sufficiency drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Government.

“Over 30 per cent of our farmlands have been overtaken by the floods, including fish ponds.

“As shown on AIT last night, some of the farmers have had to hurriedly harvest the immature farm produce, and are selling them at less than 40 per cent of their market value.

“Their future seems to be hopeless. As we mark the day, let us remember the losses and sufferings of these our farmers.”

Uduaghan said concerted efforts must be taken to address the plight of farmers over their loss, especially as the country joins the rest of world to mark the World Food Day.

He called on governments at all levels, corporate organisations and concerned individuals to assist the farmers who had lost their multi-million investment to the flood.

“Whatever we can do individuals, as organised groups, or as a government will go a long way in alleviating their plight,” he said.

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Agriculture

Bauchi Gov-elect To Stand Trial Over False Declaration Of Assets

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Bala Mohammed, Governor-elect of Bauchi State, is set to face a fresh six-count charge bordering on alleged failure to declare his assets and false information.

Bala will be arraigned on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mohammed, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the 2019 Bauchi State governorship election after defeating Mohammed Abubakar, the incumbent Governor of the state, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to information sent by the court registrar to Chile Okoroma, the EFCC Director of Legal Services and Prosecution, Mohammed will be arraigned in Court 26 at the FCT High Court, Maitama in Abuja.

The charge read in part: “That you Bala A. Mohammed on or about October 24, 2016 at the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory made a false statement to the detective, Ishaya Dauda, investigating officer with the Economic Governance Section of the EFCC, Abuja to wit: that you acquired house situated at No. 2599 and 2600, Cadastal Zone AO4 Asokoro District Abuja through a mortgage facility from Aso Savings & Loan Bank Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 09 (2) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39(2)(b) of the same Act.”

In a recent interview with Punch newspaper, Mohammed had said his trial by the EFCC was “completely politically-motivated”.

He continued: “But I believe in justice and that was why I went to the court of justice. Definitely! I have been under probe by the EFCC and because I believe in accountability and was influential in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, I chose not to run away.

“I will stand and answer all questions. I have passed the first battle by winning my case against the Federal Government on human rights, for arbitrarily imprisoning me and then calling me names. Of course, N5m has been awarded in my favour and the next one is the other spurious charges against me. I believe in justice and equity.

“And if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has discovered some documents which shows that over 2,000 ghost workers have been inputted into the salaries and arrears of Bauchi State in the last four years and over N400bn has come to Bauchi and we cannot see anything that has been done for N5bn, if I don’t do it (probe him), then I have abdicated my responsibility.”

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Agriculture

We Produce 90% Of The Rice We Eat, Says Nigeria’s Minister Of Agriculture

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Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says 90 per cent of the rice consumed in the country is produced locally.

Ogbeh revealed this on Tuesday at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting, which held at the Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.

Ogbeh, who was represented by Karima Babangida, the Director of Extension Services in the ministry, said this was achievable to local producers because of the backing they received from present administration, noting that the country is shifting “to eating what we grow, rather than eating imported food’’.

He said: “One very good example that we see today is the home-grown Nigerian rice. Hitherto, Nigeria has been a major and largest importer of rice from Thailand and this implies largest importer in the world.

“But today, we have been able to achieve a paradigm shift in the right direction and we are now producing 90 per cent of the rice we eat in the country, I think we should appreciate our farmers here.

“Nigeria does not only have the capacity to feed itself, it also becomes a major actor in agricultural exports to other African countries, Europe and American countries, including the Far East, especially China.”

He said other sectors of the agriculture economy are witnessing the same trend and that with joint efforts of stakeholders, the country can achieve balance of trade in food items.

He pointed out the need for all stakeholders to collaborate to continue to develop the great potential in the country.

Ibrahim Garba, Chairman of the occasion and the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, noted that the future of the Nigerian economy lay on the shoulders of agriculture.

Garba, who was represented by Prof. Ezra Bako-Amans, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), said: “Nigeria has all it takes to lead the African trans-border trade in food and fibre. It can cut its global share too in a number of crops it has comparative advantages in their production.

“The world’s cotton economy for instance, is about 1 trillion dollars. Needless to say, that cotton used to be one of the most important fibre crops in Nigeria, but down the line, we lost relevance on this crop.

“With the current renewed focus on agriculture, this glory can be reclaimed and Nigeria can have her fair share in the global cotton industry.”

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Agriculture

How 45-year-old herdsman killed farmer

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An Osogbo Chief Magistrates’ Court in Osun on Tuesday remanded a 45-year-old herdsman, Abubakar Bello, in Ilesa Prison, over alleged murder of a farmer, Zachariah Oyebamiji.

The Prosecutor, Insp Elisha Olusegun, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 13, at 12.30 p.m., at Ila-Orangun, Osun

Bello is facing a two-count charge of murder.

Olusegun said that the accused conspired with others at large and killed Oyebamiji, on his farm.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 324 and 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 34 vol. 11, Laws of Osun, 2002.

The plea of the defendant was not taken by the court.

In the ruling, Magistrate Mary Awodele, ordered that the defendant be kept behind bars in Ilesa, pending legal advice from the Office of the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Awodele adjourned the case until May 20, for mention., NAN reports.

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