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FOOD BLOCKADE: Prices Skyrocket In Nsukka, Aba, Environs

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Following the order to block the supply of foodstuffs to the South by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, prices of food items have skyrocketed in daily markets in parts of Enugu State and Aba, Abia State.

Meanwhile, the Association of South East town unions, ASETU, has described the blockade as a good opportunity for the people of the South East to enhance their agriculture and produce more foods.

Also, Leaders of Omo Eko Pataki including Chief Bode George, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju (retd) and Mr Gbadebo Dallas, yesterday, urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to embark on the agricultural revolution in the state, following the blockage of food items supply by northern traders to the south.

Similarly, Dean School of Post Graduate Studies, Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Prof Benjamin Okaba, has charged Niger Delta State governments to take the blockade of food items as a challenge to rejig their agricultural policies to boost food production.

A cattle dealer in Orba, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, Jonas Ndidiamaka, told Vanguard that the development has affected cattle business in his area.

He said “This development is affecting our business because we don’t know what to do when we run out of stock. Prices of cattle are higher now than the last Christmas season. A cow of N120,000 during Christmas season now sells for N160,000, while those sold for N200,000 before, now sells for N280,000.”

Also, a banker at border town to the Northern Nigeria, Obollo Afor, Ifeanyi Anigbo, lamented a drastic drop in transaction. Anigbo, who told Vanguard that most of his clients were foodstuff dealers and that the development has affected the volume of transactions he usually had with them.

Aba

In Aba, Abia State, a bag of onions that previously sold for N20,000 now sells for N30,000.

Onions dealer at Orie Ugba market Umuahia, who identified herself as Matam Bala told Vanguard that a bag of onions which she bought from Aba Onion market last week was way-billed to her Tuesday, at the cost of N30,000.

Following the 50 percent increase in the price at the point of purchase, the quantity that previously sold for N200 now sells between N300 and N400.

The worst-hit appears to be tomatoes, pepper and other perishables from the North.

It’s a good thing for Igbo —ASETU

ASETU in a statement by its National President, Chief Emeka Diwe said, the decision of Northern foodstuff traders was “a dream come through” for the people of the South East, adding that “ASETU has since created alternatives for Ndigbo.

“The blockade on food supplies to Igboland by the North cannot make us cower, or shake or scamper for help. We prepared for it.

“We have noted with great delight the statements by some Northern groups in which they threatened to end the supply of food items to our land. We are also aware that MACBAN and other foodstuffs and cattle dealers’ associations in the North have begun to grapple with enforcing these threats.

“What is really exciting about this move by the North is that it has helped the plan of Ndigbo through ASETU to attain total self-sufficiency in food production, and it will certainly within a short time put a stop to the capital flight caused by the imperialism of the Northern agro-cartels in Igboland.‘‘

Sanwo-Olu must start Lagos Agric Revolution now —Bode George, Olarenwaju, Dallas

Leaders of the group, who were reacting to the recent blockade of foodstuffs from the north to the south, said Lagos State is blessed with nutrient-rich agricultural fields that can quickly be marshalled into farmlands.

They said: “The recent action which halted the convoy of trailers from bringing tomatoes, peppers, onions and all kinds of good stuff to the south should awaken the leadership of Lagos state to redirect its policies in widening its agricultural investments.

“Lagos State which is naturally our foremost concern as ?m? Eko Pataki should, henceforth, use a massive workforce of her unemployed youths across the IBILE traditional enclave, whipping our vast and enriched lands into huge agricultural holdings. ‘‘

N-Delta states should synergies, rejig agricultural policies —Okaba

Prof Okaba, said: “When they say necessity is the mother of invention, that means that when you are faced with a situation like this, you should take it as a decent challenge and think of what you can do within and outside the box to grow our economy.

“I think it is an opportunity for us to rejig those processes that God had given us. Rather than panic, I think this is an opportunity for us to do the needful, we have the population, we have the graduates that are not working, let the government open up farms and unemployment will be dealt with. The issues of youths restiveness and unemployment will be taken care of by this challenge.

“I am calling for synergy among the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the region, they should come together and exchange ideas on how they can boost agricultural productions.”

We’ll ensure food production, supply to South not affected —MBF

Meanwhile,  Middle-Belt Forum, MBF, has assured Nigerians that the Central region would ensure that food production and supply to the South won’t be affected by the  blockade upon by members by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria.

MBF  in a statement by its Secretary (Kaduna), Mr John Haruna, said, “All ethnic nationalities within the Middle Belt region comprising of the people from Plateau, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, the Federal Capital Territory, alongside Southern Kaduna, Southern Bauchi, Southern Kebbi, Southern Gombe, Southern Yobe State and Southern Borno have disassociated themselves from the  blockade of food supply to the Southern part of the country.

“The call for the blockade is laughable and unacceptable. So, we from the Middle Belt region of Nigeria shall continue to transact, and supply abundant food items to the South. ‘‘

Vanguard

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Government

Gov Fintiri Meets CAN Leadership, Reels Out Scorecard

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—I’ll Definitely Take You To The Adamawa Of Your Dream – Gov Fintiri

By Muhammad B Muhammad

Ahead of the forthcoming elections, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State who is seeking for re-election under the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has met with leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state.

He was at the CAN State Secretariate in Yola Monday at the instance of the leadership where the officials asked him what he intends to do for the state if re-elected for a second tenue in office.

He started with the security sector where he narrated how his administration has redefined the security architecture that was hitherto in the state of shamble.

He said the government has injected thinking and funds that changed the narratives, enabling the citizens sleep with their two eyes close across the state.

On education, Fintiri said his administration has inherited a comatose system but injected a lot of commitment and resources to revive the sector.

According to him, the successes recorded has helped the government to renovating 5,000 classrooms, announcing that arrangements are in the pipeline to upgrade ten legacy schools in the state.

He added that the government has provided free education and relieved parents burden of payment of WAEC and NECO adding however that UNICEF has also built eighty schools in Fufore and Guyuk and it is set to construct more.

Governor Fintiri has made clarifications over some unwarranted rumours on the workforce, saying his administration has never sacked 10,000 workers as being speculated in some quarters.

He said the Government has only stopped the last minute biased recruitment of 1,500 teachers by then outgoing administration and employed 2,000 competent teachers through a clean process.

Speaking on the Health sector, Fintiri said over 100 primary healthcare centres were built and renovated, eight new cottage hospitals with staff quarters were built and equipped with modern facilities while health workers were also employed.

The Governor said his administration is also reforming the infrastructural sector, as the government has constructed 347km rural roads, built many urban roads in the state capital and some towns.

Governor Fintiri said his administration has initiated Adamawa Agribusiness Support Programme to tap the potentiality in the agric sector for youth employment, improve revenue generation and welfare of the citizens.

He said the Government has also cleared backlog of gratuity of retired workers to the tune of N5b, improved payment of monthly pensions and welfare of retirees across the state.

The Governor has also spoke on environment, housing, Internally Generated Revenue among other sectors and sought for support of the Chiristian Leaders, promising to redouble efforts if reelected.

Earlier, the State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Dami Mamza said Christians in the state are committed to Adamawa unity as according to him, God has endowed the state with all the potentialities to achieve greatness for the citizens.

Hightlight of the meeting was questions and answers session.

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Government

Adamawa: Primary Sch Teachers, Health Workers, LG Staff To Enjoy National Minimum Wage

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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

It appears that the incessant calls by Primary School Teachers, Primary Health Care and Local Government Workers in Adamawa State on salary increment have come to an end as henceforth they will start enjoying the national minimum wage.

Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri revealed this while addressing Primary Health Care Workers who were on a one thousand man march solidarity visit in the Government House, Yola, Monday.

He said arrangements have been concluded for the payment, assuring them however that the government will also address the issues of their leave grant allowances and promotions.

The Governor further told the workers that the government is working on some structural reforms to enable primary Health Care Workers’ remuneration go intune with Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS).

The Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Suleiman Saidu said the visit was to show solidarity for Governor Fintiri for his numerous achievements not only in the health sector but the entire state as a whole.

Speaking separately, Malam Yahaya Sa’idu, Lawan Abubakar Umar and Emanuel Cartwell commended Governor Fintiri for providing them motivation that enabled them to achieve excellence and vowed as grassroot workers to mobilize massive votes for his re-election.

The State Chairman of Medical Health Care Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Usman Babbada thanked Governor Fintiri for implementing promotion benefits at the hospital services management board up to 95%.

The one thousand man march solidarity to Governor Umaru Fintiri by the primary school health workers was commenced from Women Development Centre, Yola and terminated at Banquet Hall Government House, Yola.

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Government

Adamawa Govt Approves 16.6km Roads Network At 1,000 Housing Estate Malkohi

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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

Adamawa State Executive Council at its first 2023 meeting has approved 16.6km roads network at the 1,000 Housing Units Malkohi in Yola South Local Government Area at the cost N3.744b.

According to the resolution of the council meeting presided over by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the project was awarded to Messrs Jodas Salamu Global Nigeria Limited.

State Commissioner of Works and Energy, Alh Adamu Atiku Abubakar revealed this to newsmen after the council meeting that held in the Council Chambers, Government House, Yola Monday.

Abubakar added that the road network project which is to be completed in 12 months, is inline with the policies of the present administration to ensuring rural and urban renewal.

The Commissioner further said the Council after deliberations has approved construction and renovation of 12 lots of classroom blocks, laboratories and library in Government Secondary School Fufore.

He said the project awarded at N151m is being spread across 12 independent contractors adding that work will soon commence.

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