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Benue: BIPC Director decries poor status of state properties, rolls out revenue generations projects



By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Managing Director, Benue Investment and Property Company, (BIPC), Limited, Dr. Raymond Asemakaha, has expressed disappointment over the poor state of government owned industries and other properties, saying that the situation is drastically affecting the revenue generation of the State.

Dr. Asemakaha who stated this at a press conference in Makurdi, the state capital, stressed that the company had already entered discussion with Governor Hyacinth Alia-led government to see how the state owned moribund industries and other properties can be transferred to the company to ensure effective  management of such facilities on behalf of the state.

He further said that the company in collaboration with the state government has initiated projects that would stimulate the state economy and improve the GDP from $5.4 to $8million.

“We intend  to consolidate the non-performing assets of the Company in Abuja and Kaduna to make sure that we revamp moribund industries in the state, thereby creating employment and curtailing post-harvest losses.

“Therefore, BIPC is leading reforms that will make Benue state a delight to all investors. The Company  under my watch will be service-driven. As such, we are creating a one-stop-shop where investors can get all the information, process, and amount needed to do business in the state.

“All the assets of the state will be registered and a special desk officer will be created to provide such information. We have  launched  the website, ( to offer diverse information on how business can be done. BIPC will, as from 1st  of March 2024, go digital in all its operations. We have set up the structure for that transition and on that day all manual processes will be suspended for automated one. All these are being put in place so that we could have smooth ways  of doing business in the state,” Dr. Asemekaha stated.

He disclosed that the state government, through the company, has perfected  plans to set up a palm plantation in the three  senatorial zones of the state.

Asemakaha, who noted that palm oil is being imported into the country, said because of the global economic crisis and the blocking of the Red Sea, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get the product, adding  that the state will soon launch Benue Palm Oil.

He said, “We have concluded a plan to set up a palm plantation in each zone of the state so that in a few years to come, we will provide raw materials for the plant with surpluses exported.

“As such, I’ve therefore directed our real estate and investment department to commence work on 10 out of the 23 hectares of land the company has in Abinsi, Guma LGA area of the state, for the palm plantation project.”

The MD said the remaining 13 hectares of land at Abinsi would be used for a low-income earners’ Estate in the state.

“This too, I have directed the real estate department to work, so we could have something for our people, even for those who earn as little as N500,000. Our amortisation policy will permit such low-income earners’ to also have homes,” he said.

He further disclosed that his management has enforced a recovery order for a property that was recovered back in 2019 but was not enforced, saying, “we have commenced the process of turning the space of the 33-room property into a Benue Water  to become a player in the water industry.”

He said as part of a short-term approach to expanding the businesses of the Company, the management has also reintroduced the BIPC pastries.

“We’re optimistic that when we have this on board, we will expand the economy of the state and get more employment for the teeming youth of the state,” he said.

Speaking at the Benue Local Investors Forum (BELIF2023) that was recently held, he said there are positive outcomes.

“Our aspirations are that in the last quarter of this year, we shall organize the Beninvest 2024 Summit, where we shall usher in state economic prosperity similar to or more than that obtainable in Kaduna,” he said.

He also explained that with the summit, BIPC’s target will be to make Benue State the number one investment destination in Nigeria, thereby attracting both foreign and local investment.

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Renewed Hope Initiative: Women in Agriculture, persons with disabilities benefit in Kebbi



By Laiatu Bamaiyi

Wife of the president, Oluremi Tinubu, has disbursed N70 million to 140 women farmers in the North West

The gesture saw 20 women in agriculture from each of the seven states going home with N500,000 each, disbursed under Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme (RHI-WASP).

She also disbursed N100,000 each to 100 persons living with disabilities in the region.

The First Lady, while presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries said the Federal Government would continue to empower women to contribute to sustainable development while also helping to achieve food security.

Speaking at the disbursement ceremony in Birnin Kebbi, she said the maiden edition of the scheme was launched in February in Imo State to encourage women farmers to grow more food in line with the agricultural agenda of the Tinubu administration.

The first lady, who was represented by the wife of the speaker, House of Representatives, Fatima Tajuddeen Abbas, in Birnin Kebbi, affirmed commitment to energise women in agriculture to improve production, including animal husbandry.

“Agriculture plays a pivotal role in achieving sustainable development and food security. Consequently, we are introducing ‘Every Home a Garden’ competition to encourage each Nigerian woman to cultivate a garden at home to feed the family and share with neighbours, we want to see food on every table,” she said.

She disclosed the winner of the competition would pocket N20 million star prize.

The ceremony was attended by wives of the governors of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa and Kano states who also gave goodwill messages.

“Today, we are supporting 20 women farmers per state in the North Central zone with N500,000 each. To this end, a draft of N10,000,000 per state for the North Central zone  Coordinators for onward disbursement to all beneficiaries in their respective states.”

She said the Renewed Hope Initiative will be collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to empower more potential farmers, adding that in this phase, 75 percent of the beneficiaries will be young female farmers while 25 percent will be for young male farmers who will all be specially identified, trained and empowered.

Tinubu stressed that the pre-identified 80 women farmers in each state for the agricultural support programme will be carried along and implored  women farmers receiving support to seize this opportunity to expand their agricultural ventures, contribute to local national food production, and serve as role models for others aspiring to join the agricultural sector.

The event also featured the empowerment of 100 Persons with Disabilities.

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Gombe, UNICEF launch N11bn four-year action plan on food, nutrition



…Spend N100m on child nutrition fund

By Rauf Oyewole, Gombe

The Gombe State Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched a four-year Multi-Sectoral Strategic Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition (GMSPAFN), spanning through 2023-2027 projected to cost N11bn.

According to the UN Agency, over 50 percent of children and women in Gombe are anemic, contributing to the high rate of malnutrition, stunting and wasting.

While speaking at the official launch of the action plan in Gombe on Tuesday, the Chief Field Officer of Bauchi, Tushar Rane urged the state to strive to eradicate malnutrition in the state.

Tushar said that the Food and Nutrition Policy would guide the State in addressing the problem of food and nutrition security from individuals, households, communities, local governments to state levels.

“The Costed Multi-sectoral Strategic Plan will promote diets, services and practices that support optimal nutrition, growth and development for all children, adolescents, and women.

“The strategic plan estimates that the interventions across the state would require a public investment of N11,169,423,741.16 with an average annual public investment cost estimated of N2,035,892,400.00 over the next four years (2023-2027),” he said.

Tushar, who was represented by the Field’s Nutrition Specialist, Philomena Irene, said that Gombe state has contributed N50 million as counterpart contribution for the Child Nutrition Fund (CNF) to address all forms of malnutrition particularly wasting, anaemia and stunting.

He said, “Today, millions of young children are not reaching their full potential because of inadequate nutrition.

“It is our hope that the new policy will provide an overarching framework, covering the multiple dimensions of food and nutrition improvement, with the special focus on nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.”

The UNICEF Chief added that children in the state “are experiencing chronic food poverty. About 30.7 percent of newborns are exclusively breastfed; only 22.5 percent of children aged 6 to 23 months in Gombe receive a minimum acceptable diet and only 8.4 percent receive minimum dietary diversity.

“More than 50 percent of women and children are anemic. These statistics are available in the 2021 MICS. We envisage that the effective implementation of this policy can contribute to alleviating these nutrition gaps in the state. Hence, at UNICEF, we delightfully supported the development of this policy from the scratch. UNICEF mobilised financial and technical support in terms of providing data on nutrition indices and supporting the costing of the policy,” he said.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, said that the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Policy and Multisectoral Plan of Action is a task that must be carried out effectively for the optimal nutritional status of residents of Gombe State, within the time frame of 2023-2027.

He admitted that 2023 is gone and that all hands must be on deck “to avoid a situation where set dates and targets by concerned authorities are not met, for example Health for all by year 2000, Shelter for all by year 2000. My contribution to attaining this Policy is that we must encourage an improvement in the production of protein and vitamin sources from our local, indigenous farm produce, such as sorghum, groundnuts, soya beans, etc.”

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Sokoto inferno: Sen. Wamako sympathises with marketers



Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto), has sympathised with the victims of inferno at the motorcycle and tricycle section of Sokoto central market.

The fire outbreak, which occurred in the early hours of Monday, destroyed many shops and stalls.

Valuable items consumed included; motorcycles, bicycles, and herbal medicine worth millions of Naira.

Special Adviser on Media to Wamakko, Bashar Abubakar, made this known in a statement issued to Newsmen in Sokoto on Monday.

Wamako, who is also the leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, described the incident as a tragic event, while advising the affected marketers to accept the will of God Almighty in good faith.

“I urge the affected traders to remain resilient in the face of adversity. Let me also appeal to the victims to view the incident as part of Allah’s divine plan,” he advised.

He, however, appreciated God that there were no reported casualties in the inferno and prayed to Almighty Allah to replace what was lost in multiple folds.

“I pray for divine intervention, may He replace the immense losses in multiple folds and prevent recurrence of such incidence in future,” he prayed.


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