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Makinde commissions first cassava-based sorbitol factory in Africa



…Approves reconstruction of 48km Ido-Eruwa road

…Promises to continue  prioritising security in Oyo

Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, commissioned the first cassava-based sorbitol factory in Africa owned by Psaltery International Limited and located in Alayide Village, Ado-Awaye, Oyo State.

The Governor declared that his government will continue to prioritise the safety and security of lives and properties, while providing enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Governor Makinde, who also announced the approval of the reconstruction of the 48-kilometre Ido-Eruwa Road,  during the commissioning exercise, said that his administration’s commitment to reducing the infrastructure deficit in the state remains a top priority.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that building infrastructure needed for businesses to thrive is a top function that governments must continue to undertake.

The Governor promised the people of the state that the present administration will continue to ensure development that targets the economy of the state.

He added that apart from the planned reconstruction of Ido-Eruwa Road, the State Government will also embark on the rehabilitation of feeder roads across the state.

He said, “Today, Psaltery International Limited is making history as we commission the first cassava-based sorbitol factory in Oyo State, in Nigeria, in Africa and the second in the world.

“Each time I am privileged to attend an event like this, I am again reminded that the decision we took in the early part of our administration to create the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency, separate from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was a solid strategy.

“We took the decision and we chose to be deliberate about our actions. Seeing you all gathered here today to celebrate this agribusiness milestone at Psaltery International, we know that we made the right choice to be deliberate.

“We needed to move away from the years of government thinking they could run the business of agriculture. Now, this is a private sector-led initiative but the government is in full support.

“Our strategy is based on one principle, and the principle is that there cannot be agricultural transformation without rural transformation.

“If you look at our communities, there is no water, no good road. That was why one of the first projects we awarded was the 65km Moniya-Iseyin Road. So, our model has achieved great success for us.

“In the last three years, Oyo State has attracted over N23 billion in agribusiness investment and about $125m in development partners-blended finances for rural roads, agro-logistics, markets and industrial hubs in investment into this sector.

“We have also been very strategic about how we apply the funds to accomplish our goals. So, the market had to drive the demands. And I promised our people that our infrastructural development will hunt our economy.

“Apart from Moniya-Iseyin road, we moved on to Apete-Akufo to take advantage of the Akufo Farm Settlement. We are not done, as we are presently constructing the 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin road.

“Lastly, we are constructing the 76.76km Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin road. So, the catchment area for Psaltery is not just around Iseyin, Ado-Awaye and Ibarapa axes, you can go to other parts of Oke-Ogun and also get to Oyo zone.

“You can also connect to Ogbomoso zone. All the zones of Oyo State are connected with the hub now being Iseyin.

“Well, we will not stop here. The Speaker (of Oyo State House of Assembly) has been on my case for the Ido-Eruwa road.

“I am making the promise to you again that we will soon start reconstructing the 48km Ido-Eruwa road, because all of these will reduce travel time, which is essential to agribusiness success.”

The Governor maintained that the administration will shift its focus to rehabilitating feeder roads so that the people of the state would have ease of movement within the cities, towns and communities and across the state.

“Our next focus is to rehabilitate the feeder roads across the state under the RAAMP. Although we paid to access the counterpart funds in 2019 as soon as this administration came in, we have just received funds few months ago from the World Bank.

“So far, we have sent 3,000 youths to an integrated farm in Nasarawa State. Today, we can confidently say that agribusiness is taking hold in Oyo State.

“My request is, some of those youths we have trained should be accommodated here and we will support you to settle them in. You can sleep here with your two eyes closed if you are sure this place is safe and secure.

“And as a government, we will continue to prioritise the safety and security of all the citizens and residents of Oyo State. If you are doing what you are not supposed to be doing, we will remove you from this state.

“So, the last request was that you want pipe water from Eruwa dam to this place. This is one of the pet projects of Mr. Speaker, and he has been putting pressure on me to reactivate the dam. Now, you have given me a good reason to accede to the request of the Speaker. So, we will look at it and I will say that you should consider it done,” the Governor said.

In his remark, Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who was represented by his wife, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, commended Governor Makinde for implementing policies that encourage agribusiness.

He equally charged the Governor to continue to encourage mechanised farming.

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State police non-negotiable — Jonathan



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described state police as a non-negotiable entity that Nigeria must establish.

Mr Jonathan, who was president from 2010-2015, said the conversation must shift to the prevention of abuse by governors.

He stated this on Monday at the ongoing dialogue on state police organized by the House of Representatives.

He said most times governors abuse institutions, however, the challenges are not sufficient to stop the creation of state police.

The former president said state police was wildly accepted by the delegates at the 2014 Confab.

“We can only end kidnapping and other forms of insecurity through the creation of state police,” Mr Jonathan said.

Mr Jonathan’s stance contradicts the position of the inspector general of police, Kayode Egbetokun, who opposed the establishment of state police.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Ben Kalu argued that the current security situation in Nigeria requires a multilayer approach to insecurity.

He stated that over N5 billion has been paid in ransoms to kidnappers, a figure that starkly exposes the alarming growth of this criminal enterprise in the country.

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Edo Guber: INEC releases final list of candidates



The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the final list of candidates for the forthcoming Edo State Governorship Election.

This is even as the Commission said that the political parties are permitted to start campaign in public from Wednesday 24th April 2024.

The campaigns will end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024.

In a statement by Sam Olumekun,
National Commissioner & Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC disclosed that 17 political parties have fielded candidates for the election out of which 16 are male while one is female.

Olumekun said the final list has been published at INEC’s office in Edo State and also uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms for public information.

“The Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the final list of candidates for the Edo State Governorship Election. Following the initial primaries, the Commission published the personal particulars of the Governorship candidates and their running mates in our State and Local Government offices in Edo State.

“Overall, seventeen (17) political parties are fielding candidates in the election. Sixteen (16) are male while one (1) is female. The final list, which also gives the breakdown of the candidates by age, academic qualifications and disability, has been published at our office in Edo State and also uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information.

“With the publication of the final list of candidates for the Edo State Governorship Election, the next activity is electioneering campaign.

“Therefore, Political Parties are now permitted to start campaign in public from Wednesday 24th April 2024 and end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024 as indicated in items 8 and 12 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election,” parts of the statement read.

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Tinubu unveils African Counter-Terrorism summit



President Bola Tinubu unveiled the African Counter-Terrorism Summit at the Office of the National Security Adviser in Abuja on Monday.

The event which is currently ongoing and organised by Nigeria, with support from the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, will be held from Monday to Tuesday, April 23, 2024, with the theme: ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address the Evolving Threat of Terrorism’.

The Presidency announced on Sunday that the summit aims to enhance multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation.

Details later…

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