…As NEXIM Bank to disburse $1bn to Nigerian exporters, others***
Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Sunday night attacked Ungwan Pah ll Gwandara in the Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing 14 persons.
During the attack, 21 persons reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury from gunshots and machete cuts.
Although, the state Police Command had yet to confirm the attack, a government source said troops had been deployed in the area.
The state Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, condemned the attack, saying that criminal elements must be stopped from killing the people or causing division among them.
It was gathered that five bodies of the victims had been deposited in a mortuary in the late Ibrahim Yakowa General Hospital, Kafanchan, the headquarters of the council while the injured were receiving medical attention at the same hospital.
An eyewitness said nine corpses were still left at Jagindi. He said the people were rounding off prayers after wedding when the attackers stormed the area, shooting at everybody.
“They shot sporadically and escaped,” he said.
The Vice-Chairman of Jema’a LG, Mr Milkah Ngboni, accompanied by security operatives, visited the community to assess the situation.
Ngboni confirmed the death of five persons and told reporters he was on his way to Jagindi to get details on the attack.
He said security men had been deployed in the affected village to fish out the attackers.
El-Rufai’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said in the statement that the governor had directed Jema’a Local Government Council and the State Emergency Management Agency to, as a matter of urgency, work towards taking care of the injured.
The statement reads, “Troops have been deployed in Ungwan Pa-Gwandara in the Jema’ Local Government Area of Kaduna State following an attack on the community by gunmen.
In the meantime, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank has entered into a $1bn trade facilitation pact with the African Export-Import Bank for Nigeria and other West African countries.
The signing of the Memoradum of Understanding was one of the high points of events during the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt.
A statement from NEXIM Bank on Monday explained that the MoU would be implemented under the Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme to support trade and investment flows between Nigeria and other African countries.
Under the agreement, AFREXIM will provide $1bn Line of Credit, which will be disbursed by NEXIM to qualifying beneficiary projects and transactions in support of intra-African trade and investments.
According to the MOU, the fund is available to support growth of trade between Nigeria and other African countries with special emphasis on value addition, particularly in primary goods and commodities. The statement said the $1bn would assist in enhancing local earnings and job creation.
The fund, it added, was also available to support capital and investment flows as well as projects being sponsored by Nigerians in other countries.
While speaking during the signing, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of NEXIM, Abba Bello, said the deal would go a long way in boosting access of Nigerian exporters to investment capital and investment guarantee instruments, including the Small & Medium Enterprises. He said through the pact, the bank would be able to promote intra-African trade and increasing the volume of formal trade.
In implementing this programme, the MD also highlighted that the NEXIM bank would be working with all stakeholders, including exporters, investment partners as well as other financial institutions, both domestic and foreign to realise the NATIPP programme objectives.
“The Kaduna State Security Council stated that the deployment of troops is intended to further secure the area and provide an atmosphere for extensive investigation of the sad incident and the apprehension and prosecution of the culprits.
“Condemning the attack, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said that criminal elements must not be allowed to divide the people and wantonly take lives.
“The governor has sent a message of condolence to the community, expressing his deep sadness at the loss of lives and his sympathy for the victims and their families. In his reaction, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Jema’a/Sanga Federal Constituency, Shehu Garba, condemned the attack, noting that it was another affront to the fragile peace in the southern part of the state.
“Garba called for calm among residents of the community.
“We should refuse to be pushed into taking retaliatory measures which the enemy wants to exploit to deny us yet another Christmas and New Year celebration and perhaps peaceful elections next year.”