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Nigeria to begin rice export to Egypt, as RIFAN, Tiamin sign MoU



KEBBI BOAT MISHAP: At Least, 20 Youth- Rice Farmers Feared Dead

…Egyptian investors partner Kebbi on rice production***

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tiamin Rice company for processing and sale of rice locally and internationally.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Deputy Managing Director of Tiamin Rice Company, Mr. Aliyu Ibrahim in Abuja.

Aliyu said the initiative was aimed at cultivation of quality rice paddy by RIFAN, while Tiamin processes and packages with state-of-the-art milling technology for sale locally and internationally, particularly to Egypt.

He said the MoU, which would be operational for a period of two years was signed at the company’s 600-metric tonnes per hour capacity mill in Bauchi State.

“RIFAN and Tiamin share a common agenda in the area of rice farming and milling.

“This is to ensure a sustainable supply chain management of rice under a partnership that seeks to produce, mill and package processed rice of the highest quality for export and local trading.

“With a combined capacity of 920 tonnes per hour from its two mills in Kano and Bauchi states, Tiamin Rice is one of the largest producers of rice in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Aliyu, the company also has a 10,000-hectare rice farm in Udubo, Bauchi State.

According to him, large-scale wet and dry season farming takes place on the farm with state-of-the-art agricultural machinery.

“Though, the company has benefited from six different development finance interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said the intervention was to the tune of over N20 billion, adding that the company had successfully repaid four of the intervention funds.

Aliyu said Tiamin Rice company was the first corporate entity to access the Private Sector-Lead Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (P-AADS) funds from CBN.

In another development, a team of International Investors from Egypt, led by Gen. Walid Soliman-Morsy, is in Kebbi State to explore areas of partnership in the production of rice and other agricultural potentials.

Gov. Atiku Bagudu, who received the investors in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday, informed them that President Muhammadu Buhari had worked so hard in the last seven years to provide an investor-friendly environment.

He said, “Nigeria has also in the period under review been operating a programme, called, ‘Ease of doing business’.

“This is to ensure that all the regulatory and contracts frameworks were made easier and efficient.

“For instance, one of the largest rice mills in Nigeria, WACOT, domiciled in Kebbi state, took only 11 months from land identification to commissioning.”

Gen. Walid Soliman-Morsy, the Leader of the Egyptian investors, with Gov. Atiku Bagudu Egyptian investors partner Kebbi on rice production Partnership

Bagudu said that the proposed partnership between Egypt and the Nigerian investors is apt and timely.

He added that the move was not misplaced as the two countries had an age-long mutually beneficial relationship that would only be bolstered then.

“We will produce together, add value together, and market together as we have commonalities together.

“Nigeria’s 200 million population provides a hub for investments and marketing, so also Egypt’s vast potential and being a gateway to Middle Eastern markets.

“More is being done to make the investments environment friendlier in Kebbi and Nigeria in general,” Bagudu said.

He said that his administration had provided a conducive environment for investors to establish economic ventures in the state over the years.

Bagudu pledged to collaborate and support the Egyptian delegation for stronger partnership in agriculture.

The governor thanked the delegation for choosing Kebbi state for their visit.

Earlier, Soliman-Morsi, acknowledged the hospitality of the people of the state, adding that the two countries would mutually benefit from the partnership.

He said his country has the potential to engage in the production and marketing of rice.

Also speaking, the President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, said that Nigeria is moving towards self-sufficiency in food production since 2021 and is taking over from Egypt as the erstwhile number one rice producer in Africa.

Goronyo added that Kebbi is the birthplace of the rice revolution in Nigeria, sequel to the flag-off of the Anchor Borrower’s Programme by Buhari in 2015.

“In addition to the uncommon commitment of Bagudu, Kebbi is playing key roles in ensuring sustainable general food security in the country,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO/MD) of EGTA Investments, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf, who introduced the Egyptian delegation to Bagudu, described the state as the home of Nigeria’s agriculture.

He said that the visit would afford the members of the delegation the opportunity to see the colossal potentials for investments in agriculture.


Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others



 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful



LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan



Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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