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$2 billion : Dangote laments huge forex on rice importation.

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Chairman of Dangote Rice Limited, Aliko Dangote yesterday lamented the whooping forex as Nigeria consumes 6.5 Mtn of rice which costs the nation over 2 billion dollars annually, adding that it is heartening that the federal government now has policy direction that encourages private sector’s active participation in agriculture.

He made the lamentation during the launch of the Dangote rice outgrower scheme in Goronyo, Goronyo Local government, Sokoto, which was witnessed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar where farmers were presented with rice seeds, fertilizers, nets, agro-chemicals.

Also, a tripartite agreement spare headed by the company to create jobs for 16,000 outgrower rice farmers in the state signed amid excitement and a pledge by all parties to ensure the success of the scheme to make Nigeria self sufficient in rice cultivation.

The Chairman, Aliko Dangote disclosed that he was mover to go into rice cultivation because of the genuine interest of the Federal government to revive agriculture as the mainstay of the economy, and reduce importation of foods that could be produced locally.

His statement reads, “buoyed by the policy direction of the federal government, we at Dangote decided to key into this by establishing Dan gone Rice Limited to partner with states to redress the present situation where a huge sumo forex is spent on importation of rice.

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“In the next three years we want to produce one million tons of quality rice and make it available and affordable to the people. We hope to do 150, 000 ha and when we are done, Nigeria will not have anything to do with importation of rice.

“Dangote Rice outgrowers scheme is committed to creating significant number of jobs, increasing the incomes of smallholders farmers and ensuring food security in the country by providing high quality seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals as well as technical assistance on best agricultural practice to farmers.

“This Scheme will help to diversify the economy, alleviate poverty and reduce the nation’s import bill. The scheme has been designed as a one stop solution for the rice value chain,” he explained .

Robert Coleman, the Dangote Rice Project Director, said the Sokoto operation was a demonstration phase to familiarize the farming community with the programme, train extension workers and lead farmers as well as test modern technologies.

He further noted that they would have 25,000 ha cultivated by nearly 50,000 outgrowers in 2017 in addition to hundreds of jobs expected to be created by the end of that year.

Remarking, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State expressed delight at the event, saying the coming of Dangote to invest in the state was as a result of his sustained effort towards inviting prospective investors to the state.

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The governor added that under the scheme, just as it had done with the federal government, would distribute nets, water pumping machines and fertiliser T subsidised prices to help the farmers have good yield.

Similarly, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Umar Tambuwal, disclosed that the scheme would cover 10 local governments in the stated and that the state government is committing several millions of naira to support the famers in the scheme.

According to him, “the farmers participating in the 5000 ha pilot scheme, the state government is giving out free nets to fight against queue a birds during production which is costing the state N48 million. The state will release and sell 5000 units of water pump worth N170 million at a subsidised rate of N10, 000 each.

“We will also distribute 5000 bags rice seed (Faro 44) worth N32.5 million while fertilizer will be sold 50 per cent subsidised rate to complement the outgrower farmers.”

Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar however, commended President Buhari for his diversifying efforts, urging Nigerians to pray for him.

He commended the Sokoto State government for the encouragement and support being given to the outgrowers scheme, saying it is a thing of joy that the state is also involved by way of giving the famers some of the inputs needed so that the scheme could succeed.

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The National President of Rice Farmers Association, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo described the scheme as one of the potential means of making rice available and at low cost to the people because the farmers are encouraged to put all their best into it.

He said he has no doubt the scheme would success because it a private sector driven and that given the pedigree of the Alhaji Dangote in business, he was sure there the scheme would be sustainable and sooner than later other states will key into it.

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Ex-Oyo ALGON boss rejoices with Ibarapa-born billionaire Ayandele at 60

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Former  Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria )ALGON) in Oyo State, Chief Ademola Ojo  has felicitated with All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Dr Olusola Ayandele as he clocked 60.

Ojo, described the Ibarapa-born billionaire  as a patriot, politician and leader who have contributed to the advancement of the nation’s democracy as well as nurtured many individuals to greatness.

The ex-council gaffer states this  in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Ibadan  the state capital.

Ayandele was an APC governorship aspirant in the 2019 general election and presently a senatorial hopeful.

According to the ex-ALGON Chief, the renowned businessman and philanthropist had brought great political, economic as well as social success to the state and Nigeria.

“I feel inspired and motivated most times by your doggedness, forthrightness and knack for truth at all times. You are leader worthy of emulation.

“I celebrate you my dear brother and leader. Your courage, character, wisdom, strength and simplicity stands you out always. May the Almighty fill your future with blessings, ” he said.

Also, Mr Olusola Adeleke, a Personal Assistant to Ayandele, joined to felicitate his boss whom he described as reliable, dependable and visionary boss.

He   described Ayandele as a renowned businessman, philanthropist, leader and political gargantuan with uncommon sagacity.

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“Your commitment and selfless service to humanity has brought tremendous development to Ibarapaland, Oyo State as well as Nigeria. You are a rare gem boss and you will forever be appreciated.

“I wish you more years of sound health, peace and glory as you celebrate. Happy birthday to my dear boss,” he submitted.

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Oyo APC scribe celebrates Ayandele at 60

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Caretaker Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo state, Hon.  Mojeed Olaoya, has described the former gubernatorial aspirant of the party in the state, Dr. Olusola Ayandele, as a pride to Nigeria and humanity as a whole.

Olaoya remarked while celebrating the  60th birthday of the Ibarapa-born Ayandele who is a staunch player in the business and political space of the country.

In a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday and which he personally signed, Olaoya expressed his delight about Ayandele being always available to help the cause of the poor and less-privileged in the society.

“For the good people of Ibarapaland, Oyo state and Nigeria in general, the man (Olusola Ayandele) is a rare blessing and he deserves to be celebrated everyday having made a lot of difference as a businessman, politician and philanthropist for a very long time.

“As an academic and scholar, Ayandele made his indelible mark by imparting knowledge on a great population of young people. And more importantly, his positive contribution to the economy of Nigeria cannot be underestimated as he is leading investor and creator of employment opportunities of all time. To crown it all, Dr. Ayandele decided to dabble into partisan politics to enable him do more for the society and he has not disappointed his people.

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“To this end, it is worthwhile to join several thousands of people globally to celebrate the enigma known as Eruobodo on this auspicious occasion of his 60th birthday anniversary as we pray God to grant him the opportunity of long life, sound health and prosperity”, the statement  added.

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Oyo commissioner, Olatunbosun urges citizens to disregard panic messages over ultimatum to herdsmen

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Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun has disclosed that citizens of the State should disregard a voice note message urging people in Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday 22nd of January due to a purported ultimatum issued by some individuals to a Fulani Community in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

Recall that the State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has warned individuals to respect the constitutional rights of any Nigerian to live anywhere in the country in a peaceful manner and condemned the said ultimatum in a state broadcast to the people of the state

A voice note, being circulated on Wednesday by one woman from London simply known as ‘Remi’ has urged residents of Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday so as to avoid any crisis that might arise from the outcome of the ultimatum issued to the Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan.

Olatubosun said the message was targeted at causing panic among the people and to tarnish the efforts of the present administration in tackling insecurity in the State.

He said Oyo State indigenes at home and in the diaspora ought to give support to the government and not to cause disaffection and unnecessary panic over an issue that has been adequately addressed by the government and concerned security agencies.

He added that the people of the State, especially in Ibadan should go about their businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.

“It is funny to hear that somebody was sending voice note from London, warning Ibadan people not to venture out on Friday because of an ultimatum issued to a Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan, in Ibarapa area.

“This is an issue that has been addressed by the government that nobody has the power to give such ultimatum, the constitution of Nigeria does not allow for it, especially when the said Community is not constituting security threat to lives and properties of the people.

“The government of Oyo State and security apparatus are working around the clock to give the people of the State the required peaceful atmosphere that will engender economic growth, we therefore urge our people, especially in Ibadan to ignore the voice note message and go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.”

The commissioner called on the residents of the State to be wary of scaremongers who he said could create psychological crisis where such was not in existence.

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