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Dangote Inaugurates Multi Billion Naira Rice Processing Plant in Jigawa

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The Dangote  Rice Outgrower Scheme in Jigawa State reached a turning point yesterday when the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote laid a foundation stone for the construction of a multi-billion Naira rice processing mill in Hadin, Jigawa state.

The mill with a capacity to process 16 metric tons of paddy rice per hour, when completed, will in a year process paddy rice worth N14 billion bought directly from the famers in Jigawa at market rate.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony in Hadin, Kaugama local government area, Dangote said the commencement of the construction of the integrated rice processing plant was the culmination of series of events which began with the signing of a $1billion agreement with the federal government for the integrated rice production in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Jigawa.

“We have continued to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrowers programme thereby creating thousands of jobs, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers. Also, creating access to finance, mechanization and irrigation services so as to enhance agricultural productivity.”, he stated.

Recalling that the Dangote Rice limited started the outgrowers scheme in 2016 with thousands of hectares of land  in Hadejia, Jigawa state, creating over 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) to farmers, the business mogul said with the new ultra modern mill enough paddy rice will be grown and harvested for processing.

According to him, the mill which will take only months for installation and commissioning is the first in the series of five other mills coming up in Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger States in the first phase, while in the second phase, other mills will be built in Nasarawa, Kogi, and other states.

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Said he: “When these planned six mills come fully on stream, we will achieve a capacity of seven hundred thousand metric tons per annum of Parboiled rice, which will make Dangote Rice the largest rice producer in Africa and will make a bold step in making Nigeria self-sufficient in Rice production, stop importation Nduka save the nation foreign exchange.”

Dangote stated further that towards co-creating value for all stakeholders, the company has engaged about 20,000 out growers who are expected to produce an average of 180,000 tons of paddy rice on about 30,000 hectares of land. “We are focused on engaging in the region of 300,000 farmers in the next 12 months when our rice mills are all functional and we achieve steady state.”

“We will continue to launch massive agricultural projects across the country in rice and dairy farming. Our push for backward integration in providing our own raw materials on a massive scale has led to the planned investment of $4.6 billion over the next three years in sugar, rice and dairy production alone. That will eliminate the country’s reliance on imported materials, and the foreign exchange headaches that comes with it.”

In his opening remarks, the Dangote Group Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin explained that the Dangote Rice team has been involved in scaling up the outgrower operations to a least 5,000 hectares this season and this will very soon increase and grow to over 15,000 hectares cultivated per cycle or season to fully optimise operations.

He said the establishment of a Multi-billion Naira state-of-the-art integrated rice processing facility to process at least 260 metric tons of rice paddy per day grown which is produced from thousands of local rice out growers within Jigawa state is a giant step forward and expresses his company’s confidence and faith in local farmers to continuously stand with Dangote to make this project a success.

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Located on 25 hectares site in Hadin, Edwin noted that the mill is earmarked to begin operations in the last quarter of 2018. “During the construction phase and when it becomes fully operational, hundreds of employment opportunities will be created, knowledge transference and skills developed among our teeming youthful population thereby boosting local economy.”

According to him, “the Jigawa famers are in for a good times as the 125,000 metric tons of paddy rice that this plant requires for processing will be brought from the farmers of Jigawa for an estimated purchase price of N14 billion per annum. This is a huge benefit for the farmers in Jigawa. This mill will be producing high quality parboiled rice that competes with the best in the world this is in-line with our continuous aim to touch the lives of millions who believe in the Dangote brand.”

“Jigawa State is endowed and blessed with vast fertile land, water resources, climate and progressive people, as well as one of the fastest growing agricultural destinations in Nigeria, was identified as an ideal location for us to set up our first facility in Nigeria. This obviously reinforces our commitment to supporting the efforts of the present administration in developing a robust agro-industry in Nigeria.”

“We made commitment to Nigerians that we will produce 1 million metric ton of quality parboiled rice. Since then we have embarked on several initiatives towards achieving this objective with support and collaboration from state and federal government agencies, ministries and departments, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, traditional and financial institutions, etc., we continue to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrower program thereby creating thousands of jobs, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers.”

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Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru expressed delight at the stage of the Dangote Rice project in the state saying it was in line with the vision of the Invest Jigawa, an organ set up to accelerate investments in the state.

He said Jigawa is one of the States reputed to be on top on ease of doing business in Nigeria saying the Dangote Rice presence in the state is a pointer to the fact. He added that the state is also in the forefront of the diversification efforts of the federal government from oil to non-oil ventures especially agriculture.

He promised that the state will be willing to do whatever it will take to ensure the Dangote rice operate smoothly to the satisfaction of all parties in the state.

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Makinde vows to retrieve billions of Oyo’s resources ‘stolen’ in 96 months before his tenure

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Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde on Wednesday vowed that his administration was ready to retreive the billions of the state’s funds allegedly looted by officials of the previous administration.

Governor Makinde, who made the vow while kickstarting the construction of the 21km Ajia-Airport-New Ife Expressway road, in Ajia town, maintained that his administration was ready to put measures in place to retrieve all looted funds to develop the state’s infrastructure.

The 21-kilometre Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road, with spur to Amuloko, was awarded to Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd, at a total cost of Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Twenty Million, Nine Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira, Forty-One Kobo (N8,520,919,776.41).

According to the governor, unlike the previous government, which, he said, preoccupied itself with how to corner state’s funds on a daily basis, his administration would drastically reduce the infrastructure deficit in the state within the shortest possible time.

He added that it’s only in doing so that the state can be positioned on the path of economic growth.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the 21-kilometre road construction being launched was a product of the administration’s strategic way of reducing the state’s infrastructure deficit, which is known as the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA).

He said: “Our administration means business. We will drastically reduce the infrastructure deficit in Oyo State in the shortest possible time. And this is how economies work: investors will only go where they can be assured of profits. If we do not develop basic infrastructure like roads, it will affect the cost of production which, in turn, means less profit for investors. So, we cannot be seriously discussing attracting investments into Oyo State when a majority of roads and other infrastructure are in a state of disrepair.

“In order to achieve this, we must strategize on how to increase our spending on infrastructure, because what we collect from Abuja every month from federal allocation is not even enough to pay the salaries. So, the new strategies on how to increase our spending on infrastructure is what we are doing here in Oyo State.”

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While explaining the reason the Airport-Ajia road costs more per kilometre than the 65 kilometre Moniya-Iseyin road, the governor said there are more hydraulic structures on the Airport-Ajia road than the Moniya-Iseyin road, and that a lot of expansion and rehabilitation will be done on those bridges.

The governor also used the opportunity to explain the APFA approach through which he said many projects will be executed in the state, stating that it is the administration’s way of funding some infrastructural projects in the state, by having the contractors fund the projects with their own money while the state repays them over a period of time.

“What this entails is that the contractor carries the projects’ risk. At the same time, we get quality delivery and quick completion of projects. They will be bearing the risk of getting this project done in a timely manner, while we pay them over the next twenty-nine months. That comes down to roughly N300 million a month. So, while they will complete the project in one year, we have the option to repay in over twice the time.

“We will continue to actualise capital projects through budgetary allocations and have the additional option of carrying out other infrastructural projects outside of the budget, using the Alternative Project Funding Approach. So, you can look forward to other projects under this approach.

“Let me state that even when we are forced to look outside Oyo State for persons to execute the projects under APFA, we still put the interests of our people first. For example, Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd has agreed that the construction labour will come from Oyo State, and we are holding them to that agreement.”

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He added: “So, for projects under the APFA, because of the nature of spending on the projects, we decided that it would be best to open up the bidding process a little more so that contractors outside of Oyo State can bid as well.

“We reached this decision because we are looking for private entities who have the wherewithal to complete the projects on schedule, while at the same time, passing the tests of quality assurance.

“When we approved this project at EXCO, social media became agog with all sorts of insinuations. Those ones that you rejected during the last general elections were saying Seyi Makinde promised that he would give contracts to those within Oyo state. Indeed, I made that promise that Oyo state money must remain in Oyo state.

“Some have said the company we awarded the contract to is from Asaba in Niger Delta and that we want to take Oyo State’s money to my wife’s state. First, let me put it on record that my wife is not from Delta but from Rivers State. “Second, the representative of the company we awarded the project to, Engr Abel Adeleke, has spoken here today. He is from Osun State and they are using their money to start this project.

“We also opened the opportunity for all. Even if they had approached us and brought the money they stole while in government to fund this project, we will allow them. We all know there are certain construction works that their expertise may not be with a local contractor. If we want to construct a bridge and it is awarded to Julius Berger, they will also say Julius Berger is not from Oyo State. So, that is to tell you they have nothing to do. One thing I know is, if we build this road the way we are supposed to, on time and on budget, what concerns the people going to the airport, whether Julius Berger constructed the road or whether the contractor is from Osun or Oyo? Our major concern is that the road is constructed.”

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Addressing the criticisms trailing the announcement of N100 billion bond issuance by the state, the governor stated: “I heard somebody criticizing us on radio concerning the N100 billion bond and was of the opinion that this administration wants to put the state in debt. I think our people need to start telling them that Governor Makinde is not like that. For the period of eight years they spent in office, they were only preoccupied with how to corner N1 Billion monthly into their private pockets everyday they went to the office.

“They spent 96 months in office, that means they have Oyo States N96 billion with them. We will retrieve every fund that belongs to Oyo people for the purpose of infrastructure development.

“So, tell them that the EFCC of Oyo State is coming for them. I want to assure you that we will retrieve the stolen money of the state from them and use the funds to build infrastructure like this.”

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Ajimobi’s 40-day Fidau prayer holds tomorrow

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The 40-day fidau prayer  of late former governor of Oyo state, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi has been billed for tomorrow, August 6, 2020 in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital 
Late Governor Ajimobi’s media aide, Bolaji Tunji disclosed in a statement on Wednesday.
 

Ajimobi, 71, died on June 25, 2020 , at First Cardiologist Consultant; a private COVID19 approved care facility in Lagos State.

According to him,  the fidau prayer will hold at the late governor’s  Oluyole residence, Ibadan In line with Covid-19 protocols as laid down by NCDC, adding that the event will strictly be a family affair.

He also informed that there will be a live coverage of the event on NTA from 11am onwards and the event will also be streamed on the link below:https://linktr.ee/ajimobiliveson

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Beirut blast killed more than 100 – Red Cross

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A huge blast at Beirut port that devastated entire neighbourhoods of the city has killed more than 100 people and injured over 4,000, the Lebanese Red Cross said Wednesday.

“Until now over 4,000 people have been injured and over 100 have lost their lives. Our teams are still conducting search and rescue operations in the surrounding areas,” a statement said.

Details later…

AFP

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