No fewer than 25 passengers including four children on Sunday narrowly escaped death in two separate auto crashes that occurred in Awka and Onitsha, Anambra.
Mr Ayodele Kumapayi, State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who confirmed the incidents, told the Nigeria News Agency that eight persons, however, sustained injuries.
Kumapayi said the Onitsha accident involved two vehicles, a Toyota Lexus car with registration number ABH 178 RC and Toyota Corolla car with registration number FST 555 AJ.
According to him, seven persons including four children were involved in the Onitsha accident, which occurred on the Niger Bridge at about 1:40p.m.
“The Lexus car lost control after trying to overtake a trailer, spinned and hit the second vehicle on the Niger Bridge, but thankfully, no life was lost,” he said.
He added that personnel of the corps responded to the distress call within eight minutes and were able to control traffic on the bridge.
The official said the Awka auto crash was reported at 12:01 p.m. same day at Kwata junction along Awka – Onitsha expressway.
According to him, the lone accident involving 18 passengers in a Toyota black bus with registration number JJT 304 XG was caused by speeding.
He explained that the commercial bus heading to Awka from Onitsha lost control and rammed into the drainage along the expressway, resulting in multiple serious injuries by eight passengers in the vehicle.
Kumapayi, who advised motorists against speeding, said all affected vehicles had been removed from the scene of accident to ensure free flow of traffic.
Group promises to end touting in Abia
A non-governmental organisation, Focus Initiative Against Touting (FIAT), has expressed its readiness to end touting in different parts of Abia.
The National Coordinator of FIAT, Mr Victor Johnson, said at a news briefing in Aba on Wednesday that the group would collaborate with the police and other security agencies to realise its objective.
Johnson regretted that touts were engaging in anti-people and economy-crippling activities in the state.
According to him, touts hinder people’s freedom and economic activities, causing traffic jams, open defecation and extortion of businesses.
“Ever since we came up in 2016, we have been going from place to place in the 36 states to ensure the activities of touts are put on check.
“We are carrying out our activities in collaboration with the Nigeria Police, where we have approval to function as whistle blowers in the area of touting.
“We collaborate also with State Security Services, Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies to make our society a better place,” Johnson said.
He said that FIAT had a legal advisory body that handle legal procedures required in the cause of its operations.
Johnson said the collaboration between FIAT and the Anambra State Ministry of Transport resulted in the arrest and prosecution of at least 200 touts in the state.
He said that FIAT had written to Abia government seeking similar collaboration to enable it to take touts off the streets.
“We have written to Abia government for collaboration and we made it clear we are not going after their revenue agents.
“Government will screen people before giving them jobs so that only those engaged by the government will be allowed to operate but we will monitor their activities to ensure they are in tandem with the law,” Johnson said.
Mr Chima Ubani, the Abia Coordinator, and Mr Eusebio Eke, the Director of Publicity and Orientation, called on journalists and well-meaning citizens to support the NGO’s vision.
They said that the activities of touts were affecting economic endeavours in Abia, hence the need to check their activities and ensure a society free of touts.
Edited By: Sam Oditah
NDLEA seizes 1,500kgs illicit drugs in Zamfara
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Zamfara Command, has impounded a truck conveying 1,503.044kilogrammes of illicit drugs.
The State Commander, Gabriel Adamu, stated this at a press conference in Tsafe town on Wednesday.
Adamu said that officers of the command in Tsafe, acting on intelligence reports, intercepted a Mercedes Benz truck with registration number Anambra XY 200 FGG, along Gusau-Zaria expressway.
He said the illicit drugs contained in the truck include Cannabis sativa 185kgs, Hypnox 11.5kgs, Diazepam 14kgs, Valinex-5 22.7kgs, Exol-5 310kgs and Codeine syrup 59.844kgs among others.
Adamu said that two persons were arrested in connection with the seizure, adding that investigation was ongoing before further actions.
He warned drug merchants to have a change of heart or face justice.
The commander also solicited the assistance of general public to continue providing the agency with useful information.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde
How FGN/IFAD Intervention Impacted Rural Farmers in Anambra
How Intervention Impacted Rural Farmers in Anambra
A Project Completion Review team of led by Mr Bassey Unauwo (right) during an interactive session with rice and cassava farmers at Omor, Ayamelum LGA of Anambra recently.
, News Agency of Nigeria
When the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) entered into an agreement to support rural rice and cassava production in six pilot states of Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba, their aim was to step up the income base of rural farmers as well as achieve food security.
Although, the initiative was first sealed in 2014, the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) disbursement became effective in February 2015, and this gave the beneficiaries the financial impetus to fully develop their preferred rice and cassava value chain.
The good news of the intervention is that many rural farmers in Anambra, today have testimonies on how the scheme has impacted on their living conditions.
The highly elated farmers bared their minds when a Project Completion Review Team of led by Mr Bassey Unauwo visited various locations of the beneficiaries in some communities in Anambra recently.
Mr Fidelis Onyia, a rice farmer and member of the Commodity Agricultural Forum (CAF) in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state, said that the has changed his living condition as well as raised the income status of farmers, especially the youth.
Onyia said that to equip the members of his commodity group, some were trained on seed production at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, while others received training on cassava processing at Umudike.
“This training made the beneficiaries to understand the basic things they should know on the cultivation of rice and cassava in order to achieve result during harvest,’’ he said.
“We were cultivating rice before we joined the programme in 2016. Since then, we have received inputs twice, as well as capacity training in addition to establishing linkages with insurance and financial institutions,” he said.
He says the commitment of Anambra State Government, especially in the prompt payment of counterpart funds and creation of ready markets further boosted the programme.
Onyia, who says the policy of Gov. Willie Obiano to buy rice in big quantity from farmers for distribution to civil servant during every Christmas has turned most beneficiaries to millionaires.
He notes that what the beneficiaries are appealing for is the completion of a rice mill project and provision of more boreholes, saying when provided, rice production will further improve in the area.
Mrs Ngozi Ebuo, Chairperson, Divine Destiny Youth Group, Omor community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, says her group with 25 members, joined the programme in 2015 and were cultivating 15 hectares, adding: Today we cultivate 42 hectares”.
Ebuo says the programme has significantly increased their income, as she recently acquired a car, motorcycle and other equipment which today has further made live worth living.
Another beneficiary of the programme, Mr Peter Emeka who doubles as the Chairman, Rainbow Multipurpose Cooperative Society, says his group has risen from 68 in 2016 to 260 in 2020, while they have established 10 rice clusters with more than 3,000 farmers.
“Before now, rice farmers had the challenges of low yield, pest and poor sales, in that we were unable to exceed 3.5 metric tons per hectares but with the value chain training, production has increased above seven metric tons per hectare and patronage is equally high,’’ he said.
Emeka, who expresses happiness over the construction of more than six farm roads in his Ayamelum area, equally attributed the Federal Government ban on the importation of foreign rice as another factor that made rice farming a choice business for youths in his locality.
“The modern machines recently acquired for rice processing has made it possible for our products to compete favorably with imported ones and we are happy for the enabling environment,’’ he said.
Mrs Ann Anierobi, Chairperson Nnedimma Women Rice Processing Group Omor, listed some benefits of VCDP intervention to include provision of moisture meter and modern rice polishing machine.
Other benefits included a borehole, generator, mellowing machine, a building, drying platform and capacity building among others.
Anierobi says the structures put on ground by VCDP, especially training on book keeping, linkages to financial institutions and agro-dealers have helped to sustain the business, even when the programme eventually winds down.
Mrs Nnaluolu Oluchukwu, a rice farmer at Ifite-Ogwari community of Ayamelum area, who joined the programme in 2016, notes that by 2019, she had laid the foundation of her one storey-building and acquired sewing machines for her fashion design business.
Oluchukwu, however, expressed displeasure with the yearly delay in profiling farmers for loans by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NISRAL), saying that the delay affected performance of the programme and so, needed to be checked.
She commended private extension officers for their services, noting that her group was ready to sustain the partnership at the closure of the programme.
A cassava recipe trainee, Mrs Philomena Ekemezie, who is also the Chairperson, Amarachi Special Purpose, Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area, described her training at IITA, Ibadan as a life changing opportunity.
“It has significantly improved our source of income and helped us not to depend on our husbands for everything,” Ekemezie explained.
One of the supports of the programme was a 3.7 km road leading to a cassava farm cluster at Umueri.
The state Project Coordinator of VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha, expresses satisfaction with the implementation and the outcome of the visit.
Agwuncha says the visit by the team has taught the stakeholders in the area some lessons which will further impact on the programme.
Mr Bassey Unauwo, an official of led Project Completion Review Team to assess the level of impact of the programme on farmers in Awka North, Anambra West, Anambra East, Orumba North and Ayamelum areas following the expiration of the programme.
At Umueri in Anambra East Local Government, the team assessed a solar-powered borehole project and a bulky cassava processing centre valued at N23 million, saying the project when completed will further promote cassava production.
Unauwo expresses satisfaction that VCDP has achieved its set objectives in spite of some minor constraints.
“The project has been able to support farmers and impacted heavily on rural farming with increase in the productivity, family income and standard of living.
“The programme equally resulted in the construction of rural roads, especially to major rice and cassava clusters located in rural communities,” he noted.
He expressed displeasure that rice produced in the state was being branded in foreign bags.
“Anambra is producing quality rice but the product is not popular here when compared with Ebonyi State due to fake bagging of the product as foreign rice by criminal elements,” he observed.
The team leader urged the state government to look into the challenge so as to enter into the map as a major rice producing state in the country.
He stresses the need for improved relationship between beneficiaries and financial institutions, noting that farmers do complain of late arrival of inputs in some cases.
Unauwo advised the beneficiaries to imbibe the culture of saving and proper maintenance of infrastructure and equipment provided to them.
He says the equipment and infrastructure which were provided to the beneficiaries at 70 per cent subsidy were a one-off gesture.
“That is why government or VCDP is not expecting anything from you; it is left for you to effectively manage the facilities.”
With the testimonies of farmers from Anambra during the visit, it is evident that the aim of the Value Chain intervention on rice and cassava production in has no doubt recorded some successes.
All what is expected now is for the stakeholders in the state, especially rice and cassava farmers to sustain the gains recorded so far with a view to sustaining the live changing impact of the . (eatures) https://nnn.ng/how-fgn-ifad-intervention-impacted-rural-farmers-in-anambra/
We’ll leave no stone unturned to rid Anambra of cultism – CP
The Police Command in Anambra says it will leave no stone unturned to rid the state of cultism and crimes associated with it, as Christmas and New Year approach.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr John Abang, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Awka.
Abang had said that SPACS recovered dangerous weapons, including two pump action pistols, 10 machetes, two daggers, one double barrel gun, two locally-made pistols, three live cartridges and cult materials.
He said that 40 of those arrested had been charged to court, 15 screened out and released unconditionally and five under-aged placed under police supervision, while 20 were still undergoing investigation.
The commissioner said that among the suspects was a 16-year-old boy, who was arrested with a double barrel gun in a school compound in Igbo-Ukwu, Aguata council area of the state.
“SPACS, during the period under review, raided various hideouts and black spots where cultists are suspected to be hibernating at various locations within the state.
“The areas include Ogidi/Nkpor axis, Awka/Amansea axis, Onitsha /Nkpor axis, Oba/Nnewi axis, Nsugbe/Nkwelle-Ezunaka axis, Ogbunike/Abagana, Nawfia, Nimo/Abagana axis, Ifitedunu/Awkuzu axis, Amikwo, Nsugbe/3-3 axis and Ebenebe /Ugbenu axis.
“From all the raids carried out, a total of 80 suspects were arrested, out of whom 40 suspects were charged to court, 15 suspects screened and released unconditionally, five placed under police supervision for being under-aged and 20 still under investigation,” he said.
The commissioner blamed the rise in cultism in the state on parental failure, adding that parents were no longer monitoring the movements of their children and the kind of company and friends they were associating with.
Abang said a strong and friendly rapport between parents and children could reduce the involvement of the under-aged in cultism.
He, however, warned that any person with proven case of cultism practice would be not only be arrested but prosecuted and be subjected to appropriate punishment.
The police commissioner promised to support SPACS with personnel and logistics to make them brace up for the task.
Aban said that he had discentralised the operations of SPACS across the eight area commands in the state to burst any hideout and arrest suspects anywhere in the state.
According to Abang, cultism breeds many forms of crime in the society, and more importantly, with the approach of the Yuletide.
“We expect a surge in crime due to increased activities but as the Boys Scouts will say, we are ever ready to make Anambra very uncomfortable for cultists and criminals of any guise,” he said.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq