Association plans massive rubber plantation, urges FG’s intervention



The National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NARPPMAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to enlist rubber as one of the cash crops to be developed in Nigeria.

Mr Peter Igbinosun, President of the association made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Calabar, Cross River.

Igbinosun said that government intervention in robber production was paramount, considering its enormous by-products and economic values.

In view of these economic values, he said that NARPPMAN “is planning massive rubber cultivation with a view to creating 640,000 direct jobs’’.

He also said that 160,000 people would be indirectly employed as service providers under the scheme.

He said NARPPMAN would plant rubber in 160,000 hectares of rubber plantation in 24 states across the country in the next ten years.

According to him, presently, Nigeria has about 200,000 hectares of rubber plantation in the hands of smallholders and industrial plantations.

Igbinosun said that the rubber industry alone could provide over 800,000 employments, making it “a goldmine’’.

“It will not be out of place to say that it would have been difficult to fight COVID-19 around the world without the use of rubber by-products.

“In Nigeria, for example, the complaint by medical personnel about insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the fight against the pandemic was heard by everyone.

“The medical and surgical disposables like hand gloves, rain boots, coveralls, and some components of eye goggles, mattresses and pillows, seat cushions used by medical personnel are all by-products of rubber and underscores its high importance,’’ he said.

According to him, the challenges facing rubber production and processing range from lack of facilities and high cost of credit to finance private rubber plantation development.

“There is also the high cost of inputs, labour and processing mostly due to the current energy crisis and uncontrolled hike in the price of petroleum products.

He said that there was also poor exploitation practices in rubber plantations.

“Surviving rubber trees are exploited by untrained and greedy tappers by employing damaging tapping techniques such as slaughter tapping, thus killing rubber trees.

“There is also the long gestation period of five to seven years for rubber, which serves as a disincentive to smallholders and investors in the commodity.

“Obtaining short and low-interest loans from the banks for the crop, most times, is a mirage.

“In addition, there is the difficulty in accessing land for cultivation because of the land tenure system.’’

The chairman, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to enlist rubber as one of the cash crops to be developed in Nigeria considering its enormous by-products and economic values.  

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

General news

Buhari sends FG’s delegation for Emir of Zazzau’s burial in Zaria



The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, on Sunday led the Federal Government’s delegation to the burial of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja.

Those on the delegation, according to him, included the ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Environment, Mahmud Mohammed and that of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.

Also on the delegation was the President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu.

The team was received on arrival at the School of Aviation in Zaria by a Kaduna State delegation led by the Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i.

While conveying the condolences of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief Staff said the late Emir had paid his dues to the nation.

He said his enviable roles in nation-building and the unification of Nigerians would never be forgotten.

In his response, Gov. El-Rufa’i said the people of Kaduna State had lost a caring father.

He thanked the president for sending ”a powerful delegation to the burial ceremonies”.

The Emir died at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 84.

Shehu Idris was coronated the Emir of Zazzau on Feb. 15, 1975, and ruled the emirate for 45 years, before his death.

Edited By: Felix Ajide
Source: NAN
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Edo poll: Secondus, Peter Obi congratulate Obaseki



Uche Secondus, National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, have congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election.

Secondus, in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Sunday, also congratulated the Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu. 

He described the PDP victory as a clear affirmation and demonstration of the people’s goodwill in appreciation of the outstanding performance of the governor and his deputy in their first term.

Secondus, while wishing the victors successful tenure, urged them to  observe all the tenets of democracy and rule of law in the course of administering the  state.

He commeded Edo people for standing up for democracy through their avowed determination to ensure that the will of the people and nobody else prevailed in their state.

“Edo people by their dogged display on Saturday were determined to take their collective destiny in their own hands and for this, PDP is proud of them,” he stated.

The PDP chairman also noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the various security operatives significantly played by the rules which he said reflected in the limited number of electoral cases.

 Secondus, who said that the Saturday governorship election was far better than any previous elections under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to deepen democracy in the same way.

“We are standing on the euphoria of this to urge the President to sign the amended Electoral Act into law and carry out further electoral reforms that will engender peace and less interference in our electoral process.

“Also, we salute the gallantry of the  APC, and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for providing healthy challenges,” Secondus stated.

The PDP national chairman also commended the international community for their vital interests in the country’s democracy, urging them not to relent to endure the people’s will continues to prevail in all electoral circumstances.

He commended PDP members across the nation for their support, particularly the chairman and members of the party’s National Campaign Council.

Secondus, also commended Gov. Nysom Wike of Rivers state, Forum of PDP Governors, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the National Working Committee, and civil society groups.

On his part, Obi in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Valentine Obienyem, said that the victory was deserving and a true reflection and wish of the good people of Edo State.

The former governor of Anambra said that he saw the victory coming, given the good record of performance of Gov Obaseki in his first term.

“Democracy is when the people are allowed to determine who leads them after weighing the records of the candidates,” Obi said.

Obi, who was the PDP vice presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, urged Obaseki and his deputy to see their victory as a catalyst to do more for their people.

He also commended INEC and others who played roles in the election for playing by the rules, urging them to continue in the direction for sake of peace in Nigeria.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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Senate President mourns Emir of Zazzau



President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed his condolences with the People of Zazzau Emirate over the passing of their highly referred Emir, Alhaji Shehu Idris.

Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi in Abuja on Sunday, also commiserated with the entire people and government of Kaduna State on the death of one of the highest ranking and respected traditional rulers in Nigeria.

Lawan said: “During his long reign, the departed Emir applied his wisdom and prestige to enhance peace and transformational development in Zazzau Emirate.

“He will continue to be remembered for his dignity, integrity and boundless love for his people and commitment to their well-being and progress,” Lawan said.

The Senate President prayed Allah to grant his people and family the fortitude to bear his loss, forgive his sins and accept him to Al Jannah Firdaus.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Bayo Sekoni
Source: NAN
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General news

Cleric urges Govt. to prosecute fake, fraudulent pastors



An Anglican Priest, Ven. Ifeanyi Akunna has called on the government to prosecute fake pastors, who defraud unsuspecting members, especially with fake miracles and healing.

Delivering a sermon on Sunday in Abuja, Akunna, who is the Vicar of Anglican Church of the Epiphany, Garki, advised Christians to desist from patronizing fake pastors, who run fake healing and deliverance for money.

He decried the spate of commercialisation of the pulpit by fraudulent pastors, stressing that God’s blessings and healing could not be bought,  adding that pastors who charge monies were fake and not of God.

He, therefore, stressed that any pastor that is found to be defrauding his unsuspecting members should be arrested and prosecuted.

“Any pastor, who abandons his sacred duty of feeding the flock, and begins to feed on the flock, is a failed pastor and has no business with the pulpit and altar,” Akunna said.

The vicar cited the biblical example of the High Priests that made merchandise of worshippers at the temple of Jerusalem and were chastised and whipped out of the temple.

He also pointed to the example of those who were trading in the church and had their tables upturned by Jesus Christ, who said that his Father’s house was not a market place.

“Remember that Jesus reminded them that the house of God is a house of prayer and not a den of robbers, which they had turned it into.

“We must always keep in mind that the house of God is a house of solution and not a place where people with burdens and problems are further subjected to untold hardship and dehumanization.

“There is a lot of milking, fleecing, spiritual harassment, intimidation and exploitation of people with spiritual needs in some churches today.

“God is not happy with pastors that charge people money before praying for them,” the Anglican priest said.

Ven. Akunna further said that ‘simony’ is prevalent in some new generation churches today where people are made to pay to receive miracles.

“Any Pastor that commercializes spiritual gifts is fake, because Jesus while commissioning the disciples to heal the sick and drive out demons in Matthew 10:8, said ‘freely you have received, freely give’.

“Hence, any pastor that charges money to pray for people obviously did not receive his gift from God.

“He must have paid for it and obtained it from the devil to justify the commercialism of the gift,” he said.

Akunna, therefore, called on Christians in Nigeria to have faith in God and be prayerful as God answers prayers.

Edited By: Felix Ajide
Source: NAN
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