Rams sellers in Benin City, Edo, on Sunday decried low patronage amidst the high cost of the sacrificial animal, less than a week to the celebration of Eid-el Kabir festival.
A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria , who visited the 2+2 Cattle Market, Eyaen in the Edo capital, reports that rams were sold from N80,000 above.
Mallam Aliko Haruna, Chairman of the cattle market, told NAN that the soared cost was a direct reflection of the economic situation in the country.
The chairman said it might be incorrect to blame insecurity in the North for the situation.
“I don’t know if insecurity can be blamed for this, but what I know is that everything is costly now.
“Anything you go to market to buy now, is cost. It is not really the issue of insecurity.
“We only go to the North to buy at market; enter vehicle and bring it here.
“We don’t go to villages. It is only when you begin to go into those villages that you can talk of insecurity. Though attacks happen on road too, it is not always,” said Haruna.
The cattle market leader added that while one could get a ram for N80,000, the moderate size began from N100,000 above.
“People have not been really coming in number, but they will still come.
“It is hard to get a ram for N50,000. We don’t have rams of N60,000, but you can get like N80,000 to N100,000,” he said.
In the past, he said buyers would have been coming into the market to pick one or two rams, with a week into the festivities.
Corroborating the chairman’s view in a separate interview, Mallam Muazu Hassan, another ram seller, said he only made three sales in the last one week.
“Since last week, I only sold three. I sold one for N205,000; one for N120,000 and the third one, N170,000.
“It is grade by grade. We sell some N350,000; some N600,000. But I know, In Sha Allahu (by God’s grace), people will come to buy.
“Some may be thinking if the Sallah nears, the cost would come down.
“We can’t say the direction the price would go before Sallah day. It may come down and it may soar up.
“The situation at the market in the North will largely decide. We are waiting,” he said.
When asked if one could get a ram for between N35,000 and N50,000, he said it was only a small goat.
“For goats, you can get for N35,000; and from N40,00 to N50,000,” Hassan said.
The ram seller blamed the situation on high cost of transportation due to high diesel price.
‘Cost of transportation is another problem. We hire a vehicle (articulated) for N1.1 million now due to high cost of diesel.
“They say a litre is N850. When they sold a litre for N350, they hired for N450,000.
“The cost has really gone up and it is this diesel matter that is causing wahala,” he observed.
The Lagos State Government says the construction of 44 Factory Units at Imota Light Industrial Park is at 86 per cent completion.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr Lola Akande made the disclosure at the closing ceremony of the 7th edition of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Exclusive Fair held on Sunday at Lagos Television Blue Roof, Ikeja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MSMEs Exclusive Fair is an annual exhibition of indigenous products especially the residents and the Lagos State funded schemes.
Akande said the industrial light park was part of Lagos state government’s efforts to create a conducive environment for the Organized Private Sector and other stakeholders in the state.
She assured members of the business community that the State Government remained committed to improving the business environment towards making it more attractive for investment in the sector.
The Commissioner noted that the factory was one of government efforts at enhancing the growth of MSMEs.
She said: “In a bid to continue to compliment the Small Scale Industrial Estates at Mushin and Isolo as well as the Industrial shed at Sabo in Ikorodu, plans are ongoing to develop a new Small Scale Industrial Estate at Gberigbe, Ikorodu..
“The State Government remains committed to providing a conducive environment for the Organised Private Sector and other stakeholders through continuous engagement in the implementation of policies, regulations and projects as they impact the business prosperity of the state.”
Akande said that other for the MSMEs include the Eko MSMEs Fashion Hub established in collaboration with the Federal Government to boost the fashion and apparel industry.
” The e-Commerce digital platform created to showcase MSMEs products and services to the world and the establishment of Lagos State Export Promotion Committee to promote the marketability of locally made products.
“Others include the Lagos Council on MSMEs, a broad-based platform comprising State and Federal Government agencies for the harmonisation of State-wide dispensation of national and local MSME promotion, policies, measures and programmes.
The National Awareness and Sensitization Tour to promote the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (ACFTAA).
“The commemoration of the African Industrialization African Industrialists Week during which business clinics were held to deepen the knowledge of MSMEs,” she said.
The commissioner, therefore, urged the exhibitors and other MSMEs as curtains were drawn to end the Exclusive Fair to take full advantage of the numerous benefits available in AFCFTA and the relevant stakeholders of various government agencies.
Sen. Godiya Akwashiki (APC-Nasarawa North) has donated N10 million to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nasarawa North Chapter.
This, he said, was to enable them purchase land and 18- seater bus for the association to offer special prayers for the nation and perform its work effectively.
Akwashiki, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity made the donation at the end of a three-day CAN Summit in Akwanga on Sunday.
He said that the donation was part of his continued commitment to the development of the church and the society at large.
“I have heard your request on land for your permanent secretariat, a bus and office equipment to enable the association function effectively.
“I want to give you N5 million for the purchase of land and N5 million for the purchase of 18-seater bus, making N10 million.
“If you bought the land, I want you to start the foundation immediately as I will continue to support religious activities to succeed,” he said.
Akwashiki assured of his continued commitment to provide infrastructure across his senatorial district for improved standard of living.
“I will continue to provide roads, electricity, hospitals, schools, empowerment and employment, among others, in order to make you and other people happy at all times,” he said.
The lawmaker however advised the CAN leadership to carry all members of the association along while taking decisions concerning the association.
“I want to advise that you consult well if you want to take any decision concerning CAN,” he said.
The senator urged them to pray for him to succeed as well as to pray for unity and peace of the country.
Earlier, Rev. Ogbonna Akuma, the CAN Chairman, said that the summit was aimed at uniting and promoting peace amongst members of the association.
He restated their continued commitment to preach the message of unity, peace, progress and development to its members and other Nigerians at all times.
The chairman appreciated Akwashiki and other personalities for their positive contributions to the development of the church and the society at large.
He, however, identified their challenges to include land, bus and office equipment, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summit featured presentation of merit awards to Akwashiki; Sen. John Danboyi; Mr David Abuluya, President, Eggon Cultural and Development Association (ECDA); and Chief Adams Nangba, the District Head of Wakama, among others
The ongoing Nigeria Army 84 Regular Intake plans to open screening of 1,560 indigenes of Zamfara.The Zonal Recruitment Supervisor, Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Kanoma, disclosed this while receiving Zamfara Deputy Governor, Sen. Hassan Nasiha who visited the training centre at the headquarters of 1 Base Brigade Garrison of the Nigerian Army along Kaura-Namoda Road in Gusau. Kanoma who took the deputy governor round the facilities, said necessary arrangements had been concluded for the success of the exercise.He said 1,560 indigenes of the state would undergo the screening to enable the state to meet its quota in the exercise.Nasiha expressed appreciation over high level dedication demonstrated by the applicants in joining the Nigerian Army.He commended them for sacrificing their lives to protect the nation’s territory against external invasion and other threats to national security.Nasiha said the administration of Gov. Bello Matawalle was committed to restoring peace and security in the state.He said Zamfara had faced enormous security challenges that needed the attention of all security agencies, including the Nigerian Army.The deputy governor appealed to the Nigerian Army to accord the state proper consideration.He advised the applicants to adhere to rules of the exercise and wished them luck even as he warned the successful candidates to be good ambassadors of the state.Nasiha assured them of the government’s continuous support and cooperation throughout the exercise.The deputy governor commended the doggedness of the officials of the Directorate of Recruitment and Quota System in ensuring Zamfara was represented at all levels.
Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal: Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership – Garba Shehu
TEN TAKEAWAYS FROM STATE VISIT TO PORTUGAL: TWO NATIONS AND THE WILL FOR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
By Garba Shehu
President Muhammadu Buhari’s State Visit to Lisbon, Portugal, Wednesday 28th June to 2nd July was a first class success story and this is measurable by outcomes, not least, the real determination of the two nations to engender a close relationship.
Many in Nigeria remember that historically, Portuguese sailors were the first in Europe (ahead of British) to have contact with the territory now called Nigeria, when a certain Explorer, Rui de Sequira visited the Lagos area in 1472, actually naming the area around the city as Lago de Curamo, which means Lake of Curamo (Curamo, recall Kuramo Lagoon, Kuramo Beach and Kuramo Hall at the famous Eko Hotel, Lagos).
Among the important things embedded in the vision of Nigeria’s role and place in the world , clearly laid by President Muhammadu Buhari, is the revival of important relationships that have suffered long neglect. In addition, he has a strong willingness to assume the leadership expected from Africa’s largest country in population and economy.
So herein lies the first importance of this visit.
One, there can be no better illustration of the larger strategic goal of the future of this relationship than the eight agreements and Memoranda Of Agreement, MOUs signed in the course of this visit.
These are the MOU on political consultations, diplomatic training, research and exchange of information and documentation; cooperation in the field of culture; in the field of women and girls development, empowerment and gender affairs; youths and in the area of sports.
At the very well attended Portugal and Nigeria Economic Forum with the chosen theme: “Expanding Investment and Trade Between Nigeria and Portugal,” two agreements also were signed, one between the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council and AICEP, its Portuguese equivalent and another between the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, NACCIMA and the similar body in Portugal.
Two, this visit achieved a desire for a strategic partnership to strengthen the work Nigeria has been praised for doing by all levels of Portuguese authority- President, Prime Minister, President of National Assembly and Mayor of Lisbon-which is her stabilizing role in West Africa and importantly for the hosts, the stability and support of the ex-Portuguese territories in the subregion, specifically Guinea Bissau and São Tomé and Principe. This is resonating very well with the Portuguese.
Three. Invariably linked to this is the convergence of strategic interests and the laying of a framework to strengthen security and cooperation between the two states.
Portugal which has an association with with its former territories in Africa, the equivalent of our own British Commonwealth made up of Angola and Cape Verde in addition to the two others states mentioned. They have troops deployed for safekeeping duty in West Africa. They have committed to support Nigeria in military training, the sharing of intelligence and in the war against terrorism.
Four. Nigeria and Portugal have equally identified a common interest and goal in the transatlantic gas pipeline for which our country needs investment and security. This is with a view to finding a market in Europe for the enormous gas resources available to us. After listening to a briefing on the pipeline by Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, President Marcelo de Sousa was quick to show interest in the maritime mapping of the gas pipeline, instead of the Trans Saharan pathway which is equally an option. Portugal, says President Sousa has chosen for itself, the role of the spokesman and defender of African interests in the EU.
Nigerian LNG is important for Portugal especially at this time of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the regime of western sanctions imposed on the Russian supply of oil and gas.
With 60 percent of our LNG going to Portugal, meeting 30 percent of their energy needs, Portugal is today more energy secure than most of their Russia-dependent European neighbours. It is noteworthy that the Portuguese are very appreciative of the consistency and reliability of the gas from Nigeria, thanks of course to good management from NLNG.
Five. The Kano-Maradi railway line being constructed by a Portuguese company, Mota-Engil, is turning out to be a significant factor in the emerging relations between our countries.
Despite President Buhari’s emphasis at several speaking opportunities that the contractor met all requirements to beat others to get the job, the Portuguese authorities see it not only as a milestone in trade relations but also as a trailblazer and a precursor to the evolution of Nigeria as the gateway to the vast African market opened up by the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
President Sousa spoke about their wish for the entry into the Nigerian market of Portuguese companies, “not in 30s or 100, but in their thousands.”
Six, Portugal, which was a strong force in the UN recognition of Nigeria as one of five centres for vaccine production in Africa has determined to key into our health sector. They will come in. It’s a country with a very strong pharmaceutical economy.
Seven, in the choice of Jose Peseiro, the Portuguese coach of the Super Eagles, Nigeria struck yet another positive cord that resonates politically and diplomatically.
Even before the advent of coach Peseiro, there are more than 200 professional football players of Nigerian origin in Portugal.
Some of them were brought to a meeting with the President, coordinated by Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Now, we have a commitment that the country famous for producing Ronaldo, and for its globally recognized football academy is opening up chances for our youth to train.
Eight, there is also a welcome plan to share the achievements of Portugal in the field of renewable energy. With 60 percent of their energy got from renewable sources, that country ranks among the world leaders, hoping to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
For the Buhari administration, and hopefully for the succeeding ones, the attainment of set climate change objectives will continue as a priority. For our two countries, this will be a win-win.
Nine, we have now an MOU on political consultations, diplomatic training, research and exchange of information and documentation. This will see our two nations working hand in hand at multilateral institutions including the UN. Portugal prides herself with experience in international relations.
Ten. Lastly is the important thing about the very strong alignment of strategic interests of both countries. It’s rare to see this anywhere. The commitment to be with Nigeria is everywhere: All levels of authority in the country: President, Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly, and Mayor of Lisbon showing a total commitment to align with Nigeria. President Sousa in his second term said “I waited six years for this marriage.”
They honored him with that country’s highest national order.
For President Buhari, this visit is an affirmation of the norm that global aspirations must be accompanied by global engagements and a demonstration of his determination to turn commitments into actions.
Hopefully, these will lead to the acceleration of the nation’s economic growth, securing the country, attracting investment and creating jobs.
Garba Shehu is Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity.