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FG launches $73m intervention for sugar sector infrastructure 

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Federal Government on Tuesday launched $73 million intervention fund for irrigation, to boost the Sugar infrastructure integration programme. 

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed this to State House Correspondents, Abuja, after the signing of an agreement between the government and the operators of the at the formal commissioning of the sugar infrastructure intervention programme titled, “Presidential Intervention On Irrigation Infrastructure to Accelerate Sugar Backward Integration Programme Projects”, at the State House.

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He explained that: “This morning I represented the President at the formal commissioning of the Presidential project on irrigation infrastructure. The intervention is the setting up of a $73 million intervention fund for irrigation for operators of the Sugar backward Intervention Programme.

“The goal is to support the development of irrigation infrastructure on 10,000 hectares of sugar plantations located in six sites in Numan (Adamawa State), Sumti  (Nigeri State), Lafiagi (Kwara State), Bacita (Kwara State) as well as Toto and Tunga, both in Nasarawa State.”

The Minister said funding for the programme would come from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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“The Central Bank of Nigeria is also involved in the provision of required funding for the project as well,” he added.

Adebayo revealed that the aim of the programme is to increase Nigeria’s sugar yield in line with its quest of becoming self-sufficient in Sugar production.

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“The aim is to increase significantly the sugar yield so that we can work within the National Sugar Development Plan master plan, with a view to Nigeria becoming self-sufficient in sugar production and possibly become a net exporter of sugar thus saving the country the large bill that it presently incurres in foreign exchange for the importation of sugar,” he said.

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The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, on his part  expressed delight that the country is now moving in the right direction towards actualising her dream of becoming self-sufficient in sugar production.

He highlighted that sugar has a value chain that can yield more for the country, thus boosting the Nigerian economy.

“Out of the 21 institutions or organizations that were licensed to produce ethanol only one is actually producing ethanol and one of the easiest ways to produce ethanol is through sugarcane so you can now understand the importance of this,” he said.

On his part, the Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Zacch Adedeji said the intervention was part of government’s determination to provide an enabling environment for private investments to thrive and flourish in the country.

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“Preliminary activities, including identification of the specific project sites for each operator which include framework for design and engineering services for the in-field and bulk water supply systems, project management and maintenance specifications, adoption of a business model and costing, among others have been concluded long before the formal commissioning of this laudable initiative”.

Nigeria Newspapers

Court remands grave digger for allegedly raping 11-year-old girl

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A grave digger has been remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre in Ondo State for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl.

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The 32-year-old grave digger, Seun Owoyemi was remanded by an Akure Magistrates’ Court.

Owoyemi was said to have lured the victim with N100 before forcefully having her carnal knowledge.

The defendant who lived close to the parents of girl’s house at Igesa Street, Igbara-Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area of the State Ondo State, was said to have committed the offence in January 10, 2022.

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According to the prosecutor, Inspector Niyi Taiwo, informed the court that the defendant had carnal knowledge of of the girl twice.

The prosecutor added that the offence contravene the Provisions of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State.

He urged the court for an order to remand the defendant in the Correctional Centre pending advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP.

While pleading not guilty to the crime, the defendant denied the allegation, emphasising that it was a set up to implicate him by the victim and her grandmother.

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In his ruling, the Magistrate, O.L. Abu, ordered that Owoyemi should be remanded at Olokuta Correctional Centre in Akure, the state capital.

The magistrate subsequently adjourned the case till February 28, 2021, after the prosecutor was directed to duplicate the case file and send to the DPP for advice.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Suspects arrested as hoodlums’ clash causes panic in Lagos

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of some suspects involved in the violent clashes that created tension in the Idumota and Oke Arin areas of the state.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, while reacting to the incident, said normalcy had been restored following a massive deployment of policemen in the areas.

He said, “Normalcy has since been restored following a massive deployment of policemen to the scene. Some arrests have also been made. Investigation has commenced.”

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It was learnt that during the clash, traders and customers, residents and passersby scampered to safety to escape being hurt by the hoodlums engaging themselves in a supremacy clash.

The hoodlums were said to have taken advantage of the unrest to loot shops and rob people of their valuables.

Video clips of the clash trending online showed as people ran helter-skelter due to the tension created during the unrest.

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Some victims were heard calling on the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to intervene for peace to reign.

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