Customs Discover Bags Of Plastic Rice, Warns Nigerians To Be Vigilant

Customs, Plastic Rice, NigerianThe Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos, has uncovered 102 bags of plastic rice imported into the country.

According to the Federal Operations Unit ”Zone A” of the service, the smugglers had planned to cash in on the rush for the staple food during the festive season.

Comptroller of the Unit, Mr Haruna Mamudu, told journalists that his men are working to unravel how the products came into the country.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have been warned to also be extra vigilant as they purchase consumables ahead of the yuletide.

Since recession hit Africa’s largest economy, there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag of rice to over double that amount.

Rice Exportation

As a way of seeking solutions to the recession, the federal government, as well as several economic analysts, suggested a ban on the importation of such products which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

The government said it can no longer sustain the importation of foreign rice which has continued to hamper the growth and development of the nation’s peasant farmers who are into local production.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is one of the initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that has immensely supported farmers in the local production of rice.

Based on the yields so far, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, had however said that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.

Nigeria Will Export Rice In 2017 – CBN

Nigeria Will Export Rice In 2017 – CBN The Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, has disclosed that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.

He made the declaration during a sensitisation and awareness programme for farmers held on Tuesday in Bayelsa State on the apex bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

Okoroafor said the CBN’s anchors borrower programme has started yielding fruits, insisting that with the progress so far made by the CBN through its agricultural financing policies, the country would begin to export rice by 2017.

He said that the harvest in rice in 2016 has already exceeded the earlier projections, noting that if the tempo is sustained, Nigeria would not only meet its national demands but would export to other countries.

Okoroafor said, “We started a pilot programme in Kebbi State with 78,000 farmers, cultivating an average of one hectare and that was when President Muhammadu Buhari launched the programme in March last year.

“The programme was to enable farmers to plant three times in the year – two dry seasons cropping and one rainy season cropping. I am telling you now that Kebbi State has exceeded one million tonnes of rice.

“Not only Kebbi, Ebonyi State has keyed into it.

“We were there last week and Ebonyi is to give us over 1.2million tonnes of rice in one year. They are harvesting now, they are bagging and they are milling. Nigerians are booking their Christmas rice in Abakaliki.

“Abia State has ordered rice from Ebonyi State Government. Other states are keying in. In Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Cross River, rice is coming up.

“Nigerians are planting rice, producing rice. You need to taste Nigerian rice, it is fresh. Not the nine-year-old rice from Vietnam, Thailand and India. Let us feed ourselves. Our rice is healthier, it is not preserved with chemicals.

“We have been to Anambra, Niger, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Cross River and Ebonyi just to ensure that this is not another talk show. We have seen harvest of rice which brought me to say that the harvest in rice for this year has so far exceeded our projections.

“By the end of 2017, Nigeria will not only meet our national demands which is between six and seven tonnes per year, but we will exceed it.”

Okoroafor urged the people of Bayelsa to look beyond oil, saying that the state was capable of feeding the country.

Army Arrests 21 Suspected Terrorists In Borno

ArmyThe Nigerian Army has arrested at least 21 suspected terrorists in some states of the north east as it continues Operation Lafiya Dole.

This was made known on Sunday by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman.

He said that the raid on suspected terrorists’ hideouts especially in Borno state is aimed at ending cases of livestock rustling which serves as another means of funding terrorists’ activities.

The military also warned those collaborating with Boko Haram terrorists to desist from such acts or face the wrath of the law.

In the meantime, the public has been advised to report any known or suspected activity that could threaten the nation’s unity to relevant security operatives.

Troops Arrest Suspect On Boko Haram Wanted List

The Boko Haram suspect on the wanted list number 105, Muhammed Bulama, has been arrested by troops on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 in Yobe State.

Bulama was arrested along side 2 other suspected Boko Haram terrorists – Ardo Abba Muhammed (elder brother to Bulama as claimed) and Muhammadu Kaigama – in Azare community, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State, with the help of the local vigilantes in the town.

A statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Usman Kukasheka said “they were arrested riding on horseback and bicycle shepherding some sheep towards market”.

The statement added that during preliminary investigation, the suspected terrorist personally “confirmed his photograph on the wanted list” and further revealed that he is specialized in rearing animals for the terrorist group.

Col Kukasheka added that “they came to the village to sell the animals as they have run out of cash in their hideout and would also get some food items for the upcoming Sallah festivity.

Senate Frowns At Alleged Misuse Of 120bn Naira Aviation Bailout Fund

Senate on Nigeria Aviation Bailout fundsThe Nigerian Senate has frowned at an alleged mismanagement of the 120 billion Naira bailout fund for the aviation sector in 2011.

At a public hearing on Monday held to probe how the bailout was used, members of the joint Senate Committee on Aviation and Anti-corruption alleged that a great chunk of the funds were diverted to other uses by some of the airlines who got the loan.

‘No Sacred Cow’

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, however, vowed that there would be no sacred cow when it completes its investigation on the matter.

At the hearing were government officials and representatives of airlines.

Senator Uzodinma first gave an insight into why the meeting was called and immediately after making his remarks, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, told the joint committee that his ministry and its parastatals had no record of the funds.

To set the record straight, an official from the Central Bank, who is the Acting Director, Development and Finance, Mr Mudasiru Olaitan, gave a breakdown of what the aviation fund was all about.

Wired To Ghana And London

Out of the 10 airlines that received the bailout, two have become moribund.

Some members of the committee, however, observed that there was a twist in dealings of some of the airlines two weeks after they received the funds.

They alleged that some of the funds were wired to companies in Ghana and London for transactions not related to issues regarding the bailout.

Channels Television’s correspondent reports that more revelations are expected to emerge as presentations are made by key players in the aviation sector as well as government and private sector officials that facilitated the disbursement of the aviation bailout funds.

It is hoped that findings at the public hearing would resolve the many challenges confronting the aviation sector in the days ahead.

CBN Resolves To Clear All Backlog of Forex Demand In The Country

forex, CBNThe Central Bank of Nigeria has resolved to clear all the backlog of forex demand of about 5 billion dollars in the country through spot and forward settlements.

According to a statement released by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the Central Bank, Mr Issac Okoroafor, the move is to engender confidence, ensure credible price formation and sustain the integrity of the Nigerian inter-bank FX market.

This comes as the new flexible forex trading begins on Monday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had released the highlights of the much awaited flexible foreign exchange market policy on Wednesday, June 15, weeks after the Monetary Policy Committee announced the introduction of the policy.

After its meeting of May 24, the CBN said the policy would allow the bank retain a small portion of foreign exchange for critical transactions.

Key notes released stated that the market would operate as a single market structure via the interbank market and authorised dealers and that it would be purely an exchange rate market managed via Thompson Reuters platform.

Part of the key notes is that the CBN would participate via periodic intervention and would introduce primary dealers that deal with the CBN on a two way quote basis.

The primary dealers are also expected to deal with other players in the interbank market.

DHQ Denies Granting Amnesty To Boko Haram Members

Rabe Abubakar
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar.

The Defence Headquarters had denied online reports that 800 Boko Haram members have been granted amnesty.

A statement by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said “the story is false and has no iota of truth in it”, adding that the “DHQ has never mentioned Amnesty in all its statements”.

The DHQ also called on the public to disregard it, stressing that it would not condone acts of terrorism or criminality by any group.

According to the DHQ, the decision to rehabilitate repentant members of Boko Haram is based on a United Nations convention, which Nigeria is a signatory.

“The Defence Headquarters came up with an initiative Öperation Safe Corridor”, this initiative is geared towards rehabilitating and reintegrating the repentant terrorists back into normal life in the society.

“Therefore, the general public should disregard these insinuations as the initiative “Operation Safe Corridor” should not be taken as Amnesty.”

“We hereby emphasise and stand our position that no act of terrorism or criminality will be condoned in our nation by any group”, the statement said.

Nigerian Troops Ambush Escaping Boko Haram Terrorists

Boko HaramNigerian Troops from 81 Battalion and some elements of 251 Task Force Battalion, 25 Brigade, on Sunday ambushed suspected Boko Haram terrorists escaping from Sambisa forest to Fulawani village.

According to a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the ambushed terrorists were trying to link up with other terrorists or members of their families to relocate to other places.

“It will be recalled that the troops intercepted a group of women and children yesterday who claimed to have escaped from the terrorists’ enclave in Sambisa forest.

“However, during screening and interrogation, it was confirmed that they were the terrorists’ advance party relocating to a new safe haven following intense tactical operations by troops.

“The troops sprang a surprise ambush on the group of escaping terrorists from Sambisa forest crossing towards Alagarno mounted on motorcycles and bicycles, killing five of them and recovering a number items.

“These include five motorcycles, nine bicycles, 80 new pairs of bathroom slippers, assorted laundry items, polythene bags and mats. From all indication, the terrorists intended to link up with their wives and children earlier mentioned, who were obviously despatched to wait for them close to Fulawani for onward movement to other locations.”

The Army also said that based on its assessment, the recovered items were for sale in other locations where remnants of the terrorists were hiding but in dire need of logistics.

“Further investigation also revealed that the terrorists were fleeing Sambisa forest to other areas for safety as they could no longer withstand the continued bombardment by both Nigerian Air Force and the ground troops,” The Army explained.

Nigerian Army Commander Ambushed By Boko Haram

Nigerian ArmyThe leading elements of the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu’s convoy was about 8.30am on Tuesday morning ambushed by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on his way to visit troops in Bama.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday.

According to him, one soldier lost his life and two others were injured, but the soldiers were able to clear the ambush, killing some of the terrorists and recovered vehicle and weapons from them.

The recovered items include a Toyota Hilux vehicle, two AK-47 rifles and several ammunition.

Meanwhile, the Acting GOC has continued his operational visit to Bama, while the body of the late soldier and the wounded have been evacuated to Maiduguri.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has also spoken with the GOC.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to reiterate its unalloyed commitment and determination to continue to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding,” Colonel Usman said.

Nigerian Troops Repel Boko Haram, Restore Normalcy In Kareto

Boko HaramNigerian troops have restored normalcy to Kareto town in northern Borno State, northeast Nigeria, after repelling prolonged attack on the town by the extremist Boko Haram sect.

Army Spokesperson, Sani Usman, had on Monday announced that the Nigerian troops were engaged in a heavy gun fight with members of the terror group.

The Army said that “the troops successfully repelled the attack and killed quite a number of the terrorists after nearly 10 hours of battle.”

Kareto is 120 kilometres north of Maiduguri and Monday’s attack by Boko Haram came at a time the Nigerian military is intensifying its onslaught on the terrorist group.

In a chat with Channels Television on Tuesday morning, Colonel Usman said, “The Boko Haram terrorists attacked, we called for reinforcement from our troops from 7 Division as well as the Nigerian Air Force and they rose to the occasion.

“The insurgents were routed out. Quite a number of them were killed and unfortunately two officers and 22 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and have been evacuated to military hospitals in Maiduguri.”

Nigerian Troops Engage Boko Haram Terrorists in Kareto, Borno

Boko HaramNigerian Army troops are battling members of the Boko Haram sect in Borno State, Nigeria’s northeast region.

A statement issued by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, says the terrorists launched an attack on troops of 113 Battalion at Kareto, Northern Borno State.

The statement adds that the troops have been battling the insurgents since the early hours of Monday.

The Nigerian Army Headquarters had earlier confirmed the onslaught in a tweet.

We will keep you updated on this developing story.

The military had on Sunday announced its discovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition concealed by Boko Haram terrorists in Borgozo-Alargano general area of Borno State.

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and some Civilian Joint Task Force made the discovery during a clearance patrol by the troops following a tip off.

According to the Theatre Commander, the patrol team also cleared remnants of Boko Haram terrorists that were dislodged from Alagarno forest hibernating at Kadari, Camp Abu Fatima and Gursum.

Kidnapped Army Colonel Found Dead

Army ColonelThe kidnapped Army officer serving at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry Jaji in Kaduna State, Colonel Samaila Inusa, has been found dead.

A statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said “the Nigerian Army wishes to regrettably inform the public that Colonel Samaila Inusa who was kidnapped on Sunday 27th March 2016, was found dead today (Tuesday) at about 6.00pm.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that most likely the senior officer was killed same day he was kidnapped by his abductors because the body was found already decomposing around Ajyaita village off Eastern Bypass Kaduna, Kaduna State.

“Arrangements are in progress to move the body to 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.

The statement added that “whoever is behind his abduction and murder would be fished out to face the full wrath of the law”.

The Army Colonel was abducted from his car around Kamazo area, near Refinery Junction in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday, March 27.

The abductors intercepted the officer’s personal car, and later dropped off his wife before leaving with him as they travelled along the Abuja-Kaduna road.