The Abia State Government has assured residents of its commitment to changing the narrative in governance that would ensure a boost in trade and commerce, small medium enterprise scale as well as agriculture.
The State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, during the rededication service at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia, to mark the Democracy Day, called on all residents irrespective of party affiliation to drop their differences and join hands in contributing to moving the state forward with an agenda to building a better state.
According to him, Abia has the capacity to lead Nigeria out of recession if all and sundry can come together.
“I want to say today, I am proud to inform you that the narrative and story of Abia has changed, if anybody is talking about the state, he would remember that here lies the people who are industrious and capable of leading Nigeria out of recession, people that are energetic and hardworking to contribute to the Nation’s building.
“Let me assure you that trade and commerce will remain foremost in our pursuit to create a better life for Abians, Small Medium Enterprise will remain in the forefront and agriculture will always remain the mainstay.
“We cannot claim that we have done everything but I am here to say that it is possible to fulfill our dream of a better Abia State if we can work together.
“It is based on this premise that I extend an olive branch to all those contending with this administration.
“I acknowledge their level of knowledge and understanding of what they feel but I am asking them to join this government and contribute their quota on how we can move Abia forward.
“While we wait for their contribution, this administration will continue to march on and I will continue to rely on the support of every Abian, irrespective of local government or political affiliation.
“Abia State is our own and we must all join hands together to make it great,” the governor added.
The need for the Federal Government to do more to revive the rail sector has again come to the fore, as thousands of persons arrive Osun State with the ‘Aregbesola Free Yuletide Train Ride’.
They say a good rail system will alleviate the suffering of the people and save lives from auto crashes on the nation’s highways.
As the over 2,000 persons, who benefitted from the free train ride arrived in Osun State on Saturday, encomium poured out for Governor Rauf Aregbesola for putting in place the scheme to assist the less privileged.
The train, which took off from Lagos State terminal at about 11:00 a.m. moved through Abeokuta, Ibadan and Ede and finally arrived in Osogbo around 7:00 p.m.
The Director of Commerce and Investment Promotion in the Osun State Ministry of Industries, Commerce, Cooperative and Empowerment, Mrs Mary Asaolu, told reporters that the free train was a means of easing transport issues of people who are interested in returning home for any festive season but are financially incapacitated.
She said: “Actually, this Aregbesola Free Train Ride started in 2011 by the administration of the governor and it has been on since then. So, far 93,000 people have benefited from this free train ride and it comes on during festive periods either Ileya which is the celebration of Sallah or Christmas for Christians. The aim is just to make life better for our people.
“You can see that they are very happy, as they descend from the train. For many of them, the road fare has gone up as far as 3,000 to 4,000 Naira to come down home, but with this free train, they have been able to come home to celebrate with their family members. About 2,210 people came with this train.
“During Ileya period we have the highest population and Government has provided for that number of coaches.
“The rial system is the safest and majority of these people have to come home with their children and their goods. If they have to go by road, how much will they be paying? It will be exorbitant for them. Besides, there is less accident using the rail system. This is why the government has opted for this to use to bring the people home.”
“By the coming home of this people, the economy of Osun is bound to improve. When they were coming down from the train, I saw someone with tiles and another with foods. Many have come to sell these items and that is the aim of the government.
“This is why we have Dagbolu Market to be the hub of the state.
“The government expects that when people come in they will engage in by buying and selling and by so doing the economic base of the state will definitely increase,” she told reporters.
Adeoye Oluwaseyi is one of those who boarded the train from Lagos. He says “the governor has really tried for us, we are only hoping that whoever will take over from him will continue this same scheme because we really love this.
“I can only advise other governments particularly the Federal Government to revive our ailing train system. It is a good means of transportation.
“I decided to come with the train because there is very terrible hold up on the road at this period and the rail system I must say is very safe. Above all, the recession period is one other major reason for coming with the train. I cannot spend the huge fare transporters are asking for. It is a good thing that the governor has done for us and we must really commend him for this gesture”.
For Godwin Oyelowo, the train ride was his first experience. He told Channels Television that he was so happy to have benefited from the Aregbesola Free Train Ride.
“This is the first time I will be taking the train ride from Lagos to Osun. I heard about it and I decided to try it out. It is a wonderful experience. This government has really tried and they should not stop what have started at all,” he appealed.
Then train is expected to lift passengers back to Lagos from Osogbo on December 27.
The Ogun State government says it has created at least 13,000 direct jobs and 91,000 indirect jobs.
The government said that it was able to make the feat through the one billion Naira joint Ogun State and Bank of Industry (BOI) revolving loans awarded to beneficiaries at 7% interest.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, made the disclosure on Wednesday at the maiden Small and Medium Enterprises event, held at the Valley View Auditorium of the Government House in southwest Nigeria.
In her remark at the one day event, the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, urged participants to make use of the various initiatives being put in place by the state government to develop their businesses in conformity with the present economic realities.
She implored them to always discharge their civic responsibilities of paying their taxes and levies.
The event, tagged “Making SMEs a Valuable Addition to the Nigerian Commonwealth”, was organised by the Ogun State Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
As the 2015 general election campaigns begin to wind up, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has visited various markets in the Onitsha metropolis to mobilize support for APGA Candidates, ahead of March 28 polls.
Obiano visited traders at Ose Okwodu, Main market and Marine market, where over 1 million traders lauded him for his speedy transformation of Anambra State within one year.
Obiano assured the people that his commitment towards raising the status of the state to an enviable height was total, and urged them to vote all candidates of the All progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and be sure of continued and sustainable development.
The Governor, while addressing the traders, said that Anambra state would fare better if they come out massively to support his administration by voting in APGA candidates, as Anambra is an APGA state.
Willie Obiano also reminded them that they would all vote for President Goodluck Jonathan under the umbrella logo.
It was indeed a sight to behold as thousands of APGA traders shouted their support for the party and for the candidates.
The Governor also expressed confidence that victory was sure for APGA, considering his efforts in transforming the state in the areas of Security, Agriculture, Trade, Commerce and Industrialization.
Governor Obiano, in excitement said all APGA candidates can go to sleep as victory is more certain now than ever.
The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has officially broken the silence on his ambition at a public declaration where he confirmed his intention to run for a second term as governor.
Addressing a huge crowd of supporters at the Government House arcade just before picking up his nomination form, Governor Ajimobi enthused that the will of the people which prompted him to pick the nomination form a second term would prevail and make him victorious.
He stressed that that the infrastructural provisions already put in place have provided the much needed pedestal for transformation to thrive and reposition the state in critical areas of the economy.
Ajimobi added that his second term, if given the chance, would be used to provide more people friendly, need based projects in key sectors including education, health, and commerce.
The Governor had stated at different fora that he needed to be sure that the call for a second term was from the people and not just politicians.
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State, Akin Oke, expressed his delight at the turn out of people and their peaceful conduct round the city. He also expressed confidence in the party retaining its leadership positions in the state.
The carnival like event was well attended by other aspirants, party officials and supporters and is believed to have set the tone for other aspirants yet to signify their intention.
Some weeks ago, Channels Television reported on the point of no return in Esuk Mba Community, Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State and promised to bring another report on a practice, still in Esuk Mba, traceable to the 18th century which is still in existence.
Part two of the Esuk Mba story, takes us to the trade by Barter Market, where this form of exchange has refused to evolve irrespective of the importance attached to the Nigerian currency note in our contemporary times.
The Esuk Mba trade by barter market was a focal point in Nigeria’s dark era of slave trade which made delivery of about 30 percent of the total slaves shipped out of the country at the ‘point of no return’ through a bush track behind the market.
Many decades after the abolition of slavery, the Esuk Mba Market is still standing and plays host to traders from the neighbouring states and communities who bring in, the proceeds from their farms in exchange of what they do not have, but need at the moment.
Other products exchanged at the market are sea foods like the periwinkle popularly known as ‘Enfee- in efik language, crayfish, fish, fruits and other produce.
The market is a weekly one, it holds every Saturday from 7am and terminates at 10am for the barter section and on a day like this, you can be sure of getting value for what you are exchanging for.
Ambrose Akpanika, an elder statesman and a High Chief of the Calabar Kingdom, traced the root of this practise and its economic stability factor in the Nation’s currency.
The 33rd Kano International Trade Fair kicked off yesterday with the president of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA); Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, saying that the Chamber hopes to surpass the record of the previous edition especially in the area of attendance.
“Apart from the eight countries that are already on ground, especially China that came through the Nigeria-China window,we are still expecting more countries that has promised to participate at the fair,” he said.
He added that the fair will link businessmen in Nigeria with their counterparts across the globe.
Also speaking at the event, chairman of the trade fair organizing committee, Yahaya Sulaiman Danbare, said the theme of this year’s fair is very good as no aspect of human endeavour could be achieved without peace.