El-Rufai Flags Off Construction Of Potato Factory In Kaduna

Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Potato Factory Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, has flagged off the construction of a Potato Farm and Processing factory worth $120 million, in line with his administration’s economic diversification programme.

The factory, said to be the first of its kind in West Africa, is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. It is located at Manchok in Kaura Local Government Area of the state in northwest Nigeria.

The proposed factory is being constructed in partnership with Vicampro International, an agro-based company with branches in several countries.

At the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed factory on Saturday, Governor El-Rufai said the processing facility would earn foreign exchange and reduce over-dependence on oil.

He stated further that the state government was committed to promoting agricultural practices to fast track development, diversify the economy and boost Internally Generated Revenue.

Reduction Of Poverty

The Governor appealed to the host community to support and cooperate with Vicampro, in order to pave way for the attainment of its mission.

He expressed the belief that the return of vibrant economic activities and the reduction of poverty among the populace would drive prosperity and reduce the divisions that became pronounced as the state’s economy entered dire straits from the late 1980s.

In his remarks, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, spoke on the issue of access to finance, which he said remained a major challenge of most investors.

He pledged that the issue was being addressed to ensure that investors with viable ideas were given the necessary support.

Need For Diversification

The CBN Governor, who said the drop in oil prices had affected Nigeria’s economy drastically, suggested further diversification as the only alternative to overcome the economic crisis.

He assured the people that the CBN would collaborate with the Kaduna State government to translate the idea to reality for the benefit of all.

On her part, the Minister of State of Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, described the development as a giant stride towards moving the nation’s economy forward.

Giving the details of the project, the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), Gambo Hamza, explained that to successfully run the plant, the factory would need about 10,000 hectares of land for potato cultivation.

He added that upon completion, the factory would have the capacity to process 2,500 tonnes of potatoes daily and create at least 30,000 jobs.

In his remark, the Managing Director of Vicampro, Michael Agbogbo, said the company would produce French fries, Irish flakes and biscuits for local and international consumption.

The residents of Manchok on their part, lauded the investment and expressed hopes that it would improve their community’s economy and provide jobs for them.

El-Rufai Chooses Kaduna APC Chairman, Bantex As Running Mate

Bala-BantexMr Barnabas Bala Bantex has been chosen as the running mate to the governorship Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mallam Nasir El-Rufai in the forthcoming 2015 election in Kaduna State.

The choice of Mr Bantex, an architect and current chairman of the APC in Kaduna State, came after extensive consultations with party leaders, governorship aspirants and elder-statesmen across the state.

Mr Bantex eventually emerged from a carefully-considered list of five other nominees.

The committee, saddled with the responsibility of selecting El-Rufai’s running mate, based its selection on the capacity and ability of the person to play a substantive and dynamic role in the government that may likely take over power in the state.

The party also considered political experience and exposure, within a framework that embraces diversity, an individual with the talents, intellectual acumen and professional background that will be a competent partner to an elected governor.

Mr El-Rufai, while confirming the choice of Mr Bala to the public, said he was delighted that a person of Mr Barnabas Bantex caliber had been selected by the party to share the responsibility of governance with him when they are elected in 2015.

Mr Bantex holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Architecture from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

He was born in 1956 in Kagoro, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State and was a former local government chairman as well as a former member of the House of Representatives.

24 Hour Curfew Imposed In Kaduna Community As Two Die In Youth Protest

Military CurfewKaduna State government today imposed a 24 hour-curfew in Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, after angry youths protested over the alleged shooting to death of two people who were among the crowd that wanted to kill the 32 suspected Fulani gunmen who had been arrested by soldiers with weapons in Kafanchan on Wednesday morning.

The incident was said to have occurred when the former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari was passing through the area while on his way to donate relief materials to people who were displaced during last two weeks attack in Kaura local government area of the state.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that trouble started when the youth demanded that the soldiers should hand over the suspects to them, which the soldiers vehemently declined, and in the process of trying to disperse the crowd, the soldiers  allegedly shot two persons. The shooting was said to have triggered some kind of protest as the angry youth barricaded the road.

Natives said about 12 AK riffles, 13 dane guns, a bag of ammunition, all kinds of machetes and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects at a checkpoint in Kafanchan.

Although the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aminu Lawan, said that the entire incident had to do with the Nigerian Army and not the Police, Spokesman of the One Mechanised Division of Nigerian Army, Colonel Usman Abdul confirmed the incident but did not give the full details of what happened.

The Chairman of Jema’a Local Government Area,  Mr Daniel Amos said the decision to impose a 24 hour curfew was done  with the permission of the state government, and was done to forestall a breakdown of law and order.

Kaura Attack: Governor Yero Terminates Trip To US Peace Conference

Governor Mukhtar Yero,The Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, on Saturday suspended a trip to the United States where he was scheduled to attend a symposium on peace and security in northern Nigeria and returned to the country following Friday night’s attack on three villages in Kaura Local Government Area of the state.

The Governor who was already in the United Kingdom en-route the United States to attend the peace symposium organised by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), was billed to address the conference on the security challenges in the North and Kaduna State in particular.

However, he returned to Nigeria on receiving the sad news that some hoodlums have attacked villages in Kaduna and killed many innocent citizens.

The Governor departed Nigeria Friday morning and returned on Saturday without attending the peace conference after he got the news of the attack.

Governors of states in the north that are faced with challenges of insecurity were expected to attend the peace conference as well as lawmakers and investors from the US and Europe.

The aim of the conference according to the governor’s spokesman, Ahmed Maiyaki is to seek collaborative solutions to improving security as well as economic development of the North.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has carried out an assessment of the communities affected and victims with a view to commencing the process of providing relief to persons displaced from their homes.

Mr Maiyaki also advised the residents to dispel rumours of a reprisal attack in some parts of the state and to remain calm and shun rumours capable of escalating tension in the state.

The advice followed mass movement of Muslims out of Sabo Tasha area of the metropolis, popularly dominated by Christians over fear of a reprisal attack against them by the angry youths of the area in relation to the Friday night’s killings in Kaura.

Gunmen Kill 100 People In Fresh Southern Kaduna Attack

Kaduna KillingAbout  100 people have been reported killed  by suspected Fulani herdsmen  in Ungwan Gata, Me-Sankwai and Tekum villages in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna state.     

An eyewitness, Dr John Danfulani told Channels Television that the gunmen, who were carrying AK47 rifles and other dangerous weapons attacked the three villages at about 10pm on Friday night till the early morning of Saturday, shooting people and burning down houses.

He said the attackers stormed the three villages through Ganauwri, a border community between Kaduna and Plateau state and later escaped through the same route.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television, the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Aminu Lawan said more policemen have been deployed to the trouble areas to maintain law and order, adding that the police is yet to get the number of those that died in the attack.

Reacting to the incident, Governor Mukhtar Yero, who spoke through his media aide, Ahmed Maiyaki condemned the attack, describing it as wicked and ungodly.

He ordered a full investigation into the incident and also called on the indigenes to remain calm and law abiding as the state government will do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.

The governor has also summoned an emergency Security Council meeting with a view to ascertaining the situation.

Armed men also slaughtered at least 113 people in Katsina and killed several people in Benue and Plateau states last week.

Gunmen Kill 19 In Easter Attack

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Sunday stormed Afaka village in Kaura local government area of Kaduna state killing 19 people.

The unknown gunmen took the community by surprise as they attacked in the early hours of Easter Sunday leaving 19 people dead and many others injured.

The village shares borders with kaduna and plateau.

An eye witness said the gunmen numbering about 30 invaded the village in the early hours of Sunday shooting sporadically  at people’s houses  before the villagers with support of a neighbouring community were able to repel the attack.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television, the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Aminu Lawan said the gunmen took the villagers by surprise and started shooting people.

He added that the identities of the gunmen are yet to be known while the police has commenced investigation   into the attack.

He however disclosed that more armed policemen and soldiers have been deployed to the area to maintain law and order.