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.

Gunmen Kill 34 In Kaduna/Plateau States

No fewer than 34 people including two security operatives have been killed and scores seriously injured following fresh attacks by suspected gunmen on Zangang Attakar village in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State and Ganawri community of Riyom Local Council in Plateau State.   

Eyewitnesses said that the gunmen invaded the two border communities located on top of a hill at about 6pm on Monday, shooting people and burning down houses.

Kaura Local Government in particular has faced several attacks in the past two years.

A retired military officer, who is an indigene of Kaura, told Channels Television correspondent that the two security operatives were killed during a shootout with the hoodlums

Although police authorities in both states are yet to give details of the casualties, the Chairman of Kaura Local Government Area, Mr Kumai Bodu told journalists that most of the casualties were Attakar indigenes living in Riyom in Plateau State.

In the meantime, soldiers have been drafted to the villages to restore normalcy, while the injured ones have been taken to a hospital in Kafanchan, in Kaduna State, for treatment.

Unknown Gunmen Kill Islamic Scholar and Family

Unknown gunmen have killed an Islamic Scholar, Sheik. Muhamman Albani, his wife and son, in the late hours of Saturday in Zaria city of Kaduna State, in Nigeria’s north-west region.

Eyewitnesses said that the deceased and his family were returning home after attending evening prayers in the city at about 9:30pm when the gunmen pulled up, blocked their vehicle and shot at them. The wife and child died on the spot, while Sheik Albani died at Saint Luke Hospital, Zaria, where he was rushed for treatment.

Sheik Albani was, until his death, the leader of the Islamic Salafiyya Movement and also operated a private school for children. He was briefly arrested in 2011 by the Police for his radical preaching but was later released by a court.

The incident occurred less than 48 hours after some gunmen killed a family of seven in Manchok, in Kaura Local Government of the state.

When contacted by Channels Television, the state Police Commissioner, Mr Olufemi Adenaike, said that he would comment on the incident later in the day.

The deceased have been buried in Zaria city according to Islamic injunctions.

Gunmen KIll Family of Seven In Kaduna Village

Armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have killed a family of seven during an early morning attack in Ungwar Kajit village of Manchok in Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria.

Indigenes of the community said that the gunmen stormed the area and began their operation around 1am on Friday morning, killing a couple and their children.

Armed Policemen and soldiers stationed in the area arrived at the scene hours later, but the killers had escaped before their arrival.

Efforts by Channels Television correspondent to reach Police authorities for comments were unsuccessful as the telephone lines of the State Police Commissioner, Olufemi Adenaike, and the command spokesman, Aminu Lawan, were switched off.

However, the State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, who cancelled all his official engagements, has visited the community where he described the attack as ungodly and condemnable.

A statement signed by the Governor’s spokesman, Ahmed Maiyaki, also condemned the attack and prayed that God would expose the perpetrators of the act.

The statement added that Governor Yero, who was visibly shocked by the unfortunate incident, called on people of the community to remain calm as Government would scale up its strategies to improve security, especially in border communities.

There were fears among the villagers that there was likelihood of an increase in the death toll.