The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of new members to the Board of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Mrs Ronke Sokefun was confirmed as the Chairman of the NDIC Board, while a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), was among members of the board.
Other members of the NDIC Board are Garba Bello, Brigadier-General Josef O. J. Okoloagu, Mustapha Adewale Mudashiru, and Mr Adewale W. Adeleke.
Their appointments were confirmed after Senator Rafiu Ibrahim presented the report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, urged the NDIC Board to take their task seriously and responsibly.
“This is a very serious agency and, as such, I congratulate the chairman and members on their confirmation and I do hope that these very responsible Nigerians will live up to the expectations of this Senate and serve their Fatherland responsibly,” he said.
The Ogun state government says it is immediately commencing the process of restructuring the development at the Kara market to prevent incidents of fire outbreak which has become a yearly occurrence.
The measure, according to the Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, is pending the final relocation of occupants of the market to the proposed final place at Ogere area of the state.
“It is just because of the holidays, we have equipment on ground to commence work at once. If you look behind me you will see that the place has been red tapped. The red tape is to contain the incident site where the fire started from.
“We want to put a stop to a regeneration of uncontrolled development activities around this market. Nobody has been able to pinpoint what exactly was the cause of the fire and for us, safety precaution and every moral sense dictates that we stop further development around this market,” she said.
She also commiserated with the leadership of the market over the unfortunate incident.
Meanwhile occupants of Kara market have expressed their readiness to relocate to the new market being prepared by the state government.
Reacting to some of the steps being taken by the state government, the secretary to the market expressed the willingness of the traders to abide by whatever decision the state government arrives at.
“We do not know what caused the fire, we just saw the fire and we immediately contacted the Ogun state government and they responded. We are not happy about the incident at all. This is why the commissioners are here.
“We are waiting for the government because the government is currently doing something at Ogere. So, we are ready to go to the place anytime they say we should move, we are cooperating with the government, no problem at all.’’
The Commissioner for Environment in his own contribution, admonished residents of the state and especially markets to always take adequate precautions to forestall fire outbreak during the harmattan season.
“This time of the year of course is prone to fire outbreak. Basically people should be mindful of how they handle electrical appliances and those who deal with naked fire should control how it is done because the season we are in fire thrives most,” he said.
Meanwhile, the affected place has been cordoned off by officials of the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as occupiers of the market tried to salvage some of their belongings while others still counted their loses.
No life was lost but property worth millions of Naira were destroyed by the inferno.
Towards ensuring agricultural development and its value added chains in order to ensure food security, the Ogun State government has commenced a training workshop for farmers, students in food crops and fish farming at its training facility at the Odeda Farm institute in Abeokuta.
The development is aimed at ensuring responsible practices in the entire value chain in agriculture as a means of job creation and food sufficiency.
According to the government, this is intended to reposition agriculture from the peasant and non-profitable level, to a highly profitable and rewarding enterprise that will attract local and international investors.
After declaring open the 5-day training, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun asked the farmers to form themselves into cluster groups in order to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ogun State government revolving loans.
Some of the participants at the training commended the state government for the initiative.
Ogun State Government and the National Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have held a campaign to enlighten residents on the dangers of further consumption of toxic ponmo.
The campaign which was held across some major markets in Abeokuta, the state’s capital on Saturday, came after the state discovered toxic ponmo in markets across the state.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, who led the campaign, revealed that there was indeed a level of compliance by residents as the alleged ponmo which has found its way into the markets, is nowhere to be found any longer.
Speaking to reporters during the exercise, the State Director of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dotun Omotayo, said that although, no fatality has been recorded since the discovery of the item in markets, the Ministry would continue to keep vigil until the markets are rid of the toxic item.
According to Mrs Sokefun, due to the huge market potential of the commodity, some unscrupulous businessmen seemed to have imported the animal skins laden with tanning, biocides and fungicides into the country.
The Ogun State Government, South West Nigeria, has confirmed the existence of toxic ponmo laced with chemicals across markets in the state, asking residents to be careful and watchful while buying the popular local relish.
According to the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, due to the huge market potential of this commodity, some unscrupulous businessmen seemed to have imported the animal skins laden with tanning, biocides and fungicides into the country.
She revealed that the ponmo were made from raw hide meant for leather production and were imported from Europe and some countries like Sudan, Italy and Japan.
Although no casualty has been recorded so far, the Commissioner insisted this ponmo is not good for human consumption.
She explained that one of the notable physical features possessed by this toxic ponmo, which has found its way to various markets across the state, is that it comes with an offensive odour with abnormal thickness.
In order to mop up this dangerous ponmo and prevent further human consumption, the commissioner said that the Ogun State Government, in conjunction with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have commenced investigation and placed trail on the importer.
She added that appropriate resources have been put in place to protect residents from falling victim.
Ponmo is a local relish made from animal skin. It is loved by many Nigerians; poor and rich despite its low nutrition value.
Ogun State government had confirmed the resurgence of bird flu in three markets and a farm at Odogbolu local government area, of the state.
According to the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, the government had placed farmers on red alert.
Sokefun, who gave the disclosure during a press conference held at the ministry’s conference room, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, denied any human infection, noting that the state government was processing some suspicious samples from other farms in the state.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, on Tuesday justified the choice for the theme of the Ogun State 2104 Investor’s Forum focused on Agriculture and Urban Development.
Speaking to Channels Television before the commencement of the forum, Mrs Sokefun noted that “we do realise that agriculture has a lot of potential to create a lot of employment for our people” adding that “there is also a housing deficit and we do know that our proximity to Lagos positions us perfectly to attract more people into the housing sector in the state” insisting that “that is what informed the decision for the current year”.
To cushion the effect of accessing the credit, the Commissioner said the State government stands as a guarantor for farmers and obtain between one to two billion naira which is disbursed to farmers through commercial banks, adding that the state government bears 50 per cent of the interest that accrues from the loan.
She however lamented the challenge of documentation insisting that “you must be able as a state government to stand in the gap to be the guarantor for the farmers, but they must be in clusters” adding that we deal mostly with cooperative groups.
She described the federal government as a policy maker but noted that “in terms of execution (of these policies) it’s at the state level” and commended the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS), aimed at delivering subsidised farm inputs to farmers through an electronic wallet and eliminates “emergency fertilizer sellers”.
She added that any state government “worth its salt must have its programmes that it wants to execute and also key into the programmes of the federal government”.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, while announcing the date of the forum had described agriculture and urban development as veritable means to create wealth and further boost the economy of the state, adding that “indeed, when we look at the vast potential employment opportunities embedded in agriculture, the comparative advantage in land mass, we can feed ourselves and other states in South West region and create wealth if the value chain system is strictly followed”.
Amosun said the keynote address of the forum, which will focus on “Agriculture and Urban Development”, would be delivered by former President of Mexico, Mr. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa.