Politics

Stakeholders oppose bill for ban on export and killing of donkeys in Nigeria

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Some stakeholders on Tuesday disagreed with House of Representatives on the bill seeking to ban the Killing and exportation of donkeys from Nigeria.

At a public hearing on the Killing of Donkey Prohibition Bill in Abuja, the stakeholders including National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) and the Donkey Skin Processors, Marketers and Exporters Association of Nigeria (DSPMEAN) said the bill would be detrimental to the donkey value chain suggesting that the animal breeding should be rather encouraged.

The bill was introduced to address the decreasing population of donkeys in the country as a result of the demand for its skin by China and local consumption of the meat.

Representing NAPRI at the hearing, Mr Haruna Ibrahim a Research Fellow II said that the socio-economic importance of donkeys especially in Northern Nigeria cannot be over emphasised.

He said that the animal is used for cultivation for agricultural produce, transportation of goods and services among others.

Ibrahim recalled that in 1992, the population of donkeys in the country was less than one million and that the Federal Ministry of Environment has since declared donkey an endangered animal.

He said that China’s interest in donkey skin from Africa for medicinal purposes has contributed to the reduction of the animal in the country.

According to Ibrahim, China is in need of four million donkey skin annually to meet the industrial demand of the country.

He said that breeding, nutrition, health and management of donkey are essential areas of intervention to boost the population of the animal.

He said that donkey value chain is a means of employment and income generation for many Nigerians adding that a legislation against the killing and sales of donkeys would further compound the menace of unemployment in the country.

“We rather call for the up scaling of donkey production in the areas favourable to the production and growth of the animal.

“The reason for the decline in population is as a result of demand for skin and consumption of the meat but that does not mean we should forget about the many people whose livelihood depend on donkey,’’ he said.

According him, there is neglected attention given to breeding and multiplication of donkey by development agencies that accounts for the general decline of donkey population in the country.

Ibrahim called for adequate funding of breeding of donkeys and centers should be established across Northern Nigeria where the weather condition is favourable for the animal.

He said up scaling the breeding of donkeys would promote the socio-economic life of rural dwellers in the North.

Also, Mr Vitalis Ike, Deputy Chairman, DSPMEAN said that global demand for donkey skin is an opportunity for Nigeria to increase production and generate foreign exchange.

He said that no fewer than 10,000 persons are fully involved in the donkey value chain and that they have no fewer than 40,000 dependents.

The deputy chairman said rather than outlawing the consumption and exportation of donkey, its production should be extensively encouraged.

According to him, over 500 million dollars could be generated in the first five years if the country invests properly in the production of the animal.

He said that the bill, if not well manage could take the country backward when passed into law urging the lawmakers to thread with caution.

Ike said that in spite of the consumption of cow meat in the country, the animal has not been categorised as endangered species as proper attention is being given to it breeding.

Earlier, the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mohammed Garba (APC-Kaduna) said that donkeys are important means of transportation in rural Northern Nigerian as it serves as ambulance in some cases.

The legislator said that the bill, which is also supported by Rep. Sani Zoro (APC-Jigawa) seeks to prohibit the killing and exportation of the animal as its population has continued to decline.

He said countries like Botswana, Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ethopia and Zimbabwe among others have prohibited the exportation of donkeys.

Garba said as a result of the global demand, the price of donkeys has risen from about N15,000 to N130,000 which is responsible for the increasing theft of the animal in the North.

The lawmaker said that clauses one and two of bill prohibit the exportation of donkeys and that clause four of the bill proposes 10 years imprisonment for defaulters when passed in to law.

Also, Dr Olaniran Alabi, the Director, Veterinary and Pest Control in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the ministry is in support of the bill.

He said that the decline in the population of donkeys in the country is of serious concern to the ministry.

Alabi said that donkeys have a gestation period of one year and that unlike pigs, they reproduce only once in a year.

He said that if nothing is urgently done to salvage the situation, Nigeria would soon lose all its donkeys and would be difficult to replace them.

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Politics

I was not placed under house arrest — Oshiomhole

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The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has denied reports that he was placed under house arrest in Edo

Oshiomhole debunked the reports while briefing newsmen at his residence shortly after receiving Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who defected to APC

“I saw that they wrote a story that I was placed under house arrest. You can see l am here and not under any house arrest.

“I stayed away from Ize-Iyamu’s rally to sustain the peace of the party . I did not want to be blamed for any violence.

“God knows my heart, and he will help me and he has been helping me. We will sustain the governance of this state under the APC.

“With Edo people as our principals and our ultimate employers we are grateful for the support they have given us in spite of any weaknesses.

“Our party does not believe in rigging. We have entrenched the culture of one-man-one-vote, and the name of the game is persuasion not violence,” Oshiomhole said.

He, however, urged members of the party to enchew all forms of violence in order to sustain peace adding that there was no limit to being a member of APC.

He noted that while there was limit for being chairman, governor and tenure of president, there was no limit for being a member of the party.

According to him, once the members are united and comfortable, we will sustain the path of peace.

“That is why I stayed away from the rally.”

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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General news

Lagos Assembly screens Sanwo-Olu’s 3 commissioner-nominees

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The Lagos State House of Assembly on Friday screened three commissioner-nominees   submitted by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The eight-member Ad-hoc Committee of the House also screened eight others nominated for the House of Assembly Service Commission and Lagos State Civil Service Commission.

The three commissioner-nominees screened by the House committee on Friday included Mr Ganiyu Ayuba, Mr Olugbenga Oyerinde and Bamigbose Martins.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the assembly had on Aug. 16, rejected three of the cabinet nominees presented to it for approval by Sanwo-Olu, necessitating their replacement.

Those rejected by the house included  Mr Ajayi Bembe, Mr George Obafemi and Prince Olanrewaju Sanusi.

The Committee’s Chairman, Mr Rotimi Abiru (Somolu II) said a total of 11 nominees were submitted by the governor to the assembly for screening and confirmation.

He said the eight other nominees included three for the state House of Assembly Service Commission while five for state Civil Service Commission.

Among those screened for the Assembly Service  Commission included Mr Akeem Bello, former member of the 8th Assembly, Mr Kabiru Lawal,  a member from 2007 – 2011 and Mr Richard Osungboye.

The nominees screened for the state Civil Service Commission were Mr Babatunde Seriki, Mr Avoseh Suru, Mr Adesina Odeyemi, Mrs Olubunmi Fabanwo and Mr Kamalrudeen Olorunoje.

NAN reports that other members of the screening committee were Mr Victor Akande (Ojo I), Mr Akeem Shokunle (Oshodi-Isolo I), Mr Desmond Elliot (Surulere I).

Others were Mr Bisi Yusuf (Alimosho I), Mr Noheem Adams (Eti-Osa I) , Mr Folajimi Lai-Mohammed (Ikeja I), Mr Ajani Owolabi (Lagos Mainland I).

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi

(NAN)

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Politics

Obaseki not ready for settlement — Oshiomhole

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The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday said that Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo was not ready for amicable resolution of the crisis rocking the party in the state.

Oshiomhole made this known while briefing newsmen in Benin shortly after receiving Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in his residence in Benin

Oshiomhole said “the governor has been refusing and avoiding an all-inclusive meeting where all issues would have been tabled and resolved.

“Four governors volunteered to attend the meeting but he has consistently refused to attend the meeting.

“The only way to iron out issues is to sit down and listen to complaints.

“He should not worry about the ticket but how to win the heart of Edo people.

“The name of the game is persuation not violence.

“The men whose cars were burnt yesterday will never vote for them again. It is unheard of to refuse somebody into your party; politic is a game of numbers,” he said.

According to Oshiomhole, l have said it before that the deputy governor is doing damage to his principal.

“I have to pay the price by staying away from the APC rally,” he said.

The APC Chairman explained that he avoided the rally so that some persons would not have any excuse to go and  kill people and blame it on him.

“We will not go to their level; blood for blood is not our mantra,” he added.

The South South Vice chairman of the Party, Mr Hillard Etta, while presenting Ize-Iyamu to the national chairman of the party, said he was delighted to welcome lze-lyamu back to the party.

“I never imagined that one day I will be performing this function because lze-lyamu was my boss. I did not see this coming,” he said.

Also speaking, Pastor Ize-Iyamu thanked the national and state leadership of APC for welcoming him back home.

Ize-Iyamu said “l have always said that l am not coming to cause confusion in APC but to come and join in strengthening the house l helped to build.”

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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Politics

Gov. Umahi presents N178 bn budget for 2020

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Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Friday, presented a budget of N178.1 billion for 2020 to the state House of Assembly.

The budget was lower than the 2019 figure of 188.4billion.

Umahi while presenting the budget, tagged ‘budget of growth, consolidation and transformation, expressed appreciation to the House and other critical stakeholders who ensured the effective implementation of the 2019 budget.

The governor said that the budget has a recurrent expenditure of N46.08 billion representing 25.8 per cent and capital expenditure of N132 billion representing 74.1 percent.

“The increase in the capital expenditure is due to the borrowing from the African Development Bank (ADB) for the construction of the state ring road.

“It is pertinent to state that the fund is still with the ADB and not paid into the state’s accounts as the contractors will generate certificate and get paid directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” he said.

Umahi said personnel cost in the budget was N18.4billion with provisions for payment of the new minimum wage for workers in the state.

“I use this opportunity to urge the organised labour to hasten its negotiations with government on the minimum wage for its implementation.

“I have maintained that the minimum wage starts with the Local Government Areas (LGAs) because a chain is as strong as its weakest link.

“Whatever is agreed at the LGA level is what we will pay and I maintain that no LGA should spend more than 60 per cent of its earning on paying salaries.

“The World Bank has instructed that citizens must be part of budgeting which means that they must be accommodated in it with every fund of the state belonging to them,” he said.

Umahi noted that works and infrastructure has been allocated N54.1b (30.8 per cent) education—N27b (15. 21 per cent) health—N15.4b (8.6 per cent) human capital development and commerce and industry—N8.b (4.5 per cent).

“Agriculture will receive N3.7b ( 2.1 per cent) security—N2.6b (1.5 per cent) as the government desires to enhance the agricultural capabilities of the state and improve its general hospitals,” he said.

Mr Francis Nwifuru, the Speaker commended Umahi for painstakingly implementing the 2019 budget and its preceding ones and assured of the House continued collaboration for the good of the state.

“I urge my colleagues to ensure expeditious passage for the governor to consolidate on his infrastructural and other dividends of democracy bequeathed on the people,” he said.

Edited by: Ali Baba-Inuwa

(NAN)

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Politics

PDP extols Gov. Wike’s virtues

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers as an exceptional leader, with extraordinary commitment and sacrifice towards national stability and well-being of Nigerians.

PDP said this in a goodwill message issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Friday in Abuja to congratulate Wike on his birthday.

“Wike is a fearless leader, whose staunch stand for justice, equity and fairness to all, has been a boost to the collective struggle by Nigerians for the restoration of democratic values and rule of law in the country.

“The PDP notes with delight that over the years, he has distinguished himself as a leader whose only interest in governance has been the well being of the people,” he said.

He prayed God to continue to bless Wike with many more years in good health for the people of Rivers and Nigerians at large to continue to benefit from his selfless service to the nation.

Edited by: Ali Baba-Inuwa

(NAN)

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