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How Governor Ododo Saved over N20B Refurbishing 200 Abandoned Tractors



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By Iyojo Ameh

Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo has said his administration saved the state government over 20 Billion Naira by recovering and refurbishing almost to brand new status in physical condition and mechanical performance of about 200 tractors deployed for the 2024 wet season farming in the state.

This was revealed in an exclusive interview with Babajide Kolade Otitoju aired on TVC News over the weekend, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Ismaila Isah disclosed in a statement.

The Governor who was asked about the ground-breaking initiative to recover and refurbish tractors that were already out of use stated that he was compelled by the prevailing economic situation to evolve innovative approach by putting together a team of engineers to revitalize disused tractors which were procured by his predecessor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and given to farmers who left them abandoned in different farm settlements within and outside the state.

The Governor said he set out to recover and put the tractors back to use by spending far less than what it would have cost the state government to procure new tractors for the farming season given the timing and the extra cost implications due to foreign exchange instability and logistics of importation.

The Governor disclosed that it would cost the state government well over 70 Million Naira, if it were to procure a brand new tractor with complete accessories, adding that the figure could be well over 20 Billion for about 200 tractors that were refurbished by the team of engineers working at a workshop in the premises of the Kogi State Agricultural Development Project (ADP) in Lokoja.

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According to Governor Ododo: “spending billions of Naira, passing through the procurement processes, shipment and clearing would have been difficult. But we had over 250 tractors procured by the last administration but it was not well utilized by the same indigenes of our dear state. These are public property.

“So far, we have spent over 2 Billion Naira in bringing up to 140 tractors back to life. If we were to buy 140 tractors or more, …I think we should be talking about tens of billions of Naira and not minding the time it will take you to ship, to clear, and we don’t have time to wait for all that. We are eager to give back to our people. So it’s working and the farmers can attest to that, the good people of Kogi State can attest to that. You can go to the workshop to see what we are doing because governance is all about cutting down cost for you to be able to serve your people”.

Governor Ododo whose interest in agriculture is already rejuvenating the agricultural value chain in the state with the unprecedented amount of incentives provided for farmers in the state disclosed in the interview that his administration has invested over 7 Billion Naira in providing farm implements, seedlings and other essential supplies for nearly 10,000 farmers in 76 farm clusters across the 21 local government areas in the state.

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“We have invested 7.5 Billion Naira and we are ready to invest more on the farmers so that they will be able to go into full-fledged farming. It’s a plan. We are unveiling it gradually because everyone can’t be on government payroll. We must all contribute, join hands together to develop our state so that Kogi State can be a good example for other states to learn from. Very soon, you will see what Kogi State will do in terms of agriculture. We will not only feed ourselves, we will feed other states and possibly export our agricultural produce”, the Governor said.

Governor Ododo further stated that the team of engineers have also trained many young people in the state as operators and service engineers deployed along with the tractors to all the 76 farm clusters where they are also expected to take up hectares of farmland and take part in farming under the One Farmer, One Hectare programme of the present administration in the state.

The Governor said the investment in agriculture by the state government will be sustained, assuring that all that needs to be provided will be in place including security and possible expansion to over 50,000 hectares in the next farming season to boost agricultural production and guarantee food security through all-year round farming in the state.


Speaking on the comparative advantage of the state in agriculture, Governor Ododo noted that Kogi state has the capacity to become the next food basket of Nigeria with its advantages in cultivation of tubers like yam and cassava and grains such as rice and maize as well as vegetables with over 70 per cent of its land area being arable and the abundance of water bodies in Rivers Niger and Benue as well as the energy and enterprise of its youthful population which is now encouraged by the government to invest in agriculture.

The Governor noted that the only way Nigeria can beat the current inflationary trend induced by prevailing hike in food prices is a return to massive investment in agriculture under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stressing that an aggressive campaign is required to encourage more Nigerians to embrace farming as a means of subsistence and to support the economic recovery of families in the country.


Illegal Mining: Flush out all illegal miners now, Assembly urges Gov. Sule



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By David Odama

Worried by the increasing influx of illegal miners posing a security threat to Nasarawa State, the House of Assembly, Monday urged governor Abdullahi Sule to urgently flush out all illegal miners in the State to curtail insecurity and other criminalities.

The House also called on the State Government to ensure that miners licensed to operate in the state are screened and made to pass through all the necessary processes as required by law.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Danladi Jatau made the call in a matter of public interest raised by Hon. Daniel Ogah Ogazi during the House proceedings in Lafia.

The Speaker who lamented the negative impact of illegal miners in the State, said the House was worried over the growing and increasing rate of illegal miners which has been a new trend, especially in kokona LGA thus creating tension over safety of lives and properties of the affected communities.

” Our resolution is to the effect that I want to appreciate his Excellency Gov. Abdullahi Sule for attracting investors to the state and while he is doing that we will not allow anybody to destroy such efforts.

“The position of the House is also that the Hon. Commissioner of Police should mobilize his men to flush out all illegal miners in the state” He said

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The Speaker said that the House would support the state government to flush out illegal miners which will in turn promote peace and development in the State stressing that the issue is rampage creating tension across the State hence the need for security agencies to do the needful.

Earlier, Hon.Daniel Ogah Ogazi (APC Kokona East) while raising the motion under matters of urgent public importance appreciated the effort of the State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule for attracting investors to the state.

Ogazi, however expressed worried over recent development in the state, especially in kokona LGA where illegal mining has become the order of the day.

“Where a mining site has been named Sambisa Forest in the area which create negativity and is threatening the security of the people of the area. There was a site of lithium found in Amba community, especially areas like Agaza, Kware, Ego, Egboka and Agbadu respectively.

“Mr. Speaker, the law that established mining act did not permit illegal mining so we call on government to flush out all illegal miners in the state.

Members, who were unanimous in their decision stressed the need for government to regulate miners presence in the state, ensure the safety of the communities.

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Contributors on the floor of the house included Hon. Solomon Akwashiki, Hon. Muhammed Omadefu, Hon.Onarigu Kana, Hon. Musa Ekye, Hon. Muhammed Isimbabi, Hon. Larry Ven Bawa, Hon.Esson Mairiga, Hon Jonah Dizaho, Hon. Ajegina Kudu and the majority leader of the House, Hon. Suleiman Azara, all spoke extensively on the matter as its affect the security of the state.

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Senate Hails Labour Unions for Accepting N70,000 Minimum Wage



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By Iyojo Ameh

Diket Plang, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour and Productivity, has lauded the labour unions for their acceptance of the federal government’s proposed minimum wage of N70,000.

In a statement issued to journalists in Jos on Sunday, Plang expressed appreciation for the unions’ patriotism and their constructive role during the negotiation process. He commended their collaborative approach, which he believes will foster positive economic outcomes for the country.
He noted the unions’ commitment to a peaceful resolution during discussions and the eventual agreement.

Plang also highlighted his personal involvement in extensive discussions with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). He facilitated multiple meetings between the legislative branch and the trade unions to achieve a consensus on the matter.

“I must thank them because they have a very patriotic approach to this issue. They were never violent at all.

“Our relationship is like a family, where dependents and children ask the father for more resources.

“The father, who loves the children, will look at them compassionately and explain his limitations.

“The ability to agree on a particular amount was commendable and shows understanding within the family.

“We must be careful to ensure that the federal, state, and local governments all pay the new minimum,” he said.

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Plang urged organised labour to meet the minimum wage requirements.

“May we also bring policies that favour the private sector so they can thrive, be productive, and be in a position to meet the minimum wage for our workers,” he said. 

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General News

First Lady Calls for Gender Parity, Applauds APC Initiatives, and Encourages West Africa to Follow Nordic Models



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By Iyojo Ameh

Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has recognized the substantial barriers that women in the West African sub-region face in achieving gender parity.

Speaking at the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA) event at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on Monday, 22 July 2024, Tinubu emphasized the need for women’s active participation in politics, stating:

“Despite progress, significant barriers still exist. We must rethink women’s proportional representation in governance.”

Tinubu commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) for removing financial barriers for women in politics and highlighted the success of gender quotas in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Spain, which have led to more inclusive governance. She urged governments to enforce gender quotas through legal frameworks and monitoring systems, saying:

“Governments must take the bold step to kickstart the journey to an enduring democracy of quality representation.”

The First Lady expressed confidence in Nigerian women’s abilities, stating:

“Nigerian women are smart and intelligent and can work alongside our male counterparts, without friction, for the good and development of our country.”

She thanked ECOFEPA for its commitment to achieving 30% women representation in parliament, saying:

“The journey towards achieving 30% women representation in our parliament is achievable once we take the bold step to kickstart the journey to an enduring democracy of quality representation.”

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