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AKPABIO: The Task Ahead

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Items filtered by date: December 2018

And Dickson’s Oxbow Lake Wastes Away

  • Published in News

The so much talked about Oxbow Lake is a supposed tourist centre built by the Bayelsa state government to boost Internally Generated Revenue IGR of the state. But a trip by TNN Metro to the place shows that the multi million naira facility is just wasting away.

It was shocking to observe that there are no attractive daily events that could cut national attention, let alone foreign interests.

Oxbow Lake is situated at a corner of Yenagoa City, the capital of Bayelsa State. A neatly tarred road leads to the imposing edifice  that houses the grand pavilion and the Yenagoa Boat Club constructed by the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson.

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I Fasted For 200 Days Without Food, Water To Acquire Power From God -Bayelsa Prophet

Apostle (Dr.) Kingsley Abiekunogho is the General Overseer of God is Able Mega Fire Ministries based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. He is the prophet who was charged to court in Yenagoa over the car-for-miracles incident. In this interview with JOHN ODHE, he speaks on his ordeal and subsequent victory at the Magistrate Court sitting in Yenagoa, the state capital where he was discharged and acquitted on charges of alleged conspiracy and collection of his member's car by false pretence. 

Excerpts:

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Why Abuja Court Order On C’River APC Exco Can’t Stand -Obono-Obla

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A presidential adviser and chieftain of the APC in Cross River State, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has given reasons why the recent judgement of a Bwari court, Abuja, against the leadership of his party, cannot stand.

This is his position on the matter:

One of the errors made by the learned trial Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja concerning the case filed by Sylvester Okpo; Mrs Eugenia Takon and Charles Asu against the APC in Cross River State (which Judgment was delivered on 13 December 2018) is his dabbling into Primaries conducted by the National Working Committee in October 2018 ; whereas the kernel of the Plaintiffs case was the conduct of Wards, Local Government Areas Congresses and State Congress respectively .

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Reps aAzaiki, Osom Battle For YELGA/KOLGA

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Though political activities are yet to enter full gear in Bayelsa State ahead of the 2019 general elections, the real contenders have already emerged. An analytical look at the Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency shows that the battle is between the two major rival political parties in the state. They are candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prof. Steve Azaiki and  his counterpart, Mr. Blackson Osom of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

None of the two major contenders will ride to victory based on the power of incumbency. This is owing to the fact that the current member representing the YELGA/KOLGA federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Douye Diri is now the candidate of the PDP contesting for the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.

Some political analysts are likening the battle between Azaiki and Osom to the proverbial biblical fight between little David and giant Goliath based on the high disparity in age and political experience between the duo. For instance, Azaiki of the PDP is far older than his APC counterpart.

Apart from being more advanced in age, Azaiki is a former secretary to the state government. Furthermore, the PDP candidate, until his emergence as the flagbearer of his party, was the chairman, governing council, Niger Delta University, Amassoma. Moreover, Azaiki is the candidate of the ruling party in the state. Dickson, who is the leader of the PDP in the state, has often times, made bold his resolve to ensure his party wins all state and National Assembly seats in the state during the forthcoming polls. Going by his political experience, age as well as party strength, the PDP candidate could be seen in the eyes of political watchers as better positioned to emerge victorious at the polls.

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How I Resisted Moves By Buhari's Men To Probe My Govt A Few Days Toa My Hand Over –Jonathan

 

Being the continuation of excerpts taken from the book, “My transition hour,” written by a former

president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan

Even though we were from different political parties, the major undertaking for me after the election was to demonstrate that our country was far more important than partisan considerations. My top priority was for a peaceful Nigeria. So, therefore, my relationship with General Buhari was more important than a political party. We needed to relate to the interest of the country to have a handover that was unique for 2015.

The former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, was most supportive; he encouraged us both to meet on different occasions with the sole intention of putting Nigeria first. By having these meetings we created a platform before the formal handover. The handover was just a ceremony; our meetings were important with the emphasis on pushing the country forward. We managed to have some friendly, productive talks. As part of the change over program, the incoming and outgoing governments set up a transition team designed to work together. Initially, there was a big misunderstanding; the incoming team wanted to bring in consultants to work with them. I declined the request, assuring them that when the take-over took place, the government's permanent secretaries, and directors would stay behind to brief the staff of the incoming President on all the details. I passionately opposed the idea knowing that it would send the wrong message and appear like they were investigating my government while I was still the President!

Coincidentally, I found out days later that the request didn't come from Buhari but rather from his overzealous party members. Consequently, both teams worked together effectively, except for the challenging way of retrieving detailed information needed to write the handover notes. It took weeks to gather all the data and statistics from the numerous agencies and departments of government.

You may be wondering if the transition was difficult for me having the the presidency? Honestly speaking, it was a mixture of feelings. On my part, as president, I had no ill feelings because I meant well and wanted to do the best for my country . Yes, there were some human errors along the way, as is the case with all leaders. The best thing that I could do was to preserve Nigeria's unity and ensure a

brighter future for my children, and all children of Nigeria. That remains my driving force. My party ruled the country for sixteen years, definitely, we had economic challenges, but, unfortunately, people didn't understand clearly that our country has serious foundational and structural problems. They blame their frustrations mostly on political actors.

I had no problem with the handover. My biggest concern was whether the incoming government would go on a persecution spree of those who supported me. The tremendous burden I carried was how political development would affect all the people who supported me. My fear was not necessarily from the incoming president, but having been a Governor and a President, I was very aware that many measures come from many different sources on our continent. Sometimes the intentions of people around you are unclear, and they take advantage of certain situations. I tried to have several discussions on this very subject with General Buhari in our various meetings.

MAY 25, 2015

Two days before handing over the mantle of leadership, I was invited to an elaborate send-forth event that attracted top Nigerians from all walks of life and held in Kpaduma Hills, Asokoro, located near Abuja. The invitation took me by surprise. I thought that people were supposed to be running away from someone who had just lost an election and here I was being honored and celebrated by Daar Communications .Surprisingly, I had accepted in good faith losing the elections, but some argued that I was disappointed in those people I had entrusted with my campaign. That was certainly not the case. I had no regrets about losing. In any political process, you will always hear various stories and conspiracies. I remember feeling most relaxed on the drive out to Kpaduma Hills, knowing that this event was good for me. I would have a chance to speak directly.

For me, my ambition has always been to see what contribution I can make for the ordinary people, and that is why their lives are unique to me and wouldn't do anything that would create a crisis to kill innocent people. The decision I made was for Nigeria—I could never be party to diminishing my country. Daar Communications appreciated my being there. They lined up speakers who made my evening among whom were their Emeritus Chairman, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Prof Jerry Gana,Y inka Odumakin who wished that my late aide Oronto Douglas were part of this closure, Mainassara Illo and Senator Ben Obi. There were also good renditions from musicians especially Eedres Abdul Kareem.

Daar Communications gave me more than they will ever know, for it helped weave the fabric so necessary for the Transition Hours ahead of me, and future life as a private citizen.

MAY 27, 2015

The historic day was quickly arriving. An inspection of the facilities at the Presidential Villa was scheduled. My Vice President, President-elect, his Vice President, and myself attended later that day a small ceremony that took place in the Council Chamber, where I handed over the briefs collected by my Ministers, Department Heads, and Agencies of government for the incoming administration.

President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, was first to acknowledge me, and I was extremely grateful."Since that telephone call you made,” he began, “you have changed the course of Nigeria's political history. For that, you have owned yourself a place in our history, for stabilizing the multiparty democratic system. You have earned the respect of not only Nigerians but also world leaders..You could have made things difficult if you wanted to"

The handover of notes presented consisted of our governance philosophy, strategies, policies, programs and activities of my administration for the period 2011-2015. In these notes were also the objectives, targets, tactics, achievements, and challenges of our key policies and initiatives, as well as the status of commitments and liabilities of the various MDAs. I spoke with conviction about our many achievements. I mentioned a few major successes like the improved revenue mobilization, electoral reform, revamping of the railroad system, remodeling of airports, privatization of the power sector and so on.

I handed over the mission statement and commitment of my government for the past five years. I wanted it to serve as directions to help navigate where the country seemed headed.

One other document that I gave to the President-elect was of most importance to me—and, even more, important than the other hand over notes. It was a document compiled by an array of distinguished Nigerians, and it contained the report of the 2014 National Conference I was clear in asking that this must not be allowed to end in the dustbin, as it was very close to my heart and represented what I stand for as I go forward. Let me quickly recap the significance of the document.

On March 17, 2014, approximately five hundred Nigerians gathered in Abuja from all walks of life to attend a conference that government had no influence on in any way. After a very dynamic look, most of the recommendations and suggestions were based on the need to give our country a working architecture of governance. The findings resulted in ways that our politics could run more smoothly. Unfortunately, we were unable to implement the report, because of the shortness of time, as we already entered the election season at the submission of the report .

I did emphasize the importance of the conference the day I inaugurated it when I said:"The conference is being convened to engage in intense introspection about the political and socio- economic challenges confronting our nation and to chart the best and most acceptable way for the resolution of such challenges in the collective interest of  all the constituent parts of  our fatherland.

This coming together under one roof to confer and

build a fresh national consensus for the amicable resolution of issues that still cause friction amongst our people must be seen as an essential part of the process of building a more united, stronger and progressive nation. We cannot continue to fold our arms and assume that things will straighten themselves out in due course, instead of taking practical steps to overcome impediments on our path to true nationhood, rapid development and national prosperity.”

And when I accepted the report on August 21, 2014, I made the following remarks among others:

"I I am very satisfied that the Delegates navigated these obstacles in a very mature manner. There were those who set out to input ulterior motives to our modest efforts at reshaping and strengthening the foundations of our nationhood to deliver better political cohesion and greater development agenda. The naysayers raised false alarms over some phantom hidden agenda and called to question our sincerity and did everything possible to derail this noble project.”

"The success of this conference has proved the cynics wrong in many respects. Those who dismissed the entire conference ab initio as a “diversion” have been proved wrong as what you achieved has contrary to their forecast diverted our country only from the wrong road to the right direction.”

"They said the conference would end in a deadlock as Nigeria had reached a point where the constituent parts could no longer agree on any issue. We exploded that myth by suggesting that you should arrive at your decisions by consensus or 75% majority threshold.”

"That was the first challenge you had at this conference when it appeared you were going to break up. There were suggestions that we should intervene as government to “save” the conference at that dicey moment but I insisted that beyond the inauguration we were not going to intrude into the conference in any manner. We kept our promise.”

"One of the many reasons for our non-interference is this: we have at the conference, 492 delegates and six conference officials who all in their individual rights are qualified to lead our great country and if they were unable to agree on how to take decisions, we would be in real trouble! Acknowledging the quality and patriotic content of the delegates, I was confident, the right thing will be done.”

The chairman of the conference Justice Legbo Kutigi in speech emphasized clearly that this was a free discussion by Nigerians about the future of Nigeria when he said: "Let me state here categorically and with the fear of Almighty Allah in my heart, that not once did you interfere or dictate to us in the course of this Conference. The only time we tried to consult the President during the conflict over voting percentages at the very beginning of the Conference we were told that the issue was for us to resolve. At no time after that did you meet with us or speak to us."

The President-elect took the material graciously from me, and I felt confident of its success for a better Nigeria if implemented. I ensured also that the report was laid before the National Assembly as I firmly believe that in those 600 recommendations lie a good future for our country.

“The best advertisement for good governance is its positive expressions of happiness in the lives of the governed.”

 

~ Goodluck Jonathan

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How I Resisted Moves By Buhari's Men To Probe My Govt A Few Days Toa My Hand Over –Jonathan

 

Being the continuation of excerpts taken from the book, “My transition hour,” written by a former

president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan

Even though we were from different political parties, the major undertaking for me after the election was to demonstrate that our country was far more important than partisan considerations. My top priority was for a peaceful Nigeria. So, therefore, my relationship with General Buhari was more important than a political party. We needed to relate to the interest of the country to have a handover that was unique for 2015.

The former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, was most supportive; he encouraged us both to meet on different occasions with the sole intention of putting Nigeria first. By having these meetings we created a platform before the formal handover. The handover was just a ceremony; our meetings were important with the emphasis on pushing the country forward. We managed to have some friendly, productive talks. As part of the change over program, the incoming and outgoing governments set up a transition team designed to work together. Initially, there was a big misunderstanding; the incoming team wanted to bring in consultants to work with them. I declined the request, assuring them that when the take-over took place, the government's permanent secretaries, and directors would stay behind to brief the staff of the incoming President on all the details. I passionately opposed the idea knowing that it would send the wrong message and appear like they were investigating my government while I was still the President!

Coincidentally, I found out days later that the request didn't come from Buhari but rather from his overzealous party members. Consequently, both teams worked together effectively, except for the challenging way of retrieving detailed information needed to write the handover notes. It took weeks to gather all the data and statistics from the numerous agencies and departments of government.

You may be wondering if the transition was difficult for me having the the presidency? Honestly speaking, it was a mixture of feelings. On my part, as president, I had no ill feelings because I meant well and wanted to do the best for my country . Yes, there were some human errors along the way, as is the case with all leaders. The best thing that I could do was to preserve Nigeria's unity and ensure a

brighter future for my children, and all children of Nigeria. That remains my driving force. My party ruled the country for sixteen years, definitely, we had economic challenges, but, unfortunately, people didn't understand clearly that our country has serious foundational and structural problems. They blame their frustrations mostly on political actors.

I had no problem with the handover. My biggest concern was whether the incoming government would go on a persecution spree of those who supported me. The tremendous burden I carried was how political development would affect all the people who supported me. My fear was not necessarily from the incoming president, but having been a Governor and a President, I was very aware that many measures come from many different sources on our continent. Sometimes the intentions of people around you are unclear, and they take advantage of certain situations. I tried to have several discussions on this very subject with General Buhari in our various meetings.

MAY 25, 2015

Two days before handing over the mantle of leadership, I was invited to an elaborate send-forth event that attracted top Nigerians from all walks of life and held in Kpaduma Hills, Asokoro, located near Abuja. The invitation took me by surprise. I thought that people were supposed to be running away from someone who had just lost an election and here I was being honored and celebrated by Daar Communications .Surprisingly, I had accepted in good faith losing the elections, but some argued that I was disappointed in those people I had entrusted with my campaign. That was certainly not the case. I had no regrets about losing. In any political process, you will always hear various stories and conspiracies. I remember feeling most relaxed on the drive out to Kpaduma Hills, knowing that this event was good for me. I would have a chance to speak directly.

For me, my ambition has always been to see what contribution I can make for the ordinary people, and that is why their lives are unique to me and wouldn't do anything that would create a crisis to kill innocent people. The decision I made was for Nigeria—I could never be party to diminishing my country. Daar Communications appreciated my being there. They lined up speakers who made my evening among whom were their Emeritus Chairman, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Prof Jerry Gana,Y inka Odumakin who wished that my late aide Oronto Douglas were part of this closure, Mainassara Illo and Senator Ben Obi. There were also good renditions from musicians especially Eedres Abdul Kareem.

Daar Communications gave me more than they will ever know, for it helped weave the fabric so necessary for the Transition Hours ahead of me, and future life as a private citizen.

MAY 27, 2015

The historic day was quickly arriving. An inspection of the facilities at the Presidential Villa was scheduled. My Vice President, President-elect, his Vice President, and myself attended later that day a small ceremony that took place in the Council Chamber, where I handed over the briefs collected by my Ministers, Department Heads, and Agencies of government for the incoming administration.

President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, was first to acknowledge me, and I was extremely grateful."Since that telephone call you made,” he began, “you have changed the course of Nigeria's political history. For that, you have owned yourself a place in our history, for stabilizing the multiparty democratic system. You have earned the respect of not only Nigerians but also world leaders..You could have made things difficult if you wanted to"

The handover of notes presented consisted of our governance philosophy, strategies, policies, programs and activities of my administration for the period 2011-2015. In these notes were also the objectives, targets, tactics, achievements, and challenges of our key policies and initiatives, as well as the status of commitments and liabilities of the various MDAs. I spoke with conviction about our many achievements. I mentioned a few major successes like the improved revenue mobilization, electoral reform, revamping of the railroad system, remodeling of airports, privatization of the power sector and so on.

I handed over the mission statement and commitment of my government for the past five years. I wanted it to serve as directions to help navigate where the country seemed headed.

One other document that I gave to the President-elect was of most importance to me—and, even more, important than the other hand over notes. It was a document compiled by an array of distinguished Nigerians, and it contained the report of the 2014 National Conference I was clear in asking that this must not be allowed to end in the dustbin, as it was very close to my heart and represented what I stand for as I go forward. Let me quickly recap the significance of the document.

On March 17, 2014, approximately five hundred Nigerians gathered in Abuja from all walks of life to attend a conference that government had no influence on in any way. After a very dynamic look, most of the recommendations and suggestions were based on the need to give our country a working architecture of governance. The findings resulted in ways that our politics could run more smoothly. Unfortunately, we were unable to implement the report, because of the shortness of time, as we already entered the election season at the submission of the report .

I did emphasize the importance of the conference the day I inaugurated it when I said:"The conference is being convened to engage in intense introspection about the political and socio- economic challenges confronting our nation and to chart the best and most acceptable way for the resolution of such challenges in the collective interest of  all the constituent parts of  our fatherland.

This coming together under one roof to confer and

build a fresh national consensus for the amicable resolution of issues that still cause friction amongst our people must be seen as an essential part of the process of building a more united, stronger and progressive nation. We cannot continue to fold our arms and assume that things will straighten themselves out in due course, instead of taking practical steps to overcome impediments on our path to true nationhood, rapid development and national prosperity.”

And when I accepted the report on August 21, 2014, I made the following remarks among others:

"I I am very satisfied that the Delegates navigated these obstacles in a very mature manner. There were those who set out to input ulterior motives to our modest efforts at reshaping and strengthening the foundations of our nationhood to deliver better political cohesion and greater development agenda. The naysayers raised false alarms over some phantom hidden agenda and called to question our sincerity and did everything possible to derail this noble project.”

"The success of this conference has proved the cynics wrong in many respects. Those who dismissed the entire conference ab initio as a “diversion” have been proved wrong as what you achieved has contrary to their forecast diverted our country only from the wrong road to the right direction.”

"They said the conference would end in a deadlock as Nigeria had reached a point where the constituent parts could no longer agree on any issue. We exploded that myth by suggesting that you should arrive at your decisions by consensus or 75% majority threshold.”

"That was the first challenge you had at this conference when it appeared you were going to break up. There were suggestions that we should intervene as government to “save” the conference at that dicey moment but I insisted that beyond the inauguration we were not going to intrude into the conference in any manner. We kept our promise.”

"One of the many reasons for our non-interference is this: we have at the conference, 492 delegates and six conference officials who all in their individual rights are qualified to lead our great country and if they were unable to agree on how to take decisions, we would be in real trouble! Acknowledging the quality and patriotic content of the delegates, I was confident, the right thing will be done.”

The chairman of the conference Justice Legbo Kutigi in speech emphasized clearly that this was a free discussion by Nigerians about the future of Nigeria when he said: "Let me state here categorically and with the fear of Almighty Allah in my heart, that not once did you interfere or dictate to us in the course of this Conference. The only time we tried to consult the President during the conflict over voting percentages at the very beginning of the Conference we were told that the issue was for us to resolve. At no time after that did you meet with us or speak to us."

The President-elect took the material graciously from me, and I felt confident of its success for a better Nigeria if implemented. I ensured also that the report was laid before the National Assembly as I firmly believe that in those 600 recommendations lie a good future for our country.

“The best advertisement for good governance is its positive expressions of happiness in the lives of the governed.”

 

~ Goodluck Jonathan

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Share Your Story With Us: SMS: +2348045672312, Whatsapp: +2348046723123, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Need For Issue-Based Campaigns

As the nation inches closer to the 2019 general elections, the need for political office seekers to engage in issue-based campaigns has become much more inevitable. Issue-based campaigns engender peaceful co-existence and social harmony. There are many issues that should engage the attention of politicians rather than for them to dwell on mundane issues and engage in muck raking and mudslinging, to score cheap political points.

Issues such as pervasive poverty, gender related violence, lack of infrastructure, unemployment, violent crimes, resource control, restructuring and many others deserve urgent attention by politicians. All is not well with the nation in terms of the welfare of the people. It has never been so bad. And Cross River state, being a part of the country, also has its fair share of challenges that have to be addressed by political office seekers, especially the governorship candidates of the leading political parties in the state. These higher-stake candidates are those of Peoples Democratic Party and incumbent governor, Prof Ben Ayade, the All Progressives Congress, Senator John Owan Enoh, and that of the Social Democratic Party, Eyo Ekpo.

Interestingly, these three governorship candidates have clear ideas about what they intend to achieve if given the mandate by the people. Governor Ayade's desire is to sustain his industrialization drive in the second term if voted by the electorate, hence his campaign mantra 'Ayade 2019 For Sustainable Industrialization'.  Owan Enoh's campaign clarion call is 'Better Days are Possible Again', while Eyo Ekpo says he wants to restore the lost glory of the state.

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The SDP And Youth Participation In Cross River

As the 2019 elections approach, we are seeing a continuation of the growing interest shown by young people in the political process. Historically, this interest has been shown most clearly on social media, with several agitations against bad governance. However, this has not really translated into mass participation by young people at the polls, necessitating several Get Your PVC campaigns for the 2015 and 2019 elections.

Beyond just voting, the Not Too Young To Run bull was passed into law, reducing the ages for eligibility for many political offices. While its passage has been hailed, other huge challenges remain concerning actually engaging with the nomination process. Indeed, knocking down one obstacle has revealed others issues with the way political parties are run, and which have to be surmounted in order for a young person to fulfil their political ambition.

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From Calabar Residents, A Hand Clap For Ayade

 A character trait alien to Calabar has suddenly enveloped the alluring and beautiful capital of Cross River state, yet residents and motorists who ordinary should be chief complainants say, they are at home with the situation.

”It is good for the city and its people; it is good for Calabar, the pains we are going through now is temporary”, a cheerful motorist enthused as he wheeled his Audi car out of a bend to negotiate a more spacious access amidst hundreds of other horn-blaring vehicles struggling to also maneuver their vehicles away from uncomfortable positions.

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Ultra-modern Cocoa processing factory ready soon--Commissioner

  • Published in News
Recently, a team led by the Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Anothony Eneji, visited the ultra-modern cocoa processing factory in Ikom for on-the-spot assessment of progress of work there. The team also visited the rice mill in Ogoja where equipment are also being installed. Here is what the commissioner and other stakeholders said about the cocoa factory:

Commissioner for Agric: Let me welcome you to the ultramodern cocoa processing factory in the making. As you can see, a lot of work has been done here and today is one of our periodic visits to monitor and supervise what is going on. Each time we come like this, we often meet with our contractor, A.A. Universal. Most of the huge structure and buildings have been put in place. The factory itself is ongoing with installation of equipment. These are high quality equipment from Switzerland. We are hoping that by the first quarter of next year, this plant should be up and running. So far we are very satisfied with the pace of work being done. The access roads are being constructed simultaneously. The fence has been completed. Landscaping is almost beginning. The warehouse is being built quickly. That is where the cocoa seeds are going to be stored and then for processing. Overall I am very satisfied. The administrative building is in full swing and it has been roofed ready for plastering and eventual finishing. We care about the staff that are going to work here and so the facility clinic is almost completed. From all I have seen the guest houses are also getting ready.

I am happy to say that all the terms and agreement in our contract are being put in place, even beyond. And so I can go back in confidence that a lot of work has been done and we look forward to meeting our target of commissioning this cocoa processing plant. There is a programme to educate the farmers on the handling of cocoa from the farming to this processing point. That is the education we intend to pass on to the farmers. That is also going to be important for the sustainability of this plant. Appropriate fermentation and sun drying add to the flavour of the cocoa when processed. Private sector participation will be keyed in after commissioning for sustainability. It is not going to be government business as usual. The sustainability of this project is assured. There is no problem about that. To ensure steady availability of cocoa for processing by the plant we have what we call Cocoa Development Initiative whereby we will produce 100,000 hectares of cocoa in 14 local government areas in the state. It is a N100 billion project. Already, we have raised five million cocoa seedlings to ensure the plant does not run short of produce.

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