The multi-billion Naira 32 Metric-Ton-per hour Rice Mill being constructed by the Lagos state government at Imota, has reached 80% completion and will be completed before the end of the year, the state government has announced.
Upon completion, the rice mill is expected to create no less than 250,000 jobs across the upstream and downstream sectors in the rice value chain.
According to Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, the government has moved this project to 80% from the 35% completion level it met in May 2019.
Lagos State Government has said that the multi-billion Naira, 32 Metric-Ton-per hour Rice Mill at Imota will be delivered on or before the end of this year@jidesanwoolu @lagosagric1 @Abi_Olusanya @unclejyde#LASG #ForAGreaterLagos
Read More.. https://t.co/5PmI2N4C7F pic.twitter.com/nTbMkz6Pzr
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) May 31, 2020
What this means
With an expected production capacity of about 2.4 million freshly processed 50kg bags of rice per annum, this mill will greatly reduce the need to import rice from surrounding states and countries.
According to Lawal, the food supply needs of Lagos state means that the state has to treat agriculture as both a business and a development platform to ensure that it is sustainable, attracts investments from strategic partners and addresses other problems in the state.
“The increasing population in Lagos has put pressure on the State’s food security, supply mechanism and available infrastructure, hence the need to prepare adequately to meet the challenges of upscaling food production cannot be over-emphasised,” he said.
The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, coupled with the high loss of jobs expected in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic makes this rice mill a strategic project for the times.
Integrating local farmer groups
The local farmer groups in Lagos states and other nearby states will also be integrated into the mill operations when it commences, as they will help to cultivate the required number of paddy while the state government provides inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and irrigation facilities, where applicable.
In his words, “To meet the Paddy requirement of the Mill, we have undertaken a backward integration in the form of collaboration with other States like South-Western States, Kwara, Sokoto, Benue, Borno and Kebbi.
This will be done leveraging on the Anchor Borrower Scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria with the Rice Mill as the off-taker of the products,” Lawal added.
This will help in no small way to enhance food security in Nigeria’s commercial city and ensure that the state can at least produce a quarter of what its residents require for consumption.
UPDATED: Fire outbreak at World Trade Centre, Abuja
A fire outbreak has been reported at the rooftop of the World Trade Centre in Abuja.
This was disclosed in a report from ChannelsTV, which stated that an official of the company, Mr Ibukun Adeogun said that the fire occurred at about 11.30 a.m.
At least three fire service trucks were deployed to contain the fire, which Mr. Adeogun explained did not cause any damage.
An eyewitness explained that the fire started from the top of the skyscraper which dots the skyline of Central Business District, Abuja as smoke billowed from the pinnacle.
Adeogun added that the fire had been extinguished by high-pressure sprinklers in the building.
He said, “There was a minor fire outbreak at one of the floors close to the top floor near the shaft. The building is a high-tech building and the sprinklers put out the fire.
“Because the fire occurred close to the top floor and the extraction system was on the roof, smoke was coming out even after the fire had been extinguished.”
St Kitts and Nevis addresses Hushpuppi’s citizenship
Ms. Chapman married Hushpuppi in October 2018 granting him access to their citizenship.
The government of the St. Kitts and Nevis announced in a statement that Nigerian alleged fraudster did not obtain his citizenship through investment program but by virtue of marriage to a Shawana Nakesia Chapman.
“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has become aware of reports and rumors concerning the Federation’s citizenship of a Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, allegedly a person of interest to the United States FBI”
“We note that the Nigeria-born Mr. Abbas, 37, was granted a St. Kitts and Nevis passport in February 2020 by virtue of his marriage to Shawana Nakesia Chapman, 32, a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis by birth and the United States of America,” they announced.
They said Ms. Chapman married Hushpuppi in October 2018 granting him access to their citizenship and is also a resident of North Carolina, USA, and revealed that its citizenship by investment programme includes “rigorous background checks”.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment and second passport program in 1984 is the oldest fast-track citizenship program. It grants Visa-free access to 141 countries including the United States, UK , and all Schengen States. It also is ranked as the 32nd strongest passport in the world.
The program costs $150,000 to the St. Kitts Sustainable Growth Fund for a single individual and $195,000 for a family of 4 or an investment of $400,000 in real estate.
The FBI accuses Hushpuppi of being the leader to a transnational network that “facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Hushpuppi conspired to steal £100 million from English Premier League club
Hushpuppi is accused of stealing $922,857 in October last year through another BEC scheme.
A few days after he was extradited to the United States from Dubai, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi, made his first court appearance where he was charged with accusations ranging from money laundering to participating in business email compromise (BEC) schemes targeting a US law firm, an English Premier League side, and a foreign bank.
In a report released by the U.S Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Hushpuppi is accused of conspiring “to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.”
As written in the affidavit report, “The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Jesse Baker, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Los Angles Field Office, described the hunt for Hushpuppi as “a challenging case, one that spanned international boundaries, traditional financial systems and the digital sphere,” and its success depended on partnerships between the Department of Justice and other federal law enforcement agents.
Hushpuppi is accused of stealing $922,857 in October last year from a client of a New York-based law firm through another BEC scheme.
“Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by Abbas and the co-conspirators,” the report stated.
He is also accused of conspiracy to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 Million cyber-heist from a foreign financial services firm in February 2019. Hushpuppi allegedly provided the co-conspirators with 2 bank accounts in Europe, anticipating to receive €5 million each.
If he is found guilty of money laundering and other related crimes, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in a federal prison.