Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has signed a full Venture/Public Private Partnership agreement of 15 million dollars with Israeli Bean & Co. Global Ltd, towards the establishment of a special cocoa city project in the state.
NAN reports that the signing was done virtually on Wednesday.
Prior to this time, the Memorandum of Understanding guiding the project execution had been signed on February 14, 2020.
The state government had as its representatives, the Cross River Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Okon Owuna and the Director-General of Cocoa Regeneration Agency, Mr. Collins Ogar, and the state Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Tanko Ashang, witnessed the agreement signing.
Managing Partner, LR Group, and Bean & Co, Mr. Doron Rette, signed on behalf of the Israeli Bean& Co. Global Ltd.
The Public-Private Partnership agreement spells out a funding system where the Cross River state government would cover 35% of the project cost, while Israeli Bean & Co would cover the remaining 65%.
There is also a funding proposal in the agreement, which provides credit facilities to help the farmers boost production.
Explaining the arrangement, Okon Owuna said; “under the funding proposal, the farmers will receive about N2.4million loan for four years to cover seedlings, pesticides, fertilizers, training, growing protocols and other necessary inputs”.
Due to the long gestation period of cocoa, they will not be required to commence repayment of the loan until the fifth year at which time they would have commenced harvest.
The arrangement, according to Mr. Roy Yami, President of LR Group, presents a good investment opportunity for cocoa farmers in the state.
According to the Agriculture Commissioner, Owuna, the agreement details provisions for the two components of the project.
The first component is the Agro Industrial Centre with a processing plant, seedlings nursery, and training facility as well as pulp powder and dry cocoa beans for export.
The second component is the Farmers Outgrowers Scheme, which he said would cover 5,000 to 10,000 hectares of land.
The project, upon completion, is targeted at involving thousands of farmers who will operate under the technical protocol of Bean & Co who will buy all their products consisting of the pods and wet cocoa beans.
“This project will increase cocoa farmers’ earnings three times over and increase productivity six times over.
“The project will engage thousands of farmers and employ Cross-riverians in the cocoa city plus technology transfer” Owuna explained.
According to him, the Farmers Outgrowers Scheme will stretch cover cocoa producing local government areas in the state including Etung, Ikom, Boki, Obubra, Obudu, and Akamkpa.
Bus fare paid by Nigerian commuters increased by 68.8% in October 2020
The average fare paid by Nigerian commuters for a bus journey intra-city spiked by 68.82% from N190.86 recorded in October 2019 to N322.22 in October 2020
The average fare paid by Nigerian commuters for bus journey within the city spiked by 68.82% year-on-year from N190.86 recorded in October 2019 to N322.22 in October 2020. This was contained in the transport fare watch report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Transport fare watch report for the month of October 2020 covered the following categories namely: bus journey within the city per drop constant route; bus journey intercity, state route, charge per person; air fare charge for specified routes single journey; journey by motorcycle (Okada) per drop; and waterway passenger transport.
According to the report, the average fare paid by Nigerians for a bus journey within a city also increased by 4.03% when compared to N309.73 recorded in September 2020. Meanwhile, States with the highest bus journey fare within the city were Zamfara (N585.34), Bauchi (N504.78), and Cross River (N431.04); while States with the lowest bus journey fare within the city were Abia (N192.11), Kebbi (N205.47), and Borno (N208.15).
- Average fare paid by commuters for bus journey intercity increased by 9.25% to N2,209.84 as against N2,022.7 recorded in September 2020, while it increased by 35% compared to N1,636.86 recorded in the corresponding month of 2019.
- States with the highest bus journey fare intercity were Abuja FCT (N4,376.09), Lagos (N3,073.41), and Sokoto (N3,055.12); while States with the lowest bus journey fare intercity were Bayelsa (N1,473.67), Enugu (N1,560.00), and Bauchi (N1,560.49).
- Average fare paid by commuters for journey by motorcycle per drop increased by 3.88% month-on-month and by 115.50% year-on-year to stand at N265.41 in October 2020 from N255.51 and N123.16 respectively.
- States with the highest journey fare for motorcycle per drop were Niger (N1,476.40), Kogi (N372.45), and Rivers (N352.47); while states with the lowest journey fare for motorcycle per drop were Adamawa (N78.49), Katsina (N106.20), and Kebbi (N135.75).
- In terms of air travel, the average fare paid by passengers for specified routes single journey decreased by -1.70% when compared to N36,884.59 recorded in September 2020. It however increased by 18.42% (year-on-year) to stand at N36,256.08 as against N30,615.43 recorded in October 2019.
- States with the highest air fare were Anambra (N38,500.00), Cross River (N38,460.00), Jigawa (N38,250.00); while States with the lowest air fare were Akwa Ibom (N32,750.00), Sokoto (N33,250.00), and Gombe (N34,800.00).
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in October that the average fare paid by commuters for a journey by motorcycle per drop, more than doubled in September 2020 when compared to the corresponding month in 2019, increasing by 111.11% to stand at N255.51 in the month.
The persistent increase in the prices of transport fares across the country is a resultant effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which necessitated drivers and transporters to reduce the number of commuters they carry at a time.
This is in line with the health measures implemented by the Federal government to help curb the spread of the corona virus in the country.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
PIB and Electoral Amendment Bill pass second reading in House of Reps
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act Amendment Bill has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
This was disclosed by Channels TV on Tuesday after both bills were addressed by Lawmakers for the second time during plenary.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill
Rep leader, Alhassan Doguwa, said the PIB has been in the pipeline since the firth assembly and hopes the 9th Assembly would be able to pass the bill.
Chairman of the House Committee on Upstream Petroleum, Musa Adar, stated that Nigeria needs the PIB, as it does not have the luxury to be irresponsible with resources. Citing the effects of the pandemic on the economy, he added that Nigeria’s needs a mature oil industry that will maximize productivity and compete with other crude oil and gas exporting nations in the continent.
Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the PIB is a necessity, as the world is going green and Nigeria needs to maximize its oil and gas sector, and also explore other options.
“The world is looking to go green in less than 20 years and it makes it pertinent for Nigeria to gain maximally from the oil sector and look to explore other oil products before petroleum goes obsolete as a commodity,” he said.
(READ MORE: The new PIB may scrap DPR, PPRA, others)
On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill
The purpose of the Bill is to regulate the Electoral process across Federal and Local government levels, in order to give it more transparency.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Aishatu Dukku (APC-Gombe). She added that the bill is necessary to fix Nigeria’s flawed electoral system.
“This amendment has become necessary because of the flaws observed in our electoral system. It’s no longer news that our electoral experiences since 1999 show a strong correlation between an efficient and effective electoral legal framework and the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections.
“In fact, amendments of our electoral laws were long identified as priority legislation by the National Assembly, because of the need to consolidate on the gains of our democratic achievements and to also address the lacuna identified in the electoral legal framework.
“A typical example is the case of the Kogi Governorship election in 2016, where a leading candidate died after the commencement of polls, but before the declaration of results.
“In addition to this are concerns that the legal framework on certain issues should be well settled ahead of the 2023 elections, such as the use of technological devices like the card reader and electronic voting system.
“Also, criteria for substitution of candidates, disclosure of the source of funds contributed to political parties, replacement of lost or destroyed permanent voters card, the penalty for the possession of fake voters’ card, dates for conducting primary elections, shall not be earlier than 150 days and not later than 120 days before the date of the election, etc.
“The bill, therefore, seeks to address many loopholes in our electoral system by way of amending over 300 clauses (including new provisions) of the Electoral Act 2010,” she said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last week that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may be passed into law by the first quarter of 2021.
“There is no better way of diversifying the country’s economy than through a well-developed oil and gas industry, particularly with the huge gas resources in Nigeria. So, PIB will be the most credible attempt towards a holistic diversification of the Nigerian economy,” he added.
House of Representative Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, also disclosed that the House would ensure that it passes the Petroleum Industry Bill within the next six months or probably less.
Budget proposal review of MDAs is a legislative right – Femi Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila has stated that the budget review on MDAs conducted by the House of Assembly is a right of the National Assembly.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated that the budget review on MDAs conducted by the House of Assembly is a right of the National Assembly. He added that the House of Assembly has the constitutional right to ask questions on MDA budgets.