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Again, Customs Operatives Seize N200m Dry Meat Cargo, Livelihoods Threatened

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The Kebbi State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has again impounded a truckload of dried donkey meat, valued at N200 million while being conveyed to Onitsha in Anambra.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the dry meat cargo was being conveyed to the popular Ochanja Market in Onitsha when customs operatives impounded the cargo on the Koko-Zuru highway in Kebbi.

The recurring seizures of truckloads of dry meat in some states of the federation is said to be threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Nigerians engaged in the trade nationwide.

It was learnt that the customs operatives, who impounded the latest meat cargo refused to listen to pleas of the traders when the traders could not meet the financial demands of the operatives to release the goods.

The National President of the Donkey Dealers Association of Nigeria, Mr Ikechukwu Aniude, who confirmed the development in Abuja on Sunday, told NAN that the customs operatives seized the meat cargo on May 19.

He said that the customs operatives were led by an officer, whose name he gave simply as Mr Sanusi, recalling that a similar seizure was made by the customs command in Kebbi on March 8 last year.

Aniude lamented what he described as the endless clampdown on traders dealing in donkey business, saying that the business was providing daily bread to more than three million Nigerian households.

He recalled that the traders had similarly, lost goods valued at more than N200 million last year when their meat cargo was impounded by the same Kebbi State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.

“More cows are slaughtered in Nigeria daily, compared to the number of donkeys being slaughtered from day-to-day in our country.

“Seizing goods belonging to donkey dealers by the Kebbi State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service is the height of man’s inhumanity to man at a time like now in Nigeria.

“The operatives of the command failed to realise that our business has been giving daily bread to a cross-section of Nigerians north and south for more than half a century.

“We plead with the Federal Government to please step in and end the unwarranted onslaught on donkey traders by the Kebbi State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in particular,’’ Aniude said.

On July 25 last year, the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, held a public hearing on the issue of people engaging in slaughtering of donkeys as a business, especially exporting the skin of the animal to China.

But some analysts have criticized what they described as the unwarranted clampdown, arguing that there was nothing wrong in people engaging in donkey trading to make their living.

A spokesman for the Donkey Dealers Association, Mr Ifeanyi Dike, told the Senate hearing last July that regulating the slaughtering of donkeys or cows was not a solution to the “morbid fear of extinction of the animals as expressed by some people’’.

He argued that banning the business would affect millions of families across the country and also give rise to smuggling syndicates that would engage in activities that would undermine Nigeria’s economy.

“More cows are slaughtered nationwide from day to day yet, cows have not gone into extinction over the years.

“So how can donkeys with the same gestation period as cows go into extinction in our country?

“We donkey dealers have invested heavily in the business over the years and we are encouraging ranching for the breeding and production of up to 10 million donkeys within the next 10 years,’’ Dike stated.

He noted that people doing the business should be supported by government to engage in scientific ways of ensuring the breeding of more donkeys in Nigeria, rather than for overzealous security operatives to be clamping down on people trying to find their daily bread.

There are about 1.5 million donkeys and about 20.7 million heads of cows in Nigeria at present, according to unofficial records.

Donkey meat has served as an affordable delicacy in most homes over the years, especially in Eastern, South South and South Western Nigeria, where the dry meat is used to make soups and other meals. (NAN)

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Alleged Kidnapping of 11 Travellers in Enugu, Mischievous, Misleading – Police

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The Police Command in Enugu State has denounced media report alleging that 11 people were kidnapped at the Amechi-Idodo area of the Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway on Wednesday.The command described the report as misleading, mischievous and aimed at creating panic.The Command’s Spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Enugu.

Ndukwe said that the stance given in an online publication remained a total distortion of facts surrounding the incident of an attempted abduction along the said road, on July 16, 2024, around 6p.
m.Ndukwe said that contrary to the misleading report, a Joint Security team, upon receipt of a distress call on the incident, moved to the Enugu/Ebonyi States border point along the Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway, on the said date and time.
“Hence, they rescued 13 occupants of a Nissan commercial bus. However, three others, who scampered into nearby bushes upon the attack, are yet-to-be located,” he said.The command spokesman said that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Kanayo Uzuegbu, had ordered the sustenance of ongoing operations to locate and rescue the three missing victims and also hunt down the assailants.Ndukwe said that the commissioner reassured commitment of the command to sustain collaborative efforts with internal and neigbouring States’ security forces to ensure watertight security on major highways and borders.“The commissioner further cautions reporters and publishers to always verify their facts before going to press,” he said .This, he said, was to avoid misleading reports and creating panic in the minds of unsuspecting members of the public,” he added. (NAN)

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Tinubu Mandates 2.1m Crude Oil Production – CDS

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President Bola Tinubu has directed security agencies to improve the security architecture to ensure the production of 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), said this while briefing State House correspondents, after a meeting with President Tinubu on Friday.

“It is a mandate for us to restore full production, we are targeting 2.

1 million barrels per day, which is achievable.
So, we are taking steps to ensure that all that is required to be done is done,” he said.

He said the President was aware of the cries of the oil producing communities and would not let them down.

He said the communities should be rest assured that steps were being taken to address their grievances so that full production of crude oil would be restored.

“For the criminals, those that are hell bent on destroying our infrastructure and stealing our crude oil for whatever reasons, their days are numbered.

“We are coming after them, and we want to assure Nigerians that all we need is to work together to achieve success.

“Nobody can do it alone, no single service, no single individual can do this alone; we all need to work together, including the states. We understand that the communities have so much needs, the President will address those issues to ensure that we have full production,” said Musa.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, said security chiefs were at the State House to brief President Tinubu on the current security situation in the country.

“This we have been doing regularly. Mr President is satisfied with our report and he has challenged us to continue to work together and improve our synergy.

“We have records of all reported crimes across the country and can tell you that crime rate is declining in Nigeria. 

“Records don’t lie, the records are there. So, I can assure you that we will continue to do what we are doing to maintain the decline in the crime rate,” said Egbetokun.

Report says that Nigeria’s crude oil production currently stands at 1.472m pbd, down from 1.502m last month and up from 1.450m one year ago.

This is a change of -2.04 per cent from last month and 1.50 per cent from last year.

The decline in daily crude oil production figure is attributed to pipeline vandalism and sundry criminal activities that have made it impossible for the country to meet its OPEC production quota. (NAN)

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Gov. Alia Promises to Pay N70,000 Minimum Wage

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Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue has promised to pay the newly approved N70,000 minimum wage agreed between the Federal Government and the organised labour.Alia, who disclosed this on Friday while answering questions from newsmen in Makurdi, said that workers needed to be appreciated.The Federal Government and the organised labour had on Thursday, announced the sum of N70,000 as the new minimum wage in the country.

He said with focus and the improved internally generated revenue, his administration would pay the new wage.
The governor said despite the current economic situation in the country, things were gradually moving in the State because of careful planning and prudent application of resources.
“Even our internally generated revenue (IGR) has increased. So it is now left for us to close all loopholes to see how much we can cash in to do many other things including the payment of salaries.“Why not, we can pay. I’m focused. What is agreed by the Federal Government is definitely what we the sub-nationals can also just queue in to.“Without the workforce, we wouldn’t have any center of any government. So we need to appreciate our civil servants or workforce in a way approved by the Federal Government and the Labour organisations synonymously so that the system can work”he said.Earlier, the governor while inaugurating the governing councils of seven State tertiary institutions charged them on corporate governance.He said the future of the institutions was on their shoulders therefore, they must not fail in the discharge of their responsibilities.The governor urged them to concentrate on policy enhancement that would improve the quality of education at the institutions to meet global standards.Alia said the government would provide them with a working guidelines for efficient service delivery.Responding on behalf of those inaugurated, Mr Paul Chukwuma, Chairman/Pro-chancellor Benue State University (BSU) promised to deliver on their mandate.Chukwuma said State institutions needed adequate support to carryout research and development.He said they would use their connections to facilitate support to the various institutions.Those inaugurated include Paul Chukwuma, Chairman/Pro-chancellor Benue State University (BSU) Makurdi, while Prof Shagbaor Wegh, Mr Simon Orkuma , Dr Diana Ochoga and Mr Michael Gongul are members.At Benue State Polytechnic, Ogbokolo – Dr Demian Anyam is the Chairman, while Mr Sam Godday , Dr Kelvin Kandev, Mr Samuel Awuhe and Mr Peter Egbodo are members.In College of Education, Oju – Prof. Member George-Genyi is the Chairman, Prof Emmanuel Otor, Prof Joseph Kerker, Habiba Ochifu, and Rev. Elijah are to Serve as members.College of Education, Katsina-Ala has Prof. Gabriel Moti as Chairman, Chief Johnson Onoja, Victoria Ekwo, and Patience Iorun as members.Akawe Torkula Polytechnic, Makurdi – Prof. Okpe Okpe is the Chairman, Mr Bitacy Jirgba, Dr Shiminenge Atime, Mr Edo Egboja and Mr Achihin Hur are members.Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, Yandev has Dr Victoria Pila as Chairman, Mr Sam Agwa, Mr Nicholas Ugallali, Mrs Theresa Ikwe and Mr Joseph Adi as members.In College of Health Technology, Agasha – Dr Bem Vangerwua is the Chairman, Dr Silas Ge, Alice Yaaju, Rebecca Tor and Comfort Anongu are to serve as members.(NAN)

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