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Published On: Fri, Dec 8th, 2017

1 million tonnes of rice awaiting smuggling in Benin Republic – Sen. Lokpobiri

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By Eileen Ihemadu

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lopkobiri has said that one million tones of rice in Benin
Rep[ublic waiting to be smuggled in to the country.
He stated this yesterday at a press briefing for stakeholders on a consultative meeting on illegal importation of food items into Nigeria.
He said the government also decided to engage stakeholders to the activities of smuggling which sometimes comes with unemployment.
“The time has come for stakeholders to sit together to find a common solution, we want the stakeholders to work out modalities with a view to solving these problems.
We did market research to check the difference between imported and local rice and there wasn’t much difference. Out of that over a million tonnes of rice is in Benin Republic waiting to be smuggled into the country. We also discovered that the poultry products been smuggled contains formalin used to embalm dead bodies. Poultry industry has the capacity and capabilities to meet the poultry needs of Nigeria, most of the economy rely on import when they don’t have enough to that regard”.
on his part, a representative of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr Okafor, said he’s highly excited with the bold initiative adding that rice in Nigeria is about the best rice in the world.
He stressed that rice farmers in Nigeria would join hands in making the advocacy; he suggested a committee should be set up to forestall the increase.
Delta oil-producing communities flay FG’s alleged refusal to release N198bn Palpable tension of alleged nonchalant act, and refusal on the part of the Federal Government to release N198billion penalty fine over the worsening gas flaring in Delta State oil-producing communities, may continue to be unabated if urgent steps are not taken to ensure the fund is released to the affected residents by the Federal Government.
The aggrieved oil producing communities who spoke to journalists yesterday in Asaba through one of its leader, Chief Power Enebeli, alleged that over 73 persons were killed in 2016 following the deepening situation of gas flare pollution, adding that the entire
Ndokwa communities have been allegedly under siege of gas flaring over the years.
While urging the Federal Government to look into the problem of gas flaring within the oil-producing Delta communities, Chief Enebeli explained that releasing the money (N198 billion) would help to sustain in the existing peace development, particularly at the Niger-Delta region most affected.
Investigation revealed that farm crops in where the gas flaring had continued unabated, have been destroyed with the farms’ owners in hue and cry for governmernts assistance.
It will be recalled that the National Chairman of Oil-Producing Communities Organisation, Mr. Mike Emuh had at a media conference recently disclosed that it was an international law that a 3.5 dollar fine should be paid by oil-companies for every 1, 000 standard cubic feet of gas flared, adding that the law was required that the fund be paid to the host communities for environmental degradation, pollution and plundering of oil-producing communities as a results of gas flaring, instead, the oil companies pay the fine to the department of petroleum resources.

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