By Ese Awhotu
The federal government has declared Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26, December 2019 as well as Wednesday 1, January 2020 as Public Holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and the New Year Celebrations respectively.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the federal government, felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians both at home and abroad on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
He enjoined all Christians to live within the virtues and teachings of Jesus Christ, which hinge on compassion, patience, peace, humility, righteousness and love for one another, adding that doing so would guarantee an atmosphere of peace and security in the country.
Mr Aregbesola stated that the determination of government towards ensuring an atmosphere of peace and security would engender Foreign Direct Investment thereby revitalizing the economy and improving employment opportunities for the teeming youth in the country. He expressed confidence that 2020 would be a breakthrough year for all Nigerians.
He assured that the federal government under the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari would make life more meaningful for all Nigerians.
The minister urged Christians to use this period to pray for Nigeria and admonished all citizens to remain focused and determined, as well as to continue to persist in displaying love for one another. With patience and perseverance he said, the current security challenges will be overcome.
“With love for one another, hard work, selfless service, patience and patriotism, Nigeria will sooner than later join the league of developed nations,” Mr Aregbesola said.
He wishes Nigerians a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Catfish farmers want permanent closure of Nigeria’s land borders
The land border closure by the federal government is a blessing to fish farmers in the country, says Rotimi Oloye, the National President, Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN).
The CFAN national president made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
Mr Oloye said while the borders were opened, some illegal activities were on, some fishery and poultry products were imported which did not better the lots of the farmers.
He said that since the borders were closed, fish farmers were back to work with increased volume of production, more employment and wealth generated and adequate sustenance of the industry being witnessed.
“We were having very serious issue at hand before border closure, fish (was) everywhere in the country.
“Farmers were begging to sell even in credit despite poor pricing because continuous holding means increased cost by feeding, security and interest on borrowed fund.
“But two weeks after border closure, there was no fish to meet demand again.
“When there is reduction in smuggling of fish, especially frozen and low-quality fish from outside Nigeria, the demand for local fish will surely increase.
“Whatever needed to be done to sanitise our trade with our neighbours should be maintained; otherwise it becomes easier to stop production than producing what will take you into debt.
“It is what a country produces that makes it’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), therefore, we must do everything possible to sustain production, as food is important, the population of the country can take whatever we produce.
“If the borders are our problem despite the presence of control posts and officers paid to man such posts, let it be closed for eternity,” the CFAN national president said.
Mr Oloye said the fish farmers had always been on duty and would continue to do their best to ensure adequate production to meet demand in the country.
“We must work to survive, pay bills and will try to increase production.
“Government should continue the closure of land borders since it cannot distribute enough cash to all of us, the social service of the closure is more than money distribution.
“The consumers should stay with us as we shall continue to secure quality fish for them.” (NAN)