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FG To Make Rice Cheaper, Sufficient Before Christmas

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The National Food Security Council (NFSC), chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, will make rice available before the Christmas festivity.

The Deputy Chairman of the Council, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

He stated that the Council was aware of the current high prices of rice, assuring Nigerians that rice would be made available at a cheaper rate.

According to the governor, the government is also aware of the activities of some individuals and groups bent on frustrating the new rice policy.

“The good news is that there is a lot of production in the country. All the Millers in Nigeria have enough paddy and farmers are producing and the harvest is coming in strong.

“We believe in addition to market forces, there are some people bent on manipulating the situation in order to exploit bigger revenue, bigger profits and some may even be doing so for the wrong reason.

“They want to truncate policy which is helping the Nigerian economy; which is helping Nigerian millers; which is helping the Nigerian farmers and the Nigerian population.

“We are taking steps to ensure that more rice is taken to markets where shortages can easily be created.

“There is enough product in the country and the National Food Security Council is focused on how to ensure that availability is restored all across the country so that prices will come down reflective of the cost of production,” he said.

On the reported loss of about N1 billion by Onion farmers in Kebbi State, Bagudu said the government would always respond to farmers’ predicaments promptly.

The governor, however, said that relevant agencies had not completed the assessment of the total loss by the farmers.

He disclosed that the federal government had approved N23billion for distribution to States affected by flood disaster this year.

“We have always responded to farmers’ issues or any trade group that has a misfortune, both the State and the Federal Government has been very active in helping.

“You may recall that recently, Mr President approved about N23 billion for states affected by the flood which Kebbi is one of them, and this is in addition to our own resources that we mobilize to support our farmers.

“This year’s rainy season is unusual, as of last week there was rain and it’s unusual.

“For the onion farmers, they have calculated that the rain will stop by September because when the onion is growing there is a point at which it does not desire rainfall, now we have rainfall.

“I’m not sure of the N1 billion lost in terms of the quantum because we have not done the assessment but we are always willing and ready to support all our producers especially when they are faced with unforeseen circumstances like this,” he said.

NAN reports that Bagudu was on the entourage of Buhari’s official visit to Saudi Arabia which ended on Saturday.

Other governors on the president’s entourage included Prof. Babagana Zulum of Borno and Aminu Masari of Katsina. (NAN)

BIG STORY

Dusk-To-Dawn Curfew Begins On Sunday In Lagos —- Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lagos starting from Sunday to allow the state to carry out comprehensive disinfection of the metropolis.

He also said the state would close the domestic airport.

He said, “I am hereby directing a statewide curfew from 8pm to 6am, starting from Sunday until further notice. This is to enable us to carry out comprehensive disinfection of the Lagos Metropolis.

“I am pleased to note that we have taken possession of over 200 disinfecting machines, and starting today, we will be disinfecting all major highways, bus stops, markets, parks, and other public areas.

“With effect from Sunday, we will be closing the domestic airport in Lagos, the General Aviation Terminal and the MM2. All movements in and out of Lagos through the two domestic terminals will, therefore, be suspended from Sunday for two weeks in the first instance. The only exceptions will be flights carrying essential supplies and those on emergency operations.”

He further said traveling in and out of Lagos would be restricted on Sunday, adding that all inter-state motor parks should shut down for two weeks.

The governor also signed into law the Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020 passed by the House of Assembly.

The law empowers the governor to punish violators of the shutdown order policy.

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BREAKING: Explosion Rocks Ondo, Hundreds Of Buildings Destroyed [PHOTOS]

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Over 100 hundred buildings were in the early hours of Saturday destroyed following an explosion that rocked Ondo State.

The explosion happened in the early hours of Saturday at Eleyowo, Akure, along Owo-Akure highway around 1 a.m.

According to residents of the area, a terrifying loud bang was heard when everyone was already asleep.

Also affected in the explosion was a full boarding school, Aina Awawul Secondary School, one of the most popular churches in Akure, Possibility Ground Ministry, as well as a filling station and hundreds of buildings.

The highway was cut off with hundreds of travelers stranded.

Police officers and other security agencies are already on ground to assess the situation.

Details later…

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COVID-19: Anxiety In kebbi Over Governor Bagudu’s Status

Gbemileke Ajayi

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There is tension among top government officials in Kebbi state over the health status of Governor Atiku Bagudu after he came in contact with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who had been tested positive to the virus.

Governor Bagudu held a series of meetings at the Presidential Villa last week where he was alleged to have come in contact with the Chief of Staff.

It was also observed that the governor had allegedly gone into self-isolation in his private home in Birnin kebbi, a day after it was confirmed that COS Abba Khari was tested positive to Covid-19.

Governor Bagudu since his return from Abuja a few days ago held an emergency meeting with various stakeholders in the state including the Emir of Gwandu, Emir of Argungu, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, SSG, Commissioners, special advisers, permanent secretaries, directors, and chairmen of local governments in the state, to chart the best course of action for the financial future of the state, and also ways to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, that was the last public appearance of the Governor.

Meanwhile, he has since directed that civil servants in the state stay at home for two weeks except for the conventional workers.

This development, our correspondent gathered has generated a lot of anxiety in the state, especially among top government functionaries and other critical stakeholders who have come in contact with the governor.

When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mallam.Yahaya Sirki to Know whether the governors is on self-isolation to prevent further spreading? he stated: that “the governor is not on self-isolation.

The directive to stay at home does not involve the media and the security and those on essential services. What actually happened in Govt House yesterday is just to reduce the number of people entering the government house including the media and security they were asked to go home until when needed. But even at this point, some journalist and security are still retained in Govt House. I repeat my Governor is not on self-isolation” he added.

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