OXFAM International, a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations said it has set aside Ten Million Euros to revamp the agricultural sector of the State.
Making the disclosure, at the Government House Jalingo, the acting country director Oxfam Nigeria, Mr Constant Tchona stated that the the funds would be expended in two phases with Five Million Euros set aside for the first phase while the other Five Million covers the second phase.
He further revealed that the project is targeted at Thirteen Thousand households in the three senatorial zones of the state.
According to Tchona, the project is a demonstrative action under a prosell scheme.
The scheme he said is targeted at small scale farmers, fishermen and livestock farmers.
“It is not a huge amount as you may know but we intend to help small scale farmers with farm inputs from developing stage through the harvest and market stages and ensuring good profit from sales”.
He commented Governor Ishaku for the tremendous work he has done in improving the agaric sector and ensuring food security in the state.
“We have seen your good work and we want you to know that we will be having an office here in the state and place our staff who will help in establishing what we want to do here so as to enhance the quality of agriculture and the sustainability of our services in the long run.”
Responding, Governor Ishaku thanked the team for the visit and promised to give them all the necessary support to ensure they carry out their mission effectively.
He disclosed that the huge investment his administration had made in the agricultural sector has created about Twenty Thousand jobs and has enabled the government to invest more in the sector to ensure food security for citizens.
The Governor added that the bureaucratic bottleneck hindering the take off of dominion farms had also been removed.
Speaking to journalist after the meeting with the Governor, the acting director revealed that the outcome was very positive and it would fast track the already established agricultural development strides of the Governor.
“We have already earmarked towns in the three senatorial zones of the state where we will be taking off from. Yorro and Zing in the North, Kurmi and Sardauna in the central while Takum and Wukari make up the southern zone”.
The state executive council presided over by Governor Darius Ishaku has earmarked the sum of forty-eight billion naira, 48bn, for the construction of Jalingo CityGate and Mararaba to Baisa road projects.
According the commissioner of Agriculture Dr David Ishaya who along with his colleagues in Science and technology Alhassan Hamann and Education commissioner Joannes Jingem briefed journalists, he stated that the council after deliberations, awarded the sum of thirty billion naira for the constitution and dualization of the 13km Jalingo Citygate road in pantinapu to the citygate road at Jauro Yinu to mersers RCC Nigeria limited.
He added that the council also awarded the 85km Mararaba to Baisa road project at the sum of eighteen billion naira.
“The Mararaba to Baisa roads project which is valued at eighteen billion Naira will be formally signed by the the three contractors who were awarded the job.
As you are aware, the supplementary appropriation budget for the funding of the job has been passed by the state House of assembly”.
In his remarks, Commissioner of Science and Technology Alhassan Haman revealed that Governor Ishaku has rewarded the two indigenes of the state who participated and won prizes at the NNPC competition with sum of two million naira.
He said Auwal Osama from Takum local government area and Abdulaziz Usman who both prizes in the the 2017 and 2018 competition’s were each rewarded with one million naira each.
“The essence of the award is to encourage the young lads and it is a sign of the laudable achievement the Governor has made within the period he has been in office to date”.
In his response, commissioner of Education Joanne’s Jingem stated that the ministry has made significant achievements in external examination from 2015 to 2018.
He revealed that in the WAEC examination, Taraba state has been ranked as the best in the entire northern Nigeria and this is due to the massive support from the Governor to the sector.
“In 2016 the percentage passmark was 56.5%, 2017 67.3%,2018 75.7%.
With this development, it is important that the public should know the significant inroads this administration has made in the sector through the engagement of three thousand teachers which has added value to the system and the improved performance we are witnessing”.
Similarly, on the time frame set aside for the road construction, Dr Ishaya noted that no time limit was given to the contractor for the completion of the project but was urged to complete the job in good time.
While fielding questions, Commissioner of Education stated that the bursary issue has been resolved. He revealed that the scholarship board has just submitted the cost implications of the payment of scholarship to our students.
We are calling on our students to exercise patience as usual. It is our hope that His Excellency will look into the bursary of our students”.
Three frontline politicians in Taraba State were today arraigned before Federal High Court Jalingo division for conspiracy and money laundering.
They are Abubakar Sani Danladi a former Acting Governor of the State, Senator and former minister of works, Joel Ikenya and Hon. Mark Useni, a former speaker and serving member of the State House of Assembly.
At the session where the case was mentioned, only Useni and Ikenya were present in court as Sani was absent.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ahmed Muntaka who spoke to journalists said Sani could not be reached with the summons for the trial.
The three men are standing trial for conspiracy and money laundering of about Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira.
According to a source, the non-service of summons on Sani was not an error but part of a strategy to give him a soft landing as he is the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2019 elections in the State.
The case, according to the source would be deliberately frustrated to ensure that it does not constitute an impediment to the gubernatorial contest in the state in 2019.
Mark Useni is the only member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the group.
The case has been adjourned to December 5, 2018, for mention.