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Taraba to Benefit from N13 Billion Pest Control Fund

Taraba to Benefit from N13 Billion Pest Control Fund

The Federal Government has approved N13 billion as intervention fund for pest control in 12 northern states to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on the nation’s food sector.

The 12 frontline states to benefit from the fund are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno States.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the disclosure in a statement issued on Saturday.

The Minister, Muhammad Nanono, said the intervention fund was to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season in the states.

He explained that the fund would also be used to control trans-boundary pests and minimise the impact of COVID-19 as well as guarantee nutritional and national food security.

5 Years Of Ishaku: Taraba Oil Mill Comes Alive

5 Years Of Ishaku: Taraba Oil Mill Comes Alive


The Taraba Oil Mills Limited is another success story of the administration of Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State. After lying waste for a very long time, the company is now operational with new milling and processing machines.

The mill’s main plantation and factory, located in Kurmi local government area, has now become the hub of palm oil production in the state. The hitherto moribund factory has been rebuilt and refurbished with bigger workshops for it to handle all the palm fruits that the other government plantations and out-growers can deliver to it for production.

According to the managing director/CEO of Taraba Investment and Properties Limited, Mr. Iliya Ezekiel, the transformed oil mill will be producing about 100 million litres of palm oil a weektranslating into 520 million litres per annum when in full swing.

Government’s plan for Kurmi is to produce enough palm oil for local and international consumption. One of the targets of the state government is to make Taraba oil a household name in Nigeria because of its distinct quality.

About 50 years ago, Malaysia came to Nigeria to take palm tree seedlings. Today, they are the undisputed leader in palm oil production globally while Nigeria’s production capacity continues to decline. Governor Darius Ishaku wants to change that, saying he intends to cover Kurmi, other plantations and parts of Taraba with palm trees so that with time Nigeria can take its rightful place as far as palm oil production is concerned.

The Taraba State government has four otherplantations in Serti, Yaboro, Bisaula and Dakka. They will all serve the Kurmi Oil Mill. For now, about 4,000 palm trees grow in the Baisa plantation. Across the state though, over one million palm trees are in full blossom. In addition, nurseries have been established to serve as feeder for farmers especially the out- growers in Kurmi and other areas. Taraba Oil Mills Limited will begin collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin City, Edo State in the production of enhanced palm seedlings to give farmers.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently advised the state government to provide more land for the oil company in order to access N1billion credit facility to expand production. This of course, is in line with the drive of the state government to buy most advanced milling machinesfrom Europe to boost production capacity.

The mill will, no doubt, produce enough palm oil to meet local consumption. With one million palm trees from government plantations and out-growers supplying the fruits needed, meeting installed capacity will be easy. Government is encouraging people to plant palm trees in their homes and vacant land as a means of getting a steady supply of palm fruits. The mill will also provide raw materials for other secondary products like palm cake, baskets, brooms and local soap made from palm tree.

Government’s plan to localise oil production at Kurmi is strategic. Aside the convenient weather, the land there is fertile and grows other cash crops like cocoa, coffee, wheat and tea. Government has over 10,000 hectares of land in Kurmi and is planning to do low land teaand coffee production in the near future. It is also planning to establish a cocoa nursery and will start a pilot scheme for wheat production. But for now palm oil is the focus.

Certainly, there is an upsurge in economic activities in Kurmi local government area because of the revival of the Taraba Oil Mills Ltd. Once the mill comes into full production, employment opportunities will increase especially for women who will get about 60 per cent of the jobs available at the mill. The mill in Kurmi is a good example of what can be achieved if political will meets commitment to service, especially with the determination of the current general manager, Mr. Steven Johnson.

– Mijinyawa is the Chief Press Secretary to Taraba State Governor

Five Years of Gov. Ishaku in Taraba State (1) – Hassan Mijinyawa

Five Years of Gov. Ishaku in Taraba State (1) – Hassan Mijinyawa

Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku is exactly five years today on the saddle of leadership in Taraba State. What then are his achievements so far? They are indeed numerous and can only be digested separately for the purpose of clarity.

Some of these numerous achievements include the resuscitation of the state’s moribund companies, roads construction, especially the ongoing dualization of the road linking the two city gates in Jalingo with a fly-over at the ever busy road-block area of the state capital, the Marraba-Baissa-Abong-Kan Iyaka road; the commissioned Magami road network in Jalingo, Takum township roads, Takum-Katsina Ala road as well as the ongoing Yorro-Kpantisawa road, Wukari-Tsokundi road, among many others; provision of pipe born water to over 300 communities, construction of the Taraba Vegetable Company (Green House) which has considerably increased the internally generated revenue of the state as well as host of other projects.

The administration also renovated and upgraded three general hospitals in the state, employed over 3000 teachers which impacted positively on the the state’s WAEC performance giving the state 85.74% success in 2019, renovated existing classroom blocks and constructed new ones across the state with new sets of furniture and other instructional materials. These five years also witnessed the digitization of the state television, provided job opportunities for teeming youths through  empowerment programmes where they were trained and provided starter packs. Others were trained at the prestigious Peter Akinola Foundation and the pet project of the governor’s wife, Hope Afresh Foundation. Many rural communities in the state today enjoy electricity courtesy of injection substations contructed by Ishaku with quite a number  connected to the national grid.

This piece, however, dwells only on one of the resuscitated state owned companies, the Mambila Beverages Nigeria Limited, makers of Highland tea.

Located at Kakara in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba state atop a plateau, the tea estate just as the area bears unique features. It stands at 1,850 meters above sea level, having amazing climate of tropical weather interspersed hugely with temperate all year round. It also experiences heavy and prolonged rains more than any part of Taraba State each year. It is presumably the hub of tourism in Nigeria.

The tea factory there is one of its kind in Nigeria. But after operating for decades, it ran into operational problems. The Taraba state government decided to take over and save it.The workers were being owed many months’ salary arrears, and everybody involved in the chain of tea production from growers to factory hands had lost hope in the organization and considered it dead, not to be resuscitated. This scenario called for investing millions of naira, which the government proceeded to do.

In his policy of carrying a surgical operation on the industrial needs and potentials of the State, Governor Darius Ishaku included the Mambila Beverages Limited, makers of Highland tea, for revamping. He considered the even spread of industries across the state to cushion the effect of acute unemployment, a situation that had torn the state apart by youth restiveness and communal clashes. Today, the revamping of that project has made life and the economy of the Mambila people and by extension, Taraba State and Nigeria at large, worthwhile. The people are truly happy, many thanks to the Ishaku administration. The new initiative is remarkable and has given the people a sense of belonging.

It therefore took the bold initiative of Governor Ishaku when he assumed office to get the situation on a sound pedestal by replacing all the antiquated equipment.  The process required pumping in huge sums of money. It was an extraordinary show of genuine interest to develop Taraba State. He considered the company as a top priority project.

An omnibus structure in place to oversee industries in the state is the Taraba Investment and Properties Company Limited (TRIP). Unfortunately, TRIP lacked both the financial muscle and the right staff with the right spirit to function effectively.  However, these seeming difficulties did not deter Governor Ishaku. Things must not remain the same, as he was keen on getting the organization on stream. TRIP, as the aegis had not only the Mambila Beverages to revive, but also other companies including the Viva Feed mill Limited, Taraba Microfinance Bank, TRIP Poly Products Limited, Taraba Savings and Loans Limited and Taraba Oil Mills Limited among others.

To ensure that it was not a pipedream, Governor Ishaku took the pains to recruit serious, intelligent and committed young men to turn around the fortunes of the companies. This necessitated the hiring of the present Managing Director, Mr. Iliya Ezekiel to steer the affairs of the investment House. Today, many of the companies under TRIP have been revived and are posting impressive results.

So the level of genuine commitment on the part of the Ishaku administration can be seen in the procurement of modern tea processing machines such as the cut, tear and curl (CTC), the fluid bed dryer, Tea wrapping machines as well as Tea bagging machines, which are critical modern tea production equipment anywhere in the world.

This dramatic turnaround was necessitated by the rumour that government could not manage the tea estate and plans were afoot to sell it to foreign investors, including a company from neighbouring Cameroun, which had also been in the bidding process. Nevertheless, the governor stood his grounds and he prevailed.

Moreover, having brought the Tunga Dam project with its attendant’s benefits to the tea factory and the neighbouring communities, Governor Ishaku is working towards constructing the Tunga II Dam project to generate more electricity and water for the tea estate and adjoining villages.

It is to the credit of Governor Ishaku that he increased the amount paid to out-growers from N24 per kg to N30 per kg. It was compelled by good conscience to do this. In addition, he extended the same gesture to the labourers plucking tea for the Mambila Beverages Nigeria Limited. For instance, they were being paid N12 per kg, but he increased it to N16 per kg.

Recently, there were talks by union bodies negotiating with management on wide ranging issues bordering on the need for price increases among other things which the government believes must be based on mutual understanding and valid agreements.

Also, the administration has given employment to the teeming unemployed youths in the area and even beyond, which efforts have also increased revenue generation for the state and have improved the living conditions of those employed in the industry as well as dwellers in the vicinity. Presently, the company has employed 3,000 direct and indirect staff.

These benefits made the communities to extend their appreciations to Governor Darius Ishaku in more varied ways. During his recent visit to the area, the people of Nguroje came out in their numbers to receive Ishaku. The governor was presented with a well-fed horse as a token of appreciation for what he has been doing to the communities.

Interestingly, the Mambila Beverages Nigeria Limited faces huge demands for its products within the country and across the borders. The quality of the tea and the green tea, a recent addition, testifies to its global demand, appeal and competitiveness to consumers in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.  This is so because like the green tea, its multiple health benefits are legendary. Therefore, there is a surfeit of market for it. Daily, trucks of Highland tea head towards Chad, Niger, Libya and other African countries. This therefore attests to the fact that the plucking system being adopted by the company management is of satisfactory standard. The company is however, working assiduously towards enhancing a few logistics.

Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku’s administration is people oriented as its Rescue mission chant is not a ruse. It is based on holistic, well-articulated development agenda for the state with the people being great beneficiaries. No state becomes great when the people are impoverished. The dividends of democracy, which the Ishaku administration has provided in terms of infrastructure, institutions and the establishment of industries have direct impact on the people. The government will not waver, but carry this policy to the end of the second term. The people of Taraba are very much aware of the performance indicators of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.

Mijinyawa is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Taraba State.

27 Ways Governor Ishaku’s Led Government has Intervened in Curbing Covid-19 Spread in Taraba

27 Ways Governor Ishaku’s Led Government has Intervened in Curbing Covid-19 Spread in Taraba

1.) Setting up Committee on Covid-19 with the Commissioner of Health as Chairman.

2.) Introduction of total lockdown which compels everybody to stay home every day except on Wednesday and Saturday. Only workers on essential duties are exempted.

3. Empowerment of security agencies to enforce the lockdown and the introduction of mobile courts to prosecute offenders.

4. Setting up a bed capacity isolation center at the current NYSC camp which is at the outskirt of the town.

5. Sensitization and statewide broadcast on various media like Taraba television, Taraba radio, cable networks, state government website, social media and others.

6. Provided the following state emergency contact lines for COVID – 19 to the general public.
08065508675, 08039359368, 08037450227, 08032501165.

7.) Broadcast of Jingles daily to sensitize Tarabans.

8.) Tightening of the state borders with neighbouring states to prevent influx of people through Karim entrance, Numan Jalingo route, Sardauna Cameroon border, Wukari Benue, Adamawa Jalingo, Kurmi Cameroon border etc.

9.) Fumigated the NYSC Camp Isolation center.

10.) Distribution of food and Non food items to the 168 wards of the state, each received by its local government chairman.

11.) Supported both CAN and Muslim Council with finances to help in ensuring effective sensitization.

12. The 138 inter-state passengers who were intercepted and later quarantined were tested and confirmed cases among them admitted for treatment.

13. Conducted contact tracing of index cases with the deployment of additional resources and manpower in the state.

14. Distributed protective kits in the state against COVID-19.

15. A loan of 2.5 billion was approved by Taraba state house of Assembly for Gov. Ishaku to fight covid-19.

16. Liaising with neighbouring state governors to effectively protect porous areas of state borders.

17. Plans to bring in sophisticated Mobile testing Machine for Covid 19 to help speed up resting.

18. Made several trips to the Isolation center to ensure everything is working normal.

19. Have been receiving Organizations who visit the state to donate Palliatives like the NEDC, NYSC etc.

20. Gov. Ishaku received N100m worth of food and non-food items for 3,828 households from The Victims Support Fund of TY Danjuma foundation.

21. The Gov. Ishaku-led government is trying her best to curb further spread of the virus beyond the reported cases in the state.

22. Due to effective management, no single case of death as a result of Covid 19 has been reported so far.

23. The six people who were tested positive and reported by NCDC now test negative after treatment and have been discharged.

24. Gov. Ishaku is partnering with Access Bank to provide a-100 bed capacity isolation center.

25. Her Excellency, Barr Anna Ishaku provides food items and relief consumables to the aged and vulnerable Tarabans.

26. Introduction of school on air to teach students while at home via TTV and TSBS

27. The evacuation of Almajiris from Taraba state and receiving of same as agreed by the Northern Governors Forum.

Press Release: Benjamin Bako’s Seven Days Ultimatum – Matters Arising

Press Release: Benjamin Bako’s Seven Days Ultimatum – Matters Arising

In the midst of the challenges of COVID-19 global pandemic and the proactive measures immediately taken by the Governor of Taraba State, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku to combat the spread of the pandemic in Taraba State, the self-acclaimed President of Jukun Development Association of Nigeria (JDAN), Mr. Benjamin Bako enjoying the comfort of his bedroom in Lagos concocted up funny stories via an interview with BBC Hausa Service where he alleged that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has abandoned them (Lagos based online politicians) we believe.

As naïve and unreasonable as he is and without the knowledge of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and exposure to the workings of government on how an ultimatum can be given and by whom, we listened carefully to a seven days empty, undemocratic, unconstitutional and illegal ultimatum given to Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku by the self-acclaimed President of the Jukun Development Association (JDAN), Lagos branch and All Progressive Congress (APC) House of Representatives candidate for Donga-Takum-Ussa and Yangtu Federal Constituency Taraba in 2019 elections, Mr. Benjamin Bako Danborno which expired on Friday 24th April, 2020, and we have waited for another seven days without any action.

Though the frivolous and fictitious claims of Benjamin Bako were immediately refuted by the Honourable Commissioner of Information and Re-Orientation, Barrister Danjuma A. Adamu via the same BBC Hausa Service. The Honourable Commissioner made it clear to the world that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku never abandoned the people of Taraba, the Governor is on ground working 24 hours with the people of Taraba State.

According to the Commissioner, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has done his best to end the crises between Jukun and Tiv and to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to Taraba State. As Jukun people who live and operate in Taraba State, we, therefore, attest to the statement by the Commissioner of Information that Benjamin Bako is “Yan Chinrani” meaning strangers in Taraba State. Benjamin Bako does not live in Taraba State and hardly comes to the State even during festive periods. Obviously Benjamin Bako is ill informed, misinformed or and uninformed about the happenings in Taraba State.

Under normal circumstances, we do not think it necessary to reply to Benjamin Bako’s reckless statements, but for the negative impressions that may have been printed in the minds of vulnerable people on Social Media, we are compelled to correct some misconceptions and state that:
Benjamin Bako is a loner and a toothless bulldog who can only bark but cannot bite because he lacks the legitimacy to bite.

To put the record straight ultimatum can only be given and enforced by a competent authority or somebody in authority. Bako Benjamin lacks all these powers; he is just a jobless hungry man that is angry.

What can Bako, his In-laws, political associates and numerous sponsors do now at the end of the laughable ultimatum?

We can now clearly see that the ultimatum is not only empty, but politically motivated and impregnated by outside influence.

Generally, there are two groups of people or politicians who always see themselves as the most relevant in any given society.

One of such are those whose stock-in-trade is to perpetually attack governments in order to gain recognition and settlement.

The second group is made up of online politicians and publishers who blackmail various personalities in organisations or governments to extort money from them.

Benjamin Bako Danborno belongs to the two groups mentioned above; his antecedents conspicuously portray the modus operandi of these groups.

We want the good person of Taraba State and the general public to note that Benjamin Bako lives with his family in Lagos, he is a hustler who does not work with any known private or government establishment. He hustles to survive through conducts akin to blackmailing and duping high profile people. Because Bako does not have a defined job to do, he is today an available agent of mischief and blackmail.

We recall that in 2014 during the reign of Garba Umar UTC, Bako while attempting to blackmail him was compensated with contracts for the supply of Cotonou cars at the cost of 10 million Naira and procurement and distribution of Palm Trees at the same cost. From there he became a supporter of Garba Umar UTC in the midst of crisis among Jukun people in Wukari.

Benjamin Bako was in 2018 sponsored to organise a protest against Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku for buying Prado Jeeps for his Commissioners. The protest was aborted when some youths collected N1, 000 each from him and abandoned him alone with T-shirts and P-Caps that made him frustrated as he was asked by his sponsors to return back their money. Governor Darius did not care nor worry.

We want to further inform the people of Taraba State that what Benjamin Bako is doing is for his personal gain and selfish interest. He is neither serving nor representing the collective interests of the Jukun people, Bako is using the JDAN platform as a common flack to deceive and cheat desperate politicians. Bako does not have the mandate of the Jukun people for his blatantly uncivilized actions; he is only serving the interests of his In-laws in Kente and some parts of Sondi towns in Wukari Local Government Area. Time shall come where those characters will be exposed because they have plenty skeletons in their cupboard.
Benjamin Bako Danborno has questionable background.

Finally, we wish to further appeal to Jukun Traditional leaders, Stakeholders and the Jukun Youths and Cultural Development Association (Central Body) to call Benjamin Bako to order. Bako should stop parading himself as the representative of the Jukun people, because he is not as any further act of misconduct or insolence against Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku will not be tolerated henceforth.

Benjamin Bako shall be banished amongst us, and all legal steps will be taken to bring him to order. His interest is in sharp contrast with that of the entire Jukun people and Tarabans as a whole.
A stitch in time saves nine.

MOTTO: Telling the Story as It Is

Alex Peter Barr. Bajo J. Joel
Secretary General, Legal Consultant.

Covid-19: Taraba First Lady Changing the Narratives – A. A. Mshelia

Covid-19: Taraba First Lady Changing the Narratives – A. A. Mshelia

Quick Questions

What is power?
What is humility?
What is team spirit?
Who is a mother?
Does position of power change a mother?

These are questions that floaded my mind as I see Her Excellency, the wife of the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Barrister Anna Darius Ishaku do some amazing things.

Today I walked into Hope Afresh Foundation, Her Skills Acquisition Center in Kona Ward, Jalingo to check on a few things and I got the shock of a lifetime.

First, Barr. Anna walked into the place without a convoy or heavy security men. She had just a car.

I was wondering what she could be doing at the center, alone, without convoy or security, in the midst of the blazing sun. When I walked into the mega store at her acquisition centre, I learned her team of staff were packaging palliatives to be distributed to the less privileged who are suffering the effects of the Covid-19 within the state and the lockdown in the state.

At first I was wondering why they were doing that themselves. Can’t they look for labourers to do such dirty job, I thought they are office staff? I recalled there are no people on the street.

Before I could finish my thoughts I saw the first lady, Barr. Anna jumped into the dirt with her office staff and began to sieve and package the palliatives: rice, maize and flour amongst others that will be shared. The bags in hundreds!

I had the privilege to have worked with a couple of first ladies within Nigeria, but I was shocked to my bones and marrows, to have seen such spirit from Barr. Anna Darius Ishaku.

Not only that, she directed a few IDP women that stayed around her centre to assist with the maize as she believes it’s not right to give people without making sure it’s clean. She gave the few women money and soft drinks. One of the women told me, “we could have been dead a long time if not for Mama Anna that has been helping us”. I now understood why they were working excitedly.

I was amazed because, unlike the trend, she was not waiting for people to do the dirty job so she can come and show her self to the cameras on the day of delivery as some other governor’s wives do.

She wasn’t here for a hit and run, she stayed all through the hours of the work and working through with them.

I have transacted with few “first ladies”, I have met some at the airport and I wish I never met them.

What a First lady indeed, Changing the Narratives. That’s what it means to have a wife as described in Proverbs 31. *Like husband like wife.*