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3m Nigerians to lose jobs if FG bans Donkey Meat consumption-;Dealers



The Donkey Dealers Association in the country have raised the alarm over proposals to ban consumption of donkey Meat in the country

The group warned in Abuja that the proposed ban on donkey slaughtering will render 3 millon Nigerians unemployed

They said that the new policy if enacted as law will result in loss of businesses and investments for three million Nigerians.

National Chairman of the association, Mr Ifeanyi Dike made the remark at a one day Public hearing on eight bills for the agriculture sector.

The public hearing was organised by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development chaired by Sen. Bima Enagi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill is entitled: “Donkey Slaughter Regulation and Export Certification Bill, 2020 was sponsored by Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi.

It had passed second reading on July 6, 2021 aimed at mitigating the extinction of donkeys given their aesthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational and scientific value to the Nigerian nation.

It also sought to declare donkeys as an endangered specie which as a result of indiscriminate slaughtering for the purpose of harvesting its skin, has greatly depleted the national herd of the animal.

In his submission,.Dike said that the outright ban on slaughtering of donkey was not a solution to the envisaged extinction of donkeys in Nigeria.

“We should know that outright blanket ban as proposed by this bill will create some powerful smuggling syndicates who are bent in getting the donkey derivatives for export to China thereby sabotaging the economy.

“The blanket ban on donkey killing and export of its derivatives as a result of morbid fear of its extinction has failed to realise that regulation, ranching and breeding is the solution.

“Cows which we slaughter more than 50,000 on daily basis as meat has not gone into extinction, so how can a donkey with the same gestation period as cow go into extinction. We should encourage breeding and ranching,”he said.

Dike further said that the dealers had invested heavily over the years and have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) for the breeding and production of five million donkeys within a space of 10 years.

“We took this action to increase the local population of donkeys in Nigeria to avoid its extinction. “

He said that donkey regulation, breeding and ranching policy would create millions of job opportunities starting from donkey farmers, traders, slaughter house, logistics and export.

” Each of these segments is very important in revenue generation into our economy by way of taxation and levy collections right from the Local Governments to the states and to the Federal Government.

” It is projected that donkey businesses if properly regulated, is capable of injecting N10 bllion annually to our economy. “

Dike urged the Senate to consider the plight of over three million Nigerians that would be out of jobs and businesses if the bill was allowed to pass.

Mr Maxwell Okpara, a legal practitioner and a human rights activist told NAN, that the bill was a calculated attempt to put some Nigerians out of business and from earning a living adding that the business of donkey slaughtering had been in existence for 70 years.

He said the dealers were more worried about the extinction of donkey, hence had resorted to breeding more donkeys through establishment of ranching systems to keep them in business.

Okpara said he was not against having a legal framework to regulate the business of donkey, but advised that the act should be framed to protect Nigerians in the business of donkey value chain .

A member of the House of Representatives, Muhammad Datti in his remarks said the bill sought to prohibit entirely, the killing and export of donkeys to China saying that China was using the donkey skin for their traditional medicine.

“This animal is facing extinction and it’s an animal you cannot breed in large number because of the very low rate of fertility.

“The major beneficiary in this trade is the donkey breeding merchants in China with a profit of 293 million dollars in 2016 to the detriment of the rural people of Africa and Caribbean.”

Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Enagi said the public hearing was designed to receive inputs from stakeholders and the general public with a bid to come up with relevant legislations that would promote agriculture in Nigeria.

“You will recall that these important bills were read first and second time in the Chamber of the Senate as per the practice.

“Cursory look at the bills would reveal to us that, they are out to serve similar goals and purpose: ensure food security and healthy diet for our citizens, create jobs, development of the sector through various value chains and to reposition the agricultural sector in our economy.

He said the committee through the Senate leadership reposition the agricultural sector to increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and achieve the objective of the global food organizational policies.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other bills considered at the the public hearing included Nigerian Research Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture Bakassi (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

“National Food Safety and Quality Bill, 2020 and National Verterianry Research Institute, Gombe (Establishment) Bill, 2021”

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FG Approves N24.2bn For Free Internet At Airports, Schools, Markets



THE Federal Government has approved free internet services worth N24.2 billion naira at 20 selected airports, 43 universities and six markets across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday

Pantami said that the airports were selected from the six geo-political zones.

“Certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the South-West, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.

“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”

The minister said the markets and 43 institutions which include universities and polytechnics were also drawn from the six geopolitical zones, adding that it will ease e-learning in schools and also enhance the transition to a cashless economy.

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Buhari Approves Appointment Of 6 New Perm Secs



President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service

The appointments followed after a recent conducted selection process.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF),Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known in a statement by Mohammed Ahmed, Director of Communications of the Office of the HOCSF,

The appointees and their states of origin are Esuabana Asanye (Cross River), Mahmud Kambari (Borno), Richard Pheelangwah (Taraba), Lamuwa Ibrahim (Gombe), Yakubu Kofar-Mata (Kano) and Oloruntola Michael (Ogun).

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DSS Confirms Plot To Install Interim Govt



The Department of State Security Service has said that the plot to Instal interim government was real

DSS noted that the plot was “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.

A statement on Wednesday, by Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the secret police, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”

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