Connect with us

Politics

Inside Nigeria ex-Lawmaker farm ventures

Published

on

John Owan Enoh 5

By Vodina Richard and Obaji Akpet

Former senator representing the central part of Cross River and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the last governorship election in Cross River State, Senator John Owan Enoh has been quietly into the farming business, but the impact these farms have had and the underpinning vision seems to be something everyone should now raise their eyebrows and care about.

It all began sometime in the year 2000 when Enoh began to contemplate farming, joining the few successful politicians to hearken to the country’s call to invest in the agric sector at a time there were forecasts that Nigeria’s oil economy was going to have a nosedive.

Ex-Lawmaker, Senator John Owan Enoh inspecting one of his palm farms at Agbokim waterfalls. (Photo credit: Michael Ogar)

“Once I could be able to own a farm, that was when I began to get involved and started developing it,” Enoh told our correspondent in the latest of interviews he granted at his residence in Calabar.

Commencing with about 150 hectares of planted palms in his native Agbokim waterfalls at the time and expanding to the about 100 hectares of planted palms, and counting, at Etara-Ekuri, all communities in Etung LGA of Cross River State, where the politician hails from, Sen Enoh’s drive is unmistakable.

Today Enoh has emerged on the other side, not just a politician, but a farmer is known to have over 2000 hectares of the farm for arable and livestock production, Odu Okongor, the supervisor for Mr Enoh’s several farms told our reporter on phone.

Cocoa Farm

With an additional holding that includes 100 hectares of cocoa and still planting at Bendeghe Afi in Ikom LGA and Etara-Ekuri, about 100 hectares of planted cassava essentially for propagation, a gigantic pig pen almost being completed for the about 1000 pigs in his piggery farm, an expected 5000 birds poultry in Ikom as well as a planned ranch, the Senator is a farmer to watch. The Senator also grows plantain and banana in large quantities, said Mr Odu Okongor, eager to talk about his friend’s farming exploits.

“The idea of owning a farm has always been there from the cradle,” said the former lawmaker who isn’t completely new to the farming business having been born into an agrarian family and brought up in a largely farming environment.

John Owan Enoh 2 1
Enoh (M) receiving a briefing by Dr Assam Assam, his farm consultant (M/L) and accompanied some workers on his farm.

To manage the farms, the Abuja based politician engaged several workers; both skilled and unskilled, even as he plans to increase the number to employ the unemployed, in a state like Cross River, grappling to employ its over 3,000,000 population and job-seeking peaking at its highest.

“What I do is once in a while I go to inspect, and to see that monies that are being released for different purposes are applied correctly,” Enoh said confidently that his farms were in the care of trusted hands.

As to whether the efforts put so far in the farms have begun yielding the expected results, Enoh hopes his farming endeavour is on its way up to contributing to Cross River’s economy, a state whose GDP currently staggers at US$9,292; and hopes by extension the farm impacts Nigeria as a whole.

But Enoh’s farming venture is more than just a business, says Dr Assam Assam, a seasoned farm expert hired by Enoh to be his farming consultant.

Pig Farm

“The farm under its out-growers scheme has trained and provided start-up support for over 200 participants on poultry, piggery, and fishery; and is currently working on a partnership with Sterling bank, where more farmers can be able to access startup loans,” the farm expert added.

The vision for the out-growers scheme, Assam added is “to train, register, give them inputs and when the animals have grown, we buy off from them”.

“My farming is not at subsistence level, it is to get to a point where we can export our products. The dream I have is to have a professionally run farm that earns foreign exchange, and can process its products,” Enoh told our medium.

What is also unique about his farms, Enoh said, is that communities, where these farms are located, have the benefit of enjoying several interventions and support schemes from the farm’s numerous corporate social responsibilities.

John Owan Enoh Farm

“Each time I pray that I’m able to create an alternative and sustainable source of income, create an economy that is separate and different from my politics. There’s a point at which politics will end,” Enoh said, quickly dismissing his farming has any political undertone despite being politically dogged and his eyes still set on becoming the next Governor of Cross River.

Adding that: “I expect that between the farm I’m doing and politics it’s the farming that my children will come and inherit and take it further.

Whether Enoh’s farming venture is to score political points or enterprise-driven, these huge investments at a time when a country like Nigeria is dying to look inward to strengthen its failing agricultural chain brings with them impact worthy of attention and to think that the person at the frontline is a politician brings fulfilling hope.

Politics

Appeal Court discharges Alao-Akala, two others on N11.5b corruption charges

Published

on

adebayo alao akala

The Court of Appeal, Ibadan, on Thursday, discharged and acquitted a former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, on the N11.5 billion corruption charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Alao-Akala was discharged and acquitted along with a former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Hosea Agboola and a businessman, Femi Babalola.

Agboola is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Council to the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

He served as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters during Alao-Akala’s administration between 2007 and 2011, while Babalola owns Pentagon Engineering Services, the engineering firm that executed some contracts during the period.

The commission arraigned the three men on an 11-count charge of fraud at the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, in 2012.

EFCC alleged that Alao-Akala awarded a road contract worth N8.5billion to Babalola’s firm, Pentagon Engineering Services between 2007 and 2009 when he was governor of Oyo State.

The commission insisted that the firm handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local government areas of the state without budgetary provision while the former governor ordered the supply of drilling machines on behalf of the LGAs at the cost of N3.5 billion.

The three defendants, however, filed a no-case submission after EFCC had closed its case before the court.

Justice Muniru Owolabi struck out eight out of the 11- count-charge and ordered Alao-Akala to enter his defence on the remaining three charges bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and award of contract without budgetary provision.

READ ASLO: Nobody’s ambition will supersede Oyo APC’s mandate —Alao-Akala

He, however, discharged the former governor on the charges of acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing ownership of such property.

The judge said the witnesses called by the prosecutor failed to link evidence to the acquired property, adding that EFCC also failed to prove genuine ownership of the property.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the three men approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling.

At Thursday’s proceeding, a three-man panel of the appellate court headed by Justice Jimi Bada set aside the ruling of the lower court.

Other members of the panel are – Justices Abba Muhammed and Abdulazeez Waziri.

The appellate court held that the lower court erred by ordering the defendants to enter defence for the three counts because the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

Join the conversation

Opinions

Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now

Continue Reading

Politics

‘Come back to where your political journey started,’ PDP woos Kalu

Published

on

Orji Uzor Kalu

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday appealed to the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, to return to the party.

Kalu, who is one of the founding members of the PDP, joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in November 2016.

The National Secretary of the PDP, Samuel Anyanwu, made the appeal when he led the party’s delegation to visit Kalu at his Abuja home.

Anyanwu, who addressed journalists at the end of the closed-door meeting with Senate Chief Whip, said they discussed what would benefit the nation.

READ ALSO: Tinubu, Orji Kalu meet in Abuja

He said: “We let him know the reason why he should move over to our party. We had a good discussion and this is just the beginning.

“We are talking about bringing people back to the party because the more the merrier.

“This is a place he started, so you have to leave where you are and go back to where you started.”

Join the conversation

Opinions

Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now

Continue Reading

Politics

Plateau Assembly passes 2022 budget of N116.7bn

Published

on

Plateau Assembly

The Plateau State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the state’s 2022 budget of N116.7 billion.

The budget passed by the lawmakers was N10 billion higher than the N106.8 billion Governor Simon Lalong presented to the House a few weeks ago.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Mr Yahaha Adamu, said at the plenary the increase in the budget was necessitated by the needs presented by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) during budget defence.

A breakdown of the budget revealed that N76.7 billion was earmarked as recurrent estimate and N40 billion for capital expenditure.

READ ALSO: Plateau Assembly Speaker dismisses claim on resignation as crisis festers

The House urged the governor to sponsor a bill seeking the alteration of the law establishing the College of Arts, Science and Remedial Studies, Kurgwi.

Adamu said the bill would help to change the name of the school to that of a Polytechnic and enable it to benefit from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

Join the conversation

Opinions

Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now

Continue Reading

Trending

NgGossips.com