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Farmers cry out as Katsina government blocks dam

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Farmers in Ajiwa and other communities using the Ajiwa Dam for irrigation have cried out to the Katsina State government to reopen the canals that feed them water from the dam.

This is even as the state government said it blocked the canals to carry out repairs and expansion of the dam.

But the farmers said the state government did not inform them about the project and has not assisted them with alternative measures to sustain their farms.

PREMIUM TIMES visited Ajiwa Dam on Thursday and saw farmers in the area digging the ground to source water for their plants.

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Usman Hassan

Usman Hassan, a farmer from Gangarawa, said the unavailability of water is affecting his plants.

Mr Hassan, who produces lettuce, pepper, onion and garden eggs, said he would soon abandon the farm due to lack of water.

“They have been asking us to return to the farm. We are serious farmers year in year out but what has the government done to support us? Blocking the canals that supply water to us is wickedness because they did not even inform us, we just woke up to see all the water supply stopped,” he lamented.

He faulted the water board management for not releasing the water despite pleas made by the farmers.

All the farmers told Premium TIMES that for 22 days, they had been left to look for alternatives to water their plants.

Lawal Umar

Lawal Umar said he has been engaged in irrigation farming for years but the management of the dam has been making it hard for them.

“This time, I had already planted my tomatoes and pepper and they were growing when suddenly the water stopped coming. We have been complaining to those involved but they kept telling us that we should meet the Commissioner (of Water Resources). Even the dam manager asked us to see the Commissioner because he is the only person that can address our issue,” Mr Umar said.

Usman Sule
Usman Sule

On his part, Usman Sule from Kazama village complained that since the water they get is waste, the water resources ministry should help reopen the canals for them.

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“The water we get is waste because they generate from the filter. I don’t know why they should be hoarding the water for us. It is wastewater from the clean water being sent to the Katsina metropolis,” he said.

About 300 farmers benefit from irrigation system farming in the dam area.

During the visit by this reporter, several farmers were seen using generating set to get water while others were busy digging the earth.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt built nine new dams in four years – Official

The ministry of water resources in the state said the dam is being repaired and its capacity is being boosted.

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A statement sent to this reporter by the public relations officer of the ministry, Bashir Kurfi, said the state government signed for the work.

“CCECC Nigeria limited is working for the improvement of Ajiwa dam and spillway. The project will cost N3, 309, 803, 986. The work will be concluded in the next 18 months.”

Mr Kurfi said the ongoing work on the dam site was the reason for the blockade.

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Nation

Binatone launches new rechargeable fans, blenders in Nigeria

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Electronics manufacturing firm, Binatone Nigeria has launched new rechargeable fans into the Nigerian electronic market along with two new models of blenders and steam irons.

Managing Director of Global Appliances Nigeria Limited, distributors of Binatone products in Nigeria, Mr Prasun Banerjee said in a statement that the new rechargeable fans were of high quality designed to run on battery for up to five hours on high speed.

“The RCF -1855 rechargeable standing fan is a high quality fan designed to run on battery for up to 5 hours on high speed, and up to 10 hours on low speed, with up to nine speed controls and a timer that can run for up to nine hours. The rechargeable fan is really an energy efficient solution to the power problems mostly found in the Nigerian household,” he stated He said the new blenders and irons were cost effective and available in all parts of the country. He said the blenders are the newest entries into the affordable range of top quality of blenders in the Nigerian appliances market stressing that the product provides the high quality Binatone assurance along with the comfort of affordability and accessibility.

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“They are built with overheat protection technology along with a 300-Watt Long Life turbo motor which is sure to ensure users get the best value for your money. These blender jugs come with the Binatone proprietary unbreakable jugs while the SI – 1830 steam iron comes with non-stick ceramic base for easy gliding over fabric, with a variable steam burst to protect your fabric and provide the most hands-on ironing experience,” he noted. Stressing that all Binatone products comes with a two year warrantee, Mr Banerjee disclosed that the company maintains an efficient after sales service across Nigeria.

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Nation

Akande presents horse to Oyetola

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Former governor of Osun State and first interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, on Thursday evening presented a horse to Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola adding that the governor should ride the animal to power.  Governor Oyetola had after his strategic engagement tour of Ila Federal Constituency, visited Baba Akande at his residence in Ila.

The tour was part of the statewide consultation to the nine Federal Constituencies in Osun through which the governor has been fraternising with the newly elected APC executives at the wards and local government levels. The visit was also to inform them and party members of his intention to participate in the party’s forthcoming primaries in preparation for the July governorship election.  The highly symbolic presentation of the horse to Governor Oyetola by Chief Akande was seen as a declaration of unalloyed support for the person and candidature of Oyetola.

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Horse, political pundits say, symbolises strength, power, freedom, triumph, heroism, nobleness, stamina, tireless, confidence and intelligence.

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Nation

Fuel subsidy: Buhari postponing evil days -Ex ACF scribe

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From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

Erstwhile Secretary of the foremost northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony N.Z. Sani has disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari’s back down on earlier planned removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit popularly known as petrol.

To him, Nigerians would understand the need for such tough but necessary decision especially if there is a blueprint on how the money that will accrue from the subsidy removal will be distributed to cushion the effect on Nigerians over time.

Sani told Saturday Sun that, because of the dire financial situation of the country, he had opted for the removal of petroleum subsidy.

He further said, to appease the restive labour, he had suggested that any savings from the removal of petroleum subsidy be used for the development of health and education through an agency akin to the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

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“But it seems the labour has arm-twisted the government into reversing its determination to remove the subsidy. Some people attribute the decision to the president’s sensitivity to the plight and yearnings of the people while some others believe it is because it is the elections year.

“I agreed with the maxim that in matters of public affairs, there is time to stay the course, there is time to make compromises and there is time to let go, all for the larger good of all. Yet we must agree that we are in extenuating circumstances, which should make the president locate the courage of his conviction and act appropriately.

“Nigerians are also expected to know that the good things of life are not inevitable and attained through ceaseless hard work by all, and not by leaders alone. I agreed with Igbos when they say, ‘to be a man is not a day’s job’”

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