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More troubles for consumers as master bakers set to begin nationwide strike

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria has said it would withdraw its service nationwide from February 27, should the Federal government refuse to implement the agreement it entered into with the association in 2020.

It called for the immediate implementation of financial support palliatives for bakers as promised by the Federal Government as post COVID-19 support programmes for Small and Medium Enterprises for bakers who have lost over 40 per cent of their membership and still counting.

It further called for the suspension of all forms of taxation on the bakery industry for now at the federal, state and local government levels.

A statement from the National President of AMBCON, Alhaji Mansur Umar, read on his behalf by the Kogi State Chairman of the association, Chief Gabriel Adeniyi, on Tuesday, noted that the decision to withdraw its services was due to the “multifarious increase in the prices of baking materials such as flour, sugar, yeast, vegetable oil, petrol, diesel all occasioned by subsidy removal and forex deregulation.”

The association said, “Multiple taxations from several federal, state, local government agencies fees and levies, hike in business activities in Nigeria are also some of the reasons for the impending strike action.”

The statement partly read, “The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria have critically accessed the state of our business operation, consequently demand the liberalisation of flour and sugar importation, reduction or total removal of import duties on major baking materials such as flour, sugar, butter, yeast etc as applicable to other commodities as have recently been done by the federal government and Provision of concessionary forex exchange to flour millers and other stakeholders as well as reduction of tariff on imported wheat and sugar.”

Other demands outlined by the association include the development of cultivation and processing of wheat and sugar cane in Nigeria, and the removal of multiple taxations at all government levels.

The association also called for the setting up of a price control and monitoring committee as allowed by the constitution as amended and other conditions that will enhance the ease of doing business in the country.

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Bandits Abduct Fouani MD, 3 Others ….Demand $1.5m Ransom

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Armed men, on Friday, abducted the Managing Director of Fouani Company, which represents LG and Hisense, along with three Lebanese while travelling by boat in Lagos, PUNCH Online reports.

Although the names of the victims have not been ascertained, it was learnt that they were abducted around Falomo Bridge while traveling from Apapa to Victoria Island.

A source familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of its sensitive nature, told PUNCH Online that the kidnappers had reached out, demanding ransom.

“Yesterday (Friday) evening, the Managing Director of Fouani company (LG and Hisense) and three Lebanese were kidnapped around Falomo Bridge while traveling from Apapa to Victoria Island by boat.

“The kidnappers have asked for $1.5m,” the source said.

When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development.

“Yes, it is true. We got the report and we are looking into it. Please, I’m not obliged to state more than that,” he simply said.

When our correspondent asked about the details of the names of the abducted persons, Hundeyin insisted, “I’m not obliged to state the names, when, where and how it happened for now but we are looking into it.”

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SEE Pictures from the National prayers session organised by the national Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

SEE Pictures from the National prayers session organised by the national Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

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Group raises alarm over looming food shortage in Southwest

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..… calls on govt to provide security, incentives to farmers

By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade,

Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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