The House of Representatives has expressed concern over the likely relocation of agriculture value chain companies as well as non-agriculture-related ones from the country owing to the scarcity of foreign exchange in the country.
To stem such exodus of these foreign companies, it mandated its committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Banking and Currency to investigate the inability of agricultural value chain industries and others to access foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria with a view to averting the shutdown of operations.
This emanated from a motion on the need to investigate “the shutting down and planned relocation of agricultural value chain industries from the country owing to difficulties in sourcing foreign exchange”.
Mover of the motion, Hon. Abubakar Amuda-Kannike, noted CBN’s recent policy that banks should allocate 60 per cent of their foreign exchange purchases from all sources to manufacturers, and alluded to the recent decision of Erisco Foods Ltd to shut down its $150m plant in Lagos owing to the scarcity of foreign exchange from the CBN.
Kannike remarked that the firm’s CEO had threatened to move the manufacturing firm out of the country should the situation persist as he could no longer run the factory at the rate of N450/dollar.
The lawmaker expressed concern that relocation of industries such as Erisco will further dampen the hope of economic recovery since unemployment and low consumer spending are factors that perpetuate recession.
He noted the House’s desire to complement the efforts of the “federal government towards revitalising the agricultural sector and its diversification policy by investigating actions that attempt to scuttle the policy of government with a view to repressing them.”
The House further mandated the Committees to encourage collaborative efforts by the CBN, the Bank of Industry and the Bank of Agriculture that will stimulate the sustainability of agricultural process companies in Nigeria, and to hold sectoral debate with relevant stakeholders in the manufacturing and agro-allied industries on the state of manufacturing and contemporary challenges, so as to serve as inputs for legislative output to support the sector and the economy.
To Investigate Uranium radiation in Adamawa
The House of Representatives yesterday directed its committee on Solid Minerals to investigate uranium radiation in Michika local government area of Adamawa State and determine its effect on the host community.
The committee is also expected to investigate the records of the defunct Nigerian Uranium Mining Company (NUMCO) to ascertain the resources of government expended on the project and report to the House within four weeks.
According to a motion sponsored by the member representing Michika Madagali federal constituency of Adamawa State, Hon. Adamu Kamale,Uranium Ore mineral radiation is reported in Nkala and Garta communities in the state.
Kamale observed that the Federal Ministry of Solid Mineral and the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency lacks adequate information on the existence of the Uranium deposit.
He stated further that the defunct Nigeria Uranium Mining Company was jointly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria and a French company Total Compagnie Miniere of France to which Nigeria had 60 per cent and huge resources of the country spent before the liquidation of the company.
However, operation of the company was done with high secrecy and most of the records and drilling samples were not disclosed to the Nigerian government before the French company pulled out from the partnership with Nigeria in 1989.
“The Uranium deposit has been fatal to the host communities namely, Nkala, Futudou, Himikles, Sina/Kwande, Ghamchi, Mbororo in Michika local government. As the result of the radiation the communities has witnessed several mysterious deaths, still born babies, deformed babies, degraded environment,” he said.