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CSOs laud Buhari, Emefiele Over Rice Pyramids



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Not fewer than 106 Coalition of Civil Society Group, CSOs have commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele over the launched of the largest rice pyramids in Abuja yesterday.

In a press statement jointly signed by the President, Coalition of Civil Society Groups, Bassey Etuk Williams and 36 other state coordinators in Abuja, he explained that the program has shown that President Buhari agenda on food security is yielding required results.

Williams noted that the rice sufficiency goal was achieved effectively due to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele that introduced Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP initiative, aimed to actualize the food security and sufficiency agenda of Mr. President.

According to him, the ABP initiative of the CBN has no doubt yielded expected outcome and an encouragement for diversification agenda of Nigeria’s economy from oil.

He reiterated that the ABP Initiative has help in increasing bank finance to agricultural sector, enhanced capacity utilization of Agricultural firms involved in production and as well improve the well-being of the farmers.

‘’The recently unveiled largest rice pyramid by President Buhari shows that Mr. President agenda on food security is yielding required fruits. The rice pyramid would not have been possible if not for the initiative of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele that introduced Anchor Borrowers Programme to actualize the food security and sufficiency agenda of Mr. President.

‘’This is evidently shown in the largest rice pyramid, amidst insecurity in the land, the farmers were still able to utilize the finance to farm. The Anchor Borrower’s programme of CBN has no doubt yielded expected outcome as we can now talk about diversification of our economy from oil but now Agriculture as the country will soon be on the map of rice exporters to other countries by earning foreign earnings. This rice pyramid reminds us of the the groundnut pyramid we used to have in the North.

‘’There is thus a need to celebrate President Buhari and Godwin Emefiele for food security and self-sufficiency in rice. The advent of Anchor Borrowers has been able to assist small scale farmers to increase production and supply of feedstock to agro- processors. It’s a loan without collateral to farmers being supervised by CBN, and here we are with the resultant outcome of the input.

‘’Farmers and especially rice farmers have recounted their gains following the output and major achievement of the Anchor Borrower’s Programme of CBN. The programme has increased bank finance to the agricultural sector, and has enhanced capacity utilization of Agricultural firms involved in production and as well as improved the well-being of the farmers.

The CSOs President, stated that Emefiele has no doubt changed and transformed the agricultural sector with the results of the various intervention programs in the sector, adding that increase in banks credit growth was driven solely by policy of deposit ratio introduced by CBN Governor.

He stressed that more than five hundred thousand beneficiaries have benefited from the anchor borrowers programme of the CBN, noting that the intervention also spans around youth investment funds, real sector and health sector.

Williams lauded the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN statement on possible reduction in price of rice after the unveiling of the rice pyramid, and also reiterating the agreement with the millers to sell at discounted price for Nigerians.

He assured continuous support to the good initiative of President Buhari and intervention of the CBN Governor.

He urged the President for more laudable programs to further take the Nigerians away from poverty.

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Food Security: FG Inaugurates Agribusiness incubation centre in FUL




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has inaugurated an Agribusiness Incubation Centre (ABIC) in Federal University Lokoja (FUL), in Kogi towards boosting food production and security in Nigeria.

Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, who Inaugurated the centre on Saturday in Lokoja as part of the 6th and 7th Convocation ceremony of the Federal University Lokoja.

Umakhihe said that the Center was focused at enhancing production capacity, value addition, quality control and standards and opening access to local and international markets for the nation’s agricultural produce.

“The incubation centre is being established as a Special Centre of Excellence to support and promote food security in Nigeria, and to support youth and women empowerment as well as promote employment generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.

“This will be through the development of viable agribusiness and entrepreneurship skills in different Agricultural Value Chains across the country.

“The focus of the centre include; enhancing production capacity, value addition, quality control and standards, and opening access to local and international markets for our agricultural produce.

“The project is aimed at facilitating and attracting investments into the agricultural sector, ensuring survival and sustainability of agri-based businesses and increasing domestic food production and exports, ” he said.

Umakhihe said that the centre would serve as practical knowledge hub where best practical skills, processes and inputs could be acquired on particular commodities.

According to him, the centres will also produce generation of young successor farmers and Agricultural entrepreneurs who can adopt new technologies and innovations across the segments of commodities enterprise/value chain of production, processing, storage and marketing.

“The centre is equipped to provide business basics through comprehensive training programmes along commodity Value chains and business start-ups including access to bank loans and other funds and guarantee programmes.

“The centre will support Market research, linkage to strategic partners, access to investors and the development of business plans and business networking etc”, he added.

The Permanent Secretary expressed satisfaction and appreciated the support and cooperation of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, the Academic and Management of FUL for the successful completion of the centre.

He also expressed the hope that the university would exploit the opportunities to be created by the Center and prove its support as a formidable institution in the concerted efforts of the government to grow the nation’s economy using the agricultural sector.

Responding, the FUL Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi commended the Federal Government for setting up the centre in the University.

Akinwumi pledged to ensure that the institution would make good use of the opportunity offered to it to train the students in to becoming big time agriculturalists that would contribute to the nation’s food production and security.

The Nigerian Pilot reports that the Permanent Secretary also commissioned a six-kilometer road constructed by the Ministry from the university’s Zoo to Lokoja-Okene Road. (Ends)

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Go back to the farms, Agric minister/PROJECT 774 National cordinator tells Nigerians




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***Says Tinubu is in firm grip of solutions to Nigeri’s challenges

The Minister of State for Agriculture and food Security Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, has advised project 774 members to sensitized Nigerians on need to go back to the farm since land is God’s natural gift that remains an asset for employnent and productive venture
He spoke in Abuja on Thursday when the members of Project 774 for Tinubu/Shettima in the 2023 general election, which he coordinated nationally, paid him a courtesy call in his office.

Abdullahi who was senate Deputy Chief Whip and Chairman Board of Trustees, Project 774 for Tinubu/Shettima said,

“I want all members of this powerful network to take the message home that we just have to go back to the land. That is our God given natural asset.
“We are preparing very hard to make sure that the right things are done to stimulate agricultural production and increase productivity.

“Because it is one thing to go to farm, it is another thing to be productive. So we want production and productivity and we are working very hard on this.”
He reiterated the position that the President understands the problem of the country adding that it is why his 8 point agenda takes food security as topmost priority.

According to him the President’s agenda also touches on economic growth, job creation for which the Agricultural and food security sector play major roles.
“He talk about poverty eradication and also inclusivity, creating the enabling environment for every Nigerian to be able to participate in particular youths and women. I think we have our job cut out for us.”

“The priorities if the President are very clear, straight forward and we have already started digging down to get down to work. I want to appeal to Nigerians that the Duty of providing food is a collective responsibility.
“In this administration the emphasis on food security is a very powerful message so that with the political will, we have no doubt along with my colleague Abubakar Kiyari, we will work very hard to ensure we deliver on this mandate.
We will continue to engage and guide ourselves.
“Very soon we will be unveiling our road map in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the 8 points priorities of the President.
“When we chose 774 we knew all the action for our development are at the local government councils that is why we recognize the local level as the base.”
On the project 774 he said, ” “We promised to mobilise votes in 774 local governments of Nigeria for APC, presidential candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.

“We are people you have led, when we started the journey you told us to learn the tricks of perseverance, patience, endurance and that there will be success and here we are.
“With your good leadership we were able to navigate the difficult terrain. First was the 25th February election for which we saw the emergence of our principal and his running mate
Today we came out tops winning the Presidency, many Governotorial election and highest number of parliamentarians.
“I think our effort was genuine and all of us showed commitment at various levels and I remember clearly that we promised Nigerians and ourselves that when victory is secured we intend to move the project to point 0.
“Which means we are going to keep our activities active in such a manner that those we went out to mobilize to give us this votes will be kept abreast of happenings, where they need to participate, they will be made to participate, information that needs to get to them will get to them through our network we will do that and we have agreed and whole heartedly that we are going to do that.
“I have told director of organization to re-validate all our data base in terms of the State level, local government level and after doing that we can see what we can do to mobilize ourselves back, to recalibrate so that over the next four years we can support the various authorities that have been put in place to help our President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to deliver on his renewed hope agenda. I want to assure you that the commitment is there.

“I want to join all of you in thanking President Bola Ahmad Tinubu for finding me worthy and making me a minister in his cabinet. We know the expectations are high and we intend to work very hard to justify the confidence reposed in us.

Convener Project 774 TINUBU SHETTIMA/ National Director of the Organization. Hon (Dr) Ahmed Adamu, FIICEP said they are greatful to Tinubu for appointing their leader as minister.
Other speakers at the visit included, Hon Arc Muhammad Muktar, member representing Gwiwa, Runi, Yankwashi Federal constituency, Jigawa state. Jigawa state Task Team leader
Hon Dr Yahya Abubakar FCT Task Team leader, Hon Engr Yunusa Abubakar Ahmed Director Interfaith.
Hon James Dalu, Executive Secretary, People living with Disability who was Director of Persons With Disability(PWD) was also at the event

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CSR: Dangote Cement Trains 30 Youths on Poultry Farming, Business




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

As part of efforts to boost and mitigate shortfalls in poultry farming and business in the country, Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana has commenced skill acquisition and empowerment programme for 30 youths in poultry farming.

Mr Ademola Adeyemi, General Manager, Community Affairs/Special Duties of the plant who disclosed at Obajana said the exercise was part of the 2023 Community Empowerment Scheme for youths in the Plant’s host communities.

Adeyemi said the intervention which is also part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aimed to support the government in boosting poultry production and business.

According to him, 30 youths drawn from the catchment areas including Oyo, Obajana, Iwaa and Apata host communities have so far been enlisted for the programme.

“The training is expected to impart positively on poultry production, processing, record keeping and entrepreneurial skills of the beneficiaries,” he said.

According to him, Starter Packs containing Point of Laying Hens, Battery Cages, Feeds medication and other working accessories would be distributed to the beneficiaries at the end of training.

He said that the Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Scheme was being handled by College of Education (Technical), Kabba on behalf of the Dangote Cement Plc.

In her remarks, Dr Jagboro Victoria Olusola (Mrs.), Provost, College of Education (Technical), Kabba, commended the Management of Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana, for the initiative.

She described the effort as an apt demonstration of teaching people how to fish rather than giving them fish.

Speaking earlier, Mr Michael Odoma, Deputy Provost of the College and anchor of the programme, said that at the end, trainees would have had two and half months of classroom training sessions.

Odoma said that all aspects of poultry production from Processing, Bookkeeping, Accounting to Entrepreneurial Skills among others, would have been taught.

He added that the classroom teachings would be complemented with practical field visits to notable poultry businesses in and around Kogi State.

Mr JV Gungune, Plant Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, urged the beneficiaries to demonstrate high sense of commitment to enable them succeed.

He enjoined them to see the Starter Packs presented to them as a Mango tree that needs to be nurtured to bear fruits year in year out on a sustainable basis.

Gungune advised them to be disciplined, prudent and persevere so that they can enjoy the maximum benefits of this initiative. (Ends)

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