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NationalUpdate Woman

Women farmers advocate for agric budget implementation, policy review



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By Friday Idachaba

Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), Kogi chapter has called for review of existing Agriculture sector policies to give way for emergence of a coherent policy framework with emphasis on budget formulation and implementation.

Kogi Coordinator of SWOFON Hajia Safiya Yahaya, made the call at a Press conference organised by Budget Committee Group (BCG), supported by ActionAid Nigeria on Wednesday in Lokoja.

The Coordinator said it was imperative that the Ministry of Agriculture reviewed existing policies on agriculture and come up with an all-inclusive policy framework that would incorporate the change agenda with emphasis on budget implementation.

She reiterated the age-long agitation and call for Increased funding to the sector to enable it meet the 10 per cent Maputo declaration and subsequent Malabo commitment to which Nigeria remained a signatory.

Yahaya also called on government at all levels to make budgetary provisions for Climate Change in their annual budgets to enhance food and agricultural production.

According to her, Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology and inclusion of Issues of climate change in Governments’ annual budgets were key to sustainable development in Nigeria.

She described as “Very unfortunate and wrongly too”, a situation whereby
no mention of issues around climate change is made or provided for in budgets in spite of the strong impact of clinate change on agricultural production.

According to her, Smallholder women farmers have access to less than 23 per cent access to formal credit, therefore, Kogi State Ministry of Agriculture should create a yearly Strengthening Access to Credit budget line.

Addressing the conference earlier, Mrs Faith Mataga called on Kogi government to be committed to the Agricultural Insurance Scheme especially for smallholder women farmers.

Mataga said this would serve as protection against natural and man-made disasters such as destruction of farms by cattle, flood, pests and other natural disasters and as well, enable Kogi farmers access the services.

“There is need for improved farmers data collection and collation, which provides an evidence-based rationale for planning and services provision.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Budget Committee Group (BCG) Mr Matthias Okpanachi, reiterated the need for increased Budgetary allocation well as release of appropriated funds to Agriculture sector.

Okpanachi said that the sector had over the years gotten haphazard percentage increases like 6.8; 4.2; 4.9 and 6.3 which remained a far cry from the Maputo and Malabo Declarations of 10 per cent.

Okpanachi held that releasing the appropriated funds had often posed a challenge adding that in 2016, only 25 per cent of the allocated fund was released while in 2020, only 18 per cent was released to the sector.

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NationalUpdate Woman

After hours of grilling by EFCC operatives, former Humanitarian minister returns home




Sadiya Umar-Farouq
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Former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq returned home on Monday night after hours of interrogation by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

She had arrived at the Jabi Headquarters of the EFCC about 10.18 am on Monday to honour the invitation to offer clarifications on some issues that the Commission is investigating.

The former minister had a long session with the EFCC interrogators. The Monday session ended about 10.30 pm after which she was allowed to return home.

She is expected to return on Tuesday for further clarifications on sundry issues that the Commission has flagged in the course of its preliminary investigations.

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NationalUpdate Woman

Kogi East senator asks IGP to apprehend killers of 75-Year Old Woman burnt in Idah




Late Mallama Meimunat Opaluwa-Sani
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The senator representing Kogi East in the national Assembly Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho has the killing of a 75-year old woman, Mallama Meimunat Opaluwa-Sani who was burnt alive.
Unknown assailants were said to have set the septuagenarian ablaze alongside her granddaughter in Idah, Kogi state, on Thursday.
Senator Jibrin who reacted to the incident through a statement on Friday, described the attack as callous, inhumane and barbaric.

He called on the Inspector General of Police and all security agencies in Kogi state to swiftly commence a manhunt for the criminals behind the heinous attack.

“It’s utterly disgusting to hear of this attack on the septuagenarian’s residence in Idah, setting her ablaze alongside her grandchild and two others. Unfortunately, this incident claimed 3 lives already and the fourth person is still unstable.

“While I condemned this act on our respected senior citizen and the Akwuma Attah Igala, I commiserate with families of the departed and pray that they will be consoled with the belief that death is inevitable and a debt to be paid by every human. Justice will be pursued and we will ensure that this dastardly act won’t repeat itself in Kogi East.

“I also extend my condolences to Ata Igala and the Royal Family,” he said.

Senator Jibrin stated that “we can’t condone such act in Igalaland and it’s an affront on all of us.”

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NationalUpdate Woman

Natasha in New year message decries Plateau massacre, Tudun Biri air strike




Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan
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****Says negligence should be punished with sack, prosecution

The senator Representing Kogi Central Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has Natasha deployed the genocide in Plateau State and the deaths on account of airstrike in Tudun Biri that claimed dozens of lives
The senator in her new year message which she personally signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja said,

“Indeed, 2023 was quite a remarkable year but we can’t help but think about the suffering lot and those who died only to assume that God loves them less.

“Two recent unfortunate incidents come to mind, the Tudun Biri Kaduna drone strike of the 3rd December 2023 where 88 innocent people were killed by an erroneous military air attack. Shouldn’t have happened at all.
“Then the Black Christmas for residents of Bokkos and Barkin communities in Plateau where over 150 people were killed by terrorists.
“The image of the crying baby strapped on her dead mother’s back still haunts!!!

“Today, millions of Nigerians live in the despair of poverty and joblessness amidst the high cost of living. Quality basic education is a luxury and our women are still held hostage for want of settling maternity bills in poorly fit healthcare facilities.
“The roads… oh the roads are death traps and playgrounds for bandits and kidnappers.

“You are a Senator, fix these problems” I sense many say.
Yes, I can… and so can you… as well as the President. We can fix the problems ourselves and rebuild the Nigeria of our dreams.

“How about starting off 2024 by making a resolution for accountability?

“On grounds of negligence, we can call for the sack and prosecution of the Army commandant who ordered the Tudun Biri air strike.

“We can call for the sack of the Plateau State Director of DSS and Commissioner of Police for gross incompetence over the killings in Plateau.

“Fellow Nigerians, you are mostly young, smart, and intuitive; there lies your power… let 2024 be a time you show yourself changing narratives in well-defined civil spaces.
“I, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan will walk with you!

Let 2024 be a year you unleash your potential.

“Nigeria’s music industry wasn’t established by the government but by ordinary citizens webbing an ecosystem responsive enough to own their space in the world. Afrobeats thrives!!!

“Who says you can’t do same with Science and Technology what you did to the music industry? Who says you can’t revolutionise alternative medicine in the wake of the pharmaceutical giant’s departure from Nigeria?
“In the past two weeks, I watched the NAFDAC DG and Sen. Aminu Abbas, Chairman Committee on Science and Technology make strong cases to support startups and clinic research in furtherance of alternative medicine.

“The next big pharma could be Nigerian!!! Let our specialised TechHubs be your playground. Station F of France, STING of Stockholm, Botswana Innovation Hub… brace up innovators!!!

“Nigerian youths, let 2024 be a year you take charge of your government.

Question the numerous MoUs and contracts entered by foreign investors and the Federal/State governments. “That’s how unqualified Shell companies are uncovered and we can avoid another SolGas, GINL Ajaokuta steel & Delta steel mishap.

“Critique our bilateral agreements and treaties. Some are meaningless, obsolete, and sovereign traps. Help Nigeria escape from neocolonialism!!!

“Demand monthly question-and-answer sessions with your president. Share your developmental ideas and public opinions. He is your president till 2027 so you might as well begin to make the best use of him for you!!!

“Remember Nigeria is ours to fix. Remember the dead of yesterday could be us tomorrow. Remember politicians’ promises are only as real as you make them by demanding accountability and recalling the unperforming amongst us.

“In 2024, intentionally critique the budget … follow the money… monitor the contracts. Know that every single kobo borrowed to fund the budget is a debt on all of us including the unborn children.
“So treat governance seriously. Your democratic rights don’t end at the polls… it starts there. Be involved, we shall work with you!!!

“So as we thank God for making us see this New Year, let the lives of those who died not be in vain.

“As we give thanks for the health of our children, remember the children in the kidnappers’ dens.

“While we thank God for the new houses we moved into or built, remember those rendered homeless by the flood and insurgencies.

“Be concerned and emphatic about the situations in other states and regions because as we are all bound in poverty and insurgencies ; we shall also be bound in the successes of our innovators and industrialists.

“Finally, please learn to apply the Law of Attraction internationally to your daily life because you are your own self programmer. I did this from childhood long before I knew the philosophy existed and it worked.
“The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho are good books to read free on the net.

“Unambiguous determination sets in motion series of events that would work in your favor. I’d love to practice this with you all.
“So let’s leave the fears and tears of 2023 and intentionally seek a prosperous 2024.
She had earlier thanked God for keeping her alive, for her healthy children and for the house she built.

“Personally, I have a lot to be grateful for this year. I survived a ghastly motor accident on the 14th of April 2023, after being rigged out of the Senatorial elections I overwhelmingly won.  “Gratefully the courts bided me justice on the 31st of October 2023.”

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