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Kogi complements FG’s Marketmoni with its loan scheme

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Kogi complements FG’s Marketmoni with its loan scheme

By John Akubo

Kogi State Government has appropriated it’s State own loan scheme in the 2018 Budget to complement the Federal Government’s GEEP/Marketmoni social investment program in the State.
Focal Person on the Social Investment Programmes in Kogi, Mr Adoga Ibrahim, who disclosed this yesterday at a press conference said “For the GEEP program the concept is that we are giving out N50, 000 loan from Federal Government.
“Now we have made the State to appropriate another fund that would be State owned loan scheme for associations and cooperatives, it is in the 2018 Budget and we are hoping that it would be passed by the State House of Assembly.”
He encouraged beneficiaries of the 50, 000 loan to double their efforts in ensuring they pay back the loan as that will qualify them for the next level of N100, 000 adding that they will also qualify for N250, 000 when they pay back the N1000.
The fical person declared that the State has recorded the highest rate of loan repayment of 65 percent for the Federal Government loan, of 50000,
“In Kogi we gave 70 percent to women and 30percent to the men because we know that the women will not disappoint us.

Ibrahim announced that Kogi State would host the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is billed to flag off the micro credit scheme component of the federal government’s Social Investment Programmes in Lokoja, the State capital on February 13.
He explained that the Vice President would also use the visit for an on the spot assessment of the progress made so far in the implementation of the various social intervention programmes in the state.
In his words, “The vice President is visiting Kogi State on the 13th of February, 2018, the federal Government is into partnership with Bank of Industry and 25 Government parastatals fr series of micro and small business clinics all around the country.”
“This is to give a boost to the micro credit program under GEEP where loans have been given to several artisans, market women and people with special needs.”
Adoga, who is also the Special Adviser to the governor on Multilateral, Donor Agencies and Special Projects, said the event which will hold at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja would also showcase small scale businesses, goods and products that beneficiaries of the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)/Marketmoni have been able to establish/produce in the state.
He said that additional 7,000 beneficiaries of the GEEP/Marketmoni programme will receive loan disbursements of N50,000 each on February 13 to enable them boost their existing businesses or start new ones.

Adoga said that beneficiaries of the various federal government’s social investment programmes in the state, namely N-Power, GEEP/Marketmoni and Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), have so far received close to N3 billion as at the end of 2017.

According to him, there will be training and sensitisation clinics for owners of small businesses in the state on February 12 where they would have opportunity to be linked with business-enabling-institutions such as Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Bank of Industry (BOI), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC, amongst others.

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Nigeria Farmers Group urges States to develope rural communities with 10% of monthly revenue

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Nigeria Farmers Group urges States to develope rural communities with 10% of monthly revenue

***Says Rural communities are Goldmine waiting to be harnessed

National Coordinator/ Manging director Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) Tedheke Retson has described rural communities in Nigeria as the Goldmine of economic development if only Governors will set aside 10% of revenues to develope them.
He therefore charged
the state Governors to set aside 10% of their monthly revenue for the development of the rural areas.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja about the loss of over N200m his farm center at Ga’ate Community, Kokona Local Government area of Nassarawa State incured on account of the COVID-19 pandermic he said insecurity will be contained if rural communities are developed.

“It is time for States to commit 10% of their monthly revenue towards developing rural communities, that is the goldmine because once you develop rural communities you take away insecurity and create opportunities.
“We must begin to develop rural Nigeria such that it becomes impossible for Bokoharam to go and recruit, why because these guys have something that they are holding onto.
“When you develop rural communities you create the ability of rural Nigeria to become a goldmine for continued productive work.
“Nigeria is capable of 10% GDP growth if we focus on the development of rural communities.

Speaking also against the background of the rice pyramids of Kebbi and how it can be replicated as a national project he said, “Kebbi rice pyramid can be replicated nationwide if our Governors understand that the only way they can create job is through agriculture.
“Look there is no job that the ICT sector can create that can match 10% of what agric can create. The oil sector does not have the capacity to create 5% of the jobs agricultural sector can create.
“So when we are able to look at agriculture, on every hectare of farmland, even when you are using machinery and the staff and you have 84m arable farmland, think of it in numbers.
“So even if you want to talk about mechanization, you need personnel and if you talk about industrialisation, you need personnel. If you want to open more lands you need personnel.
“The rural Nigeria is where the majority of our population lies. That is why you see today that insecurity is actually becoming a problem in rural Nigeria because they will attack urban areas and go back to the rural areas.
“So what you do is to create rural farm settlement centers as there will be nothing there for them to do in the cities.

On his experience in 2020 he said, “The reality is that 2020 was a very bad year for farmers. I will say that any farm that can survive the challenges of 2020 will probably not die again. “But that is why we have always asked that agriculture should be treated as a national treasure because every industrial revolution has been premised on Agric. As an agrarian, from the west to the east.
“Nigeria is blessed to be in such a particularly good place because when you over 200 million people with an average youth population of 19years and about a 100milliom arable farmland.
“What Nigeria must do is to use agriculture as a foundation of sustainable economic development in other to mitigate the challenges that ordinarily should have arisen from COVID-19.
“So yes it was a very tough year, it was a tough year with our investors, it was a very tough year with markets, because if you don’t move good you cannot sell and if you don’t sell you cannot make money, if you are not making money, you are not surviving.”

He said he wished sometimes that the fourth quarter of 2020 is written off the books of history because between August and December was the worst experience the farm ever had.
“We lost money, when we were to move some of our cows to the south because of the restriction of movement, we lost money with #EndSars protests because with the protest came the opening of border and foreign rice flooded Lagos.
“Hence we lost money in so many ways but at the end of the day what you must keep doing is to keep building since at the end it is value that determines longevity.
“It is value that determines process and productivity and because the farm has been able to build value over the years it was easier for us to.
“Thankfully December last year the Central Bank of Nigeria supported the farm with N734m with the hope of increasing that because they see the farm as a local content driven project, Nigerian project with Local content and the project has kept on creating employment  reducing joblessness and increasing productivity for the greater good of our people.
“If you look at our fourth quarter GDP figures you will realise that non-oil revenue was the major component of that growth and that is exactly what we need to do.
“So 2020 is not a year some of us want to remember but then we learnt lessons from the year like 2020 for future growth and sustainability. “

“Yes, Government sets policies in place but one of the biggest misconception is that Government has no business in business that is a fallacy, Government is the only business in Business.
“The United States economy at this particular time before the end of Donald Trump, the Government bailed out the small businesses over $4trillion and Joe Biden never did 3 months he has increased the tally by $1.9 trillion that means Government supporting the private sector in an economy that is supposed to be the most capitalist economy in the world, so Government is the only business in business.”
He admonished be the leading figure in providing finances in a time where the purchasing power is really low, with lack of movement when industries are suffering. “Government should be the central Figure in not only providing finances but providing the enabling business environment, not only doing that but opening new markets by providing the basic infrastructure necessary for creating access to markets from the rural areas to the urban markets.
He said his farm built a dam with the capacity of holding 500 cubit meter of water.
“A farm like ours should not be building dam, infact if there is an Avenue for me to recover that money from the Federal or State Government I will recover it.
“I spent about N60m to build the dam, not only holding for the farm during irrigation where we can cultivate a 100 hectares of farm land but also holding water for more that 100, 000 cattle from all over the area that come to drink water for free.
“That is not my job, I shouldn’t build a ruga where I am connecting electricity, 33KVA line for about 5km from the main road to this place where I am spending about 70m for the connection and giving a transformer to the community, that is not the job of a private business person, my job is to make money.
He said it is because Government has failed in so many areas particularly in the area of infrastructure provision. “It is also not the job of the federal Governme t alone, the state and local Government must come in because development should not be seen as a concept that is told to us by the world bank and the IMF.
“You should begin to look at it as not communism, capitalism or socialism but you should begin to look at it as communitalism, where the community becomes the central focus of development and growth.
“That is what the Chinese did, the Chinese economic revolution was a cultural revolution, where the culture of the people was used as a foundation of economic development. That is what drive real growth. “So yes, Government sets policies but beyond that Government build basic infrastructure.”

” it should stop talking about using 1Billion to construct 1km of road, No.
“You see, roads that connects communities do not need to be asphalt, they only need real laterite compact. They will cost you less and within a year or so, you can open and connect all the farm communities to market centers because the source of insecurity is the foundation of inability of the people to be self sustaining. Look, rural Nigeria does not need schools, that will cost N100, 000 to attend, with N10,000, N15, 000 people send their children to school in rural Nigwria. So what do you do, it is to provide basic jobs. Jobs that will pay, N10, 000 to N20, 000 but jobs that are sustainable over the long run. People are complaining about Ruga being a challenge, Government is suppose to use Ruga as a  source of employment. The farm itself is a Ruga, because this farm we sleep, in this farm, Fulani stay, in this farm, you have all your viewing centers, you have playing ground for children, you have processing ground, you have an abattoir, you have hydroponic section where you plant grass, in the farm you have a clinic, in the farm you have conference center, you have football field. It is a farm ecosystem, like the one in Isreal  a farm ecosystem, where everything you need is within the farming community. When you do that, you are creating jobs. We cater for about 500 jobs at the peak of the planting season. Imagine you have project like this in every local Governments, you have Rugas like this in every Local Governmenrs  in every State of the Federation that is doing almost everything, pigs, cows, goats, plantation if you have them in every local government  within the next decade you will generate over 10 million jobs and those 10million jobs do not need to pay you N500, 000 per month as salary, all they need to do is to pay an average of N30, 000 to N40, 000 but then you have community schools that would be good enough, community health centers that would also be good. So Government’s role is beyond infrastructure, it is beyond policy, it is with regards to cheap money. The money that the CBN gave to the farm is coming to us at about 5% interest rate per annum and we just a circular recently that the CBN has extended that 5% till 2022. So I am going to be paying 5% on a N700m facility. The CBN is also opening a N2b line because of what they think we are doing. So the issue is, Government needs to make money available to real farmers not the paper farmers. Government needs to do a lot along that line or else when COVID comes tomorrow we are still going to struggle. The country that was able to overcome COVID fastest was China, do you know why? Because China is a productive economy, Asia did not suffer as much from COVID as the Wwest because over the last decade production has moved from the West to Asia. The HP laptop that is made in America is actually manufactured in China. Almost everything that is here in this office is made in China. So while the world was undergoing a recession driven by COVID-19 China was experiencing increase in productivity during the pandemic and that is driven by their ability to produce. You have almost a 100m hectares of arable farmland and the Federal Government has to do everything. The state Government is not doing as much as they should and the private sector also is lagging behind in what they are expected to do. 

Can we know the range in terms of the amount you lost last year?

The farm lost in excess of N200m due to the COVID issue in 2020. Most farms suffered similar fate like ours. 

How can the country replicate the rice pyramid in Kebbi in other states?

Right now they don’t have anything they are holding onto so anybody can come and give them N1000 and what will they do? They will take that N1000 and take AK47, smoke small weed and they are going to destroy communities. So the thing is for Kebbi to become a component of our national discuss, for what happened in Kebbi to become part of our progress discussion, States must begin to look at their competitive advantage.

Why will Nigeria be importing Gari from Togo? When in those days the Niger Delta used to be the hub of production of Gari, what are we talking about?

In 1976  Indonesia and Malaysia came here to learn about palm oil, today both countries do worth of over $10b export of palm oil and Nigeria is importing 1 million metric tonnes of palm oil every year is that not a curse?

States must begin to look at their competitive advantage in agriculture because that is the only way we can grow. States should stop talking about going to Abuja for the monthly allocation.

The ruga atmosphere in this farm is visible for a first time visitor, there is fulani settlement here, looking at the issue of at the national.burner which is Fulani  the criminal ones are told to leave, it is now a political issue and also a tribal issue, tearing Nigeria apart, how did you.manage to incorporate fulani into your farm ecosystem?

Nigerians have the habit of foundation in every conversation on insanity, on
mediocrity, with parochial sentimentality. It worries me sometimes to hear people discussing northernization and now we talk about Ruganization or Rugaphobia. We are supposed to look at the economics of Ruga, I will give you a perfect example. The American Cowboy is a Fulaniman, yes go and look at him historically.

A cowboy is somebody who stay on top of a horse to look after his animals, cows,, that is why he is called cowboy. So the American Midwestern states, Texas, Yahommy all are fulani cow area. What the Anerican did was that they monetized their own fulani men. You see the cowboy with their Sanches shoes, with their shirt and hat like Don William’s, think about, rith now the American Fulani community which is a cowboy community is a $500b community. Come home to Nigeria, Buhari has been President for six years, Osinbajo has been his vice and a pastor for that number of years, Osinbanjo has not become a Muslim.

R

What we must begin to look at is, what is the economies and comparative advantage of the fulani. Nigerians don’t look at the foundation of our crises. My grand father left Urhobo land and went to kale, for those who are from Niger Delta you will understand what I am talking about. Kale is a very fertile land so most people from the upland Delta in the 40’s and 60’s moved to Kwale to settlement Father  late professor Moses Tedheke was given birth to in Kwale. So most of them actually went to Ruga communities in Kwale to go and farm. That is the concept and foundation upon which Ruga should be discussed so, there are currently 20m cows in Nigwria and the way the cows are currently grazing is not economically viable because they lose a lot of fat as they track all the way from Sokoto to go and look for fresh grass in Warri for example and this migratory pattern is human as it is historic. Man chases where there is food that is why all of would leave village to Lagos even if we sleep under bridge. It is the way it is, so no matter how you shout or point gun the cows are always going to be migrating from the dry land to the wet lands.

So what do we do? I have said it before, create a small central corridor that is going to be foundationed from Kwara all the way to Benue and Adamawa in and then to Nassaraw. You create a NorthCentral corridor. When you build Rugas like this, it is not owned by the fulani, it is not owned by individuals, it is owned by the State. For God’s sake Awolowo did it with his Cooperative program in those days, Sir Ahmadu Bello also talked about it as a concept. That was what led to the grazing reserves in the 40s and 60s


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RCCG throne Room Parish observes Prayer walk in Abuja to heal Nigeria

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RCCG throne Room Parish observes Prayer walk in Abuja to heal Nigeria

By John Danjuma

The Reedemed Christain Church of God (RCCG) Throne Room Parish,  Transcorp Hilton Abuja yesterday joined its counterparts in over 190 countries to mark the global prayer work in Abuja.
Members of the church led by the pastor in charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Transcorp Hilton Congress Hall, Tunde Benjamin’s-Laniyi marched from the hotel to the Federal secretariat while supplicating for Nigeria in he perilous times the country found itself.
The members who were holding different bill boards with inscriptions such as ‘God heal Nigeria’ were all in prayer mood as they trudged in the procession.
Pastor Benjamin’s-Laniyi who is also the pastor in charge of youth Province 11 that cover this Abuja, Nassarawa, Kogi, Kwara and Niger and Benue State said the country needs divine intervention.

“We need divine intervention, it is a mandate that God gave to us and God Says everywhere RCCG is in over 190 nations of the earth.
“What we are doing right here now is being done everywhere that on the 21st of this month our pastor declared that we walk round and pray.
“We pray these powerful prayer points, firstly we are praying for revival in the land that will usher in a great harvest to the Kingdom.
“We are praying for our nation that God almighty will help Nigeria, that God will help the President, the ministers,  Governors and all our leaders and even the populace so that Nigeria will be great again, we are trusting that God almighy will back them up we are crying out saying Almighty have mercy upon the country. “Lord do something, we are asking for divine intervention, we are asking for divine interuption to the benefit of the country. We asking saying Lord, it is high time that Nigeria should be mentioned in the comity of nations not a country that is in glorious but a country that carries the Glory of God.
“We are saying that Nigeria is a good Land, Nigeria is good, we are saying in the precious name of Jesus God intervene in our country and Lord Syrenghten our leaders, enable them, empower to bring this nation to a place of your glorious expression of your power because Nigeria is a country that is destined to be great.” “”We are saying God, Lord over our nation, let theatre fly again that is what we are praying for and we are trusting God that in the name of Jesus the supernatural, we are praying that the father of Jesus Christ, the God of all creation, the one who made the stars, the moon, the cloud, he is the God of all ages, the Alfa and Omega, the ancient of days, he is known as the God of all creation and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. “We are saying Lord God of humanity, you are the one that has the power, you can still do things that you do most. So we are coming here and involving God in our nation
When asked about whether God has turned his back on Nigeria after so much prayers the problems are still there, he said, “Faith without work is dead we thank God for what we have seen, if it was not for God the situation would have been worse but we are also prayering but it is not only prayer  we must couple our prayers with the right action that delivers the work, faith is justified by the works. “Faith without works is dead, it is not just praying. What about he governing principles behind our action all these things will have to be addressed and that is why we are saying Lord we are declaring this, we are advocating for this, we are standing for this, that all of us as a people will begin to agree with God we begin to cooperate with God in bringing  his will to come to pass in our lives because it takes two to tango.”


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HOSTCOM insists on a definite commitment to ending gas flaring by operating companies

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HOSTCOM insists on a definite commitment to ending gas flaring by operating companies

The Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas in Nigeria (HOSTCOM) have brought to the front burner once again the consequential effect and impacts of gas flaring on the environment, ecosystem, climate change, agriculture, cultural heritage, livelihood and health of the Oil and Gas producing States and Communities.
The National President of HOSTCOM HOSTCOM
High Chief (Dr) Benjamin Style Tamanarebi enumerated the consequences of gas flaring raised the issues when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on ending gas flaring.
This was contained in a press statement he signed personally and was issued in Abuja on Sunday.
He said there was need for being proactive in ensuring that an early date for ending gas flaring is not jeopardised by the the Operating Companies who evade the effective compliance of regulatory laws and policies towards ending gas flaring without recourse to the Host Communities.
“More worrisome is
the inconsistency in the dates to end gas flaring, which has just been
shifted to 2025.
“This is despicable and unacceptable in the way and manner Host Communities are given little on no regard in the petroleum investment
without recourse to their livelihood and Sustainable Development.
This he said is expedient in the light of Ending Gas flaring, Environmental degradation, Climate
Change, Gas Recovery & Utilization, Gas Resources, Regulatory Compliance
and the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas Sustainable Development
and Development Sustainability.
HOSTCOM recommended,
“That a Special Technical regulatory compliance monitoring unit be
set-up and shall be made-up of the Representatives of the
Ministry of Petroleum, DPR, Federal Ministry of Environment
NOSDRA, Representative of the House Committee on Environment/Habitat and the Host Communities of Nigeria
Producing Oil and Gas. “The terms of reference amongst others according him
should include, That the local regulatory laws and policies be reviewed in line with the UNFCCC CDM criteria and other international laws and
regulations to enhance the sustainable development of HostCom.
“That the penalty funds be remitted to the Host Communities and gas utilization nodes be provided for the Host Communities
Producing Oil and Gas to enhance their livelihood and social
advancement.
He also pointed out that a cryogenic plant model be installed on all the fields to end
gas flare and recover/optimize flared and natural gas.
However, he expressed satisfaction with the acknowledgement of the Ad -hoc Committee Chairman, Rt. Hon. Nicholas Mutu, the Minister of State Petroleum, Minister of Environment, NNPC GMD, Director DPR on the Operating Companies remarks l on the consequential effect and impacts of gas flaring on the environment, ecosystem, climate change, agriculture, cultural heritage, livelihood and health of the Oil and Gas producing States and Communities.

According to him, it is expedient and instructive that a field to field basis gas recovery plant model such as the
cryogenic plant be installed and nodes for the creation of gas hub
centers be established in the Producing States and Communities.
“Establishment of the Gas trains should not be in Bonny alone, but be established in other major producing Oil and Gas States.
He pointed out that the upcoming trains 1-7 is concentrated in
Bonny alone; whereas the gas is gathered from various major
Producing Oil and Gas States.
He recommended that the bonny delivery point and nodes be modified to create a gas hub center to the Producing States and Communities.
The president also wish that the extant regulations on environment, the DPR
regulations and Local Content Act needed to be urgently reviewed to enhance the inherent sustainable development of Host States and Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas
to contain all the local and global indices for sustainable
development.
He also expressed the desire that every draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
copy by the Operating Companies be sent to the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas for their inputs
and evaluation to ensure that the draft demonstrates the
adequate compliance to all the indices of sustainable development
and evidence to end Gas flaring.
“The review should be done with the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Operating Company,
DPR, and the HOST Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gasas the major stakeholders and mouth piece of the grassroots in line with the UNFCCC CDM criteria.
He indicated that HOSTCOM position on 10% equity shareholding is not negotiable.
He demanded that the Gas Master Plant be reviewed to accommodate Gas hub
centers to stimulate industrialization of the Producing States and Communities.
“Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas be included in the regulatory Boards, Commissions, Authorities and Agencies to ensure effective implementation of the laws and policies.
“As direct recipients of Gas Flare negative effect, HostCom deserve to be a beneficiary in the investment of domestic gas utilization obligation therefore, recommend that the principle of the Rights to First Refusal be applied to Gas allocation and be made available to HostCom as part of their Sustainable Development.”
Tamanarebi at the beginning of his presentation rendered an unreserved apologies to the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on ending gas flaring regarding the incident that took place on the floor of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee public hearing on the PIB when he was attacked by a faceless person claiming to be HOSTCOM parallel leader.
He stated that the attack was a sponsored assault against the voice of the voiceless in the Producing Oil and Gas Communities regarding HostCom’s position of 10% equity shareholding; whereas the initial PIB presentation at the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the PIB public hearing was peaceful evidenced in this recent presentation on ending gas flaring.

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