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Ajaokuta Steel critical to Nigeria’s rapid development says Adeyemo

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Ajaokuta Steel critical to Nigeria’s rapid development says Adeyemo

By Rex Danjuma

Deputy Secretary general of the African Iron and Steel Association (AISA), Solomon Femi Adeyemo has reechoed the fact that Nigeria’s development is anchored on the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta steel Company.
He spoke over the weekend when he recieved a certificate of credence conferred on him by Public Office Holders Association of Nigeria (POHAN) for excellence.
The steel complex which was said to have been 90% completed in 1984 by late Nigerian first executive President Alhaji Shehu Shagari had been abandoned by successive administrations and the gigantic project has been lying fallow almost in the shadow of its potentials.
A accord to revive the Ajaokuta project was reached recently during a meeting between Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia in October last year.
The partnership was meant to help get sections of the factory into production before the end of 2019, according to, the minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite.

Continuing the deputy secretary general said no nation can develop rapidly without steel.

“Firstly, Steel is the bedrock of every development in any country, go to China, go to Asian countries where we have Steel industries that are working they put them to use, even the per capita income of China at a time was measured by the Steel that they produce so you see there cannot be any meaningful development in any country without Steel it is not possible.”
We had a committee that was set up by world Steel Association and we called it sustainability study group, I was part of that sustainability study group and we found out that there is nobody who goes out that has no element of Steel on him.
“There is no way any person will dress up and there is no element of Steel on him.
“Check your Biro, your button, some of the designs on your cloths, so Steel is so important that we carry it along with us anytime, anyway and everywhere we are. Imagine that about 200m people in Nigeria are carrying one product of Steel in one form or the order.
“Think of the level of production, think of the products. To come to look at Ajaokuta Steel, you see there are other industries that are tied to this Steel complex.
“It is an integrated Steel complex, that means every other one comes to support it. Look at the downstream effect, is it those that are going to be building or those that are going to be using it for one thing or the other.
“Think of the thousands of products that would be coming out of it just like in the issue of the Petroleum product where Nigerians base their argument on just petrol, what of all other products that are associated with it?
“We are not talking about the black oil, petroleum jelly that we can get out of it, we are just talking about petrol, and that is what we are talking about in the Steel sector.
“In the Steel sector we have so many other things that are attached to it.
He expressed the confidence that Ajaokuta steel Company would be back on track as enunciated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Adeyemo based his confidence on the believe that the issue is very close to the President’s heart and so he does not have any doubt as to the coming back on stream of the steel complex.
The deputy secretary general said from the pronouncement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when he said he has set up committee of professionals who will look into the immediate take off of the Ajaokuta Steel, ‘all we need to do is to keep our fingers crossed and be praying for that committee that has been set up so that they hasten up.’
Adeyemo indicated that the minister at another forum was also quoted as saying that they are making sure that the Ajaokuta steel complex takes effect and seen to be working before the exit if the President Buhari administration. “We can just pray for them that this promises will come to pass.”
He said though non of the African Iron and steel Association members is a member of the committee however
very many of the committee members are engineers adding that they have the confidence they will deliver as promised.
He said on behalf African Iron and steel Association they had written to the Federal Government to congratulate them for taking that bold step and the committee thank them as they agreed to get back when their inputs are needed.
He expressed the hope that the committee is going to work objectively and call those who knows something about this thing to come and chip in their own knowledge.
The deputy secretary general said the proposed multiple railway projects to achieve Intermodal Transportation in the country as captured in the 2021 budget by the federal Government would easily be achieved if Ajaokuta resuscitated to produce that railtracks.
He recalled at a time when Government was about to build the Stadium in Abuja when the association went to the President then, chief obasanjo and told him, to allow the Nigeria steel industries to produce the Steel quantum of the Stadium and the answer was not favourable.
“We should be looking for way forward and that is those who knows the thing should be allowed to do it. We should use our local content to achieve our purpose.”

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Economy

AEC urges African Govts. to invest in home-made products as post COVID-19 strategy

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AEC urges African Govts. to invest in home-made products as post COVID-19 strategy

By Mustapha Sumaila

The African Economic Congress (AEC) has urged African Governments to invest in home-made products as a means of fast-tracking development as post COVID-19 strategy to recover economy.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AEC, Mrs Nancy Nnaji said this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

Nnaji said this suggestion was part of recommendations of various speakers
at the just concluded 2nd Edition of the annual conference held recently by AEC.

The meeting had the theme: “Post COVID-19: Africa in the New Economic Order”.

She said the conference had also recommended that Africans should prioritise research as a tool for sustainable development on the continent.

According to her, Africa is advised to move for self-reliance in the coming years, by harnessing and leveraging its abundant resources both human and materials to drive economic transformation.

She said the meeting noted that agricultural sector was key to Africa’s economic transformation and by developing it, abundant resources could be provided to finance the 2063 African union agenda to curb unemployment, food shortage, malnutrition and extreme poverty.

The founder stated that “Africans are also enjoined to be educated on the technical know-how to improve agriculture on the continent.

“Governments must increase the yearly allocated budget for agriculture and promote private sector engagement to avoid inadequate funding.

“To increase the level of value addition of food exports, there must be an investment in innovation and technology around local processing and infrastructure building.

“There is need for digital literacy skills, critical thinking skills, technical skills, soft skills, entrepreneurial skills, and certification programmes should be incorporated into the learning curriculum in all levels of education to produce self-reliant and employable graduates” she added.

Nnaji also added that the conference advised on the need to improve broadband connectivity to support interactive online learning and teaching. (NAN)

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Hope for border reopening dims as agric minister reiterates indefinite closure

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Hope for border reopening dims as agric reiterates indefinite closure

The Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, has said that the Federal Government was not ready to reopen the borders, so as to boost the country’s agricultural sector.
He stated this, at the flag-off ceremony of the distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers affected by the recent flood in Kebbi State on Saturday.
He said Nigeria borders will remain locked and the key thrown into the lagoon.

He said: “Nigerian farmers have been performing well by producing such food items as rice, millet, guinea corn, and Shea butter, among others. We are not ready to reopen the borders, which is why the Federal Government is ready to support the dry season farming to regain what farmers lost to the flood disaster.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Adamu Aliero, supported the continued closure of borders, to encourage the growth of local rice farming.
He commended federal and state governments for supporting flood victims in the state.
The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu Abubakar, represented by the Deputy Governor, Col Ismail Yombe Dabai (rtd.), thanked the Federal Government for the kind gesture. He assured me of equal distribution of the items.
He appealed to the Federal Government to increase the quantity of the items, to enable them to go round the affected people.
The items shared included rice, millet, guinea corn, and beans, among others.

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AfDB, Synergos inaugurate machine for cassava peel conversion in Kogi

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AfDB, Synergos inaugurate machine for cassava peel conversion in Kogi


By Friday Idachaba
The African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with Synergos Nigeria and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has inaugurated a prototype maciine for conversion of High Quality Cassava Peels into feed ingredients for animal feeds.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the prototype was inaugurated at the High Quality Cassava Peels (HQCP) Centre in Ejule, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi on Friday.

Country Director of Synergos Nigeria Mr Victor Adejoh, in his opening remarks at the inaugural ceremony said the innovation aimed at addressing issues of environmental pollution and income support for women.

Adejoh said that Synergos Nigeria was implementing the project in partnership with ILRI with funding from AfDB as part of the bank’s implementation of its “Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT)”.

The Country Director who was represented by Mrs Lydia Oyewole, Synergos Project Facilitator, hinted that TAAT’s developmental objective was to scale up agricultural technologies with Livestock component as one of the key compacts to achieve the objectives.

He said that the prototype waste-to-wealth innovation to be run by Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) would be enable production of high quality cassava peel (HQCP) feed ingredients thereby, circumventing cassava peel drying constraints.

The prototype machine which is the second in the state with the first, located at Ojapata, Ankpa Local Government according to him, is based on principle of grating; dewatering, fermentation; pulverizing, sieving and drying.

“These steps essentially replicate the age-long processes involved in making cassava pulp safe for human consumption and storable and also conforms with the code of practice for the reduction of Hydrocyanic acid in cassava and cassava products (FAO, 2013a)

“Cassava peels waste has been recognized for ages as a potential animal feed, but with little utilization because of its cyanide content when consumed wet or its mycotoxins content when improperly dried”, he said.

Adejoh noted that the machine would produce dried high quality cassava peel mash (fine and coarse) feeds with four to six months shelf-life and suitable for poultry, fish, pigs, goats, sheep and cattle.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture Mr David Apeh, called on the women to utilise the prototype pricessing facilitie at their doorstep to increase their livelihood support and better their lives instead of idling away.

Apeh represented by Ichaka okolo, Director, Agric Services, also called on AfDB, Synergos, ActionAid and other partners and agencies to increase their interventions in Agribusiness initiative for overall development the state.

Earlier earlier in her address, SWOFON Coordinator in the state Hajia Sefiya Yahaya called on the Federal and and State Governments to accord women farmers their rights and make land available to them as a right rather than privilege saying, “Our land is our right.”

NAN reports that representatives of the state Fadama office, ActionAid Nigeria, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) and various women groups witnessed the inauguration and gave goodwill messages. (NAN)

FDJ/

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