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APRNet charges KGSG to encourage farmers to access farm inputs for better outputs

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APRNet charges KGSG to encourage farmers to access farm inputs for better outputs

By John Akubo

Agricultural Policy Research Network (APRNet) has charged Kogi State Government on the need to encourage farmers in the State to access farm inputs for improved output.
Access to such imputes, especially farm credit, fertilizers, improved seeds and access to infrastructure like hood roads and electricity would help them add more value to their agricultural products and improve their well being in the process.

This was contained in the welcome address delivered by the president of the network, Anthony Onoja at the 7th agricultural policy research seminar held at Blue Bell Hotel, 500 unit Housing estate, Lokoja recently.
According to him, while Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State strives his best to achieve the primary goal of Government to ensure security of lives, it will be instructive security of lives also include security of the stomach which is food security of the citizens.
According to him, “Achieving this feat will involve concerted efforts by the Government and all other stakeholders in agriculture in Kogi State.
He said part of the reason the network shifted their 7th seminar to Kogi State is to advocate for engagement of multi-stakeholders in agricultural policy formulation and implementation.
He said APRNet believes that research in agricultural fields and related science will not lead to development in Kogi State and indeed in Nigeria unless efforts are made by relevant authorities to build capacities of researchers as well as farmers to bring about innovative technologies in farming as well as bridging the gap between the research community/academia and the farmers/agrobusiness who are the end users of agricultural research.
” Institutions such as Kogi State University and the Federal University Lokoja among others, would have a significant role to play in this area.
“It is surprising to note that a State such as Kogi which is one of the food baskets of Nigeria given its rich agricultural resources despite having a conventional Federal University is yet to start any program in agricultural sciences.
He also called on the management of all related institutions in the State that have anything to do with farmers to key in and harness to contribute their maximum quota to agricultural development in the State.
” These will include the revival of all State development agricultural projects to carry out holistic modern agricultural extension services in line with the current thrust of the Federal Government in the Green Alternative.
“The need to revive the agricultural development project especially its agricultural extension services is highly need this time when the Federal ministry of agriculture and rural development is reactivating the national agricultural extension service delivery system.”
He indicated that farmers need to be exposed to modern methods of farming and innovative ways of improving their productivities for abundant food to flow in the households of Kogi citizens and the country at large.
Onoja explained that APRNet was established in 2009 at a meeting of Nigeria’s agricultural research policy stakeholders and was facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) under the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funded agricultural Policy Support Facility.
“The organisation is being governed by a 9-member executive council comprising of researchers, policy experts and representatives from the private sector and civil society. The executive of APRNet also includes a nominee of the Federal Minister of agriculture and rural development as the second vice President.
Kogi state government said it would laise with the Federal University Lokoja to establish the Department of Agriculture for effective research work in the institution.
The Deputy Governor of Kogi state, Elder Simon Achuba, who stated this during the visit of the Agricultural Policy Research team to Kogi government in his office said, with the establishment of the department of Agriculture in the institution, the research work will be easy for agricultural policy researchers in the university.
The Deputy Governor said the state alone would not be able to go into critical research work like the institutions of learning, maintaining that the institutions have the capacity or mandate for research work.
He said the state University would also help in agricultural research while calling for collaboration between the state university and the federal University for effective research work in the state.
According to the Deputy Governor, such collaboration would boost agricultural research and complement the effort of the state government on the development of agriculture in the state

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Economy

Humanitarian minister flags off special grant for rural women in Plateau

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Humanitarian minister flags off special grant for rural women in Plateau

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has launched the one off payment of a special Grant  for rural women in Plateau state.

Over one hundred and fifty thousand women will receive a one-off special grant of twenty thousand naira each in all the 774 local government councils across Nigeria.

On her maiden launch of the special funds distribution held at the Banquet hall, Government House, the minister said the grant was a one-off disbursement to rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women. 

“Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, the Government has been paying more attention to protecting and promoting the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country.
This she said informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion.

“The Grant for Rural Women programme was introduced to sustain the social inclusion agenda of the Buhari Administration, including the realization of the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria. 

“The grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The grant is expected to increase access to financial capital required for economic activities.
“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the opportunity to increase their income, enhance their food security, and generally contribute towards improving their living standard”.

Farouq also thanked the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen for her contributions in ensuring a smooth take- off of the program in Plateau state.
She also used the opportunity to present assorted grains from the National Food Reserve, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as palliative for distribution to vulnerable persons affected by the  restriction of movement to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Food items presented to the state include 71 trailer load of Maize, Sorghum and Millet  to cater to 294,199 households.

Earlier, the Governor of Plateau State Dr Simon Bako Lalong expressed immense gratitude to the minister for her visit to the state. He acknowledged the role of women in the society especially the rural women. 

“This palliative will assist vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters like conflict and flood.  
“This occasion is unique because it also features the disbursement of cash transfer to 500 rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women.
“I am also delighted to note that 3005 pregnant and lactating women In Plateau state are currently receiving an additional five thousand naira as top-up of the Conditional Cash Transfer.
“This will go a long way in improving the lives of women and children in Plateau state particularly their health and economic empowerment”.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong in his comments 9noted that 26,004 vulnerable households in Plateau state were already receiving the Cash Transfer of N10,00 bi-monthly while 47,000 others await payment. He said the  state has 231,870 households on the State Social Register with 877,301 individual households. He appealed to the federal government to extend other social and intervention programs to capture those on the waiting list. 

The theme for this year’s International Day of Rural Women is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19”.

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Economy

Apprehension over Buhari’s misgivings on recession

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Apprehension over Buhari’s misgivings on recession


President Muhammadu Buhari left many Nigerians more confused when he admitted that the country’s economy may slip back into another recession in the third quarter of 2020, even while in the Fourth quarter.
Buhari expressed the misgivings while presenting the N13.1 trillion budget for 2021 with a deficit of N4.8 trillion that will be financed mainly by borrowing.
Many Nigerians were led to believe that the recession afterall may have since started going by his admittance while quoting the previous quarter.
This is more so as the President seem to be re-echoing what
Nigeria’s finance minister Zainab Ahmed had said in August 2020.

Ahmed had warned that unless Nigeria achieves a very strong third quarter 2020 economic performance, the country may slide into recession.
“Nigeria is exposed to spikes in risk aversion in the global capital market, which will put further pressure on the foreign exchange market as foreign portfolio investors exit the Nigerian market,” the minister  had said.
“Nigeria’s Q2 GDP growth is in all likelihood negative and unless we achieve a very strong Q3 2020 economic performance, the Nigerian economy is likely to lapse into a second recession in four years with significant adverse consequences.”
The President also said the projected GDP growth will be  negative in the third quarter of the year while the fourth quarter just started.
As such, the president said the economy may lapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences.
However, inspite of the apprehension, Buhari assured Nigerians that his team were working assiduously to ensure rapid recovery in 2021 saying there is no cause for any alarm.
“We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years,” he added

Buhari said the country’s economy is currently facing challenges with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Real Gross Domestic Product (‘GDP’) growth declined by 6.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. This ended the 3-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017,” the president said.

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Economy

Despite concerns over whooping N3.12tr for debt servicing, FG gives hope

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Despite concerns over whooping N3.12tr for debt servicing, FG gives hope

Not perturbed by concerns raised by stakeholders over N4trillion borrowing the Federal Government has pledged to meet up with it’s debt obligations with N3.12trillion for its servicing in the 2021 budget proposal.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the indication Thursday when he presented the 2021 budget proposal of N13.08trillion to the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to him, the amount represents an increase of N445.57 billion from N2.68 trillion in 2020.
“We remain committed to meeting our debt service obligations.

“Hence, we have provisioned N3.12 trillion for this in 2021, representing an increase of N445.57 billion from N2.68 trillion in 2020.
“A total of N2.183 trillion has been set aside to service domestic debts while N940.89 billion has been provided for foreign debt service.

“N220 billion is provided for transfers to the Sinking Fund to pay off maturing bonds issued to local contractors and creditors.’

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