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CBN/ABP to disburse loan to 1,500 farmers in Kogi, says Foundation

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CBN/ABP to disburse loan to 1,500 farmers in Kogi, says Foundation

Loan
By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja,
(NAN) Doyin and Susan Foundation, an NGO, has facilitated loan of between N300,000 and N900,000 for 1,500 farmers in Kogi West Senatorial District under Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

Chairperson, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the foundation, Mrs Adedoyin Ibikunle made this known during the verification of beneficiaries at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Lokoja on Friday.

Ibikunle said that the target beneficiaries under the Federal Government intervention programme were selected from the seven local government areas in Kogi west.

“The loan facility ranges from N300, 000 to N900, 000 per farmer depending on the number of hectares of farm land each farmer would cultivate.

“I have put in all my efforts and deployed my available resources in collaboration with CBN to ensure these 1,500 farmers access the loan this rainy season.

“My NGO will also stand as collateral for the beneficiaries, who must have fulfilled the CBN requirements in accessing the loan.

“The verification exercise today is for beneficiaries from Lokoja and Kogi/Kotonkarfe Local Government Areas, and subsequently for the remaining five LGAs in Kogi west next week,” Ibikunle said.

Ibikunle, who is eyeing Kogi west senatorial seat, said that her NGO had distributed relief items including food stuff worth N12 million to about 2,500 less privileged people in the zone.

She added that the foundation had also offered free medical treatment for the vulnerable in the area in April, in collaboration with its United States partners.

Some beneficiaries, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews, commended Mrs Ibikunle for the gesture, saying it was the first time they were enjoying such benefits in the history of the zone.

Mr Mohammed Nda, the loan coordinator in Lokoja, told NAN that the NGO had earlier distributed empowerment forms to the farmers which we filled and returned to her.

“Today, we are here at CBN office for verification; we thank her for facilitating the loan, which will enable farmers to improve on farming. We have 53 beneficiaries from Lokoja,” Nda said.

Abdulmumin Gata, Coordinator of Kotonkarfe LGA, told NAN that 150 farmers with 500 hectares of farm land would benefit from loan in Kotonkarfe.

“This initiative is for those who are real farmers and have at least one hectare of land and above.

“Farmers are facing lots of challenges in getting funds to buy fertilizer and other farm inputs and tools which are very difficult without access to loan.

“We thank our senator to be, Mrs Ibikunle for facilitating the loan for real farmers, so that we can have something doing in terms food production,” Gata said.

A farmer in Kotonkarfe, Seidu Dauda, said: “We don’t know how to thank this woman enough because in my life and community we have never witnessed this kind of gesture before.”

On her part, Kadiri Abibat, a woman farmer, said: “We thank her very much and we will use the money very well, and we are assuring her of our votes.” (NAN)

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Economy

Post COVID-19: FG explores indirect tax, ICT to shore up revenue says Finance minister

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Post COVID-19: FG explores indirect tax, ICT to shore up revenue says Finance minister

The minister of finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has reiterated the Federal Governments determination to explore all possible avenues including indirect taxation such as ICT driven tax to shore up the country’s revenue.
She spoke when the chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Abuja and District Society visited on sensitization to mark the tax week.

The minister who spoke through a director in the ministry Fatima Hayatu said because of the experience during the COVID-19 lockdown the tax drive is being redirected to ICT.
“We have all seen from the COVID-19, we were all in Lock down,  but we were using our phones and technology, that is why we are now going to ICT driven tax and we are going to be taxing more of the digital technology.
She said Post COVID-19 indirect taxation is where most of the taxes will be coming from.
“The theme; ‘Tax, Politics and social contract’ is very apt in the present situation, Nigeria needs all the taxes more than before, as a ministry we will give the CITN all the support it needs to carryout it’s basic duties.
Chairman of FCT Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Alhaji Abdullahi Attah said considering the fact that the country is now seriously looking for money and oil is dwindling the next option is taxation.
Speaking through Director Human Resources in FCT IRS Muhammad Jada, he said there is every need to take taxation seriously and ensure that the trust reposed in them is not be betrayed
“It is an important organization and an important week where the trust and the integrity is the key.”

The chairman CITN Abuja district Dr Nwabuzor M. Emeke said they are organising the annual tax week as a week they lay emphasis on tax advocacy and sensitisation.
“This year we have chosen the topic that has to do with tax, politics and Social Contract
What are we trying to say, we are looking at it from two perspectives, and equally encouraging Government to fulfil their own end of the bargain so that when Nigerians see what the Government is doing with the proceeds from tax they would be encouraged to pay taxes.
He said in so doing they CITN Abuja district is organizing a seminar Tuesday at Merit House, where about four eminent professors will speak on issues about taxation. “The issue of tax cannot be over emphasised because we all know what Nigeria is going through in terms of the dwindling oil revenues, so the Government is deploying more efforts on tax issues and that is on your shoulder as FIRS and we as CITN that regulate tax in Nigeria is partnering with you to ensure that you achieve your target that is given to you by the Federal Government.

The chairman of FIRS Muhammed Nami said they attach importance to the Relationship between FIRS and CITN as many directors in FIRS are also members of CITN
Represented by the coordinating director digital support group of the Federal inland Revenue Service Dr. Achek Maidugu he said,
“The CITN is part and parcel of the FIRS, most of us are members with the Abuja and district society.
“FIRS holds CITN in high esteem as critical stakeholder we appreciated and we always identify with CITN.”
He said they have been supporting CITN adding that they will continue the partnership.

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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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Economy

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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