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COVID-19 recovery: FG to stimulate economy with $750m loan on behalf of states

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COVID-19 recovery: FG to stimulate economy with $750m loan on behalf of states

The Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of $750m  on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household’s consumption as part of windows of opportunity to mitigate the effect of Covid-19.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure while inaugurating the Federal Steering Committee and Federal Technical Committee of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery for Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).
She said,
“Federal Government has created several windows of interventions as captured in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30.
“This is to among other things respond robustly and appropriately to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, identify fiscal measures to enhance oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending,” she said.

She urged members to ensure that post-COVID-19 was not injurious to Nigerians and the economy.

Ahmed said that diverse and severe impacts of the pandemic were being felt across the world with significant consequences on informal businesses, households and farmers who depended on their farm produce to survive.

Ahmed said that the implementation of the N-CARES was in line with the Federal Government priorities as outlined in the ESP.
The Federal Steering Committee is made up of ministers, permanent secretaries, while the technical committee comprised directors of key MDAs.
She said that members of the committees were selected in line with the role their MDAs played in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfilment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty.
According to Ahmed, the major role of the steering committee was to provide overall policy direction for the implementation of the programme and advise the president appropriately.

According to her, the federal technical committee would be responsible for the programme oversight, overall guidance, support, coordination, strategic direction, review and approval of the annual work programme as well as budget for the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU).
The Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clement Agba, said that the N-CARES programme was a multi-sectoral programme designed to provide emergency relief to the vulnerable and poor Nigerians.
These according to Agba, including smallholder farmers and SMEs that were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic using a World Bank loan of N750 million over a period of two years (2021 – 2022).
Agba said that the economy was currently faced with challenges in the economic downturn in its history.
He said that government intervention had become crucial as most of the sectors had been adversely affected.

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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)

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