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Lawan expresses optimism for robust Nigeria’s economy 

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Lawan expresses optimism for robust Nigeria’s economy

Nigeria is on the path of economic growth despite the prevailing economic hiccups President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has expressed the optimism.
Lawan spoke on Thursday at the Nigeria/International Monetary Fund(IMF) Article lV Consultation virtual exercise.This was contained in a statement issues by his media adviser Ola AwoniyiThe Senate President said the exercise was a “veritable platform to share our experiences on steering our economy on the path of growth, despite challenges.”
Lawan catalogued efforts being made by the Nigerian government at promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the country.
He told the participants at the virtual exercise that Nigeria had to confront the challenge of limited resources, not just because of unpredictable revenue from Oil, but also because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The problems have made us improve our efforts in the prudent management of resources, and in transparency and accountability.
“Our focus has been on sustaining investments in infrastructure and utilities, trusting in their capacities to stimulate economic activities, enhance growth, and thereafter improve the people’s standard of living.
“Government has continued with its anti-corruption crusade, aside a pledge to ensure discipline in the public expenditure process.
“Our recent experiences call for further caution in the management of resources, just as it has been another reminder of the need to increase the drive for diversification.
“Beyond Oil, greater regard is now being paid to the steel, the mining and the agriculture sectors. The potentials in these sectors are significant for revenue generation, and for job creation. They are additionally valuable in the bid to engage critical sections of the population, especially the youth,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said the youth question had lately been at the centre of national conversation, flowing from the #EndSARS protests.
“We believe that the recent crisis we had in the form of youth protest has also given us an additional idea of how much we need to pay attention to the needs of the youths in the country.
“Government has ended SARS, and now taking steps towards improving social and economic needs of youth.
“One of such is the re-launch/flag off of the National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS), by the President on 9th November 2020.
“Our youth have become much more involved, and require greater recognition, in terms of social and economic engagement.
“The government has been additionally charged to continue with policies that seek to integrate them into the scheme of things.
“In addition to NYFS is the National Youth Innovation Programme an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development which has capacity to generate 25 Billion annually over the next three years; among others.
“We prioritize implementation, to show a sustained commitment to policies and programmes,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said the National Assembly had been as responsive as possible in the provision of legislative support to people-oriented proposals.
“This is in line with our resolve to safeguard social, economic and political stability, through value-adding actions.
“We have similarly been focused on timing of processes like the annual budget, to make it more predictable, and organised.
“Presently, we are in the middle of resolving the long-standing Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), consistent with our determination to pass Bills with caution and precision.
“We are sustaining this path of timeliness, to eliminate avoidable delays in the legislative and governance processes.
“Added to this is our commitment to our oversight functions, to ensure that implementation is in tandem with our economic vision.
“The goal of the administration is therefore hinged around a productive economy, a sustainable growth, and the reduction of poverty.
“We prepare our Budgets towards executing the National Plan for economic progress, for the good of the people. We are dedicated to this, and we welcome support, meant for their successes,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said the 2021 budget currently being processed by the National Assembly is aimed at addressing the prevailing challenges including unemployment.
“I believe we are on the right path. The budget estimates presented to us at the National Assembly have been designed in such a way that job opportunities will be created for more Nigerians to be engaged in productive activities,” Lawan said.

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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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