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Senate Queries SEC over N10bn expended on staff wage bill

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Senate Queries  SEC over N10bn expended on staff wage bill

*** wants SEC to downsize staff strength 

The Senate has frowned at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) spending of an estimated sum of N10billion as wage bill for about 600 personnel annually which it considered to be very outrageous.
The senate also directed the Chief Executive of the commission to do a staff audit of its manpower with a view to downsizing its workforce.
Speaking at the interactive session of Senate joint committee on Finance and National Planning, on Tuesday, Co-chairman, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola observed that larger portion of the wage bill is consumed by staffer at the higher cadre. 

According to him, “You have a staff strength of 600 and a wage bill of N10.3bn annually, amounting to N15.7m per person. You are indeed, top heavy. You have to work on this.”

Adeola further noted that on the issue of the revenue to be paid to the Consolidated revenue fund account,  “I will implore the DG, to within today and Thursday next week, remit at least N300m to the coffers of the revenue fund.”

Responding, Director General, Securities  and Exchange Commission ( SEC) Lamido Uguda had informed the committee that his commission generated a total revenue of N8.358bn in 2019 while it is expecting only N5.478bn and projecting N8.3bn in 2021.

The DG said reducing the top heavy workforce would mean that the severance package of those to be laid off has to be paid. 

Interjecting a member of the committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam said  SEC is projecting a total revenue of N8.3bn in 2021. 

“Your expenditure is N14.4bn which means you have a deficit of N6.1bn. You said you are top heavy. Now there are lots of young men who are on the street who are qualified and ready to work. 

“The salary of just one person from the top heavy management staff that you have can pay five young people who have the qualifications and capacity to do the job. When you do that instead of generating N8bn and incurring deficit of N6.1bn, it is as good as your organization does not exist,” he noted.



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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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