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Tourism, TRAVEL

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has lauded the governments of Lagos and Ogun states for the support in resolving the traffic challenges being experienced during the festive period within Lagos state and Lagos- Ibadan corridor.

 

The Director-General, NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Mohammad who gave the commendation in a statement said the intervention had facilitated free flow of traffic that would enhance the safety of the travelling public in and out of Lagos state.

 

He said that deepening of more collaboration and information sharing would engender disaster risk reduction strategy in the citizens.

 

Mohammed said the agency had directed its officials all over the country to collaborate with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure “Safe Eid-El-Kabir Celebrations.”

 

He recalled that NEMA and Lagos State sectors of the FRSC had appealed to motorists on safety measures to be adopted during the festive season.

 

He added that the relevant traffic emergency management authorities from both states and the FRSC had mobilised men and materials for hitch free traffic during the Sallah celebrations on the Lagos- Ibadan corridor.

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Education

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Prof. Ibrahim Wushishi as Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the National Examinations Council (NECO).

 

Wushishi replaces Prof. Godswill Obioma who died on June 1, 2021.

 

A statement by NECO’s spokesman, Mr Azeez Sani, said that Wushishi’s appointment was contained in a letter signed by education minister Adamu Adamu, dated July 16, 2021.

 

It said the appointment had an initial tenure of five years with effect from July 12.

 

Wushishi, a 56-year-old Professor of Science Education from Niger, was a lecturer at the Uthman Danfodio University, Sokoto, before he transferred his service to the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna.

 

He has held several positions in the education sector among which are Post-Graduate Coordinator, Department of Science Education, Federal University of Technology, Minna.

 

Wushishi was also Sub-Dean, School of Science, and Head of Department of Science Education, FUT Minna.

 

He was also Head of Department of Science Education, IBB University, Lapai, while on Sabbatical leave.

 

Mr Ebikibina Ogborodi, Director of Special Duties, had acted as Registrar of the examinations body after the demise of Obioma.

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Agriculture, Finance

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the first National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje Daura, Katsina State, with a pledge that Nigeria, under his watch, will achieve food security.

 

Performing the inauguration on Monday, July 19, 2021, President Buhari reiterated that his administration remained committed to the goal of ensuring that Nigeria produces what Nigerians eat and eating what the country produces.

 

The president also restated that the government was determined to get 100 million Nigerians out of poverty during his tenure, stressing that he would continue to drive policies that will ensure food sufficiency and boost exports.

 

While emphasizing that the revamp of NALDA was geared towards encouraging integrated farming for employment and security, he said his administration’s target of getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty remained realizable, adding that “No excuse is good enough for Nigeria to remain a mono-economy”

 

Speaking at the event, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the Bank would collaborate with the National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) to develop integrated farms across the country, provide affordable and accessible finance to farmers in Nigeria’s rural communities and provide jobs for its teeming population.

 

He noted that the NALDA integrated farm estate would serve as an agricultural hub for inhabitants of the area with its wide-range of facilities to support rearing of poultry, goat and rabbit pens as well as fish ponds, crop farming areas, processing and packaging plants, storage, clinics, residential area, school, training centres, and an administrative facility.

 

Emefiele therefore expressed the CBN’s readiness to work with NALDA to replicate similar integrated farm projects in rural communities in order to make life more meaningful for inhabitants of those areas through the provision of affordable and accessible finance to the beneficiaries under the integrated farm programme.

 

While commending the Buhari administration for resuscitating NALDA to optimally deliver on its mandate, Emefiele noted that Nigeria’s survival as a country was hinged on the resourcefulness and synergy among the government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in areas of policy formulation and implementation, which he emphasized was essential to the attainment of Nigeria’s desired economic growth.

 

He also therefore reiterated the CBN’s readiness to partner with NALDA and explore the potential of providing affordable and accessible finance to the beneficiaries under the integrated farm programme in order to scale up productivity and provide jobs for Nigerians. He also urged deposit money banks in the country to support the NALDA mandate, which he noted aligned with the developmental priorities of the CBN.

 

Speaking further, Emefiele reiterated that the CBN, through the deployment of well targeted intervention programmes to farmers in the rural communities, was aiding the government’s efforts at improving job and wealth creation.

 

“These measures are also supporting our nation’s food security objectives. Nigeria is likely to make significant strides over the next three years in repositioning our agricultural sector for greater growth, given the combined efforts of NALDA, and the CBN’s in making land and credit available to farmers,” he added.

 

The CBN Governor also emphasized the successes of the Bank through specific interventions such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS) and the Private Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (p-AADS), the Agri/Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), all of which he noted were aimed at stimulating investments in critical sectors and segments of the economy, particularly those with high-growth impact and high employment potential.

 

Continuing, the Governor said that the measures taken by the Buhari administration had provided finance to key sectors and segments, with their implementation tailored to support the administration’s policy of repositioning Nigeria to become a self-sufficient food producer, creating millions of jobs and supplying the domestic industries with their raw material needs.

 

“Our development finance efforts were also driven by the need to diversify the economy by reversing the ugly trend of relying largely on revenues from crude oil,” Emefiele said, adding that the CBN was also positioned to ensure the integration of rural farmers into the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan, which is focused on providing five million homes with electricity using renewable energy.

 

Also speaking the host-Governor, Hon. Bello Masari and his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, lauded the commitment of the Buhari administration in boosting agriculture to enhance food security and employment. Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne disclosed that the Integrated Farm Estate, comprising comprises 40 poultry pens with a capacity of over 400,000 birds, Fish ponds with a capacity of 200,000 fish, Cow and Goat pens with a capacity of 500 animals, rabbit pens with a capacity of 3,000 rabbits, bee apiary with a capacity of 540 litres of honey per harvest, crop farming, among others, is expected to generate over N1.7 billion in the first year.

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Government

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on Monday restated the determination of his administration to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country in which the safety of life and property is assured.

 

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari stated in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians that his administration was working hard to address food inflation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of floods on agricultural activities in the country.

 

While reflecting on current challenges facing the country, the president stated that “COVID-19 pandemic had taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria”.

 

He added that floods had caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby “impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.

 

“No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”

 

The president noted that apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen had also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians.

 

According to him, this has further undermined government’s efforts of supporting local food production at affordable prices.

 

“As an elected president who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate, let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertiliser available at affordable prices to our farmers,” he added.

 

The president also noted that the current insecurity in the country “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists”.

 

Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration had taken measures to address the nation’s security challenges.

 

“We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry,” he said.

 

On the significance of the Eid-el-Fitr celebration, the president appealed to Muslims to demonstrate the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practices.

 

He said: “Taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams is inconsistent with fine virtues of Islam.

 

 “As practising believers, we shouldn’t seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others.

 

“Remember that Islam is a religion of charity that urges us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.”

 

He urged all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faiths in the spirit of peaceful coexistence.

 

“Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times. Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country,’’ the president further appealed to Nigerians.

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