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The Federal Government of Nigeria is planning to inject five to 10 million Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) gas cylinders into the market in the next one year, according to Mr Dayo Adeshina, Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan.

This was made this known in Lagos at a sensitisation workshop on LPG Adoption and Implementation for Industry Stakeholders.

Adeshina said this was to improve safety and deepen LPG utilisation, also known as cooking gas, in the country.

He said the National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, was committed to achieving Nigeria’s target of five million Metric Tons of LPG consumption annually by 2027.

Adeshina said, “The Federal Government is working towards injecting five to 10 million cooking gas cylinders into the market within the next one year.

“We are starting the cylinder injection under the first phase in 11 pilot states and FCT, with two states from each of the geopolitical zones.

“The states are Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The cylinders will be injected through the marketers. The marketers will be responsible for the cylinders and the exchange will take place in homes and not in filling stations.

“What this means is that going forward, cylinders will not be owned by individuals but by the marketers who will ensure that they are safe for usage.’’

Adeshina said Nigeria has gas reserve of 203TCF, adding that the government was desirous of collaborating with stakeholders to ensure its utilisation for development purposes.

He said apart from household consumption, government was also moving to increase LPG usage in agriculture, transportation and manufacturing.

According to him, this will enable the country to reduce CO2 emission by about 20 per cent and create millions of jobs for Nigerians.

Adeshina said apart from investment in infrastructure, the government had also granted waivers on importation of LPG equipment and removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on LPG.

Mr Ahaziah Suleiman, Executive Director, News, Voice of Nigeria, said the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture had deployed various communication tools to sensitise Nigerians to the adoption of LPG as a fuel of choice.

Suleiman said jingles had been produced in indigenous languages to educate Nigerians, especially in the pilot states of the programme, on the advantages of switching to cooking gas.

Mr Nuhu Yakubu, President, Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, said efforts should be made to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of cooking gas in the country.

Yakubu said this would encourage more Nigerians to embrace gas usage in their homes with the attendant benefits to the country.

Mr Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said the government was committed to deepening gas utilisation in the state.

Odusote said the population of Lagos makes it imperative for residents to adopt cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation.

He said the state has about four million vehicles, adding that the government was targeting the conversion of 45 per cent of them to autogas over a four-year period in partnership with marketers. Odusote said the government was also promoting LPG reticulation within estates across the state and licensing LPG retailers to improve standards.
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Agriculture, Economy
The Lagos State Government(LASG) has called for private sector’s investment and collaboration in its agriculture sector particularly in the Red Meat , Artisanal Fisheries and Livestock Feed Mills value chains.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, stated this in a press statement she issued to newsmen in Lagos on Sunday.
She said that the collaboration was in line with the state government’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap.
She noted that the state government had identified many areas of investment opportunities for the private sector’s participants, particularly, in the three value chains, hence, the need for the collaboration.
According to her, this partnership will increase production in the value chains, stimulate jobs across the value chains, standardise operations in the value chains as well as enhance the GDP of the state.
She said that this was in line with the state government’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap which had identified many areas of investment opportunities for private sector participants.
“The objective is to stimulate and encourage more public-private partnerships in the three value chains” she added
According to her, Lagos state is the largest market in Sub-Saharan Africa with over 22million population, we consume food well worth over N5trillion annually and over N8bilion on a monthly basis.
“When you consider this pool of transaction happening in Lagos, it shows that we are the market,” she said.
Olusanya said that the transactional value for cattle alone in Lagos is worth N328billion.

She added that when the red meat transformation agenda comes fully into play, it would help the State Government eliminate logistics costs of transporting cattle.
She also stated that the state was working on harnessing other sectors where it has comparative advantages to further grow its economy with emphasis on the artisanal fisheries sector.
According to her, we may be a very small state, but we are still agrarian; the value chain of comparative advantage to us is fisheries.
“It means that we can begin to harness potential around the fisheries sector. Lagos has over 22 per cent of the water bodies in Nigeria.
“For instance, we demand over 400,000 metric tons of fish on an annual basis.
“But our fishermen and our aquaculture farmers are only able to produce just about 174,000 metric tons with deficit of 200,000 metric tons.
She said that when you look at the artisanal fisheries sector, there are about 9,000 artisanal fishermen in Lagos.
She said that the state was trying to bring in the youth into this space to increase the numbers of fishermen.
“This will increase the level of fish and seafood being harnessed from our water bodies. Looking at the transactional value on an annual basis, the fisheries sector is worth well over N120billion.”
She noted that there were no fewer than five zones with about 109 fish landing sites where artisanal fishermen from the State engage in their trade on a daily basis.

“We are engaging them more, which is why we have partnered with some financial institutions to register them and generate Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and account numbers for them” she added
She advised that the fishermen should begin to key into the CBN funding schemes such as the anchor borrowers’ programme and the likes, she said.
She noted that a lot needed to be done around the livestock sector as well, to draw in more private sector’s participants that can play on a commercial scale.
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Education, LIFE STYLE, M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

The Vice- Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and another botanist, Dr Temitope Onuminya, have won 2021 Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) grants.

Mrs Nonye Oguama, a Principal Assistant Registrar, Corporate Affairs of the institution, made the disclosure in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

According to Oguama, the awards are part of the 2021 Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme, funded by the European Union.

Ogundipe, a Professor of Botany, won a national level grant of 38,000 euros for his project proposal: “Implementation of the Biodiversity Information and Data System for Coastal Ecosystem in Nigeria”.

Onuminya, on the other hand, won an institutional level grant of 18,850 euros for implementation of a BID project proposal: “Expanding the Visibility of the Lagos Herbarium through Digitisation and Mobilisation of Plant Specimen Data”.

”The university of Lagos is rejoicing with them (mentor and mentee) and wishes them successful implementation of their proposals,” Oguama said.

The GBIF, an international organisation with Secretariat in Copenhagen, focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available through the internet.

It provides  human resources and technical infrastructure enabling publication of and access to large volumes of data gathered over centuries about the earth’s species.

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Finance

Access Bank Nigeria Plc. has unveiled a reward scheme for its customers to promote diaspora remittances into the country.

The Executive Director, Retail Banking, Mr Victor Etuokwu, in a statement in Lagos on Thursday said that the bank would be rewarding customers with five naira on every dollar received from their loved ones or associates abroad through foreign remittances.

He said that the five naira for every dollar cashback would be paid to Access Bank customers irrespective of their preference to receive funds as U.S. dollars cash pick-up over the counter or direct transfer into their domiciliary accounts.

According to him, the reward scheme is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s “Naira 4 Dollar” scheme aimed at encouraging inflow of diaspora remittances.

Etuokwu said that the scheme would run from March 8 to May 8.

“Remittance services are a key aspect of our economy, and it is still vibrant and viable today because people still take care of family members, loved ones and friends and invest at home even as they live abroad.

“As part of our promises to create value and meet the needs of our customers, we are happy to announce that our customers can now receive five naira for every one dollar.

“This can be done at any of our branches nationwide, when their loved ones or associates send funds from the diaspora,” he said.

According to Etuokwu,  the bank’s promise to deliver “More than Banking” services is more relevant at this time as customers are looking for convenient products and services to facilitate their lifestyle needs.

He said that the bank would maintain a strong relationship with its remittance partners ranging from Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, WorldRemit and Transfast, among others, to deliver excellent services.

“Our remittance services are available to both customers and non-customers of Access bank,” he said.

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Entertainment, Government, music

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigerian music star Damini Ogulu, better known as Burna Boy, whose entry won the “Best Global Music Album” category in the 2021 Grammy awards’’.

The president in his congratulatory message in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday noted that Burna Boy had made notable contributions in the field of music which the world has come to recognise.

“Congratulations to Burna Boy on being conferred the 2021 Grammy, the world’s most prestigious musical awards.

“He has made notable contributions in the field of music which have brought glory to Nigerians at home and abroad. We are proud of his path-breaking achievements,” he said.

The president also congratulated Wizkid who emerged as a joint winner of the Grammy Awards in a different category.

He acknowledged the efforts of forerunners like King Sunny Ade and Femi Kuti whose creative exertions earned them Grammy nominations, paved the way and brought Nigerian music to global reckoning.

According to the president, the record breaking musical achievements are recognition of the Nigerian creative talents and the awards will open doors to other aspiring citizens.

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