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Envoy: US invests $200m on Nigeria’s food security in last 5 years

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Envoy: US invests $200m on Nigeria’s food security in last 5 years


… Gives $150m grant to 33 Private Companies, Invests $22 million in Cocoa Value Chain

By: Michael Mike

The United States government has said it has invested $200 million in food security in Nigeria in the last five years.

The US government also said another $150 million was given as grants to 33 private sector companies in Nigeria.

The revelation was made by the US Acting Ambassador to Nigeria, David Greene at the 2024-2029 Global Food Security Strategy Launch.

He also revealed that another $22 million, has been invested in Nigeria’s cocoa value chain, spanning across seven states.

The implementation of the Global Food Security Strategy for Nigeria, is expected to boost agriculture productivity and drive agriculture-led economic growth over the next five years.

The envoy however said despite the support of the US government, Nigerians are best placed to solve the issues that affect them.

He said: “The U.S. government is providing broad assistance across Nigeria to support agriculture development. As Melissa mentioned, USAID invested almost $200 million in agriculture for the last five years to improve food security and build household resilience to shocks in Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, and Yobe states.

” We also provided modest grants to 33 private-sector companies to leverage over $150 million in private-sector development, generated $306 million in domestic sales, and created over 23,000 jobs.”

“USAID is one of many U.S. government agencies promoting agricultural development in Nigeria. For example, this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture inaugurated a $22 million, five-year investment in Nigeria’s cocoa value chain, spanning across seven states.

“The investment improves rural livelihoods by building capacity in cocoa productivity, trade capacity, and traceability.”

He lamented that “Nigeria is currently experiencing a severe food crisis due to insecurity, inflation, currency devaluation, the increased cost of inputs, trade restrictions, climate change, and post-harvest loss.

” In January 2024, Nigeria recorded an over thirty-five (35) percent increase in food prices, making it difficult for the 84 million Nigerians living below the poverty line to buy food. If we project out into the future, global food demand will double by 2050, and yet at the same time key staple crops are showing a decrease of up to 30 percent.

“Furthermore, while climate change is causing extreme weather conditions like drought and floods, it is even more challenging for smallholder farmers to increase yields and incomes.”

He said: “Ranked the sixth least prepared globally to confront climate change, Nigeria must focus on adaptation if food security is to be achieved.”

The envoy also noted that US and Nigeria are engaged in exchange programmes and fellowship which aimed at equiping Nigerians, adding that: “In the last two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also sponsored more than a dozen scientific exchange fellows to study at U.S. agricultural universities and 30 private sector stakeholders to visit the United States, all so they can come back to improve Nigeria’s crop production, animal breeding, efficient pesticide use, and trade capacity. “

He cited the case of one Agada Blessing, a Ph.D. student from the Joshua Sarwuan Tarka University in Benue State, a soil scientist that USAID supported to attend Michigan State University and develop her research on climate change and fertilizer use.

He said Blessing returned to Nigeria, and has been sharing her research work and organized training programme on the importance of soil management for agricultural productivity, trained graduate students and government staff on soil management for maize production across Benue State, and used her research to support the development of the first-ever state-level climate change policy in Kebbi and Ebonyi States.

He noted that: “Nigeria is a country of immense talent and potential. The potential to drive agriculture-led economic growth is endless. While the U.S. government and other partners are here to support Nigeria, Nigerians are best placed to solve the issues that affect them.

“However, for ideas to grow and drive economic development, the Nigerian government must create an enabling environment that supports private sector-led growth and entrepreneurship. U.S. companies and other U.S. private sector stakeholders are eager to help Nigeria improve agricultural productivity, trade, and food security. However, clear and transparent tax and investment rules are needed for meaningful growth.

“Food must be available to buy, and prices must be affordable for all Nigerians. The Nigerian government should embrace the adoption of genetically modified crops to boost the productivity and income of smallholder farmers while removing trade restrictions, including food and agricultural import bans. Competition and free trade fosters creativity and efficiency.

“Helping Nigerians to put food on the table can go a long way in rebuilding the reputation of the Nigerian government in the eyes of Nigerians.”

USAID Nigeria Deputy Mission Director, Sara Werth said Nigeria, like many nations, is grappling with the growing challenge of food insecurity.

She said Nigeria’s diverse ecological zones and vibrant young populace holds the key to a bountiful future.

She however said: “But to unlock this potential, we must join hands. From government to private enterprise, to academia and the tireless efforts of civil society, let’s work together to end forge a path towards food security.”

Envoy: US invests $200m on Nigeria’s food security in last 5 years

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VP SHETTIMA AND THE WINGLESS KITE OF SUBSTITUTION: THE KWANKWASO ANGLE.

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VP SHETTIMA AND THE WINGLESS KITE OF SUBSTITUTION: THE KWANKWASO ANGLE.

By Inuwa Bwala

They want to make it look like a game, much larger than the topic being discussed, and the intrigues are also quite familiar.

They want to make it look as if it is more the issue of a particular region, trying to force itself back into reckoning, having effectively lost out in the political chess game in Nigeria.

But it is a ploy to sway public attention and to divert the government from pursuing its lofty programmes.

A similar narrative played out when the El-Rufais and the Gandujes were in power reckoning in the race to 2023 when they tried to pitch the North East against the North West. It woefully failed that time, but they seem not to have learnt their lessons.

Unfortunately, it is an agenda flying on a wingless kite and an in a coach less locomotive. The North East and North West have historically been allies in Nigeria’s power equation. Trying to change the narrative to please a few will always fail.

They are few, but very rich and powerful. It is the case of a few people desperately in search of a political oracle amongst them, around whom the political fortunes of a whole region will now oscillate.

I could not therefore help smiling to myself, as I watched the recorded encounter between my brother Daniel Bwala and one TV presenter Gimba Umar: discussing a presumed 2027 Vice Presidential race, between the Vice President Kashim Shettima and former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

The presumptions that there is going to be a change of a running mate to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2027, is in itself funny to those who knew the existing bond between Tinubu and Shettima, as well as those who were familiar with the circumstances surrounding the emergence of Kashim Shettima, as the Vice President, in the first place.

I smiled because I am familiar with the narrative in this agenda setting game, which the presenter is trying to push.
But I smiled because, as usual, Daniel Bwala, also saw through the plot and presented lucid arguments, often leaving the interviewer scavenging for counter naratives, which turned out to sound rather politically infantile and naive to a discerning mind.

As a journalist, I know the anchor must have realised he made the wrong choice in inviting Daniel to kick-start that rather unpopular narrative.

From all indications, those writing the script of a change in the Vice President in 2027 are both uncharitable to President Tinubu and calous in featuring Rabiu Kwankwaso as the protagonist of that, absurd theatre.

Be that as it may, I wish to briefly discuss a few posers, which could serve as a clue as to why that topic should not be given the garb of an issue, but confined to the dustbin, where it rightfully belongs.

Firstly, one needs to ask whether there is a break in the relationship between the president and the vice president. If there is none, then one needs to ask where Vice President Kashim Shettima may have faltered in the discharge of his duties to warrant the need for a change.

Again, given the tight political fusion between the President and the Vice President, what makes anybody think that, Rabiu Kwankwaso or any of his ilks in the Northwest could make a better trusted ally to the President more than Kashim Shettima?

With the outcome of the 2023 elections, which clearly rubbished earlier hypotheses of political and regional influence futile, what makes anybody think that President Tinubu will want to revisit the futile permutations of the old?

Against the background of Vice President Kashim Shettima’s excellent outing as Vice President, coupled with his growing political sagacity, is Rabiu Kwankwaso a competent rival, even in a contest of public court?

Unless Kwankwaso, like the stubborn fly, forgets to let go of the coffin, which is being lowered, he risks being buried with this unpopular political thesis.

But more importantly, with less than one year into the life of an administration, who knows who will be well and alive to think of a challenge in a presumptions race in 2027, when the ultimate judgement rests with the almighty.

I will deliberately skip exposing the unseen hands in pushing for that narrative, but not without cautioning, that we are familiar with the trenches, where they are firing.

Inuwa Bwala was two times Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture in Borno State.

VP SHETTIMA AND THE WINGLESS KITE OF SUBSTITUTION: THE KWANKWASO ANGLE.

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Army troops discovers ISWAP Bread Factory in the terrorists den

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Army troops discovers ISWAP Bread Factory in the terrorists den

By: Zagazola Makama

The Troops of Operation Lake Sanity III, Operation Hadin Kai have discovered ISWAP terrorists Break Producing factory in Maisani, Timbuktu Triangle in Damboa LGA of Borno State.

Intelligence sources told Zagazola Makama that the discovery was made by the Combined troops of 199 Special Forces Battalion in conjunction with Hybrid Forces and Civilian JTF during its exploitation into the terrorists den on Sunday, April 21, 2024.

The sources said that the factory was destroyed while items recovered include 2 Lister generating plants, 1 baking machine and several baking materials.

Zagazola reported that the week-long clearance operation was marked by a total decimation of the terrorists from its stronghold in the Timbuktu Triangle, comprising Buk, 1, 2 and 3, Talala, Ajigin, Dusula, Abulam, Gorgi, in the dreaded Timbuktu Triangle.

These groups of terrorists are mostly responsible for attacks, ambushes and IED/mine towards Damboa roads, Damaturu-Maiduguri MSR, attacks towards Askira, Buratai, Buni Yadi as well as destruction of high tension transmission line connecting Borno and Yobe State.

Despite the complexity of the terrain characterized by highly fortified camp mostly located under thick foliage and IEDs planted in several locations within the Timbuktu Triangle, the troops continued to maintain high fighting efficiency.

Army troops discovers ISWAP Bread Factory in the terrorists den

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Troops nutrialised 2 Boko Haram in Borno

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Troops nutrialised 2 Boko Haram in Borno

By: Zagazola Makama

Troops of Operation Hadin Kai in the North-East in collaboration with Civilian Joint Task, have killed two Boko Haram terrorists in an onslaught in Borno State.

It was gathered that the troops achieved the feat on Sunday April 21, 2023, while acting on credible intelligence that terrorists were crossing and heading towards the axis of Mafa LGA.

Intelligence sources confirmed to Zagazola Makama, a Counter Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst in the LakeChad, that troops laid ambush for the terrorists in Koshebe and instantly nutrialised them.

The troops recovered two Ak47 rifles belonging to the terrorists.

Troops nutrialised 2 Boko Haram in Borno

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