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UNIFEMGA identifies problems confronting Nigeria’s agricultural sector, proffers solutions

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UNIFEMGA identifies problems confronting Nigeria’s agricultural sector, proffers solutions

By: Michael Mike

For Nigeria to get on the right trajectory to agricultural development and food sustainability, she needs to overcome the challenges of limited finance, high cost of power generation, limited storage facilities, inadequate market information, among others.

These challenges were identified by Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) at a one-day third agricultural conference organised by the Ogun state Chapter of the association in Abeokuta.

it was resolved that to get it right as a country, all the factors listed must be adhered to.

At the Conference, whose theme is: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Development: Access to finance and funding opportunities”, it was resolved that to get it right as a country, all the factors listed must be adhered to.

UNIFEMGA noted with concern that corruption has been the main factor affecting the Nigerian economy and until it is vigorously tackled, the country will not make any progress, while adding that interventions and aids which could have helped the sector only come as crash programme and never consistent.

According to the foremost Muslim Alumni, natural occurrences such as flood which could lead to famine must also be taken into consideration for Nigeria to move forward in the agricultural sector.

In the communique issued at the meeting, also identified national insecurity and mistrust, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, the Boko Haram insurgence were recognized as some of the factors responsible for the reluctance of financial institutions to provide credit for agriculture venture as it poses a great financial risk and therefore attracts high interest rate that is mostly unaffordable to agriculture entrepreneurs.

The communique read: “Corruption is the bane of our economy and until we drive it out from all the sectors of the economy, we are going nowhere as a nation. The challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation among others are lack of modernisation/mechanisation, market volatility, limited finance, tax and duties laced with inconsistencies by government, high cost of power generation.

“Project interventions and aids come as crash programme and is not consistent. Natural phenomena are very difficult to cope with and manage because of the negativities such as flood which wash away farm settlements and which may result in famine. So also is national insecurity and mistrust, banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram insurgence, etc.

“The presence of these challenges are responsible for the reluctance of financial institutions to provide credit for agriculture venture as it poses a great financial risk and therefore attracts high interest rate that is mostly unaffordable to agriculture entrepreneurs. With less than 5% of banks’ credit granted to the sector, finance from traditional banks remains a major challenge to agriculture development in Nigeria.

“In order to bridge the gap within the agriculture credit market, financial institutions like Lotus Bank has a critical role to play by developing areas around the value chain through product financing, financing of farm inputs, financial advisory and financial literacy. Financial institutions must understand that whatever financing option to adopt must be mutually beneficial,” the Communique added.

The conference advised entrepreneurs to take advantage of Lotus Bank, where there are financing for the purchase of inputs for crop production such as seedlings/seeds, fertilisers, insecticides, manual sprayers, for the acquisition of farm machinery, of working capital needs through forward purchase of agriculture produce, for infrastructure development such as farm house and warehouse as well as equity partnership on agriculture venture.

While calling on those who want to embrace agriculture as business to have sound knowledge of the sector through mentorship and research, he urged government and policy makers to show sincerity of purpose in addressing the multiple challenges facing the Nigerian economy so that people are encouraged to put in their best.

“Government policy must not be anti- people and innovation as we have in most situation in Nigeria where upcoming local business are brutally killed by multiple unexplained heavy financial demands from government agencies.”

Participants at the conference include the former minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Najeemdeen Adewale, UNIFEMGA BOT Chairman, Alhaji Rafiu Ebiti, Prof. Sabur Adesanya, former Olabisi Onabanjo University Vice Chancellor and chairman of the occasion as well as National President of UNIFEMGA, Alhaji Abdulfattah Olanlege.

Others were the duo of the guest speakers ,Alhaja Kafilat Araoye , MD/CEO of Lotus Bank, Prof. Jimoh Farinde from OAU Ile-Ife, Mr Tairu Olarenwaju, the chairman of UNIFEMGA Ogun state,representatives of various chapters of UNIFEMGA, other stakeholders in agricultural business, among several others.

UNIFEMGA identifies problems confronting Nigeria’s agricultural sector, proffers solutions

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Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

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Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

By: Yahaya Wakili

His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika. Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs and the National Convener of the Council of the Traditional Leaders of Africa, Alhaji Dr Muhammadu Ibn Abali Muhammad Idrissa, CFR, have implored the journalists in the state to be fair and just in all their reporting.

His Royal Highness disclosed this in a unique receipt organized by the correspondent chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Yobe State, at his palace in Potiskum.

“We must command journalists in Yobe State and in Nigeria in general, and you are a very important part of this society, and you have been playing your role, which sometimes is very ropey and sometimes is not easy, because you have to be critical of government activities.” he said.

“We are happy with you and your remarkable achievements in Yobe State, in particular, about the reporting of government activities on what is happening.

He charged the journalists to redouble their efforts and also said the truth: be equitable, be fair, so that is not always to be praising the government. When you are supposed to say the truth, say the truth, and he also urged them to be very fair and make remarkable achievements in Yobe State in your activities.

His royal father also implores the journalists to be fair and just in all their reporting so that when the government is wrongly saying it, when they are rightly saying it, I think you have been doing that.

“I think you have been doing well. We need to tell the government that we are living on a time bomb, and if it is exploited, we are all going to suffer. We have to appreciate the youth. 65% of the time, wherever you go, you see youth who are on drugs out of frustration.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the correspondent’s chapel, Alhaji Ahmed I. Abba, ensured His Royal Highness that we are here to serve this state, and we sacrifice all we have for the state and for the palace.

“This palace has been home for us; we really appreciate your royal highness and the members of the palace; this is a unique reception we have never had anywhere; we will forever live to remember the reception we always have in this palace.” The chairman added.

He also assures his royal father that when he needs our support, we are ready to be available for your royal highness. He also sympathizes with the palace with the recent accident that just happened in Fika, as well as the recent accident that just happened in the same schools within the emirate.

Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commiserated with the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania over the passing of former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

The former President died on Thursday. He would be remembered as
an African Elder Statesman, who was an astute and influential politician that contributed significantly to laying the foundation for Tanzania’s economic development.

A statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca Omayuli on Friday said: “Nigeria stands with Tanzania in this period of grief. May the soul of the departed former President rest in peace and may God grant the bereaved family, the Government and the good people of the United Republic of Tanzania the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

By: Ladi Dapson

The Borno state government has charged the youths to take the lead in peace building,conflicts management and learn how to be tolerant in respective of faiths and ethicity coloration.

The State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar made this known during an inaugurating of 100 awardees of yoths as Peace Advocates in Borno State held in Maiduguri.

He urged the youths to take the advantages of their population in Nigeria just like the way China took the advantage of their population and bring some innovation to boast their economy.

“Today we inaugurating the young peace Ambassadors that we will be going into the society tricking down the capacity of peace building and tolerance that we have thought them.

“The outcome of this excise is that we now have critical young mind that will serve as ambassadors of peace go out and target specific community as well as teach the art of peace, conflict resolution, conflict management, peace building, and diplomacy.

“So that the society will be more tolerant, more engaging and society will learn to leave side by side with people of all faiths and tendency,”he said.

Earlier, the Founder of Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, Amb. Ahmed Shehu said youths are critical stakeholders in peace processes, urging the people in the community to identify the youths in their community and give them the necessary support.

“As a civil society, we thought we have to play our role towards ensuring we have a stable society.

“What we observed in these efforts is that a critical element is missing. This is the youth groups and we thought why can’t we come up with an initiative where we build the capacity of the youth and make them youth advocates and unleash them to the society for peacebuilding.

“We carefully selected young people and voices across all sectors, from the media, CSOs and academia. Our dream is you would go back to the community and change the narratives,”Ahmed said.

He was awarded for a responsible media practice and promoting of a culture of peace.

One of recipients of the Peace Advocate Award and Social Media Influencer, Aliyu Mohammed Tong applauded the Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment and partners for finding them worthy of this award after a series of trainings and community engagements.

“As we accepted the award we equally took it as a challenge to positively make an impact in our various communities by stepping down the knowledge we gained on reintegration and sustainable peace.”Aliyu thanked.

Some of the recipients include Mohammed Usman, General Manager of Al-Ansar Radio; Usaman Mohammed, Report with Yerwa Express News; Umaru Kirawa, Correspondent of Newscentral Africa, Zainab Yetunde Adam, Reporter with NTA amongst.

The project was funded by the British Council in partnership with the Borno State Ministry for information and Internal Security and implemented by Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment.

Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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