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Again, Abiodun Emerges Best Governor In Agriculture



Again, Abiodun Emerges Best Governor In Agriculture

… Dedicates Award To Federal Ministry Of Agriculture, Partners

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has once again won the Governor of The Year Award in Agriculture.

The governor, who emerged tops in the 2020 edition of the award organised by the Nigeria Agricultural Award (NAA), was on Tuesday night, declared winner in the agric sector at an award ceremony of the Feed Nigeria Summit, held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.

After receiving the award, Abiodun noted that the summit has become an international dialogue forum for the advancement of global agriculture, with sufficient reference to agricultural development in Africa and Nigeria.

While appreciating the organisers of the event for the follow-up on Ogun State agriculture despite its trademark low-profile as well as quiet focus on delivery, the governor explained that the state’s Agricultural Agenda has been tailored towards the Agricultural Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria, as being implemented by the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanano.

READ ALSO: Terrorists Killed Over 100,000 In Borno, 10% Of Citizens Missing – Zulum

This agenda, according to him, has been focussed on Support to Smallholder Farmers, Job Creation, Food and Nutrition Security, Agricultural Industrialization and Linkage of Growers/Farmers to the industrial process, in an innovative value chain approach.

Abiodun disclosed that Ogun currently has one of the highest numbers of beneficiaries in the CBN/Federal Government Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) in Cassava, and have been listed for other commodities.

He noted further that “through the FG’s supports and interventions, Ogun has been able to cement our ranking as the largest hub for industries (including Agro-ventures) in Nigeria, the largest egg and broiler producer, largest producer and exporter of lemon grass oil, largest hub for aquaculture in West Africa (according to FAO) and many others”.

“In line with our resolve to partner with the private sector and provide enabling environment for investments and agribusinesses, we have become the world epicenter as a dependable host and partner, especially with the government initiative of establishing the Cargo Airport to supplement the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other donor funded projects including the IFAD/FGN Value Chain Development Project (VCDP), in which our state has recorded tremendous success with 12,000 beneficiaries supported with technology, inputs and credit,” Abiodun added.

The governor, who informed the gathering that the cargo airport would be delivered to global agricultural value chain actors and players next year, assured that “as a government, we have a firm belief in inclusive agricultural opportunities that will not cut out smallholder farmers, youths and women.”

He explained further that the smallholder farmers had been deliberately empowered with knowledge and appropriate linkage that would enable them take their share of the new wealth and opportunities in Ogun agriculture, which has put them in the best position to supply services and raw materials to support the numerous agro-industries in Ogun State and beyond.

“The Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP) aimed at supporting 40,000 smallholder farmers and Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) are two major World Bank Projects that are fully operational in the state to support our agricultural agenda. The Agro-Processing, Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement (APPEALS) Project is another World Bank project that is in view.

“Activities have also kicked off for the establishment of an Integrated Farm Estate, Garri Packaging Plant and a 200-Trainee Soil-Testing Programme, which are Federal Government Agricultural pilot programmes through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA). We have signed a good number of MoUs with National and International Development Partners such as IITA,

HarvestPlus and a host of other private sector partners on private sector led initiatives, which has provided the necessary trust needed by investors.

READ ALSO: Over 35 Killed In Fresh Plateau Crisis

“Our intervention in the agriculture sector, which started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, was not hampered, as investments in upgrade of hitherto abandoned locations/facilities, enrolment of people that were displaced from other sectors into the agriculture sector, ensured that we did not starve, neither did we import food during the pandemic.

“The Planting Materials Palliative (PMP) that started at the onset of the pandemic, and which is continuous, targets 40,000 smallholder farmers. We also keyed into the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative that supplied fertilizer to target 10,000 farmers,” Abiodun stated.

The governor, who announced the dedication of the award to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and development partners, submitted that “Ogun will continue to partner with stakeholders to deliver the benefit of Jobs, Food and Nutrition, while sustaining Food Security and our edge in Agricultural Industrialization.”


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U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari’s Govt, Army, Police



U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari's Govt, Army, Police

The London-based news magazine, The Economist, has condemned what it identified as corruption and ineptness in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and the police.

The 178-year-old magazine said this in an editorial titled, ‘The Crime Scene at the Heart of Africa,’ which was published in its October 23, 2021, issue.

It said due to Buhari’s mismanagement of the economy, food prices had soared while life had become more difficult for Nigerians.

The editorial read in part : “Economic troubles are compounded by a government that is inept and heavy-handed. Mr Buhari, who was elected in 2015, turned an oil shock into a recession by propping up the naira and barring many imports in the hope this would spur domestic production.

“Instead he sent annual food inflation soaring above 20 per cent. He has failed to curb corruption, which breeds resentment. Many Nigerians are furious that they see so little benefit from the country’s billions of petrodollars, much of which their rulers have squandered or stolen.”

The Economist stated that even before COVID-19 last year, Nigeria was already witnessing unprecedented poverty.

The news magazine opined that this economic hardship was fuelling the current insecurity in the country.

“Two factors help explain Nigeria’s increasing instability: a sick economy and a bumbling government. Slow growth and two recessions have made Nigerians poorer, on average, each year since oil prices fell in 2015.

“Before COVID-19, 40 per cent of them were below Nigeria’s extremely low poverty line of about $1 a day. If Nigeria’s 36 states were stand-alone countries, more than one-third would be categorised by the World Bank as

“low-income” (less than $1,045 a head). Poverty combined with stagnation tends to increase the risk of civil conflict,” it argued.

READ ALSO: Establishing Naval Base In Kano Has Worsened Buhari’s Nepotism, Parochialism – Clark

The Economist gave the Nigerian Army a dressing down, describing the military organisation as only strong on paper.

It alleged that the army had ghost workers on its payroll and often sold equipment to insurgents who destabilise the nation.

The news magazine said the Nigeria Police Force was poorly trained and underpaid hence they rob innocent citizens in order to augment their salaries.

The editorial further read: “When violence erupts, the government does nothing or crack heads almost indiscriminately. Nigeria’s Army is mighty on paper. But many of its soldiers are ‘ghosts’ who exist only on the payroll, and much of its equipment is stolen and sold to insurgents. The army is also stretched thin, having been deployed to all of Nigeria’s states.

“The police are understaffed, demoralised and poorly trained. Many supplement their low pay by robbing the public they have sworn to protect.”

It called on the Department of State Services to stop disobeying court orders and release all those being detained illegally.

The Economist described as scandalous the refusal of the Nigerian government to arrest and prosecute any of the security operatives that killed protesters in Lagos last year.

The news magazine said in order to stop the slide towards lawlessness, Nigeria’s government should make its own forces obey the law.

The editorial further read: “Soldiers and police who murder or torture should be prosecuted. That no one has been held accountable for the slaughter of perhaps 15 peaceful demonstrators against police abuses in Lagos last year is a scandal. The secret police should stop ignoring court orders to release people who are being held illegally. This would not just be morally right, but also practical: young men who see or experience state brutality are more likely to join extremist groups.”

READ ALSO: How Buhari’s Panel Sold Six-storey Building For Paltry N100m

The news magazine noted that Nigeria was home to one of the largest film industries in the world and had the most successful start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa.

It argued that despite the great potential of the country, youths were beginning to emigrate in droves because of the sorry state of Nigeria.


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Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility



Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) says 262 inmates from the 837 who escaped from the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town have been recaptured.

The Spokesperson of the NCS Oyo command, Olanrewaju Anjorin, in a statement on Saturday in Ibadan, said while 262 escaped inmates had been recaptured, 575 were still at large.

It was reported that suspected gunmen invaded the facility on Friday at about 9.30 p.m., blowing up the facility with dynamite and freeing all 837 awaiting trial inmates.

Mr Anjorin said, “All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.

“Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 575 still at large.”

READ ALSO: Prisoners Escape As Gunmen Attack Oyo Correctional Facility

According to him, “the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident.”

Assuring the public the fleeing inmates will be recaptured, the spokesperson said credible intelligence was needed to assist security agencies to track down the inmates.

He said the Oyo Custodial Centre was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates but had a total population of 907 at the time of the attack.

“Of this number, awaiting trial persons were 837 representing 92 per cent with just 64 convicts,” Mr Anjorin said.



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How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School – Atiku



How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School - Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has narrated how his father was jailed for failing to send him to school while he was growing up as a teenager.

The former presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stated this while delivering a speech at the Baze University Graduation ceremony in Abuja on Friday.

Atiku also said that his father later embraced the idea of education and despite his humble background, he enjoyed quality education for free.

In his speech titled “Solving Nigeria’s Education Challenges”, Atiku said : “I was a schoolboy and a herdsboy, and I fed my family.

READ ALSO: How To End Kidnapping Of University Students, Others – Atiku

“When I was 11 years old, my father drowned and died while crossing a river in the neighbourhood. He was not up to 40 years.

“Being an only child, I was raised by my maternal grandparents. I remember, sometimes we could barely afford one meal a day.

“Despite my difficult background, I went to school for free, in fact, I was paid to go to school.

“Initially, my father did not buy the idea of me going to school, for which he had to go to jail. I furthered my education to other tertiary institutions. I was the Students Union President at the School of Hygiene, Kano.

“My journey to education is different from yours. Your parents may have paid tuition fees for your education, but you did not have to rear cattle for food. However, both you and I got educated eventually. The paths may be different; nonetheless, the destination remains the same. Let us help others to reach their destination too.”


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