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“It is possible to lift 100m Nigerians out of poverty” – President Buhari  

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“It is possible to lift 100m Nigerians out of poverty” – President Buhari   

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of the poverty cycle within 10 years can be done, with more synergy between government and the people.

The President, who made the declaration  on Monday in Suduje-Daura, Katsina State, said the visit can be realised through diligence in diversifying the economy, with agriculture as the backbone.

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Commissioning of NALDA farm estate
President Buhari, who commissioned the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority NALDA Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje-Daura, noted that reliance on oil had turned a draw back on the economy over the years, with unpredictable and fluctuating global prices that made it more difficult to effectively plan budgets, implement and measure outcomes.

The President said the mainstay of the Nigerian economy remains agriculture, where the country already commands a competitive advantage, with good weather conditions for crop and livestock farming, available manpower and willingness to learn new skills, and good soil types for all season farming.

“I wish to restate my commitment that getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is realisable. The country is robustly blessed with good weather conditions, good soil, human and material capacity, and a resilience to make a difference by all the hardworking youths.

“We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production,’’ he said.

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Leading role in Agriculture
President Buhari noted that a globalized world places more emphasis on competitive edge of the economy for relevance, and Nigeria would always play a leading role in the agricultural sector, with the vastness in experience, crop cultivation, animal husbandry, and more recently, a rising youth interest.

 “As the world becomes more globalized, countries will continue to draw from their competitive advantage to remain relevant. My belief, and it is also shared by many Nigerians, is that our country has a special advantage in food and livestock productions that we must harness and promote to feed ourselves, and build a firm structure for exportation.

“Our vision of a robust agricultural economy continues to provide amazing results. Across the country today, we are seeing rising public and private interests in agriculture, especially among the youth, and a steady migration from subsistence to commercial farming.

“With the support of public institutions, like the Central Bank and Bank of Agriculture, old tools are giving way to more mechanized styles of farming, credit lines are becoming more accessible, and farming is becoming more acceptable and fashionable. Indeed, we are witnessing a revolution in the agricultural sector,’’ the President added.BUHALIFT4

Meeting agriculture needs
The President said the NALDA was resuscitated to meet growing needs in the agriculture sector for exploring available potentials of job opportunities, entrepreneurship and marketing, home and abroad.

According to him, “the National Agricultural Land Development Authority was already moribund when we assumed office. We had to resuscitate it to meet the growing needs of the country. I am happy to see that the directive to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, Paul Ikonne, and his management team when I launched the National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS) in November 2020, is gradually taking shape.

“At the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme, I recall that I told the management that I have directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming.”

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Agriculture Mechanization
“This Administration will be achieving agricultural mechanization through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, we will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat. In good harvest years we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange”, the President said.

He commended the zeal and patriotism of the NALDA team in achieving quick and sustainable results like the Integrated Farming Estate, which had pooled the strength of men, women and youths in 13 communities and channelled them into different kinds of farming in one location.

“The Integrated Farming scheme, again, opens up more opportunities for employment, and most importantly creates communal-based system that promotes food security, skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.

“I am impressed to see that this NALDA Integrated Farm Estate is purely organic and it further expresses my desire for Nigeria and Nigerians to have food sufficiency and begin to earn more foreign income through agriculture. As a government, what I am seeing here today shows my administration’s desire is genuine and realizable that our peoples’ orientation to farming can be changed for good,’’ he added.

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Diversification of economy
President Buhari directed all Federal Government institutions to work in synergy in lifting and diversifying the economy, and NALDA should be given all the support it needs to expand the Integrated Farm Estate across the 109 senatorial zones in the country.

While appreciating the Governors who were at the event to witness the historic commissioning, particularly Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State for providing a 100 hectare land for the project, the President urged them to provide more support to Federal Government institutions that have been mandated to work assiduously in engaging more minds and hands to turn the economy around for good.

In his remarks, the Katsina State Governor thanked the President for the initiative of resuscitating NALDA, noting that agriculture had always being the strength of the Nigerian economy until the 70s.

He said with proper management of the project and a strong irrigation system the integrated farm would serve its full purpose, with benefits to the people and economy of the state.

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Grassroot development
Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, said all the 36 states of the federation and FCT had benefited from the administration’s policy of always targeting grassroots with development projects.

He said the closure of the border to neighbouring countries further demonstrated President Buhari’s seriousness in lifting the Nigerian economy, adding that Nigeria remains sensitive to the plight of neighbouring countries.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the financial regulatory body will start giving special attention to NALDA, while listing some of the laudable achievements of the administration through the Anchor Borrowers scheme for farmers.

“Your Excellency, Mr President, as you told me during the inspection and I agree with you that this is the best way to spend money,” he said, “You are doing everything that is possible to bring the dividends of democracy to all Nigerians.”

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The NALDA Executive Secretary noted that the Integrated Farm Estate had a capacity for 400 birds in the poultry, 200,000 fishes, 500, 000 cows and goats, 540 litres of honey per harvest, 120 units of one bedroom apartment, clinic and a school.

He said the recycling process on the farm and domestication of tools and skills of workers will guarantee sustainability and 1, 500 farmers will be empowered every year to start their business after learning.

The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk, thanked the President for always projecting the best of the community in his office.

“We are proud of you. We are proud of the legacy you continuously project,” he said.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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Nigeria To Increase Education Budget By 50 Percent

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Nigeria To Increase Education Budget By 50 Percent

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President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase the budget for the education sector in Nigeria by as much as 50 percent over the next two years.

In a document titled, Heads Of State Call To Action On Education Financing Ahead Of The Global Education Summit, signed as a form of commitment at the on-going  Summit  in London, United Kingdom, the President stated:

We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20% global benchmark.”

The Nigerian President also joined the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta to reaffirm the commitment to improve learning outcomes in both countries.

President Buhari stated that this would be done by “ensuring equitable access to quality and inclusive education for all our citizens, with particular emphasis on the girl child.” 

We fully endorse the call for more efficient use of resources and to significantly increase investment in education by strengthening institutions, promoting greater adoption of technology, building the capacities of our teachers and mobilizing additional financial resources through legal frameworks and deliberate intervention on a sustainable basis,” he added.

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President Buhari used the opportunity to call for solidarity in building a more secure and prosperous future for children.

The Summit which is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to give opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges that will help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories across the World.

 

Nnenna.O

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Nigeria/Cameroun Border Bridge to Facilitate International Trade – Minister

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Nigeria/Cameroun Border Bridge to Facilitate International Trade – Minister

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The completed border bridge at Mfum community between Nigeria  and Cameroun and the Ikom bridge will facilitate international trade between the two countries when inaugurated.

The Minister of Works and Housing ,Mr. Babatunde Fashola, made the remark while inspecting the two -lane bridge over Cross River at the Cameroun/Nigeria new Border at Ekok /Mfum and the new Ikom Bridge  in Cross River State.

This is the A-4 Axis coming from Calabar to Maiduguri through Ogoja to Katsina-Ala. So you will expect more volume of trade. And it is no accident that Cross River State bears its name.  It is actually the River that named the state. That River opens to the sea and the Gulf of Guinea.  And so high impact on international trade is expected”, he said.

Fashola also said , “We have had very strong relationship with Cameroun in terms of trade and business and if you go to Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki, for example, this is the route that facilitates trade, agro produce, merchandise, manufactured goods from Aba in Abia State.”

The Minister explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s strategy of planning and execution of infrastructure projects was yielding results through successful completion.

This is  a very strategic infrastructure to take Nigeria to the future for many more decades to facilitate relationship between brothers and sisters in Cameroun and Nigeria and to strengthen the bond of relationship in a joint development with the Republic of Cameroun and Nigeria.” Fashola said, adding that ‘’We are now entering the season of completion of infrastructure projects.”

The Minister while speaking with journalists after inspecting both the Nigeria /Cameroun Joint Border Bridge at Mfom /Ekot and the New Ikom Bridge at Ikom in Cross River noted that these bridges would increase the prosperity of the people, facilitate hundreds of jobs, movement of agro produce and manufactured goods.

He further stated that joint border patrol would  also lead to security efficiency and position both nations to reap the benefit of the free trade zone agreement.

Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade who was represented by the State Commissioner for Works,  Engr. Dane Osimasu at  the sites of the inspection, said the Minister is a conceptualizer , implementor and committed to road development in the state.

He assured the Honourable Minister that counterpart funding from the state would always be provided where it is necessary in infrastructure development projects.

The Director Highway Bridges and Design Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye  said during the inspection of Ikom bridge, “The project was awarded in October 2018 and it is due to finish by 7th November, 2021.”

The Director said, “The rate at which the contractor is working, by the end of October it should be finished. Right now as we speak, the job is 92% completed, with the time lapse of 68%. We are moving faster than the scheduled time, so by end of October we should be done with the bridge.”

According to him  “the Road Lane  Marking has also been done.

The Federal Controller of Works in Cross River State, Engr. Bassey Nsentip disclosed that several road projects were progressing without hitches in the State.

The Executive Chairman of Etung Local Government Council Cross River State, Hon. Nkom Etuk praised the Ministry of Works and Housing for the remarkable job done on the bridges.

The Ajassor Community Representative, Hon. Victor Njor said the  border bridge has enhanced  joint border patrol linking Cameroun and Nigeria within their community adding that “the people shall come out en mass when the bridge will be inaugurated  soon”.

The border bridge between Nigeria and Cameroun is funded by the African Development Bank while the Ikom bridge is through the Sukuk bond.

 

 

Nnenna.O

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Court Victory: President Buhari Congratulates Governor Akeredolu

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Court Victory: President Buhari Congratulates Governor Akeredolu

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President Muhammadu Buhari has joined members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in felicitating with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over the Supreme Court’s judgement, which upheld his re-election in the October 10, 2020 polls.

The President therefore, urged the Governor, and all elected leaders of the governing party, to always place the people first in their consideration of development programmes and projects.

He affirmed that the popularity of the APC would continue to depend on performance and acceptance by the electorate.

President Buhari extolled the Ondo State Governor for assiduously working for the development of the state, with reforms that continue to attract the goodwill of investors, and insistence that education, health and security take priority.

The President noted that the Supreme Court’s Judgement preceded by that of the Court of Appeal, further bolsters the strength and reach of the APC, and its bright chances of consolidation in coming elections.

President Buhari called on the opposition to sheathe the sword, work for the development of Ondo State, and wishes the government and people a prosperous future.

 

Nnenna.O

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Governor Oyetola restates commitment to protect lives, property

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Governor Oyetola restates commitment to protect lives, property

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Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to further ensure the protection of lives and property of the citizens in the State.

He stated this when he paid a visit to the victim who was reportedly hit by a stray bullet after a police officer allegedly shot to disperse people at a traffic scene around Oke-Onitea area, Osogbo, on Tuesday  afternoon.

The victim, Saheed Olabomi who sustained gunshot injuries is currently receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit, Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

The Governor also visited the family members of the victim as part of efforts to show the Administration’s concern over the ugly incident.

While assessing the state of the health of the victim, Governor Oyetola expressed delight at the fact that the patient has been responding to treatment.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Transport, Engr. Hussein Olatoke Olaniyan; Special Adviser on Security, Mrs. Abiodun Ige, in company of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode, the Governor said no effort would be spared to ensure adequate treatment for the victim as government was ready to foot the medical bills.

While conducting the government’s delegation round the facilities dedicated to save the life of the patient, the Chief Medical Director, Uniosun Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof. Peter Babatunde Olaitan, said the patient was in a stable condition.

He said necessary surgery had been carried out on the patient to stabilise his health situation, saying, “thank God, he is responding to treatment.”

The hospital’s CMD noted that other operations would still be carried out on the patient to permanently stabilise and restore his health.

Speaking on what necessitated the sympathy visit, Oyetola said the visit became necessary to demonstrate government’s  sensitivity to citizens’ welfare.

 

The unfortunate incident that happened on Tuesday  which involved the shooting of one citizen of the State was seen as a very serious development.

“We have gone to visit and sympathise with the relatives of the victim, starting from Aragbiji of Iragbiji, who is an uncle to the victim and also to other members of the family of the victim, particularly his father.

We have been praying to God that the victim should survive this and come back to life. The Commissioner of Police has assured us that  necessary measures will be taken to avoid a reoccurrence. He has also been directed to get to the root of the incident. Government will foot the medical bills,” Oyetola added.

Commending the delegation during a visit to the family of the victim, the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Olabomi, appreciated the Governor and the Commissioner of Police for their untiring efforts at guaranteeing the security of lives and property of the citizens.

Oba Olabomi who is an uncle to the victim, said the swift response of the government to the situation had really helped to douse the tensions occasioned by the people’s reactions that followed the incident.

At the family house of the victim, the father of the victim, Mr. Adewale Oyedele Olabomi, who spoke on behalf of the family appreciated the visit of the government’s delegation, describing it, as “a rare honour.”

 

Nnenna.O

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EFCC, NEITI Sign MoU, To Check Corruption in Extractive Industry

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EFCC, NEITI Sign MoU, To Check Corruption in Extractive Industry

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The Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa has reiterated the Commission’s resolve to sanitize and deal with fraud-related issues in the extractive industries.

The EFCC boss stated this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the EFCC and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI led by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji at the Commission’s Headquarters, in Abuja.

The EFCC boss promised to use the Commission’s Extractive Industry Fraud Section to deal with issues relating to the extractive industries, and to sanitize the sector.

“I want to assure you that all the issues that your report will raise and all the issues that we are also seeing on our own relating to extractive industries, in oil and gas as well as in solid mineral, we will deal head on with them.”

Bawa promised to work with NEITI in meeting the expectation of both parties for the betterment of the country. “The Memorandum of Understanding is very clear regarding your expectation and our expectation and I want to assure you in addition to other issues of training and all of that, we will do our best and ensure that the industry is sanitized for the betterment of this country.

“The EFCC so much believe that if we can block the leakages, this country will not need to borrow a single cent from any other country to come and finance our budget and that is why we are interested in this MoU and that is why we are keen to see that the extractive industries are sanitized for the betterment of this country.” Bawa explained.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji noted that with the MoU, NEITI, which has no enforcement powers, will be able to leverage on the powers of the EFCC, to “bark and bite”.

“We are here because the EFCC and NEITI are in this together, to rescue our country from indiscipline, malfeasance, mismanagement of public resources, to work together with the EFCC to seek avenues to channel our peoples mind to living legitimate lives and adding content and public value to whatever assignment they have been given for the benefit of our citizens.” He said.

The NEITI boss also promised to work with the EFCC to strengthen their position and rescue the extractive industries resources. “We are very grateful that you have offered us the support and we will relate with mutual respect as two sister agencies and timely exchange of information and data will be very useful in this relationship.

The NEITI boss added that, “as an agency we believe in the work the EFCC is doing and we are very proud of the courage and excellence that this institution has exhibited in the face of all kinds of challenges, and we will continue to encourage men and women of goodwill, fellow Nigerians that are working here that you are on the right track and you have an ally in NEITI.” Picture below:

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