The Netherlands government has approved 400, 000 Euros for the Federal Government to embark on the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) in Nasarawa State.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, disclosed this on Monday, at the Government House, Lafia, while on a two-day working visit to Nasarawa State.
Alhaji Nanono, while noting that the country has been toying with the issue of livestock development, which resulted into misconceptions about the NLTP, confirmed that funding for the project has been approved by the Netherlands government and that the Federal Government will embark on a pilot project in Nasarawa State.
The Minister further disclosed that with Nigeria having over 33trn varieties of livestock ranging from cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, camels, horses, among others, the country cannot afford to play with this national assets.
Commenting on the purpose of his visit to Nasarawa State, the agriculture Minister, said he was in the state to supervise five rural roads built by his ministry across the state.
While higlighting on the signigicance of agriculture to the development of the country, Alhaji Nanono lamented however that the sector has been neglected through the years, except with the coming of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which is priotizing agriculture.
The Minister pointed out that with the world now focusing on agriculture, it has become paramount that the country appreciates the opportunities inherent in the sector, especially that Nigeria’s growing population is pegged at 400m in the next 30 years.
He said his ministry attaches so much importance to Nasarawa State, in terms of agricultural development, as well as its potentials, ranking the state first in terms of diversity of various agricultural products, with potentials not only for promoting and ensuring food security in the country, but also for export.
The Minister added that Nasarawa State has also been selected among states that will benefit from the agricultural mechanization policy of the Federal Government, with arrangement finalized for the pilot mechanization in 632 LGAs completed.
“Nasarawa State has the potential for creating a strong relationship between agriculture and the industrial sector. And we have already started seeing some signs. And we are going to promote it in that regard,” the Minister stated.
He announced that as part of the FG’s programme of economic sustainability, for which N600bn was approved as support for small scale farmers, his ministry has registered over 78, 000 farmers in the state, with another 23, 000 registered for the dry season farming covering about 2, 400 hectares of land.
The Minister further disclosed that the FG will engage youths, in collaboration with universities for the production of export crops, stressing that Nasarawa State has been slated to produce soya beans for export.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the vision of his administration is perfectly in line with that of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as it relates to food security.
According to Engineer Sule, in Nasarawa State, agriculture is seen as a business, an opportunity for employment and industrialization.
The Governor noted that with over 80 percent of the population of the state involved in one form of agriculture or the other, coupled with his knowledge of agriculture from his experience at the Dangote Sugar Refinery, he is convinced that Nasarawa can be another India or Brazil, when it come to agriculture.
While thanking the Minister for selecting Nasarawa State for the youth empowerment scheme for the production of soya beans for export, Engineer Sule appealed to the ministry to also consider the production of yams and cassava for export.
The Governor identified four major agricultural companies in the state, which when fully operational, will boost the economic development of the state.
He explained that Dangote Group acquired 68, 000 hectares of land, which will translate to 400, 000 metric tons of sugar, representing one-third of the sugar consumption of the country, in addition to generating 96 megawatts of power, as well as 2500 litres of ethanol.
“But the most importantly, the project will generate employment for over 30, 000 for our people,” he said.
The Governor added that other companies like Olams, sitting on 10, 000 hectares but cultivating 5000 hectares, has over 2,500 employees, the Azman Rice, sitting on 14, 000 hectares, with the Flour Mills of Nigeria also concluding arrangement to take over 20, 000 hectares of land in Toto Local Government Area, setting aside 10, 000 hectares for rice production and another 10, 000 for cassava.
“If we have these four majors, then we are going to concentrate more on our outgrowers that will be able to feed these major operations,” Engineer Sule said.
2021 Children Golf Development Clinic begins Monday in Abuja
By Gistflash News
July 23, 2021
The 2021 edition of the Children Golf Development Clinic, being organised by the Ladies Section of IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja, begins on Monday at the club.
The event’s Organising Committee Chairman, Joy Ikwue who is also the club’s Vice Lady Captain, disclosed this on Friday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“The two-week event tagged `Future Champions of Golf’ is being put together by the club’s Ladies Section and it is part of efforts to raise the level of the sport by the Executive Committee led by Lady Captain MaryRose Richard-Obioha,” she said.
Ikwue disclosed that top Nigerian professional golfers would also be available at the clinic which ends on Aug. 6 to offer life skills training to the children and youths.
“This is with a view of not only integrating them into the game but the society in general.
“Golf is a game of rules and in as much as there will be many rules for the children to learn, we will also want them to know about service to humanity, country and fellow golfers.”
Ikwue stated that more than 70 children and teenagers, whose ages range from five to 18, have so far registered and the organisers believed that more are still coming.
She added that the club’s ladies have traditionally always arranged this summer development clinic for over a decade now.
“The section has tried to sustain the developmental programme with the aim of discover potential young golfers.
“This is because the clinic is to catch them young and groom them so as to become assets for their parents and Nigeria as a whole.”
Ikwue however lamented the difficulties in getting sponsors as some of the letters sent out did not receive any response.
She nonetheless thanked the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Rotary Club, as well as members of the club for their support.
Workers’ welfare: FG to ensure implementation of projects
By Gistflash News
July 22, 2021
The Federal Government on Thursday, expressed its commitment to the effective implementation of projects that would improve the welfare of civil servants in the country.
Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), said this at the inauguration and handing over of erosion/flooding control, and road improvement work at Ama Pepple Public Servants’ Estate, FCT.
Yemi-Esan said that the project was one of the 7th ecological interventions, approved by President, Muhammadu Buhari, for 3rd and 4th quarters of 2019.
She said that the government had in pursuance of this goal, also implemented a project named the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.
The HCSF explained that the FISH Programme was designed to provide quality and affordable housing for public servants, in line with the Federal Government’s Housing Policy.
According to her, the government is working assiduously to make the lives of public servants better.
“We are also working to provide critical infrastructure in estates built for civil servants under the FISH project.
“Necessary action has been taken to reposition the FISH programme. So, we are working very hard to ensure that public and civil servants live in comfortable homes.
“The Federal Government is determined to pursue and implement projects aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of citizens, and also looking for better opportunities for economic growth of the country,’’ she said.
Yemi-Esan, however, implored residents of the estate to cherish the project by desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, in order to ensure its sustainability.
“Having successfully completed this project, the living standard of the residents will be enhanced. This will also reduce dangers of erosion and persistent flooding that had been experienced here in recent times.
“The execution of projects across the country also demonstrates the sincerity of purpose by the present administration towards entrenching justice, equity and fair play to all and sundry,’’ she said.
She commended Ecological Fund Office (EFO), the project contractor; Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd and the project consultant; Enplan Group Ltd, for their doggedness in ensuring speedy completion of the project.
Dr Habiba Lawal, the Permanent Secretary of EFO, said that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention, forwarded to the EFO by the Chairman of the estate.
Lawal said that the request was to arrest the continued erosion, flooding and other ecological challenges, as well as to prevent further environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties in the estate.
She said that the completion of the project was made possible through the efforts of the project contractor and consultant, which worked tirelessly to ensure that minimal time in the project implementation was achieved.
Dr Gaga Ali, the Chairman of the estate, who spoke on behalf of the residents, thanked the Federal Government and EFO officials for their effort sin making sure that the project was duly implemented.
Ali appealed to the government to construct an access road to the estate, as according to him, each year residents repair the road, it deteriorates due to erosion.
Also, Alhaji Mohamed Bello, the Managing Director, Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd, said that the job was to be executed within six months, but was completed in four months.
Bello said that the project was executed during the rainy season, and that in spite of the horrible state of the road and the season, the contractors were able to ensure the delivery of a quality project.
A’Ibom Govt to boost primary healthcare with N300m – Commissioner
By Gistflash News
July 20, 2021
The Akwa Ibom Government is to inject more than N300 million into the state primary healthcare system to enhance service delivery to people in the rural areas.
Prof. Augustine Umoh, the Commissioner for Health, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday.
Umoh also said that the state government had concluded plans to revive its primary healthcare system through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund by paying its counterpart funding to access the fund.
He said the basic healthcare provision fund would help to get the primary healthcare system back on track to ensure effective healthcare delivery.
The commissioner said that the fund would also help to implement more equitable and efficient health care financing to provide essential services to the most vulnerable members of the state.
“The primary healthcare is receiving quite some boost right now because the state government has established the Akwa Ibom State Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
“To ensure it functions, government has released its counterpart funding so that it will be able to meet up with the requirement of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
“We have commenced training for enumerators to be able to access our primary healthcare, provides criteria for us to meet up with the basic healthcare provision fund.
“This basic healthcare provision fund would help us to get our primary healthcare system back once activation is done at the shortest possible time.
“We will immediately inject over N300 million into the primary healthcare system and we believe this will give a significant boost to the primary healthcare in the state,’’ Umoh said.
The commissioner said the Ikot Ekpene General Hospital was undergoing rehabilitation for effective and efficient healthcare delivery system to the Akwa Ibom people.
“Government is going to provide appropriate equipment and personnel when the rehabilitation is completed.
“We have a 200-bed facility in the hospital and we have enough hands to deliver services. The state government is ready to employ more health personnel, especially consultants,’’ he said.
On COVID-19, the commissioner said that the first phase of vaccination in the state had been concluded.
Umoh said the state received 69, 030 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the Federal Government for the first phase of the jab and appealed to the residents to continue to abide by the protocols.
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