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Reasons Why Gov Yahaya Bello Should Be Re-Elected, By Abdulrahman Yakubu

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello

If there is anything that has endeared Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello to the people of Kogi state and beyond, it is his pragmatic leadership disposition in restoring peace and security in the hitherto restive state in the central part of Nigeria. This is even more commendable, considering the increasing wave of insecurity across the country in recent times, with the central region as the hotbed of these vicious circle of violent conflicts, armed robbery, and kidnapping. There is no doubt, that the 44-year-old chartered accountant has brought to bear, an exceptional leadership quality that requires every Nigerian to pay serious attention to without prejudice.

Of course, for some of us who have been diligently following his administration’s footsteps identified unique technique he has deployed in governing the state that has so far witnessed tremendous achievements in the last about four years of his stewardship as governor. It’s noteworthy that while some state governors relinquished some of their responsibilities and ran to Abuja for helps as a result of the increasing cases of insecurity across the country, Governor Yahaya Bello, however, confronted the challenge with grip despite several distractions within the state.

On assumption of office in January 2016, Governor Yahaya Bello identified security as a priority in achieving any meaningful development. He quickly put in place security architecture, ranging from equipping security agents to empowering traditional institution and personally led a team to dislodge perceived criminals’ hideouts across the state.

Governor Bello’s proactive response to security breaches in any part of the state was complemented with his undisputable inclusive leadership style, by giving equal opportunities to all sections of the state. As a matter of fact, this is the first-time such exceptional leadership disposition is exhibited since the creation of the state in 1991.

While a short piece of this nature cannot sufficiently enumerate the Governor’s landmark achievements, it’s however, germane to mention some few of them dotted across the state. These include construction of township roads across the three senatorial districts; revitalizing the state health care centers (including renovation of state’s school of nursing and midwifery); building from scratch, the largest rice processing plant in the whole of northern Nigeria; revival of the dearth rural water supply; building and equipping of army operational forward base and outposts; construction of about three hundred classrooms for schools; building and renovation of several religious worship centers; construction and renovation of several state government buildings, including traditional rulers’ palaces amongst other numerous achievements.

There is no doubt that Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello’s exceptional leadership has won him not only local commendations but also international recognition. Just recently, President Buhari was reported to have enjoined other governors with security challenges to learn from Kogi state on how the state was able to draw the curtain against the criminals and achieved peace and security in the state. It’s also on record that several international organizations including the United Nations have recognized Yahaya Bello and his government to the extent of inviting the state to the 72nd UN General Assembly to make a presentation. On several occasions, the National Hajj Commission and some Civil Society organizations have commended and awarded Kogi State Hajj commission for its excellent performance in the management of the commission.

Furthermore, it is gratifying to note that, Kogi state which was classified by the U.S government among the high risk states up to 2015, was at a time during new direction government of Yahaya Bello, hailed as the 2nd most peaceful states in the country. Indeed, these and among others several examples are clear testimonies of the giant strides of the state government in the last three and half years.

However, no human is perfect and Bello is not an exception as he has personally acknowledged to do better if given another opportunity. Of course, there are some decisions or actions he might have taken that may be considered wrong. Indeed, that is his human side and that is where every sincere and committed stakeholder of the state is expected to render supports by advising him and praying to God to guide him, not by derogating and abusive statements on his personality. After all, government is not a one-man business. As such, when a government failed, it is attributed to the entire people that made up that government. His ability to identify and appoint some good hands in his government no doubt has helped him to record the landmark achievements we celebrate today. By and large, when compared to the situation of the state before he assumed office in 2016, he has done excellently well and surpassed all his predecessors that had governed the state.

Without mincing words, as Kogites heading for another important election in the next few weeks from now, we must, with the utmost sense of responsibility ensure that, a man who has mustered the courage to weather the storm and navigated the hazardous political terrain to restore peace and security, launched infrastructural revolution across the state and exhibited exceptional leadership quality cum political will, be compensated by voting him en-masse to continue his developmental strides, in not only repositioning the state to an enviable height but also solidify the bond he has erected among all divides in the state which will, in turn, guarantee a more united, prosperous Kogi State for generation to come.

May Almighty Allah guide, protect and elevate him to do more good things in our dear state and Nigeria at large. Amin.

  • Abdulrahman is a concerned Kogi citizen wrote in from Okene. He can be reached via: abufudeil50@gmail.com

Buhari To Confer Posthumous National Honour On Rashidi Yekini

For the first time since he died, the Super Eagle top player who was the first ever to score in the World Cup tournament, Rashidi Yekini will be conferred with the national honour of Member of the Order of Niger (MON) on October 11.

He is one of the over 400 personalities that have been listed to be so honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari was it who also honoured the acclaimed winner of the nation’s freest Presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola.

Rashidi Yekini, who died on May 4, 2012 in Ibadan was Nigerian professional footballer who played as a forward. He was all-time top goalscorer for his nation. His professional career, which spanned more than two decades, was mainly associated with Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal, but he also played in six other countries besides Nigeria.

Rashidi Yekini started his professional career in the Nigerian League and later moved to Ivory Coast to play for African Sports National, from where he went to Portugal and Vitória de Setúbal where he experienced his most memorable years, eventually becoming the Primeira Liga’s’s top scorer in the 1993 – 94 season, after scoring 21 goals. He helped the Sadinos to be promoted from the second division, earning him the title of African Footballer of the Year, the first ever for the nation.

In the summer of 1994, Rashidi Yekini signed for Greek club Olypiacos, but did not get along with teammates and left soon after. In April 2005, Rashidi Yekini made a short comeback, moving alongside former national teammate Mobi Oparaku to Gateway United FC.

Scoring 37 goals for Nigeria in 62 appearances, Rashidi Yekini was the national record goalscorer. He was part of the team that participated in the 1994 Wordl Cup tournament where he netted Nigeria’s first-ever goal in a World Cup, in a 3–0 win against Bulgeria. His celebration after scoring, crying while holding the goal’s net, became one of the iconic images of the tournament and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Rashidi Yekini also helped the Super Eagles win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia where he also topped the goal charts and was named best player of the competition. He also participated at Olympic level in Seuol 1988.

Late football maestro was born in Kaduna, Kaduna State on October 23, 1963 and had three children before he died.

First, Second Couples At Eagle Square For Independence Celebration

President Muhammadu Buhari and wife, Aisha; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, at Eagle Square today, October 1 to celebrate the nation’s 62nd Independence.

President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo find time to laugh over minor joke thrown by the President.

President Buhari and First Lady, Aisha Buhari having a swell time at Eagle Square.

Vice President Osinbajo and his wife having a good time with his wife, Dolapo.

I Have Laid Solid Foundation For Building Of Nigeria Of Our Dreams – Buhari

President Buhari addresses the nation

President Muhammadu Buhari has made it clear that he used the almost eight years he has been in the leadership saddle to lay a solid foundation upon which to build the Nigeria of our dream.

Acknowledging a great lot of challenges he faced, in a nation-wide broadcast today, October 1, to mark the 62nd Independence anniversary, the President said that in the past few years, his government witnessed and overcame a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed the country.

“However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges.”

He said that when he was called to serve in 2015, along with his team, he saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria and that he had done it with the support of Nigerians.

“Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.”

President Buhari pat himself on the back for the standing fight his government had put up against corruption, saying that one of the greatest achievements of his government has been the near defeat of the endemic corruption.

“One of the areas where we have made significant progress is in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national development.

“We strengthened the Institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.”

Read the full text of the President broadcast below:

Fellow Nigerians,

I address you today, with a deep sense of gratitude to God and a high level of appreciation to all Nigerians whose tremendous goodwill gave me the opportunity to provide leadership for our great country at one of the trying times in her history.

Conscious that today’s address would be my last on an Independence Day as your President; I speak to the millions of Nigerians, who believed in me, propelled and stood by me in my quest to bequeath a country where all citizens have equal opportunities to achieve their lives desires in a peaceful atmosphere.

I am honoured to say that my story in the annals of Nigeria’s history is no household secret. My various attempts, failures and eventual success in being elected as a Democratic President in 2015 was made possible by the majority of Nigerians.

When you elected me, I readily acknowledged that the tasks before me were daunting but surmountable because of the growing national consensus that our chosen route to national development was democracy.

This democracy was to be anchored on a clear understanding, application and the principles of separation of powers supported by a reformed public service that is more effective.

I then pledged to Improve the Economy, Tackle Corruption and Fight Insecurity and this was further strengthened by my commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years as the central plank of my second term in 2019.

To the Glory of God and His Grace as well as the commitment and passion displayed by many Nigerian supporters, we have made appreciable progress in these areas but not yet at our destination.

Mindful of the task before us, we took some time in settling down and we re-positioned the Economy by providing strategic interventions in core areas at both the Federal and Sub-National levels.

One of the areas where we have made significant progress is in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national development.

We strengthened the Institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.

The increasing number of prosecutions and convictions, with associated refunds of large sums of money is still ongoing. Furthermore, we would continue to block opportunities that encourage corrupt practices.

In order to address Insecurity, we worked methodically in reducing Insurgency in the North East, Militancy in the Niger Delta, Ethnic and Religious Tensions in some sections of Nigeria along with other problems threatening our country.

Our efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management. In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from recessions.

Fellow Nigerians, this administration removed several decades uncertainty for potential Investors in the Oil & Gas sector with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. This landmark legislation created opportunities for foreign investments in addition to improving transparency in the management of the sector.

Our administration has given the desired priority to the Agricultural Sector through a series of incentives to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that resulted in creating millions of jobs. Leading this initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in a number of areas as well as the Anchor Borrowers Programme had created the required leverages for Nigerians towards self-sufficiency in food and the necessary attraction for farming as a business.

The growing contribution of non-oil exports, especially in agriculture, information and communication technology as well as the performing arts to our national economy will enhance our foreign exchange earning capacity.

We are confronting current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards and increasing unemployment accentuated by our growing youthful population. These problems are globally induced and  we would continue to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in our policies.

This administration will continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognises our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties.

This is evidenced by the recent Monetary Policy Committee decision to maintain all parameters, especially interest rates and marginally increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14% to 15.5% and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 27.5% to 32.5%. It is projected that this would further insulate our economy from over exposure to uncertainties at the international market by restraining growth in core inflation.

As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.

At the inception of this administration in 2015, I provided the funding requirements of the security agencies which was also improved in my second tenure in 2019 to enable them to surmount security challenges. We will continue on this path until our efforts yield the desired results.

As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Comity of Nations, we recognize the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face.

We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are availed with opportunities for life-long achievements.

I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available. This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

The Federal Government will continue to mobilize resources both internationally and nationally towards funding education to ensure that our citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation.

Fellow Nigerians, we have also improved our health facilities, especially during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which attracted commendation of the global community.

As you are aware, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of our resilience, commitment and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic.

This administration embarked on addressing critical ecological challenges across the country in order to mitigate the impact of Climate Change manifesting in the form of flood, soil erosion, desertification, air pollution amongst others

We will continue to ensure that our infrastructure drive remains the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and for which every Nigerian will feel the impact.

The Federal Government is already expanding ports operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.

I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focussed intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

All the aforementioned programmes along with various interventions by the National Social Investment programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succor to the affected Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, no matter what gains we make, without a good governance system anchored on electing credible leaders on the basis of free, fair, credible and transparent elections, our efforts would not be enough.

It is for this reason that I have resolved to bequeath a sustainable democratic culture which will remain lasting. The signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions further assures us of a more transparent and inclusive Electoral Process.

Having witnessed at close quarters, the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states (notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun) and a few federal constituencies have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 General Elections.

As we begin the transition process to another democratically elected government, I want to implore all aspirants to conduct issues-based campaigns devoid of hate speeches as well as other negative and divisive tendencies.

I also want to express my wish that we see more female and youth participation in the forth-coming electoral cycle. I am sure that our teeming and energetic youths now realise that violence generally mar elections and so should desist from being used by politicians for this purpose.

Reforms in the public sector are already yielding results especially in the delivery of services.  On this note, I urge the general public to demand for citizen-centred services from the relevant authorities.

On the international front, we have continued to take advantage of our bilateral and multilateral platforms to explore cooperation with friendly countries and partners whenever these areas of cooperation are to the advantage of Nigeria.

Fellow Nigerians, in the past few years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed our Nation. However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges.

It is in this spirit that I call on all of us to individually and collectively bring to the fore in dealing with all our development issues.

I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.

I thank you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

828 Million People Across The World, Go To Bed Hungry Every Night – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised an alarm that more than 828 million people, across the world go to bed hungry every night.

Quoting from the statistics of the World Food Programme, the IMF said that “an unprecedented 345 million people’s lives and livelihood are, by the sordid food insecurity around the world, in immediate danger from acute food insecurity. It further said that around the globe

It said that even before Rusia’s invasion of Ukraine, the increasing frequency and severity of climate shocks, regional conflicts and the pandemic were all taking their tolls, disrupting food production and distribution, and driving up the cost of feeding people and families.

“The situation took an even more dramatic turn with the war in Ukraine. This pushed the prices of food and fertilisers higher still—hurting importers and prompting several countries to impose export restriction.

“The result is an unprecedented 345 million people whose lives and livelihoods are in immediate danger from acute food insecurity. And around the globe more than 828 million people go to bed hungry every night.

“The impact of the food shock is felt everywhere. The suffering is worst in 48 countries, many highly dependent on imports from Ukraine and Russia—mostly low-income countries.

“Of those, about half are especially vulnerable due to severe economic challenges, weak institutions, and fragility.

“Alongside the human toll, the financial costs are also escalating.”

A new paper by IMF staff estimates the impact of higher import costs for food and fertiliser for highly exposed to food insecurity will add $9 billion to their balance of payments pressures—in 2022 and 2023.

It said that this will erode countries’ international reserves, and their ability to pay for food and fertiliser imports.

“In many places, even though food prices have eased somewhere from recent peaks, still high food—and energy—prices have fuelled a cost-of-living crisis that is likely to increase poverty and hurt growth, potentially fuelling political instability.

“As a result, policymakers in many countries have introduced fiscal measures to protect people from the current food crisis. For this year alone, we estimate that highly exposed countries need as much as $7 billion to help the poorest households cope.

“Strong and swift policy action is needed across four areas to mitigate the global food crisis and avert human suffering. First, rapidly and adequately support people vulnerable to food insecurity through humanitarian assistance from the World Food Programme and other organisations, alongside effective domestic fiscal measures.

“Policymakers around the world should prioritise fighting inflation and protecting the most vulnerable to alleviate the burden of the cost-of-living crisis.

“Near-term social assistance should focus on providing emergency food relief or cash transfers to the poor, such as those recently announced by Djibouti, Honduras, and Sierra Leone.

“Where this is not possible, second-best subsidies and tax measures can provide temporary relief.”

It stressed the importance of maintaining open trade, including within regions, to allow food to flow from surplus areas to those in need.

“We should build on the progress made under the Black Sea Grain Initiative and at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation by urgently phasing out export bans imposed by major food producers.

“ Protectionist measures only serve to make the food crisis worse, accounting for as much as 9 percent of the increase in world wheat prices, according to the World Bank Group.

“Third, increase food production and improve distribution, including through ensuring adequate access to fertilisers and crop diversification. Increasing trade financing and reinforcing supply chains is vital to addressing the current food price shock.

“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks play a key role as they increase trade financing for agricultural commodities and other food products and their support to countries for critical logistics and infrastructure upgrades. Fourth, investing in climate-resilient agriculture will be vital to increasing future harvests.

“More intense and more unpredictable climatic events are increasing food insecurity. Low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, are among the least prepared to face the effects of climate change.

“Solutions should be tailored to country circumstances, with a focus on low-cost, high-impact measures, such as investing in new crop varieties, improving water management, and information dissemination. For example, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda are leveraging mobile technology to provide farmers with rainfall forecasts to optimise the planting of crops and the purchase of crop insurance.

“The international community must also take decisive action to ensure that the needed financing is in place to deal with the immediate crisis and to strengthen food security in the medium-to-long term. Institutions specialised in food security, such as the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, need to be adequately funded because they play a vital role with their local presence in many nations and an unwavering focus on the human cost of acute food insecurity.

“More grants and concessional financing from donors and international organisations, are urgently needed to support cash and in-kind assistance for people suffering most acutely from food insecurity. In some countries, debt relief will also be needed.

“As an additional line of defence, IMF financing supports countries in meeting external financing needs associated with the global food shock. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new Fund-supported economic programs in Benin, Cabo Verde, Georgia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, included policies to address the impact of the food crisis. Additional financing for existing programs in Jordan, Moldova, Pakistan and Senegal provided support for additional measures to strengthen social safety nets and address food insecurity.

“A new food shock window under the IMF’s emergency financing is expected to be approved this week by our Executive Board. The proposed window will provide increased access to emergency financing for a year for countries that are most vulnerable. Where grants and concessional financing from partners are not enough, or a Fund-supported program is not possible, it will offer a new channel of IMF support.

This global food crisis has staggering humanitarian impact and large financial costs. It requires a comprehensive and well-coordinated approach to ensure complementarity and maximum efficiency in resource use.

“Together with the World Bank and our global partners, we recently issued a second joint statement calling for action on global food insecurity. We must all act now to ease the suffering of those experiencing hunger, by supporting countries who take strong policy action with the financing they need.”

Another Coup Breaks Out In Burkina Faso, Captain Traore Takes Over Government

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Another coup d’état broke out today, September 30 in Burkina Faso with an army Captain, Ibrahim Traore sacking Paul-Henri Damiba and taking charge of the government.

It is the second takeover in eight months for the West African state, as Damiba himself, took power in a coup in January that ousted former President Roch Kabore, due in part, to frustration over the worsening insecurity.

The new leader, has announced the dissolution of the government and suspension of the constitution and transitional charter

In a statement read on national television today, September 30, Traore said that a group of officers have decided to remove Damiba due to his inability to deal with a worsening Islamist insurgency.

He announced that borders have been closed indefinitely and that all political and civil society activities have been suspended.

Source: Reuters.

Tinubu Is Applying Biggest Political Strategy: Keep Opponents Guessing – Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

The spokesman of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo has said that the Presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been applying the biggest political strategy so far.

He said that the absence of Tinubu has become a nightmare for the opposition, saying that it is to keep them guessing what would happen next.

Speaking on the APC flag bearer’s absence via a tweet today, September 30, Keyamo said that the opposition is unsettled over Tinubu.

“Whether he’s around or not, they’re scared. @officialABAT has become their nightmare. The inquiries are out of FEAR as to what he is up to.

“The biggest political strategy is to keep your opponent guessing! Even by mere absence.”

Meanwhile, a member of the APC presidential campaign council, Ayo Oyalowo has said that the APC presidential hopeful had to depart Nigeria as he was not allowed to rest in the country.

Oyalowo, who spoke on ARISE TV Programme, said that Tinubu could not rest in Lagos, and they would not allow him to rest also in Abuja, hence he was advised to go abroad.

“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is in London. He cannot rest in Lagos, they will not let him rest. He came to Abuja most of the time, and they will still not let him rest.”

Osinbajo To Private Sector: Let’s Work Together To Redefine Agriculture In Economy

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has challenged people in private sector to join hand with the government to redefine agriculture in Nigeria, even as he promised that government will continue to create the enabling environment for the project.

Professor Osinbajo, who spoke today, September 30, at the formal commissioning of Pandagric Novum Farms, an integrated feed and food manufacturing company in Panda community, at the Karu LGA of Nasarawa State, emphasized the importance of private sector investments in the agriculture sector.

“What you see today confirms that there is opportunity in Nigeria for investments in agriculture. “While government commits to creating an enabling environment, we will look to the private sector for the investments to galvanize growth in the sector. “We must indeed, work together to re-define agriculture for the future in Nigeria.”

The Vice President announced the attitude of President Muhammadu Buhari to the agriculture, saying that he “passionately believes in the role of the country’s agriculture sector as a key driver of job creation and economic growth.”
He listed instances in different sub-sectors of the agriculture value chain where the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), as part of its key mandates, has invested in over the last 10 years
One of these investments is the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI), which was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to address the problem of cost and availability of fertilizer.
according to him, NSIA was enlisted by the President as the project implementing entity, even as he counted the achievements of the PFI, which was restructured in 2022.
“Over its 5-year run (2017 -2021), the programme has delivered over 30 million 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser to Nigerian farmers, resuscitated the fertiliser blending industry, reviving over 60 otherwise moribund plans scattered across the country, created hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and enabled government conserve foreign exchange by import substitution amounting to over US$100million.
“With the sector now reactivated, the NSIA’s role in the fertilizer value chain has moved upstream.”

Professor Osinbajo also highlighted the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) which was established by the NSIA in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the KfW (a development bank).
“In 2018, the NSIA invested US$5.0 million in Babban Gona – a high impact, scalable agricultural franchise that seeks to sustainably improve the lives of smallholder farmers through the provision of credit, inputs, training in good agricultural practices, harvesting & storage services, and marketing services.”
Professor Osinbajo said that in order to address both unemployment, local production growth and food security in particular areas of the country, the NSIA, in 2017, “established an Agriculture Development Fund under a 50:50 joint venture with the Old Mutual Group of South Africa, with a commitment of US$50 million (US$25 million each) towards the development and investment in large-scale agriculture projects, combined with out-grower schemes.
“In 2018, the Fund committed US$29 million towards the acquisition and two-phased development of the Pandagric Novum Farms, an animal feed processing business with backward integration through the farming of maize and soybean.”
The Vice President said that despite the global challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, “between 2018 and now, the Fund has successfully completed the development of Pandagric Novum Farms.”
He observed that some of the key milestones achieved under this project include:
-the installation of a 147,000 metric tons per annum capacity poultry feed mill;
-the installation of 75,000 tons of storage infrastructure in the form of two silos, six bunkers, as well as 35,000 tons of raw material and finished goods storage;
-the installation of 750ha of center pivot irrigation systems;
-the leasing of 3,500 ha of land for the cultivation of maize and soybeans;
-the construction of a 1.4 million cubic meter reservoir for water management; and
-the successful planting of 856ha of maize and 1,200ha of maize during the 2021 and 2022 wet farming seasons respectively.
Professor Osinbajo lauded Pandagric for providing boreholes for all six of its neighbouring communities and developing an out-grower scheme, while providing inputs and training to over 500 small holder farmers.
“It employs almost 800 direct staff and 2,000 indirect staff, making it the largest contributor of PAYE to Nasarawa State; and presently has the largest maize farm across the country.”

The Vice President commending the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule “for the visionary zeal he has deployed in three and a half years to make Nasarawa the State of choice for Agricultural investment in Nigeria.”

He stressed that the Governor’s support was fundamental in the completion of the project.

Dangote Wins ECOWAS’ Manufacturing Brand Of The Year; Shines At Abuja Trade Fair

Africa’s largest business conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited has been adjudged the Outstanding Indigenous Conglomerate of the Decade, taking home eight different Manufacturing Excellence Awards (EMEA) from the Economic Community of West African States in the process.

Also, two subsidiaries of the Conglomerate, Dangote Cement Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc received awards of the renowned Marketing Edge magazine’s Brands of the Decade.

A statement by Timilehin Oyedare, in the Digital Communications, Corporate Communications department said that while  the EMEA awards were given by the Nigeria’s Daily Independent Newspaper and its BusinessDay Ghana counterpart, the Brand of the Decade for Dangote Group subsidiaries were received at the 10th edition of the leading brand magazine, Marketing Edge’s 2022 Summit and Award Night themed: “Technological explosion in the digital Age – Imperatives for the marketing communications industry”, which held in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, Publisher/CEO of Marketing Edge Publications, John Ajayi,  described this year’s awards as one with a special attraction and uniqueness, designed to reboot, restart and re-energise the social, intellectual and entrepreneurial landscape of the Nigerian Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC).

While eulogising the management of Dangote Group for the business strategy that has helped in positioning the brand well ahead of others in the industry, he explained that the award event was organised to “celebrate the best and brightest brands”

According to him, the award to Dangote brands are in recognition of its leadership and domination in the various market segments and categories, adding that the recognised brands are brands that “continue to make the Nigerian consumers happy and satisfied”.

The Marketing Edge publisher, gave the business trajectory of the past 19 years, and commended the various winners and their managements for their roles in making Nigeria proud, citing an instance of how Dangote Cement and Dangote Sugar have made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement and sugar production.

Responding, the Group Chief, Branding & Communications Officer, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Anthony Chiejina, said that the Group’s brand remains at the forefront of African enterprise and that the brand, since inception, has touched the lives of many by providing their basic needs.

Meanwhile, the Dangote Group is making waves at the 17th Abuja International Trade Fair (AITF), with over  300 corporate exhibitors participating.

The 17th trade fair is scheduled to hold between today, September 30  and October 9, at Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abuja International Trade Fair Complex.

The Dangote Group’s Executive Director of Government and Strategic Relations, Engr. Mansur Ahmed said the partnership with ACCI offers the company the opportunity to display its numerous innovative products while contributing its quota to the Nigerian economy through Trade Fairs and expos.

He said that the President of the Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is passionate about developing the Nigerian economy, exporting made-in-Nigerian goods, earning foreign exchange, and creating jobs for the populace. Engr Ahmed said the company is desirous of entering into any strategic partnership that will set the country on the path of rapid growth and development.

Atiku Attributes Nigeria’s Multiple Problems To Lack Of Unity Amongst Citizens

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has confirmed that the root cause of the multiple problems facing Nigeria today can be traced to increasing lack of unity amongst the citizens.

“Though Nigeria is beset with challenges that range from inadequacies of our economic plans to cover a large percentage of our people who live below the poverty line; to security skirmishes that daily threaten the safety of lives and property of Nigerians, the root cause of these problems is traceable to the increasing lack of unity amongst us.”

In a statement today, September 30 by his spokesman, Paul Ibe, to mark the 62nd Independence Day anniversary, which comes up tomorrow, October 1st, Atiku said that the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence Day is an event that should reawaken the people’s consciousness towards the consolidation of unity amongst the diverse people of the country.

The PDP presidential candidate, who was the nation’s Vice President under Olusegun Obasanjo, said that Nigeria has come a long way after the independence 62 years ago passing through different phases of challenges.

“The democracy that we have is the requisite antidote to the current challenges that we face,” assuring that as One people and under the canopy of One Country sharing in One future, “we will surmount our challenges and enthrone the Nigeria of our dreams.

“And as we go into the general elections next year, Atiku Abubakar urged all Nigerians to give the issue of building national unity primary attention.

“Nigerians should elect leaders who are individuals with proven track records of being protagonists of unity and peace.

“I believe that when we fix the issues that continue to compromise our national unity, we would invariably fix issues that upset our peace and security and subsequently create an environment that can encourage economic prosperity.”

Atiku called on all friends of Nigeria in the international community to continue to have confidence in the country because, “as a people we never give up.”

He also called on all people of faith across the country not to relent in their prayers to God to keep Nigeria as a country of peace and prosperity for the good of all its people.

Beware, Vulnerability Of Lenovo’s Products Is High, Experts Warn Computer Users

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have warned that the vulnerability reported by Lenovo computer manufacturer can be higher than was reported.

In its recent advisory, the experts rated the probability of the vulnerability as high with an equally high damage potential.

It, therefore, advised users of affected products to update their firmware.

The advisory cited the Lenovo report, first published in the second week of this month, indicating that the vulnerabilities are caused by flaws in the System Management Interrupt (SMI) Set BIOS Password SMI Handler, other systems used to configure platform settings over Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and a buffer overflow flaw in WMI SMI Handler.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerabilities could allow an authenticated local attacker to bypass security restrictions, gain elevated privileges and execute arbitrary code on the targeted system. The attacker could also send a specially crafted request to the targeted user to gain sensitive information, which could result in unauthorized Information disclosure, privilege escalation and denial of service on the targeted system.

According to NCC-CSIRT, the solution to addressing the vulnerabilities is for users to update their system firmware to the newer version(s) indicated for their product model.

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.

The CSIRT also works collaboratively with the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.

Lenovo manufacturer had earlier announced several vendor vulnerabilities in some of its products, which it said could lead to information disclosure, privilege escalation, and denial of service.

The vulnerabilities primarily affect Lenovo Products (Desktop, Desktop-All in One, Hyperscale, Lenovo Notebook, Smart Office, Storage, ThinkAgile, ThinkPad, ThinkServer, ThinkStation, and ThinkSystem).

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