NIRSAL Head of Corporate Communications, Ms Anne Ihugba, said this in a statement she in Abuja, on Wednesday.
She added that 12 of the AGCs had been included in the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
”This is to protect them from price fluctuations and exploitative tendencies of some middlemen.
”Other forms of support for the AGCs include provision of fertiliser, crop protection products and round-the-clock technology-driven project monitoring services,” she said.
Ihugba said NIRSAL would continue to provide trainings on bookkeeping, modern farming practices, mechanisation for pre-planting, planting, harvesting activities and distribution of improved, high-yielding seed varieties as more AGCs develop around FCT and beyond.
She said that rice, maize, cassava, sesame and soybean farmers in Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi and Benue states and the FCT were positioned for an increase in yields and improvement in livelihoods.
“This is following NIRSAL’s support for their 2020 wet season farming activities under Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
”NIRSAL’s AGC model, applied in its role as Participating Financial Institution (PFI) in the ABP, was a demonstration of increasing multi-sectoral support to agriculture in spite of the times,” she said.
Ihugba said that since inception, NIRSAL had facilitated over N105 billion across the Pre-Upstream, Upstream, Midstream and Downstream segments of the Agricultural value chain from public and private sources of finance.
“This finance has had a profound positive socio-economic consequence, resulting in the creation of over 400,000 jobs and impacting two million lives positively.
“At the forefront of its finance facilitation drive, is the NIRSAL Agro Geo-Cooperative formation process.
“NIRSAL Plc is structuring farmers by creating 16,000 Agro Geo-Cooperatives made up of eight million farmers cultivating four million hectares of farmland.
“To date, over 452 Agro Geo-Cooperatives covering over 270,000 hectares of land have benefitted from the process Geo-Cooperatives,” she said.
It has developed technology-driven risk-mitigation mechanisms designed to boost farmers’ productivity and encourage financiers to lend to agriculture.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/ Felix Ajide (NAN)
NDDC warns Nigerians against scammers offering fake jobs
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has warned the public against activities of fraudsters offering non-existent jobs to unsuspecting seekers.
Mr Charles Odili, NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Monday that the scammers demanded money from unsuspecting Nigerians to obtain jobs.
“NDDC is once again compelled to alert members of the public of activities offering placements in non-existent empowerment programmes purportedly being run by the commission.
“We have received several inquiries from potential victims, who were deceived into believing that NDDC was currently running different training and skills acquisition programmes.
“The hapless job-seekers are being asked by scammers to pay some enrollment fees into fake accounts,” he said.
Odili said that the scammers told their victims that they were representatives of officials of the commission.
According to him, the fraudsters also informed the public that they were authorised by NDDC management to collate list of contractors with jobs as well as negotiate payments.
“Members of the public should note that these dubious individuals, who impersonate NDDC officials, are exploiting the social media to carry out their nefarious activities.
“We advise those who have genuine business with NDDC to always cross-check their information at the commission’s official website and other social media handles.
“We warn those claiming to represent the commission or its Chief Executive Officer in non-existent programmes to desist forthwith or they will be arrested and prosecuted,” he warned.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Revised NDC will impact Nigeria’s climate, economic development, says Environmentalist
An Environmental Expert, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, says the revision of the nation’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) has the potential to impact Nigeria and Africa’s climate change policy and economic development.
Okereke, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Monday.
He stated that the ongoing revision of NDC would produce a robust document that could help to drive sustainable green economic development for the country.
According to him, there are several environmental experts that consider Nigeria’s original NDC quite ambitious.
“Some might say that Nigeria ought to demonstrate leadership by increasing its ambition.
“Others might say that the priority for the country for now should be on rebooting its economic growth.
“A critical question to ask is to what extent Nigeria has actually implemented the NDC that it pledged in 2015?
“And what are the environmental, social and economic benefits that have accrued to the country as a result.
“It is important to ensure that Nigeria is not simply making commitments it has no intention of achieving simply to please the developed countries that are financially supporting the NDC revision process,” he said.
Okereke stated that some experts asserted that the preparation of the original NDC, which started in late June 2015, was rushed to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deadlines.
“One implication was that some of the data and analyses on which the NDC was based relied on grey literature and are judged very suspect.
“For example, in the absence of a national emission registry, the emissions from most of the key sectors (energy, transport and forestry) on which the NDC was based were best guess projections,” he said.
The professor added that the previous NDC preparation process had limited public engagement, thus hindered the country from receiving inputs from critical stakeholders like business moguls, parliamentarians and sub-national actors.
“Till date, many of these stakeholders have remained largely unaware of or had limited involvement in the implementation of the NDC.
“Moreover, with limited public awareness of, and engagement with the development of the original NDC, there was not much from the civil society in the way of monitoring the implementation (or lack) of the NDC following its ratification in 2017,” he said.
Okereke said that in the original NDC, Nigeria committed itself to make 20 per cent “unconditional emission reduction” of its Greenhouse Gas emission by 2030 compared to the 2010 levels.
Okereke noted that Nigeria further committed that it would increase her emission reduction to 45 per cent by 2030 if help was received from the international development partners.
He stated that Nigeria’s NDC was built on the appealing philosophy of pursuing socioeconomic development while reducing carbon pollution.
Okereke added that NDCs are voluntary documents that governments agreed that parties to the UNFCCC would submit to show what each government had committed to do in order to tackle climate change.
He, however, said that though the submission and commitment are voluntary, once a country submitted their NDC, they were expected to keep the commitment or pledge made.
Okereke noted that Nigeria started the process of revising her NDC in March 2020 and would be due to conclude the exercise in November.
Edited By: Sam Oditah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
NDDC probe: Uduaghan dismisses reported N429m road contract allegation
Former Delta Governor, Dr Emmanuel, on Monday said the allegation linking him with a Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) road contract in Port Harcourt, Rivers, was false.
Uduaghan in statement in Warri which was signed by his media assistant, Monoyo Edon, urged the public to disregard the allegation as reported by the media on Monday.
According to the media report, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, had in a letter linked two former Delta governors, James Ibori and Uduaghan, to various contracts awarded by the commission.
The letter was said to have been addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Uduaghan, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Delta, said he had reached out to the minister to immediately correct the falsehood.
“The publication states that the former governor was linked to the contract for the emergency repair of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt, at a cost of N429m.
“I want to state clearly that the said accusation is false. Uduaghan has never approached the NDDC for any contract whatsoever.
“It is even more ridiculous that the said contract is a road inside Port Harcourt town.
“The attention of the Minister of the Niger Delta, Sen. Akpabio, has been drawn to the publication and I hope he makes a correction,” he said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
AFAN, OFAB, NABDA advocate use of biotechnology to scale up food production
Following the impact of COVID-19 and banditry activities in the country, some stakeholders in the agriculture sector and scientists have advocated the use of biotechnology to be deployed to scale up food production in the country.
Some of the stakeholders made it known during a webinar session tagged: “Media Summit on Status of Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Nigeria”, in a statement by the organisers – National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Kabir Ibrahim said it was imperative to explore the option of the use of innovation to upscale food production to bring about food sufficiency to avert hunger due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, emphasised on the need to sensitise smallholder farmers to embrace technological advancement to avert hunger caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying to achieve food security modern technologies such as biotechnology must be used.
“Already, a lot of work has been going on to commercialise cowpea, maize, cassava, rice, sorghum as well as cotton and the farmers are seeing good results so it is, therefore, easy to get them to embrace biotechnology,” he said.
She said that this move was crucial and necessary for the acceptance and adoption of innovative technology.
Gidado said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of zero hunger by 2030 was fundamental for national development and well being of Nigeria, adding that the facilitation of adequate understanding of the several ways Nigeria to achieve the goal “is very fundamental”.
She said that with the current population of over 200 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria is faced with the risk of the decreased farming population due to age, decreased arable land, poverty, malnutrition and hunger.
She said that agricultural biotechnology was the solution to Nigeria’s food security. She also said the conventional method of agriculture could no longer meet up with the country’s demand.
“With the current state of agriculture in Nigeria, it has become paramount to also adopt this technology to improve our productivity and revive our industries.”
“The time is now, let us sensitise people on the potential of this innovation to aid decision making and adoption in Nigeria.”
The Acting Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa harped on the importance of biotechnology application for the benefits of man, especially in the areas of health, agriculture and environment.
“Biotechnology has other applications; in agriculture, it is massive and that is where most post–COVID-19 is coming, you find out that here in NABDA, using Biotechnology we have started impacting massively in the area of agriculture.
“For instance, in our yam multiplication programme, last year, we were able to produce one million yam seedlings and this year, we are targeting five million yam seedlings, all these things are feasible because of biotechnology,” he said.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)