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AFEX wins IAMN Technology Innovation for Agribusiness Investment Award



AFEX Commodity Exchange, a private sector commodities exchange, has won the Institute of Agribusiness Management Nigeria’s (IAMN) Technology Innovation for Agribusiness Investment award.

A statement issued by the AFEX’s Brand and Communication Lead, Obianuju Okafor on Wednesday in Abuja, said the award was given at the fifth edition of IAMN’s National Agribusiness Conference held in Abuja.

She said AFEX had been deploying solutions for the Nigerian agriculture sector for the past five years,

According to her, IAMN is a recognised professional body for agribusiness executives, agriculturists, entrepreneurs and practitioners working within the food and agricultural value chains in Nigeria.

The brand and communication lead said the award was received by AFEX’s Business Development Manager, Akinyinka Akintunde, who thanked the institute for the recognition.

Okafor stated that Akintunde while receiving the award noted that the award was “A recognition of AFEX’s work over the years.

“It is also a little encouragement as we go into our next five years as a company, recommitting ourselves to digitising the agricultural sector in Nigeria so that with more measurable and manageable risk associated with the sector, it becomes more attractive to investors at various levels.

“We are excited about the future and cannot wait to carry everyone along on the journey with us.”

Okafor pointed out that AFEX had a key technology solution that it had deployed with great results accruing to its business, with a number of other solutions under development.

“AFEX’s technology solution, WorkBench, is an integrated ERP designed for agriculture value chain management.

“WorkBench ensures that data and warehouse transactions are shared in real time with the AFEX office, and also allows the Exchange’s clients to track and monitor the progress of their projects with AFEX.

“This solution, therefore, helps to capture necessary events in the agricultural value chain and introduces a level of transparency that Nigeria’s fragmented agricultural sector has been historically unable to enjoy, “she said.

Okafor further said the Chairman of IAMN, Richard Ogundele, who commented on the award said, “From amongst 3 nominees driving Agribusiness via innovative technology in Nigeria, AFEX was adjudged most innovative with real impact by the IAMN at the National Agribusiness Conference 2019.

“About seven categories of sector awards were considered by the IAMN and industry actors were asked to nominate recipients with a basis of selection.

“A google link was created and circulated amongst actors for nominations. About 250 entries were received, collated and sorted for the winner of each category to emerge.”

The brand and communication lead further pointed out that Key in AFEX’s innovation with WorkBench was an understanding of the Nigerian environment.

According to her, such understanding led to WorkBench been developed to work offline, enabling field agents who work in remote areas to easily register farmers, capture their data and geotag their farms with all the data syncing to the server when the field agent got into an area with internet access.

She also said the transparency and traceability enabled by AFEX’s technology solution had been key in attracting more investment into primary production from varied sources.

She said the Exchange facilitated access to finance for 6, 231 farmers through its 2019 input financing programme, enabling them to access good quality inputs like fertilizers and crop protection products for their production activities.

Okafor further noted that with over 250 million smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Africa with the need for improved and meaningful livelihoods, digital solutions for agriculture was a game-changer in supporting and accelerating agricultural transformation across the continent.

“AFEX’s continued drive to digitise the sector will go a long way in continuing to make the sector attractive to investors, making for a stronger agriculture economy that will ensure a fair exchange of value among players,”she said.

On the mission and vision of AFEX, Okafor said it was Nigeria’s first private sector commodities exchange firm providing solutions to make Nigeria’s agriculture economy scalable and efficient.

She noted that AFEX was working towards helping Africa to feed itself by continually drawing on its knowledge of the food systems in Africa to create the right incentives and a shared platform that supports wealth creation, risk management and efficient markets.

She said in its first four years of operating in Nigeria as at 2018, AFEX reached and enhanced the livelihood of over 100,000 farmers and aggregated over 100,000 metric tonnes of grain.

On the task ahead, Okafor said AFEX was seeking to create a market infrastructure that would promote a transparent, data-driven, tech-enabled agriculture ecosystem, where risks were efficiently measured, managed, and priced.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Felix Ajide (NAN)

General news

Anambra Commissioner sue for peace in markets





Chief Uchenna Okafor, Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Wealth Creation in Anambra, has called on leaders  of all  markets in the state to eschew acts capable of  disrupting  peaceful market environment.

Okafor made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Awka.

He said that markets leaders should at all times promote activities that would bind all traders together and create a safe and conducive market environment.

“Markets should be safe for both traders and customers who patronise their wares. Actions that portray insecurity must be stopped,” he said.

Okafor said that traders had right to pray as often as they wished in the markets and urged the market leaders not to disrupt prayer sessions of members.

He said that peace and understanding among all the affiliate trade unions in the market would promote unity.

He said that activities which bred unity should be pursued instead of seeking for acts that could lead to problems.

Okafor said that state government had put in place measures to ensure adequate security in all markets across the state both during and after the Christmas celebration.

He urged traders and customers not to exercise any fear while conducting their trading activities during the festival period and reassured people going for shopping not to entertain fear of being attacked.

Okafor said that the state government had shown committed efforts in securing lives and property of its people and assured that tight security would  be maintained all through the festivity.

The commissioner commended the traders for their support for Gov. Willie Obiano-led administration and assured the traders and affiliate trade unions in the markets of support from the government.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu


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Adeboye tasks Nigerians on divine faith to solve challenges



Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God, has urged Nigerians to exercise divine faith in order to attract God’s intervention in the challenges.

Adeboye gave the charge on Saturday morning during the 2019 Holy Ghost Congress holding at the Redemption Camp, LagosIbadan Expressway.

He said that Nigerians should trust God for solutions to whatever challenges they were facing.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the week-long event, which began on Monday, has the theme: “The Great Turnaround”.

The pastor further stated that God loves to spring surprises, saying, “Nigerians should tap into this character for their turnaround.”

Adeboye who took his sermon from Mark 10: 46-52, the story of blind Bartimaeus said “our turnaround and blessings begin the moment we say enough is enough.”

“The moment we say no to suffering, sickness, loneliness, fruitless efforts and barrenness in our lives, our turnaround begins.

“ As you go out today, remember the story of blind Bartimaeus; problems are not limited to poor homes, you will be amazed that many area boys are from wealthy homes.

“Let us say without any doubt that we are tired of suffering, the devil does not respect titles, sickness does not recognise that you have doctorate degrees,” he said.

Adeboye announced that 36 children had been delivered at the campground, comprising 22 boys and 14 girls.

Edited by: Azubuike Okeh/Donald Ugwu


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Oyo CP urges police officers to operate with fear of God



Mr Shina Olukolu, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo, has urged police officers in the command to undertake their duties with the fear of God.

Olukolu made the call on Friday evening during a dinner and award presentation ceremony held at the state police headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.

He said that men and officers of the force should endeavour to wear human faces in their dealings with members of the public.

“We have to work with the fear of Almighty God, we must also be mindful of how we pursue material things,” he said.

The police commissioner stated that only the grace of God could uplift humans in their careers, saying, “we must shun dubious acts.

“If humans do not see the things we do, God watches and sees us; He also knows how to reward us.

“When we shout at you, our whole intention is to show good mentoring in your interest and that of the society which we serve,” he said.

Olukolu used the occasion to commend the police management team and officers in the state for a cordial working relationship.

In his remark, Rev. Moses Aransiola, President, Gethsemane Prayer Ministries International, said that the ministry and the police had been partnering on the annual event in the past 22 years.

Aransiola said that the partnership was in the area of law enforcement and the enthronement of peace and security.

“The commitment to national service gave birth to the annual police dinner and award presentation 22 years ago.

“It is our way of encouraging and empowering Nigeria Police officers who are doing their best in the discharge of their duties in spite of obvious challenges,’’ he said.

He urged corporate organisations and good spirited individuals to evolve ways of supporting the police to perform more effectively.

Speaking on behalf of the recipients, ASP Ogunlade Kehinde, Area Commander, Ogbomoso thanked the police management team and the Gethsemane ministries for the wards.

Kehinde said the award would serve as motivation for them to perform better in future.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the award ceremony was organised by Gethsemane Prayer Ministries International, Ibadan, in collaboration with the Nigeria Police, Oyo state Command.

Edited by: Azubuike Okeh/Donald Ugwu


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APGA Chairmanship Tussle: Njoku urges members to remain calm



Chief Edozie Njoku has advised members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and its supporters to remain calm and exercise restraint following the party’s leadership tussle.

Nigeria News Agency reports that hearing in the leadership tussle of the party before an FCT High Court, Jabi, was stalled on Friday due to the absence of the trial judge in the court.

The matter, which was slated for hearing before Justice Charles Agbaza, could not go on as the judge was away to attend to an emergency.

NAN reports that the case was instituted by Dr. Victor Oye as the plaintiff with APGA and Chief Edozie Njoku as defendants.

Njoku, who spoke with NAN on the status of the case, said that he was optimistic to reclaim his seat as the Chairman of APGA.

“There’s a court order which somehow, an order behind our back was instituted.

“That is, an interlocutory injunction that has stopped me from parading myself as the National Chairman of the party.

“And also an order from someone, whose tenure has expired, went forward to bring an order stopping the party APGA from recognising me as the National Chairman.

“There’s a lot of misrepresentation in the APGA crises; people come up from one area or the other and say that they are acting National Chairman or they are this.

“It is clear that there’s supposed to have been two conventions that took place, one was an illegal convention in Awka, which has been made clear in the court; I can’t talk much about it.

“And the convention originally which was slated by APGA which was held in Owerri, where I emerged as National Chairman.

“I would have loved to have said more but there’s a court order on me that I should not parade myself as the National Chairman.

“But I know that by what we have in court, that in the next few months the coast will be clear and I will come back into my office as National Chairman of APGA,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the party which had two factions conducted parallel congresses on May 31, 2019, with Chief Edozie Njoku emerging as its national chairman in Owerri, Imo State and Victor Oye emerging as chairman in the Awka, Anambra State faction.

This development led to Oye dragging the defendants before the court, praying for some declarations, orders and reliefs.

According to the 2nd defendant, Chief Edozie Njoku, “though the case is meant to be for hearing, we have filed a motion for the court to squash the order of interlocutory injunction which was placed on me and the party because of lack of service or fraudulent service,” he said.

The court registrar, who informed the counsel in the matter about the judge’s absence, also assured them that they will send out hearing notice of a new date for hearing.

For his part, the National Legal Adviser of APGA, Hamman Ghide, also advised members of the party and all supporters present to be patient and to exercise restraint saying that, no matter how long it takes they will have their time in court.

“We were in court for this particular case, unfortunately the court could not seat, so I expect our members to exercise restraint and not be annoyed; it is one of the processes in hearing.

“So we just have to be patient, time will come whether we like it or not; for every beginning there must be an end,” he said.

Edited by: Lydia Beshel/Felix Ajide


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Strikes in France over planned pension reform to continue for second weekend



Strikes over a planned pension reform in France look set to continue for a second weekend and Parisians can expect serious delays on Saturday, according to a statement by RATP which runs Paris’ public transport network.

Nine metro lines will be closed completely on Saturday, the state-run company said.

However, 60 per cent of bus services will be running and trams will run as normal.

Long-distance rail services will also be delayed, with only one in four long-distance TGV trains running on Saturday, SNCF said Friday.

The state-run rail firm said it would publish a timetable this weekend of train services this week should strikes run over the Christmas period.

People from a range of professions have taken part in industrial action opposing plans by the government to reform pensions for more than a week.

Demonstrations are expected to take place in Paris and other cities on Saturday.


Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim


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