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Agricultural Transformation Agenda: APPEALS project targets 60,000 beneficiaries

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Agricultural Transformation Agenda: APPEALS project targets 60,000 beneficiaries

APPEALS,  a World Bank-assisted project says it targeting 60,000 individuals as direct beneficiaries of Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to complement the transformation agenda programme of President Muhammadu Buhari.


The Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) is a World Bank-assisted project in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Mr Mohammed Jobdi, the National Coordinator of the  project made this known at the official opening of APPEALS projects facilitators training workshop on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers.

He said that about 10,000 beneficiaries would benefit per state and 300,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.

He said it was anticipated that 35 per cent of direct beneficiaries of 21,000 individuals would be women and youths.

Jobdi said that the project was organised to improve the agricultural sector for a better life for farmers in the country.

According to him, the project has 11 commodity value chains, which include rice, cocoa, poultry, cashew, maize, ginger, diary, wheat, tomato, cassava and aquaculture.

“These priority value chains were carefully selected due to their potential in contributing to the government stated priority goals of food security and local production, potential for exports and contribution to improvement of livelihoods.’’

He said it would further enhance speedy income generation including jobs creation along the value chains, adding that the project was being implemented in six states with their respective value chains.

According to him, the states are Cross River with specialisation in rice, cocoa, poultry, Enugu in rice, cashew, poultry, Kaduna in maize, ginger, dairy

Others are Kano with advantage in rice, wheat, tomato, Kogi in cassava, cashew, rice, while Lagos in rice, aquaculture and poultry

He said that the project development objective was to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chain in the participating states.

He said the project was approved by the World Bank on March 23, 2017 and became disbursement effective on May 24, 2018 “and it is expected to closed by September 2023’’.

Jobdi said the project had been making tremendous progress since inception, adding that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past five months, the overall performance of the project was satisfactory.

He stressed that the project had improved on its performance across all participating states, adding that a total of 277 VCIPs had been prepared, reviewed and approved for implementation by the beneficiaries.

He said that the project had also documented a total of 50 business alliances both off-takers and out-growers across nine value chains.

“In addition, a total of 64 different technologies have been demonstrated to farmers across the participating states.

“In keeping to and increasing this present pace, it has become imperative to conduct this very important training workshop for the project facilitators,’’ he said.

Dr Yahaya Aminu, the Kaduna State Coordinator in his presentation said the objective of the project was to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition.

 

He said the project would support farmers’ productivity and their linkage to markets, adding that targeted value chains were expected to foster job creation in the participating states.

 

He said the team looked forward to going to their state  with improved capacity to work efficiently and effectively with beneficiary farmers to achieve the APPEALS projects.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)

Bukola Olaifa: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Security Challenges: You must rejig security strategy, Buhari tells Security Chiefs

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President Muhammadu Buhari has again challenged the nation security agencies to rejig their strategies in the ongoing battle against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in some parts of the country.


The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, retired Maj-Gen. Babagana Mongonu, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the National Security Council meeting, presided over by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He said: “Mr President has also directed that we must rejig our strategy that is both in terms of operation and intelligence we must rejig our strategy to prevent further catastrophe.

“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected his government, our government and at the end of the day without securing the nation all other things cannot be addressed such as revamping the economy and also fighting corruption.’’

According to the NSA, his office presented a memo to the Security Council on the danger of drug abuse in the society as well as the need to urgently address the problem

He revealed that between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed while an increasing activities of illegal cultivators of `Canabis’ were also recorded.

He said criminals had resulted to the use of illegal substances and dangerous drugs like Tramadol to unleash violence on innocent citizens in the society.

“I presented two memos. The first had to do with drug trafficking as well as drug addiction in Nigeria, and the widespread use of these substances and the dangerous impact on our social, economic situation.

“Basically, what I told council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension. Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transit hub to a production centre.

“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number.

“At the same we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Canabis in Nigeria.

“These people basically use extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militia men to protect their farms and also their storage facilities.

“When you look at drugs, our main concern as security operatives is the ultimate destruction to the social fabric and economy of the nation.

“There is hardly any violence crime today in Nigeria that is not propelled by the use of these hard substances. And these hard substances have been coming in from all nooks and crannies,’’ he said.

Monguno believed that the reckless use of these dangerous substances had direct link to the insecurity being experienced across the country.

He, therefore, stressed the need for a collective, concerted effort to deal with the menace of dangerous drugs in circulation to safeguard the country from the bottomless pit of self-destruction.

The NSA boss disclosed that he later updated the Council on the security situation in the northwest and the north central, “in terms of looking at the issue of kidnapping, banditry and killing of innocent people.’’

“The Chief of Defence Staff, army chief, inspector general of Police, heads of the various intelligence agencies also gave synopsis each of the current security situation and what their various organizations and agencies are doing about these situations,’’ he added.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

Pa Fasanmi buried as Fayemi, Akeredolu,Tinubu pay tributes

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Eminent Nigerians on Tuesday paid tributes to the late Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, as his remains were interred in his country home in Iye Ekiti, Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti.


Fasanmi, a Second Republic Senator, died on July 29 at the age of 94.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the casket conveying Fasanmi’s corpse was brought to the community in a white jeep for the funeral service held at Saint John’s Anglican Church, Iye Ekiti.

Fayemi said Fasanmi’s contributions to the development of democracy was immeasurable, particularly his role in the formation and operation of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the military.

The governor disclosed that his government was already constructing a secondary school to honour the deceased for his contributions to the state before his death.

” My only regret is that he has left us before the school will be officially inaugurated for academic activities when schools finally reopen,” Fayemi said.

Fayemi, in his tribute entitled, “‘Tribute to a Man of Integrity,” said what attracted him to the deceased was his integrity.

“His death has, therefore, robbed me of a godfather, counsellor, an advocate and a father. A good man has left us.

” We will sorely miss him but we are consoled that he was dedicated to selfless service,” he said.

Fayemi added that Fasanmi belonged in the class of the youths of the 1950s when the nationalist movement was at its feverish peak.

He noted that the deceased got indoctrinated into nationalism struggle through the writings of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and his contemporaries.

“He proved his political mettle in 1964 when he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives before 1966 and he got imprisoned in Agodi Prison and was later released.

“He offered to serve as governor of the old Ondo state in 1978 and slugged it out with Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin who defeated him in the primary.

“One legacy for which Baba would be fondly remembered was his credential of incorruptibility. He was a man of tall integrity and honesty.

“It would be recalled that he was the first to start the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee in 1973 under Col. Oluwole Rotimi of the Western Region.

“Chief Ayo Fasanmi has come, he has seen and conquered. He conquered human cravings, vanity of power, ostentation, greed and malice,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Southwest Governors, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said the news of the passage of the icon was a loss to the Yoruba and Nigeria at large.

“Baba living long for 94 years was not what we are celebrating, but we are celebrating how many lives he had impacted on. He lived an impactful life.

“He was not petty but he spoke truth, lived a remarkable life and was one politician who became senator and came home to rest,” he said.

The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagements, Aderemi Adebowale, said Fasanmi’s influence became more pronounced by his incorruptible nature.

The All Progressives Congress National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Abiodun Ogunleye, said Nigerians must learn from the late politician who lived a modest and spartan lifestyle.

Tinubu described Fasanmi as a revolutionary and a politician of outstanding mien, civility and character who was worthy of being emulated .

In his sermon, the Bishop of Ekiti Oke, Anglican Communion, Peter Olubowale, said Fasanmi was not a noise maker and trouble maker during his time.

The cleric urged the people to continually do good to humanity the way Fasanmi did to his family, political associates , friends and companions.

“We need to be available to ourselves and committed to God. Nigerians are number one people in the world that are easy to govern with patience, zeal and endurance.

“Baba has told us that all these monies you are spending and the one you are keeping inside bullion vans and the ones being stashed in banks accounts are all vanity.

” Use the position you are occupying very well to develop humanity. This is the only way you can gain eternity because materialism will lead you to hell fire,” he said.

(
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Politics

Plateau PDP set for state congress – Acting chairman

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Mr Yakubu Chocho, Acting Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau, says all is now set for the state congress to elect new leaders of the party in the state.


Chocho told News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos that arrangements had been put in place to receive the national officers of the party who would conduct the elections.

NAN reports that the state congress earlier scheduled to hold in May were shifted because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Consequently, after the expiration of their tenure on May 10, the state executives of the party were constituted into caretaker committee to act for three months.

The acting chairman said that the party had received directives from its national secretariat that the congress would hold on Aug. 8 or Aug.12.

According to him, the state is waiting for the national body of the party to conduct the congress.

“We are going to observe all COVID-19 protocols as directed by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“We will also ensure that all delegates keep to social distancing , wearing of face mask and washing of hands. Efforts will be made to provide adequate security for peaceful congresses,” he said.

Chocho added that the party was ready to receive the elected leaders who would be in-charge of its affairs without interference from the state officials.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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COVID-19

COVID-19: Bayelsa schools ready, safe to re-open – Gov. Diri

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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Tuesday announced that the state had put in place measures to check the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) among students in exit classes billed to resume on Wednesday.


Diri gave the assurance at the ‘Safe School Reopening Train-the-Trainer’ programme in Yenagoa.

He said that the government had  provided 10,000 face masks, temperature scanners, soap and water for all public and private schools in Bayelsa.

The governor inaugurated a 10-member Safe Schools Reopening Committee headed by his Deputy Chief of Staff,  Mr Peter Akpe, to monitor implementation of the safety protocols across the state.

Diri urged the committee to ensure compliance with the safety protocols to curb infection.

He noted that Bayelsa had 339 COVID-19 cases at the moment.

Diri also noted that Rivers had 1,842 cases and Delta 1,520, saying that Bayelsa was listed the 23rd out of 36 states in infection rate.

He attributed the low infection rate in the state to strict enforcement of the COVID-19 protocols and the commitment of healthcare professionals.

“Our commitment to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the entire globe, is total.

“Out of the responsibility for the health of our dear children,  we decided to close schools on March 26 even before we recorded the index case in Bayless, on April 27, 2020.

“I commend the efforts of our healthcare professionals who I describe as generals in the battlefield.

“With the steps we have taken, teachers have joined in the frontlines of the battle against the pandemic.

“We seek the cooperation of parents, teachers and other stakeholders to prevent teacher-to-student transmission of the virus and vice versa,” Diri said.

In his remarks, Dr Nathaniel Apoku, Co-Chairman of Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that 90 per cent of the 339 positive cases out of 5,000 people screened for the virus had been discharged.

“We have so far tested 5,000, we have only 24 active cases under our care.

“Our isolation centres are virtually empty, this is due to the commitment, dexterity and funding support by the government.

“We have always been meticulous in the implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) and NCDC protocols,” Apoku said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other members of the Safe Schools Reopening Committee include Mr Freston Akpor, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Information, and Mr Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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