By Jeleel Olawale
A CommonWealth expert and University Don, Dr Mary Idowu has maintained that fertilizer is not poisonous, if well applied to the vegetables, but would make farmers to get good yield in vegetables which is nutritious to human health.
Idowu who is a lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, made the disclosure at a workshop organised by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada, in conjunction with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife and Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin.
She urged participants to make use of digital advisors such as Social media, Facebook, WhatsApp, telegram, Twitter,E-mail and phone calls for vegetable productive.
She therefore, promised participants that they would be empowered and be trained on right method of how to use fertilizers for them to produce good vegetables that would promote the health of the masses and bring more money to them.
The workshop which trained over 100 vegetable farmers on digital agriculture, was held at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The Convener of the Programme from the Faculty of Agriculture Economics, OAU, Ile-Ife, Prof Adeolu Ayanwale, commended the donors for giving lifelong learning to vegetable farmers for the benefit of mankind.
Ayanwale said the programme came at the right time that Nigeria is facing the challenges of food insecurity, that the workshop will provide solutions and give hopes to the hopeless.
He said the essence of the training is to sensitise the farmers on the potential digital facilities that would improve their production.
“We discovered that the manual way of farming is not very efficient, so we want to let people see the potential of digital agriculture, encourage and teach them how to use it in various ways.
“This workshop would change the notion of some people that every vegetable that has fertilizer application is not healthy for humanity.
“But farmers would understand that the right quantity, quality, time and place of fertilizer application on vegetables matter most,” he posited.
He enjoined participants to train others at home and let them know that fertilizer should be applied in a way that would be useful to the plants and human consumption.
According to him, they would be taught the method for planting, spacing the plants and be able to identify nutrients deficiency symptoms on the plants.
The Commonwealth Scholar assured their readiness to assist and train more farmers for them to solve problems of the nation, called for government support on farmers on lifelong learning.
In the same vein, Dr Olufemi Oladunni, the Executive Director, ARMTI, urged vegetable farmers to ensure that they are trustworthy in their team.
Oladunni, who was represented by Mr Peter Popoola, counselled them to participate effectively in their group by being punctual always. He advised them to have positive attitude and share information that would assist them in their work.
Mr Olusegun Oni, a trainer and researcher at ARMTI, enlightened vegetable farmers on financial literacy, urging them to start their business with their savings, instead of getting bank loans.
Oni appealed to them on adequate planning, records keeping, savings in case of emergency needs and for business continuation as well as partronising internet banking, mobile application, automated teller machines.
Also, the Management Development Officer at ARMTI, Mr Kingsley Olurinde, advised vegetable farmers to ensure efficient market for their produce before production.
He trained them on designing marketing strategy for their vegetable production, such as: price, place, preservation, packaging and rebranding their vegetable up to exporting them to avoid wastage.
A Professor of Soil Science and Former Dean of Agriculture Faculty, OAU, Prof Duro Oyedele, admonished vegetable farmers to have contract arrangements with their buyers on sales of their produce.
Oyedele charged participants to make use of new technology for their goods despite the price fluctuation, climate change and climate variability to ensure that their efforts are not wasted.
The President of Agro Processor, Osun State chapter, Mrs Comfort Olaosun, appreciated the organisers of the programme, saying she benefited immensely on the workshop.
Olaosun promised to utilise all she gained and ready to train others as well as increase members of her team.
Cardoso approves CBN’s reviewed service charter
CBN governor, Mr Yemi Cardoso, has approved the reviewed “Service Charter’’ of the apex bank.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the service charter is a requirement of the Business Facilitation Act 2022 for driving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
It compels the CBN to fully comply with the directives of SERVICOM on improvement of customer service delivery.
The CBN stated on Thursday in Abuja that the charter outlined the working relationship between the bank and its external customers.
“The document clearly outlines the bank’s mandates, vision, mission, and core values.
“It contains the list of services offered by the bank through its various departments and the service standards for each service.
“The service charter also includes a standardised customer complaints form for reporting service failures as well as a mechanism for addressing failures in any of the bank’s services,’’ it stated.
It added that the service charter reiterated CBN’s commitment to effective and prompt service delivery to its stakeholders and to its customers.
“It enables our customers to know the range of services provided by the bank as well as the standards at which these services would be provided.
“It equally states redress procedures in the event of service failure from any of our service windows.
“The charter applies to all stakeholders and customers of the bank,’’ it stressed.
In the Foreword to the reviewed document, Cardoso reiterated CBN’s commitment to providing more responsive and citizen-friendly governance through quality service delivery that is efficient, accountable and transparent.
2024 budget to bring 61% increase to health sector, reduce brain drain — FCTA
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says the 2024 budget will bring about 61 per cent increase in the nation’s capital’s health sector and reduce brain drain.
Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, the Mandate Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA, disclosed this
on the sidelines of the 2023 Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), FCT chapter Health Week in Abuja.
Fasawe said the N27.5 trillion budget christened “Renewed Hope”, would bring about drastic infrastructure development in the FCT health sector and improved wellbeing for doctors and health workers.
She added that “the budget is an increase over the last budget. We believe this will translate to a 61 per cent increase in
our health indices, better equipment in our hospitals, and we will be able to employ more doctors.
“For every doctor who leaves the system, we replace the person. As people leave, we also have people looking for jobs.
“Most people leave not because of poor salaries or poor working conditions, but because they don’t have the right equipment to work with at times.
“We hope the `Japa syndrome’ will reduce with the improved budget; we also hope to see the right equipment and expansion of hospitals and better roll-call.”
She, therefore, encouraged FCT residents, especially the poor and vulnerable, to register under the insurance scheme at the primary or secondary health facilities to access free healthcare services.
She explained that “for the FCT health insurance scheme, we have a plan for the vulnerable; it is for the poor who cannot afford healthcare. They are by law statutorily mandated to be taken care of once they are registered under the scheme.
“So, if you fall under that group — poor, no job, no social security, visit any of our primary or secondary healthcare centres, where you will be assessed and registered.”
Earlier, Sen. Ireti Kingibe of the Labour Party (LP), representing the FCT, had appealed to doctors and other health workers not to relocate abroad, but rather stay back in the country and support the government and stakeholders to strengthen the health system.
Kingibe, who was represented by Dr Juliet Essien, a Clinician, said “the FCT will continue to receive improved budgetary allocation for its health sector.
“It is no secret that our healthcare is facing numerous challenges, but we need to address issues such as brain drain, infrastructure, accessibity and the wellbeing of healthcare professionals.”
Also, Dr Rahman Olayinka, the President of ARD, FCTA, said the health week was to provide a platform for members to share insights and draw government’s attention to crucial matters within the health sector.
It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu recently presented the 2024 budget to the National Assembly.
A budget breakdown showed that the country’s health sector got N1.33 trillion, while the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, presented N61.6 billion budget to the lawmakers for 2024.
CAC, FIRS strengthen collaboration for economic growth
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are strengthening their existing collaboration to ensure economic growth.
Registrar-General of the CAC, Mr Hussaini Magaji, said this on Thursday in Abuja when he visited the FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr Zacch Adedeji.
Magaji said the visit was to familiarise and further cement already existing collaboration between the CAC and the FIRS.
Speaking on CAC’s mandate vis-à-vis its relationship with the FIRS, Magaji said the CAC had created a platform for integration with the FIRS, thereby making the process of business registration seamless.
He emphasised the need for greater cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies that are strategic to national economy, especially as it relates to revenue generation.
Magaji said it was pertinent to identify and formalise the enormous number of unregistered online businesses to boost the country’s revenue.
Responding, the FIRS chairman stressed the need to have a robust inter-agency relationship to make FIRS to perform better.
Adedeji said while the CAC registered and nurtured companies, the FIRS awaited the companies to mature before it began to assess them.
He added that the FIRS relied on the CAC to drive voluntary compliance by obtaining data from the former.
He noted that both agencies needed to reinvigorate their existing standing technical committee to interface more often to cement their long-standing relationship and to engender capacity building.
Also speaking, the Coordinating Director, Digital and Information Support Group of the FIRS, Ms Chiaka Ben-Obi, said Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) were now generated for all entities upon registration.
Ben-Obi said this was a departure from the past when the FIRS supplied the CAC with TIN.
While appreciating the CAC for the introduction of online electronic submission of audited accounts, she said the FIRS was studying the possibility of having an interface with the CAC in that regard.
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