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FG urges Govs to prioritise Agricultural value-chain development 



By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

The Federal Government has charged the 36 States Governors and stakeholders to pay more attention to the development of the agricultural value-chain to improved bio-economy in order to reduce unemployment rate in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Budget And Economic Planning, Nebeolisa Anako, gave the charge on Tuesday, at the 22nd edition of Joint Planning Board (JPB) meeting held at the Center for Black Culture, Osogbo, with the theme: “Imperative for Restoring Nigeria on the Path of Sustainable Economic Growth and Development.”

Anako also said it is very important to pay attention to the Food Systems transformation Pathways for improved nutrition as panacea to reduce stunted growth particularly in the Rural and Under-served areas of the nation in line with the declaration of State of emergency in the sector by the administration.

He disclosed that the federal government is doing everything possible to address the hardship faced by Nigerians in the wake of economic reforms which has resulted in the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the Naira.

He urged Governors to use their esteemed positions to aggressively sensitise their citizens on the long-term benefits of the subsidy removal and the floating of the Naira.

The PS commended the efforts of the State Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries of Budget and Economic Planning and other Stakeholders, for being true partners in the development of Nigeria.

According to him, “The present administration is doing everything possible to address the hardship faced by Nigerians in the wake of economic reforms which has resulted in the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the Naira. These challenges which are temporary, will be over with time. I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to urge you to use your esteemed positions to aggressively sensitise the Nigerian public on the long-term benefits of these policies.

“The recent approval of Five Billion Naira (A5 billion), and some consignment of food stuff to each State of the Federation were immediate measures taken to mitigate the hardship caused as a result of these reforms. It is hoped that as other medium-term measures are unfolding, Nigerians would appreciate the rationale behind these important decisions so far taken.

“With this background, the importance and urgency of this year’s theme for this August body, the JPB is unmistakable. The JPB made up of seasoned and tested Public Administrators, Planners, Top Bureaucrats and Economy specialists at both Federal and State level has a mandate to bring up useful ideas and pathways before the NCDP who will advice Government on sure-footed solutions.

“Let me use this opportunity to urge all the Representatives of the 36 States here to encourage their respective Governors and stakeholders to pay more attention to the development of the agricultural value-chain for improved bio-economy; and to pay more attention to the Food Systems transformation Pathways for improved Nutrition as panaceas to reducing unemployment, and stunted growth, particularly in the Rural and Under-Served Areas of the nation, in line with the declaration of State of emergency in the sector, by this Administration.

“We must strengthen the collaboration and synergy between the Federal Government, the State Government, and Local Governments towards effective implementation of all the resolutions/decisions of the Joint Planning Board/National Council on Development Planning (JPB/NCDP) as a way to fastrack national developmental objectives,” he said

The Director, Special Duties/NEC secretariat, Dr. ‘Mrs.’ Gloria Ahmed said that at the end of JPB/NDCP meetings, participants would be better informed on strategies to address economic issues for visible development at the National and Sub-national levels.

She said, “It is also hoped that through robust peer-review and experience sharing among participants, there would be better prospects for all round socio-economic development across the Nation.”

South West

Ekiti set to improve traffic management with ring road project



The first Ring Road Project in Ekiti State was launched on Friday by Governor Biodun Oyebanji, who said it will transform the state’s development and traffic management when completed.

The Governor made this remark in Iworoko Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, during the flag-off ceremony of the Ado Ekiti Ring Road Phase 1.

He said the project, which is the first of its kind in the state’s policy thrust, will connect Iworoko to the Ekiti State International Cargo Airport in Ado Ekiti and the Ekiti Knowledge Zone. The road will pass through Iworoko, Are, Afao, Araromi Obo, Igbogun and end at Aso Ayegunle and Ijan Ekiti area.

He explained that the road will help to ease the congestion in Ado Ekiti metropolis, which is often crowded with heavy trucks travelling on the Lagos-Ibadan-Ado-Lokoja Abuja Highway. This causes traffic jams and serious discomfort for commuters.

“This project will put an end to a long time of pain on some strategic roads in our state. This is a testament to the gains of continuity. It was first awarded by Governor Kayode Fayemi, but the contractor could not mobilise to site due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

“But the project was made possible today because the electorate voted for our party, so this is the beauty of continuity. If we have been doing this, we would have gone beyond this level. Any state where you witness development, it means they have a government that has the privilege of serving back-to-back and enjoy the opportunity of sustaining their policies like they are doing in Lagos.

“This road will enhance trade and commerce, promote tourism and facilitate easy movement of agricultural products. It is a game changer, so the contractor needs your support. I know that our people are hospitable.

“I appeal to you to join hands with the contractor to deliver a quality job. Don’t disturb them, this could stop them from finishing on time. The beauty of it is that in my discussion with Craneburg Company leadership, they assured that labour will be sourced locally and whoever is employed as a worker should be ready to work.

“The local Contents bill is in the State House of Assembly and when passed into law will mandate all contractors to source their labour locally.

Oyebanji also disclosed his government’s plan to acquire large areas of land at the Ekiti State Cargo Airport area to implement a suburban development plan that will create a replica of Ado Ekiti town to attract investors to the state.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr. Sola Adebayo, highlighted the importance of the project, saying that with the ring road, commuters will not need to pass through Ado Ekiti to reach some destinations in the state. This will reduce the persistent agony of traffic logjam in the state capital.

Adebayo said the government prioritised the project because it will serve the Cargo Airport, Ekiti Knowledge Zone and tertiary institutions like the Federal Polytechnic and Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.

“This will bring a significant transformation to the development of the state and it is a symbol that Governor Oyebanji places priority on the people by way of reducing traffic hold up to the barest minimum.

“Let me restate that this government is committed to transparency and accountability in the award of projects and this shall be strictly followed in the execution of this project. We will ensure that a quality job is delivered and compliance to standard is followed.”

The General Manager, Corporate Services, Craneburg Construction Company, the contractor handling the project, Mr. Elie Adem, expressed confidence that the company will not disappoint the trust placed in its expertise and technical know-how in delivering the best for the state.

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South West

Ondo APC stakeholders insist on empowering Aiyedatiwa as acting Gov. after Tinubu’s intervention



Hours after the intervention of President Bola Tinubu in the political crisis rocking Ondo State, some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state have insisted that the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, should be empowered as acting governor.

The APC chieftains, under the aegis of Ondo APC Progressives Stakeholders, in Akure at the weekend insisted that Aiyedatiwa should take over as Acting Governor in accordance with constitutional provisions towards resolving the political imbroglio in the state.

Tinubu had called for the maintenance of the status quo, urging Aiyedatiwa to continue as the deputy governor.

However, the Ondo APC stakeholders, after their meeting in Akure, expressed concerns over the continued absence of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, stating that it has adversely affected the governance and economy of the state.

In a statement issued after the meeting and signed by the Chairman, former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Afe Olowookere, and Secretary, Hon. Raman Rotimi, who was also a former APC Secretary in the state, the urgent need for the House of Assembly to empower Aiyedatiwa to assume the responsibilities of the acting governor was emphasised.

“APC party members should be allowed to participate and determine those to be appointed or elected into political and party offices.

“Elders and leaders of the party must be recognised and given their pride of place in the party, rather than being neglected and ostracised by the party.

“The system of writing the names of party executives and candidates without due process will be objected to and resisted with all political and legal means possible,” the statement said.

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South West

Adeleke jets out to Europe, reiterates commitment on delivering of five-point agenda



By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has embarked on a short working vacation to Europe and Asia to finalise partnership deals with investors and development partners.

This was contained in a statement signed over the weekend by the Spokesperson to the State Governor, Mallam Olawale Rasheed.

According to the statement, the Governor has not gone on a break since assuming office a year ago and is billed to conclude partnership deals in several sectors with investors who had earlier visited the state.

Adeleke before his departure, said Osun people have the right to know about the movement of their Governor, hence, his public disclosure of his short vacation abroad.

“This is a democracy. My masters are Osun people who elected me into office and to whom I am surely accountable. My trip is however a working one as I will be meeting foreign partners who are eager to join several sectors of our state economy.

“The last year has been rewarding as we have stabilised the state from inherited rot. We are reconstructing and simultaneously delivering good governance. That is why our 2024 budget is tagged budget of reconstruction and recovery.

“In one year, we placed Osun state on a path of sustainable development, upgrading critical sectors like education, health, culture and entertainment, water, sports, digital economy, workers’ welfare, infrastructures, and agriculture. We capped it with a multi-billion naira infrastructure plan now under implementation.

“I thank the Osun people for their continuous support and prayers. At home and abroad, I am committed to delivering on our five-point agenda for a better life for our people,” the Governor was quoted as saying.

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