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Insecurity: Adeleke pledges support for NSCDC in Osun

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Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has assured the support of his administration in aiding security agencies to achieve success in the fight against crimes in the state.

Governor Adeleke gave this assurance on Tuesday while receiving the new Osun Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Osun State Command, Akintayo Adaralewa.

The Osun governor also stated that his administration would continue to provide every necessary support to the command so as to improve the security of lives and property in the state.

This was made known in a statement signed by the Spokesperson of the Osun NSCDC, Adeleke Kehinde on Wednesday in Osogbo.

While expressing confidence in the ability of the new commandant and the corps at large, the governor enjoined the new Osun NSCDC helmsman to work in synergy with other sister agencies.

In his words, “crime prevention is a joint effort of all security agencies.

“I commend the personnel of NSCDC for always being well dressed and for being professional while discharging their duties.

“I assure the corps that my administration will aid it in achieving success in the fight against crimes and we will give the necessary support to the command so as to improve the security of lives and properties.”

Speaking earlier, the newly deployed Commandant, Adaralewa, explained that the courtesy visit was mainly to familiarise himself with the governor and to seek the support of the state government to succeed in the task ahead.

Adaralewa noted that Osun State is relatively peaceful, as it is one of the safest states in the country.

He vowed to synergise with other security agencies to strengthen the security architecture in the state and place it in a better light.

“I promise to deal decisively with illegal miners and to work assiduously in order to put an end to incessant farmers and herders’ crises in the state.”

Commandant Adaralewa also called on members of the public to support the NSCDC in the fight against criminal activities by providing necessary and useful information that could nip crimes in the bud.

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FG commences disbursement for presidential conditional grant scheme

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The Federal Government has initiated the disbursement process for the Presidential Conditional Grant scheme.

The scheme, which targets nanobusinesses—enterprises with one or two workers and an annual turnover of less than N3 million aims to provide each beneficiary with N50,000.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment declared: “We are pleased to inform you that the disbursement process for the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme has officially commenced. A number of beneficiaries have already received their grants, marking the beginning of our phased disbursement strategy.”

The ministry further explained: “In collaboration with telecommunications providers, we have successfully resolved the initial delays in sending out shortcodes for NIN verification and application continuation.

“By Friday, 19th April 2024, a significant disbursement will be made to a substantial number of verified applicants. It is essential to understand that disbursements are ongoing, and not all applicants will receive their grants on this initial date.”

The Presidential Conditional Grant Programme was launched last year to alleviate economic hardship following the removal of fuel subsidies in the country.

It is expected to reach one million small businesses across the 774 local government areas and the six council areas in the Federal Capital Territory.

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Food security: Nigeria requires about 312,000 metric tons of seed – Minister

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The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, says Nigeria requires about 312,000 metric tons of seed towards achieving food security, food sufficiency and global security in 2024.

Kyari said this at a High-Level Stakeholders’ Forum on Seed System Development, organised by Feed-the Future Nigeria Integrated Agriculture Activity, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The minister was represented by Dr Haruna Suleman, the Director, National Food and Strategic Reserve.

The theme of the forum is, “ Enhancing Seed Systems Development for Improved Food Security: A Paradigm of USAID Interventions in Northeast Nigeria’’.

Kyari said the ministry had outlined series of critical pathways to solve the food security challenges in Nigeria.

He explained that the pathways were streamlined into short, medium and long term for a period of four years, which includes the immediate production of 31 million metric tons of grain in 2024.

According to him, for success to be achieved, factors to be addressed are the seed availability, affordability and adaptability, paying particular attention to food security.

“Major crops that are most concerned are rice, maize, wheat, sorghum and cowpea in 2024.

“We require about 312,000 metric tons of seed which is to enable us to achieve the required metric tons.”

The minister said the Federal Government had developed programmes to support farmers with high quality seeds for rice, wheat, maize, cassava and other inputs at a subsidised rate.

He said the Nigerian seeds development required partnership and synergy among all key stakeholders that would facilitate a model of collaboration built on knowledge sharing, skill exchange, expertise, competitiveness and mutual benefit.

“Of great interest is the new science, technology and innovation (STI) developed by USAID Feed-the Future Nigeria Integrated Agricultural Activities (NIAA) implemented by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

“It is a community based enterprises model that is not only localised but adaptable to the climatic and specific conditions of communities and above all against the traditional approach of demand driven which have not been effective.

“The NIAA model is market driven and on need based riding on cohesive cooperative system to create the needed ownership and stewardship to protect enterprises.

“This model developed and promoted by IITA and NIAA was piloted in the northeast of Nigeria in the states of Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe.

“Building an ecosystem and end-to-end market driven seed network through the community based system to produce seed to a network linked farmers group aggregated within the community with the local governments.

“This by extensions makes the availability and adaptable and specific resilience seeds to the ecology of the locations concerned,’’ he said.

Mr Prakash Silwal, Chief of Party/Principal Specialist, IITA, said that USAID had in the last five years, funded IITA and their partners to work in the northeast, to address the food insecurity.

Silwal said the forum was organised to share some of the successes so far recorded especially with a focus on seed system development.

According to him, it is the IITA’s contribution to addressing food security in the northeast, adding that the actors that made it happened would be awarded.

He said that 150 community based seed enterprises contributed to making farming possible to nearly half a million farmers or half a million hectares of land in the region.

“About 3 million dollar worth of additional food may be provided in those areas.

“As we are winding up our programmes, we are also here to share some of those knowledge that we have developed, as to what varieties of crop, legumes and cereals, will be very good in those areas,’’ he said.

Mr Bassey Archibong , Market Systems and Livelihood Specialist, Feed the Future Nigeria Integrated Agriculture Activity, IITA, said the beginning of food security anywhere was seeds.

Archibong said the programme was aimed at ensuring that farmers had the right kind of seeds that must be affordable and accessible within the localities where food crops were being produced.

Malam Yakubu Gombi, leader of Gombi Community Based Seed Producers from Adamawa, thanked IITA for its support, saying they had been empowered to become entrepreneurs.

He said the organisation had trained him and his group in different fields of agriculture with requisite skills in the last five years.

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Senior Citizens must be captured in Nat’l Dev’t Plan – Bagudu

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The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, has stressed the need to capture the yearnings and aspirations of senior citizens in the National Development Plan.

Bagudu said this at a one-day capacity enhancement workshop for state commissioners and Directors of Social Welfare on the domestication of NSCC Act and National Action Plan on Ageing in Abuja on Tuesday.

The workshop was organised by the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

The minister assured stakeholders of the determination to work with NSCC to come-up with accurate and acceptable document that would provide a guide to ensure proper capturing of senior citizens into the national development plan.

”The national planning function, which resides in the ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, is the custodian of national development plans and it is a perceptive on where we want Nigeria to be by the year 2050.

”And, from there we also do the five year plan which is national development plan, then the annual budget.

”I would ask the director-general to ensure that these documents, which are available online are reflected upon.

”So that where we have not captured sufficiently the yearnings and aspirations of our senior citizens may be interrogated and improved upon,” Bagudu said.

He assured the participants that the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration had passion for the welfare and wellbeing of senior citizens in the country.

Mr Abel Enitan, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said “Nigeria is projected to accommodate 30 million older persons by the 2050.”

The permanent secretary, who was represented by the Director, Special Duties in the Ministry Agnes Aneke, expressed the need to plan properly to arrest the situation.

”It is imperative to recognise the global trend of ageing population that by 2030 as we approach the conclusion of decades of healthy ageing, the population of aged 60 and above is expected to increase by 56 per cent.

”By 2050 Nigeria is projected to accommodate 30 million older persons.

”When Nigeria’s ageing population has not yet reached an alarming proportion, it is important that we proactively implement policies and guidelines to address the challenges of ageing in our country.

”Older Persons encounter challenges with negative stereotypes” he said

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