The Netherlands government has approved 400, 000 Euros for the Federal Government to embark on the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) in Nasarawa State.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, disclosed this on Monday, at the Government House, Lafia, while on a two-day working visit to Nasarawa State.
Alhaji Nanono, while noting that the country has been toying with the issue of livestock development, which resulted into misconceptions about the NLTP, confirmed that funding for the project has been approved by the Netherlands government and that the Federal Government will embark on a pilot project in Nasarawa State.
The Minister further disclosed that with Nigeria having over 33 trillion varieties of livestock ranging from cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, camels, horses, among others, the country cannot afford to play with this national assets.
Commenting on the purpose of his visit to Nasarawa State, the agriculture Minister, said he was in the state to supervise five rural roads built by his ministry across the state.
While higlighting on the signigicance of agriculture to the development of the country, Alhaji Nanono lamented however that the sector has been neglected through the years, except with the coming of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which is priotizing agriculture.
The Minister pointed out that with the world now focusing on agriculture, it has become paramount that the country appreciates the opportunities inherent in the sector, especially that Nigeria’s growing population is pegged at 400m in the next 30 years.
He said his ministry attaches so much importance to Nasarawa State, in terms of agricultural development, as well as its potentials, ranking the state first in terms of diversity of various agricultural products, with potentials not only for promoting and ensuring food security in the country, but also for export.
The Minister added that Nasarawa State has also been selected among states that will benefit from the agricultural mechanization policy of the Federal Government, with arrangement finalized for the pilot mechanization in 632 LGAs completed.
“Nasarawa State has the potential for creating a strong relationship between agriculture and the industrial sector. And we have already started seeing some signs. And we are going to promote it in that regard,” the Minister stated.
He announced that as part of the FG’s programme of economic sustainability, for which N600bn was approved as support for small scale farmers, his ministry has registered over 78,000 farmers in the state, with another 23,000 registered for the dry season farming covering about 2, 400 hectares of land.
The Minister further disclosed that the FG will engage youths, in collaboration with universities for the production of export crops, stressing that Nasarawa State has been slated to produce soya beans for export.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the vision of his administration is perfectly in line with that of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as it relates to food security.
According to Engineer Sule, in Nasarawa State, agriculture is seen as a business, an opportunity for employment and industrialization.
The Governor noted that with over 80 percent of the population of the state involved in one form of agriculture or the other, coupled with his knowledge of agriculture from his experience at the Dangote Sugar Refinery, he is convinced that Nasarawa can be another India or Brazil, when it come to agriculture.
While thanking the Minister for selecting Nasarawa State for the youth empowerment scheme for the production of soya beans for export, Engineer Sule appealed to the ministry to also consider the production of yams and cassava for export.
The Governor identified four major agricultural companies in the state, which when fully operational, will boost the economic development of the state.
He explained that Dangote Group acquired 68,000 hectares of land, which will translate to 400,000 metric tons of sugar, representing one-third of the sugar consumption of the country, in addition to generating 96 megawatts of power, as well as 2500 litres of ethanol.
“But the most importantly, the project will generate employment for over 30, 000 for our people,” he said.
The Governor added that other companies like Olams, sitting on 10,000 hectares but cultivating 5000 hectares, has over 2,500 employees, the Azman Rice, sitting on 14, 000 hectares, with the Flour Mills of Nigeria also concluding arrangement to take over 20,000 hectares of land in Toto Local Government Area, setting aside 10,000 hectares for rice production and another 10,000 for cassava.
“If we have these four majors, then we are going to concentrate more on our outgrowers that will be able to feed these major operations,” Engineer Sule said.
COP28: Sanwo-Olu highlights infrastructure deficit, funding as factors hindering access to supply of clean water in Lagos
Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has identified infrastructure deficit and meagre resources as factors hindering access to supply of clean water in Lagos
The Governor speaking at a side meeting with the theme: “Valuing Water: A Lifeline in Climate Transition,” organised by Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and Sustainable Market Initiative at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) at Dubai Exhibition Centre pitched a sustainable funding proposal in order to raise private and philanthropic funding in addressing inadequate water infrastructure and supply shortages in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos, with 22 million population, has a daily demand of 700 million gallons of potable water, but said the State could hardly supply 210 million gallons per day due to shortage of infrastructure.
The Governor said, although provision of clean water had been generally considered a social service, it was an essential element of economic necessity, given its importance to keeping humans healthy.
Lagos, he said, is challenged by increasing demand for clean water. Sanwo-Olu said the inadequacy of supply infrastructure could raise disease vulnerability in underserved communities, pointing out that the State, despite being surrounded by abundant water bodies, could only manage to utilise 40 per cent of its installed water facilities.
He said, “Lagos has an investment of about $2.8 billion in water infrastructure, but there is a burden on the huge population, as we need to create an ecosystem where we can have access to basic needs in the 21st century. Given our meagre resources, it is really a challenge but we certainly cannot continue to give excuses. This gap is being felt by underserved communities and the risk to the public is high.”
“We have continued to allocate resources to this sector from our budget, but the intervention is hardly enough to serve the needs of the residents. Four years ago, I gave a commitment of $100 million, but this is like a drop, given the number of investments required to fully explore the potential in the sector. We have huge infrastructure that is not being utilised, making us operate at less than 40 percent of the installed capacity.
“Out of the $1.7 trillion needed globally to address the gap in clean water adequacy, Lagos requires less one percent of the funds to provide safe water. It is my belief that this conversation would lead to a sustainable solution that would meet the needs of millions of people that want water adequacy. Our goal is making committed partners believe in the economic viability of their investments.”
Sanwo-Olu listed the country’s energy crisis as another factor slowing down the provision of clean water, stressing that irregular power supply rendered resources allocated to the sector inefficient.
The Governor called for equity in global investment towards accelerating water adequacy, noting that humans, regardless of their gender and geographical location, need equal access to clean water.
With 65 percent of its population made up of young people under 30, Sanwo-Olu told the funders that Lagos remained an African asset on which viable investments could be made.
The side meeting, which was moderated by the Secretary General of Insurance Development Forum, Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, had seven other panelists, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WaterAid, Tim Wainright, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo, and CEO of Dalmia Cement in India, Mahendra Singh.
Others are Chief Operating Officer of Water.org, Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of AquaForAll, Josien Sluijs, Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation at UN, Maximo Torero, and former CEO of Mars, Incorporated, Grant Reid.
COP28: Sanwo-Olu seeks partners on implementation of Lagos climate adaptation plan
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Sunday called for global partnership in implementing the state climate adaptation and resilience plan.
Sanwo-Olu made the appeal while speaking in Dubai at the side event organised by the Lagos Government at the ongoing climate conference known as COP28.
The Lagos governor said the state had a huge potential in three critical areas, which the prospective partners could help to harness for global development.
The areas, the governor said, include waste management and recycling, public transportation and renewable energy.
These sectors, he noted, offer “huge opportunities” for reducing emissions and promoting sustainable practices.
The governor called on climate financiers to move from talk to action, saying it requires concerted efforts to achieve the net-zero emission target.
“We are here as a government to have commitments, there are so many talks and now is the time for action, through partnership and investment,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He, however, expressed the support of the state to the national net zero emission target.
This support, he said, was part of the state’s broader commitment to combating climate change and improving environmental sustainability.
He said Lagos was not just passively supporting the target but is actively working towards it.
According to him, the state is ahead to achieve zero net carbon emissions both in terms of preparedness and strategic actions.
MI-35P crash: CAS visits crew, tasks personnel on resilience
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has visited crew members of the Nigerian Air Force MI-35P attack helicopter that crashed on Friday in Port Harcourt.
Abubakar commended the five crew members receiving treatment at the NAF medical centre in Port Harcourt, for the professional manner in which they handled the emergency.
He said that their action was commendable and a decisive factor in mitigating the extent of damage to public property and loss of lives.
The CAS, who visited the injured crew members on Sunday, directed the medical director of the centre to render first class treatment to them.
According to a statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the CAS also addressed troops of 115 Special Operations Group (115 SOG) during the visit.
He encouraged them to see the setback as a step for a more resilient comeback, and channeling efforts towards thwarting the activities of economic saboteurs and oil thieves in their area of operation.
He urged them not to be discouraged, saying that the hope of millions of Nigerians rest on their shoulders.
According to him, the realisation of these aspirations is hinged on their ability to combat all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of the nation.
Abubakar urged all NAF personnel to regard the incident as a challenge to improve safety measures, while remaining undeterred and focused in tackling the myriads of security threats facing the nation.
“Times like these are a sad reminder of the inherent risks in military aviation, especially when flying activities, occasioned by our current security challenges, have tremendously increased.
“As we continue to fly intensively, incidents are bound to occur.
“Nevertheless, we must continue to ensure we minimize the risk factors as reasonably practicable,” he said.
He said that that 115 SOG had been well known for its gallantry and fighting spirit and the presence of the MI-35P helicopters on the battlefield had been a game changer.
According to him, the helicopters have over the years, continued to strike fear deep into the hearts of terrorists and other criminals, and at the same time boosting the morale of surface forces.
The CAS extended President Bola Tinubu’s appreciation to the personnel for their sacrifices, assuring them of improved welfare and logistics to effectively carry out their assigned duties.
He said investigation had commenced to unravel the circumstances behind the crash with a view to prevent future occurrence.
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