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Farms’ reopening: Zulum in Damasak, targets 3,000 families in second phase of inputs’ packages

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January’s 1,200 families record bumper harvest
Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum was on Monday in Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area in the fringes of the Lake Chad in Northern Borno. 


Zulum, during the visit, directed the profiling of 3,000 families to be provided with packages of inputs that would include improved seeds, fertilizer, water pumps and chemicals to safely return to farms that will be secured by the Nigerian military. 


The 3,000 families will be benefitting in a second phase of inputs’ distribution by the governor for rain fed and irrigation farming. Each of the 3,000 families will be made up of at least six persons, implying at least 18,000 persons benefitting in farm families. 


In January 2021, Zulum, in Damasak, had supervised the distribution of seeds, fertilizer, chemicals, water pumps and N5,000 to each of 1,200 irrigation farmers many of whom are harvesting crops such as onions, rice and pepper. 

In his Monday visit, the governor was in the farms to assess progress made by the 1,200 irrigations, about which he said he was impressed. 


“Earlier this year, we were here to support some of our farmers in the first phase. In this second phase, we will profile 3,000 families from those that did not benefit and we shall support them for both irrigation and rain fed farming. The 3,000 households to benefit will translate to about 20,000 or less persons benefitting from the scheme,” Zulum said. 


The governor said he expected the 3,000 families to safely cultivate crops in hundreds of hectares of land like those used by the first batch of farmers to cultivate rice, pepper and onions through the state government’s start-up packages. 


Zulum commended the farming families for their commitment to agriculture which resulted in bumper harvest recorded in Damasak. 


The governor pledged to render more support to enhance socio-economic activities in the town. 
“I am happy with what I have seen here, you have done a very good job. Food security remains critical to our administration, we must do everything for our people to continually engage in agricultural activities to sustain food security to the citizens,” Zulum said. 
Damasak, which was famous for massive agriculture, had farming activities suspended for nearly six years following Boko Haram’s occupation in 2014; a situation that threatened food security in the area.  


“Let me commend the Nigerian military, the police and other paramilitary forces for their unprecedented support to our farmers. They allowed our farmer to safely go to their farmlands and return within stipulated time. To the Chief of Army Staff, the theatre commander and all principal officers, we remain eternally grateful to all of them as they steadily implement the directive of Mr President that the military should secure safe farming in Borno,” Zulum said. 


The governor was accompanied to Damasak by the member representing Mobbar LGA at the Borno State House of Assembly, Usman Lawan Moruma, and the state’s Commissioner for riculture, Engr. Bukar Talba.


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Nigerian Government launches youth employment action plan for job creation

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By Goodluck Ikiebe

The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment to mobilising the full energies and capacities of the youth in the country towards minimising the risks to national security posed by rising youth unemployment and underemployment, in line with global realities.

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, disclosed this in Abuja at the occasion of the launching of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP 2021-2024).

A statement by the Director of Press and Publicity, Mr Mohammed Manga, says the launching of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan today, is an expression of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to continue to facilitate an enabling environment that will create about 3.7 million jobs annually so as to achieve national development goals, particularly, sustainable economic growth in the country.

It said the Minister is of the view that the Youths be regarded as a viable investment that can yield positive benefits for all spheres of our socio-economic progress, rather than a group targeted for periodic empowerment interventions.

The Minister stated that youth unemployment has really assumed an uncomfortable proportion and that its effect has not only led to frustration on the part of the youth, but also, is the underlying cause of poverty and youth restiveness in the country.

“It is important to state that the economic and social consequences of youth unemployment transcend the youth group. It has also resulted in missed economic opportunities for the nation. This is because youth inclusion is about skilled human capital, social and economic stability, a vibrant and healthy labour force, which will also engender political stability and national growth and development”, Mr. Dare said.

He emphasised that It is in realization of the importance of providing opportunities for sustainable economic engagement of youth, that the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is now being presented to stakeholders as a framework which will address fragmentation, promote synergy, mobilize resources, and deliver a comprehensive approach to youth employment interventions, through multi sector collaboration.

The Minister explained that since his assumption of office, the Ministry has concentrated efforts on moving youth development interventions from the empowerment model to a sustainable system that emphasizes investment in youth.

According to Mr Dare, “this Plan emphasizes the 4Es: Employability, Entrepreneurship Development, Employment Creation and Equality and rights, adding that it also details needed actions in support of employment creation for youth in critical economic and social sectors and outlines the financing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

“The priority themes of the plan, known as the 4Es are, “further delineated into strategic lines of action under each theme, with emphasis on sectors that have high job creation potential, such as Digital Economy, Rural Economy, Green Economy and Renewable energy sector, Manufacturing, Tourism, Construction and Services.

The Plan will also ensure the inclusion of partners across sectors and will create a robust partnership base through which my Ministry will ensure wider reach of youth employment programmes across the country”.

To ensure inclusion from the grassroots he said, the Ministry will also be convening zonal inception workshops on the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan, through which stakeholders from the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory will be included in the implementation of the plan.

Mr Dare, therefore, urged all stakeholders from the public, private sectors and development partners to take a risk and invest in youth for the purpose of economic growth and development, stressing, “I assure you that it will be worth it, with benefits for the development of our nation and the global community”.

Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Nebeolisa Anako, stated that the idea of the action plan is to provide kinetic solutions to the challenges of youth unemployment and restiveness through cross-sectoral collaboration.

He solicited the cooperation of stakeholders towards the full implementation of the action with a view to enriching the Ministry’s objective which is to achieve the goal of the initiative.

In a goodwill message, the UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole, said, “the launch of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is apt and came at a time when the world is facing a worsening youth unemployment crisis; due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that severely affected labour markets around the world”.

He commended the present administration and all stakeholders for collaborating to develop the Youth Employment Action Plan which also aligns with the SDG goals.


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Association Of Senior Civil Servants Honours Governor Oyetola

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The Association Of Senior Civil Servants Of Nigeria, Osun State Branch has honoured the Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, with the award of the Most Benevolent Governor in Nigeria for Year 2020. 


The award was presented on Thursday during a courtesy call to the Governor by the members of the Association.


Presenting the award on behalf of ASCSN, Osun Branch, the National Vice President of the Association, Comrade Olubunmi Fajobi (mni),  eulogised the Government of Governor Oyetola for showing robust empathy and sincere commitment to the welfare of the workers in the State since the inception of his administration. 


He thanked the Governor for putting an end to half salary regime in the state, prompt payment of workers salaries and other allowances as and when due, putting an end to the practice of giving undue Extension of Service for officers who are due for retirement, especially the Permanent Secretaries. 


Comrade Fajobi  noted  that the trend, if not stopped, is capable of demoralising workers in the State, as it is the desire of every worker to get to the peak of his career, stressing that when people occupying such offices are due for retirement and they are given extension, such practice would jeopardise the chances and dreams of other officers. 


Comrade Fajobi enjoined the government to recruit fresh hands into the services of Osun in order to fill the existing vacancies and ensure continuous grooming of junior staff that would take over the mantle of leadership from the present crop of officers. 


The award was received on behalf of the Governor who was coincidentally out of the State to receive yet another award for good governance by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Oluwole Oyebamiji.


Prince Oyebamiji thanked the Osun Branch of ASCSN for deeming it fit to give the award to the Governor. He promised that the government will not relent on its oars until the yearnings and aspirations of workers in the State to enjoy better and quality life is achieved. 


He thanked the ASCSN Vice President, Comrade Fajobi and his delegation, and wished ASCSN Osun Branch a successful Delegates’ Conference.


The meeting was attended by the NLC Chairman, Comrade Jacob Adekomi; TUC Chairman, Comrade Adebowale Adekola who is also the ASCSN Branch Chairman; ASCSN State Secretary, Comrade Akinjide Akinlami; and some members of the Executive Committee of the Union in Osun.


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Lami Ahmed: Entrepreneur, activist, humanist and NNPC board member

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Meet Lami Ahmed , a woman of many paths; an avid golfer, Philantropist and business woman. She was recently appointed a board member of NNPC representing North Central. She spoke to Verity News on her vision for the corporation and her charity work

You have just been elevated to a very high position as a board member of the NNPC, how do you feel about it?

Thank you. Considering where I am coming from, I feel that it is a great privilege that I’m called at this moment to serve the nation. I had served in various capacities, and even also served representing Nigeria as a council chairperson for an NGO, International Association of Lions Club, in which I represented Nigeria with other countries of over 200 and geographical locations of the world, and I did my best. But to have been called to serve as a member of the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, is a great privilege and I believe it’s a call to serve and put in my best; a call to join other well-meaning board members to chat ways, to contribute our quota into making the corporation a desire for everyone because we are looking at best practices comparing ourselves,  the corporation that is, with other contemporary corporations in other countries.

So, we believe that coming together as a team, we the management of the corporation will be able to carry the corporation’s activities to greater height.

Does your appointment have anything to do with your management of Conoil?

Well, my background has always been in the oil sector.

How do you mean?

I have worked all my life with National Oil; which later became Conoil. And as one of the staff, I have worked in various capacities to the extent that when I left Conoil, because of my track record I was given the opportunity to run one of their best filling stations, and that I was managing for Conoil until I became a member of the board which of course is very tasking, and I had to ask the management of Conoil to consider allowing another person to run the filling station, while I concentrate on my new schedules. I am a developer and I know that  working with the NNPC would take a lot of time, and I want to give it my best shot.

You are going to represent six states of the North-Central, and you are from Kogi State. How do you intend to carry them along.

Yes, I have received a lot of brief. My appointment is to represent the North-Central geopolitical zone, which comprises about seven states including the FCT. So, now that we have just been inaugurated and working, it is my desire that it gives me an opportunity to touch base with all these states;  part of the intention is to get in touch with the state governors, and also let them know that I’m on the board to represent them, and find that we can interact to ensure that I represent the best interest of the zone.

You were once Lady Captain of IBB Golf Club. Was it within that period that your contact with the NNPC started or the appointment just came, because a lot of people are saying you didn’t play politics or you are not qualified for the position?

Well, let me say that everyone is a political animal, and therefore, politics in itself is not when one becomes a state governor or president or you hold a political appointment that you align with a government that is winning or the ideals of a government.

So, people who may be thinking that I’m not  politically visible doesn’t mean that I don’t exhibit my political right appropriately. But in addition to that, I have seen this government as a government that goes after merit and relevance to whatever they want to do. So, nationally, I have held several positions, and I have always given my best whenever I am called to serve.

When I was the Lady Captain (of the IBB Golf Club), I brought a lot of changes that touched people’s lives; I brought fundamental ways of doing things that even cut across bringing other countries to participate in the activities that we did, and today, my past with the IBB Golf Country Club, is there to be reckoned with and people make reference to the time that I was there. And even now that I am out of the place, I’m still relevant in giving my support to subsequent Lady Captains of the club.

So, nationally and globally, I believe that this opportunity is for me to contribute to the development of the nation.

It can be said that you are a woman of many paths, a woman of substance, and you have been touching lives. You are also involved in NGO activities. With this position which can be said to be a crowning of a glorious career, is it right to say that with this new job which is seen as a high-profile job, how will it now up the ante for you and people who have over time depended on you?

Thank you very much. I went into  charity work at a very tender age. I have been a member of the International Association of the Lions Club for over 30 years, and these 30 years have carried me across the world. I have been exposed to the way things are done in some other parts of the world, particularly when it comes to human rights, care for the less-privileged, the poor, the children and women; generally the vulnerable people. So, having done this, let me mention that the International Association of Lions Club, was founded in 1917 by an American called Melvin Jones. Right now, the association is about 103 years running. So, I was opportune early enough to be introduced to such an association. That stirred the desire in me to see the huge gap between what is being done outside and what obtains in Nigeria.

Therefore, in 2001, I came up with an NGO called LiftUp Care Foundation, because I believe that we needed to lift up the vulnerable people. So, we have really touched lives; we have monumental impacts in the lives of little children, especially orphans in Kogi State and Abuja. We have partnered with organizations that have even given us grants such as the USAID, who sponsored the Christian Relief Services (CRS) and other NGOs that saw the work we are doing. Even in Kogi State, we have partnered with the Ministry of Women Affairs to carry out several activities in such a way that we have impacted so many lives.

We have trained several women; training them on income-generating activities that relatively put food on their tables. Right now, we are training women on some agricultural projects; things that they can do knowing that women don’t have access to land, but there are so many things they can do in front of their homes and backyards that can bring immediate food to them.

At this level that I am, let me say that the organization has never stopped (in its mandate). Let me also state that Lift Up Care Foundation is in consultative status with the United Nations. So, we can’t but to continue to impact on the lives of people, and that is what we are going to do.

At the level I am now, it cannot stop me except to increase. It is a fully functioning organization that has a management structure that whether I am busy or not, the project managers, the project teams are there and constantly working. So, we are impacting, we are not going to stop and we are going to do more!


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