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Getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is realisable-Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Suduje-Daura, Katsina State, said the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of the poverty cycle within ten years can be done, with more synergy between government and the people, and diligence in diversifying the economy, with agriculture as the backbone.

President Buhari, who commissioned the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje-Daura, noted that reliance on oil had turned a draw back on the economy over the years, with unpredictable and fluctuating global prices that made it more difficult to effectively plan budgets, implement and measure outcomes.

The President said the mainstay of the Nigerian economy remains agriculture, where the country already commands a competitive advantage, with good weather conditions for crop and livestock farming, available manpower and willingness to learn new skills, and good soil types for all season farming.

“I wish to restate my commitment that getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is realisable. The country is robustly blessed with good weather conditions, good soil, human and material capacity, and a resilience to make a difference by all the hardworking youths.

“We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production,’’ he said.

President Buhari noted that a globalized world places more emphasis on competitive edge of the economy for relevance, and Nigeria would always play a leading role in the agricultural sector, with the vastness in experience, crop cultivation, animal husbandry, and more recently, a rising youth interest.

 “As the world becomes more globalized, countries will continue to draw from their competitive advantage to remain relevant. My belief, and it is also shared by many Nigerians, is that our country has a special advantage in food and livestock productions that we must harness and promote to feed ourselves, and build a firm structure for exportation.

“Our vision of a robust agricultural economy continues to provide amazing results. Across the country today, we are seeing rising public and private interests in agriculture, especially among the youth, and a steady migration from subsistence to commercial farming.

“With the support of public institutions, like the Central Bank and Bank of Agriculture, old tools are giving way to more mechanized styles of farming, credit lines are becoming more accessible, and farming is becoming more acceptable and fashionable. Indeed, we are witnessing a revolution in the agricultural sector,’’ the President added.

He said the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) was resuscitated to meet growing needs in the agricultural sector for exploring available potentials of job opportunities, entrepreneurship and marketing, home and abroad.

According to the President, “The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) was already moribund when we assumed office. We had to resuscitate it to meet the growing needs of the country. I am happy to see that the directive to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, Paul Ikonne, and his management team when I launched the National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS) in November 2020, is gradually taking shape.

“At the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme, I recall that I told the management that I have directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming.

 “This Administration will be achieving agricultural mechanization through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, we will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat. In good harvest years we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange.”

The President commended the zeal and patriotism of the NALDA team in achieving quick and sustainable results like the Integrated Farming Estate, which had pooled the strength of men, women and youths in 13 communities and channelled them into different kinds of farming in one location.

“The Integrated Farming scheme, again, opens up more opportunities for employment, and most importantly creates communal-based system that promotes food security, skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.

“I am impressed to see that this NALDA Integrated Farm Estate is purely organic and it further expresses my desire for Nigeria and Nigerians to have food sufficiency and begin to earn more foreign income through agriculture. As a government, what I am seeing here today shows my administration’s desire is genuine and realizable that our peoples’ orientation to farming can be changed for good,’’ he noted.

President Buhari directed all Federal Government institutions to work in synergy in lifting and diversifying the economy, and NALDA should be given all the support it needs to expand the Integrated Farm Estate across the 109 senatorial zones in the country.

While appreciating the governors, who were at the event to witness the historic commissioning, particularly Governor Aminu Bello Masari of katsina State for providing a 100 hectare land for the project, the President urged them to provide more support to Federal Government institutions that have been mandated to work assiduously in engaging more minds and hands to turn the economy around for good.

In his remarks, the Katsina State Governor thanked the President for the initiative of resuscitating NALDA, noting that agriculture had always being the strength of the Nigerian economy until the 70s.

He said with proper management of the project and a strong irrigation system the integrated farm would serve its full purpose, with benefits to the people and economy of the state.

Kebbi state Governor, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, said all the 36 states of the federation and FCT had benefited from the administration’s policy of always targeting grassroots with development projects.

He said the closure of the border to neighboring countries further demonstrated President Buhari’s seriousness in lifting the Nigerian economy, adding that Nigeria remains sensitive to the plight of neighboring countries.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the financial regulatory body will start giving special attention to NALDA, while listing some of the laudable achievements of the administration through the Anchor Borrowers scheme for farmers.

“Your Excellency, Mr President, as you told me during the inspection and I agree with you that this is the best way to spend money,” he said, “You are doing everything that is possible to bring the dividends of democracy to all Nigerians.”

The NALDA Executive Secretary noted that the Integrated Farm Estate had a capacity for 400 birds in the poultry, 200,000 fishes, 500, 000 cows and goats, 540 litres of honey per harvest, 120 units of one bedroom apartment, clinic and a school.

Ikonne said the recycling process on the farm and domestication of tools and skills of workers will guarantee sustainability and 1, 500 farmers will be empowered every year to start their business after learning.

The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk, thanked the President for always projecting the best of the community in his office.

 “We are proud of you. We are proud of the legacy you continously project,” he said.


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Breaking: Ex-Kwara gov, Jega, Utomi, Duke, others form third Force ahead 2023 elections

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, prominent Nigerians have established a third force, Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP), to give Nigerians alternative platform to the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Founders of RNP include former governor of Kwara state, Ahmed Abdulfatai, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke,

Senator Lee Maeba, Usman Bugaje, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Yomi Awoniyi, Dr. Rose Idi Danladi, Dr. Sadiq Gombe among others.

Delivering his keynote address, Abdulfatai lamented the state of the nation, noting that the high level of nepotism and lack of inclusiveness have given rise to agitations by different ethnic groups.

He recalled that in 2015, Nigerians embraced change, adding that today, “that change appears to be what we didn’t expect, as insecurity has taken over the nation.”

He said, “It is based on this that we decided to set up this Rescue Nigeria Project. We want to salvage this country and see how we can fix the mess. We want to set a template and key criteria leaders must have before they can attain any political position.

“Despite the great opportunities of the past, Nigeria has failed to live up to the dreams of its founding fathers and the hopes of successive generations of its citizens.

“Perhaps, at no other time have these failings become more apparent than in the past decade or so.

“In 2015, Nigerians overwhelmingly embraced the promise of change. These hopes have not only been dashed, but they have arguably turned out to be the worst political statements ever to be made in this country. Nigeria today appears set to fulfill all the prophesies of doom.”

He further noted that “Unprecedented nepotism and political exclusion have left the country more divided than ever as evident in the various separatists agitation that are threatening the corporate existence of the country itself.”

Also speaking, Adeniran noted that there is disaster at hand, hence the move to rescue the nation.

He said: “You only rescue when there is disaster and when you fail to rescue during disaster, it is more dangerous.

“We have a disaster in our hands and we need to rescue the country. We need to look back and see how we get here. We know where Nigeria was before now. We know the task is not going to be easy, but we have to determine how to rescue the nation.”

In his opening remarks, the RNP national coordinator, Usman Bugaje, explained that the Rescue Nigeria Project was founded on the premise that the challenges bedeviling the country were largely derived from poor leadership.


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House orders committee to produce reports of assets seized from former leaders

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The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Properties to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.

Members were more particular about late Gen. Sanni Abacha whose properties and money were recovered by the Federal Government.

Rep. Ademorin Kuye, Chairman ad-hoc committee on abandoned properties said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Gen. Abacha.

He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared on the committee in Abuja.

“We need to know the state of those properties and to also know if the properties have titles of the deed,’’ Kuye said.

The committee also queried the sale of the Federal Government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.

Rep. Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the properties the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for contrary to claims made by PIC.

He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.

He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of the Federal Government’s assets sold, the amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.

Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the Federal Government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.

Responding to Rep. Kuye’s submissions, Mr Bala Samid, Executive Secretary, PIC, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.

He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.

“We approached the Federal Government to report them and the Federal Government said that we should give them time.

“We want to generate money for the Federal Government but in the process, we are losing money; somebody is occupying government quarters illegally and he runs to court to get injunctions,’’ Samid lamented.

He said that PIC was happy when the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee came on board, stressing that with its support, it hoped to get debtors to pay.

Newsmen report that the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria and his Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria counterpart appeared before the House over disputed lands belonging to the duo in Lagos and Abuja.

Source: (NAN)


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In Rivers, APC spokesman resigns

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The publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, has quit his position.

Nwuke who revealed this via a letter he forwarded to the leadership of the party said his decision to quit as spokesman was strictly personal.

Part of his letter reads, “We believe that our assignment here has been done. We came at a time of great internal strife, when there was a strong need to effectively connect with the party’s many audiences.

“Everything that has a beginning has an end. It is time to move on and time to concentrate on other things of great interest.”


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