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2021 harvest: mixed fortunes for Nigerian farmers in North – West states



2021 harvest: mixed fortunes for Nigerian farmers in North – West states

The outcome of the 2021 Nigerian farming season has indicated mixed fortunes for farmers in North–West states as some recorded bumper harvest, while others counted losses, a survey by the newsmen has shown.

The survey, which covered Kaduna, Kano, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Katsina states, showed that whereas the rainfall was stable in some areas, it had either ceased earlier than expected or resulted in flooding in other areas.

In Kaduna, the Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state, Malam Salisu Muhammad, said most farmers in the state were hopeful of recording a good harvest in 2021.

Muhammad told newsmen that the crops that produced well were maize, sorghum and beans, whereas rice yield was negatively affected by inadequate rainfall.

Another farmer in Kaduna, Balarabe Aliyu, also corroborated that irregular rainfall experienced during the year negatively affected crops.

“Apart from delayed commencement, the rain was irregular, as such the anticipated yield was not realised,” Aliyu said.

Also read: AFAN denies poisoning water sources in Oyo State

Mr Isah Mainu, Country Representative of Feminine Early Warning Systems Network, said low rainfall had generally affected yield in some parts of Nigeria during the 2021 wet season.

Mainu noted during a virtual symposium to commemorate the 2021 World Food Day, that crops affected were rice, maize, beans, sorghum and cowpea.

He listed some of the states affected to include Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa.

Mainu further said that conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, as well as the activities of bandits, affected production of crops, and triggered a hike in prices of foodstuffs.


Alhaji Abubakar Usman-Adam, Chief Executive Officer of Silvex International, an agribusiness firm in Kano, advised farmers to engage in dry season farming, with a view to bridging the food deficit created by low rainfall during the season.

Usman-Adam said that on their part, the company had initiated “Climate-Smart Farm Estates” to bridge the gap in production.

According to him, the estates will be established in collaboration with Jigawa and Nasarawa state governments.

Usman-Adam said for the project, they intended to engage people from host communities with a view to reducing unemployment.

“They will be trained on the skills, given stipends and at the end of the day, share certain profit with them.

“We want to create a new generation of farmers, because, many believe that farming is not a business venture,” he said.

Usman-Adam said that, after the training, beneficiaries would go back to their communities and practise what they learnt.

Meanwhile, some farmers interviewed in Kano State over the 2021 inadequate rainfall, said the development had affected production of crops.


One of the farmers, Malam Yahuza Alhaji, said most of their crops dried up for lack of enough rainfall, adding that the rain “came late,” was not “regular”, and did not “last long”.

A female farmer in Kano, Mrs Uwani Abdu, said grains that needed much water suffered most, while crops that did not require much water, did fairly well in their area.

“Grains like rice, millet, sorghum and wheat have not actually done well, but maize and groundnut have done well in our farms.

“The main fear is that many farmers have sold their crops to dealers long before harvest, in anticipation of bumper harvest,” Abdu said.

She expressed fear that many farmers might encounter scarcity of food since they had sold out their grains.

Prof. Murtala Badamasi of the Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, expressed the need for farmers to commence irrigation farming to mitigate the effect of the anticipated poor harvest.

Hussaini Abba, a grains seller in Kano, says that a 100 – kilogramme bag of local rice is now sold for N39,000, as against its old price of N42,000.

Abba said the same bag for maize costs N19,000, as against previous price of N25,000, while that of millet is sold for N21,000, as against N25,000.

‎He says a bag of beans now costs N47,000, as against N48,000 few months ago, while that of sorghum, one of the crops affected by low rainfall, maintains its price of N25,000.

An integrated farmer in Katsina State, Alhaji Abba Muhammad, said inadequate rainfall recorded this year in the state, had dashed the hope of farmers for a bumper harvest.

Muhammad told newsmen that the rainfall did not last long, pointing out that the situation had affected production.

“Here in Katsina, the rain ceased three months ago, and for sure, crops were affected; farmers in Katsina will hardly record bumper harvest this year,” he said.

Also, Chairman of AFAN in Ingawa Local Government Area of the state, Malam Ibrahim Suleiman, said the rainfall pattern had devastating effects on crops.

“Most of the crops this year did not give us good yield as a result of the inadequate rainfall,” Suleiman said.

However, in Kebbi, Alhaji Sahabi Augie, Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Kebbi State chapter, said rice farmers in the state recorded good harvest in 2021.

“Many of our famers now smile to different banks, either to lodge or withdraw money, following this year’s bumper harvest.

“We had also experienced some challenges and difficulties at the beginning of the season due to flooding, but we later bounced back,” Augie said.

A middleman in Birnin – Kebbi Central Market, Alhaji Abubakar Sadeek, said prices of food items had gone down in the state due to good harvest in some parts of the country.

Also, in Sokoto State, farmers interviewed said they had recorded good harvests due to stable rainfall.

They said the abundance of food crops had led to stability in prices, explaining that further price crash was being anticipated as harvesting progressed.

However, Alhaji Ibrahim Salihu, Chairman of RIFAN, Sokoto State, said there were challenges in the state and other neighboring states, which affected rice yields.

“A major factor is the security situation that continues to affect the productivity of greater number of farmers, who had been forced to abandon their farmlands,” Salihu said.

Meanwhile, a lecturer at the Zamfara College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences, Lamido Buhari, said irregular rainfall had affected output in the state during the present farming season.

Buhari told newsmen that apart from the irregular rainfall patterns, insecurity equally had a negative effect on farming activities.

He explained that crops like rice, maize and other crops that relied on heavy and continuous rainfall for a period of time, were affected, and would not be available in abundance during harvest period.



SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice



SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has mapped out plans to get rid of quacks involved in management system practice in the country.

Its Director-General, Malam Farouk Salim, made this known on Thursday at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement for the National Register for Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP) in Lagos.

Salim said the move would put an end to unscrupulous individuals who shortchanged companies and individuals.

According to him, the quacks lacked the required competency to operate in the management system space.

Salim said that conformity assessment practice was central to the sustenance of commercial success and continuity in all sectors.

He said that management system practitioners were vital toward ensuring that practices carried out by the industries “are in alignment with the international best practice in terms of the expectations of existing conformity assessment standards”.

“It is in view of the importance of the authenticity and traceability of products and services to meet the requirements of relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards and other approved specifications.

“SON seeks to pursue the implementation of Part II, Section 4(d) and Part III, Section 5 of the SON Act No.14 of 2015.

“Via the operation of the NRCAP scheme, in order to establish a directory of verified and registered Conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria for all laboratories, management system consultants, Training Service Providers, Certification bodies, inspection bodies, inspectors, auditors and assessors.”

He said that lack of regulation of activities of the practitioners over the years had negatively impacted the industry and country significantly.

Salim listed other impacts including: “poor protection of genuine practitioners, unhealthy competition, poor visibility and recognition of genuine and competent practitioners capable of attracting patronage.

“Others are poor value for money for unsuspecting customers patronising quacks who deliver poor services.”

He also said that lack of official register of competent practitioners to aid national planning and coordination of economic activities that border on standardisation and quality assurance was also a challenge to the growth of the economy.

“This engagement is guided by the strategic collaboration/partnership that SON shares with various organisations over time, especially with the SON Management Systems Certification and Training Services Departments with which you interface through your customers, of which you are expected to bring to bear, your wealth of experience to this national call,” he said.

The SON director-general said that the registration processes, including approved guidelines, expectations of benchmarking Conformity Assessment standards and interests while developing the documents, were taken into consideration to ensure that impartiality of the process was assured.

He said that adequate training was given to the practitioners to boost their service delivery.

Earlier, Bode Oke, the First President, Society for Management System Practitioners of Nigeria, said the group would join hands with SON to stem quackery in the system to ensure that consumers get value for money they spent.

Oke said: “We are here to gain more knowledge and to join SON in the registration of all management system practitioners.

“We are going to partner with SON to ensure that the exercise is successful because we have a lot of companies practicing management systems that are not trained and competent.

“We are working together with SON to ensure that we remove all those incompetent people from the system.

“So that whenever a client approaches practitioners for registration, the client will know that he will not be shortchanged and get value for the money spent,” he said.

Oke said that the roles of system practitioners were vital in business growth and development.

He stressed that the system practitioners were responsible for taking companies through quality management systems certification, environmental management system certification, occupational health and safety certification and food management system certification.

“The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has established standards for all management systems.

“And, therefore, anyone that would lead companies to obtain this certification must be competent.

“This is why SON is regulating all the auditors, consultants and even, the certification bodies because we have some certification bodies coming from outside the country that are not competent, so competency is the key word here,” he said.

In her remarks, Patricia Solarin, a Consultant in the Quality Management System Practice, said that standardisation was germane for industrial development.

Solarin said: “There are so many briefcase-carrying consultants that are going around duping clients and most of these consultants did not even pass their audit test and examination.

“Without standardisation or regulations, it will be difficult to stop the quacks. A lot of companies are being shortchanged, because people taking them through certification do not really know much.

“So, SON is trying to register auditors and consultants, which is a welcome development to ensure that people get value for their hard money spent.”

She commended the leadership style of Salim for taking a bold step to tackle the challenges, urging the government to support SON to achieve greater feats.

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NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses



NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to addressing monetary and fiscal policy challenges stifling businesses.

The NECA Director-General,  Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde,  made the call in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, listing such challenges as foreign exchange dichotomy, fuel subsidies, multiple taxations, among others.

He made the call, just as he commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and government for embracing dialogue to avert the nationwide strike by the workers’ union earlier scheduled to start on March 29.

“The quick response by the government to ease the cash liquidity and the corresponding immediate positive effect on the economy demonstrated that it has the capacity to address policies once it is determined to do so.

“Therefore, we call for similar determination and consultative engagements with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to proffer solutions to business challenges in order to facilitate competitiveness and productivity, “ he said.

He commended the efforts of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Labour and Employment for personally getting involved.

He also lauded them for monitoring the disbursement to ensure compliance with the bank’s directive to end the cash crunch, of which the economic nerve centre and other areas had started witnessing improvement.

“The CBN has shown goodwill and true support for the ailing economy by immediately disbursing cash to the commercial banks.

“Also, by directing the banks to open beyond their normal working hours to ease the cash crunch in the nation: an action which could have been averted in the first place, “ he said.

Oyerinde, however, warned that the ripple effects of the cash swap policy would linger as it would take considerable time for businesses, especially the informal sector, to recover.

He said that many of them had closed due to low purchasing power of consumers.

The NECA chief said that business activities had stagnated in the last 10 weeks of the implementation of redesigning of the currency policy nationwide.

He said this had led to reduced productive output, high inventory and jobs cut, and impediments to personal and business transactions.

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Court Declares Activities of Kogi Transport Management Agency as Illegal



Court Declares Activities of Kogi Transport Management Agency as Illegal

…Says laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman***

A Kogi High Court on Thursday declared the activities of the Kogi Transport Management Authority (KOTRAMA), as illegal.

Justice Clement Kekere of High Court 10 made the order while delivering judgment in a case instituted against the agency by an Abuja-based lawyer,  Mr. Martin Atojoko.

Kereke, who faulted the law establishing KATROMA.

“By the evidence before the court, I hereby order that the Law establishing the agency be set aside forthwith.

“This is because the law made by the state house of assembly contravenes the Provisions of the Federal Road Safety Commission Act 2007.

“In all, the laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman, and is established to cause hardship on motorists,” the judge held.

The judge also awarded the plaintiff, N100,000 as general damages against the agency.

Atojoko had sued KATROMA and joined the Kogi House of Assembly, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and the state government as second, third and fourth defendants in the matter.

Atojoko had prayed the court to compel the defendants to pay him N10 million as general and exemplary damages for inter-alia the first defendant’s unlawful and illegal action of detaining and impounding his car.

The plaintiff had told the court in his originating summon that on June 22, 2022, he was stopped by officers of KOTRAMA over an expired driver’s licence while they impounded his Toyota Corolla car.

“My lord, I only got my car back the next day, after paying N10,000 in fines, an action which is but a contravention of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Law of 2007, ” he said.

Atojoko thereafter prayed the court to issue an order declaring that the second defendant could not make laws empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the Federal Road Safety Corp (Establishment) Act, 2007 in inspecting the driver’s license of motorists, issued by the FRSC and codifying same in Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018.

“A declaration that all the provisions of the Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018, empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the FRSC in the inspection of the driver’s license of motorists as invalid, illegal, unlawful, null and void ab initio.

“An order that the KOTRAMA cannot fine the plaintiff and impound his vehicle with registration No. 2T1BU4EE9AC312480, without first trying him and finding him guilty before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“An order that the act of the first defendant in impounding the vehicle and fining him without powers to do so is invalid, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void, ab initio,” he pleaded.

But KATROMA and other defendants through their Counsel, Mr. B.O. Obenege, had debunked the claims of the plaintiff and said that the agency acted within the ambit of the law that established it.

Obenege claimed that the house of assembly Law that established KOTRAMA was not a duplication of the FRSC Law of 2007.

He prayed the Court to hold that the action of KOTRAMA has not contravened the Kogi Law or any other law, and the claimant was given a summary fine of N10,000, all in accordance with Section 1(3) of the Law.

“In conclusion, we urge your lordship to dismiss the case for lack of merit,” Obenege had pleaded with the court.

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