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320 Katsina farmers get free FG solar-pumping machines

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320 Katsina farmers get free FG solar-pumping machines

…As Buhari approves 2,100 bags of maize, others, for Kwara flood victims*** 

 The Federal Government, through Rural the Electrification Agency (REA), has supported 320 irrigation farmers with 32 free solar water pumping machines and one electrical solar power at eight farming community locations in Katsina State.

The support is in collaboration with the National Fadama coordination, Abuja.

Flagging off the distribution on Wednesday in Katsina, the deputy governor of the state, Mannir Yakubu, commended the Federal government’s gesture.

Yakubu, who is also the state Commissioner for Agriculture and natural resources, said the gesture is part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions by the REA.

The Deputy Governor was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the state’s ministry of agriculture, Dr. Aminu Garba-Waziri.

According to the deputy governor, the effort will also enable the irrigation farmers to enhance their production capacity for socio-economic well-being.

320 Katsina farmers get free FG solar-pumping machines

Commending the REA for the gesture, Yakubu restated the commitment of the state government towards reviving the agricultural sector for the development of the state.

He further called on the agency to sustain the tempo for the interest of the general public, especially to complement the government of President Muhammad Buhari.

According to him, the beneficiaries would be trained on how to operate the solar-powered pumping machines so that they can benefit from it for a long time.

In his response, the Northwest Coordinator of the REA, Engr. Sani Daura said the distribution of the solar-powered water pumping machines is part of the federal government’s efforts to achieve zero emissions.

He explained that Katsina State is the first to benefit from the gesture among the seven benefitting states in the Northwest zone of the country.

He explained that Katsina State is the first to launch the distribution in the northwest zone, saying that the distribution of the equipment shows transparency.

Daura warned that any beneficiary found guilty of selling the machine would be prosecuted as it was contained in the agreement letter signed between them and the fadama office in the state.

The state’s Fadama project Coordinator, Alhaji Mas’ud Banye, said the assistance is also to enhance irrigation farming and reduce the consumption of diesel, and petrol.

According to the Coordinator, it will also ensure a habitable environment and reduced air pollution which he said causes climate change.

He explained that 32 Fadama farming communities from Daura, Mashi, Dutsi, Mai’adua, Kurfi and Zango Local Government Areas (LGAs) were provided with one free solar electric power and solar water pump machines in their domains.

Banye further said that there will be constant monitoring of the beneficiaries to ensure proper utilization of the machines.

One of the beneficiaries, Malam Dauda Alto, thanked the Federal and State governments for the assistance and assured of the judicious use of the machines for the purpose it was given. 

In another development, the Director–General (DG), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed has handed over foodstuff and relief materials worth millions of naira to victims of flooding in Kwara State.

In a press statement from the Minna Operations Office of NEMA issued on Wednesday by the Head, Hajia Zainab Saidu, it was stated that the handing over was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The statement announced that Buhari approved 12,000 metric tons of assorted grains to be distributed to vulnerable people across the country.

While handing over the relief materials to the Kwara State government in Ilorin, Ahmed said the occasion was another significant milestone in consolidating the mutual support and collaboration between Kwara Government and NEMA.

The DG said that in the last few months, many Nigerian states including Kwara had suffered incidents of flooding resulting in loss of lives and properties, and socio-economic dislocation.

The DG was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Director, ICT of the Agency, Alh. Sani Lokoja.

In his speech, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Mamman Jibril who collected the items on behalf of the state government, thanked the DG for continuous support to victims of various disasters in Kwara.

Jibril tasked the Federal Government through NEMA to proffer lasting solutions to recurring floodings in the country by dredging rivers to be able to accommodate more water.

He advised the government to also build buffer dams to absorb excess water.

Jibril called for the planting of trees along river banks to prevent flooding and windstorms.

As a long-time measure to famine occasioned by flooding, the SSG urged the government to encourage mechanized farming with adequate support for farmers.

Items handed over for vulnerable people in Kwara State included 2,100 bags of 50 kg maize, 1,800 bags of 50 kg sorghum; and 3,600 bags of 25 kg garri.

Apart from these, NEMA also delivered food and non-food items to flood victims in Kwara.

The food items are, 75 bags of 20 kg salt, 75 kegs of 20-litre vegetable oil, 150 cartons of seasoning cubes; and
75 cartons of sachet tomato.

Among the non-food items are, 8,000 pieces of nylon mats, 1,000 pieces of mosquito nets, 600 cartons of soap, 2,500 pieces of guinea brocade, 1,000 pieces of children’s wear, 1,000 pieces of women’s wear; and 1,000 pieces of men’s wear.

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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