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FG distributes inputs to 39,000 farmers in Jigawa

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Food Security: Agric firm advocates investment in snail farming

… As Minister Says Establishment of water users association critical to attainment of food security***

The Federal Government has begun the distribution of farm inputs to 39,029 farmers affected by flood disaster during the previous cropping season in the state.

The newsmen report that the inputs are being distributed to the affected farmers in 19 flood prone local government areas of the state under the National Food Security Council (NFSC).

The inputs distribution exercise was being anchored by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (JISEMA).

Mr Sunusi Ado, Coordinator,  NEMA Territorial Office, Kano, said that President Muhammad Buhari had earlier inaugurated the national inputs distribution exercise in Kebbi State.

Ado, said that the gesture was an additional support by the Federal Government through NFSC, designed to assist farmers to recover from impact of the disaster.

He said the agency had earlier conducted enumeration exercise to register the affected farmers, adding that the exercise was conducted with support of the relevant stakeholders in the state.

Also read: Farmer urges FG to establish farm settlements to boost food production

“About 39,000 registered farmers are targetted for the exercise in Jigawa.

“The successful implementation of the intervention is, therefore, very important to assist the affected farmers with modern farm inputs that will support their speedy recovery from the impact of the disaster.

“The intervention is not a compensation for losses incurred by the farmers, it is a demonstration of great concern by President Buhari to support them,” he said.

While calling for effective engagement of stakeholders, Ado urged the beneficiaries to conduct themselves in an orderly manner to facilitate smooth conduct of the distribution exercise across the state.

In his remarks, Alhaji Yusuf Sani, Executive Secretary, JISEMA, commended the Federal Government for the gesture, saying that it would cushion the sufferings of the affected farmers.

Sani said that about 3,000 farmers would benefit from the exercise in Kiyawa LGA.

The beneficiaries, he said, were thoroughly screened to ensure that only the affected farmers benefited from the input distribution exercise.

Also speaking, Alhaji Nasiru Ahmad, Chairman, Kiyawa Local  Government Council, lauded the gesture, adding that it would encourage agricultural productivity in the state.

Ahmad enjoined the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the inputs to increase their production out put, and warned against diversion of the commodities.

On his part, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu, District Head of Kiyawa, also warned the beneficiaries against diversion of the inputs.

Aliyu, represented by Mustafa Ahmad, said community leaders would monitor the beneficiaries to ensure that they put the inputs to good use.

“The gesture is commendable as it will assist our farmers to recover what they lost to flooding.

“As traditional rulers, we will do our best through monitoring to ensure that none of the beneficiaries sold the inputs,” he said.

Some of the beneficiaries, Muhammad Shehu, Rabiu Basiru and Ibrahim Hananiya, thanked the federal government for the gesture and promised to use the inputs judiciously.

The newsmen report that the inputs included assorted fertilisers, seeds, chemicals and water pumps, among others.

In the meantime, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu has commended the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the establishment of Water Users Association (WUA) to boost irrigation farming system.

Malam Zakari Aliyu, the Deputy Director, Information, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, in a statement on Tuesday, said the minister made the commendation at the North Central Regional workshop for Public Irrigation Schemes, in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The minister said the establishment of the association was a good strategy for shared irrigation system in which farmers have larger control of irrigation system specifically for farming activities.

Establishment of water users association critical to attainment of food security – Minister

Acting Secretary, FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Malam Ishaq Sadeeq middle flanked by the Emir of Shoga to his right Dr Haliru Mohammed and officials of the Federal Ministry of Water

Represented by the Acting Secretary of FCT Agriculture Secretariat, Malam Ishaq Sadeeq, Aliyu said the FCT Administration would key into the initiative toward ensuring farming activities all year round.

She said FCT administration would work with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources toward having a better understanding of the project with the view of mobilising the participation of FCT farmers in the programme.

“The concept of participatory irrigation management system through the establishment of Water Users Association is no doubt a good initiative, which will help in building the capacities of farmers on sustainable management of irrigation systems to facilitate all year production.

.” For us in the FCT Administration, we are always ready to assist our farmers in any possible way and so, as we get back to Abuja, we will immediately engage in further discussions on the matter towards keying into it.”

Earlier, the Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, explained that the workshop was organised to celebrate the successes recorded since the inception of the initiative.

Adamu said that the workshop brought stakeholders together to brainstorm on the implementation of the programme at regional levels toward addressing the challenges faced by farmers.

The minister appreciated World Bank for funding the programme through the Triming Project, which would help in both funding and capacity building for farmers making use of Irrigation projects.

He expressed the readiness of the ministry to work with relevant agencies toward strengthening the project to achieve self-sufficiently in food production and improved livelihood of farmers.

Economy

LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

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LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

… Says traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am*** 

The Lagos State Government has advised Motorists to plan their movement around Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Old Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island ahead of the Students Rave 2023 event scheduled for Friday, 27th January 2023.

As a result of the above rally, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde disclosed that traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am on the aforementioned day. He assured that Officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) will be available to manage traffic flow.

Explaining the alternative routes, Oladeinde advises Motorists plying Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to go through Ozumba Mbadiwe road inbound Falomo Bridge (Five Cowries Bridge) to link Alfred Rewane and Osborne road to complete their journeys.

In the same vein, Motorists from Bonny Camp according to the diversion plan can access CMS/Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to connect Lagos Island proper through Odunlami Street for their desired destinations,

The Transport Commissioner also advises Motorists to utilize Force road beside Muson Centre to link J.K Randle Avenue (Race Course) or go through Onikan Roundabout to connect JK Randle Avenue/Water Board area to access CMS Bridge by the State House/Old NITEL Building.

He further explained that Water Board inbound Broad Street to Tinubu Square will be available to Motorists, adding that they can equally access Old Defense road/ Ganiyu Smith from Water Board to link Igbosere/Sandgrouse to Simpson Street and connect Third Mainland Bridge to continue their journeys to other parts of the State.

The Transport Commissioner reiterated that Security and Law Enforcement Agencies will be at all strategic junctions and intersections to ensure the safety and security of all road users and the free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the venue and alternative routes outside the venue.

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Economy

Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

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Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

…Agrees there are human-induced challenges***

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said in Abuja on Thursday that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) produced more than 1.7 million passports in 2022.

Fielding questions at the 64th edition of the State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Aregbesola said the figure was a landmark achievement.

He rated the Ministry of Interior and its agencies as having scored above 80 percent in terms of performance.

“By Dec. 31, 2022, we produced more than 1.7 million passports.

“In the annals of Nigeria that has not happened before; as I am talking to you, we have more than 200,000 booklets in our store.

“We are not denying the fact that there are human-induced challenges if you look at the number of applications, vis-a-vis the number of passports produced.

“We are above 80 percent in performance; in any way, take it as given that we produced more than 1.7 passports in 2022,’’ Aregbesola said.

The minister said that a presidential directive had been issued with regard to the domestication of passport production.

He said the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the NIS, had impanelled a “project steering committee’ with a mandate to actualise the goal.

Aregbesola also said there was a major reformation and digitisation of passport issuance and administration as a temporary electronic passport had been introduced.

“We are digitising the process; my plan was to fully digitise the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos by Dec. 2022 but I could not fully achieve that.

“What does that mean? When this process is concluded, an applicant does not need to bring anything anymore; you complete your process online and by that time, you don’t need an agent.

“There can’t be racketeering. I am on it and I want to guarantee that we will do it before we leave.

“We have also concluded arrangements on the temporary passport issue; we have the passport, but we have some issues with our sister ministry – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are solving it,’’ he said.

According to the minister, the temporary passport will facilitate a return to Nigeria for Nigerians living abroad if they need to get back in emergencies and did not have current passports.

Such Nigerians would return home, carrying their expired passports also, the minister said.

“Much as that won’t be a problem for us to take at our reception desk, some airlines could be difficult.

“I can even tell you that we are discussing with South Africa now; South Africa does not allow the use of expired passports as a nation contrary to International Civil Aviation Orgnanisation (ICAO) regulation.

“ICAO says that every citizen of a nation dead or alive cannot be denied entry to his home; which is logical anyway.

“The last time I treated a file from South Africa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they were insisting that if one’s passport is not current, one cannot be taken in or out of South Africa’s space.

“It is their policy; you cannot deny a nation its national policies and programmes.

“To avoid that, we introduced what is called temporary electronic passport; it is a one-way passport to return home,’’ Aregbesola explained.

He said that under the temporary passport regime, citizens who had the data pages of their expired passports could take them to Nigeria’s embassies to get the temporary electronic passport after paying the appropriate fees.

“The temporary electronic passports are almost exactly the same as their expired passports.

“It does not have more than one page to take you home; when you hold the electronic passport, you cannot go anywhere but home.

“We are still in negotiation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’’ Aregbesola said.

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Economy

Court Again adjourns, for report of settlement in suit against Dana Air MD

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Court Again adjourns, for report of settlement in suit against Dana Air MD

…Ranesh still shuns Court*** 

 A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 31 for report of settlement in a suit filed by the office of Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) against Managing Director (MD), Dana Air, Hathiramani Ranesh.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date on Wednesday following an oral application for adjournment by counsel to the AGF, M. Okeya.

Though the prosecution counsel was in court when the matter was called, neither Mr Ranesh nor his lawyer was in court.

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/101/21 which was number 10 on the day’s cause list, was for the arraignment of Ranesh and two others.

Upon resuming the hearing in the case, Okeya told Justice Egwuatu that the parties in the suit were exploring settlement options.

The lawyer, who informed that a sister case was also before a Lagos court, said the matter would be coming up later in the year.

She, however, sought a longer date for a report on the outcome of settlement and the judge consequently adjourned the case until May 31 for a report.

Egwuatu had, on Oct. 13, 2022, adjourned the matter until Jan. 25 for arraignment of the defendants following the absence of Mr Ranesh and the prosecution lawyer in court.

However, Ranesh’s counsel, Ade Adedeji, SAN, was in court and he hinted that the prosecution and the defence were exploring reconciliation.

It is incisive that since the commencement of the matter, Dana Air MD had not been present in court.

On June 30, 2021, when the matter came up, while other defendants were in court, Ranesh was absent.

Adedeji had told the court that the absence of his client in court was to the knowledge of the prosecution.

When the matter was called, Adedeji, said he was in court to represent Ranesh after they were served with the notice of arraignment.

The lawyer had told the court that his client was not in the country.

“The charge before this honourable court is a serious matter.

“We came in from Lagos just to come and explain to your lordship the circumstances that informed our acceptance of service without knowing that the date is coming so soon.

“We didn’t know before we accepted it. We have an option not to accept this but as officers in the temple of justice, we felt we are under obligation to accept on his (Ranesh’s) behalf.

“But to the knowledge of counsel to the prosecution, the principal defendant is not in the country which was made known to the prosecution.

“It is on the basis of these circumstances that we shall be appealing to your lordship for an adjournment my lord to enable the defendant appear before this honourable court,” he had said.

Counsel to the AGF, Wilson Michelangelo, did not oppose the request for an adjournment, and the judge fixed Oct. 13, 2021, for arraignment of the suspects.

On Oct. 13, 2021, when the matter came up, Justice Egwuatu was said to be on an official engagement in Lagos State and the matter could not proceed.

Although the counsel who appeared for the AGF, Moshood A., and lawyer to the defendant, Adedeji, SAN, were in court, Mr Ranesh was not.

Consequently, the court then fixed Feb. 15, 2022, for the arraignment of Mr Ranesh and two other defendants in the matter and on the adjourned date, the case was also fixed for May 26, 2022, for arraignment.

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