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N-Power: 30,000 beneficiaries hired as agric enumerators N-power – Presidency

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N-Power: 30,000 beneficiaries hired as agric enumerators N-power – Presidency

The Presidency says no fewer than 30,000 erstwhile N-Power beneficiaries have been hired as agric enumerators.

The N-Power, cash-for-work programme, inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 with 500,000 of direct beneficiaries, is spread across the key industries targeted by the programme – Agriculture, Health, Education, and Tax.

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

He said that Ministers and heads of agencies reported further progress in the implementation of the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESC) as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over ECS’s meeting on Monday at the Presidential Villa.

Highlights of the reports presented to the committee included the release of N37 billion for the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs Survival Fund).

The Survival Fund covers such schemes like N50,000 Payroll Support for three months to over 300,000 beneficiaries;  one-time grants of N30,000 each to about 100,000 artisans, and 100,000 business name registrations paid for by the Federal Government.

Amb. Maryam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, reported the progress of the Survival Fund to the committee.

The Central Bank Governor(CBN), Godwin Emefiele,  reported on the bank’s intervention including disbursement of over N192 billion for household/MSMEs grants to 426,000 beneficiaries across the country.

Also read:  PIB should formally address IOCs, host communities issues – MOMAN

He there said there were plans to do over N100 billion more in that category named Targeted Credit Facility.

Emefiele said that under the collateral-free Agric-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, there were ongoing grants of concessionary loans from between N150, 000 to N2.5million.

In that category, the CBN governor disclosed that over N106 billion had been disbursed so far to over 27,000 beneficiaries.

In the Agric sector, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, reported that under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), a total of 5.4million farmers had been enumerated to get the support under the plan.

He added that for the enumeration which involved geospatial tagging, almost 73,000 N-Power volunteers were trained and 30,000 of them deployed to 774 Local Government Areas.

For the purposes of funding through the CBN, the Minister disclosed that 2.9million of the farmers had their BVN enrollment validated.

“Also, the clearing of 3,200 hectares of land for farming is ongoing in several states including Edo, Plateau, Ekiti, Cross River, Ogun, Kaduna, Kwara, and Osun States.

“While rural road constructions have reached about 28 per cent completion covering 344 kiliometres linking about 500 markets across the country.’’

Dr Isa Pantami, Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, also briefed the ESC that broadband penetration in the country had moved from 38 per cent in 2020 to 45 per cent at present.

He said that over 170 institutions had been registered to conduct the National Identification Number (NIN).

Pantami said Telcos would be licenced for the enrolment, while over 1060 registration centres had been activated across the country for the NIN.

According to him, a total of 56.18million NINs have been collected by mobile network operators.

Others who briefed the committee included Dr Chris Ngige,  Labour, Employment and Productivity Minister and his Minister of State colleague Mr Festus Keyamo.

Ngige highlighted the Federal Government’s efforts to prevent the retrenchment of staff in the private sector because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He listed some hotel and companies who agreed not to retrench and also disclosed that bankers had all committed not to retrench staff.

Keyamo reported on the progress of the Special Public Works that hired 774,000 workers across all Local Government Areas of the country.

Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, reported on the ministry’s coordinated Public Works Programme.

Presentations were also made on the Rapid Response Register launched recently by the vice president and the Social Housing Scheme of the ESP.

Other ministers at the meeting were the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Petroleum Resources Minister of State, Mr Timipre Sylva.

In December 2020, the federal government increased the number of N-Power beneficiaries to one million, up from 500,000 under the National Social Investment Programmes(NSIP)

The first batch (A) began with over 200,000 young Nigerians in 2016, while the second batch (B) had about 300,000 that kicked off in August 2018.

 

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Onslaught: Troops Eliminate 105 Terrorists, Arrest 140 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Exercise Enduring Peace recording successes in FCT – Army

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in different theatres of operation eliminated 105 terrorists and apprehended 140 others in the last one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also arrested 26 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 86 kidnapped hostages in the South-South region.

He added that the troops recovered 208 assorted weapons and 5,332 assorted ammunition comprising 95 AK47 rifles, one assault rifle, 39 locally fabricated guns, 34 Dane guns, 14 pump action guns, among others.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised seven terrorists and arrested four terrorists as well as recovered 20 AK47 rifles, two fabricated guns and 12 dane guns.

He added that 353 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 209 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 34 live cartridges, 62 mobile phones and the sum of N100,000, among others, were also recovered.

According to him, 224 ISWAP/JAS terrorists fighters and their families comprising 23 adult males, 126 adult females and 87 children surrendered to troops in the Bama and Konduga areas of Borno within the week.

Army raid kidnappers, rescue C/River commissioner; Police neutralise 3 suspected gunmen, recover 50 arms

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 35 insurgents, arrested 65 violent extremists and 15 rescued kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops also recovered various caches of arms and ammunition within different theatres of operation.

In the North Central, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, neutralised 57 insurgents, arrested five and rescued 66 kidnapped hostages during the week.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe destroyed 18 illegal refining sites and recovered 657,300 litres of stolen crude oil, 23,750 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,050 litres of DPK.

He added that the troops discovered and destroyed nine dugout pits, 19 boats and 21 storage tanks, 35 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, nine mobile phones, and three pump machines.

According to him, troops rescued three kidnapped hostages and apprehended 50 people suspected of oil theft and other violent extremists/insurgents as well as recovered 20 weapons and 243 ammunition, amongst other items.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised six insurgents, arrested five and recovered various types of arms and ammunition.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authorities for further action,” he said.

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Food Prices: Tinubu Directs Immediate Release Of Grains, To Foreclose Crisis

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A little respite in the nation’s food crisis is expected as President Bola Tinubu has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain including maize, millet, and garri. The gesture is to douse hunger and prevent looming protests.

Some Nigerians however told the Maritime First that the directive was a lot coming late; and the metric tonnes being expected, too little, for over a hundred million people. Some cynics bluntly blame the President for his inability to tame insurgency and terrorism, which apriori, prevented the farmers from going to work.

ALSO READ:… Nigerians Now Eat Junks as High Food Prices Put Balanced Diet Out Of Reach- Survey

Some states have begun dress rehearsal for the real crisis protests, over galloping food prices. A bag of rice which sold for N62,000 Tuesday, last week in Bodija Market in Ibadan, emerged N69,000 Wednesday morning. less than 24 hours later, throwing calculation to the winds.

The Maritime First can freely indicate that widows, single mothers, and those from polygamous-induced large families are presently, not finding it too easy to cope.

In the meantime,, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has also committed to immediately release over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public. The body however failed to indicate why they waited till the Presidential directive, before making their commitment.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister also failed to indicate measures to be adopted, to ensure that middlemen do not hijack and mess up Tinubu’s honest effort.

He said that these were immediate measures taken by the Federal Government to reduce the hardships faced by Nigerians who are made to bear the brunt of high prices of food in the market.

“These will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigeria in the next couple of weeks. One month, six weeks, perhaps up to two months.

“Now the whole idea of this is to crush the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.

“Now, the third item is that government is also looking at the possibility of, if it becomes absolutely necessary and as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians,” he said.

Idris also said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would further invest massively in the farming process to boost production and ensure the country’s food potential is fully exploited.

He said that government would appeal to persons or groups to stop hoarding these products in order to maximise profit at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.

“Government of course is also looking at all those who are hoarding these commodities because actually, these commodities are available in the stores of many traders.

“Government is appealing to them that they should open up these doors and make these commodities available in the interest of our nation.

“There is no point when the whole country is looking for this food you are locking up these products where you make more money and then Nigerians suffer. Of course, the government will not fold its arms.

“If they don’t respond by bringing these commodities to the market, the government will take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are made available to Nigerians.”

The Minister said that the government would also take measures to ensure that food continues to be accessible and affordable to Nigerians.

“We ask that Nigerians need to be more patriotic; be our brother’s keepers. Sell this thing, of course at a margin but at a margin that is not also killing to Nigerians.

“This is an emergency. Every nation faces emergency situations. This is our own time to face these challenges.

“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable,” he said.

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President Tinubu Returns After Private Visit To France

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President Bola Tinubu has returned to the country after a two-week private visit to France.

The President arrived in Abuja aboard the presidential flight at about 9:0 pm on Tuesday.

He was received by top government officials led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume.

The president left Abuja on Jan. 24 for his first break since assumption of office on May 29, 2023

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