Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday in Akure presented implements to cocoa farmers in the state.
The implements include: 5,411 sachets of fungicide Ultimax Plus, 500 litres of Insecticide Avesthrin and 100 knapsack sprayers as support to the cocoa farmers.
Nanono , who made the presentation at the official opening of the National Secretariat Complex of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria ( CFAN), noted that the gesture was to encourage cocoa production.
He recalled that the ministry in 2020 inaugurated distribution of agricultural inputs free of charge to farmers including cocoa farmers to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.
“The ministry has so far distributed over 300,000 improved hybrid cocoa seedlings in the South-West, South-South, North Central and South-East of the country, and about 350 cartons of Ultimax-plus were distributed last year in South-South and South-East roll-out.
“The grand-finale was held in Abuja where 500 units of solo pumps were distributed to Cocoa Farmers aimed at increasing cocoa production from the present 250,000 metric tonnes to 350,000 metric tonnes.
“The ministry also recently procured Growth Enhancers, Fungicides (Ultimax plus) and Insecticides (Avesthrin) which is being distributed to cocoa farmers at subsidised rates to enhance production alongside the support of Solar Cocoa collapsible driers to Cocoa Commodity Associations,” he said.
The minister added that in 2020, the ministry in collaboration with Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan carried out skill acquisition on intensive nursery management of improved Hybrid cocoa seedlings (CRIN TC1-8).
According to him, the hybrid seedling had the capacity of fruiting in 21/22 years as against 5 to 7 years.
“The training included the farmer field school on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and capacity building on use of cocoa collapsible driers,” he stated.
Nanono explained that there was on-going collaboration between the ministry and German International Cooperation (GIZ) on the establishment of Cocoa community seed/budwood garden in the country.
He urged the association to contribute meaningfully to increase productivity in spite of daunting challenges of taking cocoa production to a desirable level.
In his remarks, the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, noted that there was no gainsaying that cocoa could generate million of jobs in the country.
Akeredolu, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, asked the Federal Government to provide special funds for cocoa development through the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN).
He said that all hands must be on desk to revamp cocoa for economic benefits of the country.
According to him, chocolate should be incorporated into the National Feeding Programme for its health benefits of enhancing brain development of pupils.
The governor also advised the Federal Government to make cocoa farming attractive for youths by providing credit facilities, internet and infrastructure.
Appreciating the presence of the minister, Mr Adeola Adegoke, the National President of CFAN, acknowledged that the association benefited from the CBN Anchor Borrower Programme where it got over N700 million in 2020.
Adegoke noted that the impacts of the funds could not be over-emphasised, saying that those who benefitted had started paying back.
He also commended the FG through the federal ministry of Agriculture for its various programmes to 10 cocoa producing states on rehabilitation and regeneration of cocoa plantations.
He enjoined government at all levels to show more support for cocoa in order to strengthen its productivity beyond average of 250,000 metric tonnes, unlike Ghana and Ivory Coast that produced one million metric tonnes and and 2.5 million metric tonnes respectively.
Adegoke said that the CFAN House was built to further strengthen the administrative capacity of the association to serve cocoa farmers better. (NAN)
Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means
The Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as accountability in the Ways and Means loans by the Apex Bank.
The Red Chamber said the move was to plug loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.
The Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the details of the Ways and Means, including the various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, monies given to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, amongst others which raised the current debt profile of the country.
This was part of resolutions of the Senate after a debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on the state of the economy.
On the compliance and transparency of economic actions, the Senate equally resolved that the CBN ensured compliance with the provisions of the Act in respect of Ways and Means and accountability through timely submission of its budget, financial statements and report of its activities to the President and National Assembly as stipulated in the Act.
In an extensive debate, Senator Adamu Aliero argued that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, were beneficiaries of N18bn as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015.
Some lawmakers suggested that a special committee be set up to scrutinize the N30trn intervention disbursements (some of which were grants) and ways to mop them up.
Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin also explained that the intervention monies were expended outside appropriation without the knowledge of the parliament and noted that lawmakers have a right to interrogate the expenditure.
Senator Victor Umeh, however, deferred, as he enquired to know how the money was spent before approval by the Senate. The issue of whether or not to investigate the matter raised another furore in the Red Chamber.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio thereafter maintained that owing to the current economic situation, it has become expedient to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.
Oil marketers get approval to sell Dangote fuel
The seven major oil marketers in Nigeria have registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.
Dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed on Sunday that with the registration, they would commence the distribution of fuel produced from the facility once the commercial terms are sorted.
This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also revealed that they would meet with the management of the Dangote refinery this week to discuss terms of product loading.
Similarly, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria stated that PETROAN had been engaging the management of the multi-billion dollar refinery for the supply of products from the facility.
As IPMAN and PETROAN engage the refinery, major marketers who are members of MOMAN have already registered with the plant and are set to start buying products.
The seven major marketers include 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc and NNPC Retail.
Last Friday, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery announced the commencement of production of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, and JetA1 or aviation fuel.
The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had in a statement issued by the firm, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.
He also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project.
“We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals. This is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.
“This is an important achievement for our country as it demonstrates our ability to develop and deliver large capital projects. This is a game changer for our country, and I am very fulfilled with the actualisation of this project,” Dangote stated.
The refinery, located in Lagos, has so far received six million barrels of crude oil at its two SPMs located 25km from the shore. The first crude delivery was done on December 12, 2023, and the 6th cargo was delivered on January 8, 2024.
The refinery can load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries. The products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications, according to the firm.
“The refinery design complies with the World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources emission/effluent norms, employing state-of-the-art technology,” the company stated.
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Project, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, is a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery, located in Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is an industrial plant that transforms crude oil into various usable petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene.
Dangote Petroleum Refinery with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day covers an area of approximately 2,635 hectares in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.
When contacted and asked whether major oil marketers would be involved in the lifting of refined products from the Dangote refinery, or whether the facility would distribute the fuel itself, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, MOMAN, Clement Isong, replied, “I confirm that we (major marketers) have met with him (Dangote).
According to Isong, all MOMAN members have registered with Dangote Petroleum Refinery to become marketers of its products
Senate Gives Kyari, NUPRC Boss 24 Hours To Appear For Budget Defense
The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, on Wednesday, directed the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to appear before the committee in 24 hours.
Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.
They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government.
The NNPCL, had earlier shunned for a second time, summons by the Senate to appear before its committee probing over N11trn expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.
The absence of Kyari, whose entity is at the centre of the investigation, stalled efforts by the Senate panel to make progress on the matter.
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