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Food crisis: young farmers recommend emergency food security plan

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The Nigeria Young Farmers Network says an emergency national food security plan that actively engages the private sector is critical to forestall the nation’s imminent food crisis.

The Director General (DG) of the network, Mr Promise Amahah, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)in Abuja on Thursday.

Amahah spoke against the backdrop of the relentless increase in prices of food and agricultural produce in Nigerian markets which he warned might lead to a national food crisis very soon.

He said that government alone could not achieve reasonable progress in this regard adding that more intensive action was required to address the challenge.

Amahah said the Federal Government needed to provide the enabling environment for companies and startups providing solutions like storage facilities, logistics, payments, among others.

The DG explained that such enabling environment could be through giving them tax breaks, and off takers agreements among others to enable them deploy their offerings effectively.

According to him, such measures will immediately reduce the impact of food shortages and cost of foodstuffs which will in turn strengthen the efforts towards addressing food insecurity in Nigeria.

Amahah noted that so far, efforts had been made by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure the nation’s grains reserve was restored to full capacity through the grains buyback process.

He further noted that there had been focus on the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to make it more efficient while recently, rice pyramids in Kebbi and maize pyramids in Katsina had become prominent.

According to Amahah, thoseare emergency measures put in place by the government to enable poor Nigerians survive hunger during food crises.

“However, I am yet to see proactive national awareness and sensitisation directed towards public enlightenment on the current food crisis and providing an inclusive strategy thrust to address the issue,” he said. (NAN)

 

 

 

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Business & Economy

Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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NEPC, 13 trade promotion organisations shortlisted for WTOP award

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NEPC Headquarters, Maitama - Abuja.
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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has been nominated along side 13 other Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) for the 2022 World Trade Organisation (WTPO) Awards for Excellence in Trade Promotion.

A statement released on Monday by Ndubueze Okeke Head, Corporate Communications of the NEPC, it said Nigeria is poised to clinch the “Best Use of a Partnership”.

He said the NEPC has been shortlisted along with Apex Brazil, Jamaica Promotion Corporation, Qatar Development Bank-Tesder and Saudi Export Development Authority.

The WTPO Award which is scheduled to hold on 17th May, 2022 in Accra, Ghana is open to all national TPOs.

The statement also said, “NEPC acknowledged WTPO as it recognizes excellence in providing trade support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs to become competitive in international trade.

“In 2018, Nigeria, through NEPC won the award for the ‘Best initiative to Ensure that Trade is Inclusive and Sustainable”.

The NEPC won that category with its Zero to Export initiative which builds capacity of would-be exporters and SMEs on export procedures and documentation as well as provide practical training on product sourcing and market access.

The NEPC said that the initiative had trained 560 SMEs.

The International Trade Centre Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said, “At a time when small firms have been hit by supply chain disruptions, climate change crises and other socio-economic challenges, it important to show inspiring models that connect small firms to Trade opportunities that are Inclusive and sustainable”.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak will represent Nigeria at the Award Ceremony.

The statement further said, Austria, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania is competing in the “Best use of Information Technology”, while Sri Lanka, Republic of Korea, Netherlands and Zimbabwe will compete for the “Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable category”.

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Skils acquisition: ITF, Sightsavers train 32 physically challenged on 8 set of skills

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In fulfilling its mandate of promoting skills acquisition in the country, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), in partnership with Sightsavers, an international non-governmental organization that promotes disability rights have trained and graduated 32 Nigerians on different skills.

The skills include, computer hardware, event management, catering, phone repair, photography and poultry management.

Sir Joseph Ari, Director General of the ITF, at the graduation ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, said that the agency has made the training of physically challenged persons a priority.

He said “Among the the 34 that started the training only 2 couldn’t continue, therefore making the graduands 32.

“There is a physically challenged Act today in Nigeria, therefore as an agency thatt caters for the growth and development of youths and women through skills acquisition, we have decided to focus on our attention on the physically challenged so they can acquire different skills and contribute their quota to national development because we believe there is ability in disability,”

Yahaya Manu, Area Manager, ITF Kaduna, who reppresented Ari, also charged the graduands to make good use of their start up parks provides to them by the agency.

“Now that you have acquired these special skills, I urge you to deploy it into judicious use so you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the country, because the ultimate aim of this training is to reduce youth unemployment,, and the agency is always committed to support the physically challenged in any capacity” he further stated.

On his part, the country director of Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, said the rationale behind their partnership with the ITF is to transform the labour market system to be disability inclusive.

“We are building the disability confidence of employers, job readiness of young persons with disabilities and supporting government agencies to ensure their programs promote disability inclusive economic empowerment.

“While we have trained hundreds of persons with disabilities on soft and digital” skills, preparing and connecting them to formal job, we decided to partner with ITF to empower the graduates today in vocational training and prepare them for entrepreneurship,” he said.

He said the courses were carefully selected for the disability persons due to its relevance to the labour market while admonishing the graduands to apply the knowledge they have gathered during the training to start their business.

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