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IFAD plans to make Enugu State hub of 2 staple crops




International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says it is poised to make Enugu State a hub of two major daily consumed staple crops in the country.

Dr Edward Isiwu, Enugu State Programme Coordinator of IFAD’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), said this during a media parley in Enugu on Saturday.

Isiwu identified the two major crops as rice and vitamin-A rich cassava, adding that other value chain addition and derivatives from the two crops would also be made known to small-holder farmers.

He said that technically, the IFAD-VCDP programme would use transfer of best agronomy and processing practices, market visibility/reach, extension services intervention and financial inclusion for farmers to achieve the target.

According to him, IFAD-VCDP will first make the state sufficient in the crops and lift thousands of small-holder farmers out of hunger and poverty through best modern agricultural practices.

“Basically, IFAD-VCDP is targetting small-holder farmers belonging to farming organisations/cooperatives (mostly women and youths), having less than five hectares of farmlands for rice and cassava production.

“We are currently in nine states of the federation and Enugu State is among three states recently added to the programme.

“In Enugu State, we have selected five pilot council areas, based on established criteria, mapped out by the designers of IFAD-VCDP programme.

“The pilot council areas, producing these two crops, included: Aninri, Isi uzo and Nkanu East (for rice production and value chain addition) and, Enugu East and Udenu (for cassava production and value chain addition).

“We introduce and provide them with best agronomy practices, climate smart agriculture and other basic farm business knowledge at the group/organisational training or workshop level.

“Then we follow them to the farms by providing matching grant support for high-yielding and weather-friendly seedlings and agro-inputs that will increase the tonnes per hectare to about an additional 2.5 tonnes of any given rice or cassava farmland.

“Before going to the farmland proper, IFAD-VCDP has organised for committed off-takers and markets for these produce so that the farmers will get value for investment in good time and ensure continuous farming,” he said.

The coordinator said that the IFAD-VCDP programme kicked-off in the state in the last quarters of 2020, adding that it had been able to engage 104 small-holder farmers in the dry season between 2020/2021 farming period, especially in rice production.

According to him, the IFAD-VCDP dry season farming recorded huge success in the state.

“The yield of the small-holder farmers, who previously got 2.1 tonnes per hectare (a hectare is about the size of a football field), ended up harvesting between 4.5 and 4.7 tonnes per hectare of farmland.

“What is more astonishing is that some of these small-holder farmers have never engaged in dry season farming for rice before in their farming history.

“So, the magic was introduction to dry weather-resilient rice seedlings as well as other dry season favourable agro-inputs to enhance the yield per hectare,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that IFAD-VCDP is a tripartite programme of IFAD, an organ of the United Nations, the Federal Government and participating state governments.

The programme is meant to boost modern agronomy practice and crop yield of small-holder farmers, reduce rural poverty and achieve accelerated economic growth on a sustainable basis.






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NDIC bags platinum level award for outstanding performance in corporate governance



L-R: Managing Director/ CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Bello Hassan; Board Chairman, NDIC, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun; Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination, Dr. Habiba Lawal and Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Arabi, during the official presentation of Report and Award on the Deployment of the Self-Assessment Tool to Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) at the NDIC Headquarters in Abuja.

NDIC bags platinum level award for outstanding performance in corporate governance

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has been presented with the Federal Government Level Five (5) Platinum Level award for outstanding performance in corporate governance and accountability by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR).

The award is based on the Corporation’s outstanding score of Ninety-Three Percent (93%) in the BPSR Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) that was deployed to Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to assess and enhance service delivery.

Presenting the award to the Corporation, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, congratulated the Board, Management and Staff of the NDIC for the courage and commitment during the exercise.

Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination, Dr. Habiba Lawal, noted that the Corporation’s exceptional achievement serves as an impetus for other government agencies to take the opportunity of the BPSR Self-Assessment Tool to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and employ the outcome of the self-evaluation to achieve the Federal Government’s objectives of effective service delivery to the citizenry.

Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who was represented by Mr. Stephen Okon, the Director, Home Finance, commended the Corporation for the award and expressed the Ministry’s continued commitment and support to the NDIC towards the implementation of the recommendations of the BPSR SAT report.

Presenting the SAT report, the Director-General of the BPSR, Dr Dasuki Arabi, stated that the Corporation is the first and only agency under the supervision of Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to submit itself to the SAT assessment.

He explained that the Corporation’s 93% score which represents the rating of “Far Exceeded Expectations” is a direct result of the Management’s commitment to high standards in corporate governance and staff’s diligence and hard work.

He added that the assessment, which commenced in September 2021, focused on broad areas of strategic governance including financial management, operational and service delivery process, human resource management & planning, procurement process and change management.

On his part, Mr Hello Hassan, Managing Director NDIC, said since the assessment from the BPSR, the Corporation has continued to benchmark itself with International Standards and Best Practices through a culture of continuous process improvement and service delivery to its various stakeholders.

Meanwhile, The Board Chairman, Mrs. Sokefun said the NDIC would continue to strive for excellence in delivery of its mandate while implementing recommendations of the BPSR report.

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Lagos State Logo
Lagos State Logo


… As 119 Youths Graduate From Ebony Life Creative Academy

Lagos State Government has once again demonstrated its commitment to the growth and success of youths with the graduation of 119 young and vibrant filmmakers from the EbonyLife Creative Academy, under the Lagos Creative Initiative (LACI), to fill the skill gaps of professionals in the creative industry in the State.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at EbonyLife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, congratulated EbonyLife for doing Lagos proud and making good use of funds for the training of the students consistently as well as sustaining it.

Akinbile-Yussuf, represented by the Director, Admin & Human Resource Department of the Ministry, Ms. Toyin Ogunlana, assured the EbonyLife team of the State Government’s continuous support, partnership and collaboration to give hope to the youths and engage them in such a laudable skill acquisition programmes.

According to her, Lagos State, in partnership with EbonyLife, has trained six sets of intakes, who have graduated and are deploying the acquired skills to excel in their chosen areas of expertise within the film industry.

In her words: “The Lagos State Government believes in you all and looks forward to seeing your best output in the industry. You have all been endowed with unique skills that will enable you to conceive, write and shoot your own movies as you deem fit”.

Also speaking at the event the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mrs. Bukola Agbaminoja, felicitated the graduating students and commended them for participating in the training programme.

“The feedback we getting as a government is encouraging and we are happy for you all. I see your films showing in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large, but the bulk of the work lies in your hands. Please, tell the story the way you want it to be told”, she advised.

Agbaminoja also informed the gathering that the Lagos State interest-free loans are still available for interested Film Makers and can be accessed through the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, adding that State Government is also building a Film City, designed to be a one-stop-destination for all filmmakers, on several hectares of land at Ejirin in Epe.

The Head of the Academy, Mr. Theart Korsten thanked the Lagos State Government for its continuous support to the school, noting that Lagos is the only State that contributes so much to the development of the sector.
While commending the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Korsten enjoined the graduating students to focus on their career paths and acknowledged the tenacity displayed during the 12-week intensive training programme.

He also informed that the third intake for the year comprising 128 students commenced classes on the 28th of June, 2022, adding that the 22 films produced so far are available on the Youtube Channel of Ebonylife Creative Academy.
The short films ‘Canvas’,

‘Father Forgive Me’, ‘Halimah’ and ‘The Funeral’, written, performed and produced by the graduating students of the Class of June 2022, were watched by the dignitaries and guests present at the ceremony,

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Africa News

Christian Pilgrimage Not Wasteful – FCT-CPWB Boss




The Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Dabara Audu has said that those describing the Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands of Israel and Jordan as a jamboree do so because they don’t know what the exercise entails and therefore cannot relate with the level of spiritual upliftment it brings to the Pilgrims and Nigeria as a country.

Speaking to News men after the completion of the pilgrimage exercise for the first batch of the 2021 main Christian pilgrimage and the 2022 Easter pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan Mr. Dabara said the spiritual impact of the exercise brings about a new experience for Christians who can now relate well with biblical and scriptural occurrences that will further strengthen their faith in Christ for the uplifting of Nigeria as a country.

In his words, “. It is very unfortunate for anyone to say pilgrimage is a jamboree. Anyone that says it’s a jamboree does not know what pilgrimage is. I want to believe that anyone that wants to embark on a pilgrimage must have heard of the pilgrimage sites and must have read about it and given birth to some useful information that it is a life-transforming exercise.
” we have received testimonies from the people that have gone there in the past. In this journey that has just finished, we have gone to so many sites, and in some cases, I have gone to those places more than four times, and still, there are new testimonies each time I visit those places, and that is what the scripture is all about.

” Pilgrimage is about the scripture being brought alive to any serious Christian and it’s a way to work out our salvation. For any serious Christian, pilgrimage is part of working out your salvation and I am sure a lot of us today even as we hear testimonies, their spiritual lives are being promoted and this will have an impact on the families of the pilgrim, their villages, towns where they come from and on Nigeria as a whole.”

Speaking on this year’s Pilgrimage which was the first of its kind as Nigerian pilgrims visited Holy Places in Israel and Jordan, The Director said it was an opportunity for Christians to relate better with biblical occurrence and to be able to visit those sites not minding that some of those places are now in more than one country.

” It is a very good experience for us all, those that have been going to Israel alone before now did not have opportunity to visit the holy sites in Jordan like the River Jabok where Jacob wrestled with and angel and his name was changed to Israel, and the mount Nebo where Moses was shown the promise land by God before he was taken.

” Gadara a mountain where Jesus Casted out unclean spirits from a man into swines was another very historic location in Jordan, not forgetting the place where John the Baptist was beheaded and his head given in a tray for herods maid dancer. all this are beautiful and very significant places in the life of any serious Christian. so I can tell you that this year’s pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan is a blessing in more than one way to us.”

” The way I see it, starting the pilgrimage to combine the two nations of Israel and Jordan, I did not see myself as an ordinary person, I know the hurdles the children of Israel had to go through as recorded in the scripture, so if the original people that made these journeys did not find it easy I don’t expect that anyone will find it easy because each pilgrimage has a story and revelation behind. God used some of these places to build endurance, perseverance and patience . the children of Israel were able to go through to the promised land, in the same way, this journey from Nigeria to Israel and Israel to Jordan, was not expected to be easy, but I want us to understand that behind the pilgrimage is also the feeling of the suffering, and in this case the suffering that refines. it brings out the true nature of any Christian. like it is said in the Bible Gold passes through Fire to be able to come out pure at it is, so Gold is not pure until it passes though fire. ”

When asked how he would rate the first batch of the 2021 main Pilgrimage and the 2022 Easter Pilgrimage, Dabara said
” We are grateful for the completion of the first batch of the 2021 main pilgrimage and the 2022 easter.
we landed in Israel successfully and now we are at the Jordan end of the movement, there is nothing, no one was sick to the extent that we cannot go out, there is no accident in any way and so far no one has absconded.
At this point, I will take this year’s pilgrimage as a very successful one, we have more than 200 pilgrims and no one absconded so we are bold to say that it was successful.”

He therefore Used the medium to appeal to those that have taken part on the pilgrimage to show good examples as they go back to the larger society after these period of reflections and visitation of biblical sites in the holy lands of Israel and Jordan.

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