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3,000 WOMEN, YOUTHS BENEFIT IN SANWO-OLU’S AGRIC INVESTMENT TO BOOST FOOD SECURITY

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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•Governor Rolls Out Empowerment Scheme for Lagos Farmers, Assists 300 Trainees with N245 Million Machinery Support

The food sufficiency programme of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been taken a notch higher. The Governor, on Thursday, rolled out massive agricultural investment that empowers 3,000 urban and rural farmers in key sectoral value chains.

Women, youths and peasant farmers were the main beneficiaries of the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme through which the State Government is supporting agripreneurs with modern equipment and inputs that would help them make significant difference and scale up their agricultural practices.

Various groups of farmers, in their numbers, thronged the parade ground of the Police College, Ikeja to personally receive the material support from the Governor, accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State Executive Council.

The scheme is also a component of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s five-year Agricultural and Food System Development Roadmap recently launched to chart a coordinated path for the desired development of the sector and boost food security.

The beneficiaries were selected for the scheme through a merit-based system anchored by independent associations of farmers across the State. The support was majorly for agripreneurs in poultry, piggery and artisanal fishery – the three sub-sectors largely affected by the disruption occasioned by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sanwo-Olu noted that the intervention was necessitated by the need to raise food production, processing and marketing, while also creating jobs and sustaining the livelihood of the farmers through value creation.

Through the scheme, the Governor said the Government would be easing the burden of the beneficiary farmers and agriculture workers, describing the programme as “another milestone” in fulfilling his administration’s electoral promises to the people.

He said: “This Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme is a clear demonstration of the commitment of our administration to the development and expansion of the agricultural sector, which is driven by a farm-to-table model that aligns with our goal of making Lagos a truly 21st century economy.

“We are determined to increase food production in the State from the current 20 per cent to at least 50 per cent by 2025 and this effort has been emboldened, given the observed disruption in the supply chain of food across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of zoonotic diseases.

“We have emerged wiser and more determined to succeed in creating and nurturing a viable agribusiness sector in Lagos. The State Government has put in place a strategy for the proper utilisation and continuous maintenance of the assets being donated to derive maximum value from them. We are also working with a financial institution regarding appropriate financing structures for the guaranteed sustainability of the programme.”

Sanwo-Olu stressed that the deficiency of agricultural land in Lagos would not deter the State Government from deploying innovative and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities that would make the State sufficient in food production and engender economic growth through agriculture.

Lagos, the Governor said, will continue to maximize the value for resources invested in the agricultural sector, urging the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by working hard to nurture their businesses to maturity.

Sanwo-Olu said the intervention would only be sustainable if the beneficiaries succeeded in activating new businesses and created positive impacts for agro-processors in the value chains.

“By putting in your best and judiciously utilising the assets entrusted to you, you are opening doors for more people to benefit tomorrow. Since your selection was based on merit, we believe you can deliver excellent results with these equipment and supplies you are receiving today,” Governor said.

He disclosed that his administration was set to establish Wholesale Agricultural Produce Hubs in strategic locations across the State to promote food safety and ensure access to direct markets for fresh-from-farm products, thereby reducing post-harvest losses for farmers.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said the State Government had not only restructured the projects for greater impacts, but also changed the name to transform the mindsets of beneficiaries not to see the initiative as entitlement and largesse from the Government.

She said the programme would help committed farmers to nurture their businesses into viable agricultural enterprises, pointing out that the Government had created a monitoring mechanism to keep track of the beneficiaries’ activities.

She said:“The Enterprise Activation programme will contribute to inclusive agricultural growth in Lagos, as it will be creating access for beneficiaries to exit the poverty trap and reduce economic inequality. Aside creating new marketing opportunities in the value chains, the programme will also provide a social safety net for youth, women and the vulnerable.”

Oniru of Iru Kingdom and immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture, Oba Gbolahan Lawal, praised the Sanwo-Olu administration for raising the investment for the scheme, which the monarch described as “inclusive empowerment”, as the intervention was extended to farmers in urban areas.

The traditional ruler urged beneficiaries not to betray the Government’s trust, asking them to utilise the support for the improvement of their businesses and turn in good testimonies at the end of the scheme’s tenure.

President of Ogbonge Women, a farmers’ group, Mrs. Chinasa Asonye, praised the Governor for the opportunity and for the priority accorded to women in agricultural business. She promised, on behalf of the beneficiaries, to judiciously deploy the tools for improved food production and return on investment.

In the scheme, 300 youths trained in Aquaculture and Poultry Production at the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP) were empowered with agricultural inputs valued at N245 million, which represented 46.7 per cent of the total investment in the programme.

Other beneficiaries include 400 pig farmers that participated in Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES), 680 fishermen, 190 fish cage culture artisans, 360 egg marketers, 500 fish processors, 200 rice farmers and 370 crop farmers.

They received variety of modern tools, such as tractors, ploughs, fishing boats and gear, harvesters, threshers, destoning machines, defeathering machines, herbicides, fish juveniles, pig growers, smoking kilns, crates of eggs, and inputs, which are to be utilised in farming communities across Lagos agricultural zones of Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu

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APC primary: No cause for alarm – Oyetola’s aide

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Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola
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Expresses confidence that Appeal court will set it aside

The Chief Press Secretary to Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, has appealed to supporters of the governor to remain calm in the face of the decision of a Federal High Court to nullify his candidature in the July 16 Governorship poll.

He noted that their team of lawyers would be challenging the decision at the Appeal Court, just as he expressed confidence that the decision would be set aside.

Omipidan further noted that the case was instituted by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in spite of the fact there is a plethora of decisions flowing from the apex court that frowns upon such a decision.

He said that, for the records, the position of the law is that only members of the APC who participated in the primary election can approach the court to challenge the nomination of Oyetola as the candidate of the party.

“All these are part of the antics of the opposition PDP and some of their collaborators from within to distract us. But like every of their plans, this too has fallen flat on their faces.

“They want to distract us from the Tribunal case. But we shall remain focused until we take back our mandate. We have confidence in the Tribunal to do justice in the case before it, just as we have implicit confidence in the Appeal Court to set aside this latest decision of the Federal High Court,” Omipidan said.

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Nigeria @ 62: Southern Senators To Houses of Assembly, Speed up Review of Constitution Amendment

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Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Southern Senators’ Forum has asked the State Houses of Assembly across the nation to expedite action on the Review of the 1999 Constitution as transmitted to them by the National Assembly, adding that this would be an Independence anniversary gift to Nigerians if done as such.

The Chairman of the Forum , Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, made this known in a statement issued on the occasion of the commemoration of the 62nd Independence anniversary. Bamidele said he is optimistic that most of the challenges facing the nation will be a thing of the past if the salient report becomes law.

Bamidele also urged Nigerians to be optimistic about the future of the nation, notwithstanding the enormity of our current challenges, adding that there is yet light at the end of the tunnel if we have faith in God and take the much needed steps.

He pointed out that just like the political office holders and public servants in general, every citizen has a role to play in the nation building process and with determination, faith and persistence, Nigerians will surely witness a new Nigeria which is headed for growth and development and that is devoid of violence, hostilities, and acrimony.

The statement reads, ” As we celebrate 62nd Independence anniversary of our great nation, I will like to implore the State Houses of Assembly across the Federation to expedite action on the passage of the Review of the 1999 Constitution as transmitted to them by the National Assembly, because some of the problems facing the people of Nigeria are already being addressed in the amendment draft transmitted to the State Houses Assembly.

” The speedy passage of the amendment will serve as the most cherished and memorable anniversary gift you can give to the electorates who reposed confidence in you by voting you as their representatives in the Houses Assembly.

” We must also know that the process of nation building is a collective responsibility of both the leaders and followers in order for us to have the nation of our desire and Nigerians should continue to hope for greater future and with determination, faith and persistence, Nigerians will surely see a nation devoid of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, ethnic hostilities and acrimony.

” Nigerians should not succumb their future in the hands of the pessimists who are always craving for negative news in the country, but put their trust in God, for He will surely see us through our challenges as a nation”.

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Senator Opeyemi Bamidele Bags National Honour

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Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele
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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved conferment of national honour on the Senator representing Ekiti Central, in the the current Ninth National Assembly, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele.

The National Honours ceremony is billed for October 11, 2022 in Abuja

This was disclosed in a statement released by Senator Bamidele’s media office , stating that the Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary is listed among the recipients of the 2022 National Honour Award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).

The letter conveyed the award was signed by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-government Affairs, Senator George Akume signed on September 16, 2022.

The letter from the Minister reads, ““I have the honour to formally inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the conferment of the National Honours on you, in the rank of CON, Commander of the Order of the Niger.

“The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 9am.”

Bamidele is the Chairman of Southern , Senator Forum, and was in House of Representatives between June 2011 to June 2015). He served as Honorable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State (July 2007 to February 2011), Honourable Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Lagos State (July 2003 to May 2007, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Lagos State (July 2000 to May 2003).

Bamidele obtained law degree in the University of Benun and graduated from the Nigerian Law School, he was called to the bar in 1992. He then proceeded to Franklin Pierce University where he received a master’s degree in law and was called to the New York Bar in January 1999.

Among the bills sponsored by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele is a bill for the Establishment of the Federal University of Medical and Environmental sciences in Ekiti. Also, his Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Establishment Act Amendment Bill of 2021, seeking to strengthen and extend the life of AMCON, has already been assented to by President Buhari.

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