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Wet Season Farming: FG to distribute farm inputs to farmers




The Federal Government says it will soon commence the distribution of agricultural inputs to Nigerian farmers for the 2021 Wet Season farming.

Mr Theodore Ogaziechi , Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced this on Thursday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Ogaziechi said the distribution was to enhance production of food and balanced nutrition, create more jobs, and boost wet season farming.

“Government has commenced activities to encourage farmers with the roll-out of free inputs distribution to 7,500 small scale women farmers from the North Central states and the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.

Ogaziechi said the Ministry had performed similar exercises in Kaduna, Oyo, Kogi, Cross River, Imo, Kebbi, Jigawa, Gombe and Borno States by assisting smallholders farmers with quality inputs.

He disclosed that the Federal Government had foreclosed the 2020 roll out of inputs distribution to farmers, saying ” hopefully, we will commence the 2021 inputs distribution soonest”.

“The Federal Government is also disbursing inputs at a subsidized rate in order to encourage farmers and increase production,” Ogaziechi said.

He said that during the pandemic, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture had given out subsidised 5,000 metric tonnes of maize in support of poultry farmers.

Ogaziechi explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of the maize from the National Strategic Grains Reserve to support the Poultry Association of Nigeria.

He said it was at a subsidised rate of N90,000 per metric tonne as against the market price of N170,000 then.

Ogaziechi said that release was also part of the general release of the Presidential 70,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains palliative to vulnerable Nigerians.

He said the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono also allocated 12,500 metric tonnes of food ration to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, for victims of disasters.

Ogaziechi said the 12,500 tonnes were from the Minna silos in Niger State which was also part of the National Strategic Food Reserve.

He said the ministry also simultaneously released the rest of the assorted food items as directed by President Buhari from its silos in Gusau; Zamfara, Dutsin Ma; Katsina State, Yola; Adamawa, Lafia; Nassarawa and Ilesha; Osun.

Ogaziechi said that the Federal Government had a lot of agricultural inputs in its warehouses waiting for farmers to buy at subsidized rates.

He said that government was mindful of, and took serious consideration on food security by stacking up food in the silos.

Ogaziechi said government had 33 silos complexes nationwide with 19 under concession out of the 33, adding that government still had 14 silos under its management.

He said concessioning was aimed at bringing in the private sector and increasing capacity utilisation of the silo complexes for the benefit of the farmers in particular and the nation in general.

“It should be stressed that the final handing – over of the silos complexes to the concessionaires is only possible when the Transaction Adviser has certified that the concessionaires have met all the conditions neccesary.

“This will enable concessionaires carry out the needed repairs and a joint inspection will be carried out at the end of the repairs with the staff of Agriculture Ministry.

“This will also ascertain the readiness of the concessionaires to start full operation and thus determine the effective date of the transaction,” Ogaziechi said.

He said that the government also provided relief materials to flood victims and farmers in Kebbi and other states in the North-West by ensuring they received improved seeds to restart planting as soon as the water receded. (NAN)

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Update: 2024 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Reps



House of Rep in Session

The House of Representatives has passed the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget for a second reading.

The House leader, Julius Ihonvbere, on Thursday, November 30, while leading the debate on the general principles of the budget, commended President Bola Tinubu.

Ihonvbere noted that national security and education which got significant allocations will be enhanced if implemented.

He said, “Nigeria will be more secure with the allocation to defence and security. As a teacher, I am impressed by the emphasis on basic education. I am sure that education will be better off this time.”


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Tinubu Presents His First Budget As President On Wednesday



President Bola Ahmed Tinubu


President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.

This is according to a memo dated November 27, 2023, signed by the federal legislature’s Secretary of Human Resources and Staff Development, Shuaibu Maina Birma, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.

“I am directed to inform you that the 2024 Budget would be presented by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 29th November, 2023,” it read.

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council has approved a 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion.

This followed the review of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework earlier passed by the National Assembly which benchmarked the exchange rate at N700 to $1 and crude oil price at $73.96 cent per barrel.

Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said it revised the MTEF and the Fiscal Policy to use an exchange rate of N750 to $1 and also a benchmark crude oil reference price of $77.96 per barrel.

According to Bagudu, the FEC also approved an Appropriation Bill for 2024 with an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion, an increase of over N1.5 trillion from the previously estimated.

He also noted that using the old reference prices, the forecast revenue is now N18.2 trillion which is higher than the 2023 revenue, including that provided in the two supplementary budgets, in which the deficit is lower than that of 2023.

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Senate Seeks Nigeria’s Inclusion In $147billion Global Bitumen Market 



Senate in Session


…passes Bitmen Development Commission Bill  for second reading 

The Senate Thursday made legislative move of including Nigeria in the $147billion global bitumen market with passage for second reading , a bill seeking for establishment of Bitumen Development Commission  .

Nigeria as stated in the bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim ( APC  Ondo South) , has quantum of 5.9trillion barrels ( 938billion m³) of global in – place Bitumen and heavy oil resources , second to Venezuela .

He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada , United States of America , Venezuela and Nigeria .

But lamented that while other countries blessed with the Natural resources are exploiting it through required legislations or legal frameworks , Nigeria’ has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss .

Therefore according to him, ” the  objectives of the Bill includes: the need to develop a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria;  to prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors; and to lead innovation and resource-based strategy in the development of bitumen in Nigeria.

“The Bill will also ensure effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserve of bitumen in Nigeria; and to promote economic diversification policy of the Federal Government”.

He added that the Bill among other reasons, seeks to  restrict the activities of the commission to its regulatory and cordinating functioons , specifically  as it relates to the Develooment of Bitumen in Nigeria .

Ondo State alone according to him , has the highest deposit in Africa with an estimated value of $42billion which are aside from depisits in Ogun State , Edo , Lagos  and Akwa- Ibom States .

” The proposed Bitumen Development Commission when established , would fastrack the development of Bitumen in Nigeria , make her a key player in the $147billion global market and  create instant 12, 000 jobs for Nigerians .

” It would also help Government at various levels to put in place asphalted roads in various communities .

” Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in  Nigeria , only 20, 000 are asphalted even with imported Bitumen which is not good and being addressed with the  proposed commission” he said .

Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , concurred with Jimoh Ibrahim’s submissions , making the Senate as put to voice votes by its President , Godswill Akpabio , passed it for second reading .

Akpabio who commended Senator Jimoh Ibrahim for sponsorship of the development – driven bill, mandated the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to make further legislative inputs on it and report back in a month’s time .

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