After its launch in Benin in 2013, the Ouémé Valley Rural Infrastructure Support Project (https://bit.ly/3bnewkj) successfully improved the income of local populations.
Rice farmers in the region now earn $361.47 a year, exceeding the target of $221.99.
The project, which is expected to be completed in December 2022, received $74.83 million in co-financing from the African Development Bank Group's concessional arm, the African Development Fund. Additional funding came from the Global Environment Facility.
The objective of the project was to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and yields, while increasing the income of producers.
According to the Bank Group Implementation Progress and Results Report, published on July 22, 2022, women beneficiaries now earn $247.86 per year (about FCFA 158,000) and are expected to earn up to $594.57 ( around FCFA 380,000) at the end of the project.
This performance has been achieved thanks to an increase in the production volume of agricultural and orchard food crops.
The surplus agri-food production marketed (rice and corn) went from 70,100 tons in 2013 to 77,992 tons in 2021.
The surplus production of orchards sold exceeded the target threshold of 32,600 tons, reaching 32,742 tons.
"Despite the many limitations that have interrupted its implementation, the project is on track to achieve its impacts," according to the Bank report.
"The construction of rural roads has already opened up several production areas that were previously difficult to access."
The report continues and adds: "With the construction of facilities to fully control the water of Tangbédji (540 hectares) and the 651 hectares of gravity perimeters and the development of the shallows, the project is expected to have a significant effect on the productivity agriculture.
and production and on income in the Ouémé valley".
According to the findings, the exploitation of developed areas testifies to the clear will of the beneficiary producers to use them wisely.
The execution of the project involved the planting of 2020 hectares of land, the distribution of 499.77 tons of seeds and the construction of 200 kilometers of agricultural roads and 10 kilometers of dike roads.
In addition, 50 storage depots have been built and received.
The project also intended to establish 10 collection markets and three secondary markets.
Ultimately, these plans were adjusted to fit the realities on the ground.
Construction of the 10 collection markets was abandoned in favor of an additional secondary market.
As a result, a total of four secondary markets have now been completed and received.
In addition, a loading dock has been built and another six are currently under construction.
The project execution rate stands at 67.79%.
The project also created 19,066 jobs, including 1,740 for women.
"The project has completed all the land-based communications, storage and marketing infrastructure.
All that remains are the hydro-agricultural developments.
The 651-hectare gravity perimeters have a 70% completion rate, while the 540-hectare Tangbédji perimeter is has completed 65%", concludes the Bank's report.
Local government and primary schools pensioners in Enugu State have besieged Catholic and Anglican churches to pray for divine intervention on the payment of their entitlements.
Acting on the platform of the Forum of Local Government and Primary School Pensioners in Enugu State (FLGPSP) they appealed to the state government on Tuesday to pay their pension arrears.
Coordinator of the forum in Enugu North senatorial district, Mr Patrick Agbo and the Secretary, Mr George Ugwu, made the appeal in a statement issued in Nsukka.
They said copies of the statement had been given to all Catholic and Anglican bishops in Enugu State for them to help to pray for God’s immediate intervention.
They claimed that some members of the forum were being owed arrears of pensions and gratuity since 2000. “Members are dying in agony due to non-payment of statutory arrears and gratuities.
“Some of the retirees who started this struggle with us have died and some are bed-ridden as a result of suffering and hardships.
“Those of us alive can’t feed our families; our children can no longer go to school because we are unable to pay their school fees.
“Our family members now treat us with disrespect because we can’t take care of our responsibilities,’’ they stated.
The forum urged Enugu State government to do the needful and pay the arrears of pension and gratuities since the pensioners had done all the necessary verifications.
The pensioners expressed concern that in spite the fact that every local government remitted money to Enugu State Local Government Pensions Board, pensioners were still being owed.
“As at now we are owned 19 months of pension arrears and 16 years of gratuity,’’ the forum officials stated.
Beneficiaries of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Survival Fund in the South-South on Tuesday commended the Federal Government for relieving them of the hardship brought by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.The beneficiaries at a town hall meeting in Benin described the program as lives-saving.Mr. Sylvester Obaweki, the Chairman, Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairers and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) in Edo, said more than 95 percent of the members that applied for their fund received it.Obaweki, whose members stormed the venue of the meeting in appreciation of the financial succor, recounted how the fund sustain their businesses.The ACOMORAN leader said the members, who benefited from the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), would ever remain grateful to the government.In his testimonies, Mr Sunday Ogboro of Ogboro Computer Academy, said the government helped to pay four of his five workers for three months under the payroll support track.Mr Jeff Obaseki-Obasogie, who spoke on behalf of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), also applauded the initiative of the government, but however sought for improvement so that many could also get.Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the MSME survival fund, said 203,537 people benefitted from the various tracks under the scheme in the South-South region.“In the South-South region, the following statistics were achieved – Payroll Support Scheme – 74,030; MSME Grant Scheme, 13,899; Artisan and Transport Scheme, 73,161; CAC Formalisation Support Scheme, 39,636 and Guaranteed Offtake Scheme 2,811. The minister said that over N66 billion was disbursed for beneficiaries across the country.Under thevfirst scheme, she said employees received between N30,000 and N50,000 as three months’ salaries, while the beneficiaries in the second one-off N30,000 grant.She explained that 250,000 businesses successfully registered under the third scheme, with a one-off N50,000 grant given to MSMEs under the fourth scheme.Mr Tola Johnson, the Special Assistant on the MSME and the Project Coordinator of the survival fund, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the scheme.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders at the meeting described the scheme as apt and timely in alleviating the economic setback brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has assured that the multi-billion naira Ogheye floating market project in Ogheye ,Warri North Local Government Area of the state, would be ready in September.
Okowa gave the assurance while swearing-in five new commissioners in Asaba on Tuesday.
He also said that the Koka Bridge Flyover and Interchange, Asaba Leisure Park and Film Village; and Warri Storm Water Drainage would be delivered before the end of his administration.
Okowa named the new commissioners as :Dr Kingsley Ashibogwu – Higher Education; Dr Darlington Ijeh – Human and Community Development; Dr Godfrey Enita – Agriculture; Chief Anthony Ofoni – Project Monitoring and Audit and Mrs Nkechi Enumah-Chukwura – Girl-Child Entrepreneurship Development-While congratulating the appointees , he urged them to justify the confidence reposed in them, especially now that the administration had entered the last lap of its term.
”With less than a year to the terminal date of this administration, every minute counts as we strive to finish strong.
“This administration’s novel entrepreneurship programmes have become the reference point for youth development in the country, while our urban centres continue to experience growth and renewal through massive investments in roads and bridges.
“For instance, Asaba, the capital city, is becoming a hub for conferences, resulting in a boost in the hospitality industry.
” The Koka Bridge Flyover and Interchange, Asaba Leisure Park and Film Village; and Warri Storm Water Drainage, are some of the major projects we hope to deliver before this administration winds up,” he said.
The governor said the Ogheye floating market,when delivered in September,would impact on lives in the riverine areas.
“It is my hope that people from across the state will witness the inauguration of this project because it is a major project in which we are very proud of.
” This is because those in the riverside areas have been neglected for too long but we have continued to partner them by doing projects that will improve their living condition,” he said.
Okowa urged the new commissioners to remain focused and constantly be in tune with the policy direction of the administration to make quick success of their work.
He said that as the electioneering season was gathering momentum, it was expected that political opportunists and detractors would employ every means possible to distract the people.
“But you must remain focused and unwavering in the noble task of building a stronger Delta and standing on the tripod of Prosperity, Peace and Progress.
“It is going to take all of us thinking together, planning together, and working together to actualise this mandate.
“You must promote inclusion and diversity in your ministry.
In your utterances and actions.
It is important that you develop a work environment devoid of mutual suspicion, distrust, exclusion and resentment.
“This administration is passionate in the belief that the stability, peaceful co-existence and prosperity of the state depends on our ability to run an all-inclusive government,” he said.
The governor urged the commissioners to lead by example, saying, ” always bear in mind that as a leader, people don’t do what you tell them but what they see you do.
I trust that you will be committed to leading by example as you begin your tenures today.
“For that to happen, you must model excellence in your work ethic, character and leadership style.
You must commit to excellence in service delivery even if at great personal expense.
“Excellence also means to be purpose-driven, process-driven and people-driven,” the governor said.
Enita, responding on behalf of the commissioners, thanked Okowa for finding them worthy to serve the people of the state.
He assured that they would deliver their services conscientiously in line with the “Stronger Delta” agenda.
Dr Chioma Ejikeme, Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), said that the directorate’s data were fully protected and backed up against any loss.
Ejikeme said this during the second day sensitisation and collaboration forum with anti-graft agencies and other relevant stakeholders in Abuja on Tuesday.
She said that the directorate had so many back up plans, making them fully aware of all their pensioners who had been verified.
The representative of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr Mohammed Abdullah, said that the commission collaborated with PTAD in different aspects and cases.
He said that the commission was currently prosecuting several defendants in multiple jurisdiction cases reported by PTAD.
The Director of Special Services, the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission, Mrs Agha-Ibe Orieoma, urged PTAD to mount more public awareness and continue collaboration with law enforcement agencies.
Orieoma said there should be strict penalties and sanctions to ensure that employers, pension administrators and other offenders did not divert pension funds.
The secretary to the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), Mr Philip Enyali said at times, the scammers collaborated with internal persons and advised PTAD to always audit the payroll.
“This could help curb fraud.
PTAD also needs to sensitise and communicate with pensioners at all time.
” Enyali said that the verification and the “ I AM ALIVE” online verification would help to Know if the pensioners are alive or they were paying ghost.
He commended the directorate for the level of success achieved so far.
The President, Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Chief Godwin Abumisi, urged PTAD to be committed to its ongoing sensitisation programmes and educating the pensioners on the “ I AM ALIVE” online verification.
Abumisi said that the sensitisation was key for pensioners entitlement not to fall into the hands of fraudsters.
“ A good number of our members are aged with little or no background of computer and it make them vulnerable to fraudsters,” he said.
Abumisi commended the directorate and President Muhammadu Buhari for constantly paying them.
Twenty-year-old Taiwo Laidi on Tuesday won Nigeria’s fifth medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after finishing second in the women’s 76kg weightlifting event.
Laidi lifted 96kg in snatch and her 120kg in clean and jerk took her to a total of 216kg, qualifying for a silver medal and a Junior Commonwealth Games record.
Meanwhile, Nigeria lost 0-3 to England in the bronze medal’s match in the men’s team event of the table tennis competition.
The event’s doubles game had seen the duo of Tom Jarvis and Paul Drinkhall beating Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo 3-0 (11-6 11-7 11-7).
The singles games saw Quadri Aruna losing 1-3 (9-11 11-9 10-12 6-11) to Liam Pitchford, and Omotayo 0-3 (4-11 2-11 4-11).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Team Nigeria will now focus on the singles and doubles events of the table tennis competition which begin on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in the Games’ athletics competition, Nigeria’s Anabel Orobosa has qualified for the final of the women’s shot put event.
Orobosa finished fifth in Group B of the qualification round, throwing over 16.27 metres to secure a spot in the final.
Joy Udo-Gabriel also booked a spot in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m, after running a season’s best 11.43 seconds to finish third in heat 5.Rosemary Chukwuma ran 11.02 secs to win heat 4 and qualify easily for the semi-finals.
In men’s boxing, Abdul-Afeez Osoba lost 0-5 in his Round of 16 bout in the 67kg-71kg light middleweight category to Welsh boxer Garan Croft.
NAN reports that Team Nigeria currently have five medals in the Games, all from weightlifting.
As part of efforts to combat crime, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, has ordered the immediate closure of all brothels in the state.
Bello also banned wearing of face masks in public places for proper and easy identification of persons.
The governor gave the directive on Tuesday in Lokoja, during a meeting with all first-class and second-class traditional rulers, chairmen of the 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state.
Mr Onogwu Mohammed, Chief Press Secretary to Bello, made this known in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday.
The governor said that the action was aimed at curbing criminal activities in the state, and to ensure that Kogi remained the safest state in the country.
He further ordered the removal and demolition of shanties in Lokoja, Osara, Zango, Itobe, Obajana, Okaba, as well as other settlements surrounding the capital.
He also directed that trailers parks within 30 metres on the right of ways, be removed.
He urged the commissioner in charge of local government and chieftancy affairs, local government chairmen, union leaders and security agencies, to meet with tricycle and motorcycle riders for proper documentation.
Bello also charged all traditional rulers to guard their domains and ensure occupants of all the nooks and crannies of their areas were properly documented because every inch of the land belonged to them.
He sympathised with families of the slain security agents in Ajaojuta LGA.
While admonishing the local government chairmen, and security agencies to continue to do their jobs without fear or favour, the governor, however, sent a strong warning to politicians in the state to desist from acts that could breach Kogi’s peace and security.
Bello charged citizens and residents of the state to give vital security information to law enforcement agencies, and also cooperate with them in the discharge of their duties.
In response to the arbitrary arrests and detentions of members of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) and the wave of police violence during the demonstrations in Conakry on July 28 that left five dead and at least three more wounded by gunshots, Fabien Offner, a researcher at Amnesty International's West and Central Africa office, said: "Guinean authorities must end this excessive use of force in responding to large-scale demonstrations, including the one that took place on Thursday 28 March.
July when five people lost their lives.
The organization calls for the immediate and unconditional release of those arbitrarily detained and for the charges against them to be dropped.” Fabien Offner, researcher at Amnesty International's West and Central Africa office.
“According to testimonies collected and documented by Amnesty International, police fired live ammunition at demonstrators protesting in the streets of Conakry.
Amnesty International reminds the authorities that, under international law, the use of force in policing must be strictly necessary and proportionate, and that the use of firearms is prohibited unless there is an imminent threat of death or injury.
"In addition, the authorities must conduct effective, independent and impartial investigations into suspected cases of shooting victims and, once these investigations are completed, prosecute and try the suspects through fair trials in competent, independent and impartial courts."
Background On July 28, the civil society organization FNDC organized a demonstration to denounce the unilateral government of the country.
Violence broke out between police and protesters.
According to a statement from the authorities, five On July 28, the FNDC, a civil society organization, called a demonstration to denounce the unilateral way in which the transition was being handled.
Violence broke out between police and protesters.
According to a statement from the authorities, five people died and several more were detained, including two members of the FNDC and a leader of the UFR political party.
On July 29, legal proceedings were initiated against Oumar Sylla alias Foniké Menguè, Ibrahima Diallo and Saikou Yaya Barry for illegal protest, destruction of public and private buildings, inciting the crowd, assault and battery, obstruction of freedom of movement and complicity, followed by his arrest on the night of July 30-31.
They are currently being held in Conakry Civil Prison.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige on Tuesday said voluntary conciliation was adopted to ensure quick resolution of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Ngige made this known at a three-day capacity building workshop on International Labour Standards and Dispute Resolution in Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
The workshop is organised by the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The minister said that voluntary conciliation was adopted instead of arbitration in order not to delay the resolution process with the striking lecturers.
“I could have transmitted the matter to the IAP or the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
“But I used my discretion to weigh the situation to know if it would cause more delay in the resolution of the dispute in a court process, ‘’ he said.
The minister, however, recalled that ASUU had embarked on strike on Feb. 14 and voluntary conciliation started on Feb. 22 and subsequently, on March 1. According to him, by the second meeting, most of the issues arising from the 2020 Memorandum of Action (MOA) signed between ASUU and the Ministry of Education with other government agencies involved were conciliated leaving out only two.
“The two outstanding issues were the conditions of service, which according to the 2009 Agreement would be reviewed every four years.
“The last review was in 2013 and we started the review in 2018 under Wale Babalakin (SAN) as the chairman of the renegotiation committee.
We could not conclude because Babalakin left.
“A new committee headed by Munzali came.
Munzali finished his work and put in his report at the Federal Ministry of Education,’’he said.
He noted that all the committees including the previous Onosode committee were all internal committees of the Ministry of Education.
He said that they discussed with the unions and gave them offers and counter offers vis-a-vis what they wanted.
“Once the committees finished, their products are sent up.
“The major issue here is salary and wage review.
That is where they are before ASUU embarked on strike,’’ he said.
Ngige said that once a strike occured, it triggered the content of the Trade Dispute Act (TDA) on how to resolve the industrial action.
He said the ministry of education was still handling the matter and it was transmitted back to them.
“If a party wants us to transmit a matter back to them to have a second look, you assist them.
That is what you call voluntary conciliation.
“ It is voluntary because if I apprehend and bring all the parties to the negotiation table and a party requests that I should take the matter to NICN, I will do so,’’he said.
Ngige also described the workshop as one of the reforms ongoing in his ministry as some arbitrators had not fully understood the tenets of the panel of IAP and were handicapped in discharging their duties.
He described arbitration as one of the statutory stages in trade dispute resolution commencing with internal mechanisms.
“In addition to the workshop billed to reform the way and manner of discharging the statutory function of the IAP.
“The labour laws have been worked on by tripartite body, comprising the government, employers and workers representatives.
“This is in the form of the two federations of trade unions to take on board on the new developments in labour legislations and fill in identified anomalies and lacunae in our current labour laws,’’ he said.
He added that the bills were at the stage of proceeding to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for further necessary action before going to the National Assembly for consideration.
Ngige said the passage of the bills would be the new dawn of labour administration in the country.
Chief Registrar of IAP, Abduhamid Ibrahim said the purpose of the workshop was to provide unique opportunity for members of IAP and its management staff.
“They will acquire sound knowledge and experience in modern skills regarding labour disputes prevention and resolution in line with international labour standards,” he said.
ILO Country Director to Nigeria, Vanessa Phala, called for investment in studies and researches to quantify what should be the impact of social dialogue and collective.
bargaining in the development processes.
She also called for the development of indicators and parameters to measure social and industrial relations and how their governance impacts productivity.
“If we invest in these domains, I am sure we shall stand and win the battle against poverty and misery,’’ she said.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on Africans, especially Nigerians, to eschew division and pursue peace at all time.
He said this at a peace summit organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summit is aimed at analysing and strategising for peace on the Korean Peninsula and its relevance to the African Region.
According to him, having suffered the excruciating pain of distrust among African people, especially in the wake of the struggle of independence and liberation, the time has come to toll the part of peace and eschew division.
“This must begin with the transcending ideals that can overcome the current division of our current world.
“We must enable people to connect through different religions, races, beliefs and build upon it as a key foundation to peace in families, communities and nations.
“Let us all rise up to this challenge and constructively recruit every support for the goals to be attained.
“Let us all work collaboratively at finding lasting solutions to the challenges of our time; promote constructive dialogue and multilateral cooperation for the sake of peace and human development,” he added.
In his keynote address, the Director, Abuja Leadership Centre University of Abuja, Prof. Philip Afaha, said that one of the resolutions to foster peace in Africa “is centered on confidence building.
“Confidence building among the warring people in Africa, especially the leadership in Africa is important.
“There has to be a way that the leaders know that they have to build confidence.
“The leaders must always have fear of the people and there must be dialogue”.
Earlier in his remark, the Chairman, UPF International, Dr Thomas Walsh, who joined the summit virtually, said that the UPF was committed to promoting peace in Africa and in all countries of the world.
“We truly believe that Africa can be a shining light and be the way for a turn around of this world that is looking like it is entering into a new cold war era,” he said.
NAN reports that the highpoint of the event was the induction of no fewer than 10 “Ambassadors of Peace” drawn from across the country.
Amb. Emonyon Odion, one of the inductees who spoke on the sideline of the event, said that injustice, unfairness and inequity remained a stumbling block to achieving peace in Nigeria.
Odion, therefore, advised all Nigerians and other critical stakeholders to embrace justice and be fair to all, as this would contribute to advancing peace in the country and the world at large.