The Kebbi House of Assembly, on Wednesday, expressed delight over the sympathy demonstrated by President Muhammdu Buhari to victims of flood disasters in the state.
The commendation is contained in a statement signed by the Acting Clerk to the house, Alhaji Muhammed Usman-Gwadangwaji in Birnin Kebbi.
“Buhari had referred to the state as focal point of rice production policy of the incumbent administration and pledged to offer immediate assistance to the victims.
“The legislature commends the Federal Government and its Agencies in supporting the state, as well as the state government for its prompt response towards mitigating the attendant hardship being faced by the flood victims,” the statement said.
It added that the assembly also advised the state government to assess the extent of destruction to assorted farm produce, houses, roads and other valuables.
“This is with a view to providing the direly needed necessary assistance to the victims and alleviate their sufferings,” the statement said.
The News Agency of Nigeria had earlier reported that President Buhari had expressed deep concern over the heavy floods in Kebbi that took a number of lives, submerged hectares of farmlands and houses, destroyed farm produces and personal belongings.
The president expressed his concerns in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on Sept. 2. in Abuja. .
Edited By: Angela Okisor/ Maharazu Ahmed
FG seeks collaboration with Agric stakeholders to curb post-harvest losses
The Federal Government on Saturday urged stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with governments at all levels to minimise the incidence of post-harvest losses of farm produce being recorded in the country.
Dr Muazu AbdulKadir, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the call in llorin, the Kwara capital, when he paid a visit to the Nigerian Stored Products Research institute (NSPRl), llorin.
AbdulKadir, while addressing the management of NSPRl, noted that Nigeria was losing billions of naira annually to post harvest losses of various farm produce due to lack of well-equipped storage facilities.
“Over sixty per cent of tomatoes, onions, cashew, mangoes, oranges and water melon, among others harvested in Nigeria are lost after harvesting.
“The Federal Government is working round the clock to address the problem, to allow the country maintain food sufficiency.
“I, hereby, call on stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with the government by coming up with modern scientific approaches on curbing post-harvest losses.’’
AbdulKadir praised the foresight of NSPRl in the preservation of farm produce, fabrication of farm implements, storage facilities and ensuring reduction of post-harvest losses of farm produce, as a priority.
He said the Ministry would continue to give necessary assistance within the available resources to NSPRl, to meet its mandate in farm produce storage and other agricultural activities.
The Executive Director of NSPRl, Dr Patricia Pessu, in her remarks, told the permanent secretary of several interventions currently being embarked upon by the institute, aimed at curbing post-harvest losses of farm produce.
Pessu appealed to the Ministry to assist the institute in the realisation of its objective at curbing post-harvest losses, to create employment for the teeming unemployed, and further boost the national economy.
She called on the Federal Government to allow NSPRl be represented in the intervention committee related to food security.
The NSPRI boss requested that the Ministry give intellectual property rights to agricultural researchers, as a way of encouraging them to do more at ensuring food preservation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the permanent secretary later inspected the laboratories of the institute and its fabricated farm implements with storage faculties.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Idonije Obakhedo
Flooding: Kebbi Gov’t assures farmers on dry season farming
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has assured farmers in the state of necessary support to engage in dry season cultivation, taking cognisance of areas affected by flooding.
The governor gave this assurance at the palace of the Emir of Yauri, Dr Muhammadu Zayyanu-Abdullahi, during a condolence visit to flood-hit communities in the Emirate.
Bagudu commiserated with the people on the losses they suffered, a statement made available to newsmen by his Chief Press Secretary, Abubakar Dakingari, on Saturday said.
He sympathised with them on the recent fatal boat mishap in the area, praying Allah to grant mercies to those who perished.
The governor also conveyed the sympathy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which he sent through the Ministers of Agriculture and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Muhammadu Sabo Nanono and Sadiya Umar Faruk, respectively.
The duo had led a separate delegation to Kebbi to reassure the flood-hit communities of the Federal Government’s commitment to bringing succour to the people.
Bagudu told the Emir that he used the opportunity of the visit to inspect facilities at the Gafara GB Food Factory and areas affected by the flood.
“I have approved the release of between N15 million and N20 million to the local governments affected by the disaster, according to the level of devastation.
“I commend the Emir for his continued support and loyalty to the incumbent administration and assure him that the government will continue to uphold respect to traditional institutions,’’ Bagudu said.
In response, the Emir thanked the governor for the visit and the provision of relief materials to affected persons, which he said, would help to cushion the effect of the flood.
The monarch also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his benevolence to the people of Yauri, especially with the establishment of an electricity sub-station in the town and ongoing roads construction.
“The electricity sub-station has improved economic activities in this area, and I know that the road will no doubt ease the transportation of goods and services.
“I, however, urge the Federal Government to fulfil its pledge of dredging River Niger from Baro to Yauri, to enhance operations of the inland waterways in the area,’’ Zayyanu-Abdullahi said.
He advised all relevant authorities to ensure that dams, rivers and lakes in the country are dredged annually, to remove obstacles hindering free flow of water that could result to flooding.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Idonije Obakhedo
FG set to support 1.7 million businesses, individuals — Minister
Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has stated the Federal Government’s resolve to provide financial support for 1.7 million business entities and individuals across the country in the next three months.
The minister made this known at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) tagged:“Eko Fashion Hub” in Lagos on Friday.
According to her, the initiative is borne out of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities.
She said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.
“The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.
“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs.
“The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September, 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes,” she said.
She said that both schemes were at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package also known as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) being implemented by the Federal Government.
The minister said that the commissioning of shared facilities was also expected to provide succour and relief for the teeming micro businesses in need of space and infrastructural support.
Katagum expressed appreciation to the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for providing a pragmatic and purposeful leadership in establishing a conducive environment that would seamlessly allow MSMEs to grow and prosper.
She congratulated MSMEs across the country and urged the ones in Lagos State to take full advantage of the shared facility as well as the MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes to improve their businesses.
“This event is a testimony to the continued commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide a conducive environment for operators in the MSME space.
“The establishment of Shared Common Facilities, is one of the key take-away from the organisation of MSME Clinics across the country.
“It is also imperative to state that the provision of Shared Facilities in support of MSMEs, is being complemented by activities in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“It has been established, and rightly so, that Shared Facilities have been found to be effective tools to minimise the infrastructural challenges that have inhibited MSMEs overtime”.
“It is my belief that this initiative has come at the right time for MSMEs in Lagos State in particular, and Nigeria in general,” she said.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Grace Yussuf
Niger Govt opens Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles
Gov. Sani Bello of Niger has directed the reopening of the Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles, to ease transportation of goods and services.
He gave the directives at a news conference, after a meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, the Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of Department of State Service, the Group Managing Director of NNPC and the Minister of Works.
Bello explained that the meeting was to discuss issues arising from the closure of the Minna-Bida road and the state-owned roads.
He said he made a presentation on the deplorable state of the roads in the state, which was unanimously acknowledged to be due to articulated vehicles carrying excessive loads of liquid and dry cargoes.
Bello noted that such action had led to the destruction of the roads and caused hardship on other roads users.
The governor disclosed that as a way forward, the following agreements had been reached:
”That no articulated vehicle carrying petroleum products of more than 45,000 litres or 35 tons of dry cargo will be allowed to ply the roads.
”That there was need for special intervention for remedial works to be executed on Federal roads to serve as alternative routes, for trucks to move their products.
”That the State Government would require support from the Federal Government to carry out remedial work on Farin-Doki-Minna-Bida road, for easy movement.
”The Ministry of Works said there were ongoing road repairs by the Federal Government and reiterated its commitment to completing the project,” he said.
The governor, however, said that he had directed the relevant agencies to temporarily open the closed state roads to ease the hardship of motorists and other road users.
He appealed to the people of the state to be patient with the decision of reopening the roads, adding that the Federal Government’s intervention would be effected soon.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu