The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has partnered the Edo Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) to train Quality Assurance Officers (QAO).
The two-day workshop, which ended in Benin on Friday, centred on how to conduct quality assurance activities, using digital tools, in line with global best practices.
Dr Idris Jega, the Head of Division, Security Geospatial Intelligence, Department of Strategic Space Application, NASRDA, said it was imperative for quality assurance processes to be digitalised for efficient service delivery in education in Nigeria.
According to him, a country with diverse socio-cultural and environmental resources such as Nigeria, needs current, accurate, and cost-efficient data and resource management.
“The training component for this collaboration is focused on capacity building, for quality assurance officers, Edo SUBEB.
“This is to ensure development of skills and capacity in the application of space technology and GIS (Geographic Information Service) for quality assurance, as well as geospatial intelligence on the activities taking place at schools,” Jega said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that switching to e-quality assurance, Edo SUBEB joined its counterparts in other states in carrying out quality assurance processes, as a means of improving quality education in the country.
Welcoming the participants earlier, Mrs Ozavize Salami, the Executive Chairman, Edo SUBEB, stressed the importance of the training toward upskilling QAOs to deliver on the EdoBEST 2.0, an education reform mandate in the state.
“The Quality Assurance process provides us the framework to independently and objectively assess the impact of our investments in teaching and learning, teacher professional development and school environment.
“With e-quality assurance, this very vital feedback will be available, just by the click of a button,” the SUBEB boss noted.
Mrs Beatrice Oke, Edo State UBEC coordinator, commended the state, on its migration to e-quality assurance.
Oke noted that quality assurance was the core of input processes and output.
“Incorporating ICT in our processes ensures that officers are doing the right thing at the right time.
“This will help us carry out quality assurance in a better way, keeping us at par with other states, while actively increasing the involvement of officers in the basic education ecosystem”, the UBEC coordinator noted.
Two former Vice-Chancellors, University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka and Prof. Isaac Adewole, have extolled the virtues and contributions of the late Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje, the first Nigerian Professor of Geography.
Olayinka and Adewole along with others spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Saturday.
NAN reports that Mabogunje was born on Oct.18, 1931 in Kano and died on Aug. 4. Mabogunje was African President of the International Geographical Union.
In 1999, he was the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences, among other achievements during his lifetime.
Olayinka said: “We mourn the demise of Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje.
Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his entire family, associates and friends.
“He matriculated at the then University College, Ibadan in 1949 and earned a First Degree in Geography in 1953. This was followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in the same discipline.
“He was elevated to the grade of Professor in 1965, thus becoming the first Nigerian Professor of Geography.
“Baba was widely acclaimed as the foremost Social Scientist ever produced by Africa.
He had earlier, in his illustrious career, served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ibadan from 1968 till 1970. “He provided a leadership role in the preparation of the Master Plan for the Abuja Federal Capital Territory.
” According to Olayinka, as one of the earliest students of the University College, Ibadan, Mabogunje received the Degree of Doctor of Science _honoris causa_ from the University of Ibadan in 2018. “He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him as a distinguished and highly respected UIte, who was very passionate, about his Alma Mater.
“He served meritoriously as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye,” he said.
Olayinka said that it was high time the government took the advice of the late professor on university ownership to ensure sustainability.
“It is generally accepted that the fortunes of the Nigerian University System cannot improve until a sustainable funding model is guaranteed.
“In this respect, about a decade ago, Prof. Akin Mabogunje suggested that the Federal Government of Nigeria should hand over the University of Ibadan to the Alumni to manage.
“It is perhaps high time this proposal is interrogated for the overall benefit of the country, otherwise, if we are to learn from history the current national strike by ASUU may painfully not be the last.
“We pray for the repose of the soul of the Colossus and eminent global citizen, Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje.
He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew this humble and soft spoken academic giant,” the former VC said.
Also, Adewole, another former Vice-Chancellor, extolled the virtues of the deceased and his contributions to the development of Nigeria, especially the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
“We have lost an ‘Iroko’.
He was truly the last of the ‘Mohicans’.
An academic noble, he dined and wined with the Kings and Queens.
“He was another ‘Mr Fix’, a soft spoken man, who influenced policies without being a politician.
“Abuja was his hand and foot print.
A city that could be named after him.
A unique and successful family man, he remained largely visible but quiet.
His work and legacy are immortal.
“May his gentle soul Rest In Peace,” Adewole, a former Minister of Health, said.
In his comments, retired Prof. Olabode Lucas of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, said that the late Prof. Mabogunje was indeed an academic giant and intellectual Colossus.
“He was in the same league as Ibadan Academic giants like Dike, Lambo, Ajayi Lucas, Odeku, Akinkugbe, Aboyade, Irvine, Durley, Olayide Oyenuga and Bassir.
“He was the greatest Geographer in Africa, who won the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Geography.
“As a student at Ibadan, he was the Secretary of the Action Group on the campus together with people like Bola Ige and Olutoye.
“In this capacity, he was a member of the Action Group Executive Council presided over by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“After retirement, he founded the DPC with Prof. Aboyade.
For many years, he was the Chancellor of Ogun State University.
“He came, he saw and conquered.
May his soul rest in perfect peace,” Lucas said.
Also, Mr David Afolayan, the Chief Executive Officer, GIS Konsult, said that the late Prof. Mabogunje contributed to learning of Geography and passed it down to the next generation.
Afolayan described the deceased as a professor of professors and a great mentor.
“He contributed immensely to teaching of GIS in public and private secondary schools in Nigeria since 2015 and in equipping the next generation on having a better understanding of how the world works.
“And, he also empowered young people to proffer solutions to problems in the society through the connections he provided on the project I was inspired to take on,” Afolayan said.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Tuesday unveiled Channel Point Apartments, a mini-housing scheme in Victoria Island, further raising the housing stock of the state.
Channel Point Apartments are a composite housing project jointly developed by the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) and Brook Assets and Resources Ltd., a private real estate developer.
The housing scheme, located in Sinari Daranijo Street, consists of twin blocks of 38-unit two-and three-bedroom flats on a land size of 2,832 square metres.
Speaking during the unveiling, Sanwo-Olu said that the project made it the 16th housing project completed and delivered in the last three years by his administration.
He said the 38-unit housing project showed the result of collaboration between government and the private sector.
According to him, the present administration’s determination to provide affordable and decent housing for the residents through public-private collaboration has yielded positive outcomes.
Sanwo-Olu said that the urban renewal agenda of the state government remained on course.
He noted that the overall goal of provision of modern housing and infrastructure was to ensure that the state sustained its growth and the megacity status.
”I congratulate the LSDPC and Asset Brooks and Resources Ltd. on the successful completion of this edifice.
Progress is, indeed, achievable when public and private sector enterprises come together, bringing their core strengths to the table, for the good of the entire society.
”This positive outcome is yet another testimony to the effective collaboration between government and the private sector in the implementation of our agenda to provide affordable and decent housing for our people.
”I am impressed by the quality of work done by the contractor, which reflects the quality of monitoring and supervision by the LSDPC, which has sustained the high standards set long before now.
”We shall continue to pursue and implement this tried-and-tested model of public-private collaboration, as it has proven to be a potent strategy for keeping up with the rate of demand for housing by our rapidly increasing population,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration had pursued its urban renewal policy vigorously, which resulted in rehabilitation and reconstruction of various infrastructure across the state.
He said that the government would continue to provide a supportive environment for business and investment to flourish, while improving life expectancy in the state.
The governor said the ongoing automation and digitisation reforms in property records and land administration in Lagos were already yielding positive outcomes.
He also said that the Enterprise Geographic Information System (e-GIS) being introduced by the state government for transparent land allocation would be ready before the end of 2022. “We are giving commitment that before the end of the year, our e-GIS platform, which will unlock openness and raise efficiency in processing of property titles within weeks at applicant’s comfort zone, will be delivered.
Disagreements over land titles will be a thing of the past,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor assured residents that provision of decent, affordable housing remained a key priority for his administration, disclosing more housing schemes were due for completion across the state.
The Managing Director, LSDPC, Mr Ayodeji Joseph, said that the project was another progress recorded by the Sanwo-Olu’s administration in closing the housing deficit in Lagos.
Joseph said that the development of the Channel Point Apartments was conceptualised during Sanwo-Olu’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of LSDPC.
He said that the site of the project had two bungalow houses before the agency converted it into a mini estate.
The Managing Director of Brook Assets and Resources Ltd., Ms Lanre Sola, said the scheme offered luxury accommodation for the comfort of the allottees.
Sola said that in spite of the challenges encountered in the course of the development, including the paucity of funding occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, the company was resilient and showed great commitment to deliver the project.
The mini estate has modern facilities, such as a water treatment plant, LPG Reticulation Service, fitness gym, swimming pool, roof-top cinema, sit-out space and two elevators per block.
On his part, the Oniru of Iruland, Oba AbdulWasiu Lawal, commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu for the progress made in the housing sector.
Lawal said that he was happy that the governor’s vision for housing was in tandem with his vision to make Lagos compact and smart for the residents.
He said that Lagos had a very small landmass, hence, there was the need for the state to always convert any available space or inactive property to good use, for the hundreds of residents who were in need of housing.
Lawal said that the state could always explore the opportunity to make the state liveable for millions of residents, in spite of the growing population.
The Anambra State Government says issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to private land owners is now done within 30 working days, rather than the former two or three years.
Prof. Offornze Amucheazi, state Commissioner for Lands, disclosed this during the ongoing 2022 Revised Budget defence.
He spoke before the state House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, on Tuesday in Awka.
Amucheazi said that the ministry had set timelines for land or property documentation processes to address numerous complaints from residents.
He described C of O as a document issued by state governments to landowners and property buyers as a legitimate proof of ownership.
“When we came in, timeline was a major challenge, and to address that, we streamlined our timelines and I can tell you authoritatively that we are working with the timelines.
“Before, it took about two to three years to obtain C of O, but now, as a private land owner, you can obtain your C of O within 30 working days, so long your documents are complete.
“As time goes on, we will work on a downward review of the timeline.
“We are yet to set a timeline for issuance of C of O for state-owned land, because we are waiting for the report of the Land reform committee set up to investigate some issues,” he said.
The Commissioner said the ministry had started digitalising land documentation processes in the state to prevent delays.
“We have stated test running the Fast Track Mortgage system.Once you submit your documents, your mortgage will be out within 10 days. And we are keeping to the timelines.
“By August, we will commence a
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) system and Gov. Charles Soludo has approved it .
“Once it commences, within one and half years, we will have an effective GIS system to store, analyse, and visualise data for lands.
“We also hope to have a fireproof safe to protect all land documents in the state. Ministry of land is very crucial and if we do not get it right, we can not achieve anything in the state, ” he said.
Reacting, Mr Chidi Udenmadu, a lawmaker representing Ihiala Constituency l, who chaired the committee, expressed satisfaction with the budgeted projects of the Ministry.
Achieving food security through strategic partnership with women: Aisha Buhari example
Achieving food security through strategic partnership with women: Aisha Buhari example
By Ahmed Ubandom, News Agency of Nigeria
Unarguably, women cannot be ignored in the quest to ensure food security, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the United Nations, women represent 50 per cent of agricultural labour force in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It was as a result of this undeniable fact, that the Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari and President Africa First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM), has sustained her commitment to support women in agriculture.
Recently, Aisha Buhari sent a delegation to the Republic of Kazakhstan to participation in a high-level forum on Food Security, organised by the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) and Kazakhstan National Agrarian Research University.
Participants were drawn from different member-states of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), including ministers, opinion leaders and experts in agro-industrial sector.
The Nigeria`s delegation was led by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs and Strategy, Office of First Lady, Mr Sani Zorro.
In his presentation, Zorro enumerated the achievements of the Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF), in supporting women and children, especially in the areas of health, education and nutritional needs of malnourished communities in Nigeria.
Zorro also listed ABF`s interventions in addressing cases associated with gender-based violence, promotion of adolescence health and nutrition needs, girl-child education, among others.
He explained that the interventions were executed through strategic collaboration between the ABF and other development partners.
While in Kazakhstan, the Nigerian delegation held strategic meetings with the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS), Ombudsman for Children`s Rights in Kazakhstan, Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Nur-Sultan Foundation.
Other were Hassad Food Qatar, Attyab International Services, Arab Authority as well as GIS Space Services, among others.
The organisers of the high-level forum, the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) had earlier, indicated interest to partner the first lady`s foundation to provide technical support for women in Agriculture, especially rural women.
The IOFS Director-General, Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet, said that the partnership would require building technical capacities of rural women for a more productive engagement in agriculture.
The D-G said that the IOFS had a lot in common with the ABF in terms of operational convergence for rural farming.
“The two organisations have a lot in common, especially in the areas of developing technical capacity for female farmers and rural farming.
“ I am sure there are big opportunities in this kind of project, especially in the rural areas for developing technical capacity for rural farmers, especially female farmers, so, I think we have a lot of things to do by cooperating with the first lady`s foundation.
“ We have to work because today, we are witnessing a lot of inequalities, a lot of social problems, I think those who are giving this kind of opportunity to partner the first lady`s foundation will join efforts and do something tangible for the good of the people,” he said.
Baidaulet, commended the ABF for its commitment to tackle social problems, support humanity and make the society a better place.
On his part, the representative of the first lady, Mr Zorro, expressed optimism that the partnership would be mutually beneficial.
He said that the ABF had been visibly proactive in providing healthcare, education and economic empowerment services to the vulnerable in the society.
”The foundation is willing to collaborate with reputable organisations around the world to deepen its support for humanity,” he said.
During one of the sessions, the first lady, advocated for increased stakeholders engagements in promoting peace-building among farming communities to ensure sustainable food security in the Afreican continent.
The first lady emphasised the need to join forces to address the devastating impact of climate change, especially as it affects women and children as well as food production.
She said concerted effort must be made by relevant authorities to stem the conflicts between farming communities and herdsmen.
According to her, the situation threatens food production in most farming communities. She said government of Nigeria had invested huge resources to curtail the situation and to guarantee safety to the farming communities.
“Efforts are being made to address the situation in most affected areas of Africa, especially from humanitarian organisation.
“Efforts from my office and my foundation, the Aisha Buhari Foundation have continued to support women, youths and children who are mostly affected by the challenges affecting our environment.
“ I am excited by the efforts aimed at partnering the Islamic Organisation for Food Security in our commitment to achieving food security, especially through food security and nutrition.
“ As President of AFLPM, sometime last month, I have the opportunity to address the General Assembly Summit of African Union Heads of States and Government as a reliable partner in promoting peace in the continent.
“ We are committed to using the network of AFLPM to influence the teachings of peace and security education in primary, secondary and territory schools in the continent, ” she said.
Aisha Buhari also informed the gathering that her foundation had partnered the Federal Ministry of Health to promote traditional medicinal herbs through the utilisation of genetic plants.
“ This is a segment of our agriculture which large number of our local population depend on for the treatment of their ailments, food supplements and cosmetics.
According to her, out of 10,000 species of medicinal plants in Nigeria, only 20 per cent are utilised.
In addition, my office has resolved to work with the Nigerian parliament to accelerate the passage of the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) Council Bill into law.
She reiterated her determination to support women and children, especially women in agriculture for sustainable food security in the continent.
Undoubtedly, the high-level forum which had representatives from over 20-member countries of IOC, formed a dynamic stand for multi-stakeholders’ dialogue to explore ways of ensuring food security, boost innovations and sharing of challenges associated with food security and nutrition across the globe. (NANFeatures).
** If used, pleased credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria
The Presidency has again, reeled out 28-page of President Muhammadu Buhari’s strides in Oil and gas reforms, Digital economy, Mines and steel development, Agriculture, Education, Health, Creative Industry, Sports and infrastructural development; roads, bridges, rail, air and seaports, housing, and many others. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president’s scorecard is coming ahead of the seven-year anniversary of the Buhari-led administration on May 29, 2022. President Buhari had on May 29, 2015, took the oath of office as President, promising to serve Nigeria faithfully in all spheres of national life. The seven years milestone, according to the President’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, presents a major landmark and opportunity to review the service of the president to the country and its people. Adesina noted that the Buhari administration has so far delivered on its promises to Nigerians although revisionists would want to look at security challenges, which are being robustly tackled by the government. A one-stop shop of the achievements of the Buhari administration at seven indicated that a lot has been done, and a lot more will still be done in the 12 months ahead. Nigeria, under Buhari’s watch, has continued to witness the biggest and most ambitious federal infrastructure program since Nigeria’s Independence. In Solid Minerals, the Federal Government, 2020, approved a new national policy on local production of bitumen. In April 2022, the government announced the selection of PwC as Transaction Adviser for the concession process for Nigeria’s bitumen blocks. (Nigeria has one of the largest bitumen reserves in the world, mostly undeveloped). The Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) is a Buhari Administration scheme to enumerate (deploying BVN and NIN data), ‘skill’, equip, and finance (by guaranteeing offtake—with fair pricing) artisanal gold miners in Nigeria. Construction has also been completed on the first phase of the Segilola Gold Project, Nigeria’s first large-scale commercial gold mine, and most advanced gold exploration project (also currently the largest defined gold deposit in the country). The private sector project, built during the pandemic, began exporting gold in late 2021. In Kaduna, a $600 million integrated iron ore mining, processing and steel production company is being completed, in Gujeni, Kagarko LGA of the State – a wholly private sector investment. The Federal Government has also issued licenses to three companies to build the first set of gold refineries in Nigeria. – In 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) added Nigerian gold to its reserves for the first time. – The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has achieved: The total automation and decentralization of the operations of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) Revitalized the Presidential Joint Task Force on Mines Surveillance Enhanced the operating capacity of the National Geosciences Research Laboratories (NGRL) in Kaduna, so that samples no longer need to be sent abroad for processing Operationalization of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) Established, in 2018, the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development, bringing the Federal and State Governments together. Reactivated the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committees (MIREMCO) The government announced the ongoing development of the following Mining-related clusters in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, as part of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s Covid-19 economic intervention program:
The Presidency has again, reeled out 28-page of President Muhammadu Buhari’s strides in Oil and gas reforms, Digital economy, Mines and steel development, Agriculture, Education, Health, Creative Industry, Sports and infrastructural development; roads, bridges, rail, air and sea ports, housing, and many others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president’s scorecard is coming ahead of the seven year anniversary of the Buhari-led administration on May 29, 2022.
President Buhari had in May 29, 2015, took the oath of office as President, promising to serve Nigeria faithfully in all spheres of national life.
The seven years milestone, according to the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, presents a major landmark and opportunity to review the service of the president to the country, and its people.
Adesina noted that the Buhari administration has so far delivered in its promises to Nigerians although revisionists would want to look at security challenges, which are being robustly tackled by the government.
A one-stop shop of the achievements of the Buhari administration at seven indicated that a lot has been done, and a lot more will still be done in the 12 months ahead.
Nigeria, under Buhari’s watch, has continued to witness the biggest and most ambitious federal infrastructure programme since Nigeria’s Independence.
On Solid Minerals, the Federal Government, in 2020, approved a new national policy on local production of bitumen.
In April 2022, the government announced the selection of PwC as Transaction Adviser for the concession process for Nigeria’s bitumen blocks. (Nigeria has one of the largest bitumen reserves in the world, mostly undeveloped).
The Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) is a Buhari Administration scheme to enumerate (deploying BVN and NIN data), , ‘skill’, equip, and finance (by guaranteeing offtake—with fair pricing) artisanal gold miners in Nigeria.
Construction has also been completed on the first phase of the Segilola Gold Project, Nigeria’s first large-scale commercial gold mine, and most advanced gold exploration project (also currently the largest defined gold deposit in the country).
The private sector project, built during the pandemic, began exporting gold in late 2021.
In Kaduna, a $600 million integrated iron ore mining, processing and steel production company is being completed, in Gujeni, Kagarko LGA of the State – a wholly private sector investment.
The Federal Government has also issued licences to three companies to build the first set of gold refineries in Nigeria.
– In 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) added Nigerian gold to its reserves for the first time.
– The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has achieved:
The total automation and decentralization of the operations of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO)
Revitalized the Presidential Joint Task Force on Mines Surveillance
Enhanced the operating capacity of the National Geosciences Research Laboratories (NGRL) in Kaduna, so that samples no longer need to be sent abroad for processing
Operationalization of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF)
Established, in 2018, the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development, bringing the Federal and State Governments together.
Reactivated the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committees (MIREMCO)
The government announced ongoing development of the following Mining-related clusters in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, as part of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s Covid-19 economic intervention programme:
• Gold Souk in Kano
• Kaolin-processing plant in Bauchi
• Gemstone market in Ibadan
• Lead-smelting plant in Ebonyi
• Barite-processing plant in Cross River
• Gold-smelting plant in Kogi
The Federal Government has also done very well in the agricultral sector particularly the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
The Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, launched by President Buhari on November 17, 2015, has disbursed more than N800 billion to more than four million smallholder farmers of 23 different commodities.
These commodities include, Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, 27 Groundnut, Fish), cultivating over five million hectares of farmland.
The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI)was also inaugurated as a government-to-government partnership between the Nigerian and Moroccan Governments, in Dec. 2016.
The Initiative produced 30 million 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 equivalent in 2020, bringing total production since inception to over 60 million 50kg bags equivalent.
The number of participating blending plants increased to 62 from the four that were operational in Nigeria at the inception of the initiative.
The government has concluded plans to establish a $500million partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria, AfDB Group, IsDB, and IFAD under the Special-Agro Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme.
Under the SAPZ programme, Agro-processing centres will be established across the country.
The Agro-processing centres will be provided with basic infrastructure such as water, electricity and roads as well as facilities for skills training.
Seven States and the FCT selected for the pilot phase, due to commence in 2022: Ogun, Oyo, Imo, Cross River, Kano, Kaduna, and Kwara.
The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) is also establishing Integrated Farm Estates across Nigeria.
So far, Farm Estates have been commissioned in Katsina, Yobe and Imo, and others are under development.
President Buhari has directed NALDA to establish these Integrated Farm in each of the 109 Senatorial Districts in the country.
NALDA was originally established in 1992, but has been dormant since around 2000, until last year when President Buhari revived it, appointed a new Executive Secretary & CEO (June 2020), and directed that the Authority be domiciled in the Presidency for direct supervision by him.
An Integrated Farm Estate is designed to fit the particular context of its host community i.e., cultivate crops livestock peculiar to the community.
NALDA has also launched the National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS), to engage 1,000 youths in each of the 774 LGAs, in mechanized agriculture.
Also, under the NYFS, NALDA is sending, in the first phase, 200 young Nigerian farmers, from the 36 States, to Israel and Morocco, for training in greenhouse farming and animal husbandry.
The beneficiaries will, upon completion of their training and return to Nigeria, be tasked with the training of other young people, on NALDA’s Integrated Farm Estates in their various areas.
Under agriculture for food and jobs programme (AFAJ), a component of the Economic Sustainability Plan (a stimulus response to the Covid-19 pandemic), the Federal Government trained and deployed over 34,000 young graduates, across all 774 LGAs of the country.
Each person was given a locally-developed app on smartphones and e-Tablet, to digitally register farmers and map out their farm GIS coordinates.
Another agricultural programme, the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), is an initiative of the Nigerian Government designed to Modernise pastoral agriculture and livestock production in Nigeria, through the establishment of ranches, and to deliver a lasting solution to recurring clashes between pastoralists and crop farmers.
”By addressing the resource (land, water and pasture) constraints at the heart of the conflicts through this intervention, the Government expects to see a situation where both livestock pastoralists and crop farmers contribute amicably to the country’s agriculture sector.
”NLTP will create jobs, expand domestic technical capacity, increase agricultural output (milk and meat yields of local cattle breeds) and very importantly engender peace and security across the country.”
The Green Imperative, a Nigeria-Brazil Agricultural Mechanisation programme is also aimed at boosting agricultural production in Nigeria.
”The €995 million, 5-year project, funded by the Bank of Brazil (BDES), with support from Deutsche Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and other partners, aims to deliver agriculture technology transfer from Brazilian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Research and Training Institutes to Nigeria’s entrepreneurs, Research Institutes and businesses.”
The National Assembly has approved the loan for the financing of the programme, which will involve the development of 632 privately-operated primary production (Mechanisation) Service Centres and 142 Agro-processing (value-addition) Service Centres across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
It will also involved the reactivation of 6 privately owned partially-operational or moribund tractor assembly plants nationwide. It will also train 100,000 new extension workers.
In a bid to uplift the quality of life of the less-privileged Nigerians, the Buhari administration in 2016, inaugurated the National Social Investment Programme.
The programme is currently believed to be the largest in Africa and one of the largest in the world.
The National Social Register (NSR) of poor and vulnerable Nigerians (NSR) now contains more than 46 million persons from more than 11 million poor and vulnerable households, identified across more than 8,000 wards and 125,000 communities across the 36 States of the country and the FCT.
”From this number, close to 2 million poor and vulnerable Nigerian households are currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, which pays a bimonthly stipend of N10,000 per household.
”In January 2019, President Buhari launched Nigeria’s Micro-Pension Scheme – which allows self-employed persons and persons working in organisations with less than 3 employees to save for the provision of pension at retirement or incapacitation.
”Establishment of the Survival Fund, the National Youth Investment Fund, and National Special Public Works Program (774,000 beneficiaries across 774 LGAs nationwide), and the Central Bank’s Covid-19 300 billion Naira Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) to support millions of small businesses, households, and young people, with federal grants, loans, and stipends.
”The Buhari Administration’s Survival Fund has provided grants (Payroll Support, Artisan and Transport Sector grants, and General MSME grants) to more than 1.2 million beneficiaries, since the last quarter of 2020. ”
It has also provided free business registration to 250,000 MSMEs across the country.
A Presidential approval for the establishment of the Nigeria Investment and Growth Fund (NIG-Fund), was also granted by the president in 2021.
The Fund is being structured like a private equity fund, and invest in commercially viable projects that will promote growth and innovation, enhance local value addition, create employment, and promote exports.
”As at the end of 2021, Development Bank of Nigeria (which commenced operations in 2017) had disbursed 482 billion Naira in loans to more than 200,000 MSMEs, through 51 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has disbursed more than N1 trillion in loans to over three million large, medium, small and micro enterprises, since 2015.
Experts in Geographic Information System (GIS), on Thursday trained 50 students on the use of GIS technology for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Emmanuel Jeje, an Acting Director, Provincial Operations Support, Department of Agriculture, Land Reforms and Rural Development, Cape Town in South Africa, made this known at the training in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that theme of the training was: “GIS Transforming Our World”.
The GIS Workshop for Senior Secondary School Students was organised for Deeper Life High School and sponsored by GIS Academy, Ibadan.
Jeje said that importance of technological knowledge have to be inculcated in education for an evolving world.
He highlighted the importance of GIS to various fields of human endeavours and its roles in solving challenges facing the world from climate issues to agriculture and military use.
“GIS helps you to understand what exists and where.
“And with GIS ability, you can measure what happened in the past, the present and what the future can be as well as solve problems highlighted in the SDGs,” Jeje said.
He also listed various career opportunities possible with the knowledge of GIS and how it could be deployed to security, businesses, solving climatic issues among others.
In his remarks, Mr David Afolayan, the Chief Executive Officer, GIS Academy, said the workshop was an eye opener for the students to recognise opportunities within their reach, starting from where they were in their Geography class.
Afolayan said: “Geography gives them information about the earth form, features, activities, atmosphere and so on.
“It is a foundation for careers they are not aware of and we are bringing in Geographic information technology as an enabler so that the knowledge they have in Geography, Technology can be used to solve problems.”
He said that GIS was a technology that helps to solve spatial problems.
“We are building on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which already itemised the problems of the world that the world needs to solve.
“We are letting the students see how their knowledge of Geography and GIS can solve these problems.
“Technology is being put in their hands and one of the benefits is the grant from the ESRI to all the schools in Nigeria, so that their schools will have the software.
“We are also integrating them into biodiversity projects where their school forms, like citizen scientists, where they will have the opportunity to use real scientific protocols to solve real problems,” he said.
Afolayan also said that it was a hybrid of several technologies and several platforms.
“We have the global learning and observation of the environment, which is a United States NASA supported project that promotes STEM with an understanding of the earth and its systems.
“We are teaching them how to collect data and interpret it,” he said.
Afolayan said that the students were being tested already on GIS in their WAEC and JAMB examinations and the training would afford them deeper insight into their curriculum.
“This is part of the Geography Green School projects that empower schools
across Nigeria and Africa by providing technology support, educational materials and tools for geo-literacy, ” Afolayan said.
Commenting, Mr Israel Abioye, a Geography teacher at the Deeper Life High School, Ibadan, said that the workshop had equipped the students with hands-on training on GIS, which according to him, is part of the syllabus for third term for students in senior classes.
Speaking on their training experience, Precious Oke and Upongbong Abasi told NAN that they have learnt relevance of GIS to many career paths and how to use the technology to solve problems in their environment.
The livestock subsector in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is growing faster than most components of the agricultural economy. The main drivers are rapid population growth, urbanization, and increased consumption of animal-source foods due to rising incomes and a growing middle class.
In recent years, new serotypes of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and other emerging transboundary animal diseases (FBDs) including African swine fever, peste des petits ruminants (PPR), and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have threatened animal safety. food and security of the 16 countries of the Southern African region. These diseases are responsible for significant losses in livestock production and limit socioeconomic growth. In addition, the lack of appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks undermines compliance with sanitary requirements, limiting business opportunities and access to regional and international markets. Apart from a handful of countries enjoying access to lucrative beef export markets, most SADC member states have not yet been able to unlock the full potential of their livestock resources.
Through the 'Support for the Implementation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy' (STOSAR) project, FAO, in partnership with the SADC Secretariat and the European Union, is working to strengthen regional cooperation to address transboundary animal diseases and reduce their negative effects on food security, nutrition and trade. Managing high-impact transboundary animal diseases is complex and can quickly exhaust countries' containment and eradication capacities. Therefore, it requires a collective effort, coupled with innovative approaches, to manage animal disease and food safety risks that compromise food safety and international trade. It is also necessary to develop and adopt harmonized standards and procedures validated and adapted to the context of the region.
The successful management of animal diseases depends to a large extent on a regional approach, where the countries with the greatest capacity work together in a coordinated manner. The STOSAR project embarked on strengthening the management capacity of high-impact animal diseases in three main areas. The first component is the development of regional strategies for the management of foot-and-mouth disease, PPR and HPAI. The SADC Livestock Technical Committee (LTC) validated the strategies in November 2021, and final approval by the SADC ministers responsible for agriculture and food security will ensure adoption and domestication of the regional strategies. SADC member states are also receiving technical support to develop risk-based national strategic plans and control programs for these diseases.
The second main area of capacity development is the provision of key laboratory equipment, diagnostic kits, consumables and a variety of laboratory reagents. The team has improved the quality and efficiency of laboratory diagnosis and enhanced field surveillance for priority animal diseases. For example, the national laboratory in Madagascar received a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) machine. Mr. Donatien Ratenony, Director of the Presidential Projects coordination unit, said: “Acquiring this equipment and PCR reagents from the STOSAR project is very important for Madagascar. This equipment will enable early diagnosis of viral infections and help us rapidly implement control measures that will facilitate the export of animal products.”
The third and final area of capacity improvement carried out by the STOSAR project is the training of field and laboratory experts in the recognition, diagnosis and control of the main TADs. In partnership with two regional centers of excellence, the French Center for Agricultural Research for International Development (CIRAD) and the University of Pretoria, multiple training courses have been developed and delivered for the benefit of SADC member states.
Courses ranged from disease outbreak investigation to risk mapping methodologies, clinical and laboratory disease detection, quality management systems and laboratory accreditation. Other training included food safety risk analysis, contingency planning, and the design of risk-based surveillance protocols. The risk mapping workshop introduced participants to the use of Q-GIS and disease risk maps based on animal demographics, movements, and other variables. The project also developed and disseminated awareness materials, including a guide promoting Commodity-Based Trading (CBT). This was presented to the political leaders of the SADC member states. In total, around 1,100 participants have been trained since January 2020.
Commenting on the support provided to SADC member states through the STOSAR project, South Africa Sub-Regional Office Animal Production and Health Officer Berhanu Bedane said: “The project has contributed significantly to SADC's livestock development programme. region by strengthening the capacities of member states. to better manage emerging threats to animal health.” He also added: “FAO remains committed to addressing the challenges that limit the performance of the sector and improving the management of transboundary animal diseases creates opportunities for regional trade in animals and animal products and is a progressive step towards access to lucrative international markets.
Working closely with the SADC Secretariat and its member states, the STOSAR project continues to make a significant contribution towards the realization of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) through the implementation of regional agricultural priorities, strengthening of regional integration and improvement of trade in plants and animals. products and merchandise.
A new Fisheries Bill is being finalized which will enable better management of biodiversity and marine resources and promote a sustainable ecosystem, the Minister for Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr. Sudheer Maudhoo, announced today at the opening of a workshop for the project Mainstreaming Biodiversity in the Management of Coastal Zone at the Caudan Arts Center in Port-Louis.
the Minister of the Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr. Kavydass Ramano; the Attorney General, Minister of Agribusiness and Food Security, Mr. Maneesh Gobin; and the UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius, Ms. Amanda Serumaga, were present.
Minister Maudhoo stressed that the project is being financed with some USD 4.6 million by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the assistance of UNDP. The goal, she stated, is to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem management into physical development planning and tourism sector activities. To date, 80% of the project has been completed, she reported.
The project, he indicated, is in line with the Government's vision of transforming Mauritius into an Ocean State by promoting the blue economy as one of its main development pillars. Embedding policy, strategy, knowledge and technological expertise is critical to the emergence of the blue economy as a game changer for the economy, hence the need for such collaborative workshops, he added.
Minister Ramano expressed his gratitude to the GEF and UNDP for the extension of the project until December 2022. He underscored that the extension will help review and update the Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) datasets and GIS maps and finalize the report. about the ESA study. , Strategy and Action Plan.
He further indicated that amendments to the Environmental Protection Act of 2002 will be introduced for the effective management of ESAs and added that an ESA Coordination Committee is being contemplated.
For his part, Minister Gobin asked for the input of local authorities regarding the management of coastal zones. He also spoke of the need to analyze the biodiversity hotspot of Agaléga and St Brandon and focus more on the islets and outer islands.
As for Ms. Serumaga, she highlighted that the integration project spans more than five years and aligns with UNDP's vision of supporting community-led initiatives that address global environmental issues. She urged greater synergy between the public and private sectors as well as civil society in this effort.