The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) N600 million integrated poultry farm at Amoyo in the Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara would formally commence operations on July 21.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Unilorin secured a facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish a commercial poultry farm to boost the production of eggs and chicken.
A statement by the institution’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun, quoted the Chairman, Steering Committee of the Poultry Farm project, Prof. Mikhail Buhari, as saying that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, is expected to inaugurate the ground-breaking project.
Buhari, who is also the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said that the event would be hosted by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution, Mallam Abidu Rafindadi Yazidu, OON; and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem.
According to him, also expected to grace the event are dignitaries from all walks of life, including Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara; chief executives of sister institutions of higher learning and prominent traditional rulers from across the state.
While commending the vice-chancellor of the Unilorin for pursuing the project and the management of CBN for providing the enabling funds, Buhari described the farm project as “a game changer” in the annals of creativity in ivory towers leadership in Nigeria.
The deputy vice-chancellor added that the novel project is polishing the alluring image of the university among its peers across and beyond Nigeria.
Bihari, who described the project as a success story in view of the positive changes it has brought to the people of the host community, said that it has also transformed the institution and the sleepy region into a busy and economically viable area.
The deputy vice-chancellor said that the farm started with semi-automated production of chicks and its products.
He said the farm, which kicked off on June 26, has in stock over 25,000 broilers and 17,000 layers, adding that the products of the farm would be on its way to appointed distributors on July 3.
Buhari explained that the products of the farm would reduce importation, and close the existing demand and supply gap of eggs and allied poultry products.
He added that apart from the insurance on the farm, well trained experts have been appointed to ensure its success.
Buhari said the iniversity would make a lot of money from the farm as everything generated from it, including waste materials, would be msrketed to boost the institution’s internally generated revenue.
The foremost academic said that the project would also engage not less than 50 direct and over 200 indirect workers who were carefully recruited for the farm.
He said that each of the workers was mandated to work at their maximum best as they would be given targets, which must be made or shown the way out.
Buhari, who said that the farm was located at the Southwestern part of the institution to spread development and prevent the institution’s land from being encroached, assuring members of the university community that their interest is also taken care of.
The deputy vice-chancellor therefore encouraged staff, students and members of the host community to regard the farm project as theirs and ensure its protection from vandalism for the benefit of all.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has commended Airtel on the launch of its SmartCash Payment Service Bank (PSB) targeted at closing the financial inclusion gap in the rural areas.
Osinbajo commended the telco on Thursday during the launch of Airtel SmartCash PSB at Victoria Island, Lagos.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, said that the launch of the SmartCash PSB, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa could not have come at a better time.
He said that Nigeria’s fintech industry had continued to visibly demonstrate progress, innovation and creativity of outstanding minds, rapidly becoming a model for other nations.
The vice-president said, “I am delighted to join the telco in the celebration of a collective aim to take advantage of the fast evolving developments in financial technology space towards catalysing empowerment and economic growth.”
Osinbajo said that the innovation would ensure that no Nigerian was left behind, particularly those in underserved areas.
“I am here to applaud a commendable leap, which is aimed at exploring vast opportunities and possibilities in the digital age for the benefit of the majority of our fellow citizens.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria has also remained committed to ensuring that all citizens have access to the financial services and credit facilities, across every nook and crannies of the country,” he said.
Similarly, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who also commended the telco, said that the SmartCash PSB would further deepen efforts in the area of financial inclusion.
Sanwo-Olu , who was represented by Mr Rabiu Olowo, the Commissioner for Finance, said that the PSB license which was approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was targeted solely for those in remote areas, the underbanked and many Nigerians who reside in Lagos.
”I am sure that we would not be surprised that countless Nigerians do not have a bank account because they believe that banks are too far or for the rich and educated.
“Some others believe that the little they make is not sufficient enough to save in the bank.
“I, therefore, commend the CBN for coming up with this initiative that is providing a platform that caters to the financial needs of the underserved and underbanked population in Nigeria,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that the structure that had been put in place by Airtel was one that was simple, cost effective and would absolutely be impactful in bridging financial divide.
The governor said he had no doubt that Airtel would live up to the expectations of regulators and ordinary Nigerians who would see the innovation as a life changing one.
The Managing Director of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, said the innovation of the Airtel SmartCash was their contribution to reduce the financial gap in the country.
“The aim of the innovation is also to bring millions of people in the rural and urban area into the financial community by transforming their lives.
“The SmartCash is cost effective and your money is safe with us, there would be no issue of hackers.
“The launch of the innovation is a confirmation of our commitment to touching lives,” he said.
Ogunsanya said that the telco also planned to bring out 55 per cent of underbanked people into the financial system.
He said that the telco would work with the CBN to ensure that no Nigerian was left out of the financial system.
Also, the Managing Director of Airtel SmartCash PSB, Mr Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said that their goal was to deepen financial inclusion by removing barriers and improving accessibility in the rural areas in Nigeria.
“Today is indeed a special day that will mark the transformation of financial services,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said Thursday that it registered 1,955,657 voters for the July 16 Osun governorship poll.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, disclosed this at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Dialogue (NCSSRD) on Osun Governorship and Review of the Ekiti Governorship Election 2022.
Raji said that the current number of registered voters was higher than the 2019 figure of 1.6 million.
He said that the commission also distributed 1,443,969 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
He said that 511,688 PVCs were yet to be collected by their owners.
He said that the distribution was still in progress and that preparations for the poll were in top gear.
He expressed the hope that the election would be hitchfree, given the lessons so far learnt from the recent polls in other states.
“We started with the review of the 2018 elections, looking at the gains, loses, mistakes and we learnt lessons from them.
“Where we did well, we leveraged that to move on.
“We also previewed the 2022 governorship election and the 2023 elections to see areas we need to improve on.
“In Osun, we had 3,010 polling units during the 2018 and 2019 elections.
“With the conversion of the voting points, we had an additional 753 polling units.
“This gave us the 3,763 polling units we now have in the state,’’ Raji said.
He also said that the commission conducted an exercise that helped to identify security flash points based on the review of the 2018 election.
He said that the commission had also marked the difficult terrain of the state and worked out the logistics.
The REC said the welfare of the ad hoc staff and security agencies had been provided.
He said that security personnel with complaints on their payment could reach the commission via a certain contact.
Raji said that INEC did not store sensitive materials in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the Ekiti governorship election.
He said that the reason was because the commission had already secured a safe place to store them for the election.
The Convener, NCSSRD, Ene Obi said that it was worrisome that the current leadership of the CBN could no longer guarantee the security of sensitive materials for elections.
Obi blamed the development on the suspected partisanship of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who is a member of the ruling-All Progressives Congress.
He said: “We are informing President Muhammadu Buhari that our CBN is no longer safe to keep sensitive election materials.
“On a final note, I want to say that the situation room is aware that the tenure of most INEC RECs will lapse in a matter of days.
“We, therefore, call on the president to nominate individuals of impeccable character and not card carrying members of political parties for the sake of transparency and accountability.”
Obi further urged Buhari to nominate credible Nigerians who would stand upright for the country to move forward.
She said that the aim of the dialogue was to get an update from INEC on the Osun election and review the just concluded Ekiti governorship election.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, said that Kolawole Babalola, defendant, in the mutilated eight billion naira CBN scam had earlier been indicted by an investigative panel.
Mr Adebisi Adeniyi, the EFCC counsel, dismissed the earlier testimony of Babalola during the cross examination of the defendant standing trial before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Babalola had earlier informed the court that he was never indicted by any panel in the course of his duty as the head of treasury unit at the Ibadan branch of CBN.
However, the EFCC counsel tendered some documents containing the report of ome investigative panel that indicted the defendant in 2014.
According to Adeniyi, the report that indicted Babalola bordered on how the prequetting or money counting exercise where the defendant and the other accused persons allegedly shared N1000 and N500 denominations contained in the boxes respectively.
Babalola however, explained to the court that he did not understand the report of the investigative panel to be an indictment.
The judge consequently adjourned the suit until Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 for continuation of trial.
NAN reports that Babalola, Muniru Olaniran, Patience Okoro, Sunday Ilori, Samuel Ordia along with others have since 2015 been facing multiple charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful conversion, stealing and recirculation of mutilated currency.
The offences were allegedly committed at the Ibadan banch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ayo-Emmanuel urged all the parties in the matter to be proactive as the case was taking too long to conclude.
He added that a judge was not static, but often moves from place to place. (
All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), has called for speedy and effective implementation and sustainability of “laudable agricultural initiatives and policies” of the Federal Government.
Mr Kabir Ibrahim, National President of AFAN, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Abuja on Thursday, said only full implementation and sustainability of such initiatives would impact on national economy.
Ibrahim listed the initiatives to include; the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Agriculture Promotion Policy, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, and the Integrated Farm Initiatives by the National Agricultural Land Development Agency.
Others, he said, were; the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), Farmer Data Capture, Social Safety Nets, National Food Reserve Agency and the Seeds, Fertiliser and Soil Acts, which he said would all give impetus to a veritable food system.
“For these initiatives to impact positively on the agricultural transformation of Nigeria’s economy and also Africa’s economy, they must be satisfactorily implemented and sustained beyond the present administration,’’ the ANAN President said.
Ibrahim also advocated for agricultural subsidy to reach the small holder farmers, directly and sustainably in Nigeria and Africa, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine and insecurity shocks.
According to him, small holder farmers are the engine room of production in agriculture in Africa with low level of mechanisation, hence agriculture should be directly subsidised to attain a reasonable level of food sufficiency.
“The vulnerability of Africa’s economy due to the various shocks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia war on Ukraine and insecurity can only be mitigated by the evolution of an efficient `Africa food system.’
“All countries in Africa must commit to the sizable investment in agriculture to bolster their food systems and avert further stresses and challenges of food and physical insecurity pervading the entire continent.’’
However, he noted that the Africa Continental Fee Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative, was germane to Africa’s prosperity if the right strategies would be judiciously deployed in its implementation.
The AFAN boss advised that all countries in the African continent should create the requisite synergy among themselves by optimising productivity, processing, storage, distribution and consumption of food to evolve a veritable food system.
He said towards the ethos that Africans should be their brother’s keeper to realise the continent’s full potential, a United States of Africa should be created by revamping the African Union.
“There are several innovations in agriculture aside from mechanisation and value addition, such as climate smart agriculture, the sustainable deployment of agricultural biotechnology, and all year round agricultural production.
“This will make Africa the `food continent’ of the globe, especially leveraging on its large cultivable land and nearly 60 per cent youth population,’’ he said.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the entire world the need to be self-sufficient in food, medicine and almost every facet of life.
Ibrahim reiterated that shocks such as the Russia war on Ukraine, should serve as a wake-up call to Africa if the continent must become sustainably competitive and prosperous. (