The Lagos State Government says the FADAMA model is worth emulating by various levels of governments as the policy is efficient and productive in improving the agricultural sector of the country.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the statement when he received members of the Implementation Completion Review (ICR) Mission Team of FADAMA in his office at Alausa.
The FADAMA III (Additional Financing) Project is a grant to Lagos State from the World Bank’s (IDA) loan through the Federal Government to support the ramping and upscaling of selected staples including rice, cassava, tomato, sorghum across the country.
The project operated for five years between 2014 and 2019 with Lagos State participating as a core state with rice mandate; the project technically closed on Dec. 31, 2019 across the nation.
Lawal said that FADAMA legacies were enduring having thrived for almost three decades through various regimes and eras including military and democratic governments.
He commended members of the team, saying that Lagos State had benefited a lot from FADAMA’s project and had inspired certain policies that the state had embarked upon to improve food security and availability in the state.
The commissioner was happy that the FADAMA project particularly aligned closely with the T.H.E.M.E.S. development agenda of the state government of making Lagos a 21st century economy.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that T.H.E.M.E.S. is an acronym standing for Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century State; Security and Governance.
He said it (FADAMA) would provide support through grants transfer for livelihood support, direct and indirect employment, rapid increment in the national food basket and many others.
“The State government is already planning to mainstream the FADAMA model into its agriculture delivery system,’’ the commissioner said in a statement.
Lawal said the model aligned with the state’s initiatives on rice, especially with the imminent completion of the 32 tonnes per hour capacity rice mill at Imota.
“FADAMA legacies are enduring, having thrived for almost three decades through various regimes including military and civilians, hence governments at all levels should mainstream Fadama model into their activities.
“We in Lagos State have already keyed into the Additional Financing Project with our investment in the upgrade of the 2.5 tonnes rice mill at Imota to a 32 tonnes per hour integrated facility, which is set to create over 250,000 jobs on completion,” Lawal said.
The commissioner admitted that the state alone could not produce enough paddies to meet the paddy needs of the new Imota Rice Mill.
He expressed the willingness of the state government to partner with other states and stakeholders to source paddy for the rice mill.
The commissioner urged members of the team to visit the site of the nearly-completed rice mill, when the team embarked on field visits of FADAMA project sites in order to have a first-hand experience of the mill.
Dr Peter Kukwi, FADAMA Team Leader, explained that the Federal Government Borrower’s Implementation Completion Review (ICR) Mission was a statutory exercise to review the FADAMA III AF activities.
According to him, with a view to independently assess, ascertain and document project’s achievements.
Kukwi said it was also to review success stories, learning points, key challenges and making recommendations for future projects.
Also, Mr Jonathan Obayemi, the FADAMA Project Coordinator in Lagos, enumerated some of the project’s achievements in the state.
He said studies conducted at the end of the project in December 2019, revealed among others, that 98 per cent of the beneficiaries of the project in the state, had their income increased by at least 40 per cent.
The FADAMA team comprised of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Project Coordinating Unit (PCU), Federal Ministry of Finance and consultants.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has commended Airtel Nigeria for assisting the underprivileged members of society through its corporate social responsibility initiative.
Osinbajo commended the telco company on Saturday night in Lagos during the premiere of the Season 5 ‘Airtel Touching Lives’ a philanthropic programme sponsored by Airtel Nigeria.
He said the company had made a good call for helping and bringing others out of despair and suffering.
“I really want to laud the effort of Segun Ogunsanya and his team at Airtel for touching so many lives and for doing so in the past five years without fanfare.
“Listening to the stories of the lives that have been touched must be a reminder of so many others in despair who need our help and comfort,” Osinbajo said
He noted that in 2014, among the fundamental plans of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was to create social safety nets for the people in the country and also to show that the government owed a duty to the weak and vulnerable.
Osinbajo said that part of that social safety net was the feeding of about 9.5 million school children ongoing across 34 states.
He said the Federal Government was also giving monthly cash to about 10 million families.
“Inspite of all these social safety net schemes, we are still very far from touching the majority of those who need our help, we still need more resources.
“Because we can’t do it all, that is why socially conscious organisations like Airtel is so vital in bridging the huge gap between what government can do and what is left to be done,” Osinbajo said.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who also commended Airtel for touching lives through its CSR initiative, said individuals and organisations who had done very well in their lives should emulate the company by helping the underprivileged.
“Government cannot do it all, that is why organisations like Airtel have seen that they need to work with us and not behind us.
“As partners we work for the greater good of the citizens of Nigeria.
“Airtel has been going out of its way to really touch lives and has also contributed to Lagos State Security Trust Fund by giving us over 200 lines for all our security operatives in the Rapid Response Squad (RRS),” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that because of the way Airtel supported citizens, the Lagos State Government would be giving the company huge discounts on right of way.
The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, in his speech, called on kind-hearted Nigerians to join in uplifting the less-privileged members of society.
He said the ‘Airtel Touching Lives’ served as a platform to promote the culture of giving, self-sacrifice, love and charity among Nigerians.
“The initiative is designed to offer practical relief, succour, hope, opportunities and credible platforms to liberate and empower the underprivileged, disadvantaged individuals, families and communities in the Nigerian society, ‘’ he said.
He said the initiative had continued to record tremendous success since it was launched in 2015.
Ogunsanya said that the success of the programme over the years had encouraged the telecommunication company to keep the show coming back every year.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi
Media practitioners and civil society groups on Saturday called for a robust and free press as well as protection for journalists as enshrined in the constitution. The Nigeria News Agency reports that the stakeholders made the call at a gathering in Lagos on the “State of Media and Citizen’s Freedom in Nigeria.” In his welcome speech, Executive Director, International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade, noted that many journalists had faced several attacks in the line of duty in recent past. He said that some media practitioners were also facing trials on account of discharging their duties. Mr Femi Falana, moderator of the panel of discussants, argued for the expansion of press freedom as enshrined in the constitution and other extant laws. For Kadaria Ahmed of Daria Media, freedom of the press was not negotiable. She, however, noted that most conversation around press freedom had been centered around the actions and inactions of the government, with little mention of the role and responsibilities of the judiciary. She also said that media owners were not protective enough of their staff. Kadaria called on the media to do a soul searching and organise itself to be more formidable. In his intervention, Dr Qasim Akinreti, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, said the constitution was clear on the role of the media in holding government accountable. He decried the excessive use of power by the political class that sometimes infringe on press freedom. He noted that Lagos NUJ had been protective of its members through its legal adviser. Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, a former Director General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), said it was embarrassing for journalists to be killed in the line of duty. Akinterinwa noted that the undermining of press freedom was a global challenge. He noted that the international community was not unmindful of the vibrancy of the Nigeria press. He urged journalists in the West African region to work together in tackling the challenges of the region. NAN reports that the event was put together by Falana & Falana Chambers, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council. Others included Coalition for Whistle Blowers and Press Freedom, EIE, WARDC, Institute for Media and Society, Media Rights Agenda, International Press Centre, WSCIJ, HEDA Resource Center, SERAP and Media Career Services. Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Nigeria’s boxing legend, Obisa Nwakpa, has charged Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) to commence early preparations toward the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) billed for March in Edo.
Team Lagos shines, celebrates victory in South West Zonal elimination
Nwakpa told the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday that by so doing, the athletes and technical officials would have adequate time to do the needful.
NAN reports that athletes in teams Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun participated in the two-day South-West zonal elimination ahead of the 20th edition of the biennial NSF billed for Benin, Edo, from March 20 to April 1.
“The just concluded two-day South-West zonal elimination hosted by LSSC has come and gone where athletes in various sports and events have proved their competence.
“So, it is fundamental for the LSSC to make sure that all its preparations and plans for the festival begin to strengthen them for the task ahead.
“No doubt we are all expecting them to perform credibly and top the forthcoming medal table but the platform must be made available,” he added.
The former national boxing coach said that team Lagos that ended 4th position with 146 medals in the 19th NSF held in Abuja, came first in the just concluded Zonal competition followed by Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun.
NAN reports that Lagos State would represent the zone in the male and female team events such as Basketball, Football, Rugby, Handball, Cricket, Hockey, Abula (mixed) Volleyball and Beach ball in female events.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi
Mr Olusegun Onilude, Chairman, Badagry Local Government of Lagos State, on Saturday said the essence of governance was service to the people.
Onilude said this while receiving an award in recognition of his developmental strides in Ajara Agamathen community, Badagry by youths in the area.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the council boss was honoured as part of activities marking the second coronation anniversary of the monarch of Ajara Agamathen Kingdom, Aholu Agano Toniyon.
Addressing the sons and daughters of the community, Onilude thanked the youths for deeming it fit to honour him.
“I have enjoyed a very cordial relationship with the kingdom and the king has been very supportive.
“The little achievement we have gotten was as a result of the interpersonal relationships with us in the local government.
“I pray we continue to enjoy his benevolent and I want to thank sons and daughters of the community for your unflinching support for this government.
“We have noted the one you said we have done, we have noted the one you said you want us to do, but we will do our best within the resources available to us,” he said.
The chairman said that being a Badagry boy, he was attached to the Ajara Aghamathen community.
According to him, Aghamathen was my place, adding; “the road I’m constructing there leads to my home. We will do our best to serve you better”.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Wale Ojetimi
The popular Amu Plank Market in Mushin was among five buildings and facilities ravaged by fire in various locations in Lagos State within the last two days.
Director General, Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, told the Nigeria News Agency that areas affected were Ogba, Agege, Lekki, Ikeja GRA and Mushin.
NAN reports that many shops and buildings at the Mushin plank market went up in flames during the fire which started around 11.p.m. on Friday.
Amu market is popular stockist of building materials ranging from tiles, planks, various imported doors and paints, among others.
Oke-Osanyintolu said that the response teams arrived at the scene in Mushin at 1:52 a.m. on Saturday after receiving call that Amu building material market was on fire.
According to him, the outbreak culminated in heavy explosions of plywood and asbestos materials being stored in the market.
“The Lagos State Fire Service, the Federal Fire Service and LASEMA services were dispatched to the scene.
“Due to the highly flammable nature of the wooden and polyvinyl materials, the fire continued to rage with intensity.
” There is no loss of life, two buildings have been affected by the fire while the main market of about 2,200m2 with goods and merchandise worth billions of naira had already been consumed in the fire,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
In a related development, four different buildings located at Ogba, Agege, Lekki, Ikeja Gra were also extinguished by the LASEMA Response Team on Friday.
“At 16 Ogunjimi Street in Oke Koto, Agege axis of Lagos, we observed that a storey building consisting of a room and parlour was gutted by fire.
” Preliminary investigations at the incident site (Agege) revealed that the fire started from one of the rooms at the top floor, before spreading to the other rooms. Cause of the fire couldn’t be ascertained.
” Another fire outbreak occurred by Igbo Efon Central Mosque, inward Chevron, Lekki; according to investigations, fire broke out from a bedroom before spreading to the rest of the house at 1: 30 p.m. on Friday
” The collaboration and joint intervention of the LASEMA Response Team, LASEMA Fire Unit and the Lagos Fire Services curtailed and eventually extinguished the fire and refrained from spreading to other adjoining buildings surrounding scene of the incident, ” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
In a similar incident, LASEMA also extinguished fire at Oba Akinjobi Close, Ikeja Maryland GRA, where it was observed that the fire outbreak occurred at one of the rooms on the top floor of the four-storey building.
He said that the fire incidents were extinguished by the Lagos Fire Service and LASEMA Fire Unit while the RRS secured the entire area during the operations.
Oke-Osanyintolu pleaded with the public to always switch off their appliances and avoid anything that could cause inferno in the state.
Edited By: Constance Imasuen/Wale Ojetimi
The Yoruba Youth Assembly (YYA), an umbrella body of Yoruba youth groups globally, on Saturday called for protection and preservation of the nation’s indigenous languages, heritage and cultural identities.
The group also called for the implementation of local content in order to build capacity of local engineers to secure contracts and stop capital flight for speedy technological advancement of Nigeria.
The group made the call while presenting an award to Ikeja Branch Chairman of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun, in Lagos.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Akingbagbohun was honoured with YYA Hall of Fame as its 2019 Yoruba Youth Ambassador for her humanitarian services and societal development.
YYA President, Olarinde Thomas, said that the group’s 38 affiliates in Nigeria and diaspora honoured Akingbagbohun for making the Yoruba nation proud in engineering field.
“This award is meant to celebrate the achievements of our mother; she has tried a lot to manage this branch as a female engineer and her formidable effort as chairman of NSE, Ikeja Branch.
“We are here to represent the views of Yoruba youths both in Nigeria and diaspora. We need your ideas as a technocrat to be able to drive the agenda for development,’’ he said.
He said Akingbagbohun, who is also National Vice President of Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, had supervised several major projects in the country.
He called on all tiers of government to patronise local engineers to create jobs, stop capital flight and grow capacity of local engineers to tackle development issues in the nation.
He added that NSE had the solution to pipeline vandalism because it could use technology to trace activities on pipelines and solve most other problems slowing down Nigeria’s growth.
He urged government to make study of their languages mandatory for other nationals who migrated to their countries.
“Why can’t we make study of our language mandatory in tertiary institutions,’’ he queried.
Thomas said that many Yoruba children globally could not speak the language properly and stressed the need to reverse the trend to preserve the cultural heritage.
The YYA president said that efforts by the group birthed the use of Yoruba language on the floor of the Lagos State House of Assembly, adding that similar efforts were ongoing in other states.
He explained that Nigeria made technological progress in various sectors which included the media and construction above some developed economies when it relied on indigenous languages.
Thomas commended efforts by some youth groups in other regions in the country, noting that such efforts should be sustained for preservation of cultural identities, languages and heritage in the nation.
He described the regional community policing introduced by South-West Governors, ‘Amotekun’ as an important initiative which should not be politicised but should be given support.
“Amotekun has come to stay to ensure the unity of Nigeria,” he said.
Also speaking, Olalerun Folorunsho, the group’s Spokesman, called on parents to ensure children spoke Yoruba and other local dialects.
“We are no longer teaching our children our language, we celebrate English language but the English people celebrate and promote their own language,’’ he said.
Responding to her award, the NSE chairman praised the visionary leadership of YYA and prayed for the growth of the group for the progress and unity of the Yoruba nation and Nigeria.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi
Fidelity Bank Plc on Saturday said there was need for youth empowerment to curb crime and unemployment in the country.
Beneficiaries of Fidelity youth empowerment programme
The Managing Director of the Bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, disclosed this during the year-end appreciation party, themed; ‘Give them Wings’, at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The event, which was hosted by television personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and veteran actress Kate Henshaw, was attended by traditional rulers and captains of industries.
Okonkwo said that the bank was hosting the party having realised that without customers, shareholders and stakeholders, there will be no bank.
Okonkwo addressing audience
“In 32 years, Fidelity Bank has been going from strength to strength and we realised each customer has 38 other choices so we thank you for choosing us.
“We themed this party ‘Give them Wings’ because a lot of people have aspirations, a lot of people has gone to school but there is no job.
“We also complained that there is crime and the youths can not be usefully engaged and so we needed to bridge the gap.
“Fidelity bank then decided that aside the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) we have in hand, we created Youth Empowerment Academy (YEA).
“This is to train young people who would have been terrorising me and you. We give them opportunity to be useful and become independent,” he said.
Okonkwo while talking about the criteria for selection said that the bank looked for talents that people would ordinarily not support and went for them.
“Look at Tim Godfrey, a gospel artist, we felt it was not fair for such persons to loose opportunity because he was not singing secular music and we supported him,” he said.
The managing director added that Fidelity Bank was also gender sensitive being the only bank with the greatest number of women on the board with three female executive directors.
The bank’s Chairman, Ernest Ebi, also emphasised the importance of the Youth Empowerment Academy, which he described as a way of making beneficiaries financially independent.
“Fidelity Bank is making the youths turn their passion into pay cheque through empowerment programmes which includes training in fashion, make-up, farming, catering and more.” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that K. Cee of 5 Star Music, Tim Godfrey and Niniola were at the event to thrill the audience with their performance.
Performances on stage at the Fidelity Bank event
Present at the event were Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf-Gawuna, Deputy Governor of Kano State.
The bank also appreciated employees with awards for excellent performance in various categories.
Edited By: Constance Imasuen/Wale Ojetimi
MTN Nigeria says it is empowering
over 2,000 retailers across the country with its “Kiosk as a Service” scheme.
The “Kiosk as a Service” is a scheme that empowers retailers with an omnibus stall that enables each retailer to provide MTN’s bouquet of products and services more efficiently.
Part of the services available for customers are SIM registration, (mobile money) MoMo, 4G migrations, buy airtime and so much more.
Funso Aina, MTN Nigeria Senior Manager, External Relations, in a statement in Lagos on Saturday, said the scheme would start in the South-West region of the country with over 180 already installed in Lagos State.
He said the kiosks come pre-fitted with solar panel that would power the kiosk, enable users to charge phones and generally support the ease of doing business.
The Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr Kunle Adebiyi, said “the ‘Kiosk as a Service’ was a demonstration of MTN’s unwavering belief in partnership.”
According to him, MTN is known for empowering communities where they operate, MTN’s use of pre-installed solar panels on the kiosks was a deliberate action and a commitment to ensure that the company leads the clamour for the use of renewable energy as a way to preserve the environment.
“We are empowering our retailers so that through this scheme, they can turn things up for themselves.
“ We are confident that this will empower thousands of Nigerians to become the much-needed drivers of the country’s economy because we believe that we can go far when we go together.
“With an unemployment rate that currently stands at 23.1 per cent, and projected to reach 33.5 per cent before the end of 2020 according to the Nation Bureau of Statistics,
the scheme is a testament to MTN’s belief in the growth and development of Nigeria’s economy,’’ Adebiyi said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi
The Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE) said it would embark on fabrication of rice dryer, shea butter and castor oil seed processing machines this year.
Mr Ibidapo Kayode, Lagos State Chairman of NATE, told the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Lagos that the fabrication would help boost the nation’s agricultural sector.
He said most farmers in the country faced huge losses for lack of proper preservation due to improper drying of grains such as rice.
“Research has shown that Nigerian farmers do not only face the challenge of how to de-stone the rice they produce but that they also experience huge loss due to lack of adequate preservation resulting from improper drying.
“The presence of moisture in freshly harvested grains and favourable temperature enhances germination of stored seeds; to prevent loss, this needs to be controlled by removing the moisture completely.
“It is important to dry grains before storing because it contains moisture that is favourable for growing of microorganisms which can spoil the grain.
“In order to tackle the above, NATE Lagos branch has decided to embark on the fabrication of rice dryer,’’ he said.
According to him, shea butter, mostly known as “Ori” in the Western Nigeria, has one of the most important anti-aging agents for the skin.
The technologist said vitamins A and E found in shea butter kept the skin supple, nourished, and radiant.
“ If used regularly, it reduces wrinkles and also prevents premature wrinkles and facial lines. It is also used to restore hair moisture.
“The association believes that fabricating a machine for processing this seed and making it readily available for the masses will make life easier for our farmers,’’ Kayode said.
He identified the major challenge of the post- harvest processing of castor seed as the de-husking and shelling.
He disclosed that the association had already fabricated the machine to de-husk castor seeds and planned to fabricate machine to extract the oil.
“The association began work on the machine in October 2019, fabricated and launched a machine that helps to de-husk the castor seed.
“This year, as a body, we decided to push further by working on a machine that will process the castor seed and extract the oil,’’ the chairman said.
NAN reports that NATE in 2019 fabricated rice de-stoning machine (patented) and castor oil seed de-husking equipment, among others.
NATE is a professional body of practical technologists and engineers allied to the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) with the major aim of promoting professional excellence among technologists and engineers.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi