The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that its intervention in the agricultural sector would boost rice production in Nigeria.
Mrs Rhoda Dia, the Project Manager for UNDP-Global Environment Facility Integrated Approach Programme (UNDP-GEF-IAP) on Food Security, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Gombe.
Dia said that the UNDP’s intervention in the area of good agricultural practices and training for key stakeholders in the agricultural value chain would enhance the knowledge of farmers in rural areas to boost rice production.
According to her, Nigeria’s good potential in rice production, if properly harnessed, will impact greatly on the economy and enrich more farmers, especially those who have embraced the use of improved seedlings.
She said that if the series of intervention programmes from UNDP and the Federal Government were to be properly harnessed by farmers, food security would be guaranteed.
“As you might be aware, the issues of having effective agribusiness platforms in the development of agriculture and food security with a view to enhancing sustainable development have become regional and national concerns.
“The UNDP is doing a lot in the area of boosting rice production. Recently, we brought in major stakeholders involved in the rice value chains to a food summit in Gombe, on how to boost productivity.
“ During the summit, Agricultural Development Programme (ADPs) of Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa and Gombe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with major rice mills to facilitate the growing of the produce and groundnuts by farmers.
“ The rice mill companies will provide inputs, training and general support, off-take and process the farm produce, while the National Agricultural Seed Council certifies through registered dealers.
“We established linkages through the creation of an innovation platform, which provides the sustainable structures for advancement of what the project refers to as a win-win inter-state food commodity value chain,’’ she said.
The project manager canvassed the need to review the immediate business environment across the rice value chains to obtain information from millers and off-takers about required quality and specifications of rice to be produced by the farmers.
Dia said that the UNDP had been empowering women and communities with treadle pumps to make farming easier, while curbing environmental degradation arising from poor agricultural practices.
She lauded the government’s efforts at boosting food security in the country, urging rice farmers to embrace bio-friendly agricultural practices, to protect the environment.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that on Sept. 26, a Food Summit was held in Gombe under the UNDP-GEF-IAP project being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The objectives of the summit is to kick-start the process of establishing cooperation along rice and groundnut value chains and work with various stakeholders to coordinate their activities for better efficiency. (NAN)
Edited by Folorunso Poroye/Grace Yussufhttps://nnn.ng/undps-agricultural/
President Buhari’s UNGA75 National Statement
22ND SEPTEMBER 2020
Ø Mr. President,
Ø Heads of State and Government,
Ø Distinguished Delegates,
Ø Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me on behalf of the Government and good people of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s readiness to avail the United Nations all necessary cooperation needed for the fulfillment of your mandate.
2. I wish to also thank the General Assembly for the support accorded His Excellency, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande during his tenure as President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly.
3. We acknowledge the accomplishments of the Assembly under his able leadership, particularly his efforts on attacking global poverty through the Global Coalition on Poverty Eradication.
4. We also commend the tremendous efforts of His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in steering the affairs of the organization during this challenging period of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as his strong commitment to making the UN more efficient and responsive in its international responsibility.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
5. It is my privilege to use this opportunity to congratulate Member States on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Over the past seven decades, the United Nations, as the People’s Assembly, has helped to stabilize the global community.
6. In addition to international peace and security, the UN has undertaken programmes on poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, youth development and humanitarian emergencies.
7. The theme of this year’s General Assembly – “The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment To Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action”, is indeed most appropriate and timely, as it captures our common desire for a renewed and revitalized organization in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.
8. As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realize that the peoples of the world not only look up to us: they count on us. If the United Nations system cannot mobilize the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the Coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in its core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.
9. The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity. The principles of “Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm” must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds.
10. In our quest to provide a future of hope and prosperity for Nigerians, our administration has embarked on measures to ensure enhanced national resilience. We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development Plans for the period 2020-2025 and 2026-2030. We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria.
11. Predicated on the values that inspired its creation, the United Nations we need has to remain an agent of progress, by giving expression to the tenets of multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation. It is within the context of this rules-based multilateral order that the world can find solutions to its many problems.
12. The world is currently in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, our communities and countries are losing lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world economy and strained the capabilities of the health system of many countries, including our own country.
13. In the aftermath of Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritized vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.
14. Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional 1 million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 22 million households.
15. I use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.
16. I note, with appreciation, the $2 Billion United States Dollars Global Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the Coronavirus response in the poorest countries of the world.
17. I also commend his call for cease-fire in conflict areas, to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus .
18. I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being. Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all.
19. In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.
20. In addition, we have established a five hundred billion (N500 billion) fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.
21. The international community will need to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries. It is in this regard, that we commend the President of the 74th General Assembly for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.
22. We encourage global leaders, particularly leaders from the global North, to support the Alliance at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing gains made in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.
23. As we mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Action for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria has made significant strides in domesticating the SDGs.
24. There is an ongoing re-alignment of the National Statistical System (NSS) with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs. This is expected to ensure effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs and guide SDG interventions across the country.
25. Nigeria has also developed its home-grown Integrated Sustainable Development Goals model (iSDG Model) – an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.
26. Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.
27. We urge the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.
28. The litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe is a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today. We must therefore redouble our efforts to ensure collective security.
29. In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits. We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.
30. We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East. The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose.
31. Nigeria is committed to universal nuclear non-proliferation. In this connection, we recall the adoption of the landmark Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which opened for signature on 20 September 2017. Nigeria participated actively in the processes leading to its adoption and was an early signatory and ratifier.
32. With less than ten ratifications needed for the TPNW’s entry into force, we urge other member states who have not done so to quickly ratify the Treaty for the actualization of its important objective.
33. Climate Change is an environmental crisis which requires urgent action. Our Administration is conscious of the fact that the attainment of national development targets would be greatly impeded unless the consequences of climate change are addressed holistically in line with the Paris Agreement.
34. To this end, Nigeria has intensified climate action through the upward review of reduction in greenhouse gas emission under the Nationally Determined Contributions, which are climate change targets under the Paris Agreement.
35. Nigeria remains steadfast in our commitment to the revitalization of Lake Chad. We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources.
36. Let me, therefore, reiterate the call for international support for the sub-regional efforts to raise the $50 billion USD required to actualize this initiative.
37. Nigeria experiences high internal and external migration due to the size of its population, economic situation and climate. We are therefore fully committed to migration management and prevention of irregular migration and human trafficking.
38. I enjoin the international community to also communicate the positive contributions of migrants, particularly in countries of destination, in order to combat racial discrimination and xenophobic attacks, and facilitate the social integration and protection of migrants.
39. The global aspiration to recover from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will not be fully met without addressing existing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources.
40. It is in this regard that I thank the immediate past Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and Ambassador Mona Jul, respectively, for jointly launching the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.
41. In the area of human rights, Nigeria has passed a number of human rights-related bills into law. The bills include: the Anti-Torture Act, the Comprehensive Treatment and Care for Victims of Gun-Shot Act, as well as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act. In addition, Nigeria has launched a National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
42. This measure is designed to strengthen institutions, coordinate the prevention of violent extremism, enhance the rule of law, access to justice and human rights as well as engaging communities and building resilience and integrated strategic communication.
43. The United Nations has made progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through initiatives such as the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), in July 2010, was an important milestone.
44. Nigeria acknowledges the importance of gender equality and recognizes the critical role that women play in development. We also recognize that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally-agreed Development Agenda depend largely on the empowerment of women. Nigeria will sustain its affirmative stance through women empowerment initiatives.
45. Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development.
46. In this connection, I am happy to announce that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be hosting the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.
47. I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want.
48. As we urge and strive for inclusion within our societies, we must also ensure inclusion prevails in our collective action as members of the International Community. Nigeria supports the expansion of the UN Security Council to reflect the diversity and dynamics of the 21st Century. Africa deserves permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
49. I will conclude by reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to promoting international peace and security and sustainable development, as well as strengthening partnerships and cooperation with international and regional organisations.
I thank you. https://nnn.ng/president-buharis-unga75-national-statement/
FG affirms commitment to eradication of ozone depleting substances
The Federal Government has said that it is committed to phasing out Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) to mitigate the impact of climate change and enhance growth and development of local manufacturing industries.
The Minister of the Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this on Tuesday while inaugurating the System House at Vitapur Nigeria Limited established for the production of Methyl Formate Based Pre Blended Polyols in the Rigid Polyurethane Foam Sector in Lagos.
He listed the benefits of waste recycling which the firm was promoting through the project to include: reduction of pollution, checking environmental degradation and preservation of the environment.
He said that with the completion of the project, Vitapur was expected to phase out the use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141b in their operations by January 2021 in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam.
“Vitapur is also expected to supply methyl formate systems to downstream end users. These will lead to the phasing out of 425.4 metric tons of HCFC-141b in the foam sector,” he said.
The minister quoted a 2013 report in the journal of climate change, as saying that “these and other effects of global warming, if left unchecked, may contribute to the disappearance of one-half of the earth’s plant and one-third of animals by 2080″.
He expressed satisfaction at the completion of the project last year which involved: retrofits/replacement of equipment, training, establishment of laboratory/quality control facilities and trials.
“This is at a time that we are preparing for the commencement of the implementation of Stage II of the HPMP Project as well as the Kigali Amendment on phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
“HFCs are greenhouse gases with high global warming potential used essentially as cooling agents in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector.
“Thus, the commissioning ( inauguration ) of this project is a laudable achievement for us in our plan to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances and in the mitigation of climate change,” he said.
The minister commended the efforts of implementing agencies which include: UNDP and UNIDO in the implementation of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP) project for shrinking the volume of wastes for recycling.
“It is on this note that I commission the System House today. I will also be presenting the handover Protocol for the project of Vitapur Ltd, which is jointly signed by my humble self on behalf of the government and UNDP,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Babatunde Makanjuola, the Chairman of Vitafoam Nigeria PLC and Vitapur Nigeria Ltd., said that the firm had been able to beat global record by reducing the final waste generated from its foam factories to only one per cent.
He said that Vitapur Nigeria Limited as a subsidiary of Vitafoam had successfully used its technology to both shrink waste and control weather conditions.
It had been using its products such as insulators for the construction of cool classrooms for schools in Northern Nigeria during the hot season, he said.
According to him, we have been initiating products that will benefit Nigerians.
He said that the occasion marked a turning point in the nation’s quest to further demonstrate corporate e- social responsibility and commitment to global efforts at preserving the environment.
“It gives me tremendous joy and a deep sense of satisfaction that Vitafoam Nigeria PLC, through one of her subsidiary companies, Vitapur, is part of the global initiatives aimed at eradicating the use of ozone depleting substances in industrial processes and its existential threat to mankind and nature,” he said.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Peter Dada
Ministry to intensify awareness on importance of ozone layer protection
The Minister of the Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Friday said the ministry would intensify its awareness on the importance of the protection of the ozone layer through the effective collaboration of relevant stakeholders.
Abubakar made this known at a ministerial briefing on the commemoration of 2020 International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer with the theme, “Ozone for Life,’’ in Abuja.
He said that the ministry was also committed to the training and monitoring of technicians in the affected sectors on ozone-friendly technologies.
The Minister said the theme has two connotations that needed a healthy ozone layer to protect lives and the environment, as well as safeguarding future generations to come.
Abubakar said that the ministry, in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme, (UNDP), the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation, (UNIDO), the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme, were the agencies implementing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).
“In line with the protocol`s ODS phase out schedule, we have assisted over 600 large, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in the foam, refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols, fire protection and solvent sectors.
“The assistance is to convert to ozone-friendly substances and technologies.
“This resulted in 100 per cent phase out of over 4,000 metric tonnes of ODS, with high ozone depletion potentials.
“About 26 institutions, (polytechnics and government technical colleges) were identified and equipped to serve as training centres on good refrigeration practices.
“We have also trained the trainers from the identified centres and developed training manuals on good refrigeration practices.
“These have led to the training of more than 10,000 refrigeration technicians in the refrigeration servicing sector.
He said that the ODS phase out activities were achieved with support from the multilateral fund for the implementation of the Montreal protocol.
Abubakar noted that the ministry was implementing the protocol`s Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) project.
He said that the project was targeted at phasing out HCFCs gases R-22 and 141b, mainly used in Nigeria as refrigerants and blowing agents in the refrigeration, air conditioning and foam sectors respectively.
The minister said that the ministry was committed in the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements that the country was a party to.
According to him, the upgrade of a system house at Vitapur Nigeria Ltd (a subsidiary of vitafoam Nig. Ltd), for the formulation of ozone friendly systems in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam was completed in 2019.
“I am glad to inform Nigerians that I will be commissioning this particular project on Sept. 22.
“The plant which is one of the two such in Africa, the other being in South Africa, will supply ozone friendly substances to downstream end-users in the rigid polyurethane foam sector.
He said that the benefit of the project was to provide ozone friendly and low global warning potential blowing agent in the production of rigid foam.
The Minister said the ministry would be engaging in capacity building activities on maintenance and servicing of space cooling to avoid spread of COVID 19 while minimising impacts of energy efficiency and climate.
He said the ministry was currently preparing to commence the implementation of stage 2 of the Hydrochlorofurocarbons Phase Management Plan (HPMP).
The Minister added that the government of Italy has offered support as a bilateral partner.
Abubakar said that the stage 2 was built upon the achievement of the previous stage, aimed at achieving the complete phase out of HCFC-141b in foam related applications.
He explained that Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted in 1985 and entered into force in 1988.
The Minister added that the binding instrument to ensure compliance with the provisions of the convention was also adopted on Sept. 16, 1987, which became the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
“Since then, Sept. 16 has been set aside to commemorate the international day for the preservation of the ozone layer by the global community, in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution,’’.
The minister, however, appreciated the efforts of UNDP, UNIDO, World Bank, UN Environment, the government of Italy and other relevant agencies for their support and cooperation in the implementation of projects.
Earlier, Mr Jean Bakole, Country Representative and Regional Director of UNIDO, said that the office would continue to support the government in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation development.
Bakole, who was represented by Mr Oluyomi Banjo, an environment expert in the UNIDO, thanked the minister on the achievement of all the projects across the country.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
COVID-19: Kano Govt secures $1.1m grant from EU, Japan
Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Kano.
Anwar disclosed that about 1,600 individuals and 630 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) would benefit from the facility under a Cash-For-Work arrangement.
He said: “The grant will go a long way in supporting communities badly affected by the pandemic.”
The statement quoted Habibu Hotoro, the Special Adviser to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as saying that the grant would alleviate post COVID-19 sufferings experienced by the people.
It also quoted Lezlem Dinku, UNDP Officer in Nigeria, as noting that the United Nations had undertaken several initiatives to support the communities affected by the pandemic in the country.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused infections, deaths and untold hardships to the most vulnerable particularly the urban poor in hotspot locations across the nation.
“It is in this regard that UNDP in Nigeria in collaboration with the government of Japan initiated a project to support selected vulnerable communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, to minimise the impact of job and livelihood losses and also help contain the spread of the virus.
“We have identified Kano as key target state and we will be working closely with your office and selected communities in implementing this initiative.” Dinku was quoted as saying in the statement.
The statement further quoted Gov. Ganduje as directing SDG’s office to ensure that only most vulnerable people were targeted for participation in the programme.
It disclosed that the governor also directed the SDGs office to open 500 new bank accounts for those who never benefited in the previous interventions in the state.
“The governor directed that all bank charges must be paid on behalf of those identified and selected beneficiaries to effectively cushion the effect of the hardships caused by the pandemic.”
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma