Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), has urged the Kogi Government to review its 2020 budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector, to accommodate credit and loan facilities to farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PFA is a programme of Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) and supported by ActionAid Nigeria, to address issues of budgetary allocations in the agriculture sector.
Yahaya said that the appeal had become necessary to avert the looming food crisis arising from the effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hindering farming activities.
The Coordinator said the organisation had observed that there was no provision for Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme in the state, adding that the situation was critical, as farmers could barely access Federal assistance and credit as a result of the pandemic.
“We noticed the downward review of funding of inputs to farmers in the state and we are pleading with the government to reconsider, so as to assist more farmers in this farming season.
“We are also appealing to the government to make provisions for credit and loan schemes to assist farmers during this farming season, if we must avert the looming food crisis,” she said.
Also, Mrs Inkpi Ali, Programme Officer with PIBCID, said Nigeria was a signatory to the Maputo Declaration of 2003, with a commitment to provide at least 10 per cent of its annual budget to agriculture.
Ali, however, regretted that since the declaration by the 13 African countries, Nigeria and its state components, had not met the 10 per cent commitment, with Kogi committing only 4.6 per cent to the Agriculture sector in its 2020 budget.
“If agriculture is to serve as a means of diversifying the economy of Kogi State as promised in the ‘New Direction’ blueprint of the state government, then allocations to the sector which has been grossly inadequate should be improved upon,” she stated.
“If this is not properly addressed the hunger virus that is coming will be more than the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” she warned.
She, therefore, called for a re-direction of the N80 million allocation in the state’s 2020 budget for the training of Extension Officers at the Agric Training Centre, Ochaja, to procurement of inputs, including seeds and land clearing, for accelerated food production.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)
Buhari mourns Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and grief over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said Buhari condoled with the government and people of Kaduna State over the demise of the traditional ruler.
In a condolence message to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, the government and people of Kaduna State, the president said:
“With the passing of Alhaji Shehu Idris, Nigeria has lost one of its longest reigning traditional monarchs whose contributions to the promotion of unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians cannot be forgotten for years to come.
”The Emir of Zazzau, who ascended to the throne in 1975, had used his long reign to serve his people with dedication and identified with their aspirations at all times.”
He prayed to Allah to forgive the late Emir and grant his family and subjects the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Emir died at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 84.
Shehu Idris was coronated the Emir of Zazzau on Feb. 15, 1975, and ruled Zazzau emirate for 45 years, before his death.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Edo governorship election a huge relief, says Ekweremadu
Former Deputy President of the Senate Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated Goverror of Edo, Godwin Obaseki, on his re-election, describing the just concluded election as “a huge relief”.
Ekweremadu, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Campaign Council for Edo, said this in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr Uche Anichukwu, on Sunday.
The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, declared Obaseki as winner and returned elected after collation of results in Benin.
Obaseki polled a total of 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival and the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who scored 223,619.
Ekweremadu commended the people of Edo, INEC and the security agencies for “rising to the occasion”, given what he described as the “dwindling fortunes of the nation’s electoral process in recent years”.
The senator, who was in Edo to monitor the election, added that the Edo polls had proved, once again, that no man could effectively play God.
He said: “I join other well meaning Nigerians to congratulate Obaseki and the PDP on this well-deserved victory.
“While our electoral processes still leave much to be desired, I must say that compared to recent elections, the Edo governorship poll has renewed the hope that we can get our elections right.
“This is given the conduct of the electorate, INEC, security agencies, and most of other stakeholders, which ensured a peaceful process, an outcome that reflected the will of the people.
“For emphasis, the Edo 2020 election showcased the beauty of democracy; the supremacy of the people’s will over the whims and caprices of any single man or woman, be it a godfather or godmother.
“And if there is a moral lesson to be learnt, it is also that no man can successfully play God, for God will always put men in their place,” he said.
Ekweremadu urged Gov. Obaseki to see his popular mandate as both an approval of his stewardship in the last four years and a call to lead Edoland on the path of greater peace, prosperity, and an all-round development.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Donald Ugwu
FCT residents commend INEC innovations, performance in Edo polls
Abuja, Sept. 20, Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on its performance at the just concluded Sept. 19, governorship election in Edo state.
Some of the residents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Abuja expressed their joy that the election was relatively peaceful and that INEC deserved commendation for its innovations.
A businessman, Mr Christopher Chidi, said although there were logistics challenges in few places, but INEC’s performance was an improvement over previous elections.
Chidi said that one of the innovations that made the election a success was the introduction of election “Result Viewing Portal” recently launched by INEC.
“The portal has made it difficult for politicians to alter election results at the collation wards, Local or state collation centre,” Chidi said.
A teacher, Mrs Ife Otitonaiye, commended INEC for living up to its promise of credible election in Edo.
“Going by what we read and heard in the news and online it seems the election was relatively peaceful.
“I can say that INEC tried its best in the election and we hope it will translate to future elections,” Otitonaiye
“The election went well and PDP won majority of the votes with peaceful atmosphere.
“With what we have seen as the results I will give INEC at least 70 per cent in performance compared to what happened in Kogi.
“The innovations from INEC, especially the result view portal are highly commendable.
“The portal contributed a lot to the success and credibility of the election.
“On the portal, the results from the polling units are displayed life, nobody can tamper with it or the mandate of the people as expressed by them at the polling units.
“I commended what INEC has done in Edo state and we are hopeful it will be extended to future elections, especially the forthcoming governorship elections in Ondo state,” Moses said.
A student, Sunday Edor, said the election was an indication that the wish of the people prevailed in Edo.
Edor, who congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate and winner of the election, advised him to use the mandate freely given to him to work for the people of Edo state.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu https://nnn.ng/fct-residents-commend-inec-innovations-performance-in-edo-polls/
Group lauds Buhari, INEC over peaceful conduct of Edo election
The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for peaceful and smooth conduct of the Edo governorship election.
The group said President Buhari did not allow abuse and misuse of security agents during the just concluded Edo election.
It also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for abiding by the guidelines it had earlier set for the Edo election.
The Executive Director of CASER, Mr Frank Tietie, gave the commendations in an interview with the News Agency in Abuja on Sunday.
Tietie, who was reacting to the governorship poll in Edo said that INEC has by the adherence to the electoral guidelines it had set, further enhanced its own integrity.
He said the election in Edo had truly rated INEC as a truly independent and impartial electoral umpire.
He said the process and outcome of the Edo governorship election, had just rekindled hope that Nigeria as a country could one day have a near perfect electoral system.
“The whole exercise in the Edo election, marks a turning point and a new page for Nigeria’s erstwhile electoral processes that have been characterised by malpractice and violence.”
Obaseki had, in the keenly contested election pulled 307,955 votes to defeat his closet contender Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who pulled 223,619 votes.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Felix Ajide