Japanese farming group, Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) has announced that not less than 5,500 farmers in Cross River State have been trained since 2015. This announcement was made by the group’s state coordinator, Ekok Ntum alongside its country director, Professor Sani Miko.
According to the Sasakawa Africa Association, the farmers were trained on how to use modern technology to increase agricultural yields in Cross River State. Ntum made known that the training deployed technical experts to regularly guide them on the latest researches on particular crops and cultivation.
[READ MORE: NLNG Train 7 project to create 140,000 jobs]
Ntum, who visited the farm settlements in the central and northern parts of the state, said that the farmers, who were spread across the three senatorial zones of the state, were trained on modern methods of cultivating cassava, maize as well as the rearing of goats.
He stated that the farmers were specifically trained on the new methods of planting cassava and maize by means of intercropping, as well as the proper dimensions and species to guarantee optimum yield.
Speaking further, he said that the training was made possible by the Sasakawa Africa Association and the Africa Cassava Agronomy Initiative, with the support of researchers from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
Boost for Agriculture Sector: It is hoped that this initiative of the SAA group continues as it is a welcome development aimed at boosting agribusiness by assisting farmers to make food production run smoothly.
About Sasakawa Africa: The SAA is a group that aims at improving the effectiveness of national agricultural extension systems to provide smallholder farmers with a range of appropriate technological options and knowledge along agricultural value-chain.
[READ ALSO: Phillips Consulting Training Services 2019]
With headquarters in Tokyo Japan and branches across Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali, and Uganda, the group was founded by Norman Borlaug, Jimmy Carter and Ryoichi Sasakawa. The group is also registered in Geneva, Switzerland.
TikTok to relocate headquarters to London following approval by UK ministers
The technology firm has been under heavy scrutiny and criticism from the US government.
ByteDance Ltd, the parent company of TikTok, is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Beijing to London, following a deal that was approved by UK ministers.
A report by Reuters also noted that the Chinese company’s founders will soon officially announce their intention to set up an office in London.
This move may likely upset President Donald Trump, who had announced plans to ban TikTok in the United States of America. The US considers the UK as a reliable ally.
Nairametrics had reported about 2 weeks ago that the Beijing-based video-sharing social networking firm, had been in discussions with the British Government over the relocation of its headquarters to London. The move has been perceived by analysts/observers seen as part of ByteDance’s strategy to distance itself from its Chinese ownership.
The technology firm has been under heavy scrutiny and criticism from the US Government over suspicions that China could be forcing it to turn over data. Earlier this year, the company was even labeled a potential counterintelligence threat by senior members of the US congress.
ByteDance recently came under intense pressure from the White House and US lawmakers to sell off TikTok’s US operations. It now has a 45-day deadline to negotiate with Microsoft over such a deal.
ByteDance Ltd is looking at all the available options to resolve its dispute with the American Government. In the meantime, Chief Executive Officer, Zhang Yiming, said no decision has been taken regarding the proposed sale of its US operations to Microsoft Corp.
The relocation of its headquarters to London might come as a surprise considering the current tension/dispute between the technology firm and the United States Government, who are close allies of the UK.
It can be recalled that amid tensions between China and some Western Countries and in solidarity with the United States, the British Government recently banned Chinese Telecom firm, Huawei’s 5G networks in the country. According to the UK Government, Huawei’s products posed a threat to the security of the UK’s infrastructure.
Lagos state lists conditions that must be met by churches, mosques before reopening
The government specified that the conditions must be met for worship centres to open.
The Lagos State Government has introduced some measures and conditions that must be met/fulfiled by all religious centres and places of worships that are planning to reopen, following further relaxation of lockdown.
These measures were contained in a press statement that was issued by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and seen by Nairametrics.
Nairametrics had reported that the Lagos State Governor on Saturday, August 1, during his 17th briefing on the state’s COVID-19 response, announced the reopening of worship centres with effect from August 7th. Now, the Lagos State Government has specified that the following conditions must be met for worship centres that are planning to open;
- Only regular services/gatherings are permitted to hold. Night vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice.
- Attendees above 65 years are strongly discouraged from attending worship services.
- Consider holding services and gatherings in large, well-ventilated areas or outdoors, as circumstances and faith tradition allow.
- No face mask, no entry policy, must be maintained throughout the duration of the services.
- Regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities must be carried out to maintain clean and hygienic environments before and after every service.
- Appropriate screening equipment for COVID-19 symptoms such as a contactless temperature check must be available for entrants into the facility.
- It is mandatory to provide hand-washing facilities and sanitizers at the entry and exit point of the premises.
- National emergency response phone lines must be displayed prominently on the premises.
- Handshakes, hugs and high fives are not permitted at services or gatherings and this should be emphasized by displaying appropriate signs prominently.
- The use of stationary collection boxes and electronic methods for collection of the offering must be encouraged.
- The flow of human traffic in and out of these places of worship must be conducted in an organized and orderly manner.
The Governor urged Lagosians to fully comply with the measures outlined in the new regulations, stressing that Lagos State Safety Commission has a statutory responsibility to monitor the activities and operations of all organizations and worship centres that have been permitted to re-open.
*COVID-19* : Measures taken by the Lagos State Government to further relax the lockdown.@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gbenga_omo @gboyegaakosile @Mr_JAGss#LASG #ForAGreaterLagos #LagosAgainstCovid19 pic.twitter.com/0t8ti49wYz
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) August 2, 2020
Shoprite to leave Nigeria after 15 years
Shoprite announced its plan to sell off its Nigerian operations.
South African retailer, Shoprite International Limited announced earlier today that it is considering a potential divestment from its Nigerian operation – Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited.
This was disclosed in the company’s latest operational and voluntary trading update which was published this morning.
Backstory: The South African retailer has been struggling in Nigeria in recent years owing largely to increased competition and government policies such as border closures and local production of consumables. Nairametrics reported in April that Shoprite Nigeria lost 8.1% of sales in the H2 of 2019, which was related to the September 2019 xenophobic attacks.
Meanwhile, Shoprite is not the only South African company that has recently announced exit from Nigeria. Nairametrics also reported that another South company, Mr. Price, would be exiting Nigeria to focus on the South African market. Already, the company has closed 4 out of its 5 retail outlets in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s ‘difficult’ business environment has been blamed for these major divestments.
Shoprite, which has spent 15 years in Nigeria stated that customer visits for the year declined by 7.4% due to the pandemic lockdowns. It also noted that outside South Africa, sales only increased by 0.1%, and an overall decline in sales of 1.4% for the year.
“Following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the Group’s operating model in Nigeria, the Board has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake, in Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Shoprite International Limited.
“As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year. Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time,” the update read in part.
Shoprite joins two other South African retailers, Mr. Price and Woolworths who have also announced exists from Nigeria due to a harsh operating environment.
What this means: Shoprite’s exit from Nigeria once again brings to the fore the challenges South African companies are facing in Africa’s largest economy as they try to replicate the successes of MTN.
- Shoprite is a flagship retail outlet in Nigeria and has been the major anchor tenant for shopping mall developers in Nigeria.
- With their exit, funding for the development of shopping malls in Nigeria could be in jeopardy as anchor tenants are the major drivers of mall constructions. However, the new owners, could sustain this drive and continue to expand beyond its current coverage locations.
- The future for Shoprite and its employees will now depend on the ability of its South African parent company to find buyers.