No less than 400,000 jobs have been created in different segments of the agricultural value chain by the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
The Details: This feat was made possible via the provision of N101 billion by banks, according to reports from The Nation.
While giving a speech on the sidelines of the National Project Management Conference, NIRSAL Managing Director, Aliyu Abdulhameed noted that the money was utilised in catering for 693 agricultural projects.
He added that an initiative tagged “Area Yield Index Insurance Products” had insured 37,399 farmers against loss of N6.5 billion in revenue.
Abdulhameed likened all of these successes to sound project management techniques and cost-effective management.
Reacting to the development, Programme Director, National Project Management Conference, Mr Taopheek Babayeju, explained the importance of agriculture.
He said, “Agriculture is a tool that the developed nations and successful organisations used to achieve developmental and business results.”
He also noted that the decision to depend on Agriculture would not come except it is desired and followed through.
“The change that we desire as a nation will not come from government but from ordinary people by doing our own little bit to bring about the change we want to see.”
In a recent Nairametrics report, NIRSAL unveiled its new national Microfinance Bank (MFB) in February 2019.
It planned to reach about 400,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in its first two years based on its presence in all 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc.) is a US$500 million Non-Bank Financial Institution wholly-owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) created to redefine, measure, re-price and share agribusiness-related credit risks in Nigeria.
LPG: Nigerians paid more to refill 12.5kg gas cylinders in December
Nigerians paid more money to refill their 12.5Kg gas cylinder in December than they did in November 2020.
The average price for refilling 12.5kg cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) increased by 1.75% in December compared to the month of November, according to the NBS report for December 2020.
The average cost of refilling the 12.5kg gas cylinder moved from N4,082.97 in November to N4,154.28 in December 2020.
According to the NBS report, the average price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased by 0.12% month-on-month to N1,949.75 in December 2020 from N1,947.47 in November 2020.
- Bauchi (N2,489.12), Borno (N2,396.69) and Adamawa (N2,392.88) recorded the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas in the month of December 2020.
- Enugu (N1,563.75), Imo (N1,678.89) and Oyo (N1,691.67) recorded the lowest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
- Delta (N4,838.46), Cross River/Sokoto (N4,800.00) and Akwa Ibom (N4,614.49) recorded the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
- While, Kaduna (N3,191.67), Zamfara (N3,462.50) and Niger (N3,500.00) recorded the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
LPG is fast becoming an alternative to firewood and kerosene as a means of cooking for most homes especially in urban areas in Nigeria. LPG is cleaner and more efficient than kerosene in cooking.
COVID-19: FG to launch Rapid Response Register for urban poor
The FG has moved to inaugurate an emergency intervention database for the poor residing in urban centres and affected by the pandemic.
The Federal Government has announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.
This was disclosed by Mr. Joe Abuku, Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr. Abuku said the register would identify Nigerians that have been made poorer due to the pandemic, targeting mainly Traders and SME Owners.
He added that the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, through NASSCO, in partnership with the World Bank, and will be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
What Joe Abuku is saying
- “This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.
- “Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based laborers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic.
- “The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi-urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs. The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months.”
He also stated that NASSCO would use geographical satellite sensing to locale the wards where the urban poor live, as the targeting of the poor would be done via cell phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows residents of targeted communities register to be assisted by following simple steps using USSD codes.
The SMS approach would be integrated through data gathered by the National Living Standard Survey Assessments and would be complemented by existing databases of Non-Governmental Organisations and local self-help-support groups.
- “Mobile phone numbers of those deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive cash support, under an expanded cash transfer program of the Federal Government. These cash payments are designed to boost consumption for these households, build their resilience, and in some cases, inject fresh capital into small businesses.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last year that the World Bank said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor.
- The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020 by the World Bank Group indicate that between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This is in addition to an increase between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million.
Covid-19: Nigeria needs serious controls not a second lockdown – House Committee on Education
A member of the lower legislative house has advised the government to focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education & Services, said the Federal and States governments should not impose a lockdown, but rather focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
He disclosed this during an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
- “I do not think we need a national lockdown now, I think what we need now is the first instance is serious controls. Let me say that the Governor of Lagos is the ‘poster man’ for the fight against covid-19. If we see you outside without a mask, we will arrest you and charge you to court, that is the kind of courage we need.”
He cited serious controls like buying hand sanitizers and washing materials to schools and urban areas in Lagos as part of the controls that should be commended.
- “The issue is not a lockdown. If you lock people down, and you are not doing the right thing inside the lockdown, the cases will still increase. They (masses) will break it and will challenge it as they did during the first lockdown. So, the real issue is to bring out the policies and implement them.
- “The Federal Ministry as a supervisor, yes states have the autonomy, but we give the state’s money from UBEC every year, we give them billions, what are they doing with it?
He urged that the FG should investigate what States use their Universal Basic Education Funds for, as Nigeria is in a time for “retooling and repurpose” and UBEC funding should be utilized in the fight against Covid-19.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government said Nigeria is not contemplating another lockdown and urged Nigerians to ignore social media posts circulating the possibility of another lockdown.