A passenger was feared dead, after a bus and a Toyota Highlander SUV collided with a moving commuter train at PWD inward Oshodi, Lagos.
This was disclosed by the DG, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu.
“The bus with six passengers suddenly veered onto the tracks and collided with the train,” he said
“The agency received the distress call at 8.12 am. Upon arrival at the scene, it was discovered that a passenger motor GGE 972 GE with six passengers, had veered onto the train tracks while crossing the rail at PWD inward Oshodi, and subsequently collided with a scheduled commuter train,”
“The bus was then dragged along for a stretch of the journey, before the train managed to come to a halt.”
The Agency has successfully extricated the affected passengers, while the wreckage of the bus has been removed to allow the free flow of commuter traffic.
LASEMA boss added that a highlander Jeep was also involved in the collision, and its passengers (two adult males) sustained serious injuries, before being transported to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
The DG of LASEMA, confirmed one loss of life, and the body has been deposited at the hospital morgue. The other passengers are currently receiving treatments.
Agriculture vs Unemployment: Buhari’s farming policy has a major flaw
How workable is Buhari’s plan to send able-bodied young people to the farms as a way of solving unemployment in the country?
Two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that food and fertilizer importers should not be given access to foreign exchange by the CBN.
The President added that Nigeria has lots of young people (median age of 17.9), hence, agriculture is a means to solve unemployment among youths.
“We have a lot of able-bodied young people willing to work, and agriculture is the answer,” the President said.
However, Nigeria’s problem in Agriculture is not a lack of personnel, but a problem with productivity.
— Chairman AW (@AffiSupaStar) September 11, 2020
Is productivity related to manpower in other countries?
The Netherlands is Europe’s largest agriculture exporter, boasting of Europe’s most advanced agriculture sector. In 2019, the Netherlands exported €94.5 billion worth of agricultural goods. That is a 4.6% increase in the €90.4 billion export figure for 2018. Around two-thirds of this growth is due to an increase in export prices, while a third is due to higher export volume.
In 2019, the Netherlands had a labour force of 9 million, and just 2% of that figure is employed through agriculture. Meaningless than 300k people produce €94.5 billion worth of agricultural exports in 2019.
What about other emerging economies?
Comparing Nigeria to the Netherlands does not paint a proper picture as the latter is a typical first world nation with most of the labour force out of agriculture.
However, other emerging economies also have large agriculture sectors, which could be comparable to Nigeria’s.
The top 4 rice exporting nations of 2019 were India ($7.1 billion), Thailand ( $4.2 billion), USA ($1.9 billion), and Vietnam ($1.4 billion).
The United States is the only top 4 exporting rice nation that is not regarded as an “emerging economy.”
Does agriculture play a major role in their economic workforce/ productivity?
India: The Asian giant has a labour force of 494 million, of which 44% are employed in agriculture, the Industry employs 23% of Indians while the Service economy employs 31% of Indians.
However, despite being the world’s largest exporter of rice, agriculture produce did not even make India’s top ten exports, as industrial goods were responsible for India’s top ten exports. Mineral Fuels made up India’s top export in 2019 at $44.1 billion, followed by Gems and Precious Metals at $36.7 billion, and Computer Machinery at $21.2 billion.
India’s I.T sector is also a major producer of Indian productivity with domestic revenue expected to hit $44 billion in 2020, while exports revenue was estimated at US$ 147 billion.
Agriculture contributes 8.4% to Thailand’s GDP, with Industry at 39.2% and Services being the highest contributor at 52.4%.
Food is not a major top 5 export from Thailand, as Computer Machinery was its major export in 2019 at $40.2 billion, followed by Electrical equipment at $33.9 billion and Vehicles at $28.9 billion.
Vietnam: Southeast Asia’s star economy was the 3rd largest emerging economic rice exporter in 2019, with a labour force of 57 million. Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $11.12 billion in 2019, from exports of $264.189 billion.
Agriculture contributes 15.3% to Vietnam’s GDP, followed by industry at 33.3% and Services at 51%.
Vietnam exported $126 billion in electrical equipment in 2019 alone, with smartphones and spare parts making up $51.38 billion of that amount. Footwear exports came at $24 billion in 2019 while clothing was $16 billion.
From the data above, agriculture which employs a component of emerging market economies does not contribute the most to their productivity, as manufactured goods are a major source of export income and rising.
Does sending more people to the farms increase productivity?
Affiong Williams, the founder of food processing company ReelFruits, says that she does not think sending more Nigerians to the farms will increase productivity because “There is very little material productivity to achieve by increasing physical labour on the farms. Productivity increases in Agriculture, which moves the needle on production output, are more impacted by things like fertilizers, mechanization, and increased technical expertise. Manual labour is no match for any of those things.“
What does Nigeria need to do to improve yields?
“The over-reliance on smallholder farming, in my opinion, is the biggest hindrance by the government to improve agro yields,” she added.
She added that even though the current model may be seen as a “development activity,” it barely achieves its true aim.
“To improve the output of any crop, one needs to do a lot of testing and control for so many factors to be able to arrive at the right conditions which increase productivity. Smallholder farmers do not have the resources to do this type of ‘A/B testing’ as it were and so it is very difficult to get true information and disseminate the right techniques that all of these farmers can apply.
“I think the government needs to enable more commercial farming by the private sector who are able to acquire the resources to increase productivity and disseminate such learnings at a faster pace,” she said.
The story is even more tragic when you compare with our neighbours: pic.twitter.com/YMAcGlzbOf
— Chairman AW (@AffiSupaStar) September 11, 2020
Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data
Bottom Line: The Nigerian government is not focusing on the aspects that increase productivity in agriculture which experts say are fertilizers, mechanization, and increased technical expertise, components that cannot be replaced with more human capital in the farms.
Secondly, growth in Nigerian agriculture yields can only be done through large scale commercial farming with the ability to conduct tests to find the right techniques for farmers.
Finally, compared to contemporary emerging economies, Nigeria is seriously lagging behind in both agriculture exports and manufactured exports, as Nigeria’s top ten agriculture exports hit just N289 billion between April 2019 – March 2020.
AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement – Trade Minister
The Minister revealed that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA.
Minister of Trade, Niyi Adebayo said Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement soon.
The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), Mene Wamkele on Monday.
During the meeting, the Honourable Minister informed him that Nigeria has established … pic.twitter.com/vSDnNqcfmE
— FMITI Nigeria (@TradeInvestNG) September 21, 2020
Recall that Nairametrics reported last week Mr. Adebayo said that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“As we gear up to meet the demands of the enlarged continental market which will be fostered by AfCFTA, we are actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries,” the Minister said.
In today’s meeting, The Minister told the delegation that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA, which would implement Nigeria’s roll-out strategy in a bid to take advantage of the agreement. He added, “Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the agreement within the shortest possible time”.
The African Union announced in August that the first commercial deal of AfCFTA will be taking off on January 1, 2021.
FG inaugurates Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation
The Minister said that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.
The Federal Government inaugurated a Steering Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), with the aim of making Nigeria’s film industry a continental entertainment power.
This inauguration was performed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja on Monday. The Minister added that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.
“What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it,” he said.
The Minister added that Nigeria’s film industry is a major boost for Nigerian soft power and entertainment, citing the need for repositioning by the FG as a means to enable effective service delivery for the film industry to grow.
The Minister added that Nigeria lags behind her film making counterparts in the film production value chain, citing Nigeria’s 142 movie theaters compared to 782 in South Africa and 11,209 in India and many others. He urged state governments to invest a part of their infrastructure budgets for the entertainment industry as a means to generate jobs and grow the GDP.
“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one cinema house in each local government area of their state. That will give us additional 774 cinema houses, ” he said.
The Minister added that the role of the NFC is to regulate Nigeria’s film industry and organise professional practice in the sector and also addressed challenges facing the NFC like the inability to produce its own films for commercial purposes due to the law establishing the Corporation limits on its operational functions.
Lai Mohammed said the NFC will be repositioned as the FG has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialization.
“Dear members of the SC, your appointment into this committee comes with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make this reform happen. I therefore urge you to consider this a critical national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,” he stated.
The members of the Steering Committee are: Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed as Chairman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director-General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; Managing Director, NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.