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Business

FG seeks stakeholder’s collaboration to develop the Niger Delta

FG is seeking collaboration with stakeholders for the implementation of programmes geared towards the development of the Niger-Delta.

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Akpabio denies accusing Reps of receiving 60% of NDDC contracts

The Federal Government is seeking collaboration with stakeholders for the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes geared towards the general well-being of people in the Niger Delta region.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 4th National Council on Niger Delta region, tagged: “Achieving Uncommon Development in the Niger Delta: The roadmap and Strategy”

Senator Akpabio revealed that the Ministry had taken steps towards repositioning the NDDC in line with the original mandate of the commission. He added that the ongoing Forensic Audit exercise recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was aimed at achieving optional utilization of funds and the provision of landmark infrastructure in the region.

In order to engender rapid socio-economic development of the region, and also an inclusive improvement in the living standard of individuals in the region, the Ministry is open to partner and collaborate with relevant agencies, development partners and stakeholders on investment, infrastructure and institutional capacity development to enhance synergy amongst stakeholders.

He explained that the Ministry has initiated the process of harmonization of the Niger Delta Action Plan of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as other existing Developmental plans of the region into a Single Regional Plan for the region.

What they are saying

Senator Akpabio speaking at the event revealed that:

“Provision has been made in the 2021 budget estimates towards the completion of the East-West road, which is the flagship project of the Ministry.

“There is no doubt that countless achievements have been recorded in the region in the area of socio-economic development, capacity developments of youths, construction of Housing Estates, provision of Schools, Hospitals, Electricity and Pipe-borne Water in many Communities.

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“The Government is committed to sustaining these gains and even do more to improve the living conditions of the people of the region.”

The Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, stated that:

“The Niger Delta region has experienced minimal level of progress as a result of limited resources and technical capacity which has affected the people of the region negatively. NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs have been established as intervention agencies to assuage the yearnings of the Niger Deltans and to drive and meet the developmental needs of the region.

“Though the development crisis in the region is huge and expensive, what is consoling, however, is the fact that with the right approach and political will, the region can possibly overcome all challenges and realize a new and bright era of sustainable development and prosperity for the region and the people.

“As working together with the people for the common purpose remains the key for the progressive path we all want and wish for our region and people.”

The Honourable Minister of State, MNDA, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura stated, in his remarks:

“The Ministry will not relent in its commitment to the development and empowerment of its people in order to enhance the peace and stability of the region.”

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What this means

According to the statement made by the Minister, this move to partner and collaborate with relevant agencies, development partners and stakeholders on investment, infrastructure and institutional capacity development to enhance synergy amongst stakeholders, will help to fast track the development of the Niger Delta region through the formulation and implementation of well thought out policies and programmes.

These policies will help to address issues ranging from environmental pollution in the region to the provision of key infrastructure in the region.

Hence, with these strategies and roadmaps, the mandate of NDDC in terms of facilitating rapid socio-economic development of the region, and also an inclusive improvement in the living standard of individuals in the region will be achieved. As the development and empowerment of the people of the region is the gateway to enhancing the peace and stability of the region.

Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor.

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Business

CBN’s Emefiele vows to reject the continuous importation of maize in Nigeria

The CBN has said that it will oppose all attempts to continue the importation of maize into the country.

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Banks' stakeholders express 4 main concerns bothering the sector right now, CBN, MARKET UPDATE: CBN’s historic agriculture lending; Is it yielding the desired results? 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it will oppose all attempts to continue the importation of maize into the country.

This is geared towards encouraging local production as the apex bank believes that maize farmers in Nigeria have what it takes to close the maize demand gap of over 4.5 million metric tonnes in the country.

This was made known by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele while speaking in Katsina on Thursday during the unveiling of the first maize pyramid and inauguration of the 2021 maize wet season farming under the CBN-Maize Association of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

READ: Nigeria must eat what we produce, agriculture is the way out – Buhari

Emefiele said, “With over 50,000 bags of maize available on this ground, and others aggregated across the country, maize farmers are sending a resounding message that we can grow enough maize to meet the country’s demand.’

He explained that the maize unveiled at the ceremony would be sold to reputable feed processors adding that this would in turn impact positively on current poultry feed prices, as over 60% of maize produced in the country were used for producing poultry feed.

Emefiele said that the apex bank was ready to provide support to the youths that are willing to engage in agriculture and encouraged them to embrace agriculture.

READ: Nigeria secures $1.2 billion loan from Brazil for agriculture modernization

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Speaking at the event, the Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, said the state had suffered a setback in agriculture as over 60,000 hectares of farmlands were uncultivated due to insurgency, which hindered farmers from gaining access to their means of livelihood.

On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, while unveiling the pyramids, reassured the farmers, processors and other value chain participants, of the support of government towards ensuring that they perform optimally.

What you should know

It can be recalled that in July 2020, the CBN included maize importation to its list of 41 items banned from assessing forex at the official market as it directed all banks/authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.

The apex bank in its circular said that this measure is aimed at increasing local production of the commodity, stimulating a rapid economic recovery, safeguarding rural livelihoods and increasing jobs.

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Business

FG releases N29.1 billion advance for deployment of Covid-19 vaccines

The FG has announced the release of N29.1 billion to the NPHCDA as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

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Power: Mambilla Power Project not prioritised by Ministry of Power for 2021 Budget - Finance Minister

The Federal Government has announced the release of N29.1 billion to the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

This is as the government has expressed its commitment to procuring 29.588 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the AVAT initiative, coordinated by AFREXIMBank,

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed while speaking at ‘Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly webinar on Friday.

What the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning is saying

Ahmed in her statement said, “Therefore, the supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines will cover the cost of additional vaccines over and above those provided by COVAX, as well as the full cost of operations and logistics for delivering the vaccines around the country.

“Already, the sum of N29.1bn has been released from the Routine Immunization budgetary provision (Service Wide Vote) to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. The N29.1bn represents about 52 percent of the amount required over 2021-22”, she said.

Mrs Ahmed stated at the 18th General Assembly of CABRI that the World Bank has indicated willingness to provide needed facilities in support of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination plan.

Considering key elements of Nigeria’s vaccine financing strategy, she said that the government is working on a supplementary budget to provide for the cost of vaccine procurement and delivery

She said, “The Federal Ministry of Health plans to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible (18 years and above) Nigerians over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years.”

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She noted that the nation has received commitments from COVAX for Covid-19 vaccines that could cover 43.1 million of the eligible population, as donations from some development partners.

On the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the oil price crash on the Nigerian economy, she noted that prior to the pandemic, implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-20, prudent resource management and fiscal policy implementation had resulted in 11 consecutive quarters of GDP growth, with GDP growth rising from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019.

Mrs Ahmed also noted that “the government had begun the process of moving our economy away from its primary dependence on oil for revenues and foreign exchange, and we’re making steady gains in addressing infrastructure and human capital challenges.”

 

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