Friday, 30 September 2016

African Development Bank To Lend Nigeria $4.1b For Power, Agriculture




The African Development Bank is looking to provide a total of $4.1 billion to Nigeria over 2016 and 2017, its president said on Monday, as Africa’s biggest economy seeks to bridge its budget deficit and improve weak infrastructure.
Akinwumi Adesina said the funds would be used to develop the power and agriculture sectors in the west African country, which has slipped into recession for the first time in over 20 years, largely due to low oil prices. He was speaking after holding talks with the finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the capital, Abuja.

Oil sales, the economy’s mainstay, generate 70 percent of government revenues. Attacks on energy facilities in the Niger Delta have cut crude production by around a third since the start of the year. The OPEC member has been left struggling to fund a record 6.06 trillion naira ($18.6 billion) 2016 budget that aims to stimulate growth by tripling capital expenditure. Adeosun said Nigeria had asked for a $1 billion loan to help cover its 2016 budget deficit. She said it would be concessional and carry an interest rate of 1.2 percent.

Adesina later said the pan-African lender was looking to provide $4.1 billion over 2016/2017. He said “deepening the level of diversification in critical sectors” such as agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing, was of particular importance. Aside from a wealthy elite who have profited from oil wealth, most of the 180 million people in Africa’s most populous nation live on less than $2 a day. Development has been held back for decades by a poor power, road and rail network.
“I expect that our portfolio in Nigeria will not decrease – it will actually grow. We expect to invest in Nigeria, by 2019, a total of $10 billion,” said Adesina, a former Nigerian agriculture minister. The finance minister said the country was not over-borrowing. “What we are trying to do is to ensure that this money we are borrowing, we use it on the key infrastructure that will drive the economy,” she said.

Last week the central bank left its benchmark rate at 14 percent, defying calls from Adeosun to lower rates so that the government could borrow domestically to boost the economy without increasing debt-servicing costs. Adesina said the AfDB had “asked for the need for better synergies between the macro policy side and monetary policy side and also the fiscal policy side of the economy”.

http://thestreetjournal.org/2016/09/african-development-bank-to-lend-nigeria-4-1b-for-power-agriculture/

Nigeria To Rebuild Kano Groundnut Pyramid




The Nigerian Government says plans have been concluded to rebuild the famous Kano groundnut pyramid through investment in intensive agricultural research and cash crop development.

The Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Audu Ogbe said that the scheme in no distant time, ‘‘wold boost farmers’ income through new groundnut varieties, cropping systems and processing technologies in Nigeria.’’

Dr Ogbe made was speaking at a three-day International Agricultural Workshop with the team: ’’Future Resilient Farming Systems For Semi-Arid Region of West and Central Africa held in conjunction with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,  Bayero University Kano.

The Pyramid
The pyramids, 61 years ago were built in the ancient city of Kano, where groundnut production was a key part of the economy.
They were viewed as both a tourist attraction and a symbol of wealth as many were employed in the value chain of the business, especially the export component.
However, In the 1960s and 70s, as production in Nigeria shifted from agriculture to oil, the groundnut pyramids disappeared.
On this note, the Minister said THAT apart from groundnut, the Nigerian government was also looking to improving other areas of grain production.
‘‘The government was also committed to boost sorghum production, commercialization and industrial utilization through value chain public-private partnership. There was also plan to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in drought prone areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia through enhanced grain legume production and productivity,’’ he stated.

Dr Ogbe further explained that‘‘a programme had equally been designed to improve production of Sorghum and Millet for local consumption and exportation through Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement, ’’’.

He stressed that Nigerian government recognized the strategic role of agricultural research in improving the livelihoods of farmers, appreciate the need for new investments in modern science-based agriculture and was therefore committed to supporting agricultural researches on a sustainable basis.

Expectation
Dr Ogbe also hope that the establishment of agricultural research institute in Kano will go a long way in strengthening the existing collaboration between the national agricultural research institutes and their international counterparts, as well as ensure that the current challenges to sustainable agricultural production are overcome.
Similarly, the Vice Chancellor of the Bayero University Kano, Professor Muhammad Bello, who was the chief host of the event, said that the forum would provide opportunity for the outcome of various researches to be shared and practical interventions made to increase resilience and productivity in the agricultural sector.
Professor Bello urged ‘‘the participants to come out with workable outcomes that would increase crop and livestock production, as well as sustainable utilization of the environment in the coming years.’’

He appealed to governments, agencies, bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions, including the private sector to improve funding to the agricultural sector for maximum production.
Meanwhile, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at the event lamented a situation where over the years, Nigeria had witnessed a gradual and consistent decline in productivity of important crops and livestock.
According to him, ‘‘there is need to boost research in agricultural products as such the forum provides greater opportunity for cross fertilization of ideas that will improve the agricultural sector in Nigeria, west Africa and the central Africa among others.’’

http://www.nta.ng/agriculture/20160929-nigeria-rebuild-kano-groundnut-pyramid/

PMB: Nigeria’s Economic Survival Depends On Agriculture




President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the key to Nigeria’s quest for economic diversification and survival lies in agriculture and the manufacturing sector.
According to him, a strong manufacturing sector will create more jobs and wealth for people and it will also usher in sustainable economic prosperity.

Buhari made this comment yesterday in Abuja at the 44th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). with the theme, ‘Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: the Role of Government in Manufacturing.’
He also expressed appreciation to the president and the members of MAN for their immense contributions and unwavering commitment to the socio-economic development of Nigeria over the years.

Buhari noted that Nigeria owed MAN a debt of gratitude for their show of commitment, demonstrated by their respective investments in Nigeria’s economy despite daunting challenges.

He said this administration was convinced that the key to the nation’s quest for economic diversification and survival lies in agriculture and the manufacturing sector. A strong manufacturing sector will create more jobs and wealth for our people.
“It will usher in sustainable economic prosperity because we will produce what we consume as a nation and generate foreign exchange by exporting any surplus.
“The manufacturing sector is well positioned to be a major driver of Nigeria’s economic growth because of our immense natural resources and the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians.”

Buhari stated that government was therefore focused on implementing necessary policies and strategies aimed at unleashing the full potential of manufacturing in Nigeria. “We will rely heavily on your ideas and inputs at all stages of formulation and implementation of new industrial policies. For our part, we will remove bottlenecks and create a more business friendly environment,” he added.
Buhari remarked that his administration remained committed to partnering with MAN in the task of charting a brighter future for the country as government was very appreciative of their contributions in formulating national economic policies.
According to him, the theme, ‘Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: the Role of Government in Manufacturing,’ is quite apt as it is coming at a time when the nation is faced with the urgent need to diversify the economy in the light of the dwindling price of crude oil in the global market.

The president explained that the dramatic fall in crude oil and other commodity prices has had a serious negative impact on world economies, especially countries like Nigeria which depended on one commodity for its export earnings.
Furthermore, Buhari said the administration’s strategic plan to boost manufacturing activities in the country was supported by the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP). These programmes, according to him, present a clear roadmap towards an industrialised Nigerian economy. “We are working on improving the patronage of locally made goods, bridging the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by our educational institutions and access to finance for our Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) “We recognise that MAN and the other Organised Private Sector (OPS) groups are our key stakeholders in this journey and we will continue our engagement with you.
The president urged MAN to consider national interest, so that the outcome of their deliberations will be to the benefit of Nigerians workers and promoters alike and said he is looking forward to receiving a communiquĂ© of the deliberations from this meeting. “As events unfold in the coming months, many of you will be called upon to play critical roles in the implementation of this administration’s agenda. I implore you to avail us your wealth of experience so that together we can uplift our nation’s economy and social well-being,”

http://www.leadership.ng/news/cover-stories/552677/pmb-nigerias-economic-survival-depends-on-agriculture 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Nigeria must return to agriculture




The Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Dr. Shola Adepoju, has urged Nigerians to return to agriculture, describing it as the hope of the country.

Making this declaration at the third Prof Peter Adebola Okuneye Intervarsity Debate (PAID 2016), organised by the Agricultural Economics’ Student Association (AECOSA) of the Federal University of Agriculture,Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Adepoju, who was the chairman on the occasion, said agriculture held the hope for the country.
He said: “Agriculture is the hope for Nigeria now because that is what everybody has gone back to, but unfortunately, it is not the day we start up that we start to get the result from it.” He stressed the need for government to expedite action towards the approval and disbursement of the country’s agricultural budget.

He lamented that any further delay in the disbursement might result in funds not reaching the appropriate quarters and achieving the set targets before the rain stops.
The Vice-Chancellor and President, Association of African Universities (AAU), Prof Olusola Oyewole, described the theme of the debate: Transition in Government: What hope for agriculture? as apt, given the indispensable role of agriculture to the nation’s economy. He challenged students of the university and particularly, students of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management (AE&FM), to always set the pace in agricultural advancement and development in the country.
“The theme is very apt for such a time as this, being that we are in a transition, and at a time where there are many challenges facing the country that can be solved through research. We are also at a time when the agricultural system of this country needs attention,” he stated.

Oyewole praised the former Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development, Prof Adebola Okunneye, whom the debate was meant to honour, for ensuring its sustainability and improving on it with the presentation of awards to deserving agriculturists, who have distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture.
Explaining the rationale behind the third PAID programme, Okuneye said it was to analyse how well agriculture had fared in the country and proffer solution on the way forward.

http://thenationonlineng.net/nigeria-must-return-agriculture/