Herdsmen Kill Farmer in Ogun State

A farmer in his 60s, Adetona Owolabi, has reportedly been killed by suspected herdsmen who inflicted various machete cuts on him in Afon, Imeko-Afon Local Government area of Ogun State.

The farmer was said to have been working on his farmland located few metres away to the newly constructed bridge at Afon, along Owode/Abeokuta road when he was attacked by the herdsmen for challenging them when their cattle was grazing and destroying his farm produce such as cassava, yam and vegetables.

Ironically, the incident occurred few hours after the State Government held a meeting with security chiefs and representatives of various stakeholders such as leaders of the Fulani, Hausa communities and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigera in order to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers and also to ensure safety of lives and property.

Opening Up Rural Areas For Economic Development

Since the inception of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in the State of Osun, the rural areas in the state have been receiving attention from the government through the Osun Rural Access Mobility Projects (RAMP). SHINA ABUBAKAR reviews some of the projects carried out by the agency so far.

As part of his campaign promises, Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola pledged to open up the rural areas as a means of not just reducing the Rural-Urban drift, but to ensure that farm produce gets to the markets in urban centres and add value to the agricultural sector in line with the administration’s six point Integral Action Plan to banish hunger and poverty, particularly at a time the nation’s economy needed much diversification from the monopoly of oil.

The activities of the present administration left no one in doubt of its desires towards the development of the rural areas as it tends to make roads accessible to the teeming populace who are farmers, potential farmers, young farmers or those who intends to venture into it, so as to reduce the stress of having to get perishable farm produce to the market, thereby reducing the loss of inputs and efforts put into farming.

The seriousness of the Aregbesola-led administration to open up rural areas attracted the attention of international organisations and the Federal Government of Nigeria,  and through partnership sponsor and finance construction and rehabilitation of earthen road and bridges that linked rural communities to the outer roads.

In the area of upgrading and rehabilitation of rural transport infrastructure, the state government through the coordination of Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) has completed over 250 kilometres of roads out of the 500 kilometres scheduled for rehabilitation and upgrading across the state. Some of the roads already completed include Agbowu/Ogbaagbaa-Idiroko-Eleru-Bode-Osi, Bode-Osi Township to Asa junction to Dagbolu-Ajagunlase, Eeleke-Kanko-Telemu and Kanko. Others include Agoro-Ikonifin-Sadeto Ajagunlaase, Akinleye-AbaAyo-Isero, Pataara-Ileko-Oba-Odo-Omi-Farm settlement road 1 and farm settlement spur, totaling 59 kilometres which are all located in Iwo Federal Constituency.

The agency has also completed the construction and rehabilitation of 50 kilometres of rural roads in Ife Federal Constituency covering over seven villages within the routes of Lawoka, Idiahun, Aagbala, Ifegunle, Elewa, Apoje, Elewaa, Ife Tutun and Owena. This area are known for their richness in the production of both cash crops and food that enhance the living standard of the farmers  in the area. These communities were known to have been cut off from the market as a result of inaccessibility over a long period, forcing many to abandon farming and relocate to other urban areas in the constituency until the recent intervention of the government.

Most of the farmers in the area have commended the singular effort of ORAMP in opening the areas to the market and reducing the rate at which they suffer losses from wasted farm produce.

In Ilesa Federal Constituency, about twenty communities have been successfully linked to major roads in the area thereby facilitating access to urban areas, either for the purpose of agricultural, economic or social activities. Besides, some of the roads do not only serve farmers purpose, they are also emergency route during health situations.

The communities that benefitted from the first phase of the project in the federal constituency are Ilesa, Odogbo, Araromi, Ilo-Olomo, Ira, Ikeji-Ile, Arakeji, Araromi, Alagbe, Ibete and Orisunbare.

Others include, Ilesa, Muroko, Ilaa, Isolo, Okebode, Iwara, Asukuru, Odogbo and Isale General in Ilesa town and the total length is 50 kilometres.

Similarly, the administration also intervened in the construction of numbers of roads across the state to facilitate vehicular and human movement both inter and intra state to boost economic activities in both the rural and urban centres. Some of the roads in this class include; Iwo-Pataara road, Esa-Oke-Esa-Odo Farm settlement, Mokore Farm Settlement road, Orile-Owu/Ago-Owu Farm Settlement road, Idiroko-Akinleye Farm Settlement road, Farmers’ Plank Market road, Aato-Ayegunle-Ilawo road, Alaguntan Forest reserve Road, Ita-Oni-Onikoko road, Erin-Oke, QIIP Farm Road, Kuta, Okinni-Igbokiti O-Fish Farm Road, Asawo-sola Alusekere Road, Fashina-Agbagba-Adekanye-Osu Road, and OAU Road 7-Surulere Qrts-Ilesa Road and reconstruction and reclamation of Olufi Market in Gbongan.

Other markets that benefitted from the scheme are New MDS Market in Osogbo, Building Materials Market, Yam Market, Neighbourhood Market. Other roads in this category are Ajebandele-Fadehan-Lagata, Oba Sijuade Road, grading of Iyanfoworogi-Orinsunbare-Ajobo Junction and Aba Apa, Babasuwe Junction-Esa-Odo and the construction of Idi-Ore River Bridge.

Also, in the area of construction of bridges and river crossings, this administration blazed the trail by ensuring that communities that have been cut off from the rest of the state are reconnected to one another through this linkable roads. Many of the dwellers did not believe they could be reconnected to the socio-economic activities in the major towns considering the rate at which many urban centres crave for government attention.

However, the ORAMP management worked wonders by ensuring that even in the midst of paucity of funds, rural dwellers are also catered for and economic activities reawakened in the respective enclaves. Some of the benefiting communities are; Elewonta  river on Oke-Ola Elewonta road, Ohun river on Dabongbon Along Ago-Owu Farm settlement , Oke-Afo/ Alawe stream on Oke-Afo- Oluponna road, Olomu stream  on Fidiwo/Funmilayo road, Eyin-Ade stream at Okuta Aje Area, Osese River and Aatan stream along Koko road at Polytechnic road, Obuke River at Olukesi farm.

The agency did not stop at the named communities, it also extended its services to many rural isolated towns like;  Ejeo River, Ipon stream Agbelejere Road on Oyan- Otan Ayegbanju road, Owere River, Gbalefefe stream, Isule River at Oke-Aho, Ata River, Ogbaagbaa River, Alabakan River, Alakaso River, Oroki River along Otan-Ile – Ipetu-Ile Road, Oriki River along Otan-Ile –Igbajo road and  Asejere River along promised land.

Other benefiting communities are; Power line River along Oke-Odo, Olojo stream at Olojo Farm linking Aroko and Ilupeju communities, Omi River on Masifa- Isundunrin road, Shasha bridge, Opa river at Opa-Odunanin village on Doya –Akinola Road, Oyi adunni river, Oyile bridge on Oyile River.

Since the completion of these projects, it has brought about positive impact on the communities and its dwellers, both socially and economically. The state agricultural sector has recorded tremendous increase in output as more farm produce get to the urban markets on time and there is reduction in the cost of transporting the produce. It also reduces travelling time between these communities, especially those that are bounded by rivers, as travelers do not have to find their ways against the rivers through neighbouring communities.

The ORAMP initiative has also help to eliminate the middle-man concept thereby giving farmers the power of bargain as they now deal with buyers directly and this singular act has increased the income of the farmers. It also created job for the youth in the areas, as there are different community-driven programmes created to ensure the maintenance of these roads. The scheme engages youth in the community and as a result, reduces restlessness among them.

In the area of social development, the ORAMP scheme has increase land values in all the communities where the projects were executed , while the literacy level in the areas have also increased as a result of more social interaction between and among the migrating populace.

According to the project coordinator of O-RAMP, Engineer Adelere Oriolowo, the agency is able to perform to this level as a result of the high level support received from Governor Rauf Aregbesola through regular payment of its counterpart-fund and ensuring capacity building for staffers of the agency without defaulting on the provisions of donor partners.

 

Global trader, Nigerian Firm In $530m Oilfield Deal

 

The world’s biggest oil trading firm, Vitol Group, the world’s biggest oil trading firm had reached a $530m deal with a Nigerian oil and gas producer, Shoreline Group, to finance an oilfield in exchange for access to some of the oil it produces, said the Nigerian firm on thursday.

The contract, finalised on Thursday with shoreline, will provide the company with cash to refinance existing debt and further develop the Oil Mining Lease 30 in the Niger Delta.

50,000 barrel per day is the current production of the field and has an estimated one billion barrels of oil reserves.45 percent in the field is what shoreline has as interest.

The European trading house has done other pre-financing deals for preferential access to oil and refined products in Kazakhstan, Iran and elsewhere, according to Reuters.

The Chairman, Shoreline Group, Mr. Kola Karim, was quoted as saying that the “transformational” deal would enable the company to step up gross production to as much as 100,000bpd over the next year.

Shoreline would seek to boost production to between 80,000 and 100,000bpd this year, Karim was quoted by Bloomberg to have said.

“The funds will be used to refinance existing debt and provide us with working capital to expand production. As part of the funding arrangements, Shoreline will work with Vitol to market the crude, and in the development of its export logistics capabilities,” he said.

The financing was arranged with support from Vitol, as well as Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Fidelity Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, FCMB Group Plc and Farallon Capital Management LLC.

Shoreline is one of several Nigerian producers that bought onshore fields in the Niger Delta after international oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc withdrew amid persistent attacks on infrastructure.

The local firms including Shoreline were hit by the militant attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016 as they posted steep decline in production for over a year until June last year when the Forcados export terminal came back on stream. The production from Shoreline Natural Resources Limited rose from 115,376 barrels in May to 444,240 barrels in June, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Prior to the shutdown of the Forcados Terminal in February 2016 after the Trans Forcados Pipeline was attacked by militants, the indigenous firms had been hard hit by the persistent low oil prices as their revenues tumbled.

In January 2016 when oil prices were trading below $30 per barrel, Shoreline said it planned to cut 35 per cent of its nearly 2,000 workers to survive the “tough” conditions, Karim was quoted by Bloomberg to have said in an interview. The company also halted plans to issue $500m of Eurobonds.

Meanwhile, unsold barrels of crudes from West Africa could put pressure on the premiums of Malaysian crude cargoes for March loading, traders said, according to Platts.

Solar-Powered Mini Grids Built By FG, EU In Five States

The Federal Government, in partnership with the European Union and Germany, has announced under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme the construction of solar-powered mini grids in five states of the federation.

 

Six solar mini-grids are currently being supported by the programme to provide electricity to residents of Ogun, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Cross River states according to the NESP

 

 

 

It was disclosed to our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, announcing the latest rural electrification programme undertaken by the EU and Germany in Sokoto State.

 

The agency stated that as part of the rural electrification programme, an 80kWp solar mini-grid project had successfully been completed in Kurdula, Gudu Local Government Area of Sokoto State and would be inaugurated today (Friday).

 

It noted that through the project funded by the European Union and the German government via the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, more than 4,000 people would benefit from clean electricity in Sokoto State.

 

It said, “The Kurdula solar mini grid is one of six such projects currently supported by the Nigerian Energy Support Programme. Altogether, the projects will provide electricity to more than 10,000 people across five states of Ogun, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Cross River.

 

“It has been implemented by GIZ together with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Sokoto State Government and a private company, GoSolar.”

 

It stated that through the NESP, the European Union and the German government were supporting the FMPWH and other relevant stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector to ensure that energy solutions such as the mini-grid approach could be replicated and scaled up.

 

The agency said, “An additional 100,000 rural inhabitants in several states across Nigeria will receive support from the programme until 2020. The NESP is a €24.5m technical assistance programme launched to promote investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and rural electrification.

 

“The NESP is co-funded by the European Union and the German government via the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and is jointly implemented by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.”

Nigeria To Receive AfDB’s $400m Budget Support Loan

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria will be getting $400m from the African Development Bank soon as sector loans.

 

Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the inauguration of AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department Building in Abuja on Thursday said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina the bank’s president  had confirmed that the money would be given to the country as sector loans.

 

 

 

The AfDB approved $1bn loan in November 2016 to assist the country get out of recession. A total of $600m had been released out of the $1b

 

Osinbajo said the release of the first tranche of the loan was instrumental in helping Nigeria to wriggle out of recession.

 

He stated, “Since 1971, the Nigeria Country Office has served as an important convening point for the bank, the Federal Government and state governments and the private sector. Nigeria has been important in the growth of the institution as a major shareholder, a donor and a borrower.

 

“We have through the years shared the bank’s vision and objectives to underscore the love between the AfDB and Nigeria (as the president of the bank rightly describes it as a marriage). We have loaned our own Dr. Akinwumi Adesina to the bank as he is to our great pride and Nigeria’s first president of the bank.

 

“In Nigeria, the AfDB has an active portfolio of close to $6bn spread over 73 projects, cutting across public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. These projects continue to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in many parts of our economy.”

 

Osinbajo added, “Most specifically, I thank the President and the members of the Board of the AfDB for their support to Nigeria at a very difficult time during the 2015/2016 economic recession. When we requested for the support of the bank, the response was swift. The bank approved a budget support loan of $1bn in November 2016. The first tranche of $600m has been fully disbursed and utilised.

 

“In my discussions with the president of the bank, we will be getting the remainder in form of sector loans. So we are looking forward to the remaining $400m. As you know with marriages, very frequently – when demand is made, sometimes it is cut in halves.

 

“The approval of our loan request by the AfDB sent a much-needed signal to the market at the critical time for Nigeria, and for this, we will remain ever grateful to the AfDB.”

 

 

 

At the event, Nigeria also demanded that it should be considered as the bank’s regional hub for West Africa.

 

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that the new office complex would strengthen Nigeria’s effort and desire for regional integration in the West African sub-region and demanded that the country should be considered as the regional hub for the AfDB in West Africa.

 

She stated, “It is in this regard that I would like to put on record Nigeria’s strong desire and demand to host the regional hub of the African Development Bank.

 

“We think that being the largest shareholder of the bank since inception and the country with one of the largest portfolios of its projects, Abuja, Nigeria is the natural and logical place for the bank’s regional hub.

 

“Through this investment, the African Development Bank has made Nigeria the first regional member country to host the bank-owned office complex.”

 

The minister urged Adesina to convey Nigeria’s request to the bank’s senior management and executive board.

 

In his remarks, the AfDB president stated that the bank would continue to support Nigeria and other African countries in order to accelerate the development of infrastructure and energy on the continent.

 

“The bank’s portfolio in Nigeria is currently about $6bn and we expect these investments to grow to $8bn by the 2019,” he added.

 

The AfDB boss disclosed that the bank had invested $500m in the Development Bank of Nigeria and would also be committing $200m in the Transmission Corporation of Nigeria.

 

 

 

President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria will be getting $400m from the African Development Bank soon as sector loans.

 

Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the inauguration of AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department Building in Abuja on Thursday said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina the bank’s president  had confirmed that the money would be given to the country as sector loans.

 

 

 

The AfDB approved $1bn loan in November 2016 to assist the country get out of recession. A total of $600m had been released out of the $1b

 

Osinbajo said the release of the first tranche of the loan was instrumental in helping Nigeria to wriggle out of recession.

 

He stated, “Since 1971, the Nigeria Country Office has served as an important convening point for the bank, the Federal Government and state governments and the private sector. Nigeria has been important in the growth of the institution as a major shareholder, a donor and a borrower.

 

“We have through the years shared the bank’s vision and objectives to underscore the love between the AfDB and Nigeria (as the president of the bank rightly describes it as a marriage). We have loaned our own Dr. Akinwumi Adesina to the bank as he is to our great pride and Nigeria’s first president of the bank.

 

“In Nigeria, the AfDB has an active portfolio of close to $6bn spread over 73 projects, cutting across public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. These projects continue to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in many parts of our economy.”

 

Osinbajo added, “Most specifically, I thank the President and the members of the Board of the AfDB for their support to Nigeria at a very difficult time during the 2015/2016 economic recession. When we requested for the support of the bank, the response was swift. The bank approved a budget support loan of $1bn in November 2016. The first tranche of $600m has been fully disbursed and utilised.

 

“In my discussions with the president of the bank, we will be getting the remainder in form of sector loans. So we are looking forward to the remaining $400m. As you know with marriages, very frequently – when demand is made, sometimes it is cut in halves.

 

“The approval of our loan request by the AfDB sent a much-needed signal to the market at the critical time for Nigeria, and for this, we will remain ever grateful to the AfDB.”

 

 

 

At the event, Nigeria also demanded that it should be considered as the bank’s regional hub for West Africa.

 

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that the new office complex would strengthen Nigeria’s effort and desire for regional integration in the West African sub-region and demanded that the country should be considered as the regional hub for the AfDB in West Africa.

 

She stated, “It is in this regard that I would like to put on record Nigeria’s strong desire and demand to host the regional hub of the African Development Bank.

 

“We think that being the largest shareholder of the bank since inception and the country with one of the largest portfolios of its projects, Abuja, Nigeria is the natural and logical place for the bank’s regional hub.

 

“Through this investment, the African Development Bank has made Nigeria the first regional member country to host the bank-owned office complex.”

 

The minister urged Adesina to convey Nigeria’s request to the bank’s senior management and executive board.

 

In his remarks, the AfDB president stated that the bank would continue to support Nigeria and other African countries in order to accelerate the development of infrastructure and energy on the continent.

 

“The bank’s portfolio in Nigeria is currently about $6bn and we expect these investments to grow to $8bn by the 2019,” he added.

 

The AfDB boss disclosed that the bank had invested $500m in the Development Bank of Nigeria and would also be committing $200m in the Transmission Corporation of Nigeria.

 

A Game Plan Is Needed To Start A Small Business

 

 

 

 

The rave of the moment in the business world is entrepreneurship but the process of starting small businesses will be easier done than said when potential entrepreneurs create a strategy to give supports to their dreams hence desiring to becoming self-employed.

 

A Game Changer

Game plan enhances targets and generates a failsafe approach to ensuring small businesses succeed in a highly competitive and changing economy.

 

The late songwriter and producer, George Harrison adapted the exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and sang in its “Any Road”, a single album in the United Kingdom in 2003 that “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

 

Accelerated awareness

 

More people know about entrepreneurship today than in the last ten years. The elementary and secondary schools’ curricula now expose pupils and students to trade subjects as essential rudiments of entrepreneurship. Universities and other tertiary institutions have centres for entrepreneurship where undergraduates are taught the basics of entrepreneurship.

 

There is accelerated awareness about self-help, self-reliance, and self-employment. Ironically, people with limited or no specific training or requisite industry experience want to own their small businesses rather than work for other people. They are buoyed by the idea of working for themselves and calling the shots.

 

It would not be a bad idea, after all, if they become managers of their own businesses. Training centres and finishing schools attract young graduates during and after national youth service to hand them their recipes on life after school and self-employment. Vanity publishers and self-publishing authors sell books on how their readers can make it in life by working for themselves.

 

Burden of self-employment

 

The problem most potential entrepreneurs face despite these available channels is that they use them and apply the principles they are taught but turn out to be entrepreneurial failure at first attempts. Others are afraid to take the leap because they are not confident that they have enough willpower to launch out.

 

 

 

The way out of these situations is to have a game plan for self-employment. Business is like sports, politics or warfare. It requires a well-reasoned out strategy and course of action worked out in advance with success as its end goal.

 

This game plan prepares prospective entrepreneurs, instils self-awareness and entrepreneurial discipline, and gives them confidence that it is time to start.

 

Entrepreneurship is strategy

 

FG’s oil exploration in North Supported By Four States

 

 

 

Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Katsina states’ Governors are willing to support the Federal Government to aid the exploration of both ethanol and hydrocarbon resources in the basin.

 

Aminu Tambuwal, The Sokoto States Governor said this, adding that his administration would provide necessary assistance for the Federal Government in making sure that the success of the exploration activities in the Sokoto Basin is achieved.

 

 

This statement was made by him on Thursday at the Regional Technology Knowledge-sharing conference on hydrocarbon potential of Sokoto Basin going on at the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto.

 

The conference was organised by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in collaboration with the Sokoto State Government and the university to improve expert literature and share research results on the viability of hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin.

 

Tambuwal said, “In pursuance of such reliable data, the Sokoto State Government contracted a Chinese company, which surveyed the basin and confirmed the availability of hydrocarbon phosphate in abundance.

 

JP Morgan Sued For Sum Of $875m Over Malabu Oilfield Deal

 

 

 

A claim against a United States lender, JP Morgan Chase has been filed by the Federal Government for more than $875m, accusing the bank of neglect and carelessness in the  funds transfer  from a disputed 2011 oilfield deal to a company controlled by a former Nigerian minister of petroleum resources.

 

A spokeswoman for JP Morgan dismissed the accusation on Thursday, saying the firm “considers the allegations made in the claim to be unsubstantiated and without merit.” This was according to a Reuters’ report.

 

 

 

The suit filed in a British court relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011.

 

At the core of the case is a $1.3bn payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block that the lawsuit said was deposited into a Federal Government’s escrow account managed by JP Morgan.

 

The lawsuit said JP Morgan then received a request from the finance ministry workers to transfer more than $800m of the funds to accounts controlled by the previous operator of the block, Malabu Oil and Gas, controlled by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete.

 

The lawsuit said that JP Morgan then transferred the funds to two accounts controlled by Etete, without sufficient due diligence to make sure the money did not leave accounts controlled by the Federal Government.

 

Reuters was unable to reach either Etete or Malabu for comments.

 

The filing seen by Reuters was made in London in November last year on behalf of Nigeria, and said that JP Morgan acted with gross negligence by allowing the transfer of the money without further checks.

 

It said JP Morgan should have known that, under Nigerian law, the money should never have been transferred to an outside company.

 

“If the defendant acted with reasonable care and skill and/or conducted reasonable due diligence, it would or should have known or at least suspected … that it was being asked to transfer funds to third parties who were seeking to misappropriate the funds from the claimant and/or that there was a significant risk that this was the case,” the filing said.

 

 

 

Late last year, a Milan judge ruled that Shell and Eni must stand trial in Italy, where Eni is headquartered, for a separate legal case in which Milan prosecutors alleged bribes were paid to Etete and others as part of the same oilfield deal, including money that went to Etete’s Malabu.

 

Both Eni and Shell have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in relation to that case. Malabu has never commented on the case.

 

Shell last year said it knew some of its payment to the Nigerian government as part of the deal would go to Malabu “to settle its claim on the block”, but that it was a legal transaction.

 

 

There are also ongoing investigations regarding the deal in Nigeria and the Netherlands, where Shell is based.

 

Meanwhile, the US regulator, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, had in December fined JPMorgan $2.8m for improper safeguarding of Nigerian securities.

 

JPMorgan Chase & Co reportedly paid a $2.8m fine to the US regulator to settle charges that its broker-dealer unit lacked sufficient controls to safeguard customer securities from several countries including Nigeria over more than eight years.

Osun Produce Board Signs MoU With OSCOTECH On Commercial Agriculture

By Shina Abubakar

In order to boost commercial agriculture in the State of Osun through advance technology, the State Produce Board (OPB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke.

The deal was sealed at the Conference Hall of the institution on Tuesday between  the management of Osun Produce Board led by the Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO, Dr Yemi Adegoke and Osun State College of Technology Governing Council led by the Council Chairman, Professor Layi Fagbenle.

Speaking during the event, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the board, Dr Yemi Adegoke hinted that the signing of the MoU was in line with the vision of the present Government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to boost agricultural production and improve the income for  all  stakeholders in the sector.

Dr Adegoke explained that to achieve the government’s target and vision , it is therefore important to move  away from over 3000 years primitive and subsistence farming method which requires the use of hoes and cutlasses only,  to Mechanised and Commercial farming method which is the only alternative to change the poor condition of farmers and consumers.

He maintained that OSCOTECH, Esa Oke and all other state-owned tertiary institutions are blessed with both human and material resources needed to improve farming method, urging the institutions to establish Commercial Farms, Technology, Research and Demonstration Farms and engage in production of Herbs.

He noted that this will make them a leading light capable of competing with other institutions around the World.

He promised that the Produce Board and Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will give the institutions all necessary technical support needed to execute the content in the MoU, in order to achieve the target result within a limited period.

In his brief remarks, the College’s Council Chairman, Professor Layi Fagbenle acknowledged that the vision of the government of the State of Osun is a good one and expressed optimism that it will come to reality.

Prof Fagbenle stressed that Nigeria and West Africa sub-region are blessed with fertile agricultural land, good weather and human materials.

He therefore promised that the institution will cue-in and make the vision a reality.

Also speaking, the Acting Rector, Dr Samson Adegoke who described the signing of MoU as a good sign of good thing for the institution, said it is prepared for the task ahead, especially now that it has a department of Agricultural Engineering.

There Won’t Be Job losses Due To NIPOST Restructuring – BPE

 

 

Job losses will not come as a result of the restructuring and modernization of the Nigerian Postal Service, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex Okoh, has said.

 

From the statement issued by Head of Public Communication, BPE, Mr. Chukwuma Nwokoh, in Abuja on Thursday, Okoh gave the affirmation at a meeting between the management team both NIPOST and BPE.

 

 

The BPE boss also stated that the restructuring exercise would lead to NIPOST’s unbundling to create stand-alone business components that would shoot the organisation’s brand, provide fantastic services and be put on a profitable path.

 

He noted that NIPOST had great potential and that given the right incentives and business strategy, it would become efficient, profitable and provide value for money.

 

Okoh said that the final decision on the restructuring would be dependent on the outcome of the work of the advisers engaged for the transaction.

 

He added that although the BPE had the mandate to carry out the reform, the exercise would be carried out in collaboration with all the critical stakeholders to ensure that it was done without hitches.

 

The BPE boss allayed the fears of job cuts and pledged to work with the management of NIPOST to accommodate their views to transform the organisation into a viable entity.

 

Okoh said the bureau was always conscious of the macroeconomic impact in carrying out its mandate of reform and privatisation.

 

In his response, the Postmaster General of the Federation and Chief Executive of NIPOST, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi, stated that the organisation had braced for the reform and had begun restructuring in readiness for it.

 

He said NIPOST had been re-engineered to carry out certain services, including e-commerce, e-insurance, rural banking and the Post Youth Engagement Strategy, aimed at engaging the youth who form the vast population of Nigeria.

 

 

 

Adegbuyi announced that in line with the new services it planned to offer to the Nigerian public, NIPOST’s Electronic Money Order would be introduced in February.

 

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Equities Gain N298bn While Nascon, Cadbury And UPL Record Losses

Nascon Allied Industries Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and University Press Plc closed in losses at Wednesday’s trading despite the N298bn appreciation in the country’s equity market.

Each of Nacon, Cadbury and UPL shares dropped respectively by 4.98 per cent, 4.97 per cent and 4.94 per cent

 

Airline Services and Logistics Plc and AG Leventis Nigeria Plc were the top three on the list which also slumped by 4.87 per cent and 4.17 per cent, accordingly.

A total of 960.751 million shares valued at N12.52bn exchanged hands in 8,866 deals.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation rose to N16.080tn from N15.782tn while the NSE All-Share Index closed at 44,885.24 basis points from 44,054.72 basis points.

The Nigerian equities market advanced by 1.89 per cent, pushing the year-to-date return up to 17.37 per cent. Similarly, market volume and value advanced by 51.20 per cent and 63.96 per cent, respectively.

The market recorded 44 gainers and 19 losers.

The Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc led the market with a 10.17 per cent share price appreciation. Other top gainers were Diamond Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc, which appreciated accordingly by 10.1 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.91 per cent and 9.75 per cent.

All sector indices closed positively, save for the consumer goods sector, which declined by 0.64 per cent.

The NSE industrial goods, the NSE insurance, the NSE oil/gas and the NSE banking indices advanced by 4.42 per cent, 1.80 per cent, 1.79 per cent and 0.51 per cent, accordingly.

 

Commenting on the market’s performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, in a post, said, “The Nigerian bourse continues to record increased investor confidence as the market advanced further by 1.89 per cent on Wednesday.

 

“We note that activities in the day were skewed towards counters below N5, as they were 30 out of the 44 gainers. However, we posit that the market’s impressive performance was as a result of the N13 gain on Dangote Cement Plc, as the market would have advanced by just 0.67 per cent ex-Dangote Cement.