Osun in agric sector revolution to grow economy

Rauf Aregbesola
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of osun
At the inception of his administration, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said he would transform and rejuvenate the agricultural sector of the economy which used to be a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, especially in the western region.

Aregbesola said that agriculture which used to be the mainstay of the economy and employer of about 70 per cent of its total population has been relegated to the background for years. This, he noted, followed the discovery of oil in the 60s and has dominated revenue of the country in the last 50 years.

Apart from this, he said the sector had been neglected by past regimes, assuring the citizens that priority attention would be given to agriculture and food security, adding that his administration would not relent in its efforts at investing massively in the sector.

As an agrarian state, Aregbesola decried heavy reliance on food importation, a trend he described as “a road to economic perdition”.

“This is what informed our agriculture policy of giving priority to food production so that we can feed ourselves and even sell the excess to others outside this stat”, Aregbesola added.

To achieve the agricultural revolution as ennuciated in his six-point integral action plans that seek to banish hunger, unemployment and restore healthy living, the present administration has introduced many programmes to boost agriculture in the state which included Osun Farmers Trains project in which it partnered Osun farmers and was ready to tap into the daily N3.6 billion food market in Lagos.

The gesture is to assist the farmers to move their goods to Lagos by rail into designated markets that have been secured for them so that farmers would get the best for their work.

As part of this plan, the state government has also acquired four locomotives of 40 coaches and 40 wagons to ease this transportation.

Apart from tractorised 2,683 hectares of farmland for farmers across the state at subsidized rates, registered farmers’ co-operative groups have benefited from loans disbursed by the state government under the Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP). The groups also benefited from subsidy schemes on land clearing and preparation, Osun Broiler Production Scheme (OBOPS) while fish farming projects are among programmes put in place to attain food security.

In furtherance of this effort towards self-reliance in food production, the state recently launched Osun Beef Production outfit called O’Beef located at Oloba Farm Settlement in Iwo.

The project is a 78.4-hectares of cattle ranch which has 10, 000 cattle capacity aimed at meeting the beef demand of the state as well as the entire South-West states. It is expected that when fully operational, the project would create a minimum of 55, 000 employment opportunities in agriculture and agro-business alone.

The governor hopes that thousands would be employed in animal rearing while thousands more will be engaged in cow fattening; animal feeds, modern abattoir services, cross breeding and veterinary services with the launch of the ranch.

He said that individuals private farms as well as small scale industries will spring up apart from food processing, packaging and haulage services while government will be supporting small holder cooperatives, such as the OYES cadets, to establish cattle fattening enterprises that will be funded from a proposed N500 million seed fund that will be raised for that purpose.

About 30 foreign species called the Zambian Boran would be introduced to the ranch with a view to genetically crossbreeding them with local ones to get a new indigenous species.

Presently, no fewer than 400 rams have been successfully fattened at the ranch for festive periods and this has been done in partnership with the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and the OFFER Centre, Oluponna.

For a start, the ranch which is being managed by a South African expert in conjunction with IITA and Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, has 1,500 cattle sourced locally.

Speaking at the commissioning of the ranch at Oloba, which is one of the abandoned farm settlements established by the administration of Late Obafemi Awolowo in the 60s but revived by the state government, the governor said that the ranch is meant to boost agriculture, food production and processing.

Aregbesola said that given the huge market for cattle in Lagos and other Yoruba states, animal rearing and production become a paramount economic programme for the state.

According to him, Lagos State alone consume 6,000 cattle daily none of which is supplied from the South-West, adding that the trend must stop as a government is not responsible and responsive if it is incapable of feeding its people.

He said that the N4.4 billion beef market has the potential to empower the South West people economically through wealth creation that would translate into increased household income.

The governor stressed that similar but lager ranches would also be established in Ede and Ejigbo, pointing out that “it is the objective of my administration to create the enabling environment that will make this happen,we will be dedicating and developing hundreds of hectares of land into grazing reserves, cattle markets, breeding centres, and fattening hubs,this will be in addition to the new central abattoirs that we are developing in selected towns across the state”.

Culled from Business Day

This Almajari Economy ‘ll Collapse – Aduwo

Mr Olufemi Aduwo is the National Coordinator of Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, one of the civil society groups endorsed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to monitor elections in the country.

In this interview with Vanguard, he spoke about the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ondo State, and concluded that the election was not only free and fair but also very credible. He also spoke about the efforts his group was making to fight corruption in the country. Excerpts:

How would you sum up your experience about Ondo governorship election, being one of the observers that monitored it?

Yes, I said Mr. President should not allow neighbouring governors to interfere with the election of Ondo State because there were lots of unfriendly statements made by Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, against Segun Mimiko.

Aduwo

In the Edo election, even though Edo is in the centre of PDP controlled states but the PDP governors in the South-South didn’t interfere and so we were saying that we don’t want the governors of the neighbouring states to come to Ondo State on the day of the election since they were not going to vote. They will only come to overheat the polity. So we said we don’t want to lose anybody.

Whether we like it or not, the three candidates are close friends, they know one another. Akeredolu was one of the lawyers that Mimiko used in the last election, like you know when Mimiko was in the PDP, he knew Oke very well, so I see them as brothers. That was the prayer, that we didn’t want any life lost and I think that was the beginning of the crisis between me and ACN and because we didn’t want ACN to interfere with Ondo arrangement

Are you satisfied with the outcome of the election?

O beautiful, we know it will go the way it did. You know before the election, we did opinion poll in Ondo State; we had about 7,000 eligible voters across the state and most of the issues they raised was that they discovered that Mimiko did not have a killer squad like other governors and he was able to carry people along.

You see, the forces that worked against ACN in Ondo State go beyond everybody – Afenifere, Yoruba leaders, Obas. They believe they don’t want this Tinubu image to go round the South-West. Before the Ondo election, Tinubu had already received a kind of judgment in the annulment of Ikoyi Local Government Chairmanship election won by ACN.

So, the defeat of the ACN candidate by the PDP in court confirmed that Tinubu is beatable; he is just a human being, so he can be defeated by anybody.

What lessons can we, as a nation, draw from the Ondo election ahead of the 2015 general elections?

It is now like a culture that the people are very conscious of what they want. No matter the kind of money you want to use at them, they know what to do and I think it is a kind of lesson people in other states can learn from Ondo because it is not about money.

If it is about money, ACN really spent money, they brought money, but at the end of the day, people’s choice still prevailed. If you see the gap, it really shows that the election was very free, fair and credible.

What is your take on the creation of more states?

I have written on this one, I think people clamouring for more states are doing it for selfish reasons. Most of the states today in Nigeria are not viable. A governor confided in me that more than 30 states borrow money every month to even pay salaries.

We have only nine states in Nigeria that are working, the oil producing states and may be Lagos because of tax. Every month, other states go to Abuja to queue for money from the federation account. I call it Almajiri economy, you just come and queue and collect money.

This was not the way Awolowo and Zik built their regions, we should have fiscal federalism where you produce and develop and then pay tax to the federal as it is done in America. Most of the people advocating for the creation of more states are not sincere.

Existing states should be merged for viability. And for local government, we should scrap them because that is another waste. If we cannot scrap them, they should not collect allocations anymore.

Culled from VANGUARD

Pension Reform Has Positively Impacted On Economy – PenCom

The pension reform introduced in Nigeria eight years ago with the enactment of Pension Reform Act 2004 has made positive contributions to the nation’s economy, Muhammad Ahmad, Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), has declared.

Ahmad made this declaration while presenting a paper on “Pension Funds and Long Term Financing: The Contributory Pension Scheme and Economic Development in Nigeria” at a conference organised by PenCom in conjunction with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Lagos recently.

He stated that “The pension reform has positively impacted on the Nigerian economy, and would continue to do so considering the rapid accumulation of funds. However, all stakeholders must ensure the sustainability of the reform, hold PenCom and operators accountable and promote wider compliance with the Pension Reform Act.”

Stable, long term and relatively cheaper funds for sustainable economic development can only be effectively mobilised through the reforms in pension and capital market, supported by a healthy banking system, he stressed.

On the other hand, he pointed out that “The banking sector is yet to effectively and efficiently finance the real sector of the economy, bridge the infrastructural gaps and provide affordable housing in Africa, due to the short term nature of its deposit liabilities and cost of funds.”

Under the new pension dispensation in the country, he affirmed that 20 Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), seven Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs) and four Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) have so far been licensed during the eight year period.

Similarly, he noted that a total of 5.32 million contributors have been registered from 180,586 employers as at October 2012 while 55,904 retirees, currently receiving their monthly pensions as and when due.

The breakdown showed that the public sector comprising the Federal and State Governments had 31 percent and 23 percent of the total contributors respectively, while the private sector had 46 percent.

The total value of pension industry assets under the CPS stood at N2.7 trillion as at September 2012.

Speaking on the impacts of investment of long term assets on economic development, Ahmad said it helps in increasing domestic savings and investments, while also helping the development of the Capital Market by contributing to increase in volume of intermediated funds, increase in level of trading, modernisation of the market and deepening of the capital market.

It also facilitate reduction in cost of capital, as well as the development of yield curve within the fixed income segment of the market

Besides, the PenCom boss stated that long term assets promotes Strong Corporate Governance by bringing improved disclosure and protection of minority shareholders’ interests, as well as providing informed counterbalance to controlling shareholders in order to safeguard against the company’s board and management, among other things.

He added that pension funds act as intermediaries into a lot of financial assets, including corporate equities, government bonds, and so on, while also providing long term financial intermediation to the real sector through corporate debt instruments and through investment funds.

Ahmad further said that in some jurisdictions, pension funds acquire long-term money market instruments issued by banks, allowing the banks to issue loans to the corporate clients with varying maturities.

Alabadan, Senior Corresponden
Culled FROM :DAILY INDEPENDENT

Amnesty Training Not Structured To Benefit Economy

jona1

About 50,000 youths or more are believed to have already benefited from various local and international training programmes offered by the Federal Government through the amnesty office. The announcement that a third phase is about to begin for another batch of thousands of ex militants, is making analysts wonder when the effects of such costly local and international trainings for ex militants will begin to rub off on the country’s economy.

About a week ago, the Federal Government through the amnesty office informed Nigerians that a third phase programme for ex Niger Delta militants will soon commence, despite stakeholders reservations that very little or nothing exists to show for the thousands that have already been trained in the first and second phase of the programmes. The announcement have got stakeholders worried and wondering.

Brushing aside the worries of concerned individuals and groups, an organisation, the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence also last week called on the Federal Government to commence the “third and final phase of the amnesty programme, a call that have been criticised since then by experts many of whom believe that ,the thousands of youths that have received very expensive trainings at home and abroad on public funds must show cause why the public must continue to pay heavily for the manpower development of the people that are yet to be seen to be contributing to communal or nation’s development.

Meanwhile, despite disappointment expressed, and regular criticisms trailing the supposed training and by extension the contributions of ex militants that have received quality trainings to national economic development.

National Coordinator of the allegedly sponsored Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, had gone ahead to inform journalists that “the sustenance of peace in the region depended on the extension of amnesty to youths who were excluded in the third phase”.

Expressing disappointment with the group’s solicitations for a third phase amnesty training programme, Recruiter and Chief Consultant with Prot International Limited, Mr. Sunny Agboju, wondered to our correspondent what the contributions of other militants that have been heavily invested on in the past three years have been, that peace in the region and the nation at large will be determined by the forced and blackmailed implementation of a third phase amnesty programme.

Nevertheless, informed observers who have been following the ex militants training programmes since the Federal Government proclamation of amnesty for the former combatants in 2009, said over 70,000 thousand young men and women have received various forms of vocational and technical training, life enhancing skills and education from the government; trainings the experts emphasised that are geared towards sustainably empowering them (ex militants) for the present, the future and even for national development.

In the same vein, though stakeholders remain divided over the “usefulness and quality” of the trainings programmes so far received by this large number of youths, most generally agree that the positive effect of those efforts by the government is yet to be felt by the country’s economy, as youth unemployment and restiveness still persist in no small measure, armed militants groups still springing up by the day and crude oil stealing and bunkering on the rise.

Taken together, it is in the light of the uncertainty surrounding the seemingly ineffective and not efficacious nature of the trainings schedules that unemployed youths in general and former militants in particular are receiving, that human resources professionals and training experts now are calling for a complete review of the programmes in order to make the training have a positive reflection on the country’s economy.

Immediate Past President of the Nigeria Institute of Training and Development, (NITAD) Mr. Femi Kolajo, told National Mirror that trainings must be particular and specialised for it to have desired effect, and achieve stated objectives.

Making reference of the subject of the thousands of ex militants training programmes not making any impact towards challenging the high level of youth unemployment in the country and boosting the nation’s economy at the same time, Kolajo said it was possible the expected impact of the amnesty beneficiaries training programmes may have been lost due mainly to the “political nature of conducting selections of candidates for the trainings, alongside the placement of square pegs in round holes.

According to him, “another major reason why the training programmes for the ex militants may not be making its desired impact on the nation’s economy, is because the amnesty office may not have done its homework properly as can be seen from the many challenges the scheme has faced, particularly from majority of the former militants many of whom are only interested in the N65, 000 monthly allowance, and not the quality or use of what they are being trained for”.

Speaking in the same vein, Author, Conceptual Framework in Human Resource Management, and Managing Partner, Soreb Consulting International, (a Human Resource Specialist), Mr. Kunle Rotimi, said many of the amnesty training beneficiaries particularly those that travelled overseas did so to only better their individual lot and not that of the country.

He explained further that the behaviour displayed by thousand of the former militants within and outside the country demonstrated to a large extent that only a few of the several thousand that have been trained can make any difference to themselves and the country.

He added that his view is supported largely because even most of the trainee militants have at one point or the other during their internship, accused the government of been insincere in its running of the amnesty programme.

Citing the case of the ex militants that were taken to south Africa for training, Human Resource professional,Mr. Funsho Atiba,said a controversy which took close to two months to resolve threatened to expose “some embarrassing dealings within the amnesty office” which oversees the training of the militants.

Though the amnesty office spokeperson,Mr.Henry eventually Ugbolue denied the ex-agitators were deceived, and that they(militants only wanted to change their course of study,he however said the government would source a school offering oil and gas drilling for them, leading many to believe that the amnesty office did not employ depth in making selections for the training programme.

By MESHACK IDEHEN.

Culled from Nigeriamasterweb

PIB Will Have Far Reaching Effect On Economy –PENGASSAN

oil1

Oil and gas workers under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), said more input must be taken from stakeholders before the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), is implemented.

PENGASSAN said also that due to the bill’s capacity to have far reaching implications on the country’s economy and not just the oil and gas sector alone, stakeholders and interested parties must come together to harmonise opinions before the bill become law.

In the light of this development, the association said it will make arrangements to hold a stakeholder’s engagement forum involving all the major players in the country’s oil and gas industry on the Bill before the national assembly takes a final decision.

National Publicity Secretary of PENGANSSAN, Mr. Zaid Kolawole,told National Mirror that the session will be planned in a way that inputs will be receive from key stakeholders on the bill’s impact on the oil and gas industry and on the nation’s economic interests..

Futhermore, Kolawole said it is the outcome of the stakeholder’s forum that will determine the position of PENGASSAN and its counterpart union in the oil and gas industry, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), on the bill.

According to the PENGASSAN scribe, the forum with important stakeholder in the sector will have NUPENG in full participation, with stakeholders expected to present their positions at the forum aside from PENGASSAN.

Organisations like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),oil and gas multinationals under the aegis of Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS), Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) are also some of the stakeholders that are expected.

Speaking further, he explained that the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives (CPPA), will serve as facilitators of the forum, while a professor of oil and gas law and former corporation secretary of the NNPC, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, will chair the forum.

By MESHACK IDEHEN.

Culled from Nigeriamasterweb

Minister Not Undermining Kano’s Economy – FAAN

The General Manager, Corporate Communications of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Hon. Yakubu Dati, yesterday refuted the allegation by the Kano State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, was working against the economic interest of the state.

In an interview with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, Dati described the allegation as untrue and mischievous.

The Kano State PDP Chairman, Alhaji Halilu Dantiye, had accused Oduah of refusing to grant four airlines permit to operate in Kano.

Dati said: ‘‘This accusationis purely unfounded and even mischievous. In the first place, the airlines in question have secured permission from Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) to land and fly in Lagos, Abuja and Kano, and that gives them free access to operate in those areas. They have already commenced operations in Lagos and Abuja.

The ministry is even encouraging them to commence operations in Kano. The issue is beyond the minister stopping them from landing in a given airport. They are guided by the BASA to operate, so to say that the minister denied them landing rights is untrue.

“In fact, it is mischievous. Even the third airline that was mentioned-Sky Airline, we don’t even know of its existence. The records are there and people should check them before making statements as sensitive as this,’’ he said.

Dati noted that the minister had been very“generous” to the north because the region has been in the minister’s plan to remodel the aviation industry.

According to Dati, one of the first projects the minister embarked upon when she assumed office was the Kano Hajj Terminal and Abuja Hajj Terminal,which commissioned the Sultan of Sokoto, MuhammaduSa’adAbubakar III commissioned.

He said the Sultan made a case for the extension of the gesture to Sokoto, adding that the minister had since approved it and the project had taken off. “These are facilities that were improved for the well-being of the people, especially those in the north.

Culled From: Leadership

Politicians’ll Rubbish Nigeria’s Economy.

Sanusi-600x400

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi yesterday warned against the danger of withdrawing the bank’s autonomy.

Mallam Sanusi said that withdrawing the autonomy gained by the CBN in 1999 as it is being contemplated by those behind the bill to amend the CBN ACT of 2007 would give politicians opportunity to take over the bank and create crisis in the nation’s economy.

He spoke yesterday during the 5th Annual Banking and Finance Lecture of the Department of Banking and Finance of Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Anambra Stat

Sanusi was represented at the event by the CBN Deputy Governor in charge of the Directorate of Financial Systems Stability, Dr Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu.

He spoke on the topic: “The Contributions of CBN towards the Economic Development of Nigeria.

Stressing the need to retain the CBN’s autonomy, Sanusi advised those championing the amendment of the CBN Act to desist from their action, saying the move portends danger for the country.

It will be a huge mistake to change the CBN ACT,” he said, adding: “CBN needs a sustained operational and institutional autonomy, as well as goal and autonomy to enable it performs creditably its statutory functions.

Sanusi thanked President GoodLuck Jonathan for not interfering in the affairs of the bank.

He said,The CBN should not be under the control of politicians, we have a job to do and we must do it to save the economy, we have maintained a stable Naira for many years now.

Sanusi, who decried the fact that Nigeria is running an import-oriented economy, said that the country had been operating a flexible exchange rate of between N150 to a United States Dollar.

He said that the CBN spent about N200 billion annually to print and manage the Naira notes.

Speaking on the extent the CBN has been managing the non-productive economy, Sanusi said: “We put in a lot of money every two weeks where people buy foreign currencies. We are not a productive economy, everybody in Nigeria wants to import something and sell and this is retarding the nation’s development.

He regretted the situation whereby the manufacturing sector is contributing only four per cent to the gross domestic product of the country.

By CHARLES OKEKE

Culled from Nigeriamasterweb

FG Seeks Legislative Support for Green Economy

Hajia-Hadiza-Ibrahim-MailafThe Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, Wednesday advocated a collaboration between the executive and the legislature for Nigeria to achieve a shift towards developing a green economy in line with global trends.

The advocacy came same day the House passed through the second reading stage a bill seeking to amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act 2006. The amendment being sought, would strengthen the law and empower the agency to checkmate the activities of multinational oil firms whose operations have resulted in frequent oil spills and posed serious threat to the environment in the Niger Delta.

Mailafia who spoke at a one-day parliamentary dialogue on pursuing a legislative agenda to enhance Nigeria’s green growth, said Nigeria needed to embrace the global phenomenon of Green Growth by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in all her developmental pursuits and refocusing on strategies geared towards protecting the environment and eco-system.

She noted that climate change as currently manifested globally had the potential of adversely impacting not only on the environment, but also on human health, food security, natural resources, physical infrastructure as well as the overall economy.

The minister sought the collaboration of the lawmakers in the task of establishing a policy framework to guide the actualisation of the green economy.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who declared the dialogue open, noted that unless Nigerians treated the environment rightly, the country was likely going to face more natural disasters with adverse repercussions on all strata of life of the people.

Tambuwal charged the participants to take advantage of the workshop to develop a blueprint that will educate the legislature on the issues of global warming and green economy in order to equip them adequately in providing an appropriate legislation on the issue.

Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, called for more transparence in the management of information and counter strategies on climate change, noting that despite the early warning on the effects of the phenomenon, the Nigerian government still tried to attribute the recent floods that ravaged many parts of the country to other reasons rather than the real cause, Climate Change.

Ubani expressed concern that the executive arm of government was yet to place due emphasis on the issue of climate change years after the rest of the world had set in motion the necessary tools to combat its adverse impacts on the environment and human lives.

Ubani said for climate change issues to be on the front burner of national discourse, it must be embraced as a policy at the highest level of governance in the country.

“Taking an overview of green economy initiatives for Nigeria, one will notice current neglect for sustainable environmental practices, climate change effects and lack of co-ordinated intervention practices, oil spillages, illegal bunkering activities, equipment failures , oil and gas production activities, gas flaring and deforestation. One also noticed the absence of networking, advocacy, general consciousness, absence of regulatory framework and sustained monitoring and evaluation,” Ubani said.

Culled from Thisday

Nigerians In London Task Obama On Economy

Barack-Obama

Some Nigerians resident in London have reacted to the re-election of President Barrack Obama, urging him to formulate policies that will help improve on the world economy.

Obama was re-elected on Tuesday for a second term in office in a keenly contested election that lasted till the early hours of Wednesday.

He polled 303 electoral college votes to defeat Republican candidate Mitt Romney who got 206 votes.

Obama won battle ground states of Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Winsconsin, Iowa and New Hamsphire.

He is also the first Democrat to win a second term since Bill Clinton in 1996.

Mr. Bolanle Molumo, a Travel Consultant told the News Agency of Nigeria that the whole world, especially developing countries, would be looking up to America for improvement in the world economy.

He said, “I am sure he will try his best to make sure that the world economy improves because this will reduce the tendency of people travelling to America.”

Culled From: The Punch

‘FG not serious about boosting agriculture’

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Tahir Munguno, has said that the Federal Government is not serious about reforming the agriculture sector.

Speaking in Kano at the opening ceremony of the 46th annual conference of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria (ASN), Munguno said his committee has on many occasions suggested the best way forward for the sector, but that government has continued to ignore them.

“Take the transformation agenda on agriculture for example, when the 2012 budget was brought before the House, we noticed that there were a lot of mistakes. So we looked into the mistakes, thought of a better way and then presented our recommendations, but the recommendations were ignored. That is why the level of implementation was low,” he said. The chairman, who was represented by a member from Taraba State, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Malle, added that the e-wallet scheme introduced by the Federal Government is not helping matters.

“How many farmers know how to really use mobile phones. And considering the challenge of electricity in Nigeria, how would they be able to charge their phones to receive messages,” he said.

Mungunu, who noted that Nigeria is one of the signatories of the Maputo declaration which stipulated that all signatory nations must give not less than 10 per cent of their budgets to agriculture said, “What Nigeria budgeted for agriculture in 2011 was 2.7 per cent and the same was budgeted for 2012. With this allocation in a country where more than 70 per cent of the population are farmers, we can rightly say that what the government is saying about transformation of agriculture is just a lip service”.

culled from Daily Trust

FG Seeks Legislative Support for Green Economy

The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, Wednesday advocated a collaboration between the executive and the legislature for Nigeria to achieve a shift towards developing a green economy in line with global trends.

The advocacy came same day the House passed through the second reading stage a bill seeking to amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act 2006. The amendment being sought, would strengthen the law and empower the agency to checkmate the activities of multinational oil firms whose operations have resulted in frequent oil spills and posed serious threat to the environment in the Niger Delta.

Mailafia who spoke at a one-day parliamentary dialogue on pursuing a legislative agenda to enhance Nigeria’s green growth, said Nigeria needed to embrace the global phenomenon of Green Growth by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in all her developmental pursuits and refocusing on strategies geared towards protecting the environment and eco-system.

She noted that climate change as currently manifested globally had the potential of adversely impacting not only on the environment, but also on human health, food security, natural resources, physical infrastructure as well as the overall economy.

The minister sought the collaboration of the lawmakers in the task of establishing a policy framework to guide the actualisation of the green economy.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who declared the dialogue open, noted that unless Nigerians treated the environment rightly, the country was likely going to face more natural disasters with adverse repercussions on all strata of life of the people.

Tambuwal charged the participants to take advantage of the workshop to develop a blueprint that will educate the legislature on the issues of global warming and green economy in order to equip them adequately in providing an appropriate legislation on the issue.

Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, called for more transparence in the management of information and counter strategies on climate change, noting that despite the early warning on the effects of the phenomenon, the Nigerian government still tried to attribute the recent floods that ravaged many parts of the country to other reasons rather than the real cause, Climate Change.

Ubani expressed concern that the executive arm of government was yet to place due emphasis on the issue of climate change years after the rest of the world had set in motion the necessary tools to combat its adverse impacts on the environment and human lives.

Ubani said for climate change issues to be on the front burner of national discourse, it must be embraced as a policy at the highest level of governance in the country.

“Taking an overview of green economy initiatives for Nigeria, one will notice current neglect for sustainable environmental practices, climate change effects and lack of co-ordinated intervention practices, oil spillages, illegal bunkering activities, equipment failures , oil and gas production activities, gas flaring and deforestation. One also noticed the absence of networking, advocacy, general consciousness, absence of regulatory framework and sustained monitoring and evaluation,” Ubani said.

Culled From: This Day