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Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Agriculture alone can't revive Nigeria's economy, but innovation - NaijaAgroNet

President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, has said that mere agricultural revolution cannot revive Nigeria's economy, but innovation reports NaijaAgroNet.

He, therefore called for use of an economy build on innovative technologies which he said, will thrive much better than the old concept of mere agriculture, reports 

Contributing to the discussion at the 2018 WorldStage Economic Summit on the theme “New Sources of Economic Strength to Make the future Happen,” at the Event Centre of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Mr. Teniola maintained that the development of the economy through the old concept of agriculture will not take the country far.

As said by him, for a culture of technology as demonstrated in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, it has become obvious for the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the schools.

This, he stressed will aid Nigeria to compete favourably in any area, “it must be up to date in innovation and technology.”

Equally speaking at the event, Mr Soji Adeleye, Chief Executive of Alfe City Institution, underlined the absence of leadership in the country which had resulted to the lack of progress.

For meaningful progress to be achieved, he said the leadership has to be aware of their responsibility to the society, not to just occupy space.

In her contribution, Mrs Oluyinka Omojolaibi, Senior Research Economist, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) was also underlined the importance of government to formulate and implement policies that can move the economy forward.

She said government needed to do more in the area of the provision of infrastructure, machineries, cheap loans for the economy to be productive and competitive.

She said that would be crucial so that made in Nigeria products can be competitive in the local and international market.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Pix: ATCON president, Teniola

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cooperative society targets 150,000 jobs in agric sector

A cooperative society, Reality International, with base in Niger Delta said it has plans to create about 150,000 jobs to tackle unemployment and create an agro-based economy, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Leader of the group, Prince Thankgod Njoku Ezenwata disclosed this at the maiden edition of its demonstration farm at Rumuodomaya in Port Harcourt. He stated that the programme which would begin in the Niger Delta would be replicated across the country within a period of three years.

The Reality International draws its membership across the Niger Delta region and aims at using agriculture to correct social vices occasioned by unemployment in the country and redirect the government policy towards agro based economy.

Ezenwata, NaijaAgroNet gathered, said the group is working in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the area of assistance to create jobs for Nigeriansto assist it access the agricultural development loan to enable its members develop their farms and pay back within a stipulated time.

"A lot has been said about agriculture in Nigeria. Some said it is dead while others say it is still alive. Whatever the case maybe, it is irrelevant, what matters most is the way forward and that is the main focus of our group. What government at both state and federal levels need do is to improve the standard of agriculture in Nigeria. The availability of accessible roads and transport system is a necessity for agriculture to thrive in Niagara,” he said.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Green economy solution for Africa’s development

A green economy offers considerable opportunities for mobilizing resources towards an economic growth pathway that is low-emission in terms of carbon-dioxide and greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere during economic production activities, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

According to research, NaijaAgroNet gathered, green economy also builds a culture of resource efficiency in economic activities and of sustainable consumption among the population as well as climate-resilient housing, infrastructure and other economic installations, while at the same time adapting to different approaches to promote, among others, resilient agricultural production, diversification into off-farm livelihoods and other diversification innovations for the local and export markets.

 Mr.Achim Steiner, an expert in environmental issues and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, NaijaAgroNet learnt, once said that inclusive green economy has the potential to improve human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

African countries, NaijaAgroNet also gathered, are at a critical stage in their developmental life coupled with challenges of poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation which include deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, and loss of biodiversity.

However, the combination of tackling poverty, accelerating growth and development, and addressing climate change, is likely to involve trade-offs and policy choices between mutually supportive, but equally important priorities toward the improvement of welfare and quality of life for Africa's citizens.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

AU, Harvest Plus sets to promote farming technologies

African Union commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Tumuslime Rhoda Peace, has said that the union would partner with lead research-based agriculture institution, Harvest Plus, to promote farming and consumption of boi-fortified crops, through the use of farming technologies, especially among poor farming and urban communities, to boost Agriculture in the African continent. NaijaAgroNet, reports.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Tumuslime appreciated the role of the institute in lifting the rural poor communities in Africa out of poverty and stressed that in order to improve market access, the use of farming technology needs propagation at higher policy making levels so that farmers can adopt it and sellers can buy the micro nutrient-added to produce in good quantities.

Director Harvest Plus, Dr. Howarth Bouis and Harvest Plus, Head of Africa Strategic Alliances, Dr. Anna-Marie Ball NaijaAgroNet learnt, briefed the commissioner on its accomplishments in breeding and production of bio-fortified food crops and distribution bio-fortified seed varieties as well as improved cultivars, thereby empowering rural communities.

Dr. Bouis said, “The organisation also helps add value to locally produced agricultural crops in countries where the organization is working in Africa.” She added that “we have released a number of bio-fortified crops including: iron beans, iron pearl millet, vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, vitamin A sweet potatoes, Zinc rice and Zinc wheat.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Harvard Plus has executed countless programmes in Africa, especially the rapid expansion in production and consumption of yellow cassava in Nigeria.

Harvest Plus as NaijaAgroNet learnt, is a lead research-based, agriculture technology institution that was established to respond to the problem of ‘hidden hunger’ which is caused by the lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the diet, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron, thus reinforcing agriculture’s pivotal role in improving the quality of diet and increasing micro-nutrient consumption. 

Nsolibe Daniel/Ed, Ops.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nigeria targets 10% global fertilizer market by 2017-Alison Madueke

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

The development of new fertilizer plants in the country will position Nigeria as the nation targets control of 10 per cent of global fertilizer by 2017, to assist in the drive in all sector of the economy, especially the agricultural sector.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke disclosed to NaijaAgroNet while speaking recently at a plenary session of the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit titled, “Building a World Class Petrochemical and Fertilizer Industry in Nigeria.”

 Alison-Madueke said that the need to get the gas sector to drive growth in all sectors of the economy mostly in agricultural sector necessitated the excision of some key areas of the Gas Master Plan from the Petroleum Industry Bill, (PIB) for accelerated implementation under the Gas Revolution Agenda.

The Minister listed some of the proposed fertilizer plants to include the Dangote Petrochemical and Fertilizer Plant to be built at Olokola, Indorama Fertilizer Plant at Eleme, Brass Fertilizer Company at Brass, Nagarjuna Fertilizer Plant at Ogidigben, and another plant by the International Fertilizer Association.
Speaking further on the gas policy framework, Alison-Madueke explained that the thrust of the two-pronged policy of gas-to-power and gas-to-industries is to drive linkages between the power and industrial sectors with the agricultural sector serving as a linchpin in the industrial sector on account of its enormous job creation potential and multiplier effect in the economy.

The Managing Director of Gas Aggregator Company of Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Allen, stated that apart from Notore which is already into fertilizer production, six new companies have approached the Gas Aggregator Company to firm up gas supply arrangements for their fertilizer plants and that talks are at an advanced stage with the companies.

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*pix: Alison-Madueke Minister of Petroleum Resources

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lend to farmers or face deposit cut, FG warns banks

Anthony Nwakaegho
The Federal Government has threatened to cut her deposits with the commercial banks in the country over its reluctance to grant loans to agricultural, mineral resources and small and medium enterprises sectors of the economy.
The President Good Luck Jonathan dropped the hint, when he spoke at the 7th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja, Tuesday, and warned that government might be compelled to reduce their access to public sector deposits unless they increase their funding to these critical sectors.
President GoodLuck Jonathan who was represented the Minster of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama   frowned at the performance of the banks in not doing enough to support the real sector despite the policies and other incentives provided to create an enabling environment for them to thrive in the country over the years.
He explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intervened through financial intermediation support initiatives such as Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), and Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending,(NIRSAL).
The President expressed his desire for the banks to jointly do more in terms of Agricultural lending, adding that it has remained too low to achieve the Agricultural Transformation Agenda’s (ATA) goals of making Nigeria to become a net exporter of food and a hub in job creation in the nation’s economy.
"The banks have to come together and see how they can put funds together to really support the farmers. The statistics we have coming from the Central Bank is that when you lend to farmers they pay you. I think we have First Bank’s experience where the percentage of non performing agric loans to performing is less than 1.5 per cent.
“So the poor actually pay their loans, but why are the banks always eager to go and lend to riskier businesses than safe agricultural businesses? The issue is with our psyche, we think that maybe they are not high tech or maybe there is too much documentation based on a loan of N50, 000 or N100, 000.”
He warned that except the banks show their readiness to support the nation’s economic development objectives the CBN may have to introduce new policy measures that would deny the banks continued access to government deposits
The President of CIBN, Mr Segun Aina in his remarks reassured the government of the institute’s readiness to partner government on its various initiatives that is aimed at deepening banking knowledge and improving delivery of top class financial services to the nation’s economy.

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Pix: CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sustainable Development and Governance in Nigeria

Different nations of the world are to a greater or lesser extent faced with the same constraints and opportunities, and are called with varying degree of urgency to provide individual answers to the common challenges.
No matter the priorities of each country, areas such as education, economics and social development, health and environment still await sustainable solutions. This requires a creative application of democratic principles and practices to tackling both local and national imperatives. Quality governance, with an eye on environmental sustainability is one sure way of, not only solving a country’s priorities, but also achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Environmental sustainability is critical because without it, the achievements of the rest of the goals may be short-lived. The fact is that, economics depend, to a large extent, on environmental resources.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola
Scared by the unsustainable lifestyle in Nigeria, the Chairman of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Chief Philip Asiodu warned that “Economic downturn is nothing compared with a global ecological downturn and the disasters that will come with it.” Thus, if we think this warning by the retired technocrat is alarmist or untimely, then we may have to consider the impact of climate variability on the economy of Kenya; between 1997 and 2001, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth dropped from 4.6 per cent to 0.3 per cent. The key factor is that the downturn leads to inadequate investment in sustainable infrastructure to control floods or store water for use during draught.
The question is, as nations continue to have their fare share of environmental problems like flood, hurricanes, pollutions, droughts to name a few, what is our beloved country putting in place at the Federal, State and local government levels to prevent, or mitigate the threats to the integrity of our ecosystem? While Nigerians are yet to recover from the shock arising from last year flood disaster in Lagos and Ibadan, and a more terrifying flood which claimed over 50 lives and property worth millions of naira just hit Jos, Plateau State. If that level of flooding disaster could happen in Jos, what should we expect in flood-prone areas like Niger, Oyo, Ogun? What should we expect in flood-plagued city of Lagos.
For instance, the Gov. Babatunde Fashola administration in Lagos, is doing his best to clear drainages, but his best is not enough, for some reasons. First, the source of the flood is trans-boundary. The flood from neighboring states of Oyo and Ogun empties into it.
Secondly, there are numerous settlements occupied by the urban poor which lack drainages. Successive administrations in the state has failed to construct a comprehensive drainage system. Thirdly, as a coastal, commercial and civic city, its huge population is overburdening the few available working infrastructure. The encroachment of human settlements unto floodplain areas increases the vulnerability to flood.
If you take a trip to some of the rural communities in Anambra and Edo (North), you will see what erosion has done to the quality of life of the people. In most cases their livelihood, as subsistence farmers, are threatened. It is either the path to their farms, markets, or that of their streams has been taken over by erosion.
In virtually all the eastern states and some south-south states, the soil fertility is gone and their successive state governors have not been concerned about food production like their colleague in the North and West. Consequently, fertilizers have been scarce. It was the newly elected governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who recently commenced the distribution of fertilizers in the state directly to farmers.
The degradation of the environment of oil producing states of the south-south is an old song, yet nothing much have changed in the livelihood of the people in spite of budgetary allocations to the region. Many of these communities are yet to have access to sanitary infrastructure and quality maternal care.
Poverty still pervades across most northern states due to desertification and lack of poverty-oriented policies. Their case is presently worsened by insecurity occasioned by the recent Boko Haram insurgence.
In no distant time, this will adversely impinge on the agricultural productivity of that region. It is sad to note that in most of these Nigerian communities, many of the breadwinners are people on less than $3 dollars a day income. How many of our state governors and local government authorities can boast of projects that are environmentally sustainable. Housing estates and market projects in state capitals are often showcased by many governors. Yet, they are offered to citizens at unsustainable prices. Some states have built schools and even some Federal government MDG schools are situated in flood plains, thereby making such projects unsustainable.
If the searchlight is turned to the government at the centre, the picture is that of contradictions. Too many environmental agencies, yet no action. Too many environment summits and conferences, yet little technical capacity. Too much efforts towards aforestation, yet making Kerosene unaffordable. Too much talk on power sector reforms, and advocacy for energy efficiency, yet inappropriate pricing and non-availability of power. Too much grants received, and budgetary allocations appropriated, yet no funds released to execute sustainable projects.
Good governance entails the awareness by those in power of possible ecological and sociological breakdowns, putting in place ways and means of minimizing their effects. It also entails their monitoring to ensure the adoption of Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) by private sector concerns in their domains.
Sustainable development, therefore, depends largely on the quality of governance and political will. There is a compelling need to mobilize the required political will at all levels of government. It is also necessary to mobilize all relevant stakeholders in the work.
As Borge Brend, the former Nowegian Minister of Environment aptly puts it, “Developing countries need to assign priorities, draw up strategies, invest in human resources, and implement poverty oriented policies. Good governance (That is, anti-corruption policies), democracy building, and respect for human rights are crucial to combat poverty and to make development sustainable.”

MacDenis Igbo
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