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CBN Votes N50b For Commodity Exchange

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has committed N50 billion into the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) to boost post-harvest handling of farm produce.

Its Governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known  yesterday in Zauro, Kebbi State during the flag-off of the 2020 wet season harvest aggregation and dry season input distribution.

According to The Nation, he said the NCX will guarantee effective pricing for farmers, minimise the adverse effect of middle men and transfer the gains from primary production to other modes of the value chain.

Emefiele, therefore, called on  stakeholders to continue supporting agricultural production to meet needs of Nigerians, adding that 2.9 million farmers have so far benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Proramme (ABP) funding scheme.

The event comes under the CBN-Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) ABP, as part of the fifth anniversary of the ABP.

According to him, the ABP, in the past five years, had been characterised by huge successes, learning points and challenges.

Specifically, he noted that a total of 2,923,937 farmers, cultivating 3,647,643 hectares across 21 commodities through 23 participating financial institutions, had been financed in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)  since inception.

He also said the bank, under the 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, financed 221,450 farmers for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 States.

“The Northwest zone with 85,261 farmers that cultivated 120,218 hectares represented 38.5 per cent in total number of farmers and 54.3 per cent in total number of hectares financed,” he said, adding that the massive pyramids being launched in Kebbi were harvests from various fields across Kebbi State and a confirmation of the positive outlook of the ABP,” he said.

Also, Kebbi State Governor,  Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, commended Emefiele and his team for the novel initiatives. He noted that the moves had not only brought succour to the country in terms of food security and diversification but had also made the country exit recession in two quick successions.

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, commended the CBN for thinking outside the orthodox paradigm of growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) only.

RIFAN President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his vision that Nigeria must feed herself by producing what she eats and eating what she produces.

Noting that the CBN had done well to actualise the Buhari vision, Goronyo said Emefiele had proved to the world that agricultural revolution was doable.

Continuing, Emefiele said the partnership between the CBN and the Kebbi State government and RIFAN aimed at  complementing the Economic Sustainability Plan of the Buhari Administration.

He noted that Nigeria was naturally blessed to meet her food requirement and had no reason to continually repeat mistakes of the past of neglecting agriculture.

“The rhetoric around neglect of previous years will remain part of our history and the best time to correct those mistakes is now and every stakeholder must contribute their quota to guarantee the realization of these national targets.

“Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns globally have shown that nations only export out of their reserves. Let us start building our own reserves now,” he added.

The flag-off, which comes barely three months after the CBN showcased sky-high pyramids in Minna, Niger State, to highlight its intervention in the maize value chain, also featured the display of pyramids, which were rice harvests brought in by farmers in the state.

He noted that the ABP, which is an essential part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive for economic diversification, had improved the fortunes of rural farmers, transforming agriculture into a potential for economic growth.

While acknowledging the importance of loan repayment to the sustainability of the programme, he stressed that the CBN was constantly engaging the farmers to enhance their trust in the system, provide a competitive price arrangement and facilitate effective market linkages for their outputs.

To further create value and transfer these gains along the value chain, he said the CBN also maps miller to off-take the paddies and track the release of outputs to the market as the Bank strives to manage inflation and grow the rice value chain in Nigeria.

The CBN Governor expressed optimism about Nigeria’s capacity to achieve food self-sufficiency within the shortest time possible, adding that the CBN and RIFAN both target cultivation of 1million hectares of rice farms; which is over 350 per cent increase from the 221,450 cultivated in 2020.  He said the Bank and RIFAN equally nursed an ambitious two cycles of production in the dry season, which will trigger a continuous drop in price of rice in the country.

While also noting that henceforth, farmers will repay their loans in paddy for ease of repayment, he urged beneficiaries to repay their loans in order for others to equally benefit.

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Hon Isa Appreciates Gov Fintiri For Observing Eid-El-Kabir Prayer In Shelleng

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Principal Special Assistant to Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri on Water and Sanitation, Hon. Abubakar Isa has commended Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, CON for leading other top government functionaries in observing 1445 (2024) Eid El kabir in Shelleng.

The PSA who joins thousands of Muslim Ummah in observing the 2 Raka’at Prayer, appreciated the Governor, SSG, Speaker, Leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and other top government functionaries for marking this year’s Sallah in the historic ancient city of Shelleng.

Marafa, in a message through his Shelleng media office to appreciate the Governor, further congratulated him and members of the State Executive Council, the speaker and other members of the 8th Assembly, leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at all levels and his teeming supporters on the occasion of the 2024 Eid-El-Kabir Sallah Celebration.

He also extended his sallah message to Amnah Shelleng Dr. Abdullahi Isa Dasong the II and other members of the Adamawa State Council of Emirs and Chiefs and the Entire Muslim Ummah

Marafa, said “a strict adherence to the teachings of Islam in the areas of love, peaceful coexistence as well as tolerance will contribute towards the development of the State and Nigeria as whole.”

“I want to wish the people of Shelleng local government, the State and the country as a whole a happy Eid Mubarak. May Allah strengthen us to submit to His wish and command at all times,” He added.

SAHEL REPORTERS.

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NUC Approves 43 Academic Programmes For Federal University Kashere

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By Tom Garba, Yola

National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved all 43 academic programs presented for certification during the October/November 2023 accreditation exercise of Federal University Kashere.

This development was made known in a press release signed by the University’s public relations officer, Mrs Janet Ibrahim Ezekiel and presented to this medium today.

NUC approval document with the reference number NUC/ES/412/VOL.14/327, which was addressed to Prof. Umaru A. Pate, Vice Chancellor of the university with the caption, “Result of the October/November 2023 Accreditation of Academic Programmes in Nigerian Universities.

This indicated that in line with the provision of section 10 (1) of the Education (National Minimum Standard and Establishment of Institutions) Act CAP E3. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the commission organized the Accreditation of academic programs at the Federal University of Kashere in October/November and accredited all 43 academic status

Among the programs listed were postgraduate programs presented for accreditation, as well as some existing undergraduate programs presented for re-accreditation, and others were newly established programs presented for initial accreditation, all of which were approved, with no programs denied accreditation.

According to the results, out of the 43 programs offered, all four (4) postgraduate programs received accreditation status, 32 undergraduate programs received full accreditation, and 7 other undergraduate programs received interim accreditation status.

” It is important to note that any Postgraduate Programme with Accredited Status and Undergraduate Programme with Full Accreditation will remain valid for five (5) years after which they will be presented for re-accreditation, whereas those with Interim Accreditation Status will be valid for two (2) years before being re-accredited.

“You may be aware that the Federal University of Kashere offers 98 academic programs, 49 at the postgraduate and undergraduate levels. It is also worth noting that all 49 Postgraduate Programmes have been authorized and recognized; 42 Undergraduate Programmes have Full Accreditation Status, while the remaining seven (7) Undergraduate Programmes have Interim Accreditation Status.” The statement said

In response to the latest development, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Umaru A. Pate, thanked Allah for the good conclusion and congratulated all staff participating in the accreditation process, calling it a communal achievement. While promising to work toward solidifying the achievement, the Vice Chancellor also requested additional cooperation from the entire University personnel in his efforts to convert the University into a true fortress of learning.

It should be noted that the Vice Chancellor, upon taking office on February 11, 2021, pledged to strengthen the University’s academic standards and quality assurance as one of his administration’s six priorities, as seen by the outcomes of this accrediting exercise.

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Cleric Advocates Educational Reform In Nigeria, Berates Change In National Anthem

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Reverend Father Maurice Kwairanga, the Parish Priest of Saint Charles Lwanga Catholic Church, Ngurore is emphasizing the need for educational reform in Nigeria, rather than just changing the national anthem.

He believes that the energy spent on changing the anthem could have been better spent addressing the issues in the education system, such as decay in public schools and institutions.

The priest said this during a mass to commemorate Saint Charles Lwanga Day and also unveiled a learning institute to address the decaying standard of education across the country.

He said it is worrisome that structures in public schools are now death traps, and unqualified teachers are now mentors of the younger generation.

He said the church has taken the initiative to establish a new school, Saint Charles Lwanga Nursery, primary school, and college, to contribute to improving education in the country.

“We will build a world-class school in this part of Nigeria. As a church, we might not have the funds at the moment, but we have the will to do it. The Saint Charles Lwanga Nursery and Primary will have all the modern teaching equipment and qualified teachers, unlike what is obtainable in the public schools”

His message highlights the importance of prioritizing education to drive meaningful change and development in Nigeria.

As a church leader, he lent his voice in calling for patriotic Nigerians to invest in education by supporting initiatives that will strengthen the sector and improve the standard of education.

Highlights of the Saint Charles Lwanga Day in Ngurore were traditional dances from different communities.

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