Ganiyu Obaaro, Lagos
The Federal Government of Nigeria has been charged to prioritise it’s budgetary spending by placing greater premium on the provisions of infrastructure, such as education, roads and health to enhance meaningful development across the country.
Speaking as the guest lecturer at the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lagos Traffic Radio Chapel, Ikeja, Lagos State on recently, a University lecturer and Professor of Sociology, University of Lagos, Yaba, Professor Lai Olurode described as unsustainable, the huge funds spent on the nation’s legislators, including Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari should use his second term in office to right past wrongs and address security challenges, unemployment and deplorable state of infrastructure in the country.
The theme of the programme, which also marked the chapel’s inaugural media week and awards to distinguished personalities, including business mogul, Sir (Dr) Adebutu Kessington; Group Managing Director, Odua Investments Limited; Mr Adewale Raji; General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu and Secretary, Transportation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Kayode Opeifa, was: “Democracy and Sustainable Development: Reinventing Media Agenda for Good Governance.”
According to Olurode, who spoke on the topic, entitled: “Democracy and Sustainable Development,” “the rate of poverty and unemployment, especially of able-bodied youths in the country, was worrisome”, warning however that it did not augur for the development of the nation.
He said even though democracy has come to stay in the country, the process of democratisation is an ongoing thing and must be allowed to mature.
Olurode, who was a former commissioner in the Professor Attahiru Jega -led National Electoral Commission (INEC) between 2011- 2015, said democracy was better than military rule.
He described the media as critical to democracy, rule of law and development, adding that although the industry was muzzled under the military, the sector has done well in sustaining the current democratisation process, in spite of it’s diverse ownership, structure and challenges.
He urged the media to continue to help nurture democracy, be sensitive to public yearnings and remain resolute in the discharge of its Constitutional duties as the Fourh Estate of the realm.
He criticised the last general elections under the chairmanship of Professor Mamud Yakubu, saying, “It was characterised by violence; while several cases of election petitions are currently in various courts.”
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of Odua Investments Limited, Mr. Afebsyo Raji called for transparency and accountability in governance.
He said this is one area of bringing democracy dividends to the people and ensuring national development.
Raji also harped on training as critical to development, pointing out that himself capital development was critical to taking greater heights, reducing dearth of quality personnel in all spheres of the nation’s enterprises. Meanwhile, the General Manager of the radio station, Mr. Tayo Akanle commended the chapel for being steadfast in its activities, while the chairman of the chapel, Mr Akin Kola Akinlade spoke of the the essence of the programme as enlightening journalists on their societal responsibilities and, especially, the need to help sustain democracy in Nigeria
Ondo senator distributes fertilizers to constituents
The senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, Sen. Adeniyi Adegbonmire, has distributed fertilizer bags to farmers in the district as part of efforts to enhance agricultural productivity and contribute to Nigeria’s food sufficiency,
The beneficiaries were drawn from the six local government areas consisting of the senatorial district: Akure South, Akure North, Ondo West, Ondo East, Idanre, and Ifedore local government areas.
Speaking at the distribution of the fertiliser on Friday in Akure, Adegbonmire said the gesture was in tandem with the initiative of President Bola Tinubu’s efforts to boost food sufficiency in the sector.
The distributed fertiliers included 156 bags of NPK fertilizer and 68 bags of UREA fertilizer.
He said that he aimed at supporting production of various crops such as cassava, rice, cocoa, tomato, and maize.
Adegbonmire expressed his commitment to the senatorial district and assured that he would continue to do more for the district.
He said the move was a practical step toward achieving agricultural growth and ensuring a stable food supply within Nigeria.
According to him, the initiative underlines his commitment to supporting the constituents and advancing the nation’s agricultural sector.
Appreciating the gesture, Mr Adebiyi Oluwalanu, Chairman, Tomato Farmers Association in Ondo State, expressed the beneficiaries’ gratitude to the senator for helping them, saying that the move would boost their ability to produce more for citizens to consume.
Similarly, Mr. Adebayo Abayomi, the state Secretary of the Cocoa Farmers Association and Mr Akinriade Kayode, the state Chairman of the Maize Grower Association, said that the senator’s kindness would go a long way to cushion the effects of high cost of production.
FCT to partner Italy on sustainable city, tourism, agriculture – Wike
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says the FCT Administration would partner with the Republic of Italy on sustainable city tourism and agricultural development.
Wike said this when the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stefano Leo, visited him in his office in Abuja on Friday.
He said that he would personally visit the Ambassador to discuss areas of mutual benefits for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Italy.
The minister particularly identified the development of Abuja as a sustainable city as one of the areas of interest, including tourism and agricultural development.
“You know very well that Abuja has a very good landscape for agriculture and tourism development,” he said.
The minister explained that the publication of the names of embassies and commissions owing ground rent was not targeted at anybody, but to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
According to him, the IGR will be utilised for development of the city.
He assured the ambassador that the FCT Administration would make the environment comfortable for embassies and commissions to carry out their activities and for businesses to thrive.
Earlier, Leo said that he was in the minister’s office to congratulate and wish him well in his.
He recalled how impressed he was when he visited Rivers in 2022, and expressed optimism that the minister would do better than he did in Rivers as a governor.
“Having you here in Abuja means we can continue our very good cooperation. I will be glad to host you at the Embassy,” he said.
He said that Italy was at the forefront of tourism, adding that the country had huge plans to support sustainable city development and new ideas for green city.
“It will be a pleasure to follow your ideas to strengthen cooperation with you,” the Ambassador said.
Relief for Kaduna Ginger Farmers as FG Intervenes
From Nicholas Dekera, Kaduna
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has assured the Ginger farmers, whose farmlands and produce were affected by the strange fungal disease in Kaduna recently of the Federal Government’s intervention.
The Federal Government assurance for succour came after few weeks that over two hundred Ginger farmlands and produce worth N10billion were destroyed in Southern part of Kaduna state.
The Minister, who was represented by the Assistant Chief Agric Officer; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs.Rita Agbogo made the assurance of the Minister’s quick intervention during a visit to the affected farmlands in Southern Kaduna on Friday.
The representative of the Minister, who was the leader of a five-man delegation to Southern Kaduna reiterated the commitment of the Ministry towards finding a lasting solution to prevent further re-occurrence of the disaster, and to ensuring that the affected farmers were provided with adequate support.
” We are already feeling the pains of our dear Ginger farmers, and that is why we are here on the mission damage assessment. With our visit to some of these farmlands, we have seen to what extent the damage was. We are going to recommend to the Ministry on what is the best way to help the affected farmers out of the present situation,” Mrs. Agbogo explained.
When asked, what could be the cause of the fungal disease, she said “we are yet to know the cause of the damage, and that is why we are here with other relevant organisations. We will make research and continue to liaise with these organisations in order to know the cause and prevent future re-occurrence.
” The cause could be the type of seeds, soil, source of the seeds, and it could be any other factor but, for now, we can not say what really happened,” she stated.
While fielding questions from journalists, the National President of the National Ginger Association of Nigeria, Nuhu Daudu commended the Minister for his quick response towards finding long-term measures to prevent further damage to the crop .
Daudu further explained that the damage will impact negatively on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
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