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Tinubu Approves Committee to Stem Farmers-Herders Clashes

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of a Presidential Committee dedicated to the reform of the livestock industry and the provision of long-term solutions to recurring clashes between herders and farmers in the country.

The President announced the establishment of the Committee on Thursday in Abuja, following the submission of a report from the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria.

The Conference was convened by the former Executive Governor of Kano State and Chairman of All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Dr.

Umar Abdullahi Ganduje.

The President explained that the Committee was expected to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and propose recommendations aimed at fostering a peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers while ensuring the security and economic well-being of all Nigerians.

“The Federal Government is fully prepared to cover the cost of acquiring the land. These opportunities will provide gainful employment for our veterinary doctors, while opening doors for the private sector as the provision of new educational opportunities for herders’ and their children emerge. Medical facilities will be established. This is a life-changing opportunity that we have.

“Imagine us producing enough milk for our school children. Imagine us becoming net exporters of cheese and yoghurt. Imagine us producing the skin massively with a major Nigerian leather industry. Imagine us providing cold storage facilities and employment across the nation. These things are possible in front of us,” the President charged.

A statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, said Tinubu commended Ganduje for assembling the best minds and experts to find solutions to the perennial issues between pastoralists and farmers.

He also praised the committee members for their diligent work in examining the complex issues related to livestock management, land use, and security.

“Out of every tragedy, if you are careful, you will see an opportunity. We have faced this conflict for some time. We know it is a homegrown problem. It is very hard for people to stay away from their traditional, old ways. 

“I tried in 2018 to bring about a solution to this problem, but it proved elusive. But I’ve been told not to ever give up, and today I believe the solution is here,” the President stated, referring to the committee report, which contains several recommendations.

“It is not the fault of herders and farmers that this crisis has persisted. It is the fault of the leadership who failed to find immediate solutions to solve their problems. Leadership is about thinking and doing,” he said.

In his remarks, Ganduje recalled that during his tenure as the Governor of Kano State, he had hosted the National Conference as part of a deliberate effort to promote the modernization of livestock production, while strengthening the capacity of local authorities to manage relationships and amicably resolve conflicts between herders and farmers.

He noted that Kano had remained one of the most peaceful states in the country throughout his eight years in office.

“Mr. President, I am convinced that the report submitted here today has the antidote to the problems of the livestock industry. It addresses the key reforms and presents various development options required for the sustainable development of the sector.

“The implementation of the proposals will enhance productivity, improve livelihoods, promote environmental conservation, address substantial causes of conflicts between farmers and pastoralists, and help in reducing the cost of importation for animal products like milk and beef,” the Convener noted.

WFP Approves $2.5bn to Tackle Hunger in Nigeria

The World Food Programme (WFP) has committed the sum of $2.5 billion to support Nigeria in tackling hunger in the next five years.

Country Director, WFP David Stevenson, disclosed this when he visited the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Abuja on Thursday. 

Stevenson said the initiative will harness the agricultural potentials in the north of the country.

He said, “I recently had a short discussion with the vice-president and we agreed to meet again in Abuja,” he said.

“We presented our strategy called ‘Out of conflict interest solutions’. It is a food system strategy based on the agricultural potential in the north.

“As you know, from Lake Chad across Borno to Potiskum, straight to Kano into the north-west had been the bread basket in the past, really productive.

“What I am taking out of this is renewed energy. I came to Nigeria to really help and I actually came back to the world food programme after some years away.

“We presented our strategy called ‘Out of conflict interest solutions’. It is a food system strategy based on the agricultural potential in the north.

“As you know, from Lake Chad across Borno to Potiskum, straight to Kano into the north-west had been the bread basket in the past, really productive.

“What I am taking out of this is renewed energy. I came to Nigeria to really help and I actually came back to the world food programme after some years away.

“I was mentioning to the minister that I came back to Nigeria because really I believe in the country and the ability of Nigerians to work out their own challenges and to prosper as so many have.

“It is really exciting for me and my office to be a part of it so I have come with interest and I am leaving with so much energy and interest than I came in with.”

According to a statement by the WFP, 2.1 million Nigerians stand to benefit from the initiative.

“The World Food Programme has pledged to support President Bola Tinubu’s zero hunger programme under the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation,” the statement reads.

“2.1 million Nigerians have already been captured as beneficiaries of the program with the hope to expand while working with the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation Dr. Betta Edu.

“The minister commended the WPF for the support, adding that ‘we have the challenges staring at us in the face and we must provide solutions to them’.”

She said the support is coming at a time when Nigeria is in need of lasting solutions to the hunger challenge in the country.

Nigeria Has No Business Being Poor- Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday said Nigeria had no business being poor, having been blessed with enormous human and natural resources across the country.

In a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Thursday in Abuja, Tinubu assured Nigerians that under his leadership, the resources would be adequately harnessed for the benefit of citizens.

Ngelale said the president stated this at a meeting with a 62-man delegation from Rivers, comprising of leaders from both the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC), and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the State House, Abuja.

“We are not meant to be in a position to be poor. We will turn the tide! Somewhere, somehow in this storm, there’s a quiet and peaceful place for us. We will locate it!

“We are not lazy people, we are richly endowed. We just need to be our brother’s keeper, and good neighbours to one another. I am not a President that will give excuses.

“’I will work hard for our nation with purpose, determination and dedication, to create wealth for all Nigerians., we have no reason to be poor! We will not look back, we will run aggressively forward.

“Today, we may be swimming against the tide. But the waves will soon propel us forward from behind. We will achieve the goals and dreams of our forefathers. I am inspired by the people I now lead,” the President said.

Speaking on infrastructure development in Rivers State, Tinubu said he had heard the cries of prominent Rivers sons, with particular reference to the Eleme Junction-Onne axis of the East-West Road, linking the Port Harcourt Refinery.

According to him, the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, is a strong adviser, and will follow up on the issue for prompt action.

“The Honourable Minister, Wike, is not just the Minister of FCT, he is also my adviser and an admirer of mine. He has hit the ground running and he should be encouraged by the state,” the President said.

In his remarks, Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers, told the President that the delegation, which included leaders of political parties, past and present members of the state and National Assembly across parties, was on a solidarity and thank you visit.

“The people of Rivers State voted for you in the last general elections based on their belief in fairness, equity and justice. This is the first time that Rivers State is truly feeling the impact of the Federal Government, since the inception of democracy in 1999,” Fubara said.

The governor said that the delegation appreciated the President for appointing capable sons and daughters of the state into highly strategic positions in his administration.

He particularly thanked the president for the appointments of Wike; Ngelale, other sons and daughters of Rivers into the Boards and Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as well as other institutions.

Fubara applauded Tinubu for attracting the 14 billion dollars investment approval for projects nationwide during the G-20 Summit, including the expansion of Indorama Petrochemicals in Eleme, Rivers.

He disclosed that state had just allocated 209 hectares of land in support of the new investment. (NAN)

Agriculture

FG Urges States to Provide Land for Irrigation Projects

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The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev has appealed to state governments and communities to provide land that would encourage farmers to practice irrigated farming.

Utsev in a statement on Friday said this was necessary in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to cultivate 500,000 hectares of irrigable agriculture across the twelve River Basins to boost national food production.

The statement quotes the minister as saying this when he paid a visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State at the Government House Benin City.

The minister said his visit was to officially launch the 2023 Dry Season farming through the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority.

He announced the commencement of nationwide dry season farming to meet the National food production targets.

He sought the state government’s approval of Title Deeds for acquired lands from communities in the state to facilitate the proposed partial commercialisation of River Basin Development Authorities.

This, he added would encourage Public Private Partnerships in key projects for the benefit of the public.

Utsev highlighted the ministry’s intervention projects in water supply, irrigation, dams, erosion control structures, and sanitation facilities within the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority catchment areas.

The river Basin covers Edo, Ekiti, Ondo States, and Delta North Senatorial District.

In his response, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, while welcoming the team to the state, stressed the need for synergy between states and the federal government.

He commended the minister’s dedication and urged him to bring fresh perspectives to achieve shared goals.

The governor emphasised collaboration on efficient water use, also urged the Federal Government to consider state water agencies, highlighting the economic potentials of water resources across the country.

The statement quotes both parties expressing commitment to collaborate in areas of irrigation, water supply, dams, and programmes like Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene and Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene.

Obaseki presented the Alaghodaro Summit Souvenir to the Minister, recognising his visit during the ongoing Edo Economic Summit.  (NAN)

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Agriculture

Ebonyi Rice Millers Assure of Surplus Rice Supply for Christmas

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The Abakaliki Rice Mill Owners Association has announced that there will be a surplus supply of products in the market during the Christmas period due to the bumper harvest experienced from 2023 planting.

Chairman of the Association, Linus Nkwuda told newsmen on Thursday in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, adding that the year’s rice production yielded good fruits.

According to him, the production in 2023 was better than 2022 because there was no flooding.

“We are experiencing bumper harvest; so, we expect more rice in the market for consumers this season.

’’

On the price of rice, Nkwuda said the higher production would definitely push down the cost, making the product much more affordable for the people.

“We hope to have good supply to the market; we cannot predict the cost for tomorrow, right now, the prices are fluctuating on a daily basis.

“Currently, a bag of 25kg of the highest grade is sold between N17, 000 and N19, 500; we had a reduction in price in the month of October because it was sold between N18, 000 and N17, 000.

“A 50kg bag is sold between N38 and 32 depending on the grade; there are different species of rice in the market, we have Mass, CP, R8 among others.’’

Nkwuda explained that the price was also determined by the demand, adding that having an influx of customers in the market would make the price increase, but with high supply, the price would go down.

According to him, the market forces always determine the cost, especially during celebration periods like Christmas.

“But I hope there will be surplus supply to the market this year, 2023,” the Chairman said.

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Agriculture

Plateau ‘ill Soon Become Nigeria’s Agricultural Hub – Mutfwang

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Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has reiterated his administration’s commitment to revamp the agricultural sector toward boosting the economy of the state.

Mutfwang said this on Sunday at the 37th Reunion Service of the Gindiri Old Students Association (GOSA), on Sunday in Gindiri.

GOSA is made up of old students of both Boys and Girls Secondary Schools, Gindiri.

The governor, a member of GOSA, acknowledged the critical role of the agricultural sector in revamping the state`s economy and promised to adopt a multi sectoral approach to resuscitate key agricultural programmes in the state.

He promised to achieve the feat through stronger and sustained partnership with relevant institutions in the state.

“My administration will place more emphasis on agriculture in order to boost the economy of the state, “ he said.

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