Economic Diversification: 5,000 Farmers Undergo Training On Wheat Cultivation

Economic Diversification: 5,000 Farmers Undergo Training On Wheat CultivationAbout 5,000 farmers in Kaduna State are set to undergo training on wheat cultivation, as part of efforts by the government to diversify the economy through agriculture.

Declaring the training workshop open, the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said the programme was aimed at creating employment for the people as well as reducing poverty and youth restiveness in the state.

The governor, who noted that the north had the capacity to feed the entire nation through massive agriculture, however, lamented that such God-given potentials were underutilised due to overdependence on crude oil revenue and white collar jobs.

The production of wheat in the country is said to be about 300,000 metric tonnes a year, a sharp contrast to the 4.2 million metric tonnes required to keep their factories in operation.

According to the Executive Director, Lake Chad Research Institute, Dr Oluwasina Olabanji, who was represented at the occasion by a senior official from the institute, Dr Dominic Anogie, the average grain yield for wheat in the country is above 2.0 tonnes per hectare, although research has shown that this can be easily tripled if proper varieties and crop management is adopted.

Governor El-Rufai, while calling on the youths to embrace agriculture, said his administration would provide the trainees access to land and other incentives.

He added that the state had the capacity to excel in agriculture even as he announced that plans were underway to get seeds for 50,000 hectres in 2017 for wheat farming.

Some of the trainees and stakeholders were of the opinion that with more farmers going into wheat production, it would reduce the amount being spent on importation of the product annually.

They also identified their major challenges in the state as farm inputs, improved seedlings and access to finance and market, which they want the government to address at the end of the training.

The poor production level of wheat in Nigeria has put the cost of importation of the crop at a staggering 635 billion Naira i.e about $4 billion annually.

The state government believes that by providing over 50,000 hectres of land for its cultivation, it would go a long way in reducing the importation of wheat into Nigeria and also improve the economy.

Shell Resumes Oil Exports From Forcados Terminal

ShellRoyal Dutch Shell has resumed crude oil exports from the forcados terminal. This follows the restoration of the damaged facilities by Niger-Delta militants in the south-south region of the country.

The development was communicated to the presidency by the Director of Global Upstream of Shell, Andrew Brown.

Forcados crude has been under force majeure from operator, Shell, since a militant attack on the sub-sea pipeline in February.

Exports from the terminal was between 250,000 and 300, 000 barrels per day before the strike claimed by militant group, Niger Delta Avengers.

Meanwhile, the militant group at about 4am on Wednesday reportedly blew up a Chevron offshore export pipeline at Escravos in Delta State.

Buhari Denies Receiving Monetary Compensation From Jonathan

Sambo-Dasuki-and-Muhammadu-BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, says he did not receive $300,000 or any monetary compensation from the Jonathan Presidency or any of its officials, in the aftermath of an attack on his convoy.

The President’s comment was contained in a statement on Tuesday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

It was made in response to reports he had the money and five armoured SUVs from the Office of the National Security Adviser in the aftermath of the attack that occurred on July 23, 2014.

‘Prevailed Upon To Accept’

The statement read: “We unequivocally deny that President Buhari While it is true that one armoured SUV and one untreated SUV were sent to the President in the aftermath of the attack, the vehicles were in keeping with his entitlements as a former Head of State under the Remuneration of Former Presidents and Heads of State (And other Ancillary Matters) Decree of 1999.

“Section 3, Sub Section 1 of that Decree provides that three vehicles will be provided for former heads of state and replaced every four years.

“There was therefore nothing untoward, illegal or tending to corruption in former Head of State Buhari and Presidential aspirant, as he then was, receiving vehicles, to which he was statutorily entitled , from the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

Mr Adesina pointed out that “President Buhari had in keeping with his austere, spartan and frugal disposition shunned most of his entitlements as a former Head of State, but was prevailed upon by his supporters to accept the two vehicles for his personal safety in the aftermath of the dastardly attempt to assassinate him”.

He said that it was preposterous to think that the President would allow his acclaimed reputation of honesty and incorruptibility to be tarnished by accepting a questionable monetary compensation from a discredited regime.