CBN Assures Nigerians Of Policies To Strengthen Naira

Naira, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Nigerians, Godwin EmefieleThe Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, says the apex bank will continue to come up with policies to strengthen the naira.

The CBN Governor added that he expects the naira to stabilise while inflationary pressure is expected to reduce.

He made the remarks on Tuesday at the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the meeting to evaluate the economy’s performance in the last quarter of 2016, Mr Emefiele gave an overview of the international market and how it has affected the domestic economy.

He noted that the apex bank would come up with policies to increase Nigeria’s foreign reserve which currently stands at $28.9 billion.

The apex bank governor also assured Nigerians of a more resilient economy in 2017 which he said would be driven by agriculture and diversification of the economy.

He added that the bank would make the foreign exchange available for manufacturers and other businesses.

How France Can Help Africa Overcome Its Challenges – Buhari

How France Can Help Africa Overcome Its Challenges – BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari believes that France can do more to help Africa overcome its challenges, although its partnership with the African continent has yielded fruits in so many positive ways.

President Buhari shared this view on Saturday at the 27th Africa-France Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence taking place in Bamako, Mali.

He said: “Notably, France has been playing important roles in the areas of development as well as peace and security on the African continent.

“While so many gains have been made, challenges such as terrorism, maritime insecurity, trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons, drugs, cyber insecurity, illicit financial flows, and infrastructural deficit continue to militate against Africa’s comprehensive infrastructural and economic development which also hinder its emergence as an important player in global affairs.”

He, therefore, called for a strengthening of African Defence mechanisms such that the continent would be able to transform decisions arising from the partnership into concrete action plans that will help Africa confront and overcome its challenges.

“In particular, our cooperation should strengthen our Defence in the context of African Peace and Security Architecture as well as in the areas of intelligence sharing, capacity building and acquisition of military hardware needed to confront the security challenges of the African continent.”

The Nigerian President also called for intensification of efforts that will stimulate the African economy, address social imbalance and steer its youths away from high risk and unproductive ventures.

“Efforts should also be geared towards the development and emergence of the continent through investments in critical sectors such as Education, Power, Solid Minerals, Agriculture and ICT.

“This will enable African economies to spur productivity and create employment, thereby addressing some of the socio-economic conditions that contribute to gender inequality, radicalism and youth restiveness, as well as the push factors that make our citizens embark on dangerous illegal migration to Europe in search of ‘greener’ pastures,” the President said.

While declaring that African countries were taking their own destinies in their own hands by mobilizing resources , President Buhari hoped that the Partnership will still do more for Africa.

“As we continue to mobilize for our own sustainable, predictable and transparent sources of finance that would help the continent pursue its peace, security and development efforts, and address the infrastructural deficit impeding development on the continent, there is the need for this Partnership to continue to assist Africa on how to finance its development,” Buhari concluded.

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.

Partner With Innovative Industry To End Economic Challenges, Group Tells FG

universityThe apex professional body for education practitioners in Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to collaborate with academicians, educationalists and professionals in the innovative industry to proffer solution to the economic challenges facing the nation.

This charge was given at the 31st annual congress of the Nigerian Academy of Education held in Owerri, the capital of Imo State in south eastern Nigeria.

Addressing the gathering, Professor Ikenna Onyido, a one-time Vice Chancellor of the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike and presently the Director Centre for Sustainable Development, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka said that “if truly the Federal Government is committed in getting the desired change that it professes for the Nation, educationalists and academicians are the true and inevitable agents that could partner with the government.

He is optimistic that the partnership would provide home-grown solutions to the problems of economic development, environmental degradation and social cohesion facing the country.

While speaking on the theme ‘Education for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’, the erudite professor said for Nigeria to attain maximum level for sustainable development “there is need to change the way we think and act which require quality education and learning for all levels.

“The change that Nigeria needs is the one that will be diligently pursued and effected in the classrooms and other learning contexts by academicians and educationalists who are grounded in the knowledge and innovation industry”.

Delivering the keynote address, Professor Ikenna Onyido urged the Federal Government to collaborate with scholars and academicians in the innovation industry if the government was serious in achieving the change it desires.

Present Economic Recession

He added that, as innovators and professionals in impacting knowledge, they remained the change agents who should be properly equipped, adequately remunerated and sufficiently motivated to really drive home the needed change the federal government proffers.

“What can we learn from this allegory about the development of Nigeria? We learn that the primitive mind cannot deliver good governance, which is responsible for many of the problems that constitute underdevelopment. This is where education comes in. Where you and I are involved and where the Nigerian Academy of Education has its functional relevance cut out for it, at the very foundation of development.

“In fact, the overall well-being of a nation is fully dependent on the quality of education on offer and the proportion of the population that has been exposed to it. Nehru, the great Indian statesman who laid the foundation for much of the economic development that India is making today, recognised this fact when he said that: ‘All is well with a nation if its universities (educational institutions) are in good shape and functional’,” he told the gathering.

Professor Onyido also said “the role of education in development, which been the starting point for the translation of countries from backwardness to economic development, from dependence to economic independence, appears to have been totally lost on our leaders, across the decades”.

On the economic recession facing the nation, Professor Onyido said: “We reasoned that lack of sustainability feeds into underdevelopment as well and noted Nigeria’s appalling and woeful record in sustainability.

“We also observed that societies that accorded the highest premium and priority to knowledge also happen to be the societies that fostered economic development.

“We also observed that backward nations that leapfrogged into economic development had the benefit of political leaderships that believed in knowledge as an inalienable resource for development and who led the charge by mobilising, motivating and challenging their nation’s innovation systems to produce applicable knowledge and innovation that were turned into goods and services.

“We made the additional point that underdeveloped societies had to dig deep into their endogenous resources of knowledge and innovation to find answers to their economic and social challenges,” Professor Onyido said.

Lack Of Implementation

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Academy of Education, Professor Udogie Ivowi, identified lack of implementation, insufficient financing, and lack of political will as some of the major problems facing Nigeria’s educational system.

He also urged teachers to key into the digital age of teaching and learning that gives room for ICT compliancy.

“Consequently, implementation has remained a serious problem in educational development in Nigeria.

“This is validated by the insufficient display of political will on the path of educational authorities including government and other proprietors of educational institution.

“Added to this is the new digital age of learners whose teachers belong to the analogue age, for relevance in the digital age and to sustain whatever innovation arises from efforts and curriculum functionality. Teachers need to do a lot in terms of ICT knowledge and application,” Professor Ivowi pointed out.

While delivering his speech, the Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by the State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Getrude Oduka, called for the support and partnership of all in stakeholders in education to move the sector forward irrespective of the challenges facing the sector at the moment.

“I believe that it’s a challenge to all of us either as individual or as a group, the onus lies on us for us to know what to do to make sure that we get it right and there’s no other person to do it for us.

“There is something I normally say, I say for those who believe that they have gathered the knowledge, for those who believe that they are professors, doctors and educationalists, if you continue to run away from the assignment that God has designed you to do, the essence of gathering the knowledge is for you to impact it into another situation, if we continue to run away, the mediocre will continue to make the policies that we must surely execute,” Mrs Oduka said.

The Nigerian academy of education which is the highest professional body for practitioners in education facilitates interaction and communication among education stakeholders through its annual congress.

It also serves in advisory capacity to various governments of the federation and the promotion of high standards at all levels of educational system.

Hopefully, deliberations and recommendations put forward from the gathering of scholars would be useful for the government in this critical period in the nation’s history.