New Tax Policy A Tool For Managing Economy – Expert

New Tax Policy A Tool For Managing Economy – Kriz DavidA Tax Consultant, Mr Kriz David, has commended the Federal Government’s new tax policy which he described as a tool for managing the economy.

Mr David stressed the need for Nigerians to engage the tax policy in order to help the growth in the agricultural sector.

He made the observation on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

“If you want to invest massively in agriculture, then the tax policy would provide incentive for investors. Also, you would need the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade, and Ministry of Transportation to be involve.

“The kind of tax policy that would encourage investors to invest in agriculture is by developing a tax policy that will ensure that when investors engage in farming, they will enjoy some tax receptive.

“So people will be willing to help grow the sector,” the consultant said.

Nigeria Seeks Partnership To Attain Food Sufficiency

Agriculture, Food Sufficiency, The Federal Government is seeking partnerships that will assist Nigeria in her attainment of food sufficiency.

The Director in charge of Planning and Policy at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Awul Maidabino, made the disclosure during a joint steering committee meeting of the ministry in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Maidabino emphasised that the ministry was responsible to partner with major stakeholders to develop effective policies that would create conducive environment for better private sector participation in the agriculture sector.

He explained that officials of the ministry were meeting with local and international organisations under the joint sector review committee, to discuss agriculture promotion policies and evaluate their strength and weaknesses.

In their remarks, the President of the Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association, Lizzy Igbine, and an official representing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, USAID, Baye Sylvester, highlighted the importance of the policies.

The meeting provided a platform for state and non-state stakeholders to assess the performance of the government, as well as and assist in setting sector policy and priorities.

Nigeria has a huge agricultural potential with over 84 million hectares of arable land of which only 40% is cultivated, and a reliable rainfall in over two thirds of its territory.

In spite of possessing some of the richest natural resources for agricultural production in the world, the country is not a major player in the global agricultural market.

The government is hoping to improve its activity in the agriculture sector through a policy thrust that looks at diversifying the economy.

Herdsmen, Farmers Clash: Oyo Govt. Constitutes Committees To Address Issue

Abiola Ajimobi, Farmers, Herdsmen, OyoThe Oyo State government has set up stakeholder committees at both state and local government levels to address the crisis of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the state.

The Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Security, Mr Olusegun Abolarinwa, made the disclosure in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

Mr Abolarinwa highlighted the activities of the state government to avert the incessant clashes between the two groups.

“The state government does not have any policy on grazing zone yet, as the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is yet to make a pronouncement on nomadic rearing to be domesticated in all states.

“In the interim, the state government has taken proactive steps to constitute committees at both the state and local levels comprising security agencies, chairmen of local councils, farmers’ associations, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Seriki Hausawa, community leaders and relevant stakeholders in the community,” the governor’s aide stated.

He disclosed further that Senator Ajimobi has directed his Special Adviser on Community Relations, and his Senior Special Assistant on Security to address the crisis erupting in the religion sector.

The governor also asked them to tackle the community related crises at the Ibarapa area of the state, with specific instructions to meet with the aggrieved sects of farmers and the Fulani herdsmen.

Mr Abolarinwa explained that the crisis began when farmers allegedly laced their farms with poison in a bid to retaliate on the herdsmen whose cows purportedly destroyed their farmlands.

He, however, urged the aggrieved parties not to take laws into their hands, reiterating that the government has put adequate measures in place to strengthen the security of the state.

The security adviser hinted that some of the measures include: joint security patrol, procurement of armoured personnel carriers for the Oyo State Police Command, procurement of Hilux vehicles for security agencies and rendering various forms of assistance to the security agencies in the state.

He urged the people of the state to be security conscious by constituting themselves as watchmen in their neighbourhood.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Oyo State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun.

Ogun Partners With Firm On Rice Production

Rice-Production-in-NigeriaThe Ogun State Government has concluded plans with Sterling Group, an Agro-Allied Firm, to embark on the cultivation of rice and other agricultural produce for food security.

This was made known at a meeting between the Government delegation led by Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa and the firm’s Executive Director, Mr Tokunbo Aromolaran, in Abeokuta, the capital of the state.

Mr Aromolaran told the meeting that the firm intended to commit the sum of $10 million to the project, adding that the target was to make Ogun the biggest rice producing State, as operations would commence when all necessary arrangements have been concluded.

“We have done this extensively in the Northern part of Nigeria and we just realised that right here in Ogun State, we have a very reliable and forward looking government that supports the growth of agriculture.

“It is like a meeting of minds. We are ready to do this on a large scale and we are ready to put in what it takes to make Ogun State the biggest rice producing State in the federation,” Aromolaran said.

Mr Adeoluwa noted that agriculture was one of the major ways to generate revenue and survive the current economic downturn in Nigeria, saying that the current administration in the State had always accorded it a pride of place in its programme and policies.

While assuring the investors of the government’s cooperation and support, the State Scribe promised prompt consideration of their proposal.

Also at the meeting were the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs, Adepeju Adebajo, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Tolu Odebiyi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Steve Ipinniwa and other top government functionaries.

10,000 Youths To Benefit From CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme

10,000 Youths To Benefit From CBN Anchor Borrowers SchemeAbout 10,000 youths and other small scale farmers are set to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, in Ogun state.

The State Coordinator and Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Mr Tosin Ademuyiwa, disclosed this in Abeokuta, the state capital, at the flag-off of the programme.

He explained that the programme was aimed at creating employment for youths and boosting agricultural production for food security in the State.

It would give financial support to youths and other small scale farmers to boost cassava, rice and maize production.

Furthermore, he stated that attention would also be given to fishery and poultry farming, while citizens across the 20 Local Government areas and 57 local council development areas of the state would benefit from it.

While admonishing youths in the State to Key into the opportunities offered by the programme to earn a living, Mr Ademuyiwa noted that about 1000 youths have recently shown interest to explore the opportunities.

He then advised others who were interested in taking advantage of the programme to forward their applications to the Ministry of Agriculture, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta for enrollment.

The Coordinator, Ogun State Youth in Agric Business, Comrade Olugbenga Ige, thanked the state government and the CBN for the initiative, assuring that his colleagues would make use of the opportunity to be self-employed and help in diversifying the nation’s economy.

Ogun Farmers, Cattle Breeders Agree On Peace Deal

Ogun Farmers, Cattle Breeders Agree On Peace DealFarmers in Ogun state and the national executives of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, have reached a peaceful agreement on how to operate effectively and peacefully in the state.

The meeting which was held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital, had the National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Muhammad Kirowa, the Chairman of the South West Farmers forum, Segun Dasaolu, representatives of the state government and security agents in attendance.

At the end of the peace parley which lasted for over four hours, members and leaders of the two sides agreed that there is no alternative to peace and harmonious relationship between the cattle breeders and their host communities in the state

“In Ogun state as much as possible, we want to use all humanly possible means to make sure that peace reigns supreme and that is why the national president of the Miyetti Allah is here.

“The state cannot do without the Fulani, we must live together, but we must live together without disturbing each other” chairman of the southwest farmers’ forum said.

As a further step towards ensuring the much needed peace, the Ogun state government represented by a director in the state Ministry of Agriculture, announced some of the measures being put in place by the government.

“The state governor has directed that security agencies should always and continuously investigate and prosecute the criminal aspect of the cattle menace issue.

“Currently I want to say in good authority that in a bid to solve the challenge, the governor has approved the renovation of disease control post, and five additional quarantine stations at every entry points into the state,” the director said.

Speaking with journalist at the end of the meeting, the committee’s president promised the determination of the association towards promoting peace among its members and their host communities

“Because of the peace in Nigeria, we do not want any problem in any part of the country. Everybody has a role to play in this direction, as Miyetti Allah national leaders, we do not want any problem with Yoruba because we have been together all along and we will not allow any criminality to divide us.

“We have come to dialogue with the farmers, security agencies and government to avoid the perennial crisis that do occur,” he concluded.

In recent times the relationship between cattle breeders and their host communities has been characterized by hostilities which has resulted in many deaths, while property worth millions of Naira have been lost in the same manner.

FG Says 200,000 Youths Mobilized For Social Investment Programme

FG Says 200,000 Youths Mobilized For Social Investment ProgrammeThe Nigerian government says it has mobilized 200,000 youths out of the targeted 500,000 for the volunteer graduate scheme in its social investment programme.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Afolabi Imokhuede, was on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, where he shared updates on the progress of the programme.

“As you know, it’s a paid volunteer programme for two years wherein they will work as teaching assistants in the public primary schools. They will work as healthcare delivery assistants in the community health centre and also as Agric Extension workers in the farms.

“We’ve done this in strong collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Heath and basically the 36 states and the FCT,” he said.

He gave a background into the Social Investment Programme and how it has been designed, explaining that asides the graduate component which is for 500,000 beneficiaries, there is also the non-graduate component which is for about 100,000 people out of which 75,000 will go for vocational jobs while the remaining will go for technology-based jobs.

He gave the assurance that contrary to criticisms, the project has been done with consideration for the needs in the states and in collaboration with the governors.

“Each state governor has given us a focal person and these are very senior persons in the level of commissioners or special advisers to them and obviously the FCT Minister also has given us a focal person.

“The states are actually going to be in charge of deployment as the demand is.

“The programme is designed such that those who are going for the ‘Teach Programme’ would go into public primary schools but some states have already started making suggestions that they may also want to deploy them to junior secondary schools but those will be up to the states,” he said.

Imokhuede noted that the programme has been designed to “speak to the needs of the economy” especially in line with the diversification efforts of the government.

This makes its collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture an important part of the scheme.

He explained that the agric extension workers would not only be trained but would also be provided with tools while a web-based training portal will be available to them to facilitate the “earn while you learn” system.

Collaboration with the private sector still remains an integral part of government’s drive to create jobs in the country and Mr Imokhuede stated that the Social Investment Programme is not an attempt by the government to take the place of entrepreneurs.

Rather, the private sector will become beneficiaries of the output on the long run.

He added that unlike the graduate scheme, the empowerment scheme which involves vocational and technological trainings would be private sector driven.

“Our private sector partners are very active. They are the ones who are actually going to provide the needed apprenticeship and work experience that these young beneficiaries would get,” he said.

Yobe Governor Reshuffles Cabinet, Swears In New Commissioner

yobe, cabinet, new commissionerThe Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam on Thursday swore in a new member to the state executive, Lawan Shettima.

The appointment is sequel to the restoration of the Ministry Of Environment, which was combined with the Ministry of Agriculture at the beginning of the present administration.

The merger was said to be as a result of paucity of funds occasioned by the present economic realities of Nigeria.

Administering the oath of office and oath of allegiance on the new commissioner, Governor Gaidam said that his consideration for the appointment was based on his track records and urged him to justify the confidence that the government as well as the people of the state already have in him.

“The exemplary leadership quality, good track record, loyalty, honesty and dedication demonstrated by Lawan Shettima, has no doubt justified the decision to appoint him and I strongly believe that this will give him another opportunity to add value to governance, as well as render more services to the people of the state,” Governor Gaidam stated.

He expressed gratitude to the Yobe State Assembly for the speedy screening and confirmation of the appointee, a process which he said would increase his administration’s drive to provide dividends of democracy to the people.

“The swearing-in of the commissioner we have just witnessed is yet another manifestation of the commitment of our administration to further improve governance,” he said.

The Governor then called on civil servants and well-meaning people of the state to accord the new appointee the desired support in the discharge of his duties.

Mr Lawan Shettima is expected to take charge of the Ministry of Works, while the former works commissioner, Sirago Wakil, would henceforth be handling the Ministry of Water Resources.

Also, the former commissioner in charge of the water resources, Mr Jibrin Kortomi, has now been mandated to handle the newly resuscitated Ministry of Environment.

Youths In Osun Get Modern Farming Taining To Revamp Agriculture

Rice Anchor Borrowers' Programme, CBN, ImoOsun State government has said that the recent sponsorship of some youths to Germany by the state to acquire modern farming techniques is basically part of its efforts to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment and revamp the agricultural sector in the state.

The Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Youth Engagement in Osun state, Dr. Olubukola Aluko, gave a hint on the training programme while having a chat with reporters in Osogbo on Wednesday.

Dr. Aluko, said the engagement of the youth in farming would not only reduce unemployment rate but position the state for more revenue generation.

“The government would set up an agency to handle land allocation for farming in the state. The step became necessary to resolve challenges facing young farmers,” he stated.

Key To Economic Survival

The agriculture expert, who maintained that the Osun government was keen on improving the economy of the state by investing greatly in agriculture, noted that agriculture was viewed as the key to economic survival of a state or nation.

“‎As a government, we have discovered that the best way to get youths into farming is to give them adequate training in modern farming. To achieve this, the government has also taken the initiative to allocate land to the trained young farmers. All these moves are aimed at re-positioning the state for mass food production,” he told reporters.

He further said that the government had invited investors to fund the agricultural programme for the youths who are leaving the training schools.

“Osun Government under the leadership of Mr Rauf Aregbesola is determined to revamp the agricultural sector and that is what prompted the sponsorship of some youths to Germany to learn modern farming techniques.

“By the time they put all what they had learnt in Germany to practice, it would definitely make Osun be in the forefront of agricultural production in the country,” he stated.

The official of the Ministry of Agriculture attributed the problem facing the sector to lack of adequate resources, saying the state government had concluded plans to reposition agriculture to make it productive and result oriented.

“One major challenge we are currently facing is land allocation to these farmers.

“However, efforts are in top gear to address it. The state would soon set up an agency to handle land allocation to these young r farming in the state,” he explained.

Aluko commended the state Governor on the intervention programmes introduced in the state to re-energise and encourage youths to return to the land for farming.

He said various intervention programmes of the government in the agriculture sector had been yielding positive results over the years.

The Coordinating Director then hinted that the agency was also making moves to ensure farm settlement in the state become more functional, effective and productive.

“With resolution of the problems that are often attached to land acquisition, the settlement has been expanded to meet the needs of the residents,” he pointed out.

Dr. Aluko, therefore, called on farmers in the state to take advantage of the Dry Season Farming Programme put together by the government to enhance their agricultural production for the overall benefit of the people of the state.

IFAD: Farmers Call For Extension Of Programme

Agriculture,ifad, farmers, ifad programmeFarmers benefiting from the rural finance programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Benue State Government, to extend the programme beyond 2017 to keep them away from unemployment and idleness.

The farmers, Mr Geofry Ahundegah and Nguto Gloria, made the call when the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and IFAD delegation visited Logo council area on an assessment tour of the cooperative farm groups, where they showcased their harvest and farms.

The Minister of Agriculture who was represented by his Technical Adviser on Donor Funds, Mr Auta Apeh says, the rural finance project is a huge success capable of meeting domestic food production, if sustained beyond March 2017.

While the farmers are busy earning a living through Agriculture under the IFAD rural finance programme, government with do well to encourage the programme to keep young people busy and help achieve food sufficiency for Nigeria.

We Will Not Hide Anything From Nigerians – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, NigeriansPresident Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will not hide anything from Nigerians in its resolute commitment to restoring the economic fortunes of the country and delivering prosperity to her citizens.

The President said this while receiving the Northern Christian Leaders Eagles Eyes Forum at the State House in Abuja on Friday.

According to his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President appealed to the religious leaders not to lose hope in the unity, stability and progress of the country.

President Buhari noted that the Federal Government would continue to prioritise the safety of lives and property.

Buhari-Northern-Christian-Leaders-Meet

Truth About Nigeria

He added that the government would also equip Nigerian farmers with the right tools, technology and techniques to boost agriculture.

“You must tell your followers the truth about the country. We have nothing to hide because we have no other country but Nigeria.

“Tell them to give us a chance to stabilise the country. Your concern for the security, unemployment, anti-corruption campaign and the frequent altercations between herdsmen and farmers are genuine concerns.

“I know the Ministry of Agriculture and the Governors Forum are doing a lot to resolve the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers, we must give them a chance,” he said.

Buhari-Northern-Christian-Leaders

Anti-corruption Campaign

The President also thanked the Christian leaders for their support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption campaign and other policies geared towards reviving the economy.

“It is saddening that some of those who stole from our national resources put the money in their personal accounts.

“However, it is gratifying that those who stole money and shared funds meant for the purchase of arms for our military are regretting their actions and they will regret more.

“Those caught in corruption will have themselves to blame,” he said.

In his remarks, leader of the Forum, Pastor Aminchi Habu, called on Nigerians to support the President’s anti-corruption war and his vision to restore the lost glory of Nigeria.

“In your administration, I see a new Nigeria where the fear of bribery, corruption and extortion is the beginning of wisdom.

“I see a new Nigeria, where tribalism, religion and ethnicity is no longer a barrier that separates us but a bond that unites us for a greater tomorrow,” he said.

Kaduna Lawmakers Reject Creation Of Grazing Reserve

Grazing reserveAs the debate continues on government’s plan to create grazing reserves around the country, federal lawmakers from the southern part of Kaduna State say they are against the policy.

Speaking to journalists in the National Assembly, the group made up of one Senator and five members of the House of Representatives, said the move is ill-advised and they believe the move is not a sustainable solution to the recurring attacks.

The lawmakers advised the Kaduna State Government to encourage herdsmen to acquire land and establish ranches in pursuit of their endeavours.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh, had suggested grazing reserve as a solution the herdsmen crisis, adding that it will create room for better livestock as well as greater yield of milk, which will cut out the 1.3 billion dollar spent annually on importation of milk to Nigeria.

He also said government has no plans to forcefully acquire any land for the proposed National Grazing Reserves in the country.

The Minister said the Ministry of Agriculture will work with federal lawmakers to fine tune the bill and also make necessary input.

Mr Ogbeh also noted that 50, 000 hectares of land have already been volunteered by 11 northern state governments .

The states that volunteered the 11, 000-hectare land are Plateau, Jigawa, Gombe, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Taraba, Niger and the FCT.