Buhari Arrives In Egypt For ASWAN Forum


President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Egypt ahead of the ASWAN Forum on Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa.

The forum is expected to hold between Wednesday, December 11 and Thursday, December 12.

It aims to address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions.

Read Also: Buhari, Fintiri, Two Other Governors Depart Abuja For Egypt

The initiative is being launched by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in his capacity as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and as an advocate of post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa.

President Buhari is expected to return to Abuja on Friday.

AAU Convocation: Universities Advised To Ensure Sustainable Development

Ambrose Alli University,sustainable development, sustainable developmentAdministrators of tertiary institutions across Nigeria have been advised to seek ingenious ways of sustaining their development institutions in the face of the current economic challenges.

This emerged at the 20th convocation ceremony of the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, in Edo state where the economic climate of the nation was assessed.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ignatius Onimawo, said about 8,692 graduates on Saturday, bagged diplomas and first degrees, while also disclosing that 136 academic staff, 276 senior non-teaching staff and 443 junior staff had been promoted.

Chairman of Channels Media Group, John Momoh was also awarded an honourary doctorate of Business Administration, for his outstanding achievements in the broadcast industry in Africa.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole who was also present, stressed the need for Nigeria to re-order its priorities, such that the education system never fails.

The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar urged the graduates to always look around for a problem they could solve, assuring them that by so doing, “they would never be poor”.

Urban Agriculture : Inspiring And Innovative Hydroponic Farming System

hydroponic-farming-systemAgriculture and Agribusiness are two words that have become prominent in Nigeria at this time, with government harping on the need for more people to buy into its economy diversification plan, which largely promotes agriculture. 

The government believes agriculture is a huge money earner for its teeming youth seeking employment.

This call, however, requires a new generation of farmers to come up with innovative ideas, to sustain the nation’s economy which largely relied on agriculture for revenue before the discovery of crude oil.

One of such innovations is that of an epidemiologist who has decided to contribute her quota to providing fresh food for urban areas like Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, using a hydroponic system that enables her grow plants without soil.

Urban Agriculture, sustainable dvelopment, Adelaja
Angel Adelaja

Her efforts help to conserve land and water while providing a viable means of survival for the crops as well as creating job opportunities for the people.

Oil-rich Nigeria, which at the moment solely depends on crude-oil as its major source of revenue, has to diversify its economy in order to save it from recession.

The nation is exploring other means of revenue generation and youth empowerment with an intensified focus on agriculture sector.

Several reasons in time past, have forced youths to shy away from agriculture. However, it is slowly being embraced even more by the younger generation.

Epidemiologist turned environmental activist, Angel Adelaja, admits to the difficulty of accessing land, water and other things necessary for effective agriculture in the earlier stages.

She said these were some of the reasons she decided to explore the green housing system of agriculture.

In the bid to practice agriculture in a more simplified but efficient way, she sought to lower the barrier to entering into it, by reducing certain risks through the use of hydroponics and containerised farming.

A system generally known as Urban Agriculture, whereby plants are grown with their roots in mineral nutrient solutions and water only.

Urban Agriculture yIelds More benefits

According to her, the nutrients are from organic waste as well as other biodegradable wastes.

Lettuce from Angel’s farm

She gathers them from her poultry house, and deposits into the compost pit where she draws the solution which she adds into the hydroponic system.

So far, she has enjoyed more results than if she were operating in the traditional methods of agriculture.

She said it helped conserve space while yielding more crops.

In her words: “You would notice that one acre can usually do about 2,000 heads of lettuce, but with what we’re doing here, one container is doing 3,000 heads of lettuce”.

In a country such as Nigeria where food insecurity, poverty and migration have been persistent issues, Adelaja has been able to create a sustainable environment for not just herself but for her immediate community.

She yields at least 120kg per harvest monthly, and has slowly built a steady patronage from companies and individuals who purchase her vegetables.

Minimal pest attacks on her crops, land and water conservation, and a maximum eco-friendly practice are amongst some of the major benefits she enjoys from Urban Agriculture.

Obiano Launches Book On Achievements

ObianoAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has launched a book which captures his administration’s policies and programme since he assumed office.

Governor Obiano unveiled the book on Sunday at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre in Anambra State in southeast Nigeria, as part of activities marking his two years in office.

The 588-page book captures the developmental strides of the governor in critical sectors of the state.

Governor Obiano, who dedicated the successes recorded in the book to the people of the state, appealed for more support to enable him do more for the benefit of all.

Earlier the governor announced to the people of Anambra State that a very good foundation had been laid for sustainable development in the state since the inception of his administration.

He pointed out that the development strategy of the state in keeping afloat despite the present economic crunch in the country was his ability to define his vision and mission for the state.

Governor Obiano said that the vision and mission were hinged on four pillars of his administrative blueprint – agriculture, industrialisation, trade and commerce, and oil and gas.

Obiano Proud Of Sustainable Development In Anambra

Willie ObianoGovernor Willie Obiano has announced to the people of Anambra State that two years into his administration, a very good foundation has been laid for sustainable development in the state.

The Governor made the pronouncement during a state broadcast while marking his two years in office.

He said that the development strategy of the state in keeping afloat, despite the present economic crunch in the country was his ability to define his vision and mission for the state.

Governor Obiano stressed that the vision and mission, which are hinged on four pillars of his administrative blueprint include: agriculture, industrialization, trade and commerce, as well as oil and gas.

He said that these alongside the twelve enablers have made Anambra State a socially stable and business friendly environment which has attracted both indigenous and foreign investors to come and seek wealth-creating opportunities.

Within the period, the Governor disclosed that investments valued at 3.2 billion dollars have been attracted in the state with 52,500 direct job and 200,000 indirect job prospects expected.

He appreciated the people of the Anambra State for their support since his swearing in, assuring them of more infrastructural projects, rebuilding of schools, hospitals, markets and environment.

Governor Willie Obiano said that with an impressive Internally Generated Revenue achieved through timely deployment of cutting edge technology and clinical weeding out of over 800 ghost workers in the state, the state would be transformed for good.

He also solicited the support of all and sundry to help move the plans and policies of the government forward to further stimulate commerce, strengthen security, as well as promote better social and economic life among citizens.

Climate Change: Experts Advocate Domesticating The IPCC Report In Nigeria

Desmond MajekodunmiThe Nigerian Government has been advised to empower the department in charge of climate change in order to meet the challenges that rising temperature presents.

Speaking on Channels Television, experts say it is time Nigeria started looking at its survival strategies.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its third major climate assessment on Sunday April 13, rounding out a process that began in September and plays out every seven years.

International Negotiator on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Lekan Fadina and Environmental Activist, Desmond Majekodunmi were guests of Saturday morning programme, Sunrise on Channels Television to discuss issues of climate change and its dangers to mankind, especially to Nigeria.

The IPCC reports indicate that sharp greenhouse gas emissions cuts worldwide need to begin, with a 40 percent to 70 percent reduction by 2050, to avert the worst effects of climate change.

The experts revealed that the world was running out of time, and Nigeria must do something towards taking measures on Climate Change because its life was at risk.


Jonathan Says FG Needs N350 Billion Annually For Water Provision

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said Nigeria will need to invest about N350 billion annually to meet her water and sanitation targets.

The President who spoke at the opening of the two-day Presidential Summit on water, with the theme “Innovative Funding of the Water Sector” held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the situation whereby rural and sub-urban areas do not have access to clean water, is unacceptable.

He said in line with his administration’s transformation agenda, it had become necessary to implement a more cooperative, more radical programme of action to meet the nation’s Millennium Development Goals MDGs) target in this sector.

The President said for the nation to meet her MDGs, the federal and states must work together, insisting that a situation where a lot of money was spent to provide water but management becomes an issue, should no longer be tolerated.

He said, “Investments were made to boost various aspects of the sector, from the line budget and special funds dedicated to ecological matters and natural resources development and also through the repair and rehabilitation of water supply infrastructure. In 2011, we spent the total sum of N40.94billion. In 2012, the sum of N43.6 billion was spent. This does not include our expenditure in the following projects; Goronyo Dam – N3.4 billion; Kashimbila Dam – N38 billion; Gurara Dam & irrigation – N3 6billion; Ife Dam – N3 billion.

“In 2013, we have proposed N39 billion from line budget to be spent on water related projects. This will be in addition to funds the sector will receive from special intervention funds.”
The President expressed the hope that at the end of summit, they will consider how best to leverage resources with those of development partners and the international community to strengthen the effort towards meeting the set targets in 2015.

He said, “In more concrete and specific terms, this Summit should: Identity the major issues militating against optimal water infrastructure development and its sustainability, as well as evolve innovative funding to ameliorate this situation;

“Redefine the intervention approaches in the water sector through funding sources diversification and highlight the business potential and existing profitability assets;

“Facilitate linkages and engagements between investors and innovators towards expansion and scaling up of innovation on water services in the country; and

“Critically review the present financing and investment models in the sector; determine which model works and the opportunities that exist for leveraging resources from non-traditional sources in the light of growing competing needs.

“It is increasingly recognized that small and medium water service providers, such as “mai ruwa” and “pure water” play a vital role in the provision of water services in both our rural and urban areas.

“Strategies to strengthen their service delivery, including environmentally safe measures, technological value additions, and access to finance and concessionary credit facilities should be evaluated.

“I assure you that the government will favourably consider all the practical recommendations, which will emerge from the Summit. We are conscious of the importance of this meeting and the contributions it will make in support of our efforts to realize our objectives in the Water Sector for the benefit of our citizens.

“We are set on the right course to achieve and move beyond the MDG targets for water and sanitation. This is the dawn of reform and growth in the Water Sector in Nigeria. All hands must therefore, be on deck. To this, I am fully committed.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the subject of water and speedy action was long overdue.

He said it was ironical that there was scarcity of water in the midst of plenty. “That is why we have to think out of the box to provide water sustainable for human needs.

“Innovation may mean we need to do what we use to do differently, seeking new ways, more hands have to be on deck to achieve the purpose we need to do. We need to realise that business as usual will not get us there.

“Is water a political, economic or social issue? Is when we are clear on what it is then we will move closer to addressing the issue of water.

“Water is too serious to be left in the hands of politicians, private sector, donor agencies, and civil society alone. We have to leave it in the hands of all to ensure adequate and sustainable water supply.”

John Kuffour, former President of Ghana and Chairman of Sanitation and Water for All, regretted that many people were denied access to water due to prohibited high cost.

He said traditional sources of funding (donor agencies) leave much to be desired; hence the summit’s theme couldn’t have been more apt.

Senate President, David Mark supported the notion that if a state fails to provide water for citizens, it should be taken to court.

“The responsibility of provision of water is that of state and Local Government Area and so the people should be empowered to sue those that fail to deliver on that,” he said.

Mr Mark added, “As the nation’s population grows so will be demand for water and so is expected this summit will provide lasting solution.
“It is embarrassing that we still lack portable and clean water. Water is a necessity and must be readily available and accessible.

“We need to source for funds from none traditional sources in the face of competing demands.

“Some of the investments have been wasteful because of duplication of water projects.”

The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, speaking on behalf the Governors’ Forum, said the sector needed institutional reforms to ensure implementation will not meet brick wall.

He said the delivery of portable water to the people was crucial and the activities of donor agencies, the private sector and the government on provision of water need to be harmonised.

He called for a legislation to empower the people to sue government that fails to provide water and other essential amenities to court.
In her welcome remarks, the Minister of Water Resources, Stella Ochekpe, said she was excited that global stakeholders and political leaders turned up for the event.

She said the summit was the President’s initiative and demonstrates his commitment in the transformation agenda of the water sector, adding that they were confident and convinced that the water sector will experience a greater turn around after summit.

“We pledged to use the outcomes of the summit as stepping stones that will not only facilitate the attainment of the MDGs, but will prepare us for greater impact in the implementation of post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, in which water is expected to be a stand-alone goal,” she said.

Mrs Ochekpe said the implementation of the roadmap in the sector had brought to the fore the huge funding gap in the sector and annual appropriations alone by the three tiers of government will not be sufficient to develop the sector in line with global trends.

She added that this had underscored the need to explore alternative sources of funding for the optimal development of the sector.