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     Firm to establish Africas largest farmers market in Nigeria
    By Emmanuel Afonne

    An integrated agro-business company, First Aquagrico Farms Nigeria Ltd., is perfecting arrangements to establish Africas largest farmers market in the country.

    The company said this in statement on Thursday in Abuja.

    The statement quoted the companys Managing Director, Mr Kolapo Talabi, as saying that the market when established would among other things solve the problem of transportation techniques in agric business.

    Talabi said the firm had approached the Bank of Agriculture for support to boost the establishment of the market which would also be a solution to the problem of modern preservation aimed at eliminating post-harvest losses.

    The primary objective of setting in motion Africas largest farmers market in Nigeria is to create an all-in-one agricultural market-hub which encompasses gathering, re-distributing, storing, processing and exporting of agro-products.

    The concept is to enhance the promotion of large scale commercial agriculture in Africa through a process that maximises profit while sustainably satisfying the needs of consumers.

    In addition, the concept will assuredly make a great impact in the countrys agricultural sector by boosting food supply, creating jobs, raising incomes, reducing malnutrition and contributing to the progress of the continents agro-economy.

    First Aquagrico Farms which focuses on galvanising agriculture for national economic development through the creation of markets for farmers both locally and internationally, believes in large scale agriculture produce merchandise, Talabi said.

    According to him, study and survey show that one of the major causes leading to the decrease in growth of the agricultural sector is poor merchandise of the agricultural produce.

    He regretted that agricultural sector performed badly especially in the second quarter of 2022 with a growth of 1.20 per cent as against 3.16 per cent in the previous quarter.

    Talabi noted that flood had of late ravaged parts of the country such as Kogi, Niger, Anambra, Benue, Sokoto, Adamawa, Delta, amongst places known for large production of agriculture produce with hectares of farmlands washed away.

    It is reckoned that the situation will worsen with the hazardous climatic changes and flooding which have major impact on the distribution and marketability of agricultural produce.

    He was optimistic that the farmers market would help the country achieve industrialisation and restore the agricultural value chain in the nearest future as major bridges were cut off by flood, submerging trucks and trailers carrying food stuffs. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

    Source: NAN News

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     Lagos Govt. charges traditional rulers to help curb sexual, gender violence
    By Florence Onuegbu

    The Lagos State Government has urged traditional rulers to use their influence and closeness to the people in their communities to curb sexual, gender and domestic violence.

    Mrs Titilola Viviour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) gave the advice on Thursday, in Lagos.

    She spoke during a One-Day Roundtable With Traditional Rulers On The Prevalence Of Sexual And Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

    Viviour-Adeniyi urged the traditional rulers to use the proactive measures and practices adopted by the state government to ensure that SGBV, if not completely eradicated, was brought to the barest minimum in the state.

    She said that the engagement was deliberate due to the prevalence of SGBV in the society, which required a timely intervention.

    In the context of preventing and ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, traditional rulers are one of the strategic groups that must be considered, because our Royal Majesties, the custodians of our culture, have access to different segments of the population, including those who are marginalised and harder to reach.

    In many regions of the world, traditional rulers, by virtue of their long-standing presence and service in diverse communities, have come to command the trust and respect of local population.

    We understand that in certain instances, traditional rulers sometimes serve as the first port of call immediately after a case of domestic or sexual violence occurs.

    Certain times, such cases end up being resolved at the palaces, without adhering to the state governments referral pathway, she said.

    According to her, this non adherence to government referral pathway, therefore, promotes the culture of impunity as perpetrators are not held legally accountable for their actions, even as survivors are not able to access holistic support.

    It is, therefore, of utmost importance that traditional rulers are promptly and regularly engaged on these issues, their role in preventing and responding to incidents reported and most importantly, the need to have interface with government, she said.

    Vivour-Adeniyi said that in the past one year, the agency recorded a total of 4,860 cases via the Virtual Referral and Response Service (VRRS), and physical report.

    She said that those cases include domestic violence, rape, lack of parental care, threat to life, sexual assault by penetration, emotional abuse, child neglect/abandonment, among others.

    The executive secretary said that breakdown of cases showed that there were 2,710 adult and 2,150 children, showing that within emergency settings, SGBV on women and young girls was critically heightened.

    In her presentation, Mrs Omolola Rotimi, the Administrator-General, Public Trustee, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, said that in order to protect people from people, on the issue of SGBV, the law had to be in place.

    Rotimi said that people must learn to speak out against SGBV, as it would help to reduce the occurrence of the cases.

    Mr Emmanuel Oladele, President, Institute of Marriage Administrators and Counsellors of Nigeria, said that all hands must be on deck, both the rulers and the ruled, at mitigating the incessant occurrence of SGBV in the communities.

    Oladele called on traditional rulers not to hesitate to apply the full weight of the customs and traditions against the perpetrators of SGBV, as long as such was not repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.

    Oba Asumo Abdul-Ganiyu Aderibigbe, paramount ruler of Odo-Ayandelu Kingdom, Ikosi-Ejinrin, Epe, commended the state government for its efforts at curving SGBV.

    Aderibigbe urged the police to always respond appropriately, whenever issues of SGBV were reported.

    We are glad to have this kind of training today, it imparts more knowledge on us, so that we can go back to our various communities and educate the people the more.

    There are some cases we can treat in the palace and there are some that are criminal. We dont have to harbour or indulge people that involve in violence or criminal activities. We have to expose them, he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

    Source: NAN News

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     Stakeholders collaborate to examine economic, social opportunities on energy transition plan
    By Vivian Emoni

    Stakeholders on Thursday collaborated to examine economic and social opportunities that would be beneficial from Energy Transition Plan.

    Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) called on Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to intensify effort in tackling environmental issues in the country.

    GIFSEP, in collaboration with Lift Humanity Foundation (LHF), also called on other stakeholders to support Federal Government for effective implementation of of the ETP.

    The stakeholders made the call at a one-day workshop in Abuja, organised by the organisations on Examining the Economic and Social Opportunities from Energy Transition Plan (ETP), programme.

    The Programme Manager of the GIFSEP, Mr Joseph Ibrahim, said that the essence of the workshop was to assess the transition plan and determine the economic and social prospects and the opportunities.

    Ibrahim said that recently the Federal Government inaugurated the ETP, adding that the objective of the programme was to achieve universal energy access by 2030.

    He said that the aim was also to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2060.

    The programme manager called on government to involve NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for effective implementation of other environmental programmes and policy.

    According to him, more importantly, we need a system of accountability to encourage people who are willing to support and strengthen the system in the implementation of the programmes.

    He advised that government should take environmental issues serious, adding that unhealthy and unsafe environment could lead to poverty and increase spread of diseases.

    Mr Pius Oko, Executive Secretary of LHF, said that the workshop brought together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to examine the economic and social opportunities and benefit drive from the ETP in the country.

    Oko said that the inauguration of the ETP was a pathway to Nigerian contribution to address emission from fossil fuel and other non-renewable resources.

    Oko said that it was time for Nigeria to take ownership of transition pathways and design climate-sensitive strategies that would tackle peculiar growth objectives.

    He said that President Muhammad Buhari had made a commitment that Nigeria would achieve zero-net by year 2060 and ensuring that energy, poverty and climate change crisis was tackled.

    He said that the effort would help to deliver Sustainable Development Goal seven (SDG7) by 2030 and net zero by 2060.

    According to him, the plan will, among other things, lift people out of poverty, reduce Nigerias carbon footprint, drive economic growth and create jobs.

    The Director, Centre for Environmental Studies, University of Abuja, Prof. Shuaibu Hassan, said that the evidence-based net-zero compliant energy transition pathway in Nigeria, offered investment opportunities across the value chain.

    Hassan said that the value chain was in multiple sectors, regions, and industries in the country.

    He said that the Federal Government was committed to a robust and timely inclusive energy transition.

    The director said that the transition focused on job creation, growth, and sustainability which seeks to
    support its net-zero by 2060 ambition. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Vincent Obi

    Source: NAN News

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     Prof. Victor Chude emerges President-elect of Intl Union of Soil Sciences
    By Felicia Imohimi

    Prof. Victor Chude, Registrar, Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), has emerged the President-elect of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) from 2023 to 2026.

    Chude is the first President of the union from an African country elected into the coveted position in the IUSS since its establishment 98 years ago.

    IUSS is the global union of soil scientists that promotes all branches of soil science and supports all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities.

    The union said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by Chude, on Thursday in Abuja.

    According to him, he was elected by the governing council of IUSS at the World Soil Science Congress in Glasgow, United Kingdom held in August.

    The president, according to the statement, provides leadership, focus and direction both within and outside of the IUSS.

    Within the union, the president, working together with the other Presidential Committees and in consultation with the Executive Committee and Council, is expected to develop and implement strategic directions and actions to take IUSS forward.

    It is to ensure that IUSS is recognised as the pre-eminent international body in the field of soil science.

    Externally, the president represents the union in international fora, such as the International Science Council.

    He acts as its spokesperson when dealing with the media, national members of the IUSS, sister organisations, UN entities and government departments as required,

    Chude, who hails from Onitsha, in Anambra, holds a Doctoral and Master of Science degrees in Soil Science from the University of Ibadan, and a B. Science in Plant/Soil Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

    He is a scholar of repute with profound leadership experiences that traverse the academia, politics, and professional consulting at national and international levels.

    Chudes professional interests are Soil fertility and Plant nutrition with a strong affinity for Integrated Soil Fertility Management of tropical soils.

    He had represented the Soil Science Society of Nigeria in the unions council for 15 years.

    The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) won the 2021 King Bhumibol Word Soil Day Award (WSDA) under the stewardship of Chude.

    Chude had served as a Senior Research Fellow in Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria and was a Professor at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

    Source: NAN News

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     Tackling terrorism is everybodys responsibility  DG NARC

    By Sumaila Ogbaje

    The Director General, Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, says countering terrorism and violent extremism is everybodys responsibility.

    Wahab said this at the closing of the Second Strategic Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency (CTCOIN) Seminar organised by NARC in collaboration with Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), on Wednesday in Abuja.

    The two-day seminar has the theme, Conducting counterterrorism/counterinsurgency: Utilising a Whole of Society Approach.

    He said the seminar brought together relevant stakeholders from the military, security and intelligence agencies as well as the civil society.

    Garba added that it was to elicit discussions and recommendations that would shape counterterrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the country.

    According to him, the aim is to build the security architecture that will serve the interest of Nigeria.

    It is going to take a long time before we see the effect of this module and we are going to ensure that the report of this seminar is well circulated.

    And I will follow up, ask questions from those who received the report; we are going to do that and we will get people to start working on those things, he said.

    Wahab commended the participants for their commitment throughout the duration of the seminar as well as their contributions and recommendations.

    Prof. Christopher Ogbogbo, Director of Research, NARC, who presented the recommendations, said the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach was required in taming insecurity.

    Ogbogbo said the seminar assessed and then emphasised the place of the whole of society approach in combating terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.

    Clearly, we have been able to brainstorm on that and we have concluded and resolved that there is need to intensify and deepen that whole of society approach as conceptualised in the course of the seminar.

    All hands need to be on deck, it is not just that of security agencies only, but also civil society groups and all relevant stakeholders must come together to be able to combat and resolve this insecurity that threatened the country, he said.

    Ogbogbo said the civil society and other stakeholders should play active role in the activities of Operation Safe Corridor.

    According to him, the military will be taking repentant insurgents who are surrendering and still be taking care of them and deradicalising them.

    The civil society should come in and play its own role, and that type of role should be mainly by the civil society, not the military, he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

    Source: NAN News

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     Redeemers University pledges more human capital investments
    By Joshua Oladipo

    Vice-Chancellor, Redeemers University (RUN), Ede, Osun, Prof. Anthony Akinlo, has said that the institution would continue to invest more in world-class infrastructure and human development.

    Akinlo, who said this on the sidelines of the universitys 16 convocation ceremony in Ede, said that this would make the institution to stand tall in its ranking by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

    He attributed the ranking of the university by the NUC as the second best in Nigeria to hardwork and commitment of staff and management of the instruction.

    We are the best private university and the second overall best in Nigeria due to our hard work, according to the 2022 National Universities Commissions latest ranking, he said.

    He said the award and recognition had been dedicated to those considered to have performed their responsibilities creditably within the past one year.

    Also, some deserving non-members of staff of the university will be honoured for their unprecedented contributions to the progress and development of the institution.

    He added that no amount of gift or encomium offered would compensate for what many of the staffers had given to the university.

    According to him, the university will continue to strive higher in a competitive academic environment, especially in research breakthroughs and infrastructural development.

    Akinlo congratulated the recipients of various awards and also implored them to continue to improve in what might have been considered for nominating them for future awards.

    Speaking with newsmen, Mr Dele Alabi, Chief Executive Officer , Ecobank Pan African Center and Chairman, Redeemers University Convocation Diamond Set 2002, said that the university had continued to demonstrate excellent track record in terms of performance.

    Alabi said that the culture of recognising best students and lecturers was in line with global best practices.

    He said that the awardees must maintain high degree of commitment in raising the bar higher in their various places of work, without any complacency.

    Alabi explained that integrity, commitment and dedication were key ingredients of greater achievements, which the university had displayed.

    According to him, the reward for hard work is more work, adding those who were not given awards should persevere to strive and compete with their equals in a competitive academic environment.

    Alabi appreciated the university for recognising the awardees, saying that this was in line with global best practices.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while 48 students bagged First Class honours, representing 7.6 per cent of the graduands, 223 had Second Class Upper Division, representing 35.1 per cent.

    Also, 251 students made Second Class Lower Division, representing 39.5 per cent, while 66 fell under 10.4 per cent.

    NAN also reports that Miss Esther Yemisi emerged the best graduating student for the 2022 diamond set, having scored a cumulative CGPA of 5.0. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by AbdulFatai Beki and Wale Sadeeq

    Source: NAN News

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     2023: Group, foundation partner to curb electoral violence through sports
    By Salisu Sani-Idris

    Twenty Bucks Creative and an NGO, Jalo Okwor Foundation, have launched a campaign to discourage youth from indulging in electoral violence through sports development.

    The founder of the group, Mr Charbel Jarrouge made the disclosure during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the foundation, on Wednesday in Abuja.

    He said the goal was to host a football tournament in Dec. where the youth directorate of all the political parties would take part to promote peace in the country.

    While describing sports especially football as a unifying factor, Jarrouge said it would go a long way to deepen love and peace within the youths that were mostly used as tools to perpetuate violence during elections.

    I would like to start my speech by reminding us all about World War 1 event. During 1914 Christmas Day, when both parties decided to cease fire and played football peacefully. Unfortunately, due to political reasons they went back to war.

    ,Our focus is to campaign against violent elections in Nigeria come 2023 and our goal is to host a football tournament in Dec. and the teams include all political parties in Nigeria,he said.

    On his part, the National Coordinator of Sports for Peace Initiative, Mr Stephen Okwor, said that the initiative would also support youth to overcome the temptation of being used as thugs and tools of electoral violence by some political office holders and seekers.

    He said that the NGO was determined to help youth to develop their cognitive, physical tools and skills through advocacy, sensitization and education.

    We have identified sports as a vehicle which accommodates everyone regardless of your age, tribe, ethnic, religious, economic and social status.

    In view of this, we are using sports and football in particular to identify and redirect youth who could otherwise have followed false paths.

    The aim is to leave youth with the concrete possibility of a social and economic life, devoid of violence and rancour, thereby promoting peace for themselves, their families and dependants.

    The trickle down effect is felt also by the wider society and by Nigeria in particular, Okwor said.

    He said that the signing of the MoU marked the beginning of a new phase in the quest for finding lasting peace in Nigeria.

    Okwor said: We celebrate the birth of a partnership we have entered into this partnership with Twenty Bucks Creative, which is an advertising and marketing agency.

    We believe that they operate using very high standards and have a reach that we desire, in order to create the level of impact that will be most effective in educating and sensitizing youths to promote peace and shun violence.

    We are optimistic that this partnership will result in better exposure to the message we are bringing, which is the message of zero violence before, during and after elections.

    He called on all Nigerians, especially the youth groups of the various political parties, candidates and their supporters, security agencies, the media and CSOs to be deliberate about preaching the message of peaceful elections.

    Okwor commended the efforts of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, led by Prof. Bakut Tewah, as well as all other civil society organisations promoting peace in Nigeria.

    We remain resolute in encouraging all youth to shun violence and be peaceful during the forthcoming elections and try to avoid violence as much as possible,he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

    Source: NAN News

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     Advanced tech. tools critical to boosting crop productionNABDA D-G
    By Sylvester Thompson

    Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said it has become necessary to use advanced technological tools in crop production to generate yields.

    Mustapha said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

    He said using advanced technological tools like genetic engineering in crop production would increase yields at economically viable scales for Nigerian farmers and resuscitate ailing industries as well.

    The NABDA D-G explained that the last three to four decades had seen biotechnology worldwide shifting from being a strategic emerging industry to one of the mainstays of most advanced nations strategic industries.

    According to him, this is a confirmation that biotechnology is one of the key pillars of development of any nation.

    Using cotton as a crop in point, he said that Nigeria commercialised its first genetically modified crop, Bt cotton in 2018, with the aim of revitalising the comatose textile industry and boost economic development.

    Recall that the textile industry in Nigeria was a major employer of labour and revenue-earner in the 70s.

    Statistics indicate that at its peak, between 1970 and 1990, it comprised about 130 modern factories and supported numerous other ancillary firms.

    The industry provided about 350,000 direct jobs and 1.2 million indirect jobs among farmers, suppliers, transporters dealers, traders and exporters.

    Today, however, only about 33 factories remain standing and the local cotton industry is comatose, primarily due to lack of good seeds, low yields and high production costs associated with insect damage, Mustapha said.

    He said that these pests reduce yields by up to 60 percent which has implications on farmers profits and have also been found to be detrimental to the environment.

    The D-G said such development motivated NABDAs collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) Zaria, Bayer and Mahyco Agricultural Nigeria Ltd, for development, commercialisation and deployment of new varieties of transgenic hybrid cotton.

    Accordingly, the cotton was then genetically modified to include a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis; a soil bacterium used extensively for insect pest control in organic agriculture to provide pest resistance within the plant itself.

    The NABDA Boss said that Bt Cotton plays a critical role in reviving the nations economy.

    It can produce 4.1 to 4.4 tonnes per hectare, compared to the local variety which yields just 600 to 900 kilograms per hectare.

    Since Bt cotton can resist the devastating bollworm and tolerate sucking insects, it will help farmers reduce their use of pesticides, thus minimising environmental impacts and lowering production costs, he said.

    According to him, these varieties of Bt cotton are suitable for cultivation in all of Nigerias cotton growing zones, and they also offer early maturity, fiber length of 30.0 to 30.5 millimeters among others.

    He said Bt Cotton varieties would save farmers the trouble of contending with the local conventional variety, which was no longer acceptable at the international markets.

    Mustapha added that recent initiatives to improve the contribution of the agricultural sector to economic growth in Nigeria have emphasised the importance of cotton production in stimulating the economy.

    He said that Bt cotton offered the hope that the textile industry in Nigeria could be revived as the commercialisation had started a revolution that would help Nigeria in its cotton shortage.

    Mustapha said, the stage has been set for self-sufficiency in the production of cotton as industrial raw material with the subsequent transformation of the textile industry.

    The productivity data of the improved varieties of cotton obtained from farmers fields has raised the hope that the moribund textile industry in Nigeria would soon come alive.

    Nigerian farmers who would be involved in the Bt cotton business would be empowered to enjoy increased productivity.

    Similarly, he said the value chain of cotton from the farmers to processors, cottage industry workers, to the spinning and textile industry would also create job openings that the government was clamouring for.

    The D-G assured that jobs would be created, wealth generated, the ginneries reactivated, and Nigeria would be able to export cotton to other countries of the world as well as become a global trade player. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Bashir Rabe Mani

    Source: NAN News

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     Chartered Institute of Purchasing, Supply Management seeks amendment to act
    By Naomi Sharang

    Mr Ado Jibrin, President, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria has called on the Senate to amend the act establishing the institute.

    Jibrin made the call when he led a delegation of the institute on a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Procurement Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha in Abuja on Wednesday.

    He said that the members of the institute were on the visit to discuss areas that we feel is important for the national assembly to come together so that we rescue the problems of purchasing in the country.

    Jibrin said that the institute sought an amendment to the 2007 Act to change the name of the institute from Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria to Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain Management.

    We are pleading with them that we will forward a private bill to ensure we have our name changed, Jibrin said.

    Also speaking, former President of the Institute, Alh. Mohammed Aliyu lamented that people who were not knowledgeable about the functions of the institute were now saddled to do the job.

    That is why we are facing procurement issues in the country.

    We came here to let the distinguished senators know that things are not done right in the sector.

    One of the issues is that the members of the Public Procurement Council are supposed to be inaugurated but this has not been done till today.

    On his part, a fellow of the institute, Abdul Mamman, said that procurement plays an important position in the life of a nation.

    This institute has been established since 2007 through an act of parliament and there are respective mandates granted it by the law and that particular law has to do with purchasing and supply chain management.

    Unfortunately, the way and manner in which it is done today leaves much to be desired.

    The law establishing the institute has been mutilated because the bureau is taking over the job of the professional body and they are not established to train and certify people for procurement because they are not a training institution.

    They are a clearing house representing government to ensure that the right thing are done with regards to procurement process and procedure.

    This is why we are calling for an amendment to the act,Mamman said.

    Responding, chairman of the committee said it would look into their proposal.

    The institute is proposing an amendment to the act. We will look into it when they bring the necessary documents.(NAN)
    (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

    Source: NAN News

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     FCT N607.9bn 2022 statutory budget scales 2nd reading at Senate
    By Naomi Sharang

    The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) N607.9 billion 2022 statutory budget on Wednesday scaled second reading at the Senate.

    This followed the presentation of the lead debate by Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir at plenary.

    Gobir said that the 2022 FCT budget sought to authorise the issue from the Federal Capital Territory Administration Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Account, the total sum of N607 billion.

    He said that N76 billion out of the amount was for personnel cost, while N138 billion was for overhead cost.

    While the balance of N393 billion is for capital project for the service of the FCT, Abuja, for the financial year commencing from Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2022.

    The senate leader said that the fundamental thrust of the FCT 2022 budget was to ensure an effective and enduring service oriented administration for the completion of ongoing projects and the provision of effective services to the residents of the FCT.

    He said that an appraisal of the 2021 FCT statutory budget indicated that in the 2021, the FCT Administration received an appropriation of N329 billion.

    During the year 2021, a total sum of N74 billion was spent on personnel cost, representing 100 per cent.

    The sum of N52, 737, 251, 744. 00 was expended on overhead cost, representing 79 per cent, while the sum of N72, 730, 869, 849.00 was expended on capital projects, representing 39 per cent.

    Gobir said that the FCT was created in 1976 as one of the major achievements of the Military Government.

    Worthy of note is that the FCT was originally planned for about 3.1 million people.

    The rapid urban growth coupled with the slow pace of development of infrastructure for the teeming population has led to scarcity of infrastructures.

    He said that Abuja was too far behind in terms of achieving the developmental target envisaged.

    Only 20 per cent of the target has been achieved due to scarce resources often made available to the administration over the years.

    He said that the FCT required a minimum of N1 trillion to resuscitate and complete abandoned and on-going projects within the districts that had so far been developed or partially developed.

    Contributing, The Chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT Sen. Smart Adeyemi acknowledged that the budget was far too low.

    This is a budget that is coming some months far behind time. But notwithstanding, effort is made to ensure that those areas that require attention of government which will help to improve the security of life and property of Abuja residents is executed within the available time.

    We will ensure the 2023 budget is ready before the end of this month, he said.

    Sen. James Manager (PDP-Delta) expressed displeasure over the lateness in presentation of the budget.

    How long will they execute these projects and when will they stop. This is October, he said.

    Also, Minority Leader, Philip Aduda said that it was unfortunate that the budget was coming late.

    President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said that it was unfortunate and unacceptable.

    We have worked so hard to change the budget cycle of the Federal Government. And here we have a state we are receiving the budget of the FCT for 2022 in October.

    This is unacceptable. We are only considering this because innocent FCT residents will suffer. Otherwise we shouldnt pass this.

    If they dont bring it next week, they should keep it themselves, he said.(NAN)
    (www.nannews.ng)

    Source: NAN News

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