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AGRIC MINISTRY TARGETS 2,000 TRACTORS YEARLY TO BOOST FOOD PRODUCTION

L-R : Jason Brantley, Vice President of John Deere; John Coumantaros, Chairman Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc; Sen. Abubakar Kyari, Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security ; Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Hon. Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security; and Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, during the working visit of the John Deere delegation to the Ministry in Abuja, on Friday, November 17, 2023.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen Abubakar Kyari, CON, says the production of 2,000 tractors in-country yearly would enhance food production, create jobs for Nigerian farmers, especially women and youth as well as achieving food and nutrition security in the country.

The Minister stated this while receiving in audience a delegation from John Deere led by its Vice President, Jason Braintley, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja today, Friday 17th, November, 2023. Also present were the Chairman and Directors of Flour Mills Nigeria, as well as Country Director of Tata Africa Services.

According to a press release signed by Ezeaja Ikemefuna Assistant Director, Information, Sen Abubakar Kyari noted that the visit was a follow-up to the meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President Ibrahim Shettima and top officials of John Deere at the recent World Food Prize Foundation held in lowa, USA.

He said that, when produced, government would not off-take the tractors but provide the enabling environment to make the tractors affordable at low-interest rate to Nigerian farmers and boost all-year round farming.

Sen Kyari pointed out there was need for farmers to form clusters or co-operatives to ensure that they have access to mechanization and pay instalmentally within a few years.

In his remarks, Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abudullahi, stressed the need to evaluate existing co-operatives and ascertain those that require support to enable them access the tractors when available. He also emphasized the importance of identifying crops most suitable for mechanization.

The Vice President of John Deere, Jason Braintley said that the company was exploring the feasibility of hiring, acquisition and production, in addition to after-sales services, supply of genuine spare parts and training of operators and mechanics.

The capacity of the tractors would range between 75 and 90 horse-power for use in different terrains in the country.

Food

Abiodun Unveils Discounted Rice Sale, Pledges Ogun Workers’ Welfare

Ogun State Head of Service, Mr. Kehinde Onasanya (right), presenting bags of rice purchased at discounted rates to some beneficiaries at 'Oja Irorun Civil Servants/Farmers Market,' Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, at the weekend.

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, at the weekend, commenced the sale of rice to civil servants in the state as parts of his commitment to the welfare of the workforce. The event took place at the ‘Oja Irorun’ Civil Servants Farmers’ Market at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Governor Abiodun, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mr. Kehinde Onasanya said the occasion was a significant step in the ongoing efforts of the state government at improving the living standards of workers in the state.
The governor praised the dedication and the commitment of the workers to service, which he noted contributed immensely to the success achieved by his administration.
“Ogun State civil servants’ dedication and hard work form the bedrock of the progress and prosperity of our dear state. Recognising this invaluable essence of workers to the actualisation of the policies and programmes of the state government, the administration has graciously approved the sale of high quality bags of rice at discounted prices exclusively to the workforce,” the governor said.
Prince Abiodun urged workers across Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to take full advantage of the opportunity and embrace the good gesture by the state government.
In his welcome address, the Head of Service, Mr. Kehinde Onasanya, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Establishments and Training, Mrs. Lydia Fajounbo appreciated the government for the initiative, which is one of the many interventions by the government to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal for the state workforce.
The Head of Service, however, urged the workers to reciprocate the good gesture of government by remaining dedicated to duties and collectively work for the progress of the state.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Chairman, Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Comrade Isa Olude and his counterpart from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ademola Ahmed-Benco, appreciated the state government for the initiative, which they said, would restore the purchasing power of the people and promote the welfare of workers.
The union leaders added that the gesture was a testament that the state has a caring and listening governor whom they are proud of, and charged the workers to reciprocate the gesture by effectively and efficiently discharging their statutory duties.
Two of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Temitope Akintayo from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as well as Mr. Olabanji Sanni, from the Ministry of Environment, thanked the state government for putting the process into motion and promised to keep working assiduously towards effective service delivery.
The bags of rice were handed over to the beneficiaries by Mr. Onasanya on behalf of the government while buses were also provided at no cost to convey the workers from the venue of the programme to a reasonable distance.
It would be recalled that the Prince Abiodun-led administration has been made concerted efforts towards ensuring that the workforce and the entire people of the Gateway State are shielded as much as possible from the attendant effects of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government through various interventions.
The interventions include provision of monthly cash palliative, payment of peculiar allowance to deserving workers, provision of CNG buses workers and the citizens as well as the unprecedented payment of a robust end of year bonus to all civil/public servants of the State last December, amongst others.

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Dangote donates 80,000 bags of rice to Lagos residents as palliatives

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) on Wednesday donated 80,000 bags of 10kg of rice to vulnerable people in Lagos State to cushion the hardship in the country.

The foundation flagged off the distribution of the rice at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Chairman of the foundation, Aliko Dangote and others present at the distribution event.

According to Dangote, the gesture was part of the over one million 10kg bags of rice that would be distributed to reach one million vulnerable people in the 774 local government areas of the country.

He said the distribution of the 80,000 bags of 10kg rice was another demonstration of the foundation’s commitment to upholding the values of compassion and solidarity that are at the core of humanity.

Dangote stated that the distribution of the rice was in addition to the daily distribution of 12,500 loaves of bread in Lagos, stressing that with the initiative, the foundation aspired to ameliorate some of the burdens faced by vulnerable communities across Lagos State.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu, applauded the many initiatives of Dangote to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians, while praising him for showing compassion to the needy in the society.

The governor said the gesture of the distribution of 80,000 bags of 10kg rice showed that the leadership of the Foundation prioritised the welfare of the people beyond the pursuit of profit and accumulation of wealth.

“Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian that has chosen to be different. You have choices but you have made the right one which is caring for the vulnerable. I appreciate Mr. Aliko Dangote for extending his kind gestures to the people at the bottom of the pyramid and we are grateful for supporting us in government. There is a lot of global disruption in different parts of the world, and it is a tough time to be in a position of leadership,” he said.

He encouraged other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Dangote, saying the distribution of the rice would support the initiative of the state in addressing the effects of the economic hardship.

Justifying the food intervention in Lagos, Dangote said: “While our traditional Ramadan food distribution has been focused on the Muslim Community, we recognize that the current circumstances where a significant proportion of Nigerians across the nation are experiencing severe hardship due to the prevailing high prices of food, require that we broaden our program to cover communities of all faiths.

“This is why we are extending the Ramadan initiative to cover all the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory as a testament to our commitment to supporting our communities in line with our core values and the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

The CEO of the ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, said the Foundation is partnering credible NGOs, civil societies, religious bodies among others to ensure the donations go to the most vulnerable in Lagos State.

She said the Foundation is guided by a vision of empowering Africans to achieve their self-actualization and full potential as it believes that every individual, regardless of their circumstances, deserves the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

“In times of hardship, it is imperative that we stand together as one nation, one community, extending a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in their time of need as we have done with our female empowerment programme in Lagos State which targeted 40,000 (Forty thousand) disadvantaged women,” she added.

Group Executive Director Commercial Operations at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Fatima Aliko-Dangote, noted that the flag off in Lagos was a follow-up to the 120,000 bags distributed in Kano on Saturday, said the intervention is targeted to reach the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.

“We have been doing this for a while but we didn’t publicise it because our chairman believes this is between him and God but this year we decided to publicise it so that we can encourage and inspire others to do so.

“There are many other things the Dangote foundation is also doing. We are also serving 2,500 breads all over Lagos daily. We started this in 2020 during COVID-19. Also in our hometown in Kano, we have been doing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past 35 years. The foundation has invested in many things. Years back, we gave women some money to be able to invest in their businesses,” she said.

Speaking further, Dangote said that Lagos State held a special place in the hearts of the Group, hosting two of its major investments – Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Dangote Fertiliser Plant.

He disclosed that the Dangote Group is also working on the nutrition agenda and has made significant strides in food fortification, investing in iodized salt and vitamin A fortified sugar.

He stressed that the Group actively promotes food fortification within the Nigerian food industry and is exploring fortification methods for staples like rice and wheat and bouillon cubes to help ensure improved nutrition nationwide.

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Food

Ogun State Government Extends Easter and Ramadan Palliative Relief Efforts

Distribution of palliative to worshipers at the Reverend Mellor Methodist Church, Agbowa, Sagamu, this Sunday.

In line with the festive spirit of Easter and ongoing Ramadan observance, the Ogun State government has continued its distribution of palliatives across the state’s three senatorial districts. This initiative aims to alleviate the economic strains faced by residents amidst prevailing challenges.
The recent phase of distribution primarily targeted Christian communities, with many churches receiving the palliative offerings. Notably, some mosques also benefitted from this gesture, which is spearheaded by Governor Dapo Abiodun. The distribution, which included essential items such as rice, occurred on both Friday and Sunday across various churches and mosques within the state.
In the Ogun Central Senatorial District, congregants at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Ake, SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Isale Ake, and the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) in Ijaiye, Abeokuta South Local Government Area, were among the beneficiaries. Expressing gratitude, recipients praised the governor’s compassionate gesture, acknowledging its role in alleviating the suffering of the people. Ven. Superior Joseph Talon, Mr. Abeeden Hammed, and Mrs. Julianah Adesanya conveyed their heartfelt appreciation and extended prayers for Governor Abiodun’s successful tenure.
Similarly, in the Ogun East Senatorial District, worshippers at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, C&S, Orisun Emi Alafia, and the United Baptist Church in Sagamu were recipients of the palliative support. Individuals such as Mr. Emmanuel Adetunji, Mrs. Adenike Adekoya, and Mr. Oludayo Soyemi expressed their appreciation for Governor Abiodun’s commitment to the welfare of citizens, pledging continued support for his administration’s endeavors.
Bishop Bamidele Ibikunle of the Remo Diocese, Methodist Church Nigeria, described the palliative distribution as a welcome development. He emphasized its significance in alleviating the uncertainties surrounding sustenance during the festive period. The sentiment was echoed by other religious leaders and congregants who highlighted the relief provided by the gesture, particularly amid challenging times.
The distribution spanned various churches including St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral Ake, Abeokuta (Ogun Central); St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Sagamu (Ogun East); SS Peter & Paul Catholic Cathedral Adatan Abeokuta (Ogun Central); and Catholic Cathedral Ijebu Ode (Ogun East), among others.
Additionally, some Islamic faithful across the state also received palliatives on Friday, with distributions taking place in mosques. During the distribution at the Ijebu-Ode Central Mosque, the Grand Chief Imam, Sheikh Miftaudeen Ayanbadejo, emphasized the need for temporary border openings to address the current hardship in the country effectively.
Amidst expressions of gratitude, residents like Mrs. Aminat Quadri and Lawal Sikiru lauded the government’s efforts in meeting the needs of the people during these challenging times. Furthermore, at the Ilaro Central Mosque, Chief Imam Alhaji Tajudeen Adewunmi appreciated Governor Abiodun’s commitment to bringing relief to the people, acknowledging the profound impact of the gesture in alleviating their suffering.
Beyond palliative distributions, Governor Abiodun’s administration has embarked on various social welfare initiatives, including cash awards to indigent learners in public primary and secondary schools, as well as disbursements to Ogun State students in higher institutions across the country. These efforts underscore the government’s dedication to improving the lives of residents and fostering inclusive development across the state.

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