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Senate Approves Establishment Of National Agricultural Development Fund

The Senate has approved the establishment of the National Agricultural Development Fund for the purpose of providing finance to support strategic aspects of agricultural development of Nigeria.

This followed the clause-by-clause consideration of the report presented by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development by the lawmakers during plenary on Wednesday, March 24.

Chairman of the committee, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, had earlier presented the report.

Adamu also noted that the Bill was read for the second time on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

According to him, the Bill seeks to promote and provide for finance to support agriculture development in the country in order to ensure food production and food security in Nigeria.

“Also to provide finance for the implementation of policies and to strengthen agricultural institutions.

“It also seeks to encourage donor institutions to provide funding for the agriculture sector to ensure increased food production,” Adamu said.

He said that the Bill therefore showed that the availability of the fund would meet these requirements among others.

“With government’s commitment to make agriculture the mainstay of our economy, it is only right to make enabling laws for the purpose of providing sustainable funding for agriculture development in Nigeria.”

This, he said would be to take into consideration the critical need to address food production and food security, job creation and international competitiveness in agriculture sector in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said that the establishment of the National Agricultural Development Fund would transform the Nigerian economy and ensure job creation.

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Development

Borno To Train 100 Journalists On Capacity Building

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has announced plans to sponsore 100 journalists for capacity building training at the University of Maiduguri.

Zulum disclosed this at the Triennial Delegates Conference of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Communications and Stategy, Malam Isa Gusau, the governor said he requested the University to organise a certificate training programme for the journalists to be funded by the state government.

He urged the council to nominate its members to participate in the programme to enhance their capacities.

While reiterating commitment to run an open door policy, Zulum assured continued support to the journalists to enable them to discharge their duties.

The Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Babakura Abba-Jato, lauded the delegates and contestants for the peaceful conduct of the exercise.

Abba-Jato represented by Baba Shiekh-Lawan, urged the contestants to accept the outcome of the election in the spirit of sportsmanship.

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Development

We Will End Crude Oil Theft Through Deployment Of Technology- F.G

The Federal Government has restated its determination to end crude oil theft through the deployment of technology as well as additional security measures.

Mohammed made the remarks at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday after an aerial surveillance of the Trans-Forcados oil pipeline in Rivers state.

According to a statement by Segun Adeyemi, special assistant to the president on media in the office of the minister, Mohammed said the measures taken so far have started bearing results, as 210 suspects have been arrested, and 365 illegal refining sites destroyed.

“The continued campaign by the government security agencies (GSAs) have led to the arrest of 210 suspects and confiscation of 20.2 million liters of AGO, 461.8 thousand liters of PMS, 843.6 thousand liters of DPK, and 383.5 thousand barrels of crude oil,” he said.

An additional 365 illegal refining sites were destroyed, with about 1,054 refining ovens, 1,210 metal storage tanks, 838 dugout pits, and 346 reservoirs destroyed by the GSAs.

“We witnessed first-hand a number of illegal refineries destroyed by our military in the course of our aerial surveillance.”

Mohammed said many vehicles, crude mining and bunkering equipment, such as speed boats, wooden boats, trucks and tankers, have also been confiscated.

He said private security contractors were also engaged to provide local intelligence on all illegal crude ventures happening within the region, adding that the contractors were also engaged for security surveillance services to ensure safe and seamless operations along the country’s pipeline networks.

“The new security architecture leverages collaboration between the upstream operators, industry regulators, government security agencies (GSA), and private security contractors (PSC),” the minister said.

 

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Development

Nigeria Has A Revenue, Not Debt Problem- Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that contrary to widespread insinuations, Nigeria’s problem is that of revenue and not debt.

Ahmed stated this in an address at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum in New York, while responding to earlier remarks by the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, who said Nigeria needs help in tackling its debt burden.

Ahmed disagreed, arguing that Nigeria has set a debt-to-GDP ceiling at 40 per cent, which the country is yet to exceed and added that Nigeria’s revenue generation is low right now.

“We do have a revenue problem and this revenue problem, we’re tackling using the instrument of the strategic revenue initiative, the revenue challenges we have we have been addressing in a systematic manner,” she added.

Ahmed further stated that the country has a very significant impact in revenue performance based on the issues in the oil sector, which is being addressed by the security agencies.

“There are some ineffective tax incentives that are currently in process of being review, so some that have reached maturity will not be renewed, there might be some new ones that are being introduced, but we’re trying to make sure that we’re getting value for the investments that we have provided.”

She said the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI) is designed around three thematic areas: achieve sustainability, identify new and enhance existing revenue stream and achieve collision within the revenue ecosystem — alignment between our people and our truths.

The minister said the government has taken on some innovative approaches to financing infrastructure, giving an example of road infrastructure for tax rebate.

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