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Enugu Farmers Hail Ugwuanyi’s Interventions In Agriculture

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Enugu Farmers Hail Ugwuanyi’s Interventions In Agriculture
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Farmers in Enugu State, under the aegis of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), have commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his administration’s giant strides in the agricultural sector, especially in ensuring food security in the state in spite of the daunting challenges posed by the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

The farmers expressed delight at the support and achievements of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration in the sector, such as “the provision of seed inputs, infrastructure and mechanization for over 11,000 farmers under the FADAMA III Additional Finance” and “the provision of basic inputs, empowerment to over 700 commercial farmers and cooperatives all over the State, through the Commercial Agricultural Development Programme (CADP),” stressing that they are unparalleled and worthy of commendation.

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Other interventions, according to the farmers, include “the complete profiling and listing of 1700 farmers and farmers’ cooperatives under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Liveyhood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), soon to commence Pre-disbursement training”, and “the provision of intervention fund in support of Agricultural Development in Rice and Cassava production in 5 Local Government Areas in Enugu State, namely: Aninri, Nkanu East, Isi-Uzo, Enugu East and Udenu, under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)”.

Speaking when they paid a courtesy visit to State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Matthew Idu, to felicitate with Gov. Ugwuanyi on the New Year, the Chairman of AFAN, Enugu State Chapter, Chief Romanus .A. Ezeh, also applauded the state government for “the provision of critical infrastructure and development of Agricultural productivity in rice, cassava and sorghum in counterpart with the African Development Bank through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme I (ATAPS1)” and “the provision of farm inputs, fertilizers, improved seeds and Agro chemicals to over 2000 Rice and Cassava farmers under the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES)”.

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AFAN Chairman said that the farmers were “indeed very proud to be associated with the giant strides”, and urged all their members to gear up for the coming farming season as they are assured of even greater support from the state government.

“While we continue to express gratitude to His Excellency the Governor, the Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture and indeed the State Government for all the support to the farmers in the State, we urge all our members to gear up for the coming farming season as we are assured of even greater support from the state government”, he said.

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Enugu State is in the hands of God!

 

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FG To Pay 24 Million Poor Nigerians N5,000 Each – Sadiya Farouq

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FG To Pay 24 Million Poor Nigerians N5,000 Each - Sadiya Farouq
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The Federal Government on Tuesday said about 24.3 million poor Nigerians would get N5,000 each for a period of six months.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, disclosed this at the inauguration of the Federal Government’s emergency intervention database for the urban poor.

A statement issued in Abuja by her aide, Nneka Anibeze, said the intervention would serve as cushion for those further impoverished by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement read in part, “According to records, about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals were identified at the end of 2020 and registered into the National Social Register.

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“Each beneficiary will receive N5,000 for a period of six months.”

Farouq said the intervention database was needed to develop the capacity for rapid response to any emergency including natural or man-made disasters.

The minister said the Rapid Response Register was designed to rapidly identify, register and provide succour to people who were not previously captured in the social register.

Speaking on the RRR, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the register deployed a wholly technology-based approach, adding that it was primed to achieve an end-to-end digital foot-print in cash transfers for the urban poor.

This, he said, would also help the government to achieve its financial inclusion policy under the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access programme.

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He said, “The groundbreaking success of the RRR now emboldens us to achieve our aspiration of a social security programme for a minimum of 20 million Nigerians in the next two years. This will be the largest of its kind on the continent.”

Osinbajo also hinted that the Federal Government would seek funding for the intervention programmes as the country deserved a social security scheme that would not only alleviate poverty but also create wealth for millions of those waiting for the opportunity.

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Osinbajo: Lifting 20 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty In 2 Years Within Reach

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STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

ESP CASH TRANSFER SCHEME:
LIFTING 20 MILLION NIGERIANS OUT OF POVERTY IN NEXT 2 YEARS NOW WITHIN REACH, SAYS OSINBAJO

*VP adds: Nigeria deserves social security scheme not just for poverty alleviation, but wealth creation also

*Nigeria first country in Africa to develop & test wholly technology-based approach to social protection

Following the successful activation of the Economic Sustainability Plan’s (ESP) Cash Transfer scheme aimed at delivering financial support to at least 1 million urban-based households using technology, the Buhari administration’s vision of reducing extreme poverty by lifting at least 20 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next two years is now within reach, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this Tuesday in Abuja while flagging-off, virtually, the cash transfer scheme to be facilitated through a wholly technology-based approach called the Rapid Response Register (RRR).

RRR is the means by which urban poor and vulnerable population can be speedily identified using geographic satellite technology and other related means for the purposes of delivering cash to households affected by the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

According to the Vice President “the groundbreaking success of the RRR, now emboldens us to achieve our aspiration of a social security programme for a minimum of twenty million Nigerians in the next two years. This will be the largest of its kind on the continent. This (aspiration) is, at least from the perspective of this tested approach, now well within our reach.”

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“The only constraint, of course, is the funding which we must look for because, this country deserves a social security scheme that will not merely alleviate poverty but also create wealth for the millions of those who are waiting for this opportunity.

“Our government launched the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) in 2017 to provide the framework for institutionalizing the work we started since 2016 on reducing extreme poverty in Nigeria, based on our administration’s vision to create a comprehensive social security programme for the poor and vulnerable and thereafter the pledge to lift 100 million Nigerian’s out of poverty in ten years.”

The Vice President maintained that the launch of the (RRR) social protection method of targeting, which is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, would enable Nigeria tackle poverty in a more systematic manner, leveraging technology to expand the scope of the interventions.

His words: “As of 31st December 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households. Through this project, we are currently injecting about N10 Billion directly into the hands of about 2 million poor and vulnerable people every month.

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“This is about the largest evidence-based effort by any administration on poverty reduction and its impact on the lives of the poor is huge; by way of improving the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through enhanced household purchasing power; smoothening consumption; increasing savings and acquisition of household assets; and improving the local economy. There are many more ramifications.”

Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq said the initiative would provide a gateway to other important government programmes, adding that Nigeria now has a database for impact tracking and the expansion of social interventions and related programmes, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of extending financial support to more Nigerians.

She said “By design, this register links to other databases such as banking information of respondents and national identity numbers. It is also a process that is advanced in unifying national databank towards the delivery of social development in Nigeria. There is no doubt that in future, as has been demonstrated in the previous presentation, we would be reverting to the process used here and the register itself, to aid emergency assistance”.

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On his part, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Subham Chaudhuri commended the Federal Government for the initiative, noting it as a critical component in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While pledging the support of the World Bank for the project, Mr Chaudhuri emphasized the need for stakeholders to remain transparent in the selection and disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries.

About 3,115 households received alerts of payments instantly at the flag-off of the project by the Vice President. A total of 1 million households would be impacted directly under the scheme in the next 6 months.

The Cash Transfer scheme which is part of the ESP is designed to build a shock responsive framework for capturing and registering the urban poor and vulnerable populations across Nigeria. The RRR focuses mainly on the urban poor wards selected using scientifically validated methods of satellite remote sensing technology, machine learning algorithm and big data analysis.

Also present at the event include the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige; the representative of the European Union (EU) mission in Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlsen, among others.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President

19th January 2021

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NDLEA Makes Its Largest Cocaine Seizure Of 21.9Kg In Abuja Airport

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NDLEA Makes Its Largest Cocaine Seizure Of 21.9Kg In Abuja Airport
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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) on Monday announced that it has made its largest cocaine seizure till date after it intercepted 21.9kg of cocaine at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

This was contained in a statement signed by the NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Kabir Tsakuwa, and the agency’s Spokesman, Deputy Commander of Narcotics (DCN) Jonah Achema.

Both officers said the substance was concealed in two unclaimed suite cases discovered after the arrival of Ethiopian Airline, ET 910 in Abuja from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the statement, vigilant officers of the Command became suspicious upon noticing that the two briefcases were abandoned on the conveyor belt without any passenger claiming them during the inward clearance of the flight.

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Tsakuwa, the airport commander then directed the officers to keep an eye on the suitcases and informed the Airline and its handlers of NDLEA’s interest in the luggage.

Days after the luggage were not claimed, Tsakuwa said they formally contacted the station Manager of Ethiopian Airline and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO Aviance) indicating the suspicion of the agency on the suitcases.

“I placed a standing order that NDLEA should be invited before the luggage would be released to the owner or in the event that the luggage would be returned to the point of embarkation.

“After many weeks of no claim by the owners, we informed the Airline on the need for a search to be conducted on the unclaimed suitcases.

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“The Airline officials, including the baggage handler along with the Department of State Services, Aviation Security and Nigeria Customs Service were invited to NDLEA Office where the search was conducted.

In the first suitcase, three blankets were found out of which two contained parcel of transparent nylon which housed whitish substances suspected to be hard drugs.

Field test on the substance proved positive for cocaine and weighed 10.750kg.

“The second unclaimed suitcase contained twenty-two packet shirts, one parcel of drug was concealed in each of the shirts and covered with a blue carbon paper containing a transparent nylon.

“The substance was also field-tested and proved positive for cocaine and weighed 11.150KG. The second suitcase had a baggage tag with a name Nze Lusaka U. The drug seized made a total of 21.9kg,” he said.

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The command said investigation was still ongoing and the Command was liaising with Ethiopian Airline to get more information to unravel the identity of the couriers.

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