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Agriculture Remains A Viable Means For Employment Creation – Lawan

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says agriculture remains a viable means for employment creation in Nigeria.

According to him, substantial investment in the sector by the Federal Government would guarantee food security for the country.

Lawan stated this on March 4, against the backdrop of a bill that is under consideration by the National Assembly, seeking to establish the Agricultural Development Fund.

“The agricultural sector remains unarguably the most viable means of ensuring that we create employment opportunities and that we create wealth for our people as well.

“If there is anything that needs to be done to enhance this sector, we should do so”, the Senate President said.

He noted that the establishment of the fund will make available some funds for the sector to do better and thrive, adding that same will boost the Nigerian economy and provide the much-needed food security in the country.

Earlier, sponsor of the bill, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC – Nasarawa West), leading debate on the bill, said “the current contribution of the agricultural sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 15-20 per cent with the potential for improvement through the implementation and sustenance of appropriate intervention programmes, policies and enabling laws.”

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According to the lawmaker, in spite of the policies and enabling laws, the utilisation of arable land in the country is only 40 per cent, and agriculture largely subsistence with minimal value addition.

“It will be difficult to achieve agricultural productivity and value addition required for industrial development without sustainable funding. The fact is that the current budgetary system will continue to be improved but it will be insufficient to generate the necessary transformation in the agricultural sector,” Adamu said.

The lawmaker noted, “One of the first steps that need to be taken to ensure adequate funding for the agricultural sector is the enactment of this bill in order to pave way for the creation of a mega-agency to manage viable and sustainable sources of agricultural financing.”

He added that the bill, when passed into law, would give legal backing to the establishment of the Agricultural Development Fund, and will compliment other funding development opportunities at the international and regional levels.

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Abdullahi stressed that the fund, which will be domiciled under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, would “fill the apparent gap in agricultural development in the country, especially where the mainstream government budgetary allocation is grossly inadequate.”

Senator Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central), while contributing to the debate said if passed into law, the bill would put in place the needed structure that will take care of agricultural funding in the country.

“The bank is not capitalized, stakeholders have called for recapitalization but the CBN has not responded to these calls,” he said.

The lawmaker noted that the piece of legislation besides taking care of the existing gap of funding in the agricultural sector, will promote value chain, generate employment as well as reduce poverty.

Senator Sandy Onuh (PDP– Cross River Central) said: “one of the challenges of agriculture in Nigeria is that it is predicated on subsistence.”

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“Subsistence agriculture exists because farmers do not have access to funding, they continue to be where they are year in year out.

“There is a need to establish the Agricultural Development Fund. Everyone around the world is talking about moving from subsistence to commercial farming”, the lawmaker added.

The bill which scaled second reading was referred by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for further legislative work.

The committee which is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu is expected to report back in four weeks.

Meanwhile, the Senate also on Wednesday considered a bill for an act to establish the Federal University of Agriculture, Dambatta, Kano State.

The bill which scaled second reading during plenary was sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau (APC– Kano North).

The piece of legislation was referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TETFUND for legislative input.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmed Baba Kaita (APC–Katsina North) is expected to turn in its report in four weeks.

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Bauchi C J Grants 11 Inmates Freedom in Bauchi, Cautions Sharia Judges on Sentencing Suspects of Minor Offenses

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Bauchi C J Grants 11 Inmates Freedom in Bauchi, Cautions Sharia Judges on Sentencing Suspects of Minor Offenses
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Bauchi C J Grants 11 Inmates Freedom in Bauchi, Cautions Sharia Judges on Sentencing Suspects of Minor Offenses

By Bashir Hassan Abubakar

Bauchi State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Rabi T.Umar had in her third quarter visit to Custodial Centres in the State, released a total number of eleven inmates(11) from Custodial Centres in Bauchi State Command.

A press statement signed and issued Wednesday evening by the public relations officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Bauchi State Command, SC Adam Abubakar Jibrin said during the jail delivery exercise, the Chief judge, along side members of the Administration of criminal Justice committee, comprising of the Nigerian Police, the Director Public Prosecution(DPP) from Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Bar Association Bauchi Chapter and the Controller of Corrections, toured Misau, Zaki,Gamawa and Azare Custodial Centres respectively.

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Others centres visited include Jama’are, Ningi and Bauchi Custodial Centres, where the CJ reviewed cases of awaiting trial inmates presented to her and released deserving ones.

While addressing the released inmates, the Chief Judge admonished them to be law abiding citizens and shun crime. The Chief judge also took time to address inmates with terrorism-related charges who have been languishing in custody for a long time without trial.

She assured them that government and relevant agencies are doing everything possible to address their problems, urging them to remain calm and exercise more patience.

Also addressing Sharia Court judges, the Chief Judge urged them to refrain from sentencing all manners of suspects into custody especially those with minor offences because, according to her, that brings about congestion in Custodial Centres.

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In his remarks, Controller of Corrections Bauchi State Command, CCS Kabir Abba Galadanci Commended the Chief Judge and the State government for making the visit to Custodial Centres possible.

He said the visit will go along way in decongesting the Centres and further give hope to the inmates.

Some freed inmates

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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits

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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits
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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits

Lai Mohammed says the military has already drastically reduced banditry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has called on the media to give more attention to the military’s offensive against bandits in the northwest region.

Military operations against them have been stepped up in recent weeks, with the government shutting down telecommunications services in many parts of Zamfara, Katsina, and Sokoto to cut off the bandits’ information flow.

Mohammed said during a meeting with the Katsina State government on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 that the strategy is working, and has already drastically reduced banditry.

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Lai Mohammed unhappy media is underreporting military success against bandits

The minister however lamented that the government’s positive efforts have not received the kind of media attention given to the bandits.

“There is no doubt that the table is turning against the bandits, since Katsina and other affected states came up with a number of novel measures that got the bandits boxed in, and the military stepped up its kinetic approach,” he said.

The 69-year-old said the government’s success ‘should be trumpeted’ so as to encourage more states to adopt similar measures, and boost the morale of security agencies.

He said the government is very worried about the wave of violence in the northwest region, and expressed confidence the military will soon put an end to it.

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Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits

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Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits
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Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits

House of Representatives on Wednesday called for investigation into the alleged exclusion of Rivers from projects to be financed by a fresh World Bank loan.

Solomon Bob (PDP-Rivers) had alleged in the house that Rivers is the only state that would not benefit from the loans.

He stated that the report, if true, rendered the Federal Government’s action as contrary to the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution.

He added that it would be discriminatory against the people of Rivers and capable of creating a sense of alienation, exclusion and discontent.

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Bob added that the house had a responsibility to ensure that the affairs of the federation were conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the law of equity and fairness.

This, he said, should be followed with an overriding responsibility to deploy its Constitutional powers to ensure compliance on the part of the Executive.

He added that Nigeria is a federation that professes equity, fairness and social justice and that there were several constitutional provisions prohibiting all forms of discrimination on the basis of partisan leaning, religion, place of origin or tribe.

Reps to investigate exclusion of Rivers from World Bank loan benefits

He said that some sections of the Constitution imposed a duty on the Federal Government to ensure equitable distribution of resources and projects across the federation.

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The consequently mandated its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to liaise with the office of the Adviser on National Assembly Matters to the President to ascertain the veracity of the allegation.

It also mandated the committee to revert in 14 days for further legislative action.

The house noted that if other states were listed, Rivers should be included to benefit from the projects to be executed with the fresh loan.

(NAN)

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