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FG Plans “Operation Feed Yourself” Over Food Security In Nigeria

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FG Plans "Operation Feed Yourself" Over Food Security In Nigeria
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FG Plans “Operation Feed Yourself” Over Food Security In Nigeria

Nigeria is considering an “Operation Feed Yourself” initiative to encourage the establishment of urban farms and small home gardens in the country.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the initiative, which was part of efforts to address malnutrition in Nigeria, would be under the auspices of the National Economic Council and the National Council on Nutrition.

Mr Osinbajo was speaking on Monday at a High-Level Meeting on Nutrition, monitored by Voice of Nigeria.

According to the report, the meeting was attended by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, State Governors, representatives of development partners including UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Aliko Dangote Foundation, and convener of the UN Food System Dialogue, Mrs. Olusola Idowu who is also the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning Ministry.

FG Plans “Operation Feed Yourself” Over Food Security In Nigeria

The Plan

The plan for “Operation Feed Yourself” is one of three major plans arising from the UN-backed Food Systems Dialogues, to advance the fight against malnutrition.

Others are providing support to farmers across the country, especially by providing useful weather and soil pattern information that will improve farming yields, and also encouraging State Governments to ensure prompt release of budget for nutrition and related activities.

At the meeting, presentations were made by the Deputy Secretary-General, the Dialogue Convener; Oyo State government, which already has an integrated farming model; and the Director-General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet on how weather information can be helpful to farmers.

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According to the Vice President, “there are practical steps that can be taken by the States and Federal Government in the next 12 months.

“I think that some of the suggestions are important, especially those that have come from the UN Food System Dialogue.”

Different Stages

The VP listed the different stages as; the establishment of Agribusiness Investment Hubs or farm settlements; the establishment of urban farms and homestead gardens by individuals and schools; the adoption of weather information to support farming; leveraging the support of the UN agencies and other partners for nutrition activities, and the call on MDAs and States to release funding for nutrition activities.

“States and the FGN will promote what the convener has described as “Operation Feed Yourself”. This is more of the establishment of urban farms and homestead gardens. This is simply something that we think should be a mass appeal to citizens in the States, and the encouragement we can give them so that individuals and schools develop their own farms or homestead gardens,” the VP noted.

He said, “This obviously not only helps individuals and families but the excess can be sold to others and generally improve food security.

“The establishment of Agribusiness Investment Hubs or farm settlements or farm estates or any variety of those kinds of integrated farming arrangements will improve food and nutrition security. What we are recommending is the sort of model that Oyo State has or any of the variety that States have. That sort is obviously recommended because of the way that it is structured and the obviously good result that they have been getting.”

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Funding of Nutrition

Speaking about the funding of nutrition and related activities by MDAs and States, the VP noted that “this is something that we have made a point of importance even at the National Economic Council meetings.

“It is one of the action points as defined in the food transformation pathways which we already have issued and we are hoping that these budget releases will be specifically directed at the action points defined in the transformation pathways because these are ways by which we have identified that we can gain maximum traction in food security.”

“We urge the States to budget adequately for nutrition. Each MDA and State should adopt the national priority list, make budgetary provisions for those who haven’t concluded their 2022 annual budgets. I think there is still time to make adequate budgetary provision for nutrition in the 2022 budgets,” the VP explained.

Mr Osinbajo urged State governments to adopt partnerships that can be effective in scaling up nutrition and related activities.

FG Plans “Operation Feed Yourself” Over Food Security In Nigeria

He said: “it is also clear that we can leverage on the support of the UN Agencies and other partners like the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, FCDO, United States Agency for International Development USAID, and the World Bank as well as our development partners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Aliko Dangote Foundation.

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“The Aliko Dangote Foundation was able to show what they have been doing especially with de-risking facilities that could be used by farmers in the various localities all over the country.”

UN Agenda

Acknowledging the leadership of Nigeria to the UN agenda 2030 and the Africa Union agenda 2063, Mrs Amina Mohammed said the solution to many of the challenges associated with malnutrition lie in Nigeria’s recent commitment through the Food Systems Summit process.

“I will like to pay tribute to the leadership of the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo, and to the efforts of the Mrs Olusola Idowu, as the national convener of the virtual engagement by His Excellency at the pre-summit and clear, focused, ambitious national pathways that were published ahead of the Food Systems Summit in September.

“At the Summit itself, His Excellency the President made decisive and inspiring commitments, and all these efforts of the emerging pathways, Nigeria has demonstrated a holistic approach to the Food Systems transformation which really underpins that transformation that it is about climate, it is about nutrition and about an inclusive economy,” she explained.

On his part, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi said despite dwindling financial resources, the States will continue to “push on the frontier of improvement in nutritional issues.”

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MTN Nigeria launches sale of shares to Nigerians

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MTN Nigeria launches sale of shares to Nigerians
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MTN Nigeria launches sale of shares to Nigerians

MTN Nigeria Plc (MTN) has announced the trial of e-SIM services on its network based on approvals received from the Federal Government.

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTNN) has announced the price of its initial public offering to retail investors.

The company is making 575 million of its shares available to the public at N169 per unit, the telecoms heavyweight said on Tuesday.

Sales will open at 8:00 am on December 1 and close at 5:00 pm on December 14. It is the first time the company will invite subscriptions from the public nearly two years after it debuted on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

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MTNN made the disclosure in a statement on the NGX website, signed by Company Secretary Uto Ukpanah and seen by newsmen.

“The minimum subscription is for 20 shares and lots of 20 shares thereafter. The offer includes an incentive in the form of 1 free share for every 20 shares purchased, subject to a maximum of 250 free shares per investor,” he said.

“The incentive is open to retail investors who buy and hold the shares allotted to them for at least 12 months, post the allotment date.”

This retail offer will be delivered via a digital platform, the first in Nigeria. By using the power of technology, the telco intends to facilitate the maximum possible participation by Nigerian investors, MTNN said.

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Commenting on the price announcement, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, said: “The success and growth of MTN Nigeria is intrinsically linked to that of Nigeria and Nigerians. Therefore, we are very excited to offer Nigerians the opportunity to own shares in MTN Nigeria.”

“Our journey to becoming the largest network in Nigeria has been humbling, but we still have a long way to go. There is much more to do to support the evolution of an inclusive digital economy, and we continue to invest as we evolve into a truly digital operator, capable of seamlessly integrating value across the evolving telecommunications, digital and fintech segments.”

The MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Rolph Mupita, said the offer aligns with MTN Group’s strategic priority to create shared value.

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“In the last 20 years, we have worked diligently to connect 68 million subscribers onto voice and data networks and ensure that we deliver the benefits of modern connected life. With this Offer, we will contribute to the further deepening of Nigeria’s equity capital markets. It is the first in a series of transactions as the MTN Group implements its plans to ensure broad-based ownership by reducing its shareholding in MTN Nigeria to 65% over time.

This move is a broader arrangement to enlarge its market capacity to other African countries including Zambia and Uganda.

MTNN’s shares, listed in Lagos, closed at N190 per unit on Tuesday, recording no movement.

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks - Putin
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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, voiced his criticism regarding the state of the criticism sector at the “Russian Calling” investment forum in Moscow.

According to local news outlet lenta.ru, the president made the following remarks, as translated: “It is not backed by anything, [and] the volatility is colossal, so the risks are very high. We also believe that we need to listen to those who talk about those high risks.”

Putin called for the greater monitoring and regulation of cryptocurrencies and pointed out that certain countries worldwide are seeing significant adoption of digital currencies. Currently, cryptocurrency regulation is still in its infancy in Russia. Although the government is considering the launch of a central bank digital currency, at least eight federal laws and five legislative codes must be changed for the digital ruble to take effect.

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

Furthermore, no regulation exists in the country regarding cryptocurrency mining. This has led some to claim that $2 billion in crypto mining revenue is generated annually in Russia, but on that, no taxes are paid. Due to the lack of a regulatory framework, cryptocurrency use has soared among ordinary Russians, with transactions surpassing $5 billion each year.

In other parts of the former Soviet Union, cryptocurrencies are also rapidly gaining in traction. Kazakhstan has become the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) miner by hash rate, and its president is seeking to collect more taxes from such activities to fund the country’s expenses. In Ukraine, the government is actively encouraging legal crypto operations. Last year, the city of Olsztyn, Poland, began adopting the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain for emergency services.

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Buhari: Agric Varsities Should Tackle Dependence On Imported Food

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Buhari: Agric Varsities Should Tackle Dependence On Imported Food
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Buhari: Agric Varsities Should Tackle Dependence On Imported Food

Nigeria agricultural policy is focused on achieving sustainable green policy.

The President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.), stated this on Saturday in Umuahia at the 10th convocation of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.

He noted that Nigeria universities of agriculture “must play their crucial specialized role in catalysing the development of the agriculture sector.

Represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, the President said, “We have challenges, of funding, no doubt, but our endowments are far greater than our constraints.

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“Government expects that universities of agriculture should bravely confront the heavy dependence of our nation on imported food and raw materials with the view to reducing it to the minimum at the shortest possible time.”

Buhari: Agric Varsities Should Tackle Dependence On Imported Food

He noted that universities of agriculture were established with the strong conviction that they were cardinal tools for the rapid transformation of Nigeria agricultural sector, which he said “remains a major driver in industrial development, diversification from heavy dependence on non-renewable mineral oil, as well as achieving self-sufficiency in food production for local consumption”.

He said he expected “universities of agriculture, rapid development of the knowledge and skills to increase local production of food and raw materials” adding that his government was making efforts to put in place, policies and programmes to strengthen agencies and parastatals to provide an enabling environment for increased productivity.

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