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Business & Finance

Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Govs, NANTS seek 10% of 2013 budget for agric sector TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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s stakeholders in the African continent committed to food security converged on Abuja yesterday to appraise the level of countries’ compliance with the Maputo Declaration on agric sector budgets, state governors, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and small holder farmers have called for improved budgetary allocation to the agric sector in the years ahead. Speaking at the Maputo Declaration Dialogue sponsored by his association in collaboration with

Oxfam International, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, amongst other key partners, NANTS President, Barrister Ken Ukaoha, urged African leaders to be committed to the implementation of the Maputo Declaration in order to tackle the challenges of nutritional insecurity and poverty in the continent. Ukaoha, who lamented that four years after Heads of State and Governments in Africa openly pledged to increase public sector funding on agriculture to 10 per cent in their various countries, experience continued to show that only a negligible por-

tion of their yearly budgets go to the sector. Citing various resolutions taken at various fora by the African leaders to support agric sector development in their domains over the past decade to justify his submissions, the NANTS boss noted that to continue to pay lip service to the conventions, action plans and declarations would worsen the socio-economic problems confronting the continent. He said the results the organisers of the forum expected from the dialogue, which had ECOWAS, ActionAid Nigeria, Oxfam, IFAD, Governors and National Assembly representatives in at-

tendance, is a renewed regional commitment to compliance with the minimum 10 per cent of national budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector in the countries. In his remarks at the forum, Nigeria Governors’ Forum representative, Alhaji Abdullateef Shittu,said “it would be a laudable achievement to have to have the agriculture budget increased to 10 per cent of the Federal Budget under the upcoming 2013 budget” He however explained that it would translate to nothing if at the end of the year only 2 per cent of the allocated funds are

released to the MDAs for utilisation. Shittu pointed out further that “while we push for an increase in budgetary allocation, we should also plan for the outcomes and impacts that we desire from these increases. Some farmers, including Mrs. Maria Nyasa from Benue State, Eli Hannaniya from Taraba State and Prince Felix Ojei from Ebonyi,who spoke on appropriation for agriculture sector urged the Federal Government to target small holder farmers in the grassroots in order to make the Agricultural Transformation Agenda achieve the desired objectives.

NAAPE bemoans neglect of NCAT OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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L-R: Director of School, Admin, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Mercy Olaoye; Deputy Director, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Bunmi Ogunlade; Public Relation and Event Manager, Dufil Prima Food Plc, Ashiwaju Tope and Dr. Christy Omotuyole Department of Arts and Social Science, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, during the Indomie Teachers’ Seminar ‘Montessori Theory and Application in Nigerian Classroom in Lagos yesterday.

M-payment: Ericsson suggests alliance for Nigerian licencees KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ollowing the lull being witnessed in the proper take-off of the licensed mobile money operators in Nigeria, global Information and Communication Technology company, Ericsson, has advocated building necessary alliances as one of the measures to be taken by the licences to move forward. Ericsson Country Manager in Nigeria, Mr. Kamar Abass, made the recommendation during a roundtable stakeholder engagement programme to advance next generation M-commerce held with leaders from the banking, financial, telecoms and government sectors of the country held in Lagos yesterday. The focus of the gathering was to explore opportunities across the eco-system for accelerating the adoption of next generation M-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa, noting that mobile money operation is a subset of mobile commerce, which all requires adequate collaborations among the players

to achieve success. According to Abass, “Licensed mobile money operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria need robust alliances and partnership with each other in order to build the level agent network required in the country as well as deplotying next gen technology solutions, robust enough to offer various innovative services to the large number of mobile phone users in the country.” Speaking further on mobile commerce, Abass explained that m-commerce represents the leading edge of innovations that are sustaining and boosting momentum in Africa’s telecoms industry. “This boost will be beneficial, as it has been with mobile voice and data’s growth, to other industry sectors as well, banking, retail and utilities, in particular. All stand to benefit from the transformational efficiency and productivity gains made accessible by these exciting, new applications,” he said. The round table follows the release of a new report from Ericsson’s ConsumerLab, which

maps out the potential of transformation within m-commerce across the region of sub-Saharan Africa. Based on in-depth, extensive interviews with mobile phone users in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania, the report found that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their personal budgets; the speed and convenience of m-commerce points to great potential in the market; current behaviors and social structures indicate that the use of mobile payment services will expand; and that consumers need more information about the functionality and security of mcommerce transactions. Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab., Anders Erlandsson, who presented the survey, said consumers told Ericsson researchers that they used mobile payment services for person-toperson transfers and purchasing airtime on their mobile subscriptions, and that they liked the convenience of accessing money everywhere and at any time, regardless of service hours.

he National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) on Tuesday in Abuja expressed dissatisfaction at the slow pace of growth in the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria over the years by the government. The leadership of the association also reaffirmed its loyalty and support to the transformation agenda of the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah. The executive members of NAAPE had paid a courtesy call on the aviation minister in Abuja. A statement signed by the Special Assistant, Media to the minister, Mr. Joe Obi and made available to journalists stated that the President of the association, Mr. Isaac Balami said that if past governments in the country had focused attention on NCAT, the institution would have leap-

frogged from its present comatose state and contribute to the growth of the sector. Balami, according to Obi stressed the desire of its members to see the college offers postgraduate courses to improve the capacity of the industry in Nigeria.Balami further dissociated its members from what he described as “not interested in the growth and development of the sector in Nigeria.” He stated that the association was not only interested in, but also ready to galvanise its members to work with the minister to enable her realise her vision for the industry. The statement reads in part, “We are interested in making this industry work, we are interested in supporting the government and we are going to do our best to help her realise her vision for the sector.

Nigeria becomes Guinness largest market ELLA OLAMIJU

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igeria is now the number one market for Guinness Foreign Extra Stout brand by net sales according to Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc. According to a statement by Diageo, net sales of the popular brew rose by seven per cent in Africa in the past year. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout was first exported to Sierra Leone as far back as 1827, and has since grown to become one of the largest beer brands on the continent selling 34 bottles a second. Nigeria was home to the first brewery to produce Guinness Foreign Extra Stout outside of the British Isles in 1963 when their Ikeja brewery was built. This beer is now exported into Great Britain where the reported net sales is now well over N500m and is partly re-

sponsible for the latest accolade as the largest Guinness stout market in the world, the company said. Since 1963 Guinness Foreign Extra Stout has soared in popularity so much so that significant investments of £225m were made during the past year to expand production capacity at its brewery sites in Ogba and Benin and further support its growth potential in Nigeria to meet the growing demand for Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Nigeria Plc’s leading lager brand Harp. Inspired by a legacy of Guinness advertising, demand for Guinness has also been driven by some ground-breaking marketing activations and consumer engagement initiatives in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Football is a passion shared by Nigerians and has been a key association with which to connect with Guinness consumers.

Thursday, August 30, 2012  

All the fact,...all the sides

Thursday, August 30, 2012  

All the fact,...all the sides

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