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FRlDAY,AUGUSf24,2012

iDf~d~itry~___~_________._

'Investment climate in Nigeria still hostile' HE Executh'e Kaduna Chainnan, State lloard or lnternal Re-.'Cnue, Prnf. Mohammed Tanka, has s lid investment climate in I~igt·ria is still not comluci\ e. Tanko, in 11 paper presenb.>d duriog the 12th Kaduna State Fmductivily Day and Ho nours Award ill kadulla a ll 1l1U~ay, ad\ised busillts;men in Nigeria to bdp :-e.'amp the economy, 10 the p3pt' f I titled -rransfomling Nigeria's Economy through Producti,ity In.:pro\'emenl Initiath'es~, he !:aid tlmt electricity supply a nd corruption remained critical factors t,) >!CO nomic de-.·eloRment in Nigeria. ~ A rt.cent sun"t'y carried out b~ J th~ Wodd Bank show tha t ti le nation's manuf uri ng co mpanies lost a ul 4,3 per cent of theil saI'''S I- wcems to electric tyuutag!S "~ut 2.3 Joe " cent of sales were lost to X rruplion, while the SeIYu:'!:s Sector lost6.3 l per cent tc epileptic power supply, -rhe survey concluded that Njgelia 's in\'eStment

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climate is still hostile ," Tanko said. He advised government to be more proactive, adding that o n our individual basis, we need to contribute one thing or the other to grow our economy no matter how small",

Tanko said land, labour, capital and entrepreneu rshi p played significant roles in the quantit}' and qua lity of outputs. He said some of the factors hindering developing nations like

Nigeria from optimising their production capacity included high cost or doing business due to poor inrrastrueture and obsolete technology. Tanko said that low quality labour foree due to absence of a comprehensl\'e

on manpower policy de.:elopment was a lso affecting the economic growth of most developing nations. -nle combine effect o f tllese ractors is low producti\~ty, which ultimately lowers the

NISE R boss wants s ubs idy on rice production Kwlle Fala)i HE Direc.tor-Generai, T Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic

' L~R: Coordinator, Sou th -West Farmers and Food Security &hibition, Dr, Akin Ajiooye; Director 0/ Finallce, Mrs. Jwnoke Odeyemi; and Marketillg Virector, Mr, VIctor Fatall/a,during apresscoliferenceon the/ood seclJrityexhibitioll, in Lngos ... on Thursday. Photo: OIatunji Ooosa

Inveslbment in agric, key to youth empowerment - IFAD Layi Adeit.ye N C REA :i I N G illl'estme-nts in research ag ri cult ura l for develo pffi' :nt could bring it,he much-awaited agric ult uraJ I ransf :mnation to Africa and h>!lJl address the rising w3.\' ! of you th unemployment and its attendant po\-eJ1y, the President, In ternational Fund for {.gricultural Development, I>r Kanayo Nwanu , has said. A ~tatemejlt o n talk deli....e red at tlle InternaliOIl.11 Institute

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as sa)~ ng tilat [\I rica, and indeed. NigeriaJ should not shy a .....ay frum lurnmitting more rf'SOlpt'es to agricultural rei eareh and d evelopment i~ tl ley really want to witJ1t~d all Mrican Green Revolutij ·n. • Ag,ric rd each is the comers:one of de-.'elopmen t.., 1 i. is the vehicle that ; conveys developmen t a l d we must invest in it: he ;aid. Nwat1Zt! atSt, supported calls ' fOl' i'l\ estments to rejuvl~1tate resean:h institutions, sHch as UTA-a lHlsiti ) I t ear lier made by Nigella s fonner President )Iusegun Obasanjo.

quality and quantit}' of outputs," he said. Tanko said that gO\'emments' policies we re the lIIost important delenninants to overcome the producti\~ty challenges confronti ng Nigeria a nd other dC\'Ctoping nations.

According to him, such investments will have a positive trickledown effect on the youths by way of gene rating impro\-ed tech nologies that could attract you ths to. agriculture and also b uild their capacities in solvi ng both present and future challenges to food security, Citing research studies, Nwanze said that for e\'ery dollar invested in agricultural research, returns o n investments we re abou t $9 in subSaharan Africa. In 2003, African governments marle a commi tmen t to alloca te, at least, 10 percent of na tion al budgets to agriculture but no t many have actually met the ta rge t. Consequently, low investments in agriculture places Africa in a disadvantaged position behind its Asian a nd Latin Ame rican counterpa rts in a reas such as irrigation, ferti lizer usage, and advanced seed technology, Despite its agr.uian nature, Africa spends billions of dollars each yca rimporting food, including 45 percelll of its rice and 85 percent of its wheat. Nwanze, ill the lecture titled, ~Reju\'enati o n :

Investing in agriculture for the future of Nigeria and its you ng peoplr ," said tha t Africa could tunl around its 'fortunes' fo r the better by pa)~ng more attention to agriculture. ~Our leade rs need to know this. If we are thinking of investing in Ihe future of our children, then we m ust think agriculture. The inlpaet of Gross Domestic Product by agriculture in any country is n~ice that o f other sectors, ~ he explained. Nwanze, a Nigerian, who was part of those that led IITA's work on the biocontrol of cassava mealybug in Afdca in the

early 1980s, said that the success of the biocontrol programme was able to save cassava-a staple to more than 200 million people in Africa, 111at is, every dollar inves ted in biocontrol research had saved one person in Africa. 1-lesaidthebreaJ...1hrough in tlle biocontrol program also demonstrated the importance o f agri cultural research, stressing that even the Green Revolution in Asia was a product of agricultural research, The IFAD president said thatthe gro'l~ngpopula ti on

in Africa, wh ich in the case of Nigeria, would double by 2050, demanded more

attention to agri cultu re. ~'Ibis is the only way to have regional stability, coh esion, peace, a nd development," he said. He commended UTA for its work on agricultural research, and pledged IFAD's support in rejuvenating the Institute. InA Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, said that the growing yout h population is both an opportuni ty and a 'time bomb' for Africa. -nleyareanopportunity if we convert their energies toagri cultura ldevelopment but tlley could be a 't ime bomb' if we fail to do so,~ he e);plained.

Research, Prof, Adesoji Adesanya, has said rice produelion can only be imprm'ed in Nigeria if the Federal Go\'emment subsidises it. He ooted local rice, which had a better nutritional value than imported rice, was not doing well economically, when compared "ith the im ported variety. The don, who spoke during a semina r organised by NISER in [hadan on Wednesday. explained that the economic ... alue that should ha\'e been derived from local rice was being eroded because mort Nigerians were consuming the imported variety. He said, ~"gricuhure requires more subsidies so that it does not die off. That is why some \illages in parts of the country tllal are known for the production of local rke no longer do it. ·What we need to do is to sensitise Nigerians on the need to consume more of local ri ce. TIle local rice contains more protein, which o ne cannot find in Ihe imported rice because of its processing. We also need better technology in processing Nigerian rice so that we can get rid of the odour and stones. ~

Afrom edia pledges reward for stakeholders Layi AdclDye

SHAREHOLDERS

of Afromedia Nigeria Pic, Nigeria's leading out-()r· home media company, ha\'e been assured oi adequate reward through consistenl dh-idend pa}ment for their perse...eram:e and loyalty, even in the face of glob;ll economic downturn. The company's Chainnan, Dr, Onaolapo Soleye, who stated th is at the 46th Annual General Meeting in Lagos, said Afromedia remained undaun ted and would fOl'!;e ahead to ensure

Ulat shareholders still bad something to smile about, despite the Nigerian capital markefs slugg,ish pace of reco\'C1)' from global financial and economic crises, He said, · Despite all the challenges, n'C are pleased 10 infonn you that the Hoard of Directors has recommended payment or dh~dend to registered shareholders. Not just that, shareholders "ill be given a bonus Dr onenewshare for every 20 existing ordinary shares held in the company.· SoIl.")'C said th is ll'a:i the company's wayo r appreciating shareholders for their

conlinued commitment to tlle almpanyduring theyear, He added that as the Nigerian business en';ronment gradually returned to stability, the company had allltinued to position itself for the future, leveraging on its strong base in research and de-."tIopment activities as will as its international alliances to disco...er and exploit eme~ing opportun ities, botli within the local and offshore African markets. ·We are detennined and committed to excellence and 10 slr.ttegic expansion

of its business for impro\'ed penomlance in tile longternl and will continue to invest in strategic businesses throughout the aluntI)' and beyond ,~ Soleye said. Afromedia Pic came illto being as an independent private autonomous media on October 28, 1959. As Nigeria's leading su pplier of Dut~f-home mooia Sl:'rvices to tile advertising induslJ}', Afromedia "'as originally a small service. ami !if west Africa Publicity, the latter itself was incorporated in 1928, as part of the parent United Africa Company Limited.


THE PUNCH, 24 AUGUST, 2012