Page 1

THISDAY, Vol. 17, No. 6154, Page 31

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Q BusinessWORLD agric Agric: Partnering US to Make Kwara Africa's Leader Crusoe Osagje reviews the recent partnership with the United States and other steps being takeii by Kwara State to establish itself as the undisputed leader of Africa's new green revolution Agric and Lasting Devi


hird President of the US. Thomas Jefferson, once said, "1 think our government-, will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural,". A US Congressman in the 19th Century. William Jennings Bryan, appeared U> concur b\g the following: "Burn down your cine,

and leave our farms, and your alies will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in Ihe streets of every city in the country." With leaders that thought like this in the 18th and 19th century, it is easy to understand how the United States tumetl out to be the world's strongest and wealthiest inacoupleofcenturiesR>r the Governor of Kwara stale, Ahdulfaiah Ahmed, it is never loo late to take a cue from these great leaders and begin to plot how Kwara and Nigeria can emeige among the most formidable in Ihe world, through the instrumentality of the agricultural sector for which the country is blessed with potential beyond reckoning. After careful consideration, Ahmed came to the conclusion that the mosl sustainable path to economic development and prosperity of Kwara stale is through a properly coordinated green revolution. To achieve this, the governor identified ihe incontrovertible need for a master plan to transform the slate into an Agriculture Mega Ci<y. The objective, which he set out for this great plan in November 2011 were as follows: To make Kwara the major agriculture and agribusiness hub in West Africa; establish the slate as a major magnet of global agriculture investment; build the capacily of Kwara people in the practice of highly innovative and globally contemporary agriculture. It also seeks to create new jobs through massive agriculture processing to be engendered and establish depw and outlets for agricultural products and equipment.

US Partnership Setting his plan in motion last week, Ahmed said the stale is on its way lo becoming an agriculture driven economy, making global impact, through the implementation of the Kwara Agriculture Master I'lan (KAMP) in collaboration with United States Experts from Cornell University. The Governor noted this when he introduced the team of experts led by Prof. Ronnie Coffman of Ihe Cornell University New York who would work with other professors from Cornell, Kwara Stale University and the University of fllorin. Ahmed explained that with Ihe difficulties being faced by economies as they try to meet challenges of rising food need, it has become imperative lo develop the agricultural sector. "Today, we take another giant stride towards an agro trade economy, as we seek to meet me global demand for food through agriculture. We can never gel it wrong because we are heavily endowed with soil, sunshine and strong people." he said. Ahmed said that is necessary to shift from reliance on unpotts lo creating wealth for the nation and generating employment for the leeming youths. "Crude oil is not enough, we need lo put in place, a home grown economic drive through agriculture by feeding others," he saidAhmed said that KAMP is a five year development plan designed to transform Kwara state into an agricultural hub that will bring about the much desired economic growth. He also said that KAMP is borne out of a strong political will, driven by the passion foe success, noting that the programme will continue to improve on the efforts put into agricultural development by the last administration. He mentioned that the last administration did well to initiate the 'back (o farm' campaign and to resettle the 13 displaced Zimbabwean farmers, proving that it is possible to develop agriculture in Kwara. He also emphasised the need to adopt best practices whereby new methods are sought oui in order to see how others do things and possibly partner with them to domesticate these practices. He said that the learn of experts led by Professor; from Cornell University has the task of working out a unique master plan that will

â&#x20AC;˘Cows in Shonga farm, symbirl of agric revolution bnng about true agricultural growth so as to boost food production and gainful employment for the teeming young people of Kwara. The governor stressed that taking ihe demography of the slate info consideration, he observed that about 70 per cent of the stale's population was made up of youths and reasoned that agriculture will help to channel a future for the teeming youth population. He also charged the team to improve on what is on ground and develop a system of farmer compartmenialisation for nee, cassava, maize and sorghum in order to attain higher commercial levels for these crops. He noted that Kwara state is also strategically endowed with the Kwara terminal and river Niger, which serves as source for water needed to irrigate farms, stressing that by taking advantages of these, Ihe state will become a leader in food production in Nigeria. Also speaking at the briefing, the President, Chief Executive Officer of Bridge Education and Technology Institute, Dr. Adegboyega Somide, who was instrumental to bringing the Cornell University team of I'rofessors to the state, noted that it was important to continue reinventing in order to keep up with the pace of world development. Somide outlined the task before the team to include drawing up a plan that will make Kwara a centre of global agriculture investments, unleash the potential of the teeming youths in entrepreneurship and position the slate on the New York financial market. Also speaking, the leader of the team and International Prof, of Plant Breeding, Director of International I'rogrammes, Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Prof. Ronnie Coffman, said that agriculture is truly the right choice for achieving economic growth. He added that there is a lot of evidence in tile world to prove that agriculture can impact positively on a country's economy, citing Brazil a country which they also partnered with and brought in businessmen as a good example of how agriculture can transform a poor economy into a wealthy economy He said that his team has made some research â&#x20AC;˘ breakthroughs in agriculture and stressed that researches needs to be encouraged. "As an educational institution, we note Ihe problems and

come up with solutions, that is what farmers need and that is what we are here to provide," he added. The Vice-Chance I lor of Kwara Slate University, Prof. Abdul Rasheed Na'Allah, who is the 4eader of uV Local team, said that the march for greatness in Kwara is continuing very strong and will bring [wide to all stakeholders, adding that the team is clear about the goal set by the Governor. "The plan underscores our context, vision and is clearly underlined by practicality," he said. The team, which is expected to draw up and submit a localised master plan lo Governor Ahmed by June 2012, comprises of Prof. Ronnie as team leader. Prof. Harold Van Es and Prof. Peter Gregory; all from Cornell University New York. The local numbers of the team me Prof. Na'Allah the V-C of KWASU. Prof. Oluleye Funsho also of KWASU, Prof. Moshood Belewu and Dr. O.F Adekola; both from University of Tlorin.

Overall Objective The Kwara State Government says it intends to continue with the promotion of commercial agriculture as well as provide Ihe enabling environment for peasant farmers and citizens to profitably engage in agriculrure beyond nÂťere subsistence fanning and put the mechanism in place for the promotion of all season farming At the moment, the state's substantial cultivable land represents 75 3 per cent of total land area or about 2.447,250 hectares. It is a gateway between northern and southern pans of the country which makes for easy accessibility to Lagos and Abuja. A report from the stale says Kwara's vegetation ii well-suited for the cultivation of a wide variety of food crops like yams, cassava, maize. be^ns, rice, and sugar cane. "Wide array of fruits and vegetables and tree crops such as jarropha, oil palm, cashew and cocoa - and thus presents a clear comparative advantage in agriculrure", Ihe report added. "There is the existence of a large expanse of graze-able land for animal husbandry and large volumes of surface and underground water for fishing and fish farming enterprises. There currently exists various agro-allied research insti-

tutes (ARMT1, -JCAM. NISPRl, Unilorin, KWASU etc) for research into agnc inpuis such agro-chemicals, farm implements, seed bagging and so on." the report staled. The stale has created the first base line data on its farmers to ideniif) Ihe actual population of its farmers and farming families. The results indicate a clear availability of dedicated farmers who of necessity have learnt to extract tile mosl from a small resource endowment and are eager to participate in the design and implementation of activities for improving the sector's prospects. The state has introduced various initiatives in the past eight years to boost agriculture and is reputed to have tlie foremost commercial agriculture programme in the country (modelled by the Shonga farms project).There is also the existence of generic improvement schemes fur local cattle, for use by dairy industry. Also the average crop yields, per hectare of maize, rice, soya beans, cassava, fish, dairy which are saleable crops are relatively impressive and far higher than national averages with potential still for rnore improvement. In addition to these milestones, a total of 60 irrigation sites have been identified lo support the creation of a culture of all season farming. However the farmers' access lo funding needs lo be improved on as the Rapid Response mechanism for processing of agricultural hind, which is critical for success, is slow. Also social capital, mainly in the form of cooperatives and other local organisations, is still at a nascent st.ige but must be encouraged as a major thrust of (.'ovemmem's focus on agriculture, if these farmtTs are expected lo leverage the various platforms currently being provided by the government. Kwara Slate Government says il is committed 10 the development jnd expansion of its agricultural potential in order to ensure food security for its citizens; and Iransfonnation of the agricultural sector from subsistence to commercial farming to support bolh export production and the generation of raw material for agro allied industries. It also pledged to ensure sustenance ot employment generation that would significant!; contribute to the internally generated revenue ot the state - as well as the socio economic empowerment of ihe citizenry.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012,


'Nigeria Loses N132bn Annually on Malaria Treatmenf Tl ifinistcr of Health, Prof.



! ftom all 36 stales and the Federal



ITAabuuf N132 Wllkm ($13 billiun, nil* UtabiHiL prat-

From Paul Obi mAt** ^TO ^^ „, ^

malaria idaied rases, Sp^ngathemaugirratoriol the 2010 National Malaria Indkatur Survey (NM&) repot and (he kid-off of the h-annual slates programme nwnageis' meeting, Chukwu denied the highrateofmosquitOEndiiceddiseases, which also "puK pressure on the arrrady strained health systo"-" The report unveiled in con-

ventiv? treatment for Ite most vulnoabte 10 the spread of malar|a Lndudillg je^mining the ^^ |ate ^ ma]aria 50^™. „ iheaxmiry. Equally National Coonlinator National Malaria Contra) Programme (NMCP), Chioma Amajoh.saidthe2010NMISwas thefnstd'itskindevCTconducted in the country with samples taken




of the survey included foe mraJUHIHA li UK «I«K ufo^wassess coverage of teintomntei! preventive treatment programme to protect pregnant women. Others were to identify pracbees ^oxiling to her. to treat malaria among children under five and the use of specific antimalarial medications and measure the prevalence of malaria and anaemia among children under iheageof six to 59 immths.

&tL^N^ Bill Gates Boost Africa s Food was gearedtowardsproviding quatyAttforptu^fefiui miking and up-tixlale jrrtorma-


.--, -p* . . (-| /tip/LlODS UHVC With $56111 x

tiwontheimpaciofintHvenlions — ^ A]|jance fof a ^^ , teS5S 1 Revolution in Africa i LAGOS Accoiding to the minister, 1 (AGRAI vesttnlav received *—"" — •-—•"- — — ^di^cortTito.»to33 ^ a$56initagrantmfu«lmg ?^j£tt£2!**iHt pa- cent of all chtldhool deaths , r^L .„ ,?- .. , ,-, * forLmpdrtantfoodcronsavailable. rt about 300OT1 Eva « lost £™J*£*""*' -"^nSS The programme hVs already eadi >«r. Malaria affeds 70 per K™**™ <° ••*""£** ad^evedsignificant sucoss with cm of pregnant women and Ls falmas m s*-Saharao Arncato ^ ^^ of fannets ^ responsible for 11 per cent of ""^ pn^vity "J address aarssKl fc new, ^^ ^^^ maiemal mnnality." pOV^,a|^^'Ulger' f ,^ dramatic increases in Iheir h»Whifc making teprcs-Titation. AGRA s Pn>gran]me for Atnca ves(s Duotor-GeneralorKPCJainm s Seed Systems (PASS) began PASS Programme Director, Dr. Zubema. maintained that (he nve yews ago to produce disease ]oe rjeVries. said: "b A&ica, 1-1 if, , , •-* • 1 s~< 1 • farmers have lamely not benefited

S Court to Decide Governorship n^irn^^dueto^

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST 1 CONSULTANCY SERUICES FOR INDEPENDENT TECHNICAL AUDIT OF CONSTRUCTION WORKS Date:28 February 201 Financing Agreement reference: P-NG-IAO-00 1 Project ID No.: 2100150010394 The Federal Government of Nigeria has received financing from th African Development toward the cost of the Skills Training an Vocational Education Project, and intends to apply part of the agree amount for this loan to payments under the contract for carrying out a independent technical audit of construction works on 9 sites aroun Nigeria in six geopolitical zones. .

The services included under this consultancy are to •

r of kxauscdcnjp breeding and effiPnll Win T10r A/farrn (\' *nendable .seed delivery 1 Ull TTlllllCl IVlOltll U system.Andsociupyieldsinmosi

r p t r ^uprerre uxin wu on , 1 March 6. dx-de wteha or 1 not rtlrciji Urnaii l.mko AlJ. Makuia, w.»i (he governorship elcraon of Nasarawa StaK.



1NASAKAWA regions From Tobi Soniyi


^^ rf ^^ produced by | famm in [rthpr fk , vpkTinp of the worids.Gond seed is re* just the driving frra behmd ^ hnvete and eliminating

bdepcndent National I;-lecoral <fe Congiess for ftugress^e j^^ for ^.d eco^^ic Commission (IMiQ t<i ,\pnl 26. Change (CPC) at the gowanorship growth" 2)11. election. .-By 2017. PASS \vill add « Tlie Chief Justice of Nigcna DissaQsned. Doma approached !_._._ mjeneiident seed (aNlJusticeDahiniMisdapher, the Appeal Cxmit, seeking to upturn ^mrHn^ioWmMrBiitvM^ who pre^ded over ;, live-man ^ Kft decision btrt he was 3SSSff££S2 ?£ panel reserved the dale tor jndgnm(eddrmll. He and the IWIal ot±±^i£S£5 mem. after <xvinscl m fc matter aHeein- Ihai P™?31™™-. llle Pnl?rammes hadidontcdtlieirttTifcnjddresses Pf'«'"ertlle.'ntlullal'.alle?ln=aim is to achieve yearlv pmductoi r^^M^dlTfc^ AI-MAura. m oommmcc with rf ^^ maic «„, of on the appeal lodged t? lormer |NtC. nggcd rus way to victory. imnrnvJ WItfllrfi«((.-n1osarh ppveniorof the stale and governorTh^. gC-j lhal rNFr ilWal 'mpro^1" ^^ ™ I ""il traps such shrp candidate of Ihe Peoples M,w w^! as nw/e. cassava, and legumes to taWratic Party (Pl^^yu Y c^ led efcct™ mraner^Uing [() millKm ^jih,^ AkwDcma uraLsof Lammga ward and ano(hfalmels. Theprograni wllcontinl»ma is asking ttearcx court f *" Oshug"- <• «" Nasarawa nBtoMwnttStoaaiOnn^ to set aside the dnttOl of die Uxdr^mmenlArea.aswdlas aop sc^dsts ensmnK that eveiy Appeal Court in Makuidi. Benoe <** '" Anah area « txma ljxal major crop in 13 countries has ai Stale, which uphekl the el rfon of Govenmiciit Area. aU in a _despw]eas, (^ fijHy^ualified crop AI-Makuia. ale effort to rob Doma of vicU»y. ^^^ PASS will also fund the On November 12. 2)11. die WOrt counsel. UMf ^j,,™ ^ 3,, 3^0,^1 5000 Nasarawa Slate Uo-.«iiorship Fagbemi (SAN), submitled thai agnKiealerstoseliipir>di%-idua]ryEfccticn Petitions Triburel. had in rNEC had no powos to arbitrarily ^^j ani (Jpel3lelt ^ g^ fer_ a cplit dcdsion of Mo to one, cancel results <rf elections without Qjjser ^hops in remote areas" upheld Ihe victory of Al-tv'akuraof ^is&utation. EeVrics added

FG Cautioned over Export Expansion Grants


ational Association of Hides aiid Skin Dealers

ofTered woids of a ution to die ,-eoerai ^^rriu o™ the current debate « hich might lead to the termrna ion of Export Expansron Grants (EEGl provided ft* Nigerian

1 |

-» /~>nc LAGOS By Sunday Okobi

mc |ea[her M va,ue ., 5™^™ lo joumal,sts in Kan^ccordmg to the statewjmj


ment, Gezawa said the body had ascertained the implemenmassive investment in the leather sector, wnicn nao tmnslaied into more jobs for the citi"™- as w"=" « to™Z" exchange earnings.

SESg 2UE7JSI Awo Memorial Lecture SoS?" to "* a"on 6 Billed for March 9

s^r;v™s ras^.jj.a | LAGOS f lion would be made jobless, if the Federa. Qovemn.n, cancelled the grant. -•LSuhe±lAmeri Products, a branch of the Manufacturers ASSOC,at,on of Nigeria (LAPAN) had called for the cancellauon. on the aro-jnd that the adoption of the sdK me was causing job losses But Chairman of NAHSD All Abdu Gezawa. a-unlered "- insinuation in a statement jc available to THISDAY ^intainine thai "The imple^tion of the scheme had actually facilitated the creation of millions of additional jobs

1 £ "f UnatT1JT?T9 £ MlSa?toJhS A sta™ issued by the Executive Erector of dtt Foundation. Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumj. yesterday •»= "^ memorial has evolved and is biiied as a key intellectual event in which a distinguished scholarreflcctsonanaspectofthe legacy of Ihe late sage with a view to providing a redemptive road map for a nation groping for direruon and fresh vistas." Dosurnu staled that the eient which has a distinguished Professor of A&icai HLstory a the

~~ ^ SUnd°J' ^ Umversrty of Texas, United State (US). Prof. Toyrn Fatola, as the g^fecturer is to ^ep up wnh the Rwndatia. s mandafc to jpv erateideastnatwillbolhjumpstait and propd national poJibca] and eomorrac development, Tn this light, not. 1 .". • examination of power politics and wetfarcpolrricsise^ectedtoyield dues for transformative initiatives for a nation bedeviled with the oisis of nationalities, the elusive arilhmeac of petroleum subsidy as well as a crisis of governance,- he added.



Obtain independent and objective assessment of the technical quality of all construction works in all the 9 sites and to assur mat the civil works are constructed with good consttuctio materials and as per desired standards of good quatit construction. To set up a quality control and quality assurance system wit the help of prescribed testing norms laid down in approve i Standards, and to delineate and establish a schedule ft carrying out such tests such that no quality problems crop u again. To highlight problem areas if any, and also suggei steps/solutions for the same so as to achieve the overall targi . of quality assurance. For Quality Assurance the consultant shall carry out testing i ' required of materials used in construction .

For the achievement of these, it is expected that the engaged consultaijt shall among other tasks, conduct site visits to all 9 sites, review technical specifications and assess compliance with both technical and contractu; 1 specifications. The Skills Training and Vocational Education Project now invites eligibl : consultants to indicate their interest in providing these service; , Interested consultants must provide information indicating that they ar : qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc.). Consultants may constitute joint-ventures 1» enhance their chances of qualification. Eligibility criteria, establishment of the short-list and the selectio procedure shall be in accordance with the African Development Bank "Rules and Proceduresfor the use ofConsultants"May, 2008, which ft available on the Bank's website at Borrowers arp under no obligation to shortlist any consultant who expresses interest. Interested consultants may obtain further information at the address below during office hours between 0800 to 1700 hours, Monday ti Friday. Expressions of interest must be delivered to the address below by 14 March, 2012 at 1200 hours and mention "Technical Audit ( ' Construction". Ann: The Project Manager, PCU, Skills Training andVocatwnal Education Project Federal Ministry of Education Plot 644, Zambezi Crescent, OffAguiyilronsiWayt Matiama,fCT,Abuja Tel: +234-9-873 4821, -_r e-mail: stvep(3)adf-stvep.0rf '"'-


,* 1 £


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Revamping Dams for Agriculture Recently, the federal government through its relevant MDAs embarked on an on the spot assessment of all dam projects in the country, not only to ascertain their present conditions but to fast track their utilisation, especially for agricultural development, writes Malachy Agbo •Rice plantation stands tit benefit from the project dam


aced with a myriad of economic challenges, of which over dependence on imported goods is one, the government appear has come to the realisation lhat attaining food sufficiency and adequate infrastructure, would cater to most of the country's economic problems. As it stands, Nigeria import? millions of tonnes of grains from foreign countries every year, which puts tremendous pressure on foreign reserves as well as the exchange rale. Similarly, epileptic the infrastructure gap in die country has crippled many companies resulting in job loss and capita) flight. Based on these glaring concerns, during the 33rd National Economic Council meeting held recently on the utilisation of ihe Natural Resources Development Fund (NHDF), the council directed the National Planning Commission and the Ministries of Water Resources, and Agriculture & Rural Development to undertake working visits to all federal water project sites in the states and report back to council before the end of February The meeting was held to harness die multiple potentials of darns and will be handled in coll alteration with state government officials. In furtheram? on this directive. 12 ledinical teams comprising tlte state governors of the- 36 states, ministeis and experts from the tfiree ministries were constituted to GUT • out the inspection. The inspections were carried out from February 13 - 18. The Technical Inspection leain 3 undertook inspection visits to Anambra, Eboiyi and Enugu States from February 16 -18. The governors of each of the states visited, led the insperton teams, accompanied by the Minister 'Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission. Dr. Shamsudeen Usm.w.

Anambra River Irrigation Project The team led by Usman visited die Lower Anambra Riv-tr Irrigation Protect in Anambra State. The project i= meant to support a 3,850-hectare irrigated rice farmland with water souite from Anambra River. The minister lamented tiiat tlierc were too manv water project- in the country but not enough niMiev'available in die budget to fund them. "Our mission is to see which ones we will be able to gel off drejftjjnd. The rice projects in die south east has great potentials to boost locally grown rice and foodsufficitncy as well as generate huge employment opportunities in the country and the initiative should lie encouraged and supported to succeed. "As it is today, we have 30 million litres of water sitting unaoressed in reservoirs in Onitsha. We will take our obse nations and reports to the next National Economic Council meeting. This is a nationwide exercise and (here are other teams visiting other parts of the country on the same mission at the moment,'' he said. On his p,ir<, die governor of Anambra Sate, Dr. Peter Obi nmimended the initiative and noted that the Lower Ariambra River irrigation Project wliidi is meant to provide wafer tor the vast rice fields in die Ayamelum Belt has been abandoned. According to Obi, water hf s not being pumped from the dam for about 10 ycais because of the high cost of diesel. "Our appeal is to have access to die grid til reduce the cost of |X wer. The farms stand on 3,850 hectares

and employs over 8,0(10 farming families and indirectly provides employment for hundreds of thuusands of traders dial visit the belt which spreads to the Ada rice fields in Adani, Enugu State to Abakiliki nee fields in Ebonyi State," he said. He revealed that die project, which was commissioned in 1987, was meant to introduce advanced farming techniques for high yield crop production, provide intensive training to staff/farmers and enhance development of irrigated rice cultivation wliere double cropping of rice in rainv and dry seasons is practiced. But die greatest challenge of the project is inadequate funding for routine maintenance and the high cost of diesel used in running dte pumping Station.

Ofereke Water Scheme While in Ebonvi, die team visited die Ofereke Water Supply Scheme, which has attained about 97 per cent completion. The water scheme with a capacity for 100.0(10 cubic metres of water per day was designed to suppK' potable water to Abakaliki and die newly established Federal University in Ebonyi State. The Ebonyi Rice Mill project was designed to process 5,000 metric tonnes of paddv rice per hour. The contract for the mill was awarded in AKJ9 and it would become operational in die nest two months. The visiting federal government representatives were advised to adwpt •< more participatory approach to project implementation that allows the state government where such projects are sited greater participation in die project conception and implementation, adding that such approach will be more productive. Deputy Governor Cliigozie Ogbu also urged the federal government to come to the aid of the state, particularly in the area of intervention in irrigation projects. In lijs response, the Minister of National Planning Commission, advised die Ebonyi State Government to adopt die public private partnership approach in die operation and management of the nee mill puiject and en|oined the state government to ensure die timely completion of die projects for improved economic activities in die state.

Enugu Water Projects Tliere are four federal projects in the state which includes Mgbowo Earth Dain and Water Supply Project; Adada River Dam; University of Nigeria Nsukka Water Supply Scheme; and Rehabilitation of Adani Irrigation Project The team was infonned by both the State government and officials of the Anambra / Irno River Basin Authority officials that the Adada River Dam project has generated jobs for hundreds of farming families and has the potential uf creating thousands of additional jobs directly and indirectly. The state government represented by Professor Martin Anikwe, Commissioner for Agriculture emphasised the importance of the projects to the development of agriculture in Nigeria and improvement in the quality of lives of the citizens resident in the farming communities around the project site. The state government requested for more collaboration between the state and the federal government

•Adada river dam on tlie delivery of the project. Anikwe added that the state is interested in replicating die project in odier local governments, stressing that the state government is determined to ensure lhat Ihe dam works. He called on the federal government to come t<i the aid of the state. Dr. Usman assured dte state of federal government's preparedness to alleviate the suffering of peasant farmers in tlie country and the present administration's plans to make agro-business the driver of the economy.

Quick Wins Speaking on die effort to revamp the dams nationwide, experts were of the opinion that die project have die potential for huge success and quick wins for die transformation agenda programme of Die present administration. "Activities on project sites by key stakeholders, especially by die community, state and federal government show a deep understanding of project goals and objectives which were revealed in the major project outcomes such as extensive cultivation of numerous hectares of crops especially rice. Effective synergy between the stakeholders and the communities will result in tlie successful utilisation of material resources as well as infrastructure provided by tl»e state and the federal government," said one agronomist. I le further advised the federal government to adopt the Songliai approach to agriculture in die country. "The engagement of die Songhai Agricultural Development Partners in the project to facilitate efficient agricultural good practices will lead to improvement in crop yields and economical utilisation of the land and human resources available. 1 will advise tile federal government to toe this line," he stated.

"• Experts were of the opinion that the projects have the potential for huge success and quick wins for the transformation agenda programme of the present administration

Friday, March 9, 2012

THISDAY, Vol. 17 No. 6164, Page 25


BusinessWORLD R A T E S A s A T M A R C H 2, 2 0 1 2 OVER DRAFT •Prime Normal Ixnding



17^773%' •Prime 203040% • Normal Lending -

18.1429% 20.8005%

•Savings Account - 23335%

•60 Days


•Strict Call

•90 Days

- 7J27%

•Source: KWDA •TDays


2-8M8% 3.5308%


• ISHDays - 73857%

EXCHANGE RATE (Officiall N156.70YSI

as at last Friday

Aviation Fuel Scarcity, Cost Hampers Lagos Regional Hub Status Tncessanl scaivity and high cost of avialion fuel are hampering the I drive to make 'he Murtala Muhammed International Airport, I Lagos, a regions! hub. The recent development lias leiidcied the Aairport unattractive in spile of the fact that il records about seven million overseas dejination passengers ami is die busiest in the West African sub region Since the pasl week, airlines were embroiled in another series of scarcity of aviation fuel, known as Jet Ai, which jerked up the prices and also led to the cancellation of some domestic and international flights by the airlin-s. Many industry experts believe thai the Lagos airport should naturally be a hub for tlie sub region because Nigerian airlines dominate Wfot and Central /,frica; while the country has the highest number of air travellers in t ic region and also records the highest number of foreign ain-Taft mo ,en)ent. But mea'i cjimris and even Nigerian airline;, travel to Accra. Ghana to buy aualion fuel because it is clieaper there bul ironically they donotproduc.' thepnxiua. So Gliana k;^ tecome a natural attraction to foreign airlines m spite of the fact tiiat it is a small market with tlie old Katoka airport. So if mega-t;utiers can ensnare Nigerian passengers lo Ghana with low fare incer lives they would prefer to have their major operatiim there which will naturally make Accra a hub. Former head of jovemment relations for Virgin Nigeria (now Air Nigeria) and a\.aiion consultant. Nuhu Adam, observed that for

AVIATION By Chinedu Eze Nigeria to develop one of its airports, especially Ihc Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, into a huh. i( must tackle the problem of high Jel A1 (aviation fuel) prices. He said the government has lo deal with the nil cabal that has made Nigeria airports unattractive because of aviation fuel cost and denying the country the many economic benefits of having a huh with the attendant business attractions. Adam said without fair pricing of aviation fuel.i-agns airport or any airport in Nigeria would never develop into a hub because availability of fuel, maintenance facility are a sin qua non to developing a hub in addition to huge passenger market.

Aviation fuel price in Nigeria is the highest of any country at peace in (he worid, and it is still rising because this week the product was sold for almost N200.00 per litre in Lagos. Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren. disclosed in a paper he once presented in I-agos that a Boeing 737, which is the major aircraft type in use m Nigeria, consumes 4219 litres of fuel in one hour flight and al (he cost of N 190.00 (his amounts to N80| ,610. Demuren noted thai aviation has become (he vehicle of economic growth in Nigeria. To him, "Aviation supports the commerce of this country, more than 300 daily flights fnr domestic operations, more than 75 daily flights for international operations and more than 400 helicopter sorties supporting ihe onshore and off shore oil operations." He said Nigeria airlines link virtually all majoi cities with the PCT, commercial centre of Lagos and the oil city of Port Harcourt. "Aviation fuel. which accounts for between 25 to 40 per cenl of the airlines operating cost, has gone up astronomically," he added.


Customs Generates in N235.2bn from Apapa Port


ot less than N235.183-24^.803.00 was raked in by he Customs high command from Nigeria's premier port, Apapa Quay. The amouni v,as the total revenue gene rat. •A by the Nigeria CDS ion is Service (NCS). Apapa Area 1 Command last yejr. The Apapa Qua y, a key component of Africa's largest container terminal presently under the purview of APM Terminals Apapa Lirniled. a iubsidiary of Danish logistic port operation giant, AP Molle'-Maersk. is among the terminals in Lagos Pott Complex 11JC). The commard in its 2011 scorecard, said ihc- money was paid into the cental till as part of the revenue larjet given to il by the Federal Cio/emment. The amount «as exceeded the reunite target given to it by the Customs High Command. NCS Headuuar-eis had at the beginning of last \r given the command N216b Ilkin revenue target. From the ";i:nra;ard. which was made available 10 THISDAY. Ihe command said it overshot its target by NI9 billion, which was iibowl 8.8 per cent of the annual target. The scorec.TT] which was signed by ihe Public Relations Officer (PRO) of tie command. Mr. Timinadi Botiodi. showed that the commant recorded 32 per cent incnw.'e o\t( the performance of 2010. A comparative analysis of the revenue raked in by the command rev&ib 1 thai il has an

MARITIME By John Iwori improvement of 81; per cent over the performance for 2009. An analysis of the1 scorccanl also reveajed that apart from this, the sum of N178 55 billion was also said lo have been collected in year 2010, and N129.817 billion in 2009. According to the scorccanl, in 20i 1, the command made 77 seizures of various items including textiles, furniture, vegetable oil. used cars, artificial floweis, used and new electronics, glazed ceramic tiles and so on, compared to the 64 seizures made in 2010. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ihe seizures for 201 i waspul at N394.717^34.00, compared lo mat of 2010 which stood al N174.237j005.42. This, according to the statement, showed an improvement of 126 per cent. Besides the seizures, Ihe command also recorded success m the export sector in 2011 as about 665.010.98 melric tonnes, 3,700 cartons. 3386,579.96 kilogrammes, and 2jfi08.44555 square metres of 24 different commodities were exported through its command. These include cocoa beans, cocoa cake, cocoa butter, sesame seeds, aluminium ingots, ginger, rubber, palm kemel. hard wood charcoal, hibiscus flowers, cotton. cashew nuts and processed leather.

•L-R : Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. ItieyoaAlhon-Moduelu, GMD NNFC. Mr. Austin Oniwnn and Director General, Department for Pftrnltum Resources, Mr. Ostetn Oluntnsala, daring a retreat for stakeholders in Ihe nil induftiy Piuml: Sumfav

'Nigeria'll Be the Largest Cocoa Producer in 10 Years'


he Executive Director, Conservation Alliance (CA). Ghana, Yaw OseiOwusu, has prediclcti lhat in the nexf 10 years. Nigeria will be the largest producer of ciicoa in the world, wilh the right incentives in place. Osei-Owusu spoke in Abuja al a one-day workshop on 'Greening the Cocoa Industry', organised by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Rainforest Alliance. Backing his declaration, he noted lhal once the right motion is set and fully put in place, the sky would be Hie limit of the country in cocoa production. He gave the incentives as training and re-training of farmers, provision of incentive to boost production, support from both private and public, getting the right policies from the gov-

AGRIC From Yemi Akinsuyi eminent, as well as the provision of land and encourage more people lo go into cocoa farming. Explaining further, the Executive Director stud: "Nigeria currently is the seventh laigest producer of cocoa in the worid. One advantage the country has over Ghana is that while we only produced from just six regions, about 14 states are producing cocoa with much more improvement in the nearesl future." He Iherefore enjoined West African leaders to show more commitment in the production

of cocoa by protecting the forest, as the product accounts for nver 70 per cenl of the region's income. In his remark. Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrallim Mailafa, said for (he great increment in cocoa production lo occur in Nigeria, the forest must be adequately protected against any form of pollution. The minister, who was represented by Director. JEF Operation Focal Point. Mrs. Olabisi Jaji, said only about 35 per cenl of cocoa production in West Africa occurs under good agro-forestry systems. In his words; "A recent baseline study showed thai our region has experienced significant forest loss through ihe extractive practices of timber sector and expansion of the

cocoa industry by promotion of 7cro shade cocoa production systems. These have gradually ledTOthe fragmentation of our forest landscape, loss of wildlife corridors and forest connectivity, and degradation of biodiversity and the ecosystem goods and services. "A prominent consequence of deforestation is on the cocoa industry itself a significant loss of major soil nutrients. This has been a leading cause of the decline in our cocoa yields. I have observed a trend towards less shaded cocoa landscapes that undercuts the environmental sustainability of production and biodiversity conservation. Several reports have poinled out that in West Africa only about 35 per cenl of cocoa production occurs under good agro-forestry system," he said.


Executive Discourse

Wednesday, February 29,2012

National Mirror www.n

'Nigeria has TTie Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina is passionately committed to the development of agriculture as a sustainable alternative to the country's dependence on petroleum. In this interview with NATIONAL MIRROR'S EDITORIAL TEAM, the minister emphasises that agric business provide unlimited opportunities for entrepreneurship and job creation as well as a key channel for economic diversification. Exerpts 350,000 jobs.

So to bridge that demand and supply gap, while also using the livestock transformation programme to aim to achieve self sufficiency in meat and livestock production within the given time frame, the ministry will through quality investments in livestock value chain programmes, such as large-scale farming in (he five gee-ecological zones, the upgrade of local breeds through selective breeding and artificial insemination, and expansion of hatchery capacity to 25 million day-old chicks for broilers and layers will meet its target of job creation. There is also the ongoing oil palm transformation agenda, where teams have already been engaged in field visits to secure commitment of state governments to the scheme that is also meant to boost employment and revenue. Those teams will identify nursery operators to participate in dry season oil palm nursery in addition to registering smallholder oil palm farmers, with the ministry set to establish zonal offices in the six geo-political zones to coordinate its operations. What is the latest on the Cassava, Rice, Cocoa, Sorghum and cotton Transformation Agenda of the Ministry, particularly on the plans to utilise cassava for development through the banning of wheat importation?

Like other specific plans of the ministry of Agriculture, the Cassava Transformation Plan is meant to revive the Adesina economy and create jobs for millions of Nigerians. by the country consumes over N1.3tm? What Is the update on the Transformation Agenda of The Cassava Transformation Plan is a part of the FedLike I said before, the country's food import is unsus- eral Government overall effort to revamp the agriculture the ministry, and how is the move going to revive the tainable. Food imports is growing at an alarming rate of sector, ensure food security diversify the economy and eneconomy? The Transformation Agenda and Initiative of the Min- 11 per cent per annum, further fuelling domestic inflation hance foreign exchange earnings. The transformation acistry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is a part of the and driving poverty tion plan is focused on key aspects of value chains, includCurrently Nigeria is importing products that we can ing the provision and availability of improved inputs (seed overall transformation that the Federal Government is pursuing, with <he objective of returning and placing ag- produce in abundance, such as the N356 bn worth of rice and fertilizer), increased productivity and production, as riculture, and tr e opportunities it provides as the develop- and N217 bn worth of sugar that are annually imported. well as the establishment of staple crop processing 2ones, In the same vein, about N97bn worth of fish; is imported while also addressing reduction in post-harvest losses, imment basis of die country's economy It is common knowledge that more than 60 per cent of while N635 bn is being spent on importing wheat annually proving linkages with industry Nigerians depends on agriculture as a source of livelihood Meanwhilg all these foods the country is importing are Put together, the transformation agenda sets out to creat both national and grassroots levels; therefore, govern- products that we can easily find local alternatives for ate over 3.5 million jobs from the rice, cassava, sorghum, ment cannot afford to neglect the sector, that is why govcocoa and cotton value chains, with many more jobs to ernment's emphasis is working towards making big and What specific area Is the ministry intending to explore in come from other value chains under implementation. huge business out of agric. through which Nigerians and Its job creation effort? The programme aims to provide over N300bn (US$ 2bn) From the livestock and feed sector alone, there is the po- of additional income in the hands of Nigerian farmers, residents should be comfortabla Moreso, democracy as a system of government lay criti- tential of being able to create 350,000 jobs within the next while over N60bn <$3SOm) is to be injected into the economy cal imfttrtance on the fact that the country must work; and four year. from the substitution of 20 percent of bread wheat flour As a country, Nigeria has one of the largest herds of ani- with cassava flour. one of the ways that democracy can work in the country can be through the development and implementation of mals in Africa, but has not been able to meet the demand Bt that singular agenda when fully implement, the minsustainable food security initiatives for the country, and because of several reasons, including poor nutrition, poor istry would have enabled Nigeria to be food secure by indisease management and control and poor breed of anialso that can guarantee exports that can earn revenue for creasing production of key food staples by 20 million tons: mals, despite the fact that the yearly demand for meat and which when broken down will be Rice 2 million metric the country On the whole, the Transformation Agenda Plan of the livestock products is high. tons. Cassava: 17 million metric tons and Sorghum, 1 milFor example, the annual demand for beef stands at over lion metric tons. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is fully on course, and the transformation agenda is meant to revive 600,000 tonnes, that of goat meat about 450,000 tonnes, the Most importantly however in all of these initiatives, is the economy, create jobs for millions of Nigerians and re- demand for poultry meat is over 500,000 tonnes and for egg that the transformation agenda will also call for targeted duce Nigeria's fixxl import dependence bill, which if 1 may 250,000 tonnes, while the demand for milk is about 649.000 interventions to increase efficiency and profitability along add is exceptionally high, with the top four imports con- tonnes. the value-added chains of these crops. With such a huge market, focusing on the livestock suming over Ml 3 trillion in foreign exchange annually sector, and managing it with a business sense of agricul- Still on the cassava agenda, what particular strategy are ture will in the long term, create more than the projected you using to achieve your objectives? Can you be mo-e specific in the way annual food import


National Mirror w ww.nal ionalm irroro

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Executive Discourse !


no business importing food' The Cassava Transformation Action Plan was formulated to move cassava from a food and subsistence crop to an industrial raw material in Nigeria. The plan was developed following a series of consultative meetings with stake-holders. The strategy consists of two main pillars. One; create sustainable demand in the industrial food, beverage, and chemical sector for cassava-based products via policy reforms that incentivize import substitution as a means of stabilizing fresh cassava root prices and raising livelihoods of cassava farmers. Secondly, build an effective cassava value-chains for high quality cassava flour (HQCF), starch, sweetener, fuel ethanol, dried chips, and traditional food product through organisation of farmers into clusters around small and large scale processors. Then train farmers in supply chain management; while demonstrating the advantages of proven production packages of modern varieties, stabilise fertilizer rates, and improve cultural practices for increased productivity; while also providing and improved access to agro-inputs, finance, and tractorisation. At the policy level, some of the strategies include interventions to support the cassava industry through a mandatory 10 percent inclusion of HQCF in wheat flour; a 12 percent corporate tax waiver for bakeries who blend 40 percent of cassava flour in bread, and increase in levies on imported wheat flour and grain. Others are a 10 percent inclusion of fuel ethanol in petrol (E-10).,and the establishment of a Cassava Trade and Marketing Development Corporation (CTMDC)to be run by the private sector that will represent the cassava sector before government and build much needed market institutions around farmers. The ministry already have implementation agreements with 23 cassava producing states across the country.

pledged to work towards achieving the 40 percent target within the 18 months period of grace in exchange for the 12 percent rebate on corporate taxes. The ministry is also working individually with each bakery and HQCF producers in Nigeria to ensure reliable supply of HQCF at a reasonable price. The plan will ensure quality and fair prices for bakeries, and sustainable cassava prices for farmers. Some stakeholders have questioned the rationale behind your ministry's engagement of Advanced Research Institutions (ARIs) to drive its vision for the country, what is your take on that?

For the success of the cassava transformation, or other agendas of the ministry it is important that valuable lessons gained on value chain development of cassava in Asia and Latin America is brought to bear on efforts in Nigeria. Members of the Cassava Transformation Team who were in China for the 9th Asian Regional Cassava Meeting met with Directors and cassava program leaders from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, its Spanish acronym); International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (TITA), and Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRT), Trivandrum, India. What Is the goal of the Rice Transformation Action Plan and how well is the plan going, especially as it also concerns the upgrading of integrated mills?

The goal of Rice Transformation agenda is to achieve self sufficiency in rice production and complete substitution of imported rice by year 2015. Products in focus are parboiled milled rice and unparboiled milled white rice. The target is 6.0 million metric tonnes per annum of locally produced and internationally competitive milled rice by 2015. The Rice Transformation Action Plan highlights complementary interventions needed to develop the Nigerian The ministry recently embarked on the audit and uprice sector, which includes the modalities for increasing grade of SMEs Producing HQCF and garri. How tar has efficiency along the commodity chain to make it price comthat audit gone in its assignment? petitive. As part of the plans to boost the supply of High Quality This is been addressed through reduction of cost of Cassava Flour (HQCF), for bread making and confectionery production .which include mechanisation, intensification production, it is pertinent to ensure that the 105 cassava pro- of paddy production in rainfed lowland and irrigated rice cessing SMEs in the country become operational again. ecologies and use of improved rice varieties; and the organhi order to carry out the audit of all the cassava SMEs isation of farmers into cluster groups to aggregate them in the country within the short time period, it was agreed for access to improved technologies, market and mills. that Nigerian Engineers and socio - economists should be Target states like Niger, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, So trained and deployed to the 6 geo - political zones of the koto, Kano, Plateau, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Ebcountry to carry out the SME audit Two engineers and onyi, Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ogun and Ekiti State are all one socio-economist per zone were agreed upon. already committed to the project So far, the engineers have been responsible for assessing On the upgrading of the integrated mills, the ministry, the machines and equipment already installed in the 105 in collaboration with the Agro-processing department SMEs, with a view to ascertaining their status and iden- of the ministry team met with the beneficiaries of the 17 tifying how to revamp them. The social scientists have as- Integrated Rice Mills to assess their preparedness for the sessed the socioeconomic variables that affected the per- transformation. Three of the mills - Ebony mills in Ebformances of the SMEs in the past and recommend what onyi State, Labana Mills in Birni Kebbi (2 mills) will go can be done to revamp them. into operation in February 2012. We are working with NiOn that of the audit and upgrade of SMEs producing ger State Government to upgrade the Badeggi Mill, an old garri, we are aware that more than 90 per cent of garri/ mill concenssioned to Deanschanger Ltd. We are collaboFufu producers are women. A meeting was held December rating with Federal Ministries of Water Resources, Power, 8 last year between the leader of the garri working group and officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs. * FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE The goal of this collaboration is to upgrade all garri/lafun/abacha processing centres to produce quality and well CASSAVA TRANSFORMATION, packaged products in a hygienic environment that will be OR OTHER AGENDAS OF THE internationally acceptable all over the world. In other to achieve the above goal the committee agreed to take the folMINISTRY, IT IS IMPORTANT lowing tentative actions:

and works to resolve all issues around the OMO Mills in Ebonyi State.

THAT VALUABLE LESSONS How is the serialisation of bakers and bakeries on 40 percent HQCF Bread going?

Following the adoption of 40 percent cassava bread, the ministry called a press conference to seek the full support and cooperation of the three largest players in the Nigerian bakery industry, namely: Food Concepts, Butterfield Bread, UTC and Leventis - Value Bread. All three bakeries publicly supported the 40 percent cassava bread, and considered it an achievable goal. They also



What advice would you have for the country's tanners and other stakeholders in agriculture?

First, Nigeria has no business importing food. With almost 84 million hectares of arable land, the "prodigal mentality" that drives food importation must stop. * Secondly, this ministry is working for Nigeria farmers, One of our cardinal goals is to take the country's farmers out of poverty, and put the nation on a sustainable path of development through the development of the agric sector.

National Mirror!


Friday, March 9,2012

youthful zeal

Travel News

Trans Wonderland: Oyo State warns against encroachment


he Oyo State Government, on Monday. warned that any individual or corporate organisation caught encroaching on its property at Trans Wonderland in Ibadan would be dealt with in accordance with the law. The state Deputy Governor, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, gave the warning during an unscheduled visit to the facility located in the heart of the state capital. He said that government waas now ready to transform the facility into a world class multi-purpose outfit in line with the transformation agenda of the Abiola Ajimobi administration. "We will do everything legal to transform this place; we are taking over the facility and

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we will use it for the benefit of the people of Oyo State", the deputy governor said. According to him, the restoration of the facilities and introduction of more projects within the park remain the priority of the government, stressing that the park would serve as a good source of employment for the people as well as an avenue to generate revenue for the state. The acting General Manger of the company, Mr. Sunday Kolawole, told the deputy governor that some people had been making attempts to take over the premises before it was brought to the attention of the government. Kolawole commended the state government for the take-over of the park as well as the provision of security within the premises.

Meetings Africa 2012 beats all time records


he 2012 edition of Meetings Africa has been hailed as an undoubted success for the South African travel and business tourism industry and also for the local and foreign buyers, exhibitors and visitors who flocked to the show in record numbers this year. When the three-day exhibition closed on Thursday, March 1, overall attendance (at 3,452) was 20 percent up on attendance in 2011 (2,637), with registered international visitor numbers nearly doubling from 106 in 2011 to 205 in 2012 (up 93 percent). A major success for what is primarily a busi ness-to-business trade show is that a total of 8,906 meetings were requested during the threeday show through the Meetings Africa matchmaking electronic diary system, giving real substance to the show's usefulness as a businessenabling and revenue-generating environmenL While there was good business tourism interest from South Africa's core tourism markets, there was a noticeable heightened interest at Meetings Africa this year from emerging markets, with a lively BRIGS panel discussion on the show's penultimate day highlighting the potential and interest in South Africa from China, India, Brazil and Russia. There were 68 percent more international jour-

nalists at Meetings Africa this year (37 in 2012 compared to 22 in 2011). "There is no doubt looking at the numbers that this has been the most successful Meetings Africa show yet It shows that there is keen interest in destination South Africa and bodes extremely well for our plans to grow business tourist arrivals, entrench our status as Africa's leading business tourism destination and increase our share in the global business tourism market," said South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima. Elena Demidova, a buyer from Russia who has been working for three years with destination South Africa said it was important to coopt the professional services and the interest of as many Russian buyers as possible. "Meetings Africa gives us a great opportunity to bring our best specialist people to South Africa from Russia. This has been the first time that our market has been exposed to your destination on this scale and to this extent. It makes people talk about South Africa. It's been a great business opportunity, and we look forward to the rewards it brings for all of us". Meetings Africa is held each year at the end of February in the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Contestants in Omodo Forest Osun State.

ing of the ancestral Eri traditions, Mmaku has continued to be a great place cf spiritual revival and accorcirg to 2006 Census, the populaiicn of Mmaku is 256,000 people consisting of more women than men. Surrounded by streams hence the perennial prc>duction of vegetables and tubers and agriculture remains the main economic strength of the people. Mmaku has a weekly Afor market located <it Ezioha Village. Omodo Forest In Osun State The Omoco Forest is a place


with many tourist endowments. Among the hills, a major one, Oore rises 400 to 500 feet with a foot path leading to the top. Many towns around Osogbo, Mesa and Ede are visible from the hill top. Beside it, there is another hill called Oofi Hill that is also a wonder. Aside the Omodo River, there are also smaller rivers all of which get their source from the hill. MicCom Golf Resort located in Ada over hectares of land that melt into the Omodo Forest is the major pull to the area.


Cross section of exhibition stands al Meetings Africa 2012




Should fertiliser subsidy go? • Continued from p«ge IS (N150) a day, live far away from markel centres and cannot access the markets easily. Not only do the farmers find il difficult to come up with die cash to buv the 50kg bag of fertiliser, but carrying it home from the marketplace also poses a challenge for them," he said. He added that while introducing the one kilogramme bag, they selected salesmen also Known as Village Promoters. Notore, Okoloko said, conducted a rigorous and transparent nationwide recruitment of distribution partners, in which one of every five applicants emerged as a distribution partner. To enhance farmers' access to fertiliser, he said Notore has embarked on aggressive fertiliser processing. Okoloko said the development would enhance farmers' productivity and income. According to him, the company is targeting 1.7 million tonnes in the next four years, adding thai such wiD enable Nigeria to be self sufficient in food.

Ahmed Kwa, said the nation has the potential to produce its fertiliser. He said the abundant natural gas flared could be harnessed to produce nitrogenous fertilisers. He said there are large quantities of rock phosphate deposits in Sokoto, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun that can be used for the production of phosphate fertilisers. "The only raw material that is not yet found in substantial quantity in Nigeria is potassium deposits. Even this can be sourced from our North African neighbours." Due to the lack of local production, Kwa said most of the fertiliser used in the country is imported. The consequences of relying on imported fertiliser include draining the foreign reserve, insufficient supply due to high capi: tal for importation and high retail prices which make the inpul unaffordable. These, to a large extent, nave led to insufficient fertiliser and the little available very expensive." *"""" Despite this, he said there was hope for the revitalisation of local manufacture of fertilisery. The factors that favour this, Kwa Case foLSubsidy said, include, large expanse of arable land ecologies that are conducive for the culMrs Atim Udoh operates a farm on Eket- and of a variety of crogs; withdrawal Etinan Road in Akwa Ibom State. After much tivation of the Federal Government trom direct proeffort, her harvest increased, producing duction importation of fertiliser - esplenty of food for her family and more Ihan pecially and the privatisation of its two maint enough IIUUKll v.f lo sell ^tll rtl al Ihe IIIC l local Uldl market UKUJitl. i '.. j The^difference, she said, is fertiliser. For P r"ducti°" P lanls ~ a£lF'vat£ltl°?1- °f state governments' fertiliser blending years, this basic input was simply beyond plants, among others. her means and these of other farmers. Substantial investments have made to Costing about N7,000 a bag, fertiliser was fertiliser supply. This includes just too expensive to use, and buying it on boost Chemical Industries Limited's incredit was too a risk for farmers who Notore capacity of one million metric are at Ihe merq' of me rains and poor-qual- stalled tonnes for Urea, Ammonia and NPK and ity seeds. Federal Super Phosphate Fertiliser ComThen the government began subsidising (FSFC) with the capacity for 100,000 fertiliser ana high-vie! ding seeds for farm- pany metric tonnes of single super phosphate. ers. The move cut fertiliser prices by 80 per There are about 25 bulk blending plants cent. in the country. Most of them are owned by There is no doubt that making high-qualgovernments. About five of them are ity seeds and fertiliser affordable for small state owned by private entrepreneurs. They have farmers, such as Mrs Udoh, wiil be die key an installed capacity of about 1.8 million lo the governmert's agriculture transfor- metric tonnes. mation agenda. An fertiliser distribution system, The fertiliser subsidy programme is seen Kwa effective explained, ensures that the right qualas a model by a number of African govern- ity of fertiliser are to farmers in ments and international agriculture devel- the right quantity atdelivered the right time; and that opment agencies. access to fertiliser close to their Speaking with The Nation, Etekhai Martins, they have gates. a professor of Fisheries at the Lagos State farm Under the public sector distribution sysUniversity (LASU). said farmers need sub- tem, said various models were apsidy on fertiliser to mitigate the effects of plied,Kwa and different prices charged due to food crisis. variation in subsidy level. This, he exThe success of Ihe agricultural transforpromoted diversion and recycling mation agenda, he noted, depends to a large plained, well as corrupt practices. extent on optima' fertilisation and timeli- asFollowing the liberalisation in 1997, he ness in planting. ^Jone of the essential inmany private sector entrepreneurs have put is wilhin the grasp of many small farm- said entered the fertiliser market. Kw a said ers. set up distribution networks, and Martins said fertiliser subsidv is impor- many were using their outlets/depots lo sell to tant; and if truly managed has the potential their dealers in major for big gains in a short time. Even with the who resell to farmers. agricultural areas reduction of interest rate, Martins said most According to him, the liberalisation saw farmers are too poor to pay commercial the rapid development of fertiliser selling rales for fertiliser and seeds.' points in the country. He advised the government to set up more Except for one or two companies, Kwa said distribution channels in remote areas to in- the private are not making efforts crease farmers' access to fertiliser, and to to develop suppliers the market chain. encourage banks to provide guarantees. "Most suppliers rely mainly on government orders, which they readily deliver on Government's position credit basis. But ihey insist on full payment The Federal Government is set to with- for orders by private distributors. While draw from fertiliser import and distribu- government takes delivery on credit, prition to allow the private sector to move in, vate distributors are required to operate on a r g u i n g that Ihe fertiliser subidy cash-and-carry basis. However, this may be programme is coMly and prone to misman- because of the experiences of suppliers who had lost money fraudsters This is common agement and corruption. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Devel- in the country." A consultant to the African Development opment Dr Akmwumi Adesina said there would no longer be fertiliser contractors Bank, Prof Biyi Daramola, said neither the subsidy nor fertiliser is a solution to the because the systrm in which the government imported and distributed fertiliser complex agricultural problems. He noted that making-farming profitable, was ineffective, inefficient and corrupt as only about 11 pe." cent of farmers enjoyed sustainable and productive will require the subsidy. Adesina said under the new arrangement, fertiliser importers would have to build their markets and sell directly to farmers. Last year, the Federal Government said it spent N22.30 billion on subsidy for 900,000 metric tons of fertiliser so that farmers could get the commodity at a lower price yet most farmers could not access the commodity.

Experts' opinions The Executive Secretary, Fertiliser Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPsAN),

land use reform, political empowerment of rural communities, long-term investments in irrigation, sustainable fertiliser use and soil management, modern farm technology and extension services, and transport and communication systems. According to him, the seeds of food security can grow with just a little fertiliser and a lot of political commitment at the top. Although poor farmers rarely access fertiliser, the major beneficiaries of subsidies, he noted, are politicians.

Challenges At present, the nation doesn't have a strong commercial fertiliser industry.There are three major companies involved in the business: Notore Chemicals Industries Limited, Federal Supper Phosphate Fertiliser Company and TAK Continental Limited. There are many small enterprises which have no primary chemical production at all, they buy their materials to make mixtures or blends, which are termed compound fertiliser. Clearly, investments in infrastructure and transport (roads, rail, ports) and reduction in clearing processes by the Customs are part of the long-term solution to increasing fertiliser use in the country. Fertiliser is bulky. As a result, transport costs are a major element of the total cost of delivery to the farm and can have a major impact on the profitability of a factory or distributor.

Cost disparity Changes in fertiliser prices and/or subsidies are as politically sensitive as changes in food prices. In the past two decades, the government has not made tremendous effort lo develop domestic supply and reduce dependence on the world market.

Government, banks to fund fertiliser, seeds supply Last year, the federal ministries of Finance and Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with commercial banks for the supply of N30 billion worth of fertiliser and seeds to farmers. Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-lweala gave a breakdown of the loan. She said N22.6 billion was earmarked for fertiliser, N2.7-billion for seeds procurement and the balance for agro-dealers with each of them entitled to N3 million. She added that the loan shall be made available to registered agriculture input dealers across the six geo-political zones at a subsidised interest rate of seven per

'Changes in fertiliser prices and/or subsidies are as politically sensitive as changes in food prices. In the past two decades, the government has not made tremendous effort to develop domestic supply and reduce dependence on the world markef

cent per annum with the Ministry of Finance guaranteeing 70 per cent of the loan principal payment. It is envisaged lhat the partnership will ensure that at least 500,000 farmers have access to the input and the initiative to create about 3,500 jobs and also generate 20 million metric tons of food. The minister said the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme, which is private- sector driven and supported under the financing arrangement with the government guarantees 70 per cent of the total loan (about N17 billion of the loan amount) replacing the old inefficient fertiliser system that was led by the government.

Fake fertiliser There have been reports of some tradeft selling fake fertiliser believed to be a combination of fertiliser residues and stones. The composition of Ihe product is very low compared to the chemical fertiliser. Its chemical composition shows that it is organic fertiliser (manure). Farmers in Kwah Area Council of the FCT alleged that adulterated fertiliser was sold to them by the council at subsided rates. A farmer, Mr Yohanna Gabriel Bako .said he bought 24 bags of fertiliser from the council which were adulterated with sands. In his reaction, the Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Mr Joseph K. Shazin, confirmed the allegation, describing the incident as unfortunate. He said the council would investigate and report to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for further action.

Fertiliser pricing The financial status of farmers could be improved if their production prices are higher Ihan the costs of fertiliser. In general, farmers produce below costs thus losing a great deal in the bargain. Fertiliser costs 35 per cent more than the list price by the time it gets to farmers. Small farmers' income from farming is insufficient for them to live on. they have to subsidise with other on-farm and off-farm income-generating activities. The main issue is that producer prices are not keeping pace with the cost of fertiliser. This has innibiled usage. Government approved the selling of fertiliser for 2011 cropping season as follows; NPK N2.000 and Urea Nl,900 against the purchase price of N4.750 and N5,500 per bag. There are many challenges for small farmers. Labour is insufficient to allow more than small areas to be weeded. Yield losses and total crop failure are often due to inadequate weeding. Small larmers' crops are subject to attack by pests. Generally, understanding the importance of matching crop variety with field conditions is poor among small farmers,

Need for local manufacrute Importation of fertiliser can be reduced by using locally available raw materials to manufacture them. The constraint is the availability of raw materials such as lime, nitrogen and vermiculafe used to manufacture fertiliser. High transportation costs and other transaction costs also push up fertiliser costs, making them unaffordable by farmers.



ISSUES First, it was fuel subsidy removal. Now, it is fertiliser subsidy removal.The first generated heat; nothing is being heard about the other because the issues seem not to be as significant as the fuel subsidy. But such analogy may be wrong because fertiliser is crucial to food production. Self-sufficiency in food can only be achieved by making fertiliser easily accessible to and affordable by farmers. The Federal Government intends to stop fertiliser import to allow private investors drive the business. But some stakeholders, are supporting fertiliser subsidy retention, reports DANIEL ESSIET.


)R Nigeri.i to feed itself and others, needs lo increase Ihe productivity f farmers. Farmers need better seeds and fertiliser, which boost productivity, yields and pro-jfability. Althoagh (lie government subsidises fertiliser, being the sole importer of the product, the subsidy seems lo have hindered easy access to, and the free flow of, the commodity resulting in its determination to leave the business of fertiliser lo Ihe private sifctor. The decision is generating heat. While some stakeholders support the deregulation of the fertiliser market to enthrone accessibility, others are pushing for the continued subsidisation of Ihe commodity in view of the poor financial capacity of most rural farmers. But the question is: Do the farmers who need the product more get it? Sidi Bweta, a'32-year-old farmer living in Guyuk, a town in Adamawa State, lamenting the difficulty in accessing fertiliser, said for as long as he could remember, his mother had been buying fertiliser for tntir small family farm From one of the lo.-al households that has access to it. Bweta, who s;nd he has started his own small maize ant I sorghum farm of 1.5 hectares, is unsure of where to buy fertiliser for his crops. He said he is stiil dependingon his rmitier's connections. 'TTie government controls fertiliser distribution in oui state, ff you are not con-

Bags ol f e r t i l i

Should fertiliser subsidy go? nected to one of the households taht has access to the product, you cannot access if," he explained. According to him, the government provides subsidised fertiliser to the ward councilors, who redistribute it lo the lown elders. The elders resell fertiliser lo those households thai have been providing political patronage over the years. The households either use the fertiliser on their farms or resell lo relatives and close friends, such as Bweta's family. The rural retail market is also an unreliable source of fertiliser as the traders often buy up the supplies and sell at big markets in urban centres at higher costs, Sidi said. Bweta, however, has discovered an alternative source. Across Ihe street from his local bank, Ayuba Bwangale, a rural sales agent, sells fertiliser produced by Notore Chemical Industries Limited, Port Harcourt, a leading fertiliser company, in one-kiiogramme packs. When Bweta

bought fertiliser, Bwangale taught him how to space and plant the seeds in addition to using the fertiliser properly. Bwangale is one of 10 Village Promoters (VPs) trained by Notore to act as independent rural fertiliser merchants in Adamawa State. The VPs' sales training is unique in thai they educate farmers who buy their products.

Support for private sector intervention Speaking with The Nation, the Programme Co-ordinator, Farmers Development Union (FADU). Mr Victor Olowe, said fertiliser subsidy has not helped farmers. Those benefiting from it, he noted, are politicians who don't have farms. Canvassing Ihe deregulation of the fertiliser market, Olowe said it would enable farmers to access various brands and improve their farm productivity. Farm-

'The Federal Government is withdrawing from fertiliser import and distribution to allow the private sector to move in. The programme was said to be costly and prone to mismanagement and corruption'

ers, he said, need fertiliser for better produce. In his contribution, the Managing Director, Mid-Century Agro-Allied Ventures Limited, Mr Ray Obiajulu, said the government's involvement in fertiliser purchase and distribution is one of Ihe main reasons for low consumption. The fertiliser programme, he observed, is heavily politicised, with many politicians using fertiliser supply and subsidies to garner votes and reward patronage. Chief Executive, Notore Chemical Industries Limited, Mr Onajite Paul Okoloko, said: "The subsidies cost the government dearly and often benefit the wrong people." Above all, he said many poor farmers find it difficult to buy the BOkg bags of fertiliser. They either buy in small units from open bags, which often contain degraded or adulterated products, or wait in vain to receive subsidised fertiliser, thus missing out on applying it at the optimum time, if at all. He said the company, aware of Ihe inconsistencies in government distribution network, decided to develop private distribution channels to make fertiliser available to farmers in small quantities. Okoloko said the introduction of the one kilogramme fertiliser bag was lo address the financial challenges ofsubsislent farmers. "The farmers, who earn less than $1 * Continued on page 14



Borno home of fishing AGRICULTURE is the main occupation of Borno Stale. II involves 80 per cent of the population. Farming, fishing and animal husbandry represent the main agricultural activities in the state. The key agricultural produce of the state include millet-, sorghum, wheat, rice, mangoes, citrus fruits, vegetable, gum-Arabic, onions, carrots, groundnuts, berries etc. The state has consolidated its hold in these areas. The goal of the government is to increase food production to achieve internal food sufficiency, while prov i d i n g the enabling environment lo boost export production. Experts in the industry see the opportunities and bright romise that Borno State is olding out for the future. •Project Manager, Cassava Enlerp i Development Project of Ihe International Institute of Tropical Agricullure(IITA)Dr. Gbassey Tarawali -left); Executive I istant lo MTA Director-General Mrs. Toyin Oke; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekili Slate; A strong agricultural stale, I1TA Director-General Dr. Nt. lya Sanginga; and Ihe Communication Officer [West & Central'Afrka), I1TA Mr Godwin good climate and a lot of Atser, during a visit lo the goi or in Ado Ekili. land for agricultural production to feed the Northern region. f-ollowing the Federal Government efforts to boost the production of major cash crops, farmers in the state A $40 million rice farm based in Guthrie, Okla- can benefited from strong /% that will leduce imhoma, and operates a 17,000- economic performance. JL iports b) l!i per cenl acre leasehold in western Continued high prices in and cut costs b\4 billion Kenya. crop and livestock markets ($342 million) a veir is to be By Daniel Essiet, Agriculture accounts for 44 are predicted, meaning thai will produce enough grain established, Agnci llure MinAgile Correspondent in four vears to cover its per cent of gross domestic rospects for Ihe farmers ister Or Akimvvrt i Adesina needs, which would allow it product, ana contributes to iok solid in the year ahead." tion," Adesina said. Nigeria io export to other West Afri- about 77 per cent of all emhas said. The sector will see an inThe project, he sa d is a joint must be a "food self-suffi- can countries and compete ployment in Nigeria, crease in overall f a r m inventure between Dominion cient and exporting nalion." wilh Thailand and India, Adesina said. Africa's top oil come levels due to higher Nigeria is the world's larg- Adesina said. The farm will producer spends"well over" prices for grains and oilFarms Lid., an Cklahornabased farming company that est importer of rice, at 2.3 stretch over 30,000 hectares N1.3 trillion annually to im- seeds. The government produces rice in Kenya and million Ions a year and con- (74,132 acres) in Taraba State. port the four basic food items needs private investors to the Federal Government. He s u m p t i o n of 4.9 million About 90 per cent of Ihe land of wheat, rice, sugar and fish, play an imporlanl roie its said the Federal tons, according to the will be operSted by contract he said. agriculture and agri-food Government's p i o d u c f i o n United stales Department of farmers, and the resl will be Nigeria plans to add 20 mil- sector. The Ministry of Agtarget is 300,000 m e t r i c Agriculture. Demand in the run as a corporate farm and lion tonnes of production riculture is targeting develcountry will be 35 million for training purposes, ac- over the next Four years of opment of agriculture and tonnes a year. "There's absolute ly no rea- tons bv 2050, Adesina said. cording lo the statement. The crops including rice, cassava, related industries. Nigeria imports 2.1 mil- f a r m w i l l require 15,000 com, soybeans, sorghum and son in the world f'>r Nigeria This means increasing the to be a food importing na- lion tons of rice yearly and workers Dominion Farms is cotton, Adesina said. competitiveness of the sector, increased volumes of production, and improved the social sphere in rural areas. The governments want to keep positive growth in RCHAIC agricultural produce verv litlle in a typi- yields through reduced in environmental benefits. livestock breeding and the production practices cal year. Meeting the in- losses to pests. According to him, changes in iivestock industry. This will are hampering the creased demand for agriculHe said changing farming practices such as tillage and include increasing meat nation's que-t to become a tural gixjds and services, he practices along with grow- livestock feed efficiency, production by construction food basket, an expert has ssid required the use of mod- ing adoption of agriculture when coupled with efforts by and upgrading of livestock ern farming practices, said. technologies vvill help the farmers to improve nutrient poultry facilities. Share hkpeie said changing pro- farm sector lo increase total and pest management will and Johnson Ekpeii., .i'ho is an of pedigree livestock has ininternational consultant on d u c t i o n practices would output. help limit soil erosion and creased. There is slate wide agriculture and c imate is- only increase agricultural According to him, price in- nutrient runoff. Changes in effort to improve quality of sues, said agricultural output productivity but cause a sig- creases for agricultural com- agricultural productivity cattle and, replace less prohas not grown r^p dly, even nificant growth in Ihe modities have lagged far be- practices will not help keep ductive breeds w i t h more with the :e of land amount of goods and ser- hind both economy-wide prices of produce low, an productive breeds. The and labour d«vt>leci to farm- •. :-es produced by the agri- price increases and increases expert has said. main goals of the state ing. He said farirers must cr.ltural sector. in prices of agricultural inHe called on Ihe govern- p r o g r a m m e on developU'ith change in production puts. This, he explained was ment and stakeholders, to ment adjust production practices in of agriculture is food numerous ivay • t i remain practices, he said farmers not in the interest of farm- back full-scale adoption of security, support of adv. '11 re.ilise enormous eco- ers if thei have to make a modern agricultural tech- equate level of farmers' profcompetitive. Ekpere, a rctir ;d professor n. mic benefits, including living from it. He said a niques. These should include its, support of the attractiveof Agriculture or ti--e Univer- Jo'ver pesticide costs, sav- combination of changes in intensifying a g r i c u l t u r a l ness of agriculture for insity of Ibaden ' U •), said a ir.-js in management time, farming practices, and other production by m a n a g i n g vestment, and the complex large number of -iniall farms ai'ri, in manv esses, higher structural tr^nd* will result land and water. development of the social sphere in rural areas. fubsequen'lv, the government ha> outuned ne-.v priorities including, de\Hi- tJnti- rsity of Ag- [?--nmot ng jii .\teiiiiofi svs- said farmers nei d the same He reiterattii thai the uni- -.r.e'.it of agro-food market inn,:ult'ir( A be ok ut a It-m. t'riii^j as larmers in highly versity is ready to contribute frastructure, support of pri(UNAA3 i. improvAccording :j him jjood successful agricultural coun- to improving food supplies vate larms and small agriing its research, k prepare quality produce results rrom tries - access to teomology and by j y sharing its research and cultural enterprises, support rural farmers in neet the siritjitf produc-'"n practices, services. practicalltnowledge with oi exports of agricultural P' products, upgrading of food challenge of inc '-a-ing food proper landfing during and The challenge fi>r the fann- larmers. demand its C t p i t y Vice- at'er harvest. ing sector, he notf d, is not jus* Since more women are in- and processing Industries Chancellor,7iol • olaSaiako, -ie Slid research wilf to deliver die technology that volved in farming, he said he and strategic measures p.'csenl information about can improve yields, but to supports training in agricul- a i m e d at mitigation of has said. weather and climate risks. In art interview ,/i hTtmNa- product1 and variety selection share the knowledge, to help tural research. Tiie state government ha tion, Salako s.iid the institu- fi T markets, choosing the farmers increase their profitHe said this could help tion is working or rebuild- bust time and how to harvest ability. women scientists to bring planned to increase competiing fanners'cap; city on oops for the appropriate Salako said modest farmers practical, sustainable im- tiveness of the agricultural small farms, .vK-ri' farmers market. need to acquire knowledge to provements to the farm sec- sector using the negotiated will integrate a>'d manage He said yields must rise seea return on imestment. By tor such that small farmers - f a v o u r a b l e terms to woo complex farming sv stems in- across the sector and that food increasing ihe profitability of most of whom are women - foreign and local investors. corporating crop?. Tees and security depends on agricul- the farmers, he s^id the insti- can build better lives for The strategy supports infradevelopment, solivestock. ture and improved yields. tution would empower them themselves and their fami- structure cial development of rural lo increase yields, Salako


$40m rice farm coming, says Minister


'Old practices hamper food production'


territories, irrigation and land reclamation. The state governments want to use agric to promote employment and advance the social and economic welfare of residents, ensure small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have opportunity to participate in the sector and review its policies to ascertain restrictive practices which may adversely affect the economic interests of farmers. The sector is witnessing considerable t r a n s f o r m a tion and commercial orient a t i o n and it has to be strengthened for effective competition. The government is providing a wide range of farm inputs, i n c l u d i n g fertilisers, improved seeds, herbicides, pesticides and agricultural implements and machinery. Certain farm services are also subsidised.These include land clearing and Iractor hiring services, irrigation, farm credit, extension services, and agricultural insurance. Fertiliser was the most prominent of the various inputs and activities subsidised by the government. To improve competitiveness, the government is improving access to market information not only for Ihe t r a d i t i o n a l food crops but also for other crops of industrial importance. The state is establishing the environment for a thriving and competitive indigenous agribusiness sector that relies on a-system of flourishing and i n n o v a t i v e enterprises. The frame work will be sustained by good infrastructure, regulations and access to appropriate financing. Addition to access to proper equipment and maintenance services, the government wants agric entrepreneurs to be able to assess market feasibility and raise i n v e s t m e n t capital. The considerable amount of training is involved address the needs of farmers in the rural areas on the need to embrace modern farming technology. Farmers are t a u g h t new technologies and connected to the state's agriculture ministry, and research centres. The government believes harnessing its resources will contribute to the national income. To this end, it is championing mechanised and commercial arable farming. The government hopes to improve the living standard of f a r m e r s and increised productivity.

UNAAD targets rural fanners to stimulate agric


He said the institution is

to become more productive.


•Gov. Kashim Sheltima



PAN set to assemble 3,000 Chinese cars annually RASHEED IJ1SIRIYU


AN Nigeria Limited, the manufaelurers of Peugeot vehicles in Nigeria, is set lo diversify its brand portfolio with mass production of \lsvin model, a brand of the Chongqing Changan Automobile China. The aut<J company said on Friday (hat it had completed a full scale installation of the factory lines for the production of the Alsvin -with an engine capacity of 1.5 litres. It also said the firm had concluded arrangement with the Chinese manufacturer H oprovide Ihe technical support to enable it to assemble 3,000 Alvin vehicles in Nigeria. PAN is on? of the few surviving au:o assembly plants in Nigei ia, which was privatised in >OO3 as part of measures to reinvigorate local vehicle production. According to a statement by the acting Head of Corporate Communication, PAN Nigeria Mr. Musa Usman, the company had rolled out icme units of the product, which are prototypes. It said, "Tiis is on the strength of a Technical Agreement .signed between PAN Nigeria Limited and Changan Automotive Manufacturing Company, brand ov. nersi .f the ALSVIN, a B and Mi segments car." Hie Memorandum of Understanding was signed in China in October last year, the state nent said. "Chairman Board of

Directors of PAN Nigeria, Alhaji Sani Dauda, led top management of the company to China for the historical event in October last year," it said. The team from China was in Kaduna. the production base of PAN Nigeria, on Wednesday to assess the preparedness of the Nigerian aulo firm. ''During an inspection

" -

tour of the first set of the Nigerian produced ALSVIN to ascertain the overall readiness of the company, the chairman said PAN would initially produce ahout 3,000 units of the ALSVIN from its Kaduna plant in 2012 with production target expected to increase annually," it said. It

gave The attributes

middle class in the country. He said, "We have achieved lest production of the Alsvin. We have also exhaustively conducted road lest of our production to assess quality and durability which signify our reputation. "The results were very favourable as the AI,svin proved to be very suitable for Nigerian roads."

First Bank as at Nov. 24, 2011 Billing

$ £ €


157.50 245.00 217.00

160.50 253.00 220.00

EXCHANGE RATES CBN as at 24/11/2011 YEN


WAUA 239.9906 $










•L-R: Country Managing Director. DHL. Mr. Randy Buday; Commercial Managing Director, Mr. Chris Okereke; and Retail Manager. North. DHL. Mr. Charles, during the Nigeria Oil and (las Coitfereitce, in Abuja... on Friday

NIPC wants NASS to ratify trade agreement IFEANYI ONUBA Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Mr. Mustafa Bello, has called on" the

Nigerian Youths Parliaments to use their legislative powers to influence the National Assembly to ratify' all bilateral agreements that Nigeria has entered with other countries of the world He said there were over

IITA offers recipe for food insecurity, unemployment jpMAPPING research outputs from international agricultural -JL i research centers could help lational and state governments to tackle the twin proMerns of food insecurity ?.ni the rising wave of unemployment, says the Dinx:or-General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr. Nteranya Sa:ijinga. He said this during a courtesy visi! t-> the Governor of Ekiti State. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, a ;&iternent from the institutes; id on Friday. Sanginga said, "We have the technologies and knowledge t<> help boost agriculture : nd we are ready to sha 'e these with

of the product as having European design, strong Chinese elements and an amenability to the Nigerian terrain. The Managing Director, PAN Nigeria, Alhaji Sliehu Dauda, said the decision to diversify into a multibrand was market driven and hinged it on the need to produce affordable vehicles within the reach of the

partners. He said investments in research and development backed with the necessary political support could alleviate the situation of high food import burden and improve agriculture. Pledging to step up assistance to farmers in Ekiti Stale, Sanginga called for greater cooperation between IITA and the government of Ekiti. According to the statement, Ekiti is among the states that have over the years benefited from HTA's interventions in research and development work in cocoa, yam, cassava, and banana and plantain. "For instance, farmers in that state received improved

cassava cuttings from the institute, while the clean seed yam technology is equally offering farmers 'seeds of hope"1, it said. Sanginga was quoted as saying partnership was important if the goal of reducing the number of poor people and guaranteeing food security was to be achieved. While urging the governor to tap the available improved planting materials at the institute to maximi7.e yield on fanners' fields, he said that the yellow cassava varieties recently developed by IITA and national partners could help the slate in improving the nutrition of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency.

40 of such agreements on trade, investment and other related matters that were aimed at advancing the economy of the country which are yet to be ratified by the National AssemblyHe emphasised that without the ratifications, Nigeria would continue to lose on the benefits a Deniable from such Agreements. The Executive Secretary spoke when principal officers of the parliaments led by the Speaker, Mr. Abdullah! Mairasira, paid him a visit in Abuja, urged them lo promote and advance the economic and political development of the country. Bello also enjoined them to work with Ihe Federal Govern men I lo bring about the realisation of the job creation programme in order to ensure that youths were gainfully employed. While advising youths to shun all vices lhat would relard their own progress and the country at large.

he said with the successful implementation of the World Bank Small and Medium Scale Enterprise programme coordinated by the commission, Ihe NIPC could successfully assisl the government to ensure that youths were gainfully employed. Bello disclosed that the World Bank MSME programme that was piloted in three stales of the Federation — I.agos, Abia and Kaduna — had assisted over one million artisans and other small business enlrepreneurs in Improving their business. This, he noted, was achieved through the loan obtained from the scheme. He further called on the Federal Government and the World Bank to revisit the programme and provide the needed fund to promote the MSME. He maintained that investment promotion and facilitation remained the key to economic transformation of anvcounlrv.

New licences for fixed

telephony underway -P23


Erosion threat: Oyo LGs under pressure over projects -P56

TUESl>.Vi. FEBRUARY 28, 2012



economy FG to boost agricultural productivity to N48tn"

SURE programme has not been dropped - Presidency

Friday Olokor, Abuja


'"pHE Federal Go .'eminent J. has announced plans to increase the nation's agricultural productivity from the preseiit Sgtibn (Ni5.84bn) per ; iioum to Sgoobn (N48tn| liy 2030. It has a Is o pi edgi :d the s u m of $15111 as its contribution lothe Interne lion: 1 Fund for Agricultural De\elopment for the rcpknishment of tile IF An resouices. Tlie Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Br..\ki nwumi Atlesina, according lo a statement made available In our correspondent on Monday in Abuja by his Special Assistant (Media and Strategy), Dr. Olubayoik Oyeleye. disclosed tins during the just concluded 35 ill session of the governing council of 1FAD in Rome. Ifcily. He said in order to create jobs .ind ensure a more balanced economic growth; the government would be refocusing on the agricultural sector, adding, "Our vision is lo move Nigeria to l>econ]e an agriculturally industrialised economy. l<i cre<te wealth, jobs and markets for fanners, and to revive the rural eronomj." Adesiivi siiid the government hnd developed a Vision 2020 strategy to make Nigeiia one of the top 20 economies in llie world by 202 o. "We plan to srw the size of the agi iculti-ral sector from the present level of $99bn per veal today to about $3"Ji)bn per year by 2030," he said. The pledge represents a 3013 per cent increase over tlie regular $5in, which Nigeria normally gives Ic IFAD. This is the ninth time the Federal Government would be making contribillions to IFAD for the i c p enishment of its resources. The minister said that the prospect <-f agriculture to the global economy and national development was very bright in Nigeria. He said, "Nigeria's economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, growing by 7-t per cent annually, and it s projected that Nigeria will become the fifth largest country in the worFd by 2050 and the largest economy in Africa by 2015. "Agriculture is veryimportant for Nigeria, where it contributes ic pw cent of the GDP and ever 70 per cent of all .?mt If. >Tnent."

Ihuoma Cliiedozie and Mike Odicgwu HE Presidency on Monday denied reports I hat President Goodluck Jonathan had said the Subsidv Reinvestment and Empowerment programme had been jettisoned. The President had reportedly said at the 58th National Executive Committee meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party on February 20 lhal the SURE programme was no longer realisable as originally planned because of the partial reversal of the total removal of subsidy on petrol. However, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abali, the Presidency said the reports were untrue. The statement described tlie reports as a deliberate misrepresentation of Jonathan's comments at the POP event. •

• Jonathan visits exploded Chevron facility7 Abati said, "As has become the pattern by some political pundits, whose definition of opposition is to undermine any good policy initiative of the Federal Government, there has been ;i deliberate mis representation of the comments by President Goodluck Jonathan at the 58th National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party on February 20' 2012 on the issue of reviewing the SURE programme. "Hence, it has been alleged that tlie Federal Government has abandoned or is attempting to truncate the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment programme." The statement said Jonathan only meant til at the programme would have to be reviewed, in view of the government's inability to fully remove petrol

subsidy. The programme, according to the Presidency, was based on the total removal of subsidy. Abati said, "At no time did President Goodluck Jonathan said that the Federal Government had abandoned the SURE programme. What he said in his opening remarks at the meeting last week was that the full implementation of government's palliatives to cushion the negative effects of the fuel subsidy removal, as contained in the original SURE programme was no longer feasible and would be reviewed in view of the partial rather than full removal of the subsidy on petrol. "The SURE programme was predicated on a policy of full deregulation as stated in the SURE document released to the general public. However, due to

widely publicised events after the commencement of full deregulation, the government, after a series of negotiations with organised labour, reduced the pump price of petrol.'' He added, "It, therefore, follows that the funds that were expected to accrue from full deregulation will no longer accrue since the policy of full deregulation was stepped down for the time being. "This new reality infoi med the President's directive that the original SURE programme documents already circulated lo the public be withdrawn in order not to give the public false expectations." He added, "For those who are still in doubt, let it be stressed that the Dt. Christopher Kolade committee charged with implementing the SURE

programme is still al work and has not been disbanded, whileanewSURE document containing the reviewed palliatives will soon be released to the public. Meanwhile, the President said on Monday that the Federal Government was committed to addressing the environmental problems resulting from oil exploration and production in the Niger Delta region. Jonathan gave the assurance in Koluama community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, when he visited the exploded gas well head belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited. The President, who promised tlie impacted people of Koluama governments readiness to address the environmental problems in the area, also directed the National Emergency Management Agency lo distnbute relief materials to the affected communities lo alleviate their plights

Banks remain shut in Ogun over security concerns Ademola AJawiyc


EPOSIT ( Banks in

Chairman, Visafone Communications Limited. Mr. Jim Ovia (m)- and othei- management members of staff of Ihe company during the 4th anniversary of the company in Lagos... recently.

Nigeria to earn Ns*49bn daily from Usan field .Stanley Opara '-pOTAL'S Usan oil field, J- which commenced production on Friday, is expected to generate for the country an income of S22.2$m (N3.49bn) daily with its capacity to produce 180,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Ba-5ed on 8123.61 price per barrel at an exchange rate of Ni57 per dollar as at Monday, the country is expected to make over N;).4°bn daily from the field. Total, which operates Oil Mining Lease 138. delivered the project as scheduled.

Usan is the second deep offshore development operated by (he company in Nigeria, coming on stream less than three years after Akpo. The country currently produces over 2.5 million bpd of crude oil and condensate pel day. Discovered in 2002, the Usan field lies around 100 kilometres off the South East Nigerian coast in water depths ranging from 750 metres to 850 metres. The Usan development comprises a spread moored Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel designed to process

180,000 barrels per day and with a crude storage capacity of two million barrelsCommenting on Ihe achievement, the President, Exploration and Production. Total, Mr. Yves-Lou is Darricarrere. said on Friday, "I am particularly proud to announce start-up of this major project together with the concession holder. the Nigerian National Petroleum Corpora lion. This project demonstrates the ability of Total, a key operator of large-scale deep offshore developments in the Gulf of Guinea, to lead

ambitious projects that will contribute to increase production for the group and for Ihe country. "Total, as operator, has introduced a number of technological innovations, among which is a solution that drastically reduces gas Oaring and thus minimises the project's environmental impact. The development of Usan has involved a record 60 per cent of local content man-hours and thus has contributed to strengthening the knowhowof the Nigerian industry in the area of hydrocarbon exploitation in the deep offshore.'"

Money Ijebu and Remo divisions of Ogun State, which were shut on Thursday following an attack on one of them; have yet to open to customers. Our correspondent gathered from workers of the different banks thai the decision to close down was taken by the Bankers Forum in the stale following incessant attacks by armed robbers since June las! year. The forum comprises of branch managers of all the DMBs and microfmance banks in the state. One of the bankers, who pleaded not to be named because he was not permitledlospeakofficially, told our correspondent that the workers had agreed to stay away from work until the slate government provided adequale security for them. "We have been experiencing these robberies since June last year. In October last year, they came to Ago Iwoye and robbed five banks al a go. We met the governor and he promised to provide belter security, armoured tanks and patrol vehicles. After a while, they struck and robbed four banks again in a single attack, and just last week, they robbed another bank in Ijebu Igbo," he lamented.


FRI1 FRIDA1, KARCH 9. 2012


Opeifators initiate new scheme to boost cashewproduction Lavi Adeloye


HE Cashew Association ol Nigeria has unfolded I lans to embark on a Sprcu I Cashew Production Scheme in 10 states in Nigeria. 'Hie President ufNCAN. Mr. Tola Faseni. isted (he states In be used as pilot schemes to include Ahia, Cross River, Kogi, Kwara, Oyo. Nassjirawa Osun,

Delta, Akwa-Ihom and Edo. According to a statement bv NCAN, a copy of which was made available lo our correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday, Kasem added tbat each of the slates would make available hectares of land for

the sche Faseru was quoted as stating this at the commencement of the just concluded Nigerian Cashew Season 2O12 in Ilorin, Kwara Stale. He said tliat under the scheme, a processing plant would be established in each of

the states to be fed by the cashew plantations. He also said that the new plan would \>e providing jobs and wealth creation opportunities for the country's teeming unemployed youths. Specifically, he said over 25,000 new job

opportunities were being expected from the scheme. According to him. the strategy will not only provide new jobs, but will also promote entrepreneurship, as it is structured to make the workers owners of Ihe farms. added that the

FDI, key to sustainable

economic growth -BATN


I.ayi Ade oye Rrilish .\merican _L Tobacco Nigeria, has described Foreig i Direct Investment as tha key to sustainable socio- -conomic growth in Nigeria. The Ari'-a I I auaging Director of the rompany, Mrs. Beverley SpencerObatqyinbo, i. ss quoted .is stating tliis during the March 2012 breakfast Meeting organise! by the Nigerian British Chamber of Commei ce in Lagos. According lo a statement by the firm, in a pie? entation. titled, 'Driving National Growth tli rough Foreign Direct Investment.' Spencei-Oljfitoyin^o, said that the issues "f global or national socio- conomic development were pivotal lo reducing, if not completely eradicating, ih-? growing problem of global insecurity and poverty. According lo her, FDI is one of the most dynamic avenues for international resource flicv; into developing countries, thus bringing with il 111 _' benefits that are capable of driving sustainable grow-Ill. Spencer-Obatoyinbo said that there was a growing consensus that FDI had become essential to attaining t le new goals set by ihi.'- current arl ministration. ;tnd [hat Nigeria as a coiin'ry (given itsnaturalresouici'baseand large market si?e) qualify to be a major recip'e it of FDI. She urged stakeholders to critically look into how the country ci;u d utilise the FDI Mndo.v to drive this growth, e^'cially in the non-oil sector;. She enjoinec. Migerians not to give up. adding that there was \h: need to collect]veU woi k together lo creatively overcome all the challenges <~f operating within the economy.



•L K Brand Manager. Lucozade Boos*. Kunle Faioye. comedian, Julius Agwu; Innovations Manager. GRK Consumer. V, inston Aileirtob: and Marketing Director. GSK Consumer, Mark Pfister, during a uisit by finalists in Lucozade Boost Freestyle Television Shoiu to the company in Logos on Wednesday


Pharmadeko plans capacity expansion, I.avi Adelove who emerged celebrates return Kaz.eem, the best distributor HARMADEKO Pic.

manufacturers of the popular SANS Cream Sodar among other products, has said it plans to embark on massive capacity and product expansion programmes in furtherance of its market reclamation activities. The com pa ny a n nou n ced this at the celebration of its return to profitability and market prominence, which was marked with an award ceremony in I,agos on Monday. According lo the management, the company is currently sourcing • for facilities to achieve the objectives. Addressing journalists shortly after an award ceremony be Id for the company's distributors in Lagos, the Managing Director, Mr. Kunle Abibu, said that the decision to reward the distributors was horn out of the need to invest in them so as lo build confidence and renew its existing relationship, which had been built over the years. Abibu said efforts were on to secure a bail-out of Nibn through Ecobank to prosecute the big expansion programmes. While

expressing confidence in the process of accessing the fund, he, lamented the delay in the processing, which he blatned on the bureaucracy involved in the merger between the bank and former Oceanic Bank, rather than Ecobank systems. He said with the fund, the company would be able to achieve the much needed lurnaround it was pursuing, particularly in the area of bringing back some of its products, which held sway in the past. The Pharmadeko boss noted thai since the new management came on board, investment in human resources, provision of appropriate remuneration and motivation bad been put in place to enhance greater performance. He said that although the company's focus was to expand and consolidate its local manufacturing capacity and profile, Abibu said the firm was not totally averse to considering partnerships. especially on franchise terms, provided they were favourable lo the company's vision. In its renewed efforts

to win back the confidence of its customers, the management of the company rewarded some distributors, who were described as having made outstanding performances in the sales of its product offerings in 2011. The distributors, who were awarded several gift items, commended the company for the laudable initiative, which was aimed at rewarding their loyalty. However, the highpoint of the event was the ptesentation of a Kia Picanto ear to Mr. Mahabn

Truth Construction bags NIS quality Tayo Famutimi have complied with the award minimum requirements






Nigeria has awarded Truth Construction Company

Limited, the

nationwide. Some other distinguished distributors were rewarded with various prizes, having recorded outstanding performances in other different categories of awards. Other recipients of the award included Ayi Venture Limited, Mabro Pharmacy Limited and Carnaco Pharmacy Limited, among others, but with different types of prizes, ranging from heavy duty generators, motor bikes and refrigerators to air conditioners.

Governor of Kwara State, AbdulahiFatai Ahmed, had given the go-ahead for the scheme to commence in the state. On his part. Ahmed, who was represented by the state Commissioner of Special Duties, Mr. Aliyu Mohammed, said that Kwara was proud to be a major producer of cashew in Nigeria. The governor also projected that the slate would play a leading role in the SCPS initiative as presented by NCAN. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga. had earlier called on NCAN and its promoters to put machinery in place and work towards doubling production and processing figures of previous years as a way of enhancing cashew trade in Ihe country. Aganga, who was said to have been represented by a director in the ministry, Omololu O pee we, said further that the 201^ cashew season would be the beginning of a paradigm shift in the history ofcasliew industry in Nigeria, The event also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the facilitation of Ihe Nigerian cashew cluster finance scheme between the Nigerian Export and Import Bank, Ecobank Nigeria Pic, Abod Success Investment Ltd. ACET Ltd, KD Foods, African Cashew Alliance, AIMS Limited and NCAN. Faseru, on his part, said the signing of the MOU would assist in making funds available to cashew producers in the country'. He, therefore, called on allparticipantsinthecashew value chain, from buyers to Ihe local buying agents, merchants, exporters and processors in the country, to take advantage of this opportunity and improve the cashew subsector.


Lagos. quality

with award.

The award was given in recognition of the firm's activities, covering

telecommunications equipme-nt, installations and materials supply. According to a statement

by the firm on Thursday, the quality management

system certification came on the heels of the preassessment work carried out by the inspectorate SON's team in July 2011 with the main assessment following in November


It staled, "The apex standard regulatory body, following the inspection tours and awessment tests conducted by its team of auditors, adjudged Truth Construction Company lo

for Ihe relevant industrial Standards." "With this honour, the company has now received authorisation by the quality assessment apex body in Nigeria to display SON logo on all its official communications pertaining to tel ecom in unira lions equipment installationsand material supply having met minimum requirements for the relevant industrial Standards."


comment is free Send SOOword comments to com menpa'businessdayonline.corn

Tuesday 28 February 2012

The subsidy question: Wickedness, propaganda, and distrust (6) always shield [ring-fence] themselves from the pains and shield us from the gains. The 1988 subsidy war was very brutal and this was how it went. "Hie word subsidy suddenly resurfaced and its withdrawal became IKMUO our only saviour. Opposition was unanimous and bitter. Bui Ihe consultant in fftf deportment of business government which knew what was administration. Olafrisi Onabanjo good for us (as always] insisted Universitj, Ago-iwoye that subsidy must go. The NLC had logic and mass support; the govne crucial and curious ernment had power and 'national question we did not interest'...NNPC suddenly became ask last week and which autonomous and could fix prices captures the subsidy as the market dictated. Then one abtacadabia was why morning, a 'mere' 2.5 kobo increour subsidy ma|;icians were import- ment took effect, unannounced. ing, paying for :ind 'subsidizing' 59 Demonstrations unhmited started, million barrels dairy while by their from the hitherto docile UN1IOS.... own admission, we consumed about The whole nation caught fire. Some 35 million? This can only happen in appealed, some threatened, some Nigeria and the answer, if/when it knocked logicality against illogicalcomes, must also be mily Nigerian! ly [how many students own cars? But today, being a veteran of the all workers on strike sacked!]. Some various subsidy wars (participating, instigators were blamed.... Calm monitoring, analyzing], my concern returned but before then, there is to examine how the 2012 subsidy were arrests, detentions, charges war compares with several others of treason, negotiations, commubefore it. '[he reality is that the more niques. Meanwhile, tbe prices of things appear to change, the more virtually everything increased geothey remain the same. The key issue metrically. And we keep waiting in the current war is that Nigerians for the happy days.' (Ik Muo: "The cannot be furthfer pauperized by state of the nation: A one-act play^ government po icies while the elites Democrat, 12/7/88, p.8). five like Arabian princes and corrupIn January 2012, it was the same tion is moving on all fours. But that ambuscade by an 'independent' did not si ait tot I ay. PPPRA. Politicians were blamed; About 30 years ago. Shehu there were arguments like 'the Shagari imposed 'frusterity' [aus- poor did not enjoy the subsidy) and terity-induced frustration] on Nige- prices of everything went up, and rians, and the complaint was that 'in we are still waiting. a country where frauds are reported Another fuel war was fought in daily, where th<i governments have 2003 and this is the report card: thrown financial prudence to the 'One thing is obvious: this subdogs, and where public functionar- sidy being preached in Nigeria ies live in outrigeoiis opulence, il is a 'strange doctrine!... We have is the height of man's inhumanity placed ourselves in a curious, to man for the masses to be sub- no-win situation, where we do the jected to this hcjsh and smothering same thing for the same public austerity: jlk Muo, "The Shagarian reasons, and in the same way, Brand of Austerity"! Financial Punch, every time, and expect different IB/1/84, p.3.] Tills was actually writ- outcomes. Well, it shall come to ten on 28/12/83, and before it was pass, following the usual laughpublished, Buhari and his 'fellow able cycle. The government will countrymen' were on board. The just announce an outrageous rulers and 'miners' of this country price increment, supporting it with


phony and funny arguments; labour will reject it outright and the circus show will begin. Several meetings, consultations, 'lobbying' [yes lobbying], blackmails, threats, intimidation, sabotage and divide and rule tactics will follow. There will also be 'appeals from well meaning Nigerians and obviously sponsored solidarity rallies urging the government to ignore the ignorant detractors and carry on with the good works. After all this, a new price will be announced which will

Ihe 2012 subsidy war was similar to the ones before: it was hasty and sneaky and the same argument in support. There was official hard line position [arrest and detention]; the government used its favourable balance of terror effectively

satisfy neither party, and we shall all heave sighs of relief. But. .the sighs of relief will only be temporary because like the VW Beetle, the subsidy doctrine has refused to die. It will only go on a brief retreat and return with a frightening recrudescence, and that will not usually take much more than 12 months.' [Ik Muo, "This too shall pass away" BusinessDay, 9/7/03). This was exactly what happened in January 2012! Beyond the examples above, the 2012 subsidy war was similar to the ones before: it was hasty and sneaky and the same argument in support. There was official hard line position |anest and detention]; the government used its favourable balance of tenor effectively as the police who could not protect us against robbers and the Boko-Haramisis were unleashed on innocent and peaceful 'occupiers! Prices increased as Nigerians exploited themselves; government attempt to foil it through the court failed as usual; arranged progovernment demonstrators emerged while the proposal was presented on a TINA framework [TINA - There is no alternative]. There are, however, some stark differences. There was acute lack of collaboration between government departments and officials, accusations and counter-accusations, contradictory submissions and figures, eSorts at self-exemption ['it wasn't me' syndrome] while Sanusi's views actually did damage to the government's position. In fact, government officials and offices were fighting against themselves [il appeared as if God has put enmity among them (Indges 7:22 and 2 Chronicles 20:22-23}[. The 'occupy1 forces were an assembly of saints and sinners, including A-class celebrities, certified reverends; those who had inflicted greater pain on the people; those who should be in jail; and those whose credibility accounts were in the red. The 2012 subsidy war was the greatest 'I-no-go-gree' assembly of Nigerians since June 12; it lasted more than a week, the civil society organizations were very visible and it had international dimensions as Nigerians also occupied foreign

lands and unlike before, there were specific protest squares [the freedom squares]. The 2012 war also involved states/FG alliance; there was a hurriedly prepared and now endangered SURÂŁ document; and this was the first in this BB and tweeter age. Nigerians, united by poverty, pain ana anger against their traducers, were ready to obey the biblical injunction: 'Occupy til 1 come' (Luke 19:13). It was also peaceful/orderly and relatively less deadly. The war also assumed a resourcecontrol dimension with Bayelsa women supporting their 'son? Clarke advising those who lost politically to take it in good fate, the Occupy Niger Delta Resources group warning that if Goodluck is not good for Nigeria, 'then our oil is not good for you, and Assari Dokubo threatening to chase PENGASSAN out of the delta. This mindset ignored the fact that the war has been on for the past 30 years: against Hausa, Yoruba, military or ci vilian leaderships. The war also went beyond subsidy to discuss issues in governance: corruption, federalism and governmental hypocrisy. The usual argument thai subsidy is aright was downplayed. There were also some surprises. Those for and against agreed on several issues like the deregulation imperative, dealing with officially ordained corruption, refinery management, and determining the exact subsidy. It was also a shocking surprise when Prince Tony Momoh declared that he felt 'fulfilled as a Nigerian looking at the chaos surrounding us today1 [Sun, 15/1 /12, p.5|. One of the greatest surprises was that mosi of those protesters, now termed miscreants, cordoned off with soldiers and bathed with teargas were the same people who demonstrated in 2009 against the cabal {political] but for lonalhan. Today, they are demonstrating both against lonathan and another CABAL. The rahle has turned. â&#x20AC;˘ To be concluded... Send reactions to comment@busmessdayonline. com

Rebranding farming in Nigeria CLEMEHTT.OFUANI Qfuani is Managing Partner at Ofuani Maidoh & Co. (Chartered Accountants) and former Senior Special Assistant to the President {Policy) at Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Nigeria.

ometime in 2004, I visited Zimbabwe. It was at the height of the British-in spired international san n i > r: against the coun try. As if the sanctions were also sanctioned by the almighty, the country was experiencing a drought. It had not rained in almost four years. From-Harare, we drove through kilometers of the countryside and beheldatres arLd acres of lush green fields under cultivation. Zimbabwe is easily the food basket of the region and they take farming very seriously, as we were to find out. The country has gone beyond rain-fed agriculture that depends on the vagaries of nature


to intensive irrigation system that envy from us Ihe visitors. enables them to produce crops all One other lesson we look away year round. For them, farming isnot from the ranch was the application of about cultivating crops during rainy "economics to cattle rearing. We were season and waiting it out during the informed thai by confining the cattie secoiW half of the year. Thus, they to ihe ranches, it was more efficienl have overgrown the capacity limita- to grow the variety of grass best suited tions imposed by nature on farming. to each set of cattle. In addition, the We were told that in summer, for catile were fed lo gain weight The instance, they grew summer wheat, meat was sold in kilogrammes, which and in winter, they grew winter meant that the heavier the cattle, the wheat, among many other crops. more revenue they could realize From In addition, the farms we saw were its sale. Cattle thai range over long highly mechanized - they were nol distances for grazing lose weight in the being worked on by hoe and cutlass - process of searching for grass. By conwielding poor folks but by fairly fining the cattle to the ranches, thereeducated and informed farmhands fore, they conserved their weight, who managed the farm machinery, which translated to profils. Our visit lo a chicken farm was from tractors to the water sprinklers. Then we visited a cattle ranch even more revealing- The grandparand saw that cattie being raised for ent stock, the parent slock, the layers beef were fed on a different variety of and the broilers were separated by grass from the cattle being reared for physical distances of not less than milk. This was a product of agricul- one kilometre due to concerns about tural research in which University bin-security. This was something thai of Zimbabwe had excelled. Indeed, was scrupulously enforced by the govwe were to find out that it was ernment. The government enforced compulsory for every Zimbabwean farming regulations very seriously, undergraduate of the university to WP were told. The species of chicken take courses in agriculture for the in the farm was called "Ross" and we first two years before majoring in were told that the morto of the farm wharever field of study. And it re- was "Ross is boss and boss is Ross" flected in the people we interacted Whatever made Ross better ruled with at the farms. They took intense the farm as everyone recognized that pride in their tanning which elicited their employment and indeed overall

well-beingwas tied to the well-being of Ross. Once again, we were introduced to another interesting application ol economics to the farming. The broilers were reared for meal, which depended on their weight The feeds were formulated to enhance and achieve precise weight gains, and once that weight was achieved, the chicken had to be slaughtered as continued feeding after they had attained the desired weight was a monetary loss. In our interactions with government ministers and even the vice president, I was struck by their enthusiasm for agriculture. No matter what the topic of discussion was, the talk invariably veered off to farming, and you could notice the glint in their eyes as they described Iheir fanns, their crops, and their harvests. Government ministers were obviously very proud lo identify with their farming population, and this percolated to the ordinary citizens. As 1 reflected on the visit, I could not but compare Zimbabwe with our own country, Nigeria, where farming is synonymous with poverty and holds no economic attraction. Nigeria is blessed with abundant arable land and plenteous water resources which together represent

potential wealth through agriculture. All the factors seem to be in place lo promotefood production and create jobs for the teeming unemployed population. Despite this, the reality of Ihe Nigerian situation is that hunger stalks the land and acute unemployment is prevalent in the economy. Successive administrations have always expressed desires lo make us self-sufficient in food production and create employment. Between the desire and actual outcome, however, is a wide gulf. I have come to the conclusion that weneed lo rebrand farming in Nigeria so that people can perceive it as a business or enterprise from which wealth can be created if sensible management practices are deployed. Listening to the minister for agriculture on Channels TV a few days ago expounding on this theme and value chain development in agriculture, I had renewed hope in our country that perhaps we can finally get it right. The initiatives to rebrand farming must therefore be sustained for us to attain food security in our land.

Send reactions lo: comment@businessdayontne. com


The first farmer was the first man, and al! historic nobility rests on possession and use of land. -Ralph Waldo Emerson



E-mail Tel.: 0803 Ilk 0471

BjPVff HwLff


Wednesday 29 February 201 2

IITA offers steps to tackle food insecurity, unemployment W

m Vjpping reifareh o u t p u t s from international agricultural research .^L. centres could help national and state governments to tackle the twin problems of food insecurity and the rising wave of unemployment, says Nteranya Sanginga, director general. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture {UTA}. Faced with the challenge of food deficit, most governments in developing countries and especially Africa rely on food imports to meet local demands. Also, the rising populanon in Iheregionposcstwoirnportant challenges: more mouths to feed and unemployment. During a recent visit to Kayode Fayemi, governor,

am fulfilled as a farmer, says nlicrobiotogist




Ekiti State, Sanginga said, and plantain. For instance, "We have (he technologies farmers in thai state received and knowledge to help boost improved cassava cutnnrjs from agriculrureanuwearereadyto the institute, while the clean share these with partners" seedyannechnologyisequally The IITA director general offering farmers 'seeds of hope.' said investments in research According to Sanginga, and development backed with partnership is important if the the necessary political support goal of reducing the number of could alleviate the situation of poor people and guaranteeing high food import burden and food security is to be achieved, improve agricu rure, pledging While urging the governor tostepupassistancetofarmers to lap into the available in Ekiti State, and called for improved planting materials greater cooperation between at the institute to maximise IITAandthestategovemment. yield on farmers' fields, he Endowed with favourable said that the yellow cassava agro- ecological zones, Kkiti is varieties recently developed among the states that have over by the institute and national the years benefited from IITA's partners could help the state interventions in research and in improving the nutrition of development work in cocoa, peoplesufferingfrom vitamin yam, cassava, and banana Adeficiency.


K ii


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A tdulfalan Ahmed, Kwafa slate governor receiving Exco members of Nations Casliew Association of Nigena (NCAN). from right, eiecut ue governof, next to him Tola Faseru. Sotonye Anga, naiional public relations officer. Ibrahim Garba. chainnan NCAN Kwara Chapter Shogo Moshood. national secretary and Roiirrii Ayeka. financial secietary

February 17-23 2012

Niaeria Commoditv Index





Drum Bfans (Olotu) Groundnut (Edible) Garri (Wline) Matzf (White) Palm oil


Continues from page 24

vernment. To m i t i g a t e t h e s e d lallenges, ! have joined 3, c o o p e r a t i v e and I a tend s e m i n a r s a n d w orkshops organised by tt- e government. So far, tt e business has been M If-funded except for few lo ans ai exorbitant interest ra tes. We expect the state K< vernment to make good it i promise on return of Cf mmodity boards that give in puts to farmers, buy off th eir produce at harvest and duct the cost of inputs. * I also plan to join the C ammercial Agriculture D evelopment Association «^ A D A ) with the hope 0 getting support from V vernment Future prospect Fernworth Farm is ready to stock 50,000 to 100,000 b rds with adequate funding b jt at m inim al interest n te. Currently, I have three l> •opie as staff but I would n adily employ more. Advice Farming is a demanding b isiness; it requires a Ic t of h a r d w o r k a n d P< ;rseverance. But I have n » regrets; in fact, I am so fu i filled to be a farmer, who Is self-employed and an m nplovLT of labour. Also, faod is getting so expensive ti- at many families can b rely afford good food 01t regular basis, but the ft rmer has the advantage providing some good food for the family at very




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6 Friday09-Sunday 11 March 2012


AMCON seeks advisors to determine fate of nationalised banks


L-R: Ibidunni Itueh Ighodalo. founder'CEO. Elizabeth R; Ijeoma Onwu, partner. Akinlola Williams Deloitte: Fola Laoye. chairman, Hygeic Nigeria Limited, and Maria Goretti Idigo, diamond manager. Forever Living Products, dunng the Akmtola Williams Deloille 3012 International Women's Day celebration in Lagos yesterday. Pic by Francis Abiagam

Thieves trnpling oil, gas industry operations, NNPC boss warns OLUSOLA BELLO

sfated thai the activities of


menace to the downstream s e c t o r where increased vandalisation of petroleum produri pipelines has made iialniostimpossibletopump produi tstorhi' depots across the country t h r o u g h the pipeliresdierebydepending on bridging with trucks, "Lc- us take diis menace ^ bit further by looking at the dangei it poses to our colleclive existence as a nation. If we fail to curl) this trend we are inadvenendy empowering these criminals to lake over our local government areas and by the time they do dial they would move on to take charge of the states since they now have die resources to decide who gel to power and one day we may as well wake up lodiscoverthat they have taken over the entire country," the GMD noted. Oniwon warned mat the situation, if left unchecked could degenerate to the scenario in countries like McxicoandColombiawhere criminals have empowered themselves through nefari«us activities and now call the shots because they have stolen so much horn the systemlhroughuiiderworld operations. "These criminals steal both crude and refined petroleum products and sell sametoenrichtheifpockets, we must work collectively (o stop them." Oniwon urged.

he Nigerian National Petroleum Corpotation (NNPC) has raised the red flag on what ii termed sustained nef;'.riiiu; activities of oil pipeline marauders whose activities ire posing a potent threat ti the suecessful operatirm rfboththe upstream and dcwnstream sectors of ihe o 1 and gas industry. The organisation said in the last few months we have lost millions of dollars in shut-in oil well; is a result of the activities of oil thieves who bteach oui crude lines to steal oil. So far the TransForcados and ihe TransNiger Trunk lines have been shut-in due to att ick on the facilities by Thieves. Speaking at an nteractive forum between '.o jmanagemen! of the NMPC and the board and commissioners oftheRevenueM-ihilisation \llocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), group managing director (GMD} of the corporation, Ausicn Oniwon, declared thatpipeline vandalism presents the single biggest thieat to the smooth operation of the petroleum iiidusty today in thecoimtry.nornjihatifleft unchecked Nigerhwill wake up one dav to discover that pipeline thieves have taken over the countrv. The NNPC hslmsman

h e Asset M a n agement Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it is searching for advisors 10 determine the fate the three nationalised banks. the managing director of AMCON, Mustapha ChikeObi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that reports that AMCON had put up the banks for sale was not true. "We are only looking for competent hands who will advise us on what lo do as regards the banks. "We have been misinterpreted and misunderstood with our statements, but we have not said that we will sell die banks. "So there is nothing like proposed sale of the three hanks," Obi said. He said that the corporalion could not delermine whether the banks would be sold, adding that it was only the advisors to die corporation that could do that

Chike-Obi said that to achieve the aim, the corporation had started placing adverts to ensure that the process would lead to Wring ofcompetentadvisors. He said that the final decision would be in the interest of the depositors and investors. Chike-Obi said that AMCON did not have the power to determine the direction of the outcome, but only had powers lo engage the services of advisors who would determine die fate of the banks. "Ihe three banks are Keystone Bank (formerly Bank PHB), M a i n s t r e e t B a n k (Afrihank), and Enterprise Bank (Spring Bank). The hanks were nation alised in August last year because of inability to meet the criteria for recapitalisation. The apex hank has injected N679 billion into the three hanks to improve their capital base and meet obligations to depositors.


Lagos creates 200 farms with Nibn loan for youths JOSHUA BASSEY ^^_ |T-n a Did to continually • mcrease employment I opportunities ,ri t h e • state, the l,agos State (I ", . "^S/lV,!Tmem ,S a vanced Ni billion in loans to youths involved in agn-

^"* vears' are selected annu-

j it

has entered Lagos economy

of applicants and are taken f , , *K 'ijf • '<• • And this economy, 1 believe h sb[ nlonths of j t l _ ; ./fWfc^Mjii'l'fc't'bwi isvielding more result. ^ ^ ^^ £K<^lfiMvd< "Again if vou go to the sU months of internship on IjlSIlBSSflffi farmsof the 300 people that , ,. u- L utiSmXt- iBHMKRjMlAB iarms, after which they are ]aKEi''-^Krf&nlfKl "ave been empowered, you empowered withfinancingto '• ^••^&K&f3\* will see that ihey are not , at; ^f, mV/E j • • n i n. begin commercial agriculaire f,iitm\M fSSdfSii doing it all alone. They are i l llMliM* 1 1 BtiMI rlH on farm settlements in the BUHlaDatJJ^S^iyJH eilBa8inS other hands. So . Epe area of the slateBffl J.iffTlMWfifJ they have helped to creThe luans^vere sourced BusinessDaywasreliably I -'fllf "P»tfpH -f ft ate direct employment for trorn micro-* . m f orme(J that the yout h s w«Waa*«*^Wf« ^ people working with them tor the youths who success- have exce[ied jj, areas such sixmonthsofintemship,and jn the farms and indirect fully as crop cultivatiorii fisheryi then they are settled," the employment, by keeping training and internship on hfie kee in pinery and permanent secretary said. vendors supplying goods commercial farnung, under po^ ^^ ^J He addcd however, that ,o the farms in business. So ' ' ' " According to Basorun, the monies were usually not therearemultipliereffectson powen-nent Scheme, popu- "Sofar300pcoplehaveben- given to the beneficiaries die economy," Basorun said, larlyknownas Agnc-Yl efilteddirectly.Theselection directly in cash, but in kind. On how government Yakun Basorun, perma- [s done aimlia u y _ 100 per throughtheircooperativesomorutorstheprogressofthe nent secretary, Lagos Mate set;(he firs( ba(ch of |()() has defies by cross- guaranteeing scheme and proper utilisaMuustry of Agnculture and {^shed and ^ haw bem each otller. -So mey idenniy tion of me faci]in, Basorun ' s > sPea^"6 '- givenlheirNSOOmillion.The whattheywanttodo.andwe said extension officers as ' ' -' ' second set has finished, and pay directly to the vendors we|| as the representatives Closed that over 300 youths ,hevareaccessingtheirown who supply the goods'! of the financial institutions h, A° VPS N500 million. In fact, we are On the impact of the work with the youths on the Agric-YI-.S programme- naving a mee ting with the scheme on the economy of their farms. "We also have lie scheme initialed oy the m j cro finance agency to fi_ Lagos stale, Basorun said: both local and international state ' - ' ' nalise the process. Ihey have 'Three hundred people; consultants working with re-capture the dying inter- sjgned ^ ^^ fonns; ^e-H youngmenandwomenhave (hem. Don't forget thai the l; ' feasibility has been looked been taken off the streets. project is in collaboration ' '" addlllon at. So they are accessing their That is to say we have re- with the Hebrew University to making the beneficiaries own N5(K) miUion duced unemployment by of Jerusalem. So. we have economically self-reliant, as ^ wfi k _ ^ ^^ ^ much MKady_ ^ firet lrainfirs fmm ^^ m the state pursues its large! of ^ jg Jn |hp pfocess of com ba[ch has bem $ven N500 evcfy mon(h m [[a[n ^^ th


pleting their internship. You

Ihebenehcianes,whoaie mostly unemployed youths between the ages of 20 and

million, the second batch is a n d oversee what they are receiving another N500 mil- do ing to ensure that the ^ means tha( N l b u _ desjred ^^ |s achjeved n^ths of intensive training, Hon worth of investment he said.

^^ Uic programme js m phases lhe rust phasefe ^



Agric: Partnering US to Make Kwara Africa's Leader


Agric: Partnering US to Make Kwara Africa's Leader