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Vanguard, FRIDAY. NOVEMBER 25, 2011 -

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Business Obasanjo now IITA I 路S Goodwill Ambassador To

help boost the light against hUliger and poverty in Alrica, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accepted to be a " Goodwill Ambassador " of the International Institute of "D-opical Agriculture (IITA). A statement issued by the UTA in fbadan said Dr Nteranya Sanginga, the institute's Director-General,ennounced Obasanjo's acceptence alter a closed d~or meeting with the former President in Abeokuta. The statement seid Obasanjo as Goodwill Ambassador would help in edvocating for policies that would edvance research 'and brin9 to reality the long-awaited African Green Revolu. tion. It f urthe r said that the former president would belp extend, amplify and help (ocus on the work and mission of UTA in sub-Sahar411 Alrica. Ohas6Jljo's work, it added, would involve helping to raise 20 million AIricans out of poverty and to redirect 25 million hectares of degraded land!" for sushinable use in the next 10

years. Sanginga said the institute was honoured by Obasanjo's accept~ce of the offer. Born in March 1937, Obasanjo became the first Nigerian Head of State to hand over to a democratically elected president: first as a military head of state in 1979, and second in 2007 as a civilian president. Before Obasanjo's administration in 1999, Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product growth was painluUy slow since 1987 and only managed three per cent growth between 1999 and 2000. Howevet; under Obasanjo, the growth rate doubled to six per cent unW he len office, helped in part by higher oil prices . Nigeria's (oreign reserves rose from $2 billion in 1999 to 543 billion on his leaving office in 2007. He was also able to secure debt pardons from the Paris . and London dubs amounting to some $18 billion and paid another $ 18 billion to be debt free. Most 01 these loans were sl!cured and spent by p ast officials. In 2005, the international com-

munity gave Nigeria's government its first pass mark for its anti-corruption efforts. In the agricu,ltural sector, Obasanje initi~ted the presidential."initia.路 tives on Nigeria's major copunodities including cassava, maize, rice. and cocoa. His 10 per cent cassava policy mandated fleur millers to includ~ sa:s$.ll\ta flour in wbeat., ~-. This boosted -cassavA production by

10 million tonnes between 2002 and 2008 and made Nigeria the wOlld's

numbet one producer of cassava and maize . As a statesman, Obasanjo had been involved in mediating peace in conflict-s trick en countries such as Cote d 'ivoire and DR Congo. In accepting lITA:s oUel; Obasanjo said the fight against hunger and poverty was a 'battle' be intended to ligbt in reo tirement.

<$.QN ,cloS~S.liteelGompany over alleged c

sales ofsubs~andard products

'HE Standards Organisation of Ni-geria (SON) has closed down the Ispat Steel Company Nigeria Urnited ., in Agbara, Ogun State, over al路 leged production and sales o( su_bst411dard imported steel products. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Cor-

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--~ ~Oker,e, \\innel' lrom Anoodla, Anambro Slate, MI'. Gbenga Adeyinko and MI'. Fronk Aigbogun, Publisher; FROM LEFt: . Anene

respond ent, who accom panied the team, reports that business activities were disrupted at the company imme. diately the SON.'s enforcement team stonned the premises, The compdOy 's General Manager, M r Ramesh Gawapathy, was also ap" prehended by the team along with one of his aides for failing to give satisfactory explanations on the company 's operation. The workers and the management staff o( the company, located at Opic Estate in Agbara, we re caught unaware by the surprise visit of the SON's enforcement team . Several tOODes of rusted steel, wires and meto( various sizes, ranying from were seen pany's premises. Mr Sede Obayi, who led the enforcement team.. said that the closure of the company 10Uowed the expiration of the 60- d2l.y deadline earlier given to the company by SON. He said that the SON Director-General, Mr Joseph Odumodu, had earlier ordered all the companies dealing in substandard goods to dispose them olf from their warehouses. Obayi said that the deadline was given at the stakeholders' meeting on Sept. 16 where issues of collapsed buildings were discussed . ' '''We embark on the visit alter the expiration of the deadline given by SON . We also receive a tip oU that this company was stocking several piles of substAJIdard reinforcement bars," he said .

1\11.

811sinessday l\'ewspapel3 all Ie presentation 01 carlo I/le winnel'o! Slol' Mego Promo in Logos.

PIIOTO BY SYLVA ELEANYA.

AGRIC COMMODITIES

UNEMPLOYMENT: RMRDC to encourage fish, mushroom farming among barracks youths IRE CTOR -GENE RAL, Raw D Matetidls Rese,!Tch and Development C ouncil, RMRDC, Prol Peter Onwualu, ha.'i unveiled p lans by the council to train youths in fish and mushroom fa.rming to curb unemployment. Onwualu dlidosed the plan at a capacity Building/Skills Acquisition Workshop organised in collaboration with Barraclu Youths Foundation and Green and S['ented Ltd. for youths at the Mogadishu Barracks, Abuja on Wednesday. The workshop, which was tagged: " Barracks Youth Empowerment througb Raw Materials Development, Processing 411d Utilisation~,

is aimed at equipping the youths with necessaty slrills to embark on fish and mushroom farming . He said that protein from fish had been identified as the best fonn of protein. wruro reduced the risk of stroke and heart attacks and had no known health hazards. He said that apart [rom its u se as food , fish was now being used all over the wodd for medicine, vitamins, soap and margarine, while mushroom was viable in iron, COpPlJ:1; potassium.. calcium and vitamin D. The D-G, therefore, said that the aim of the project was to create a source of employment fOr the teeming youths as fuh and mushroom farming was last be.

coming lucrative, "Successful execution of this project among the youths could expand and give birth to inland fishing industri'es that would lead to . drastic reduction in frozen fish importation . ,It will generate employ. ment, reduce poverty and bring p rosperity to the country; fish is very important to us and forms an important part o( a healthy diet." Onwualu further said that the youths would also be trained in yoghurt making, adding that the council would not stop at training, but would also provide physical infrastructure dOd links to linances.

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VANGUARD, 25 NOVEMBER, 2011