- $200m World Bank Grant Stimulates Agric
The World Bank is set to boost women and youth involvement in farming with a $200 million grant.
The new project, according to the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) Task Team leader, World Bank, Dr Sheu Salau, has been submitted to the bank’s board for approval.
Salau, who disclosed this on the sidelines of the Project’s 13th implementation support mission held in Lagos, said the project was part of the bank’s work towards reducing the cost of food by helping to boost agricultural output through increased participation of women and men.
He stressed that women and youths were a priority for the bank, and that the new project would bolster youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and agri-business.
The initiative will see the bank working with State Agriculture Development Programmes to train the next generation of agriculture entrepreneurs, also referred to as ‘agri-preneurs’, and provide them with seed money through banks to finance their bankable business plans.
He stressed the importance of women and youths in all aspects of agriculture, ranging from the inputs, to the agricultural value chain including production, processing, marketing and transport, and reiterated the commitment of the World Bank to improve the farming systems; to deliver innovation and information; and to provide better tools for farmers.
He said the remaining phase of the CADP project should be devoted to support youths and women to unlock the potential of agriculture.
Salau reiterated that supporting micro and small-sized companies in the agricultural sector is a cornerstone of the bank’s strategy.
On the CADP, he said 73 percent of the activities covered under the $150 million project has been executed. This covers rice, aquaculture and poultry value chain. Through the project, Salau said states such as Lagos, Enugu, Cross River, and Kaduna have had access to inputs, financial services and skills in agri-business, efficient machinery for processing produce, market information, new technology, among others.
He said the World Bank Group will continue to support the Federal Government in addressing its developmental challenges and emerging priorities.
In the agribusiness sector alone, through CADP, the Project Operations Officer, Dr. Salisu Garba said the bank has committed S$ 150 million in projects involving rice, poultry and aquaculture across Enugu,Cross Rivers, Lagos, Kano and Kaduna States since 2010.
As of June this year, the project reached 36,332 small to medium commercial farmers through 33, 391 commodity interest groups (CIGs). The project funded 1,432 business plans under its matching grants mechanism and completed 307 km of link roads, to facilitate farmers access to technologies, services and markets.
As a result, beneficiaries have increased significantly their production, productivity and volumes of sales.
Garba said the project is back on track towards attainment of its development objectives which are to strengthen agricultural production systems and facilitate market access for targeted value chains among small and medium commercial farmers in the five participating states.
Enugu State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mike Eneh reiterated the importance of the project to boosting food production.
He informed the gathering that the main purpose of the mission was to gather inputs from the participating states for enhanced performance and the required impact.
He urged participating states to take action to invest in agriculture to be competitive and take advantage of the business opportunities, and appealed to participants to embrace and invest in technologies that would help transform the sector into a more efficient production that can allow the sector to tap into wider markets.
Eneh highlighted some of the benefits of focusing on value-adding operations and the opportunities presented for the national economy to include increased national food security, social development in rural areas, job creation, and improved tax and duty generation.
He stressed the importance of developing and strengthening local capacity, calling on the private and public sectors to come together and invest for a successful agriculture and agro-processing sector focused on value-addition.
The state Project Coordinator, Kehinde Ogunyinka, said the Commercial Agricultural Development Project, has moved fish farming in Lagos State to a new and unparalleled dimension with farmers exporting smoked fish abroad.
According to him, CADP activities in Lagos is one of the project’s success stories with efforts to invest heavily in cropping, livestock and processing as well as skills development equipping small-scale farmers involved in the value-addition chain.According to him, steps are being taken to upgrade subsistence agriculture to commercial ventures focusing on small and medium scale commercial farmers and agro-processors.
The CADP programme operates in five states: Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos focusing on palm oil, cocoa, fruit trees, poultry, aquaculture, dairy and staples such as maize and rice.
The US$150 million World Bank Project, which began in 2009, may end in May, next year.
Buhari to Spend N729 Billion on 24.3 Million Poor Nigerians
President Buhari is working on spending N729 billion on 24.3 million poor Nigerians despite the present economic recession, weak industries and zero new job creation.
Sadiya Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, disclosed this during the inauguration of the Federal Government’s emergency intervention database for the urban poor.
In a statement released by Nneka Anibeze, the Minister’s Aide, the financial intervention would help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on identified people.
According to the Minister, the Federal Government would disburse N5,000 each to 24.3 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians for a period of six months. A total of N729 billion.
In part, the statement reads, “According to records, about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals were identified at the end of 2020 and registered into the National Social Register.
“Each beneficiary will receive N5,000 for a period of six months.”
The government is embarking on handouts despite the nation’s fiscal challenges and economic recession. The N5,000 or N729 billion can help build or support available industries, fast track economic recovery and improve job creation against sharing it with people it will has little to zero impact on their lives.
This is one of the numerous leakages being addressed by the same administration. The database can not be verified neither are the people to be paid.
FG Paying N1.1 Billion Per Day as Subsidy
The recent jumped in crude oil prices means landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as Petrol, has increased but the Federal Government has maintained the old pump price of N161 – N165 per litre.
In a series of reports, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) open market price, the price fuel marketers are expected to sell, is N183 per litre as of yesterday. A break down showed N160 is the landing cost per litre while the additional N23 is the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) pricing template.
Therefore, with the payment of additional N23 as stipulated in the PPPRA pricing template and the national petrol per day consumption figure at 50 million litres, the Buhari led administration is offsetting about N1.1 billion on petrol consumption daily.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been deducting the amount before remitting balance of oil sales to the Federation Account, according to a Businessday report.
An anonymous person in the oil marketing industry said: “We are back to the era of subsidy and Nigeria is bleeding badly because of this.”
“With deregulation, the current price of petrol should not be less than N181, so who is funding subsidy of the product for Nigeria to buy at the current fixed price?“.
Another oil marketers said, “the government does not have the boldness to allow full deregulation of petrol because of the spiral effects on Nigerians, and bearing in mind that Nigerians are in very hard times.”
Alao Abiodun, the Head of Energy Research, New Nigeria Foundation, explained that “Because of the loans from the IMF and World Bank that they got with the condition that petrol should be deregulated, I believe the government is trying to manage the problem.”
Nigeria’s Big Oil-Refining Revamp Gets Off To A Slow Start
A year after shutting down all of its dilapidated refineries to figure out how to fix them, Nigeria still can’t say how much it will cost to do the work or where the money will come from.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it has finished the appraisal of its largest facility, but hasn’t completed the process at two others. Refining experts said the extended halt means the plants are at risk of rotting away and unlikely to restart on time.
“Things haven’t been looking good lately,” with Nigeria’s plants probably “completely out of action for some 18 months,” said Elitsa Georgieva, Executive Director at Citac, a consultant that specializes in African refining.
The dysfunction of its domestic refineries has long put Africa’s biggest oil producer in an ironic situation. It exports large volumes of crude to plants overseas, then pays a premium to import the fuels its customers produce.
Pledges to fix the facilities have been made and broken again and again over the years. For at least a decade, NNPC’s 445,000 barrels a day of refining capacity barely processed 20% of that amount.
The latest effort to fix the refineries was supposed to be different to the failed attempts that came before. The company had totally shut all three plants down by January 2020 to do a comprehensive appraisal, and set the ambitious target of having them all back up and running at 90% of capacity by 2023.
“The refineries have been deliberately shut down to allow for a thorough diagnosis,” said Kennie Obateru, an Abuja-based NNPC spokesman. “They can be fixed based on what the diagnosis reveals.”
The appraisal of the 210,000-barrel-a day Port Harcourt refinery has been completed and NNPC has called for bids for the necessary repairs, Obateru said. The company hasn’t determined how much the work will cost.
“It is when we close the bids, everything is analyzed and presented that we will know how much we need,” he said.
The diagnosis is underway at the 125,000-barrel-a-day Warri facility and should be complete before the end of the year, he said. After that, the study of the 110,000-barrel-a-day Kaduna plant will commence.
One year into the process, refining analysts are skeptical that all this work can be done by 2023.
“I don’t think anyone has a good understanding technically of what’s wrong with those refineries,” said Alan Gelder, vice president of refining, chemicals and oil markets at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “They’re probably corroding, which makes it a very difficult proposition.”
NNPC reaffirmed its deadline and said there’s no reason the refineries, which are at least 40 years old, can’t be restored to full operation.
“There are refineries that are over a hundred years old still running, so age is not necessarily an impediment,” Obateru said.
There are parallel efforts backed by private companies to add to Nigeria’s capacity. Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, is building a state-of-the-art 650,000 barrel-a-day refinery, which Citac estimates will start production in 2023.
Bringing NNPC’s Port Harcourt refinery to the same clean-fuel standards as Dangote’s modern plant would cost about $1.3 billion for the equipment, on top of whatever other repairs are required to get the facility running, Georgieva said.
NNPC is talking to oil-trading firms about $1 billion of prepayment deals that could finance the repairs at Port Harcourt, Reuters reported last week. Obateru declined to comment on the report, but said “I don’t envisage that we will have a problem getting people to invest.”
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