- AfDB to Inaugurate $850m Agric Transformation Programme
The African Development Bank will launch an $850m agriculture programme to transform the sector and reduce food imports in Africa.
The Director of Agriculture in the bank, Dr Chiji Ojukwu, said, on the sideline of the International Conference on Wheat in Abuja on Tuesday, that the project, to be called Technology for African Agricultural Transformation, would ensure the generation, sustainable dissemination and adoption of agricultural technologies and innovations.
The conference was organised by the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops project of the AfDB.
According to him, this new programme will cost about $850m of which wheat alone is $20.8m.
“We are likely going to get the approval for the programme this year and after that, it will start,’’ Ojukwu said.
He listed some agricultural produce that would be boosted in the project to include cassava, rice, wheat and maize among others.
The director noted that the bank had also introduced a programme known as `Feed Africa’ to reduce the level of food imports across the African continent.
He said the project would be aimed at tackling issues associated with productivity increase, value addition and infrastructure deficit.
Ojukwu said the project would also help to catalyse additional financing through innovative methods and ensure enabling environment by the government.
He said, “The idea behind `Feed Africa’, is to reduce the level of imports.
“Africa imports over $35.4bn of food annually and if not checked, in the next ten years it will rise to $110bn annually.
“Our bank came up with this programme which is focusing on 18 commodity value chains like wheat, rice, cassava and a number of tree crops that Africa spends so much money importing.”
The director said that it would also encourage and ensure the involvement of women and young people in agriculture.
“All these programmes we are putting together is to ensure that agriculture in Africa is transformed.’’
The Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops (SARD-SC) project of the bank is geared toward enhancing economic growth, food security and nutrition contributing to poverty reduction in Africa.
Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit
Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.
The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.
During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.
“We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.
“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”
The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.
He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.
While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.
He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.
Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.
Mutual Benefits Drives Financial Inclusion
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc says it is committed to deepening financial inclusion and creating easy accessibility for insurance in the country.
A statement from the firm on Friday said it expressed this commitment when it inaugurated its South-West region franchise operations in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Managing Director, Mr Femi Asenuga, said this was part of its efforts to develop the insurance business and create values.
He said, “The role we all have to play is to be ambassadors of Mutual Benefits.
“A franchise is a well-known word and the way Mutual Benefits practices franchise is in our normal style of creating and adding value; we never rest.”
Asenuga said that the firm was working with stakeholders to increase awareness and take its message to the grassroots.
In developed economies, he said, insurance firms owned banks. He regretted that this was not the situation in Nigeria.
He said the firm would provide stakeholders with the platform and support to make them excel as a member.
The Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Limited, Mr Ademola Ifagbayi, appreciated the stakeholders and urged them to take advantage of the franchise.
The Group Managing Director, Odua Group, Mr Adewale Raji, in his address, advised stakeholders to be committed and showcase good character and integrity.
He said, “The Odua investment is owned by the six South-West governments and it is in our interest when economic, businesses and investment spreads across the South-West states.
“This is an opportunity for us to strengthen insurance penetration within the South-West states.”
CAC Sets Three-Hour Circle For Company Registration
The Corporate Affairs Commission on Sunday stated that following the successful deployment of an end-to-end registration module, it was now prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just three hours before the end of year 2021.
Registrar-General of the commission, Garba Ababukar, gave the indication at a dinner in honour of the Chairman, Governing Board, CAC and Nigerian Ambassador Designate to the Kingdom of Spain, Ademola Seriki.
The commission disclosed this in series of tweets posted via its Twitter handle on Sunday.
“To achieve the target, the registrar-general said the commission was making arrangements to empower over 400 approving officers with working tools to process and approve registration applications either from home or anywhere necessary,” the agency stated.
Abubakar noted that the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic had adversely hampered CAC’s delivery timeline.
He, however, said the CAC was resolutely committed to serving its customers despite being forced to operate with less than 50 per cent of its workforce.
While bidding farewell to Seriki, the registrar-general said he received the news of his appointment with mix feelings as CAC was going to miss his tremendous support and guidance.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the outgoing CAC Chairman as a man of immense pedigree and endowed with enormous potential to justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.
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