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Agric: Oyo Youths to Earn N10,000 Monthly Stipend

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Abiola Ajimobi
  • Agric: Oyo Youths to Earn N10,000 Monthly Stipend

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, has unveiled a new agriculture scheme under which participants, mostly youths, will earn N10,000 monthly as a major employment drive.

Tagged the Oyo State Agricultural Revolution Programme, the governor said that the programme would commence by next month with training for the beneficiaries in Awe Farm Settlement.

The governor disclosed this while addressing traders and artisans who converged on the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Thursday, to honour him with the “The great visionary leader’’ award.

At the ceremony, which was organised by the state branch of National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers, the Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, was also conferred with the “Woman of noble character’’ award.

Ajimoni stressed that the selected youths would be paid a stipend of N10,000 per month for the duration of the training after which they would be assisted with the needed inputs to start their own businesses.

The governor said, “Starting from next month (April), our agric revolution that will create massive employment opportunities will berth and it will begin with a training programme at our farm settlement in Awe for our youths who are interested in agriculture.

“They will be trained in modern farming technology and be paid N10,000 monthly stipend for the duration of their training.

“It is our belief that engagement of youths in agriculture at this moment of recession will serve the dual purposes of maintaining peace and developing their economic power.”

At the event, the governor also announced a fresh N100m loan for traders and artisans in the state, in addition to the N880m disbursed to members of the association in the past.

He promised that the government would continue to assist them through regular disbursement of revolving loans as part of his administration’s agenda to rejig the economy of the state.

The event was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; an industrialist, Chief Kola Daisi; Ambassador Olusola Sanu and members of Ibadan Elders’ Forum, among others.

The governor acknowledged the support of the traders and artisans for his administration as well as their contributions towards the economic development of the state.

He recalled that a revolving loan of N350 million was disbursed by his government to seven professional associations in 2014 at N50 million per association, adding that a total of 7,000 traders and artisans benefitted from the loan at N50,000 per person.

The governor, who said that a total sum of N880 million revolving loan had so far been disbursed to the traders, added that more loans would be given to them to boost their businesses.

The governor said, “Traders in Oyo State have not had it this good. We disbursed N350million to seven traders’ association in 2014 and they have been paying back the loan.

“I want to assure our traders that they will continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy because you are playing a major role in the socio-economic development of Oyo State. We appreciate your support towards entrenching a better Oyo State.’’

The State Chairman of NAPPDEM, Alhaji Abiodun Ashiru, said that the association decided to honour the governor because of what he called his ‘historical feats’ in entrenching peace and security which had hitherto eluded the state.

He also commended the governor for carrying out policies and programmes, which, he said, had promoted economic, social and infrastructural development in the state.

“Nothing good comes easy, but the governor has made us to realise why we should persevere in the face of policy change so as to reap good yields.

“The award is our way of acknowledging the governor’s efforts and to spur him into greater accomplishments for the overall good of the people of the state.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

African Union Holds Global Conference to Accelerate African Vaccine Development and Manufacturing Capacity

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african union passport

African leaders assembled at a global meeting to discuss the status of local pharmaceutical manufacturing on the continent, underscored the need to increase local production of vaccines and therapeutics to achieve greater public-health security.

“The production of vaccines and access to vaccines is an absolute priority,” Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, said Monday in opening remarks at the start of the two-day virtual meeting, convened by the African Union.

The meeting was attended by several African heads of state, health, finance and trade ministers from across the continent, as well as officials from global financial institutions, foundations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, business leaders, and the general public. The African Development Bank was represented by Solomon Quaynor, Vice President Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization.

Although Africa consumes approximately one-quarter of global vaccines by volume, it manufactures less than 1% of its routine vaccines, with almost no outbreak vaccine manufacturing in place. The region lags behind in procuring vaccines amid a global scramble for the medicines among wealthier nations. Thus far, only around 2% of the world’s vaccination against Covid-19 has taken place in Africa.

The need for a new public health order in Africa, which promotes domestic vaccine manufacturing, epidemic preparedness and upgraded healthcare systems to meet the needs of the world’s fastest-growing population, was the conference’s main objective.

The African Union and the Africa CDC said they would continue to work with all stakeholders to identify implementable actions, financing needs and timelines to competitively produce vaccines in Africa.

Quaynor noted that the current undertaking would require immense investment. “Vaccine manufacturing, because of its complexity, is not really an entrepreneurial drive but actually an institutional drive,” he added.

The African Development Bank is working with global and African stakeholders, to articulate a 2030 vision for Africa’s Pharmaceutical Industry in response to several calls received from African Heads of State, who have expressed a strong political will. This vision aligns with its “industrialize Africa” priority strategy.

The vision will build on previous efforts to produce a continental plan of action to boost local African pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, such as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa adopted in Abuja in January 2005 and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA), prepared by the African Union Commission and the United Nations in 2012, to assist local manufacturers with pharmaceutical production.

Quaynor said Africa could count on the African Development Bank’s support to secure Africa’s health defense system. “Leveraging on our comparative advantages, we will both provide upstream support to governments on the enabling environment, as well as provide financing to private sector and PPPs both indirectly through some of our private equity investee funds and directly through lending, and credit and risk guarantees. We will also use the Africa Investment Forum to bring in all relevant stakeholders and partner DFIs into bankable opportunities…”

The 2030 vision for Africa’s pharmaceutical industry would also work with pharmaceutical industry associations in Africa to create capacity development links between universities and industry in Africa, and work with African scientists in the diaspora, Quaynor said in remarks made on behalf of African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina.

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ITF, Nigerian Air Force, Others, Sign MOU To Advance Research

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The Industrial Training Fund, ITF has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, and Equipment and Protective Application International Limited to establish the framework that will give room for optimal performance as well as enhance productivity.

The Director General, Industrial Training Fund, Sir Joseph Ari while speaking at the NAF headquarters in Abuja, said the MOU will be pursued with vigour and all the seriousness it deserves so that greater success would be the catalyst that will drive their intentions.

He explained that over the years, ITF had redirected its focus on technical, vocational training and education noting that developed nations are where they are today because of the initiative.

According to him, “even here in Abuja, we have a model of a skills training centre and the model was brought in from the Singaporean experience of the institute for technical education and services of Singapore”.

“We brought a semblance of it here to experience with five trade areas, Mechatronics and Autotronics, Computer Networking, ICT, Facility Technology as well as culinary in both African and Western cuisine is right there in the heart of Abuja in the ITF house, it is like a university”.

“The ITF is well positioned to work hand in hand with the Nigerian Air Force,” he said

The ITF boss added; “I must say that the Chief of Air Staff has a lot of foresight with his men to think about this Memorandum of Understanding because I deed, ITF is where you should be”.

“The ITF came into contact with the Nigerian Air Force even though a lot of the officers of the Air Force might have participated in its programmes in the past and since then I have noticed that NAF has not relented in its efforts to equipped it’s workforce and also upgrade and retrain its people,” Sir Ari added.

He also commended the men and officers of the NAF for their sacrifice in keeping the nation safe.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal, Oladayo Amao said the Nigerian Air Force has a highly technical Service and technology is the bedrock of all its operations.

Represented by the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Air Vice Marshal, Olusegun Philip, Amao noted that in line with the focus of the Federal Government in promoting indigenous technology, the Nigerian Air Force has been looking inwards to gradually wean itself of overdependence on foreign technology and to become more innovative and resourceful.

“Therefore, in order to advance the Nigerian Air Force’s Research and Development efforts, we have deemed it necessary to formally collaborate with indigenous organizations through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding,” Amao stated.

“These collaborative efforts provide pedestals to leapfrog capability as well as a repertoire of capabilities that can be harnessed”.

“The collaborative efforts also provide platforms to synergise ideas for innovations that are key to achieving meaningful results to solve the technological challenges we currently face in a cost effective manner,” he said.

The Managing Director, Equipment and Protective Application International Limited, Engineer, Kola Balogun however, assured that the MOU entered would be for the overall economic benefit and development of the nation.

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SERAP Urges FG to Slash Politicians’ Allowances

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam, to urgently review upward the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for Nigerian Judges, and reduce the remuneration of President Muhammadu Buhari and other political office-holders in order to address the persistent poor treatment of Judges, and improve access of victims of corruption to justice.

The appeal came on the heels of a nationwide industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press home their demand for financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government, and the federal government silence on the judiciary workers’ strike that has grounded court activities across the country.

In a letter dated April 10, 2021, which was signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said Judges should get all they are reasonably entitled to, and that it is unfair, illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory to continue to treat Judges as second-class people, while high-ranking political office holders enjoy lavish salaries and allowances.

SERAP expressed concern that the remuneration and allowances of Judges have fallen substantially behind the average salaries and allowances of political office-holders such as president, vice-president, governors and their deputies, as well as members of the National Assembly.

The letter read in part: “According to our information, the last review of the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for political, public and judicial office holders carried out by RMAFC in 2009 shows huge disparity between the remuneration and allowances of judges and those of political office holders.

“Judges’ work is very considerable but they cannot give their entire time to their judicial duties without the RMAFC reviewing upward their remuneration and allowances, and closing the gap and disparity between the salaries of judges and those of political office holders such as the president, vice-president, governors and their deputies, as well as lawmakers.

“We would therefore be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the RMAFC to comply with our requests.”

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