- FG Decries N3.2tn Gap in Annual Agriculture Revenue
The Federal Government has said that due to poor investment during previous administrations, Nigeria has lost an annual revenue of $9bn (N3.2tn) that should have accrued from the agriculture sector.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, stated this at a reception and lunch organised in his honour by the Founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola.
“Before President Buhari came, Nigeria was losing $9bn revenue annually in the agriculture sector,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying.
The minister said Nigeria also lost over 240 metric tonnes of fish production in the world market that could have increased its foreign exchange earnings and boosted the economy.
He said, “In Nigeria, we are not producing enough fish to feed our population; that is why we are relying heavily on importation.
“The deficit between demand and supply was 2.5 million metric tonnes annually; this is about 320 containers.
“You can imagine the quantum of revenue we lost to low production in this sector alone.
“Knowing that our products were being taken to other West African nations to be processed and rebranded, we introduced certification policy for all our products in order to have right and proper certificates for our products and in order not to affect the Gross Domestic Product negatively.”
Lokpobiri made reference to Belgium, a country with a population of less than five million, whose annual revenue from agriculture was 35 billion euros.
He said, “The agriculture minister of Belgium told me that the difference between agriculture in Africa and the West is technology and innovation.
“That was why the Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank earmarked $250m to train young graduates in agribusiness. Our universities must pay attention to technology and innovation.
“They must emulate what ABUAD is doing in the agriculture sector because I wonder what would happen to us in future if we cannot feed just 180 million people.”
The minister said a lot had been done by the present administration to rebrand agriculture.
He urged Nigerian universities to emulate ABUAD’s landmark exploits in farming, saying that the university had set a pace for the country to actualise food security status.
Lokpobiri expressed fear that the country might witness serious famine in future with the projection that its population might hit 250 million by 2030.
He warned that it was high time other levels of governments started planning to checkmate such occurrence.
The minister promised that the Federal Government would partner ABUAD in the area of agriculture and training of young graduates to boost food production.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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