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Severe Flood Ravage Farmlands in Nigeria, Experts Raise Concerns of Looming Food Shortage

The persistent rain being recorded in Nigeria lately has resulted in severe flooding that has ravaged farmlands as experts warn about food shortage in the coming months.

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The persistent rain being recorded in Nigeria lately has resulted in severe flooding that has ravaged farmlands as experts warn about food shortage in the coming months.

Due to torrential rainfall in recent weeks, with no sign of slowing down, almost all 36 states of the federation have experienced one form of flooding or the other.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had recently warned that flooding will persist till the last quarter of 2022, which will take a great toll on farming.

In the North-Eastern part of the country, more than 150,000 hectares of land have been destroyed. Farmers in the region have expressed concerns over the large-scale destruction of produce, stating that the damage caused by the rainfall could be estimated at N30 billion.

They have therefore called for urgent interventions to mitigate the effects of the flooding, so as to reduce hunger and enhance food security.

Kenechukwu Onuorah, an expert at Global Rights, an international human rights capacity-building non-governmental organization, stated that one major consequence of persistent flooding is the huge impact it will have on agricultural output.

According to him, persistent flooding will make basic foodstuff scarce and expensive if nothing is done urgently to mitigate it.

His words, “The persistent rain may be good because it creates swampy lands that are good for the plants but flooding is a disaster.

“It comes with erosion, especially in the South, and washes away the plants. It destroyed the crops and even livestock will have nothing to feed on.

“There is so much we could do that we are not doing. We must ensure appropriate urban planning and drainage systems.

“Government at all levels must work to set Nigeria on the path towards greener renewable energy in order to reverse the effects of climate change. Unfortunately, the government is not working in that direction yet”.

Also speaking on the issue, The  Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency that provides services required for the assessment of Nigeria’s surface and groundwater resources, disclosed that flooding would persist, noting that the River Niger and Benue system had started building up.

The agency said, “As we are aware, Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin, which is occupied by nine countries, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. Our country is at the lowest portion of the Basin.

“This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding”.

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Economy

Abuja to Kaduna Train Service to Resume on Monday, November 28, 2022

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Lagos-Ibadan Train Services - Investors King

Barring any last-minute change, Abuja to Kaduna train service is expected to resume operation on Monday, November 28, 2022.

This is coming after eight months when operation along the route was suspended due to a deadly terrorist attack on the train. 

It could be recalled that the attack which happened at night led to the death of no less than eight people while 168 passengers were kidnapped. 

Early this month, the minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo disclosed during a presidential briefing that Abuja to Kaduna train service will resume operation before the end of this month, Investors King learnt. 

Mu’azu noted that following the release of the last badge of those that were held hostage, the ministry has been putting security measures in place to forestall any future occurrence of such a sad experience.

Sources confirmed that contractors were at the Idu rail station to install the tracker and cameras which will enhance security along the train corridor. 

Speaking in the same line, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria disclosed that the government has set up a high-level committee that will fine-tune a way to ensure adequate security for both the train passengers and the facilities. 

“Government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for both train passengers and facilities during operation. We believe proper security measures should be put in place and until then, the Federal Government won’t approve the functioning of the train station,” Okhira stated in September. 

Meanwhile, the federal government has stated that millions of Nigerians will soon prefer to travel by train as the government is committed to connecting virtually all states in Nigeria to the train services. 

The ministers of transportation who disclosed this during a working visit to the train station in Lagos State noted that the ministry has a number of ongoing rail projects which include Lagos to Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, and Kaduna to Kano.

He revealed that at the completion of the rail projects, it will be much easier for Nigeria to commute from one state to another. 

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Economy

Increase in Price of Food is Imminent; Farmers Association Warns

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Agriculture - Investors King

Farmers under the aegis of the Smallholder Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) have joined a growing list of associations and experts who have warned of food scarcity in Nigeria.

SWOFON noted during an event in Abuja that Nigerians will likely spend more on food if the federal government failed to address the challenges faced by farmers due to flooding. 

Investors King had reported that a series of ravaging floods destroyed several houses and farmlands across the country. 

According to the National President of SWOFON, Mary Afan, if relevant government agencies failed to give financial aid to farmers and improve security around the country, it could lead to high cost of food which might result in increased hunger for the vulnerable Nigerians. 

“The implication of this massive flooding is that the prices of food will rise higher owing to its unavailability. 

“This will deal a great blow to the over 90 million Nigerians currently leaving below the poverty line and the over 21 million Nigerians currently experiencing acute hunger,” the president noted. 

She noted that small farmers who are women have lost many of their farmlands due to the ravaging floods. She added that members of the association are also short of seeds to plant during the next farming season. 

“While some farmers are gradually returning to their homes as the water recedes to pick up whatever is left of the destruction, others cannot go back home or to their farms. Some have lost the courage to start all over and others have totally lost hope,” she lamented. 

Also speaking at the event, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Prof Ben Akabueze admonished the association to seek federal government intervention through the national assembly. 

It could be recalled that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq had disclosed that about 123,000 farmlands were partially destroyed while about 392,000 farmlands were totally destroyed due to the devastating floods. 

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Economy

Nigerian Governors Forum Rejects Sale of 10 Power Plants by FG, Considers Legal Action

State governors objected sales of 10 power plants

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The 36 state governors in Nigeria under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have announced their rejection of the sale of 10 power plants in the country.

The governors who issued a communique noted that they going to file a lawsuit against the federal government to stop the privatisation.

According to the communique which was signed by the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, the forum has ordered its lawyers to approach the federal high court to stop the privatisation. 

They argued that the power plants which are under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) and managed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) are owned by the three tiers of government. That is the federal, state governments, and local government councils.

Investors King could recall that in 2021, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved the adoption of a fast-track strategy for the privatisation of five major power plants. The power plants include Geregu II in Kogi State, Omotosho II in Ondo State, Ihovbor in Edo State, Olorunsogo II in Ogun State, and Calabar power plants.

Other power-generating companies lined up for privatisation include Omoku Generation Company, Ogorode Generation Company, Gbarain Generation Company, Alaoji Generation Company, and Egebma Generation Company.

Although the House of Representatives had also objected to the privatisation, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) nonetheless announced that it has commenced due diligence assessment of the 16 pre-qualified investors shortlisted for the acquisition of the plants. A development that is in contrast to the position of the state governors. 

Meanwhile, the governors’ forum also noted that it is working with the federal government to address the issue of flooding which has ravaged many homes and farmlands across the country. 

The forum stated that all the affected states are collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, National Emergency Management Agency, the CBN, and the World Bank to ensure emergency interventions to ameliorate the adverse impact of the devastating flood. 

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