Tuesday, April 25, 2017

LASG plans to establish university of tourism to train tour guides

Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, Special Adviser and Acting Commissioner, Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, on Tuesday said the state government had plans to establish a University of Tourism to train tour guides.

Akinsola spoke on Tuesday in Ikeja, at the 2017 ministerial press briefing of the Ministry to mark two years in office of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos.

She said that when established, the university would assist in developing tourism in the state and ensure tourists’ satisfaction.

“Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration is investing heavily on the tourism sector to cause an increase in economic activities with a direct bearing on hospitality, entertainment and job creation.

“It is also aimed at making make Lagos a preferred destination for cultural, business and leisure tourism in Africa.

“We have been upgrading tourist sites and constructing new infrastructures, and it will require experienced personnel to promote and maintain that sector.

“We are working on modalities to establish a school –University of Tourism, to train individuals who will be able to show and interpret the cultural and natural heritage of the state to tourists.

“Although, it is not accommodated in the current budget, but perhaps, it might be considered in the next year’s budget,’’ she said.

Akinsola said the ongoing renovation at Badagry Heritage Museum, which serves as a veritable source of information about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, was at 60 per cent completion.

She also disclosed that the government would soon start the construction on six new theatres which would provide the platform for young artistes to develop and showcase their talents.

According to her, the preservation and promotion of the state’s rich and diverse culture will always be accorded top priority in the government’s economic development agenda.

Akinsola said that the Ministry, through its agency, Films and Video Censors Board, burnt some pirated and unclassified local and international movies to discourage piracy.

She said the movies and duplicating machines burnt were worth N10 million.

“The board apprehended 12 suspects actively engaged in acts prohibited by the Law in 2016.

“Eight of the suspects were prosecuted and sentenced to six months imprisonment without option of fine while four were given the option of fines of N10, 000 on each count.

“On film censorship, which is to determine the likely impact of a movie on the audience, 82 films were censored and classified between May 2016 and February 2017 meant for exhibition within the state,’’ she said.

Akinsola listed other achievements of the Ministry in the last two years to include the official launch of the One Lagos Logo, One Lagos Fiesta, participation in Toronto Film Festival and hosting of All African Movie Awards.

Other achievements she cited are, COPA Africa, Tourism summit, Arts and Culture Stakeholders meeting, construction of new monuments and renovation of existing ones, as well as unveiling of the design for a new museum,

She said the ministry was also making a mark with the ongoing activities to celebrate Lagos at 50, which will climax on May 27.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Federal government to engage 6000 youths in agricultural enterprises under FADAMA

‎About 6000 youths are to be engaged in agricultural enterprises by the Federal Government and the World Bank under the FADAMA III Project under the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme known as FADAMA GUYSS.
The Fadama National Project Coordinator (NPC), Mr Tayo Adewumi said this in Akure, Ondo State capital during the meeting with the Ondo State Federated Fadama Community Association (FFCA) .
Adewunmi said under the scheme, about 300 youths from ages 18 to 35 would be encouraged to go into agriculture as a profession and business in about 20 states.
He said in subsequent programmes, between 500 and 1,000 youths would be accommodated under the scheme.
According to him "The programme, named GUYS, is to encourage youths from the ages of 18 to 35 and maximum of 40 years to go into agriculture as a profession and business. By study, real farmers are aging away, some dead and old. To start with, 15 to 20 states, including Ondo, will be among the first phase of 200 to 300 youths per state.
"By end of June, starter packs should be given to the youths based on different enterprise of interest like aquaculture, or poultry.
"My coming to Ondo State is at right time because we have a lot to anchor this year for our youths in the country”, he said.
The Coordinator said a good number of youths can be taken away from social vices and restiveness through agriculture adding that there was a plan for Sunshine rice in Ondo State before the end of the year.
"We want to make sure that the rice we are producing, we bring it out publicly and give it a name and brand.
"What the World Bank want us to do is to test run the project in about 10 states, but we are able to convince our minister and the World Bank country director to allow us to do it at least in 20 states.

"The project design to give money or equipment to allow them start business on different agricultural enterprises on their own.

The NPC said that the program would engaged 200 to 300 youths in each state for starting,adding that 500 to 1000 youths would be engaging in subsequent program.

He called on the youths to endeavour to register their names online this week when the programing that the programmes would be broadcast on radio, television and other media organisations.

Adewumi also noted that the Federal and state government were working on modalities to continue to create awareness and sensitisation for both farmers and the herdsmen to live in peace across the country.

Speaking earlier, the Ondo State FFCA Chairman, Mr Akin Olotu appreciated the NPC of the FADAMA Project for its land mark achievement across the nooks and crannies of the nation.

Olotu noted that efforts by the FFCA to secure a friendly credit portfolio for members to revive their projects have not bene easy and had become a great source of discouragement to the members.

According to him, FFCA was able to secure some hectares of land from the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority for use by members for cluster farming but were constrained because of lack of tractors.

Olotu said "We only have 13 tractors in whole of the state and the tractors are not in good condition and we have been told that it will take over N1million to repair them”.END.

300,000 farmers benefit from BOA loan schemes in North Central zone

The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) says no fewer than 300,000 farmers in the North Central geopolitical zone of the country have benefited from its various loan schemes in the past years .
Mr Ibrahim Alamba, the Zonal Manager (North Central) of the bank, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the farmers from Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau states benefited from the bank’s micro-credit loans, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) loans, and the BOA/Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Alamba said the loan schemes were initiated to boost agricultural production in the country and complement the Federal Government’s economic diversification efforts.
The zonal manager said that many beneficiaries of the bank’s loan schemes were currently employers of labour in their different agricultural fields.
Alamba said the bank sourced its funds via different collaborations with the African Development Bank (AfDB), donor agencies and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
“There are people who have become employers of labour through our loan schemes.
“For every loan we give, seven to 10 persons are being employed. This has aided efforts to reduce unemployment, while impacting positively on the national economy,’’ he said.
He commended the BOA/CBN’s ABP, saying that it had particularly assisted the bank in disbursing loans to farmers in 19 states across the country.
Alamba, who listed some challenges of the bank as inadequate funding and poor loan recovery, nonetheless said that the ongoing restructuring of the bank by the Federal Government’s would boost its funding and loan disbursement capacity.

Agriculturist urges Benue govt. to provide more tractors for mechanised farming

An Agriculturist, Mr Joseph Kuku, has appealed to the Benue Government to acquire more tractors to cater to the growing needs of farmers who intend to engage in large-scale farming.
Kuku made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Makurdi.
He underscored the need to discourage farmers from practising the traditional methods of farming, so as to boost the government’s efforts to achieve food security.
Kuku said that the Benue Tractor Hiring Agency should be repositioned and well-equipped to provide quality tractor hiring services for farmers, particularly now when the government was striving to diversify the economy.
“Agriculture is the major option in the new arrangement because agriculture was the mainstay of the country’s economy, prior to the discovery of oil.
“Groundnut, cocoa and rubber, among other agricultural produce, were then sustaining the country’s economy.
“The current potential of agriculture is enormous because modern farming techniques have made faming less tedious,’’ he said.
Kuku said that agriculture had the capacity to turn the nation’s economic fortunes around, if the government decided to give it priority attention to the development of the sector.

2,550 Plateau farmers get loan to improve food production

Jos - 2,550 farmers registered with the Plateau State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN are to benefit from the over N2bn loan under the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN anchor borrowers' programme to cultivate maize and soya beans in this farming season so that the food security can be achieved in the State.

The Association which has gotten approval for the said loan is to give it to 150 registered farmers from the 17 local government area of the State totalling 2,550 even as it has also secured improved seedlings, fertilizer and other farm inputs which would help the beneficiaries in making profit so that they can repay the loan.

Disclosing these during a press briefing held at the weekend in Jos, the state chairman of the Association, John Jiller added that intensive meetings are ongoing with herdsmen and security agencies to ensure farmers are safe in their farms as only such collaboration would ensure food security and improved income and livelihood of farmers in the state.

His words, "AFAN has sought and gotten approval for a loan of N2,128,125,000.00 under the CBN anchor borrowers' programme for on lending to its members for maize and soya beans farming in this farming season. We are targeting 150 farmers per local government area, we are discussing with ASTC towards accessing their tractors and other allied services, there are seedlings and fertilisers and other inputs.

" The Association is preparing towards leading the role in the state government's proposed schools feeding programme so we are liaising with security agencies and building business relationships with herdsmen, traders and marketers association towards sustaining peace in the state as we are focused in ensuring food security, increase and improve quantity and quality of agricultural products in the state as well as improve income and livelihood of Plateau farmers. "


NGO secures N10 bn loan for young farmers from FCMB

United Young Farmers Forum (UYFF) has secured a loan of N10 billion from First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to empower 10,000 young farmers in the country.

President of the association, Mr Orimadegun Wilson, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that a pilot phase of the scheme with farmers fron the from the North West and North East geo politicaal zones during this farming season..

Wilson, who said the loan was derived from FCMB, said the pilot phase was started from the two regions because theof the enthusiasm shown by the prospective participants in the region.

He added that 75 per cent of the loan guarantee would be covered by Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), while 25 per cent of the risk would be borne by UYFF.

According to him, beneficiaries are expected to deposit one per cent of whatever was collected to NIRSAL to serve as collateral, adding that the repayment period was one year from the time the beneficiary’s crops mature.

He also said that the organisation will make a presentation on Bio Organic fertilizer at a joint Federal Government of Nigeria and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) mission from May 1 to May 12.

He said that the presentation, which would hold in Katsina, was in line with the Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP).

“UYFF, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) is a coalition of young farmers in Nigeria, focused on building the capacity of young people interested in agribusiness.

“We believe agribusiness is the future for Nigeria, our vision is to create a new generation of farmers who will create wealth, jobs and ensure food and nutrition security in Nigeria.’’

Wilson also said that the organisation was in partnership with other organisations to build the capacity of the youth in Nigeria.

Farmer wants govt. subsidy on animal feeds

Sir Lucky Ikukaiwe, a poultry farmer and Chairman, Sparrow Agro-Vet Services, Warri, Delta, has called for government subsidy on animal feeds to boost production of poultry products in the Niger Delta.

He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Sunday.

He said government needed to also subsidise piggery feeds to enable the people of the region, especially the youths, to participate more in agriculture.

The chairman said increased participation in poultry production and piggery would create jobs and ensure adequate supply of protein needs of the people.

According to him, the Niger Delta region has more comparative advantages over other zones in the country in poultry farming, piggery and fish farming.

He added that “in this region, we have very good weather for poultry. ”

Ikukaiwe said that the people of the region, especially the youths, had been distracted for a very long time such that their focus had been misdirected.

He said that except for the oil spillage in the region, the Niger Delta environment was suitable for fish farming.

He noted that “the problem we are having in the Niger Delta is that we are looking at where we should not be looking.

“We do not have the comparative advantage for maize cultivation like the northern part of the country with its vast land mass but we have good weather for poultry, fish farming and piggery.”

The farmer said that for the youths to be properly engaged, states in the region should concentrate on areas they had comparative advantage.

“This region can produce all the poultry products, fish and pork needed in this country because our environment is suitable for it.

“What obtained in the past was a situation where government acquired and gave day old chicks to some ‘political farmers’ in the name of empowerment and leaving the real farmers.

“With subsidy, the true farmers will buy more birds and feeds and produce more,” Ikukaiwe said.