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NALDA: FG engages 17,000 rabbit farmers to boost economy

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The federal government through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has commenced a programme for rabbit farming which is expected to engage 17,000 youths, especially in the south, as part of efforts to boost economy and reduce unemployment in the country.

NALDA is expected to make available the rabbits, cage, vaccine and training for the youths free of charge while the beneficiaries are expected to return the kitten when the rabbit delivers so that it would be used to empower others.

Speaking with newsmen Wednesday in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, said it would said also buy the urine, dungs and skin of the rabbits from the youths, which is also a source of income for the beneficiaries.

“If you recall, Mr President had launched national young farmers scheme, which we intend to take in 774,000 (seven hundred and seventy-four thousand) young Nigerians into the entire agribusiness, and this program has started implementing the first leg of it which is our animal husbandry.

“In this segment, we are doing goat rearing and rabbits rearing. A lot of people doesn’t know the potentials, the benefits and the money they can make from rearing rabbit. Rabbit has an entire value chain, nothing is a waste farming rabbit.

“So we’re engaging our youths into rabbit farming, NALDA has designed a program to take in 17,000 rabbit farmers especially in the south, and we have commenced the engagement in some states.

“All our programs are in phases, in this first phase, Imo, Abia, Cross River and Oyo States have received rabbits and young farmers have been engaged into rabbit farming,” he said.

“From the meat, the hide, which is the skin, the dungs and the urine, they are all money-making machine.

“The program is very simple, from the first day the farmer start rearing rabbits, they start making money from that day, from the collection of the urine to the collection of the dungs which will be used as fertilizer, their money will keep accumulating, at the end of the month, we’ll pay them based on the litres and kilogram of what they have submitted to NALDA office at their various states before the off-takers take it,” he explained.

Furthermore, he explained “you can see that the benefits of rearing rabbits, before we go into the processing the sale of the animal itself is another means of income, the meat is one of the best meat because it’s white meat and it’s good for those that are having cholesterol issues, that also will be a source of income, then the hide which is the skin is also in high demand for designers.

“So you can see the benefits of engaging our people in rabbit rearing, it is not common in Nigeria, but diversification is the way to go, and agriculture is the direction the world is heading to.

“The beauty about this is that it doesn’t have much hazard, it doesn’t require so much, rabbit virtually eats everything and it doesn’t require too much space, so you can farm it at the smallest space you have in your house whether you are a landlord or a tenant and it doesn’t litter the environment.

On the income from the farming, Prince Ikonne said each beneficiary is expected to earn an average of N100,000 monthly from the sales of the urine, dungs, skin and the rabbit itself.

“At least the average of N100,000 a month somebody will be making from rearing rabbits from all these products, and you can see the level it will get to cater for families and homes, so it is something we have engaged in, and we will keep expanding.”

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has given all the approvals and the funds required to implement the program has been made available to NALDA.

For interested persons, the NALDA boss said “for the process of being a beneficiary, our program is community-based, if you are if you live in an urban area, you have to go identify yourself at NALDA office in your states.

“We have offices across the country, at various state capitals. If you also check our website, you will see NALDA offices, we also have our WhatsApp group for those that intend to rear rabbits to also register through the NALDA WhatsApp Group.”

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CBN, First Bank on collision course over removal of MD/CEO

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Sources in First Bank accuse CBN of meddling in its internal affairs.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the Board of First Bank Ltd, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks a query for the removal of its CEO.

On Wednesday the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited revealed it had appointed Gbenga Shobo as its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment was disclosed in a statement made by the bank’s Chairman, Ibukun Awosika.

However, in an apparent leak, a letter from the central bank to First Bank revealed a query from the former to the latter expressing concern that the appointment of Shobo was done without the approval of the apex bank.

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to media reports that the Board of Directors has approved the removal of the current Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Sola Adeduntan, and appointed a successor to replace him. The CBN notes with concern that the action was taken without due consultation with the regulatory authorities, especially given the systemic importance of First Bank Ltd.”

The CBN also claimed that the tenure of Mr. Adedutan was yet to expire (bank MD’s have a maximum 10 years) and that they were also not aware of any misconduct of the former MD and as such there was no justification for his removal.

“Given that the tenure of Dr. Adeduntan is yet to expire and the CBN was not made aware of any report from the Board indicting the Managing Director of any wrong-doing or misconduct, there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal.”

However, sources within the bank informed Nairametrics that First Bank has a maximum of 6 years tenure for its MDs in line with its succession plans. They also claimed the CBN is meddling in its internal affairs as the removal of the MD is in line with its succession plans and also does not exceed CBNs maximum of 10 years.

“First Bank followed its corporate governance framework in its change of leadership and appointment of new executive directors. No Managing Director in the 127 years history of FirstBank has ever attempted a tenure extension. Why now?”

Another source who did not want to be mentioned as they were not authorized to do so lamented that “Adeduntan’s term formally ends in June this year after 2 terms of 3 years each. Leaving early is in line with the bank’s succession planning. When he was appointed 6 years ago and a DMD role was created, the erstwhile FirstBank Managing Director knew the DMD would succeed him and this is what has happened. This is corporate governance at its best.”

However, the apex bank in the leaked letter also suggested that it had provided First Bank with “regulatory forbearance” which can be interpreted as a bailout subliminally indicating that it has a say in the operations of the bank.

“We are particularly concerned because the action is coming at a time the CBN has provided various regulatory forbearances and liquidity support to reposition the bank which has enhanced its asset quality, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios amongst other prudential indicators. It is also curious to observe that the sudden removal of the MD/CEO was done about eight months to the expiry of his second tenure which is due on December 31, 2021. The removal of a sitting MD/CEO of a systemically important bank that has been under regulatory forbearance for 5 to 6 years without prior consultation and justifiable basis has dire implications for the bank and also portends significant risks to the stability of the financial system.”

Sources within the bank also allude without proof that the involvement of the central bank in this matter may also be due to First Bank’s support of Flutterwave which may have angered CBN.

“Is this payback for FirstBank for supporting and enabling Flutterwave and other tech companies? FirstBank MD-Designate, Gbenga Shobo created a revolution by partnering with Flutterwave and other tech companies. Is this payback? The CBN Governor must be called to order. This is not a banana economy. We need to preserve the FirstBank heritage with its seamless succession planning.”

It is unclear how this matter will end but stemming from experience, we will not be surprised if this matter ends in court in a few days. The Central Bank has often controversially delved into board-related issues such as appointments and even firing of all or some Board members for what it perceives as severe infractions.

And as expected, it ended its query to the bank with a threat to the board if the decision to remove Adeduntan is not reversed.

“In light of the foregoing, you are required to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against the Board for hastily removing the MD/CEO and failing to give prior notice to the CBN before announcing the management change in the media.”

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Telecos Yet To Receive Approval To Register New SIM Cards

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According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the telecom operators disclosed this in separate interviews on Friday in Lagos.

The reports state that no SIM registration was done in some of the network providers’ customer service outlets that were visited, as most subscribers who requested for new SIM were turned down.

Some officials of the different network stores who wished to remain anonymous said they were yet to get approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to roll out sales of new SIM cards.

They said, “We are aware of the lift in ban of new SIM cards but we have not been given the official ‘green light to go ahead. We still await instructions from the authorities on that issue and that is what we tell our subscribers when they request for it.

We want to follow due process so that we are not held responsible for any SIM card sales, hence we only retrieve old SIMs that were lost with proof of ownership and of course the NIN identification.”

While speaking, some of the subscribers said that they needed new SIMs for their wards, businesses and other needs and hope that the government will quickly give the network providers the permission to start the reissuing of the new SIM.

 

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SEC recognises cryptocurrencies, Moghalu faults CBN action

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A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, has faulted the recent action of the apex bank that Deposit Money Banks should desist from transacting in and with entities dealing in cryptocurrencies.

According to him, the Securities and Exchange Commission recognises cryptocurrencies as financial assets. SEC, which is supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, is the main regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market.

The presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party in the 2019 elections spoke on Monday while featuring on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’

He said, “There is regulatory dysfunction, there is lack of regulatory coordination. The Securities and Exchange Commission recognises cryptocurrencies as financial assets and in September last year, they said they will be issuing a regulatory framework for it. So, it does look as if the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.”

The media had earlier reported that the apex bank said cryptocurrencies promote illegal activities and raise risks, among other reasons.

But Moghalu said there was no means of exchange devoid of risk, adding that if the CBN could manage the risks of paper currency and electronic payments and other means of exchange, it should also be able to mitigate the risks associated with digital platforms such as cryptocurrencies.

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