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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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Aviation

Concession: Preferred, Reserved Bidders Emerge for Abuja, Lagos and Kano Airports

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… as No Bid Received for Port Harcourt Airport

The Nigerian government on Wednesday announced the preferred bidders for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, as the Concession programme enters its final phase.

The minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika unveiled the successful bidders at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase of the Nigeria Airports Concession Programme (NACP), which came to a close on the 19 of September 2022 has seen the emergence of preferred and reserve bidders for three (3) out of four (4) Airports and Cargo Terminals as approved for concession under the programme under the supervision of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

He announced that “the preferred bidder for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium. ENL Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for NAIA. ”

“The preferred bidder for Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, is TAV/NAHCO/PROJECT PLANET LIMITED(PPL) Consortium. Sifax/Changi Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for MMIA” he said.

“The preferred bidder for Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium. There are no reserve bidders for MAKIA as at the time of this announcement,” he said.

For the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Port Harcourt, Sirika said the ministry “did not receive any proposals as of the RFP deadline close and as such has not had preferred and reserve bidders attached to it.”

He said the next stage now it’s the negotiation stage adding that the organised labour has been a part of all the negotiations that has happened and will still be part of future negotiations.

He also said no Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) official will lose their jobs.

“The next stage of the programme is the negotiations and due diligence stage, during which the Federal Government will invite preferred bidders to enter detailed negotiations with its representatives, with a view to developing a Full Business Case (FBC) before onward transmission to ICRC for review and approval. Only after successful conclusion of the negotiation and due diligence stage will the FBC and all other approvals be presented before the Federal Executive Council for final approval by the Federal Government of Nigeria” he explained.

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Aviation

Trapped Funds: Reprieve for Foreign Airlines, as CBN Releases $265M Intervention

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Foreign airlines operating in the country and their passengers can now heave a sigh of relief as the Central Bank of Nigeria has released $265million to airlines operating in the country to settle outstanding ticket sales to check a brewing crisis in the country’s aviation sector.

Disclosing this in a statement, on Friday, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, said the Nigerian government was concerned about the development and what it portended for the sector and travellers as well as the country in the comity of nations.

A breakdown of the figure indicated that $230million was released as special foreign exchange intervention while another $35million was released through Retail SMIS auction.

Nwanisobi retiterated that the bank was not against any company repatriating its funds from the country, adding that what the bank stood for was an orderly exit for those that might be interested in doing so.

“With Friday’s release, it is expected that operators and travelers as well will heave huge sighs of relief, as some airlines had threatened to withdraw their services in the face of unremitted funds for outstanding sale of tickets,” CBN said.

There has been serious concerns and reactions over hundreds of millions of dollars earned by foreign airlines operating in the country which they could not repatriate due to foreign exchange scarcity problems.

SaharaReporters had during the week reported that some international airlines whose $600million got stuck in Nigeria’s Central Bank were not happy with the carefree attitude shown by the Nigerian administration.

Some of the foreign nations had said they gave between now and December — the deadline when the Nigerian government should pay the accrued debt or risk having them leave the nation.

Sunrise Nigeria earlier reported that Emirates Airlines had announced that it would suspend its flights to Nigeria from September 1 this year.

The proposed suspension of flights to Nigeria is connected to its failure to repatriate its trapped ticket sales fund in the West African country back to its home country in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Meanwhile, the foreign nations’ ultimate intervention has been linked to the CBN’s failure to release the trapped monies for the airlines to return to their home countries in violation of the deal they signed with Nigeria as outlined in the current Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs).

This is just as the seeming silence of the various local bankers of the foreign airlines in Nigeria has been attributed to the fact that it is only the CBN that is empowered to do this.

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Aviation

Nigeria will have national carrier before end of 2022 — Aviation Minister

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The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has given an assurance that Nigeria will have a national carrier before the end of 2022.

Sirika gave the assurance at a two-day Africa Public Private Partnership Network (AP3N) Investment programme held in Abuja on Tuesday

The programme was organised by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission with the theme, “Financing Africa’s Infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP).”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria Air is the nation’s proposed national carrier which was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom in July 2018.

The minister, represented by Mr Akin Olateru, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), said the Air Transport License had been issued.

“We have a team in place, the Air Transport License has been issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and we are in the process of processing the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) which will lead to the start of the airline.

“When you are setting up an airline, there are five phases for the AOC process.

“You need to bring in airplanes when you are in phase three. So in phases one and two, you do not need to bring an airplane but you need to have identified them.

“But because people do not understand the process in aviation, they see it as another business. But aviation has its peculiarities and strict guidelines in everything we do.”

The panelist who discussed the topic “Transforming the Aviation Sector through Private Sector Participation” underscored the need for funding from private investment in the sector to ensure efficiency.

Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said funding was a critical function in the aviation sector for it to function optimally.

According to him, funding is the lifeblood, you can have all the technical skills but without funding, the sector cannot function.

“Equipment and facilities need to be replaced and maintained as and when due.

“If stakeholders do not have confidence in the sector, then we cannot function, and our workers will not work if they do not feel safe using the equipment.

“If you get the stakeholders’ confidence, you would get the right participation. PPP is the way to go not only in aviation but in all sectors,” he said.

Mr. Isaac Balami, an aviator and Chief Executive Officer, 7Star Global Hanger, said there was the need to set up an Aviation Development Bank, given the key role the aviation industry played in the Nigerian economy and the African continent.

According to him, in terms of strategy, we must look inwards and believe in ourselves, and we must also consider local content.

Mr Lai Are, the Managing Director, Catamaran Nigeria Ltd, said the foundation of any country was its infrastructure, adding that there was a need to bridge the infrastructure gap in Nigeria.

Are said without aviation, the country would not be able to attract the kind of finance needed in the transport sector.

“We are a country in need of investment, and most of this money cannot come from within but we need to look inward to see how we can present ourselves to the outside world.

“We need to see how we can look attractive to the outside world and attract investment for infrastructure development.”

He also said there must be the sanctity of agreements, saying that the government must honour agreements so that investors get returns on their investments at the agreed time.

“Yes, the private sector will come but they must ride on the back of the foundation the government has built,” he said.

Mr. Suileman Ibrahim, the director, Capital Projects and Infrastructure, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said that the government must see private investors as partners by creating policies that make investment possible.

Abrahim also said that dedicated funds should also be set up for the aviation industry such as having an aviation bank or a bank dedicated to the transport sector.

“Having the right policies which include tax incentives and waivers, providing guarantees and supporting the environment and repatriation of foreign exchange are critical to investment in this space.” (NAN)

 

 

 

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