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New economy to be driven by additional 77,400 young farmers – NALDA

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The federal government through the newly resusitated National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has revealed plan to raise about 77, 400 young farmers into Nigerian farming business across the nation in different farming activities ranging from crop farming to animal husbandry.


The newly appointed Executive Secretary of NALDA Prince Paul Ikonne, said this Monday in Abuja at the maiden press briefing since President Muhammadu Buhari brought the agency back.

NALDA was created by General Ibrahim Babangida-led administration in 1992 but was abolished during the rationalisation of agencies during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in year 2000.

Speaking at the media conference, Prince Ikonne said his plan is to ensure that the organisation drive the country’s economy.

“Our short-term programs are; Providing farm inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizers, machinery, environmentally friendly crop protection agents, growth enhancers and trainings which will be given to already existing farmers and this will assist them during this farming season in order to improve their yield.

“The President, having given a marching order when he said “we must produce what we have to eat” NALDA as an authority under the Presidency has come up with programs in order to meet this directive by Mr. President.”

Speaking on how to achieve his plans, Ikonne said: “We intend to have 77,400 young farmers injected into Nigerian farming business across the nation in different farming activities ranging from crop farming to animal husbandry.

“These young farmers will be drawn from the 774 Local Governments, with a pilot number of 100 per local Government. In this initiative we will partner with Governors for provision or donation of land and other stakeholders as this will create employment and food production will be increased.

“Back To Farm; we will use this program to encourage everyone to go back to farm by reaching out to the military and paramilitary organizations, NASS members, civil and public servants, journalists, corporate bodies, religious organizations and individuals.

“You will agree with me that all these organizations mentioned and some individuals have land that are not being put to use, so we intend to encourage them to use these lands for farming even if it is for personal consumption. #BackToFarm

“These 3 programs are our starting point in order to meet the immediate mandate of Mr. President for providing food for all and we intend to achieve this within the next 6 months.”

While expressing confidence in the organisation to drive economy, the executive secretary said: “Our intention going by NALDA’s mandate, is to make agriculture a business and a source of wealth creation for the country. This we intend to achieve by increasing palm oil and soya beans production for export among others. Nigeria’s potential in the agricultural sector cannot be over emphasized and having identified the lapses of why we as a nation have not attained the height of food sufficiency, NALDA under my watch will provide the required leadership and with the support of Mr. President we will achieve our mandate.

“NALDA will partner and collaborate with other government agencies and international organizations in order to attain food sufficiency and make agriculture the main source of revenue for Nigeria from export.”

He, however, called on Nigerians who are interested in working with NALDA as volunteers to register through its website www.nalda.ng, even as he called “on all Nigerians and stakeholders, to see agriculture as a business and to solicit for their support as we take off today towards achieving food security which NALDA will be driving.”

Speaking earlier, the nalda’s pioneer director of planning, satistics and data bank, Dr. Akin Fapounda, who gave review of where the organisation was before it was disbanded in year 2000, commended President Muhammad Buhari for bringing the Authority back to existence.

“It is nice to see NALDA back to the country.”

Dr. Fapounda said if Nigeria will succeed, NALDA must succeed in agriculture.

He said NALDA is not meant to be a federal government agency but for state government to look for lands, settle all compensation and use the land for proper farming.

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Economy

EDUN HARPS ON SYNERGY TO DRIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH, ATTRACT INVESTMENTS

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The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun on Tuesday charged Heads of Agencies and Parastatals under his Ministry to work together towards ensuring the full implementation of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 8-Point Agenda, aimed at boosting economic growth and development so as to attract foreign investors and expertise into the country.

Speaking during a quarterly performance review briefing with Heads of Agencies and Parastatals in Abuja, the Minister emphasized the importance of synergy and effective implementation to achieve the goals outlined in the President’s blueprint.

“This is a very important gathering to benchmark where we are and pinpoint where we need to get to and how we intend to get there”

He highlighted the progress made so far under the present Administration and encouraged the Agencies and Parastatals within his jurisdiction to continue working together so as to drive economic growth and prosperity for all Nigerians.

According to him, the meeting would also serve as a benchmark towards the implementation of the performance bond signed by Mr. President, which is aimed at reviewing the achievements made in the last one year, address challenges and chart a way forward for improved performance of the Ministry.

“We have all signed performance bonds. We all know the plan and blueprint, which are the eight point agenda of Mr. President. It has been categorised as a house. The pillars are the fundamentals that you need for the Economy and society to thrive that is, security, rule of law, and at the very top is the roof, that is, the outcomes: food security and other measures of a good standard.

Finance Minister, Wale Edun with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretaries and participants at the interactive meeting

“Our collective efforts and shared commitment is not only pivotal in ensuring the efficient and effective management of the nation’s economy, but should also go a long way in facilitating the realization of the agenda of Mr. President”, he said

Edun stated that the call to action became necessity with the need to galvanize the agencies to work collaboratively and efficiently towards achieving the objectives of the 8-point agenda.

The Minister explained that by working together, the Agencies can help create a conducive environment for economic growth, attract investors, and make opportunities available for Nigerians to thrive.

He further informed them that the Tinubu Administration has helped stabilize the exchange rate and is working towards lower interest rates that would attract additional investments to the nation.

 

“It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to pursue the achievements of our deliverables with diligence and determination by establishing clear targets, timelines, and consequences for non- compliance with our respective Agencies/Parastatals. We can help to create a framework that incenticizes excellence and service delivery as well as build the needed synergy and partnership that can facilitate the implementation of the transformative economic policies of this administration”, Edun said

The Minister expressed optimism that with the calibre of persons heading the Agencies under his stewardship, the Ministry is sure to deliver on its mandate in compliance with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

 

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Lydia Shehu Jafiya, stated that the engagement would provide a unique platform for robust discussions, especially in the area of implementation of the transformative policies of the present administration, which she said, aims at improving the nation’s economy, promoting job creation, and poverty reduction as well as a safety environment that will attract investments into the country.

She assured that the Ministry will continue to provide an enabling environment for the full implementation of the policies, programmes and projects of the Federal Government, in line with its mandate.

Also speaking, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Mr. Okokon Ekenam Udo advised the Agencies to collectively align their efforts with the fiscal goals set by the Federal Government with a view to ensuring the realization of its policy objective.

He therefore called on them to bring in their wealth of experience to bear in making sure that the Agencies deliver on their respective mandates in accordance with the policy thrust of the present administration.

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Economy

FG Received N318.5bn Revenue in Q1 – Accountant General

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The Federal Government got a total revenue inflow of N318.5bn in the first quarter of 2024, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja.

Madein stated this while briefing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, on the revenue performance of the various agencies of government in the first quarter of 2024.

Represented by the Director, Revenue and Investment in the Office of the Accountant General, Felix Ogundaro, AGF noted that the 2024 fiscal year would be exceptional in terms of revenue generation, owing to the policies of the President Bola Tinubu-led government.

She said, “Reconciliation is still being done but the total revenue inflows to the Federal Government for January to March amounts to N318.5bn as against a total budget of 2.691 tn.

“For the budget, the bottom-up cash planning policy is on course and the 2024 budget is going to be implemented via that policy. Officers have been retained and sensitization is ongoing to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies are well equipped on the modalities and conditionalities.”

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Armstrong Takang, who also briefed the lawmakers, disclosed that some agencies under MOFI had declared dividends of N101bn.

Takang said “So far, we have received dividends declared by some companies. But for many others, their reports are either being prepared and have not been completed or have been completed but they have not gone to their boards for approval and subsequently the Annual General Meeting. As such, we cannot use the number of their dividends until that has been done based on the corporate governance rules.

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Economy

FINANCE MINISTER VISITS PTAD, STRESSES NEED FOR DIGITISATION, ENHANCED PENSION MANAGEMENT

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By Sule Musa

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun on Wednesday  visited the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) Headquarters in  Abuja during which he reaffirmed the Federal Government’s unwavering dedication to improving pension management and enhancing the welfare of pensioners.

Edun who was received by PTAD’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, and the management team,  engaged in discussions focused on the vital backend computation projects aimed at improving the efficiency and transparency of pension administration.

The Minister commended PTAD staff for their dedication in pension administration, recognizing their indispensable role and reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to pensioners’ welfare even amid essential economic reforms.

He assured of ongoing Ministry of Finance support for the recent pension increment, aligning with the provisions of section 173:3 of the 1999 constitution which,  according to him, marks a historic initiative in Nigerian pension management with deliberate and timely increments as well as commitment to the timely payment of pension arrears and entitlements.

A statement by the Ministry’s Director of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Manga quotes the Minister as saying that visit underscores the Ministry’s strategy to enhance fiscal management and promote socioeconomic stability through improved governance of public funds and the adoption of digitisation.

“This visit highlights our resolve to ensure that the systems managing our pension funds are not only robust and efficient but also aligned with our broader economic goals of transparency and accountability,” he added.

The Executive Secretary of the organisation,  on behalf of the management and staff,  expressed appreciation for the visit, reaffirming their commitment to maintaining high service standards for pensioners and aligning with the government’s emphasis on enhancing public financial management.

According to the statement, the Minister’s  engagement is integral to the Ministry’s continuous drive to bolster economic resilience and enhance the contribution of all governance sectors to Nigeria’s growth and development.

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