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Ministry Seeks N32bn To Meet 2017 Irrigation Target

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The Federal Ministry of Water Resources says it will require no less that N32 billion to meet the target of 100,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture in the 2017 budget.
The Director, Irrigation and Drainage in the ministry, disclosed this in an interview with newmen in Abuja, yesterday.
He said there was a shortfall already in the 2017 budget for irrigation purposes.
According to him, the shortfall is one of the challenges that may affect the implementation of all projects listed in the Ministry’s strategic plan.
He said that, “although, there are promises from extra budgetary funding, it was however important that intervention funds be available to close the gaps.
“We need additional N32 billion to meet the target, so that, if we inject these funds into the irrigation schemes, we will be able to meet up.
“If we do it this year and also do something corresponding to that next year, we will be able to meet up with the target of adding additional 100, 000 hectares.
“This is because we can’t fund these budgets from normal appropriation, we need intervention funds, and the Presidency is encouraging us.
“If we have to develop 100,000 hectares, we cannot rely on normal budgetary provisions, we had made this request last year, and we have positive response,” he said.
Offie said the ministry was assessing the cash flows and the specific amount required to develop additional hectares to avoid the mistakes of the previous administrations.
He said that developing irrigation farming was paramount for meeting the target goals of food security and job creation.
He said that agriculture cannot rely on rain-fed agriculture, saying with developed irrigation practices, Nigeria could supplement, thereby helping farmers to develop their crops.
He said that Nigeria is blessed with a weather that could promote three cropping seasons in a year, adding that with well-developed agriculture, employment would be created.
Offie said the ministry has realised that, if the nation must attain food security, it must embark on deliberate measures to encourage irrigation farming.
He said that rain water dependence would not meet the needs of agriculture, especially in the Northern states, saying the season was usually short with little water collection.

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OML 25: NNPC, Shell, Belemaoil’s Pact ’ll Sustain Peace – Kyari

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC says a new era of sustainable peace has begun at OML 25 Flow Station in Kula Kingdom following the resolution of the oil dispute between Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and its host communities.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari stated this at the formal hoisting of Shell and Belemaoil Flags alongside that of the NNPC and Nigerian flag signaling the resumption of oil production in the facility.
The GMD of NNPC represented by the Group General Manger of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, Musa Lawan reiterated that while Shell remains the operator, Belemaoil would be in charge of Maintenance, Operation, Surveillance and Patrol.
The Group General Manger of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, Musa Lawan described as disheartening the level of backwardness and neglect of the host communities of OML 25.
The Founder and President of Belemaoil Engr. Jack-Rich Tein Junior assured the host communities of OML 25 that the company would work with NNPC and Shell to bring a better life to them.
Also speaking, the apex socio-cultural group of elder statesmen in the Niger Delta known as the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF said the OML 25 Community Engagement Approach could be used as a model in addressing the Niger Delta question to bring lasting peace to the region.
Clark, represented by a high powered delegation of PANDEF led by a former Nigerian Ambassador Godknows Igali at the official re-opening of the Flow Station by the Host Communities of Oko-Ama, Belema, Offoin-Ama and Ngeje of Kula Kingdom, said he would continue to work with the federal government to ensure that the OML 25 Community Engagement model is replicated to other oil bearing communities in the region.
He said such model would enable the Host Communities feel the impact of oil exploration in their area.
For his part, the Spokesman of PANDEF Anabs Sara-Igbe commended the federal Government for moving the construction of 85km Degema-Kula Expressway from the Ministry of Niger Delta to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised to the Host Communities of OML 25 Flow Station in Kula Kingdom, Rivers State for the level of neglect, economic hardship and under development of the area despite 40 years of oil production and huge contribution to the wealth of the Nation.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Ita Enang made the apology at a Townhall Meeting in Belema Community during the Official Re-opening of the oil platform by the host communities.
He said it is sad and unacceptable that after 40 years of oil exploration in the area, the people are still demanding for basic amenities such as Schools, Hospitals and Potable Water.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Ita Enang also assured that the Federal Government would work with state governments in the Niger Delta and the NDDC to re-direct the 2020 budget in favour oil bearing communities in the region.
Our correspondent reported that the Paramount Ruler of the Oko Royal House, owners of Belema Community, King Bourdillon Allen Ekine formally removed the traditional injunction stopping oil production at the OML25 Flow Station and presented a proposal of a roadmap for the development of the Community to the federal government and NNPC.

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CBN Issues Fresh Guidelines On Payments System

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has issued regulatory guidelines for the operation of Indirect Participants in the Payments System, with effect from November 11.
The apex bank made this known in a circular issued by CBN’s Director, Payments System Management Department, Mr Sam Okojere, to banks, last Thursday.
The Indirect Participants are payments service providers who are non-clearing financial institutions but settle their payments obligations through clearing banks.
According to the guideline, to qualify as an indirect participant, an institution shall: have a satisfactory risk-based rating from the CBN and secure a letter of recommendation from its direct participating bank, signed by the Chief Risk Officer and an Executive Director of the direct participating bank.
The bank also directed that an indirect participant expected to settle all its payments obligations through only one direct participating bank per payment scheme at any given time.
“The relationship between a direct participating bank and an indirect participant shall be governed by a Settlement Agreement.
“Where the account of an indirect participant with a direct participating bank is not adequately funded, the direct participating bank may decline further settlement services to the indirect participant and inform the payment processor accordingly.
“Except as otherwise agreed, a direct participating bank or an indirect participant shall give at least thirty 30 days’ notice to the other party before terminating the Settlement Agreement for any other reason apart from the circumstances in 3.4.
“The terminating party shall notify the Payments Service Provider (PSP) of its intention to terminate.

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Minimum Wage: NLC Orders State Councils To Prepare For Strike

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed its state councils to prepare for strike on Oct. 16 if negotiation breaks down again with Federal Government.
In a circular sent to state councils, signed by its General Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ugboaja, NLC said this was a notice in case the proposed negotiations slated for October 15 with the Federal Government broke down.
“You will recall that a joint Communiqué was issued by the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Committee (JNPSNC) stating that two weeks from the date of the said communiqué, industrial harmony could not be guaranteed in the country should an agreement not be reached with the Federal Government on the Consequential Adjustment of Salaries as a result of the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000.
“You are hereby directed to coordinate preparations with TUC and JNPSNC in your States for necessary industrial action should the time expire without an agreement as contained in the circular.’’
The Tide reports recalls that the organised labour is demanding 29 per cent salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17.
The Federal Government had, however, presented a proposal of 11 per cent salary increase for officers on grade level 07 to14 and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers of grade level 15 to 17.
It would be recalled that implementation of the new wage has remained a problem, arising from the issue of relativity and consequential adjustments.
On May 14, the Federal Government inaugurated the relativity and consequential adjustment committee, which in turn set up a technical sub-committee to work out a template for the adjustment of salaries of public service employees.
However, government and labour have failed to reach an agreement over relativity and consequential adjustments for the implementation of the new minimum wage more than six months after it was signed into law.

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