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Bayelsa, NAOC To Partner On Agric Dev

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Following the numerous agricultural programmes initiated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) towards boosting food production in the Niger Delta region, the Bayelsa State Government has expressed willingness to collaborate with the multinational, with a view to enhancing agricultural development in the state.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, John Jonah, disclosed this during the 21st Farmers Day celebration of NAOC – Green River Project (GRP), with the theme “GRP actively leading the fortune of the Nigeria Delta”, held at Igbogene, Bayelsa State, last Saturday.
The governor commended NAOC for diversifying their operation from oil to the soil, also embarking on agricultural value-chain that has boosted food security in its host states.
He said that the State has embarked on laudable agricultural initiatives, which include cassava farm at Oloibiri, fish farm, rice farm at Peremabiri among others, adding that the State government is prepared to partner NAOC to boost the agricultural potentials of the State.
In his speech, NAOC’s General Manager district, Marco Rotondi, expressed the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy to agriculture, saying that it is on this premise that the initiative is focused on making it attractive and accessible, as well as encourage the youths and women to embrace modern and mechanized agriculture.
The Vice Chairman/Managing Director, NAOC, Massimo Insulla, stated that for the past 30 years GRP had been a prime source of employment and improvement of the standard of living for the respective host communities and had served as a veritable tool for sustainable development and food sufficiency.
The farmers’ day celebration had offered the platform to individual farmers, farmers’ co-operative society and Agro-Allied organizations not only to showcase their products, produce and services, also to interact with other agriculture stakeholders, he said.
The Chairman, NAOC/AENR/NAE, Umberto Carrara expressed gratitude that the objective of the scheme to introduce and expose host communities to modern technique of farming had been achieved.
The Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Otuoke, Prof. Seth Accra-Jaja, noted that the GRP initiative is capable of leading Nigeria’s agricultural development.
He said that the University has embarked on agricultural programmes, such as incentive share lending, growth enhancement scheme, agric resilience scheme and field alternative scheme, among others.
The Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) represented by Folanke Jolayemi, pledge the support of NAPIMS to the NAOC joint venture GRP in its lead to encourage agricultural best practices in modern farming and improvement of the livelihood of the people.
The Chief Executive Officer, Oando Energy Resources, Pade Durotonye, said the event is geared towards creating awareness on the importance of agriculture in spearheading the socio-economic development and economic diversification of the country.
He posited that the GRP have successfully sensitized community-based farmers on the importance of agriculture through the introduction of high yielding planting materials, fisheries activities and formation of co-operative societies and how to access micro-credit scheme.
Award of excellent and certificate of merit was presented to deserving GRP farmers.
Highlight of the occasion was display of cultural troupes and performance of the dance floor King, Timaya.

Executive Chairman, Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. T. Adoage Norteh, with Managing Director, Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Dr. (Mrs) Seinye Luku-Briggs, during the induction ceremony of honorary special marshalls of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Port Harcourt, last Saturday.

Executive Chairman, Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. T. Adoage Norteh, with Managing Director, Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Dr. (Mrs) Seinye Luku-Briggs, during the induction ceremony of honorary special marshalls of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Port Harcourt, last Saturday.

 

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CAC Registers 245,000  SMEs Free Of Charge

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it has registered more than 245,000 Small and Medium Enterp-rises  free of charge.
The Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar,  said in Abuja on Wednesday that it did this with the approval of the Federal Government.
The Federal Government, he said, approved the free registration of 250,000 business names as part of its intervention to assuage the economic effect of Covid-19.
He said the Federal  Government paid 50 per cent of the cost of registration to CAC and more than 245,000 business names were consequently registered.
Abubakar explained that the process was electronic and applicants also got their certificates electronically.
He added that the numbers were divided between the 36 states of the federation and the FCT noting that Lagos, Abia and Kano States had the largest numbers.
He said free registration of 6, 606 business names was approved for 33 states while Abia, Lagos and Kano States would have 7, 906, 9,084 and 8,406 respectively.
Abubakar noted that aggregators were appointed and paid to collect SMEs information and submit same to CAC.
He explained that the commission provided special access for the aggregators for effective service delivery since they were responsible for scanning and uploading of documents.
He added that CAC had to take over from one of the aggregators appointed for two states but failed to deliver.
Abubakar said also that the intervention of CAC and appointment of substitute aggregators to take over in the two states sped up the process, already nearing completion.
“We are hoping that by end of September the exercise will come to an end,’’ he said.

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IPMAN Seeks Foreign Partnership For Robust Refinery Deal

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The Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),  Mr King Eppie, has said that he would be seeking the partnership of foreign bodies as part of his plans to strengthen the association.
Eppie said this when he spoke in a chat with newsmen in his office in Eleme, Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, Wednesday.
He pointed out that such plans would also encourage business growth especially to some of his members whom he said are  experiencing stormy business weather.
According to him, the challenging business condition was as a result of  non functional refineries in the country, stressing the need to seek for partnership.
He said that since its core business area was petroleum products, that his leadership would do all within its reach to improve the  system.
The Rivers IPMAN boss,  expressed hope that the ailing refineries in the country would bounce back to life.
“ I will be happy to see the refineries working again. Most of our members are suffering and business is no longer what it used to be, that’s why I want the refineries to come back to operation”, he said.
About the issue of legal battle in the association, he said that his team has been vindicated by the Apex court by declaring him the authentic chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State.
He recalled that the association was in a legal battle for about eight years, but expressed joy over its victorious end.
To those who were on the other side of the divide, he said that he has extended an olive branch to them as part of his plans to run an  all inclusive government.
“ The platform for those who went to court against us has been created for them to come back to the fold. IPMAN is one in the state and we are open to all, that is why we want everyone to come back”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the IPMAN chairman is  barely one week in office after years of legal battle that greeted the association as a result of leadership tussle.

By:King Onunwor

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1,818 MSMEs Benefit From Covid-19 Recovery Package In Delta

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No fewer than 1,818 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from Federal Government and the World Bank Covid-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) in Delta.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa addressed the beneficiaries at the launch of funds disbursement in Asaba on Wednesday.
He commended the Federal Government and the World Bank for the partnership to provide succour for those affected by the pandemic in the country.
He said that now that the scheme had been domesticated in the state, the beneficiaries were in the first phase of the programme.
Okowa also lauded the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) for supporting the federal government to ensure that the programme was approved by the World Bank for implementation in Nigeria.
He also thanked the World Bank for the intervention and for working with state governments in the country towards cushioning the socio-economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
According to Okowa, today’s ceremony is a major step at putting MSMEs that are badly hurt by the pandemic on the path of recovery and growth.
He said this was “more so, with the disbursement of funds to the first set of 1,818 beneficiaries who have met the World Bank stipulated eligibility criteria within the initial six months.
“A total of 2,529 MSMEs are expected to receive grants to support post-covid-19 loans, operational costs and to enhance their IT capabilities.
“Indeed, we are glad to be part of the CARES programme of the Federal Government.
“The focus of intervention clearly aligns with the priority of the state government to give relief to those whose lives, businesses, jobs and means of livelihood have been distorted by the pandemic.
“The programme, which we have domesticated as the Delta CARES, is a two-year emergency recovery programme.
“It is aimed at supporting state governments’ budgeted programme of expenditures and interventions.
“It is to enable them to expand access to livelihood support, food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms,” he said.
He said that the programme would also directly support 25,269 poor and vulnerable households with social transfers, basic services and livelihood grants.
The governor said it would as well support 13,976 farmers to boost food production and ensure smooth functioning of the food supply chain.
“The outlined figures are the targets stipulated by the World Bank, but do not preclude the State Government from scaling up if the need arises.
“It is my expectation that those charged with the implementation of Delta-CARES will be faithful in executing the mandate so that the desired results are achieved, bearing in mind that it is a Programme for Result (PforR),” Okowa said.
On his part, Dr Barry Pere-Gbe, Chairman, Steering Committee for Delta-CARES and State Commissioner for Economic Planning, commended Okowa for providing the funds for the programme.
Pere-Gbe was represented by the Commissioner for Youths Development, Mr Ifeanyi Egwunyenga.
He said that the main focus of the programme was to bring succour to residents whose means of livelihood had been disrupted by the impacts of Covid-19.
He said that the programme was hinged on three thematic area.

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