Connect with us

Nation

LASG Charges FG To Evolve National Policy On Coconut

Published

on

The Lagos State Coconut Development Authority wants the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to develop a national policy on coconut value chain.
Its General Manager, Dr Dapo Olakulehin, expressed the desire in Benin yesterday at a one-day stakeholders meeting on coconut value chain.
The meeting was organised by FMARD in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR).
Olakulehin said such policy could make the crop the mainstay of the nation’s agriculture economy.
In his paper entitled: “The Coconut Tree: Economic Benefits for Nigeria’’, Olakulehin said coconut was a major non-oil export foreign exchange earner for the country and provided livelihoods for millions of Nigerians.
He said that only proactive interventions such as the development of a national policy and a regulatory agency could reposition the agriculture sector for employment generation along the value chain.
He added that Lagos State had dedicated about 1,000 hectares of land for commercial coconut plantation to be blocked into 100 plots apiece.
Olakulehin said also that Lagos State accounts for about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s coconut production and is committed to the production of more than 200 million seedlings in the next five years.
In his remarks, President, National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Mma Okoroji, supported Lagos State’s call for a national policy on coconut.
Okoroji said Nigeria was lagging behind other countries in coconut production and that there was the need to re-evaluate production among stakeholders to identify the current constraints responsible for the decline in the sector.
He said that NACOPPMAN was committed to planting about 10,000 coconut trees in each of the coconut viable states annually.
“Nigeria can make more than N300 trillion from coconut without value addition. So, if you now add value, Nigeria can earn more,’’ she said.
Earlier, a Deputy Director at FMARD, Chukwuemeka Ukattah, said Nigeria was expected to generate about 250 million dollars from coconut and its derivatives by the year 2022.
“Nigeria is ranked 19th among world’s coconut producers. It is a prominent crop cultivated in 22 out of the 36 states of the federation.
“Nigeria’s coconut national production is about 229,578 tonnes. The area under cultivation is estimated at 30,420 hectares.
The national demand is estimated to be one million tonnes per annum, leaving a deficit of 716,000 tonnes.
“There is the need for stakeholders to cash in on this deficit and see it as an opportunity to increase production through replanting of aged plantation and value addition,’’ Ukattah said.
He said the meeting was for stakeholders to discuss critical issues affecting coconut value chain and evolve strategies that would help to address inherent challenges.
Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, Executive Director of NIFOR, also noted that Nigeria’s coconut production was far below the demand.
In his paper entitled: “Overview of Production and Challenges of Coconut in Nigeria’’, Ikuenobe said it was regrettable that Nigeria is an importer of coconut and its products.
He said that NIFOR was strengthening its capacity to meet the sudden upsurge in the demand for coconut seedlings.
“We are working to invigorate our coconut gardens in addition to other identified trees seeds.
“We are confident that the coconut sector will sooner than expected, be repositioned as a very significant sector of the economy providing employment and income,’’ he said.
Among those present at the meeting were CBN officials, those of the Bank of Agriculture and Edo Investment Promotion Office.

Continue Reading

Nation

FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil

Published

on

In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.

Continue Reading

Nation

FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit

Published

on

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.

Continue Reading

Nation

Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m

Published

on

The  Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s  request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects  in 2021 approved budget.
This approval  followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in  the assembly, had  moved a motion asking  the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing  a number of developmental projects.

Continue Reading

Trending