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…Commences Farmers Registration In S’East

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The Federal Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development says the registration of farmers in the southern states of the country will commence by the first week of March.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, announced this recently in Enugu during a stakeholders meeting on the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) for the Southern States.
The GES is the flagship programme of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda under which registered farmers receive fertiliser and seeds through an electronic system known as the e-wallet.
The farmer pays half the price of the input while the state and federal governments pay the balance.
Odusote, represented by the South East Coordinator of the scheme, Dr Uche Nwafor, said the exercise was aimed at accommodating farmers who did not participate in the previous registration in the country.
According to her, the meeting was organised to sensitise farmers on the GES and inform them of the roll-out date in order to increase the number of benefitting farmers.
She said that the ministry would partner with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to capture the biometrics of farmers and bring them into the country’s financial system.
The permanent secretary said that the ministry registered 10.5 million farmers nationwide in 2013.
Odusote said that 5.28 million farmers received subsidised inputs under the generic GES while 272,798 farmers accessed inputs under the Specialised Value Chains.
According to her, the figure did not include farmers who benefitted under the aquaculture and livestock sub-sectors which came into the scheme in the 2013 season.
“This system has worked successfully in the last two years. It is on record that for the first time ever in Nigeria, we can actually tell you which farmer received which input, when they did, how much they paid and how much government paid,’’ she said.
In his remarks, Mr Mike Eneh, the Enugu State Commissioner for Agriculture who doubled as the Chairman of the occasion, said the state government was restructuring itsagriculture policy to be in line with that of the Federal government and donor- funded projects.
Eneh said that the state would harness its abundant natural resources to grow the agriculture sector through an efficient, competitive, sustainable, and export-led sector.
The commissioner said that this measure would ensure growth, food security, increased income and generate employment for the youths.
“This is why we are here to support this programme and eliminate traces of corruption in the system as we witnessed with the previous fertiliser distribution and procurement programmes.’’
He noted that the programme was good but identified challenges hindering effective implementation to mixtures of names of farmers, omissions, wrong spellings, late arrival of inputs, distant location of redemption centres and climate change.
He challenged the participants to device strategies to mitigate the challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports commissioners for agriculture from Edo, Delta, Imo and Ebonyi as well as farmers association, bankers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector attended the meeting.

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CILT Holds Summit In Oct

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The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation (CILT), Nigeria, is billed to hold its summit from October 11 to 12, at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.
The summit, which is aimed at promoting Nigeria’s Transport and Logistics Sector, is expected to bring together global transport veterans, lawyers, shipbuilders, bankers, academics, and consultants to discuss latest issues in the logistics and transport sector.
It will focus on logistics and transportation chains perspective with renowned experts presenting papers.
Chairman of the event’s planning committee, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, revealed this much during a press briefing in Lagos, saying the event would correct Nigeria’s poor logistics performance index (LPI).
According to Prof. Oyesiku, the summit would have robust participation of transport experts from the academics to veterans in operations as quality research papers and thematic sessions will be held.
The conference themed; “Sustainable Innovations in Global Logistics and Transport”, takes into cognisance the fact that Nigeria’s logistics and transport sector is plagued by a myraid of challenges, Oyesiku said.
“The conference will comprise various technical sessions where subject-matter experts will lead conversations primarily aimed at interrogating the future of logistics and transport operations in Nigeria, especially within the context of a rapidly changing service environment, technological innovations and extensive planning dynamics that characterise logistics, transport and supply chain at the present time”, he said.
The Chairman, who was the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education, stressed that the conference will attract scores of delegates from within and outside Nigeria, including business leaders, the academia and policy makers.
“This conference will encourage multidisciplinary networks and will provide platforms for academics and professionals to identify and examine the challenges, as well as proffer effective solutions for national logistics and transport operations,” he said.
He observed that LPI of nations is now the yardstick for measuring their economic resilience and competitiveness, noting that nations where LPIs are weak have also been characterised by vulnerable economies with high business risks.
The event will also feature exhibitions of transportation and logistics products from cognate industries and sectors, while availing an opportunity for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for industry stakeholders and providing an excellent platform for networking.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Air Transportation Demand Increases By 103.6% -IATA 

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The world’s apex transport body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said the global air transportation demand has tremendously increased as at June this year.
The global transportation organisation said passenger data for June 2022 has shown that the recovery in air travel remains strong with a 103.6 per cent rise.
According to the IATA’s research data, which was made available to aviation correspondents, the total traffic in June 2022, which was measured in revenue passenger kilometers, was up 76.2 per cent compared to June 2021.
The report stated that the increase was primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic in the air transportation.
“Globally, the demand for air transport traffic is now at 70.8 per cent of pre-crisis levels, in the latest research findings”, IATA report stated.
According to the data report, strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the increase in domestic traffic for June 2022, which is reported to be up 5.2 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
From the report, total  domestic traffic for June 2022 was at 81.4 per cent, as compared to that of the June 2019 level.
IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, said, “Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions, and people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can.”

By: Corlins Walter

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Ticket Racketeers, Touts Resurface In PH Airport

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Flight ticket racketeers, otherwise referred to as touts and fraudsters, that were once flushed out of the Port Harcourt International Airport, have resurfaced with their nefarious activities.
The Tide had initially reported their unwholesome activities when they emerged sometimes last year, which was tackled by the airport’s management.
The phenomenon has taken another bold dimension, as this group of persons carry out their activities more openly right in front of the departure terminal of the domestic wing of the airport.
The Tide observed that some of the old faces known in the act have come back with new recruits. Their slogan has been “I have come to hustle at the airport”.
They usually lead travellers who are not convasant with airport operations away to extort money from them on flimsy issues.
They will, at the first instance, approach their potential victim(s) on the pretence that they will assist in getting travel documents like the boarding pass from the airline, and would make the passenger feel relaxed in the nearby fast food joint, while they make contact with their airline partners for the documents.
Their target is usually to extort the ignorant passenger, as various charges will be hipped on him, like COVID-19 charge, agent fee, and boarding pass charges, which are not official charges of the airline.
The Tide further observed that some innocent passengers who got into their trap sometimes missed or nearly missed their flights, mostly because of argument that would ensue over the alien charges.
When they have succeeded, the money will be shared among them, and the circle continues till the end of the day, after which each of them likely goes home with a reasonable sum.
One of them, fondly called ‘Ime’, who was apprehended by Air-force personnel after he hijacked the sum of N50,000 given to them and ran into the bush, recently, had confessed that he was doing such to hustle for a living.
Although The Tide gathered that his mobile hand-set and other belongings were seised by the Air-force personnel, the said lme was still seen parading himself at the airport.
Meanwhile, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the airport, Mr Kunle Akinbode, could not be reached at the time of filing this report, as he was said to be away for other engagements.

By: Corlins Walter

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