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FAO To Focus On Strategic Objectives In Nigeria

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The FAO Country Office in Nigeria said it would from 2014 to 2017 focus on five strategic objectives anchored on the agency’s Global Corporate Strategic Framework.
The FAO Country Representative, Ms Louise Setshwaelo, told newsmen in Abuja that the objectives were contained in the FAO Country Programming Framework for Nigeria developed in 2012.
Setshwaelo said that the first objective was contributing to the eradication of hunger, food security and malnutrition.
“Nigeria is actually one of the countries recognised for reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger, which is the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1.
“But we should not at the same time lose sight of the fact that even though at the national level we have managed to reach MDG 1, we still have in the country in some of the areas like the Northern Sahel states, we still have high levels of chronic malnutrition there.
“We still have high levels of acute malnutrition particularly in the under-fives, to an extent that some development partners are working there to address the acute malnutrition in children.”
The FAO representative explained that the essence of the first objective was to support the country to increase agricultural productivity and also put in place the strategies and policies that would facilitate the attainment of the objective.
According to her, such support will also enable the government and partners, including the private sector participants, to be able to support that objective of reducing hunger and poverty in the country.
The FAO representative said that the second objective entailed providing the enabling environment to ensure that the way natural resources were used did not lead to a degradation of the environment.
“This strategic objective is mainly looking at the way we use natural resources.
“How do we support countries to provide an enabling environment such that even though we want to increase agricultural productivity, it should be at a sustainable manner.
“We should not at the same time also be increasing degradation of the natural resources that we depend on particularly for agricultural production in improving food security.
“In this respect, we are also looking at the issue of climate change, the issues of governance in terms of access to these productive resources, issues of women, issues of access to land, issues of governance.
“When we look at the way we are exploiting our forests, are the governance structures which provide the regulatory framework in place.
“If they are in place, the implementation itself, the regulations, are they being observed? Are they being enforced?”

L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Supervisory Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Foluso  Phillips, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Frank Nweke Jnr., Supervisory Minister of National Planning, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, Executive Director, CNBC Africa, Bronwyn Nielsen, Vice President, Human Development, World Bank, Dr Elizabeth King and Board Chairman, West African Examination Council (WAEC), Prof. Pai Obanya, at the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Supervisory Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Foluso Phillips, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Frank Nweke Jnr., Supervisory Minister of National Planning, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, Executive Director, CNBC Africa, Bronwyn Nielsen, Vice President, Human Development, World Bank, Dr Elizabeth King and Board Chairman, West African Examination Council (WAEC), Prof. Pai Obanya, at the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, yesterday.

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Trade Modernisation: Customs’ CG Tours Huawei, Port In China

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The Comptroller-General  of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently led his team to the Headquarters of Huawei, a famous information and communications technology company in Shenzhen, China, where he discussed opportunities embedded in Nigeria Customs Service Trade Modernisation Project.
This was disclosed in a press release made available to our correspondent in Lagos by the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, CSC Maidawa yesterday.
According to the release, the CGC’s visit to Huawei Headquarters was part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China for the 6th Global AEO Conference that took place in the city of Shenzhen between Wednesday, 8th May, Friday, 10 May, 2024.
Stating the purpose of his visit to the company’s office on behalf of his team, CGC Adeniyi said, “We are also delighted to associate with the Global Leader Technology Services through the Team of Trade Modernisation.”
It would be recalled that the Service had, during the Huawei Connect 2023 held in Shanghai in October, 2023, expressed readiness to deploy some of the company’s latest products for use in its trade modernisation project.
The CGC, who urged Huawei’s company leadership to sustain their digitalisation services to NCS, also sought their support to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to maintain their transformative journey with the company.
On his part, Xujing Xu, the Huawei Company’s Vice President of Smart Transportation, welcomed the delegation of the NCS led by Adeniyi and the Management Team of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.
He expressed confidence that their collaboration will benefit all parties involved, noting that “the foundational work for this transformation is already underway”.
The TMP Chairman, Saleh Ahmadu, during his address, said Huawei is living up to expectations to deliver its mandate under the auspices of Trade Modernisation Project Limited.
He appreciated the support accorded to him by the CGC and his management team towards the success of the NCS Trade Modernisation Project.
In his bid to upscale the level of NCS modernisation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, alongside members of the Trade Modernisation Project led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu, visited Lantan Port to witness the level of automation and technological solutions provided by Huawei and other tech partners.

In a related development, a training programme on Trends and Digital Solutions for Customs officials and the TMP team was organised by Huawei the same day, which focused on equipping officials with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape of modern trade.

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NERC Declares Most Discos Insolvent 

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Most of the lectricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have been said to be technically insolvent and unable to not only pay for invoices sent to them from the electricity market, but also invest in network expansion projects.
Speaking at the 8th Africa Energy Market Place 2024 in Abuja, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba, said the poor financial state of the DisCos makes it difficult for them to raise the needed capital to invest.
Garba noted that the challenges facing the sector were a culmination of past inactions and missteps by those saddled with the responsibilities of managing the sector, both at policy and operational levels.
According to him, “Today when you look at distribution companies, they are clearly and technically insolvent, and you also want them to raise capital in terms of debt or equity. It’s a herculean task.
“I also want to mention that implementing the power sector reform requires powerful political will to implement decisions that impact the wider public”.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, said the government was working to get the distribution companies solvent and effective by unbundling their operations along state boundaries.
Adelabu insisted that the areas covered by the current DisCos are too large for them to deliver effective services to consumers.

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PH To Get Two CNG Refuelling Stations, Vehicle Conversion Parks

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Rivers State Capital, Port Harcourt, is set to have two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations as well as two Vehicle Conversion Parks.
The Chief Executive Officer, FEMADEC Energy Limited, Fola Akinola, revealed this at the South-South/South-East Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on Presidential Initiative on CNG held in Port Harcourt, Weekend
Akinola, who stated that modalities have been concluded on the project, stressed the need for investment by stakeholders as a way of driving home the initiative of the Federal Government to ease the gas plight of its citizens.
Akinola said, “CNG is an old technology. We want to tell you that you have the opportunity to convert your vehicle from fuel to CNG. The stations will be launched in Port Harcourt and we are launching a refueling unit alongside. Rivers State is going to have a micro refuelling unit at Stadium Road and in GRA.
“For those that want to invest in CNG refuelling units, it is available. Even those who have fuel station facilities can as well invest in this”.
Earlier, the Programme Director, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Michael Oluwagbemi, noted that Rivers State was the heart of oil and gas Region, insisting that the initiative was for the good of the nation as a whole.
“The initiative of the government is critical to our national development and to the well-being of the people. Rivers State is the heart of the oil and gas region”, he stated.
Oluwagbemi, however, expressed regret that over the last five to six decades, these resources have continued to waste.
“Nigeria is the second largest waste of oil and gas. We exploit it and waste it, then continue to suffer poverty. The President has set us on natural gas features and set up the nation on the path of growth. The use of gas ensures we have energy savings. Mind you, the price of Natural gas is controlled by the government.
“What the President is asking is to do more with the blessings God has given us. If we are able to move three million vehicles in the next three years, we are going to end the era of environmental degradation”, he said.
The Programme Director further said, “We will stop subsidising poverty, importing unemployment and exporting jobs.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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