By Bunmi Oteniya - The importance of agriculture to the development of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. Previous administrations in the country as well as various stakeholders have at different fora harped on the significance of exploring the agricultural angle for the development of Nigeria, but the required blueprint to make it a reality has eluded the country leading to the current situation where a great potential has been reduced to a miserable reality. Nigeria is an agrarian society with agriculture contributing about 24 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With an estimated population of 180 million people, it is instructive to note that about 70 percent of this population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for livelihood. The worrisome aspect of the entire scenario is that a sizeable number of this population, 7 percent to be precise, are undernourished. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) in the last two decades...

Atiku: A Babel Of Responses

Rrecent publication by a group that goes by the name, Governance Support Group, further underscores the apparent contradictions in the pro-Buhari camp in responding to the recent claim by former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, that he has been sidelined by the Buhari administration in spite of his contribution towards its emergence. With no official response to Atiku’s claim, the unofficial responses from the pro-Buhari camp have been essentially contradictory, hasty, ill- digested and laden with emotions. What first looks like an official response by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and which was made by the national vice chairman (North West) of the party was quickly denied by the party’s national publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, who said he was expressing a personal opinion. That was quite instructive. The next unofficial response was from Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State who, according to media reports, was the “first governor to visit the Presidential...
Those who thought that Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting would be the political funeral for Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan may have exaggerated her dilemma after all. She may well have had her letter of resignation in her bag, but in the end President Muhammadu Buhari didn’t push her over the edge – yet. After many years in politics, Alhassan should know that wrongs might not be counted always; but they’re not easily forgiven. For example, three days after the video in which she endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for 2019 went viral, and while she was still trying to explain what she really meant, a small document was leaked from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation. According to the report, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development paid N11.7million for Alhassan and some officials of her ministry to visit unnamed skill acquisition centres. The report, published...
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has never hidden his ambition to be Nigeria’s president. In 1992, during the Babangida transition under what was called Option A4, he even took his first shot at the seat, under the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Chief MKO Abiola eventually emerged the presidential candidate of that party with Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as his running mate. Under the guidance of his political mentor, General Shehu Yar’Adua, Atiku rightly kept his cool and bidded for another time. Politically, Atiku has always been a creation of Generals since he joined late Gen Yar’Adua. And so it happened that when the Nigerian establishment who are indeed the Generals that were victorious during the Nigerian civil war decided in their wisdom to hand over power to one of their own, General Obasanjo, during the 1998/1999 transition to civil rule organized by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, they invited Atiku, who was then...
By Ade Adefeko Global agri-business Olam International Limited (“Olam’’) today welcomed His Excellency President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to inaugurate Olam’s poultry feed mill and day-old-chick (“DOC”) facilities in Kaduna State. The company also concurrently started production at an integrated poultry and fish feed mill at Ilorin in Kwara State. Together the two state-of-the-art animal feed mills, poultry breeding farms and hatchery have an investment of around $150 million. Addressing the poultry supply gap With a combined capacity of 720,000 metric tonnes of poultry feed annually, Olam’s facilities directly address a significant supply gap for poultry meat in Nigeria, giving farmers and distributors access to high-quality feed and DOC at competitive prices. In addition, Olam’s team of field veterinarians will train up to 10,000 farmers a year in best poultry farming practices. Given around 75 per cent of poultry farming is managed by smallholders, Olam’s poultry initiatives have the...
By Paul Ejime - As expected, the Supreme Court’s annulment of Kenya’s August 8 presidential election over “irregularities and illegalities” has provoked mixed reactions. However, all seem agreed that the justices of the apex court had demonstrated rare courage in upholding the will of the people over and above other considerations including the risks of ruling against a usually powerful sitting African president. At issue was the deployment of Information, Communication Technology (ICT) in the electoral process, particularly in the vote tallying and results transmission, but events that led up to Election Day, were ominous, especially the gruesome murder a week to the polls, of Chris Msando, the acting head of the ICT department of Kenya’s Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The fact that the IEBC commissioners were only appointed into office in January and therefore had limited time to organise a national election of such magnitude was another big...
By Lizi Ben-Iheanacho - Recently, the National Council for Arts Culture unveiled its compilation of the 37 Cultural Wonders of Nigeria.  The 37 Cultural Wonders of Nigeria is a brand identity and marketing concept premised on peculiar tangible manifestations and intangible expressions unique to the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT. Each of these constitutes the wonder of natural endowments or amazing evidence of human creative interactions. Together, they have evolved to become iconic emblems of Nigeria’s tourism destinations and technological processing. The selection was determined by considerations of long acknowledge exposure of some of these wonders as well as a deliberate attempt to highlight some long ignored totemic representations. Finally, it must be acknowledge that the 37 Wonders selected are in themselves beacons that map out even more of the untapped hidden treasures that collectively make up the rich variety of Nigeria’s cultural diversity. In alphabetical order, the wonders are: Ohafia War...
By Lai Mohammed Permit me to thank the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria for inviting me to their 4th Annual Conference holding here in the beautiful city of Kano. It is commendable that you have maintained the tradition of gathering annually, despite the challenges. I congratulate you! I consider the platform offered by your association as a very important one, considering the calibre of your members and the strategic role of communication in governance, hence I have cleared my diary in order to be here. Fortuitously, your conference is coming a day after Nigerians received the good news that our country, Nigeria, is officially out of recession. Let me therefore congratulate Nigerians over the good news. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the economy grew by 0.55 percent in GDP terms for Q2 2017. While this is good news for the good people of Nigeria, it be...

Private Letter To Kenyatta

  By Azu Ishiekwene Mr President, I can imagine your disappointment last week after the ruling of the Supreme Court declaring your election null and void. Four out of six justices nullified an election in which 10.6 million or 54 percent voted for you as their choice, each Justice assuming the equivalent or more of 2.6 million Kenyan votes. This can only make sense in the maths of jurisprudence.   But all hope is not lost. I was moved to write after watching an excerpt of your first press conference in which you lamented the “unfair” outcome of the ruling, but indicated that you were constrained to abide by the decision of the court. As I watched the clip, I wondered what was going on in your mind; the prior discussions you must have had with your family and close aides, especially the Justice Minister, before you faced the press that day. When Kenyatta was Kenyatta, it...
There was a recent meeting of “Southern Leaders” to advance their latest agenda: “restructuring”. It was led by Chief Edwin Clark, the one that forfeited some assets to the federal government for corruption when he was Commissioner in the Gowon administration who later became Ijaw “Leader” and godfather of President Jonathan. The other fellow is Chief NniaNwodo whom Shagari brought out to public limelight when he served as Special Assistant and later Minister of Aviation in the Second Republic. Nwodo was also Minister of Information in the last military administration of Gen. Abubakar. Although made by northerners into what he is, and even aspired to be president, it appears he is over rated all along as none of us thought that he could be so sectional and bigoted. They all conveniently forget that the current constitution was drafted by a committee of fifty people headed by a gentleman, Supreme...