By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja  Nigeria’s first private commodities exchange AFEX,licensed in 2014 by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has said its goal is to make a direct impact on the livelihood of one million Nigerian farmers by the end of the year 2020. In a statement to Leadership yesterday, it stated that it was licenced by the SEC to provide a structured market for the transparent trading of agricultural commodities between farmers, traders, exporters and processors in West Africa, starting in Nigeria Leadership recalls that AFEX Nigeria took to the media to protest the forceful break-in to their warehouse in Zaria on 8th July, 2017, by officers of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). The Company had alleged that the NPF had  seized 5,571 bags of dry maize (100kg each) valued at Eighty Five Million Naira (N85, 000,000.00), after which the Inspector General of Police (IGP), through the Head of Police Complaint...
BY BAYO AMODU and RUTH TENE NATSA, Abuja Nigeria will be saving about N300 billion it spends annually on importation of rice as local production of the commodity has now reached 15 million metric tonnes, the federal ministry of Agriculture disclosed yesterday. The director of Agriculture at the Kano office of the ministry, Muhammad Adamu, who gave the hint, while inaugurating the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) in the state, said in Kano alone, 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was produced in 2016. He noted that, with the significant increase in local production and the effort to make the local variety qualitative and more attractive to Nigerians, the country expects to begin exporting rice to West African countries between 2018 and 2019. Adamu said presently, 34 states in Nigeria are producing rice, with most of them now producing three times in a year. He disclosed that investigation carried out by the federal...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has assured the lecturers and students engaged in non-agricultural studies in the three universities of agriculture that their careers will not be jeopardised. The Minister gave this assurance in Abuja while receiving the members of the governing councils of federal universities of agriculture. According to Chief Ogbeh, “the return of the three universities of agriculture to this Ministry is a rational, just and timely action, necessitated by the new economic realities we are in, to ensure that our institutions are better focused and more efficiently and economically managed.” “The three federal universities of agriculture,” he noted, “were established to advance the cause of agricultural transformation and modernisation in Nigeria for the development of core competencies in agricultural education, research and training, amongst others.  It is, therefore, expected that the admission policy of these universities will largely be reflective of...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The federal government through the ministry of agricultural and rural development has expressed the desire to ensure Nigeria establishes 15 specialised universities of Agriculture in the next few years. This, according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Bukar Hassan “is aimed at bridging the gap of having the current 3 Universities meeting the agricultural needs of the huge Nigerian population.” Alhaji Bukar stated this in his opening remarks when the Ministers of the Ministry, Chief Audu Ogbeh and his counterpart Minister of state, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri met with members of the three governing boards of the federal Universities of Agriculture in Abuja, yesterday. The permanent secretary who said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss on issues and challenges faced by the institution added that ‘‘the meeting is to ensure  that in the next few years we would have 10-15 universities of agriculture, because there...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has assured lecturers and students engaged in non- agricultural studies in the country’s three universities of agriculture that their careers will not be jeopardised. He gave this assurance on yesterday in Abuja while receiving members of the governing councils of the federal universities  of agriculture. Chief Ogbeh said: “The return of the three universities of agriculture to this Ministry is a rational, just and timely  action, necessitated by the new economic realities we are in, to ensure that our institutions are better focused and more   efficiently and economically managed.” He noted that the three institutions “were established to advance the cause of agricultural transformation and  modernisation in Nigeria for the development of core competencies in agricultural education, research and training, amongst others.  It is, therefore, expected that the admission policy of these universities will largely be reflective of ...
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has re-energized his   desire and determination to make the state a hub for both local and international investors in  agricultural value-chain and other areas as he opened  linkages at a Business Roundtable  organized by African Caribbean Business Council of  Greater Philadelphia (ACDBC) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United  State. According to the Chief Press Secretary Jibrin Ndace the Governor has assured every investor of the establishment of enabling environment by instituting credible, transparent and proactive governance structure. He therefore called on investors in the United States and other part of the world at the roundtable to explore opportunities available in the state in the areas of agriculture, solid mineral infrastructure, sports and tourism. “Niger state is a bundle of opportunities and fertile ground for any investor. We are strategically located close to the capital city, Abuja. We have largest land mass in Nigeria – fertile, uncultivated and ready...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja with agency report The Federal Government says it has commenced investigation to uncover the importers of three consignments containing 140 species of snakes and 660 other animals imported into Nigeria from Cameroon. Recall that the Nigeria Customs Service on July 26 intercepted three consignments containing 140 species of snakes and 660 other animals in Calabar, Cross River State. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, meanwhile told newsmen in Abuja that the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) had been directed to commence the investigation immediately. He reiterated the need for officials of the NAQS to be stationed at the country’s ports to enable them address such issues before they escalated. The minister who expressed the fear that if the quality of agricultural produce imported into Nigeria was not checked, a sort of biological warfare could also be launched against the country’s agricultural sector. “It is very important...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja Farmers from the north-western states of the country have called on the Federal Government to review some of its agricultural policies and programmes with a view to encouraging commercial agriculture. The farmers spoke recently at the just concluded Northwest Farmers’ Forum and exhibition organised by a media organisation in collaboration with Kano State Ministry of Agriculture, in Kano. The Chairman, Sweet Potato Farmers Association, Kano State chapter, Alhaji Abdullahi Bebeji, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the guidelines for accessing loans under the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme with a view to attracting more farmers to the scheme. Bebeji blamed the CBN for denying many farmers the opportunity to benefit from the scheme, saying “we were asked to open accounts at the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and we have submitted our names to the bank but up till this moment, we have not heard from the...
BY  YAHYA SARKI, Kebbi The minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh has frowned at how banks charge between 25 to 35 percent interest on farmers seeking for loan saying that the policy does  not help in the development of agricultural activities in Nigeria. Ogbeh expressed his displeasure during the Federal Government and All  Progressive Party Governor’s Forum parley on policy synergy at the Presidential Banquet Hall in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State yesterday. The Minister lamented that the interest rates being charged was high and the trend has been existing for over 30 years which is capable of discouraging farmers  to borrow for the improvement their farms. “One of the biggest problem we are facing is finance,  the interest rate is high, how can farmers borrow , how can industrialists borrow, how can manufacturers borrow? . He added that the  problem has to do with not only agriculture but industrial growth and hinder the...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, will inaugurate a new world-class fertiliser plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited, today in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the plant with production capacity for 1.5 million Metric Tons of Urea fertiliser is considered the world’s largest single-train Urea plant. According to him, Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd, now Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited was privatised in 2006 after the sale of Federal government’s 75 percent shares to a core investor through a competitive bidding process. He explained that the Plant has a production capacity of 4000 metric tons (MT) of nitrogenous fertiliser per day or 1.5 MT per annum and was built with an investment of USD 1.5 billion. He stated that the fertiliser plant is supported by a Port Terminal at the nearby Onne Port Complex, and a Gas Pipeline of 83.5KM for...