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Elumelu Foundation to host 1,300 African Entrepreneurs from 54 countries

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy, on Friday announced plan to host 1,300 African Entrepreneurs, Business leaders and Policymakers from 54 countries in Lagos.
Mrs Parminder Obe, the TEF’s Chief Executive Officer, who made this known at a briefing in Lagos, said the 3rd Annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum was slated for Oct. 13.
She said the 2017 invitation had been extended beyond the usual 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from across Africa.
Mrs Parminder Obe, the TEF’s Chief Executive Officer, who made this known at a briefing in Lagos, said the 3rd Annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum was slated for Oct. 13.
She said the 2017 invitation had been extended beyond the usual 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from across Africa.

“Assembled SMEs will build networks, share knowledge, connect with investors and link with corporate supply chains.
“Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and committing $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade, we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs.
“In just three years, our first 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth.
“On Oct. 13 and 14, the global entrepreneurship community will gather in Lagos to build a New Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results of our ground-breaking programme.
“The two-day forum will feature plenary panels, master classes, sector specific networking opportunities and policy-led forums focused on enabling African business growth.
“This is the first year we have opened the forum up to include the full pan-African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
“In doing so, we are enabling African SME communities to come together and expand the possibilities for intra-African partnerships.
“I am looking forward to welcoming our invited policy-makers and investors to join us at the forum, as we empower the next generation of African business leaders,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Mrs Owen Omogiafo, the TEF’s Chief Operating Officer, said speakers at the forum would include Wale Ayeni of International Finance Corporation, Stephen Kauma, Afrexim Bank and Andre Hue, African Development Bank.
“Others are Stephen M. Haykin, USAID Nigeria, Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank and Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, United Nations Development Programme,’’ she said.
Omogiafo said TEF’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs was emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africa Capitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, as catalysts for social and economic development.
She said the foundation, which was founded in 2010 by Tony Elumelu, was aimed at empowering a generation of successful pro-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.
According to her, the foundation received 20,000 applications in 2015 from residents of 53 African countries out of which 1,000 applicants were selected, with Nigeria contributing 64 per cent.
“In 2016, 45,000 applications were received with Nigeria contributing 30 per cent with 1000 selected applicants.
“Agriculture leads the sectors represented with 26.67 per cent: a great number are into poultry and fish farming.
“Fashion and ICT followed in second and third with 10 and 8.8 per cent respectively.
“This year, we received 93,246 applications out of which 1,300 applicants had been selected in 52 African countries with 57.1 per cent from Nigeria for the forum.
“Entrepreneurs are coming from Kenya. Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire,’’ she said.

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Nigeria Floods Leave at Least 100 Dead, Emergency Agency Says

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NEMA Director-General Mustapha Maihaja

At least 100 people died in floods in central and southern Nigeria as torrential rains caused the West African country’s two main rivers to overflow, the emergency agency said.

“About 100 lost their lives in 10 states so far, and a national disaster has been declared in four states,” Sani Datti, the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, said by phone on Monday from the central city of Lokoja.

The government is concerned that water levels have continued to rise on the Niger and Benue rivers, submerging many houses in the states of Kogi, Niger, Anambra and Delta, Datti said.

Alerts by the hydrological services agency indicated the flooding could reach the scale of the last major such event in 2012, which displaced 2.2 million people and resulted in 363 deaths.


Tope Alake

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OPERATION PYTHON DANCE III IS OPENING FRESH WOUNDS – IGBO RENAISSANCE FORUM PRESS RELEASE

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Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka

The IGBO RENAISSANCE FORUM by this communication wish to state clearly that the launch of Operation Python Dance III in the South East is a recipe for unpredictable and mixed actions.
The Federal government of Nigeria is unnecessarily aggravating the people of the South East for reasons best known to them.
As the intimidation and suppression continues, we want the international community to be aware that Nigeria has unfortunately descended into the dark and dangerous abyss of dictatorship and tyranny, and that the earlier there’s concerted efforts from everyone to uproot it now before it grows tap roots, the best for everyone.
This same government that has taken so much pleasure in making the South East a killing field of choice has shown no intention of curbing the Fulani herds terrorists that are overrunning the whole country. Infact, it seems they are on a legal mission, considering the body language of this same government.
The Amnesty International has indicted the Nigeria military for extrajudicial murder of hundreds of Igbos in the last Python Dance II, yet this government has not done anything to investigate the actions of their men.
Each expedition of BLOODLETTING code named OPERATION PYTHON DANCE in the South East has always left a very sorrowful, bloody trail of the blood of Igbo youths.
There is a limit to what a people can stomach.
LET WISDOM AND COMMON SENSE VISIT THE SCHEMERS OF SUCH INHUMAN ENTERPRISE.
We are therefore asking for a step down of this so called military exercises that have been a killing expedition by the Federal government of Nigeria.
The smell of gunpowder and blood is still too fresh in the South East for another round of bloodletting!
We are calling on the South East Governors to live up to their mandate to protect the lives of those who gave them the mandate.
We consider it a big flop for these Governors to fold their arms while such actions are meted out on the South East.
It’s very significant that this is coming at the time when the only thing that gives you all sleepless nights is around the corner (RE-ELECTION).
We the masses would advise ourselves and ensure that ONLY those that are willing to keep the promise of protecting our lives when they get into office shall surely get to the government houses.
We want to promise you that it will not be business as usual. It is either you stand up for us today or we hand over our mandate to ready and willing lovers of the people.
We shall continue consulting with other groups and individuals to see the way forward as we also make clear that these actions are testing our patience and certainly, it will wear out some day.

SIGNED:
Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka (Oyi of Oyi II)
International Coordinator.
Email: – igborenaissanceforum@gmail.com

12.09.2018


Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka
Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka (Oyi of Oyi II) is a visionary professional with over 25 years experience in broadcasting, advertising/PR, journalism & branding.

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The free movement of people is an AU ambition: what’s standing in its way

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The African integration project took several major steps this year. One of them was the African Union’s adoption of a protocol on the free movement of people. The move has been widely welcomed.
The free movement of Africans between African countries could unquestionably facilitate growth. Allowing freer movement would encourage trade, tourism and investment between African countries. And it would allow students to study in other African countries and Africans with suitable skills to find rewarding jobs.
Opening up borders has been shown to have positive affects in other parts of the world. For example, growth of many Asian countries is significantly attributable to the liberalising of inter-Asian relationships including through an agreement between Southeast Asian countries that promotes freer mobility for workers.
Some African countries have recognised the benefits of ensuring free movement of people. Seychelles, Mauritius and Rwanda have liberalised their visa requirements. One effect is that there’s been a significant rise in inward tourist arrivals from other African countries. And the removal of visa and even passport requirements within regional trading blocs in both East and West Africa are widely believed to have led to increased economic activity.
But there are major obstacles that need to be cleared before the ambition of free movement across the continent can be achieved. The biggest is posed by concerns raised by the continent’s major economies like South Africa and countries in North Africa where unemployment rates are high and there are fears that increased immigration could contribute to increasing domestic tensions.
There are also concerns that if not well managed the free movement could worsen brain drain for poorer countries. Because of these concerns, among others, only 30 countries have signed the protocol. This is much lower than the 44 that have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The obstacles
The AU recognises the lack of readiness of many domestic and continental arrangements that would allow the immediate full implementation of the protocol. Some countries have population registration and passport systems which lack integrity, some have weak border management, and some have poor security intelligence.
Because of this, implementation has been divided into three phases: right of entry and abolition of visa requirements; right of residence; and right of establishment (which includes investment and setting up a business).
Phases 2 and 3 will not be implemented until the implementation of the first phase has been reviewed.
But many countries, especially the richer ones, are reluctant even to enter phase one without some conditions being met.
The key concerns are around the absence of inter-state cooperation measures on immigration procedures, border management, education systems and mutual recognition of qualifications, common standards for working conditions, and access to or portability of social security benefits.
South Africa, in particular, has issues with a range of the requirements. A memo of the South African Department of Home Affairs identifies 12 preconditions for the implementation of the protocol. Some of them are unrealistically idealistic such as the condition of “peace, security and stability on the continent”.
But about half of the preconditions seem quite reasonable and understandable. They include civil registration systems and bilateral return agreements. Civil registration systems critical; South Africa is one of the few countries on the continent that has a comprehensive ID system.
Home Affairs position is very cautious. It advises against even adopting Phase 1 of the protocol – the right of entry and abolition of visas for fellow Africans – until certain conditions are met. It is imperative, it argues, to improve population registration systems, establish integrated border management systems, enter into bilateral return agreements and strengthen law enforcement at national level across Africa before Phase 1 is supported.
South Africa, they argue, is not alone in adopting this stance. Other countries with similar concerns include many of the North African countries and one or two other richer African countries. Like South Africa, most North African countries have relatively high unemployment rates and fear a backlash from citizens. In situations of unemployment and inequality, disadvantaged citizens can end up blaming ‘foreigners’ for their predicament, resulting in tensions than can lead to xenophobia.
It’s unlikely that the Protocol will make progress unless fears are addressed. So, how can the AU get the laggards on board?

Next steps
One suggestion is that the AU sets up a technical committee to address the issues raised and to come up with proposed solutions.
A stronger African coordination around population registration, leading ultimately to an African ID or an African standard ID would be a neat way to address these technical issues. The technical committee could focus first on the obstacles to implementing Phase 1. Once that hurdle is crossed it could move on to Phase 2, and eventually to Phase 3.
The technical committee must be well-resourced with officials and experts, both to achieve its objectives and to ensure that the richer countries believe the committee will make progress with or without them. They will not want to be left out.

 

Alan Hirsch
Professor and Director of The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town

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All baptised Christians must be missionaries, Pope Francis says

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A baptized person who does not proclaim the Gospel is not a good Christian- Pope 

Every baptised Catholic is called to be a missionary and to spread the Gospel of Christ, Pope Francis has said.
In his Sunday Angelus address, the Pope said that “a baptized person who does not feel the need to proclaim the Gospel, to announce Jesus, is not a good Christian.”
“The missionary disciple has first of all a centre of reference, which is the person of Jesus,” Pope Francis added. This is because announcing the Gospel is “not an initiative of individual believers, groups or even large groups, but it is the Church’s mission inseparably united with her Lord.”
“No Christian proclaims the Gospel ‘on his own,’ but only sent by the Church who received the mandate from Christ himself,” the Pope said.
The Pope was reflecting on the day’s Novus Ordo Gospel reading, in which Jesus sends out his disciples “two by two” to spread his teaching. Pope Francis said Christ’s message to his disciples applied all baptised Christians, not just priests and bishops.
People may reject the Gospel, but this would only be in line with what Christ himself experienced. “Only if we are united with him, dead and risen, can we find the courage of evangelization,” Pope Francis said.

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CAN suspends protest march

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has postponed until further notice its planned peaceful protest march slated for July 11.
It said it did so due to some circumstances beyond its control.
CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle made the announcement in a statement signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji , his Special Assistant, Media and Communication.
However, Ayokunle said the three-day prayer and fasting would hold as scheduled from July 9 to 11, 2018 in all churches and state chapters of CAN.
He disclosed that the church and denominational leaders would come to the National Christian Centre together with the National Executive Committee (NEC), of CAN on the July 11 at 10am to pray to God for the nation.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), recalls that the leadership of CAN had declared July 9 to 11 as National Day of prayers and fasting programme against the killings across the country.
The association also called on all Nigerians, both within and outside the country to take part in the programme.
The association said the decision was hinged on the wilful and persistent killings of fellow citizens in general and Christians in particular, mostly in Plateau and Benue states where mass burial has become the norm.
” CAN is worried, disturbed and disappointed that despite all the clarion calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-organise his security team by replacing all the security chiefs, he has consistently not responded to such calls,” the association said.

 

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President Macron roots for innovation as he meets 2000 African entrepreneurs

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday met over 2,000 African entrepreneurs at the invitation of Nigerian philanthropist and businessman, Tony Elumelu.
The entrepreneurs who are the alumni of Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme met the two leading political and business leaders in Lagos, Nigeria to discuss the future of Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The Foundation is Elumelu’s flagship project that seeks to empower thousands of young entrepreneurs from the continent through providing mentorship, training, and seed capital.
Macron, a former investment banker, said that it is time Africa to take up its own responsibilities than leaving them to the outsiders, a role that he believes business leaders will have to spearhead.
“Africa is the one to take responsibility of Africa. Africa should speak for Africa. Africa shouldn’t be lectured on what to do. This is a new narrative that Africans should have,” he said.


The president pushed for quick priority measures to tackle immigration where many young people are consistently dying crossing seas to seek greener pastures in the Western world.
“Issues of immigration are an example of the result of having a big number of Africans who are disempowered. If we don’t collectively address this and bring together business leaders to find ways through which Africa can thrive, we are not ever going to thrive,” he said.
Macron emphasised that it is through innovation and disruptions that Africa will arguably be able to lead the way, highlighting that the two are catalysts to fast economic transformation.
“Innovation means change. If we don’t embrace it, we risk missing on important change,” he told the entrepreneurs, adding that if Africa doesn’t grow, France and the rest of the world will hardly achieve its growth targets.
The French president also argued that the private sector is the answer to some of Africa’s biggest problems.
This speaks directly to Tony Elumelu’s push for what he termed as ‘Africapitalism’, a philosophy to advocate for the continent’s private sector to take lead in transforming Africa’s economies.
President Macron is the youngest president to ever lead France. His rise to the top political position, he said, was the fact that too many people discouraged him and doubted his ability to be a president.
“But there is no one way for success. Take a risk and never stop at the first failure. No one succeeds without taking a risk,” Macron noted.

President Macron’s presence in Nigeria and his meeting with Elumelu, marked an important validation to the latter’s rise as a notable African philanthropist.
In 2015, the mogul committed USD100 million, which according to him, could generate nearly USD10 billion revenues to Africa’s economies in the next 10 years.
According to the foundation, about 4,250 African brightest entrepreneurs, including Rwandans, have been empowered through the Foundation, indicating the level at which Elumelu is edging closer to his dream to institutionalize luck and democratize access to finance.
But Elumelu’s long-term target is to change the current narrative that many people have towards Africa and Africa’s entrepreneurship landscape.
“We want France to know that the 21st century Africa is not the Africa we used to know years ago,” Elumelu told the French President on the same flour amidst loud cheers from the enthusiastic entrepreneurs.
Tony Elumelu said the collaboration between the French President and our Foundation is a result of Macron’s recognition that African entrepreneurs are the key to Africa’s economic transformation and his desire to connect with and elevate the voices of future leaders.

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Four IPOB members granted bail of N10m each

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Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Monday admitted four members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to bail in the sum of N10 million each.
Justice Nyako, admitted Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, David Nwawuisdi and Benjamin Madubugwu to bail.
Chimezie, Onwudiwe, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi, aged between 33 and 45, are facing three-count charge of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and illegal possession of firearms.
They were all arrested in 2016 and had been in detention since then.
They were charged along with the former leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu who has not been seen since Sept. 22, 2017
Nyako in granting them bail, said she had carefully considered the consolidated application for bail submitted by their counsel and the number of years they had spent in prison custody.
She also made reference to the defendants health status as well as the ruling she had read of “a sister judge’’ as well as the Administration of Criminal Justice Act,(ACJA)2015.
In considering their bail, Justice Nyako ordered the defendants to deposit monetary sum of N10 million each with the Chief Registrar of the court.
She added that the defendants are not allowed to travel outside the country, that they are to deposit their travelling documents at the court as well.
The judge ordered that they were not to seen in any gathering at any time or granting newsmen interviews or any type of interviews.
“No welcome `oyoyo’ gathering.If you do that, you will be sent back to prison. Go home, be with your family, come to court. The trial has commenced, Nyako said.
At the prayer of the defence counsel, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the judge ordered that the defendants to report to the Commissioner of Police at their locality every two weeks, instead of Abuja.
She ordered the first defendant, Chimezie to report to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers.
Nyako also ordered the second defendant, Onwudiwe and the fourth, Nwawuisdi to both report to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu state.
She said the third, Benjamin Madubugwu should report to the Commissioner of Police in Anambra.
Chimezie also pleaded the court to stop men of the State Security Operatives from invading their residence after being admitted to bail.
Justice Nyako in response, assured them that they were under the custody of the court.
She adjourned the commencement of triai until Nov. 14.

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Bayelsa Airport Due For Commissioning In August

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Leaders and people of Amassoma Community in the Southern Ijaw Local government Area of Bayelsa State have expressed delight at the ongoing construction of an international Airport which is billed to be completed and commissioned in August this year.

Traditional rulers, Elites, men, women and youths of Amassoma Community, host to the Bayelsa State International Airport were at the site as work intensified ahead of its official Commissioning in August this year.
The Amassoma people say they are overwhelmed with such gigantic project sited in their domain, describing it as an economic booster and an avenue for employment opportunities.
Director Bayelsa Airlines Elizabeth Daitari-Akpama took the visitors round some sections of the project like the control tower, fire bay, terminal building, among others.
Elizabeth Daitari-Akpama explained that the 3.5 kilometer runway was 75% completed, with some expansion already created at the terminal building to accommodate about 500 passengers.

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Family helpless as man pours more than $100K into romance scam

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New Zealand – Two siblings have spoken about the heartache of watching an elderly loved one stubbornly pour up to $100,000 into a Nigeria-based romance scam despite their protests.
The pair did not wish to be named, believing the toll the story would take on relationships within the family would be too great, but told the Herald about how their father, who is in his 80s, faithfully sends large sums of money to a woman in Nigeria every month.
And there was nothing they could do to stop it.
The octogenarian had been making transactions for more than two years.
The siblings told the Herald they felt utterly powerless to intervene.
“It’s heartbreaking all around for all his kids,” his son said.
They felt their late mother had worked hard for the money and “didn’t get to enjoy it really”.
Their father had shut himself off from the whole family so he can carry out this addiction, he said.
“It’s incredibly frustrating – we have sort of lost a father and a grandfather.
“We’ve sat down with him, we have talked to him, we have showed how a lot of what she says on her Facebook page is not true – where she went to school and things, the university is non-existent.”
But he still believed the relationship was legitimate, he said.
“He will say things like ‘she can tell how I am feeling just by the sound of my voice’.
“Of course she can – that’s her job.”
Emotionally he had been wrapped around her little finger, he said.
“She’s just bleeding him dry.
“My father send her gifts all the time to her address in Nigeria.”
One of the rooms in his house was locked to conceal the presents he planned to send her.
“It’s things like a lot of jewellery – because we can see by his bank records that he has been going to Michael Hill.”
Perfumes, chocolates, food, handbags and shoes – “you name it, he sends it”.
“She is a real person because she skypes with him all the time.”

The age gap between the pensioner and his Nigerian pen pal was just over 40 years.
“He believes she’s in love, but she won’t come to New Zealand or anything like that.”
The family questioned why she would never visit, but the pensioner would turn his back on them rather than respond.
“Deep down I believe he knows he is being scammed.”
He had sold some of his valuables to send her more money, he said.
“It’s his money, he can pretty much do what he wants with it.”
Unless he was in a coma, the family could not control his finances, he said.
But they did worry about how he would get by on a pension in the years to come.
“It’s pretty hard to get by just on that.
“Eventually, he is not going to be able to support himself.”
His daughter also told the Herald it was difficult to watch unfold and that it was sad there was absolutely nothing the family could do to help.
“Extremely frustrating, but you either drive yourself crazy over it or… it is what it is unfortunately.
“There is nothing you can do.”
They had no way of knowing where the money was going, whether it was all going to this woman or to something more sinister, she said.
“He’s now in a situation where she demands money.”
He did not feel like he can say no, she said.
“Not that it’s threatening or anything – I can’t explain it.” – New Zealand Herald

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An Address Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano to Mark the Commencement of the 2018 Farming Season

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An Address Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano to Mark the Commencement of the 2018 Farming Season.
Protocol
Ndi b’anyi ekenem unu
We are gathered here today to launch this year’s farming season. This is the fifth farming season under my watch and the most important one for obvious reasons. The first reason is that this is the first farming season since I began my second term in office. Many people look forward to a very impressive start to my second term because to whom much is given, much is expected.
The second reason is that, after four intensive years of recording excellent results in Agriculture, Ndi Anambra have become used to success. So, we cannot afford to let Ndi Anambra down. Never! So, our next performance must be better than our last effort.
Ndi b’ anyi, I personally believe that the farm of the future must fulfill three important promises – It must feed the people, it must protect the environment and it must offer a healthy return on investment. The theme of this year’s planting season was carefully selected to drive the fulfillment of these promises. The theme is “Developing Modern Agriculture through Cluster Farming Sustainability.” Under this theme, our approach is to mechanize agriculture and encourage the production of Target-Crops for backward integration and stimulate Agro- business and investment in the sector.
Cluster Farming is a tool for bringing farmers who share a common focus area together to ensure that they benefit from inputs like group marketing, access to finance, and economics of scale. Therefore, it is a tool that can help smallholder farmers to reduce the risks associated with the business side of agriculture. It leads to the emergence of FARM HUBS which makes it easier to empower famers to adopt a more results-oriented model of growing food in a professional, standardized and controlled pattern. Cluster Farming therefore makes facilitates the creation national and international linkages and collaborations between farmers and the markets they serve, investors and both financial and research institutes.
Overview of the Last Farming Season
Major performance indicators point to a positive growth in our performance in the Agricultural sector in the last planting season. For instance, our efforts to make more people embrace farming yielded an impressive result in the outgone year. Over three thousand farmers were duly registered to bring the number from 106,000 in 2016 to 109, 137 farmers in the outgone planting season. Similarly, we recorded an increase in the number of cooperatives from 2285 in 2016 to 2401 in the 2017 planting season. Rice production rose from 244,235 metric tons in 2016 to 345,000 metric tons in 2017. Cassava production shot up from 1,792,596 in 2016 to 1,881,000 metric tons in 2017 while Maize production increased from 39,902 to 43,521 metric tons in the last planting season. Land utilization also increased in the period under review and stood at 49,000 hectares due to the influx of more people into agriculture.
Quite naturally, our projections for the last planting season were adversely affected by a number of factors. We had very little access to agricultural funds and farmers who took available loans did not show enough enthusiasm to repay those loans and open access to more intending borrowers. Farming also took a severe blow from climate change which has remained a major threat to agriculture through the years. It must also be stated that while Anambra did not suffer a major clash between farmers and herdsmen in the last planting season, their growing menace across the country remained a source of anxiety everywhere. We are counting on the federal government to find a quick solution to the threat that the roaming herdsmen poses to quest for a diversified economy and greater food sufficiency in the country.


2018 in Focus
Ndi Anambra, when I look at trends in our national economy, I feel justified in my decision to make Agriculture the number one pillar of my economic blueprint. Agriculture is becoming increasingly important in Nigeria and we must continue to push ourselves harder to surpass the targets we have set for ourselves in the sector.
It is in pursuit of this that we have set our sights on deepening our efforts to mechanize agriculture in the state. We have made adequate arrangements to provide more access to capital intensive farm machineries like tractors and other equipment to our farmers. This will enable us meet our target of cultivating 25,000 hectares of land in this farming season.
To achieve this, we have finalized plans to invest the sum of N1.5bn in Land Development, N2bn in providing infrastructure and N600m in procuring agricultural inputs and machineries this planting season. Consequently, we plan to grow our cooperatives from 2401 to 2836 in 2018. The same projection applies to our rice production which we hope to increase from 345,000 to 440,000 metric tons in this planting season. We also plan to increase Cassava production from 1,881,000 to 2,060,687 metric tons and Maize from 43,521 to 55,000 metric tons. We have also set targets for Vegetables at 160,000 metric tons, Yam at 70,000 metric tons and finally, Fish at 55,000 metric tons.
Ladies and gentlemen, this year too, I am delighted to introduce a Mobile Application for Agric Extension and Farmer Information Management System. We shall also issue a proper Farmer’s ID Card to duly registered farmers. In addition, we shall hand out cheques, motorbikes and other farm inputs to beneficiaries. I have no doubt that these gestures will boost the morale of our farmers and encourage productivity. We have also evolved a comprehensive 4-year Development Plan for different agricultural produce and farm types. This strategy will help us in increasing productivity, land utilization as well as encourage the best practices that will lead to increased yield.
Building on the Advantage
Our dear state has continued to increase our advantage in the agricultural sector and we shall not relent. We have turned Anambra Rice into a coveted brand in the Nigerian market and successfully introduced Anambra Vegetables into the export market. We have also taken a few steps further to brand Anambra Honey, Anambra Garri and Anambra Cassava. I urge you all to key into this movement and develop these brands.
I wish to emphasize here that my administration maintains cordial relations with Donor Agencies by ensuring a prompt payment of counterpart funds to enable the state benefit from more Donor assisted projects.
At the same time, we have plans to access the N3.5 billion CBN facility for Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) and Accelerated Agricultural development Scheme (AADS. We are currently developing other agricultural schemes with NIRSAL to ensure that the set targets on rice, cassava and fish value chain are achieved.
Conclusion
In conclusion, I wish to observe that under my watch, Anambra State has established the fundamentals for a big agro-economy. We have created the enabling environment and attracted quality investments to pave the way for more investors. However, it takes a determined citizenry to sustain a vision of development. I have no doubts that Ndi Anambra will rise to the occasion by coming into agriculture in a much bigger way to help us sustain the momentum we have built in this sector. My administration has proven its capacity to make things happen. Ndi Anambra, the ball is now in your court.
It is on this note that I hereby declare the 2018 Planting Season open!
Dalunu!
Chief Willie Obiano
Governor

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Can’t get on ANSSID?
If you have been having challenges getting your Anambra State Social Service number, here is what to do:
• send an email and ANSSID login details to: info@airs.an.gov.ng for immediate assistance.
• Visit the ANSSID HELPDESK or call HELPLINES: 07066727750 or 07033822851

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