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African Development Bank President Adesina calls for emerging agriculture technologies to optimize farmers’ output

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The President of the African Development Bank Group , Akinwumi Adesina, has made an urgent call to give farmers across the continent new technologies with the potential to transform agricultural production. Adesina said the technology transfer was needed immediately and that evidence from countries like Nigeria demonstrated that technology plus strong government backing was already yielding positive results.

”Technologies to achieve Africa’s green revolution exist, but are mostly just sitting on the shelves. The challenge is a lack of supportive policies to ensure that they are scaled up to reach millions of farmers,” Adesina said during a keynote speech delivered at the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C August 5, 2018.
Adesina cited the case of Nigeria, where policy during his tenure as the country’s Minister of Agriculture, resulted in a rice production revolution in three years.
“All it took was sheer political will, supported by science, technology and pragmatic policies…Just like in the case of rice, the same can be said of a myriad of technologies, including high-yielding water efficient maize, high-yielding cassava varieties, animal and fisheries technologies,” Adesina said.
The African Development Bank is pointing the way to how this can be done, and is currently working with the World Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to mobilize US$ 1 billion to scale up agricultural technologies across Africa under a new initiative called Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
TAAT is taking bold steps to bring down some of the barriers preventing farmers from accessing latest seed varieties and technologies to improve their productivity.
“With the rapid pace of growth of the use of drones, automated tractors, artificial intelligence, robotics and block chains, agriculture as we know it today will change,” the President said. “It is more likely that the future farmers will be sitting in their homes with computer applications using drone to determine the size of their farms, monitor and guide the applications of farm inputs, and with driverless combine harvesters bringing in the harvest.”
Adesina used the opportunity to advocate for African universities to adapt their curriculum to enable technology-driven farmers and to focus on agribusiness entrepreneurship for young people, emphasizing the need to rise beyond theories to application.

Through its innovative Enable Youth initiative, the African Development Bank has in the past two years committed close to US$ 300 million to develop the next generation of agribusiness and commercial farmers for Africa.
Adesina stressed the Bank’s resolve to change the face of agriculture in Africa to unleash new sources of wealth.
AAEA President Scott Swinton said Adesina and the African Development Bank exemplify the use of economics that makes a difference in people’s lives.
“If applied economics is economics that make a difference, I think that there is no better example of someone who has used that than Akinwumi Adesina,” Swindon said.
Adesina told delegates at the 2018 conference attended by over 1,600 agricultural and applied economists from around the world: “There is no reason why Africa should be spending US$ 35 billion a year importing food. All it needs to do is to harness the available technologies with the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers, and assure lower food prices for consumers.”
Adesina, who was the 2017 World Food Prize winner, is advocating for the creation of staple crops processing zones across Africa (SCPZs): vast areas within rural areas set aside and managed for agribusiness and food manufacturing industries and other agro-allied industries, enabled with right policies and infrastructure.
“I am convinced that just like industrial parks helped China, so will the SCPZs help to create new economic zones in rural areas that will help lift hundreds of millions out of poverty through the transformation of agriculture- the main source of their livelihoods- from a way of life into a viable profitable business that will unleash new sources of wealth,” he said.
The African Development Bank has already begun investing in the development of processing zones in a number of African countries, including Ethiopia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique, with a plan to reach 15 countries in a few years.
To help Africa transform its agriculture, the Bank is investing US$ 24 billion over the next ten years to implement its Feed Africa Strategy.

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President Buhari’s Remarks At Corruption Risk Assessment Training In Abuja

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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE OPENING SESSION OF THE CORRUPTION RISK ASSESSMENT TRAINING FOR HEADS OF ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES IN THE AFRICAN UNION, AT THE STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA, MONDAY 10TH DECEMBER, 2018.

PROTOCOLS:
I am pleased this morning to welcome and address distinguished delegates to the Corruption Risk Assessment training for heads and senior officials of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the African Union.
2. The training is at the instance of this Administration as part of our support for the war against corruption in our continent and it is being facilitated by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) the research and training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
3. The fight against corruption is a battle for the souls of our different countries and it is one that we must win. Since independence, our continent has suffered from the severe consequences of corruption and it is imperative that we take steps to reverse the trend.
4. When we assumed office in May 2015, the pervasive nature and devastating impact of corruption on the Nigerian nation had become dysfunctional. The momentum for our electoral victory could not be separated from the revolt of the people against glaring endemic corruption.
5. During the past several months, we have been taking steps to institute integrity and transparency in the processes of government and holding those who have plundered our commonwealth to account for their actions.
6. However, the costs of recovery and sanctions are also enormous. While commendable successes have been recorded, it has become manifest that corruption fights back. With enormous stolen resources elements have attempted to compromise law enforcing institutions and pervert the course of justice.
7. This realization highlights the necessity of building a system that focuses on preventing corruption. We continue to implement policies aimed at building resilient systems that can withstand an assault by corrupt officials.
8. Our steps in this direction include the full implementation of both the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) the Open Government Partnership, various Executive Orders, strengthening the Anti-Corruption Agencies and permitting their full autonomy.
9. It is in this context of building robust preventive systems that we must understand this initiative which aims to train leaders of anti-corruption agencies in the African Union by deploying Corruption Risk Assessment Methodology for corruption prevention in our countries.
10. Corruption Risk Assessment seeks to identify corruption-prone processes and procedures in organizations and recommend appropriate remedial steps. The methodology places a premium on prevention as an effective complement to enforcement in the war against corruption.
11. In 2016, through support from the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria acquired the capacity to conduct training on Corruption Risk Assessment. Since then, the Academy has conducted a number of these trainings.
12. To showcase the growing appreciation of CRA as a tool for preventing corruption, the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria has received a request for the training of Corruption Risk Assessors for ECOWAS countries from the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.
13. Therefore, the training starting today is an opportunity to extend the benefits of this methodology to other African countries and by which it is clear that we have not taken our appointment as Anti-Corruption Champion for the continent for the year 2018 lightly.
14. It is heartwarming that most of our countries have subscribed to not only the United Nations Convention against Corruption, UNCAC, but also the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC). This event offers a good opportunity to encourage the few countries which are yet to ratify the African Union Convention to expedite processes to do so. No efforts can be too much as we seek to rid our societies of the evil of corruption.
15. This training session is essentially an orientation on the benefits of deploying the CRA Methodology in the fight against corruption. Thus, I urge participants to embrace it and also take steps to widen the knowledge and skills imparted by supporting the training of Risk Assessors for their countries.
16. The Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria has a robust curriculum and expertise cutting across the spectrum of anti-corruption training which can be adapted for other countries taking into consideration national specifics. To further strengthen this institution, the Academy has our support as it moves towards its objective of being an African Centre of Excellence in anti-corruption training and capacity building.
17. I would like here to point out that the training on CRA can only have meaning when the Risk Assessors are put to work.
18. In Nigeria, the Methodology has been deployed to a number of sectors. The most recent one being the Risk Assessment of the country’s e-government system whose report is now available and the summary presented earlier this morning. It is, therefore, my great pleasure to present this Report to all the stakeholders, many of whom are present with us here.
19. I urge them to work assiduously to implement the recommendations of the Report. I must also commend all those who carried out the assessment and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for supporting the process.
20. It is now my pleasure to declare this Corruption Risk Assessment Training for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the African Union, open.
Thank you. God bless Nigeria and God bless Africa.

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World is watching Nigeria, Buhari tells Atiku, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday implored all stakeholders to work towards successful and peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections as the world is focused on Nigeria.
Buhari made the call in Abuja at the signing of peace accord by the presidential candidates of all the political parties ahead of the 2019 elections under the aegis of National Peace Committee (NPC).
Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party boycotted the event, along with the chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.
According to Buhari, the whole world was watching to see how Nigeria would uphold and strengthen its democracy by the conduct of the 2019 polls.

He said that the conduct of elections had been consistently marred by violence caused by the behaviour of the most sections of the political class and their supporters.
The president however said there were encouraging signs that the political class would embrace the responsibilities expected of it.
“We are here to commit ourselves as key actors in the political process, party leaders and presidential candidates to a peaceful and credible conduct of the election.
“Today, we witness the formal and official signing of the peace accord by the presidential candidates of the parties contesting the next elections.

“We the candidates pledge to accord the highest tenets of conduct and encourage our teeming supporters to do the same.
“I wish to call on the INEC and all the security agencies to put the nation first in their conduct; the world is watching us and the task of building our country, institutionalising trust in our political system and institutions is fundamental to the growth and development of our country.’’
He said the essence of the gathering was to perform a very important part of the quest for a peaceful political process and to instil trust to various contestants.
According to him, given the central role good governance plays in the nation state, no society can develop without trust.
He said without the trust of the citizens on their government, there could not be a peaceful and progressive society.
“To gather this trust, there must be norms, rules those whose role is to offer guidance; some of them might cultural, moral or religious.
“However, for our society to function well, culture of rules and regulations must be enshrined and accepted by both the government and the people.
This is why there are constitutions, legislations and courts to mediate and regulate the conduct of citizens; the building of trust in our society is a collective duty and responsibility of all citizens.
“Today, our primary concern is to sign into norms, laws, guidelines that will guide the conduct of our national elections at all levels.
“ It is generally acceptable that democracy is the best form of government for any society; it is nonetheless, not a perfect system. In spite of its imperfections, democracy has come to stay in the world.’’
The president reminded that since 1999, Nigerians had enjoyed almost 20years of interrupted democracy.
He said that since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, democracy had spread to all over the world, including most unlikely places.
He said that with all its shortcoming, democracy was still the best form government for most developing nations.
He explained that elections were a large part of the process of democracy; methods of choosing leaders had become the most difficult for the people to manage for many reasons.
“We have not had a long tradition of democracy and so many changes in the system have made it difficult for us to imbibe the principles of democracy such as tolerance, sacrifice and commitment to processes,’’ he said.
He thanked NPC under the leadership of former Head of State, Retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar for the sacrifices and good work it had done for the peace and progress of Nigeria.
Abubakar, in his address said the signing of the accord was crucial to ensuring peace during the campaigns and elections.
He told candidates that election would not hold unless there was peace and harmony in the country.
Delivering the keynote address, former Head of State Retired General Yakubu Gowon said that the number of political parties in Nigeria had grown to 91, adding that it was healthy for the country’s democracy.
Gowon said democracy could only thrive through persuasion and not by the use of force.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that presidential candidates of 73 political parties signed the accord.

PHOTOS:
Today, President Muhammadu Buhari addressed participants at the signing of Election Peace Accord by 71 Presidential Candidates, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. #AsoVillaToday

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Nigerians open one million bank accounts monthly: NIBSS

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Mr Niyi Ajao, Managing Director, Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), says one million bank accounts are opened monthly by Nigerians as the nation’s financial inclusion rate increased to 63.6 per cent from 45.4 per cent recorded in 2016.
Ajao made the disclosure at the launch of the 2018 Financial Inclusion Survey by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said with the rise in the rate, the efforts of stakeholders in the financial industry were beginning to pay off.
Ajao, however, said that there was need to do more if the country would meet the 20 per cent exclusion rate by 2020.
According to the survey, 63.6 per cent of Nigeria’s adult population of 99.6 million have access to financial services, while 36.4 per cent, equalling 36.6 million of the adult population are financially excluded.
Out of the 36.6 million adult population that are financially excluded, 55.9 per cent are women, while 44.1 per cent are men.
The survey also showed that 39.7 per cent of the population are banked.
Ajao said that NIBSS, which holds data for the banking industry had recorded up to one million new accounts being opened in banks on a monthly basis.
He said that majority of the new accounts were opened by people who already had accounts.
The managing director said that more than 30 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) holders had continued to make more transactions as the volume of electronic transactions grew.
“When we look at the figures for adult population for EFINA report for 2016, 96.4 million and now 99.6 million.
“This is about 3.3 per cent growth of adult population if you look at the number of financially included, 56.4 million as at 2016 has grown to 63.6 million in 2018 that is a growth of 11 per cent.
“So, the increase is way above the population growth and that means the efforts of all players have yielded fruits but we need to continue with the efforts.
“This is because we still have a lot to conquer if we must achieve the 20 per cent exclusion by 2020.
“We have seen NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) which we use to gauge the payment behaviour of Nigerians from 2016 up,” Ajao said.
He said that the inclusion rate was growing slowly until 2018 when the volume doubled year on year.
“This year by our projection, we will be doing one billion NIP in 2018. We did half of that in 2017.
“It is clear that what we are experiencing is that it is the few banked people that are doing all the transactions.
“Throughout 2017, the volume of transactions kept on growing, instant payment, Point of Sale (POS), bulk payment, even during the recession when the value of transaction became smaller, we were having more and more volume done.
“That again points out that we are winning the war gradually against cash. More people that would have done cash are now doing e-payment,” Ajao said.
“However, the few banked are the ones doing majority of the transactions.
“This year alone, we have 9.9 BVN holders do all the instant payment transactions we saw in the third quarter and that shows the structure we have in place.
“This growth looks much lower than what we see in the bulk of e-payment, it is this same account holders who are opening new accounts and who are doing more transactions.”

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Osodieme Spices Up Christmas for Aguata Prisons Inmates

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By Emeka Ozumba
It was transports of joy for inmates of Aguata Prisons, Ekwulobia, Sunday, as the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) and wife, Ebelechukwu spiced up their early Christmas celebrations by granting amnesty to ten inmates, and gifting several food and drinks on the occasion of the maiden holy Sacrament of Confirmation on select inmates and some children of staff at the facility.
The high point of Mass celebrated by the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev Dr Jonas Benson Okoye was the Sacrament of Confirmation with the Governor and his wife as sponsors.
Whereas the Governor exercised his powers of prerogative of mercy by directing the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to liaise with the Comptroller of Prisons Anambra state, to prepare documents for immediate release of ten inmates, his wife Dr. Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) donated foods stuff and assorted cooked meal, beverages, sanitary and other household materials as well as cash for upkeep of the inmates.
Osodieme, had rehabilitated a broken water borehole for the prisons a year ago, to bring to an end the cumbersome task of the inmates fetching water from nearby stream.
Earlier in remarks following his Homily, Most Rev. Bishop Okoye, said that Osodieme’s functional approach to life saving schemes by building houses for widows, and helping the needy through her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) has distinguished her from the rest.
The Auxiliary Bishop commended Osodieme’s Skills training and acquisition programmes for providing solution to vast vocational demands in the state, a step taken by the inmates in sewing of the clothes provided by the governor for the sacrament of confirmation.
The Aguata Prison facility opened in 2010 with a population of 25 inmates, but presently over stretched its capacity to 218 inmates with over 190 of them on awaiting trial for various offenses.
Other government officials at the event include; the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff, Mr Primus Odili, and some members of the House of Assembly among other political office holders.


PHOTO CAPTION
Pix1: Wife of Governor of Anambra State, Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) acting as Sponsor to a young girl at Sacrament of Confirmation held at Aguata Prisons, Ekwulobia on 8th December 2018.
Pix2: Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) acting as Sponsor to inmates at Sacrament of Confirmation held at Aguata Prisons , Ekwulobia on 8th December 2018.
Pix3: Comptroller of Prisons, Barr. Emmanuel Nwakaeze KSM, Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) and wife Ebelechukwu at Aguata Prisons , Ekwulobia on 8th December 2018.
Pix4: Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) and wife Ebelechukwu (Osodieme) carrying the Oblate to the Alter during the Mass at Aguata Prisons , Ekwulobia on 8th December 2018.
Pix5: Igwe Ekwulobia, Engr. Emmanuel Onyeneke, Ezejiofor II, Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike), His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Jonas Benson Okoye and wife of the Governor, Ebelechukwu (Osodieme) at thecutting of Christmas Cake at Aguata Prisons , Ekwulobia on 8th December 2018.
Pix6: Gift items for the inmates of Aguata Prisons, Ekwulobia.

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The Young Netpreneur for the Week : Temmy Adeleye (MakeUpbyTemmy )

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The #Netpreneur Pick for the Week is Temmy  Adeleye   (makeupbytemmy ), a  29-year-old founder of The Gele Company.

Temmy is also consultant for startup e-commerce and logistics companies.

 

Temmy can be reached on twitter  @te_mi3 .

 

 

 

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Anambra Govt To Construct New Bridge To Link Ogbaru Communities With Ihiala LGA

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By EJIKE ABANA –

Governor Willie Obiano has inspected ongoing construction work at Umunankwo-Mputu-Ogwuaniocha Road.
The Governor directed the contractors to add a bridge project that will connect Ihiala to the area to be part of the contract.
On arrival at the project site, serious sand filling work was going on at the fourteen point six kilometers road stretch.
According to the Governor, his administration embarked on the road construction to ensure that they have access road just like other Communities, stressing that his administration is the first to
construct a road in their Community.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr Marcel Ifejiofor explained that the contractor has assured of doing the stone base to the palace of the Traditional Ruler of the community before Christmas.
The Project Manager of TAMAD firm, handling the project, Mr Toni Madi assured of completion of the road in record time, as well as adherence to the stipulated standard.
The Traditional Ruler of the Community, Igwe Oliver Nnaji thanked the Governor for coming to their rescue, assuring him of their unalloyed support to his administration.
The Traditional Ruler pleaded with the Governor to ensure that the road is completed before the expiration of his term in office, noting however that the effect of the recession is still biting hard.
Some stakeholders in the area including Honourable Chinwe Nwaebili and Chief Chinedu Emeka hailed the Governor for the road construction, and pleaded with the Community members to continue to support the party to promote their well-being, as brighter days are still coming.

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President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurates a two-tier Presidential Intervention Structure for the elimination of drug abuse

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appointed his wife, Aisha, and the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, to serve on the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse in the country.

The committee is chaired by a former Military Administrator of Lagos state, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.)

Giving his reason for appointing his wife and Dolapo, the President said both women had demonstrated commitment to eradicating drug abuse in the country.
He explained, “The appointment of the wives of the President and the Vice-President, as well as the chairpersons of the North and South Governors’ Wives Forums as members of this committee, is in recognition of their concerted efforts to the course of eradicating the menace of drug abuse from our society.
“Additionally, the participation of the first ladies is meant to spur further involvement of women and mothers in particular, in view of the significant role they play in parenting and care.
“It is therefore expected that governors’ wives across the federation will take the lead in replicating this intervention structure at the states and local government levels.’’
A Ministerial Steering Committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, was also inaugurated on Monday by the President.
Speaking while inaugurating both committees at the Presidential Villa, Buhari acknowledged that drug abuse had grown to become a major public health problem in the country, requiring very urgent attention.

He noted that from being a transit nation five years ago, Nigeria had effectively become a user country today.
On the abuse of Codeine syrup, for example, he cited the alarming reports on abuses in states like Kano where up to 3million bottles were consumed every 24 hours.

He spoke more, “This is a situation of emergency and we must face and address it as such…
“Drug and alcohol abuse are also major occupational hazards among Nigerian workers, professionals, notably drivers, which contribute to making Nigerian roads particularly dangerous.
“The drugs that are commonly abused include but not limited to alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, Tramadol, codeine, etc.
“Today marks the beginning of another milestone in correcting the root cause of some of the ills of today’s society in order to safeguard our common existence and guarantee a brighter future for our current generation and those yet on born.

“The role is specifically targeted at decimating the disastrous havoc that drug abuse could cause on the very fabric of our society.’’
In his response, the SGF said drug abuse had become a national threat that all hands must be on the deck to combat immediately.

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FG to Obasanjo: Your Atiku will be defeated comprehensively

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The Federal Government says though it is the constitutional right of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo to support a candidate for an election, his endorsement does not guarantee victory.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the government on Monday in Abuja, said Obasanjo’s candidate for the presidential election, Atiku Abubakar “will be defeated roundly and comprehensively’’.
“With due respect to former President Obasanjo, it is his constitutional right to support any candidate of his choice and we urge him to go out and campaign vigorously for any candidate he wants to support.
“He has not hidden his preference for the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and we wish him very best of luck.
“However, I want to assure you that his candidate will be defeated roundly and comprehensively. It is not about endorsement, endorsement does not win election,’’ he said.
The minister also responded to a statement credited to the former President that, “only a fool will sit on the fence when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption lack of focus, insecurity nepotism and brazen impunity’’.

Mohammed said he held Obasanjo in high esteem and probably he was not properly briefed on the development in the country to have made such conclusions,.
“The facts are all there that this government has done more than any other governments in three and half years.
On corruption, the minister said that the government had put in place institutional reforms which had confirmed its sincerity and commitment to fighting the menace.
“It is not about putting people in Jail but what are the things put in place to address this endemic problem.
“Take the example of Treasury Single Account TSA, which was not initiated by this government. It is only the Buhari administration that has the political will to implement it.
“Before we came in, there were over 22,000 government accounts in various banks.
“Since we came, we reduced it to one account and from 2015 to date N8.9 trillion has passed through the TSA which is as a result of transparency and accountability,’’ he said.
The minister said that even with lean resources, the Buhari administration had spent more on infrastructure than the 16 years of the PDP administration.
He said there was no state in the country without one or two infrastructure development being embarked upon by the federal government.
The minister said the Administration had commissioned the Abuja to Kaduna standard rail gauge while the 156 km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge would be ready for commissioning in March next year.
He said the government had made fund available for five critical infrastructure projects including the Mambilla power project, the East-West Road, the second Niger Bridge, the Abuja – Kano and Abuja-Lokoja-Okenne highways.
Mohammed said the efforts of the administration in diversifying the economy away from oil had yielded fruits with achievement recorded in agriculture, particularly in rice production and solid mineral sectors.
On power supply, the minister said the administration had improved on generation, transmission and distribution than it met them in 2015, while Nigerians are benefiting from its numerous social investment programmes.

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Social Harmony: Catholic Church Honours Obiano, Two Others

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By EJIKE ABANA

The Catholic Church has honored Governor Willie Obiano with special Award for promoting social harmony in the State and beyond.
The honour is in reception of various people oriented policies of the Governor aimed at engendering comprehensive human and physical development and commenced with a high mass celebrated by Cardinal Francis Arinze at Christ the King Parish Ihiala.
In a homily, Cardinal Arinze explained the Catholic Church the world over is celebrating the history of Blessed Virgin Mary who he described as a woman full of grace, and said that the mass is to recognise three persons in the state with Awards for social Harmony.
While asking God for blessings upon the three awardees, the Cardinal charged Christians to always pray for those in power as authority comes from God, urging those in power to always desire wisdom, fair play, balanced judgment and willingness to serve the masses, as well as give hope to the unemployed and pensioners.

Receiving the honour, Governor Obiano while appreciating the honour said that it is gratifying to be remembered and honoured in one’s home for good deeds, and thanked the Catholic Community for the honour.
The Governor promised to continue to project the State in a good light, and announced that he has empowered and mobilized the contractor handling the Ihiala road project to tar the road as it has great economic relevance and importance to the state. UP SOT
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba appreciated Cardinal Arinze for always thinking home, praying God to continue to keep him.
During the high mass, the Governor was honoured alongside two other Ndi Anambra.
The wife of the Governor, Chief Ebelechukwu Obiano, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Primus Odili, Head Of Service, Barrister Harry, Traditional Rulers, APGA faithful led by the State Chairman, Sir Norbert Obi, Political functionaries, among others attended the mass.
Choir rendition also featured at the special mass.

 

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ADDRESS BY H.E MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND CHAMPION OF THE 2018 AFRICAN ANTI-CORRUPTION YEAR ON THE LAUNCH OF THE AFRICA YOUTH CONGRESS AGAINST CORRUPTION

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Protocols:
I want to specially thank the African Union under the able leadership of our Chairperson, His Excellency, Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and all African Leaders for entrusting me with the leadership responsibility of championing the African Union theme of the Year – “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
2. May I also extend my gratitude to the African Union Commission headed by Chairperson, His Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, for providing the technical support to my Champion-role for the past twelve (12) months.
3. Excellencies, the anti-corruption year of the African Union has been long and demanding. The year has also been filled with sharing of great lessons, promises and inspirations as well as some success stories on our journey to winning the fight against the evil of corruption. I am therefore very pleased that with your support, we have kept faith with the African people, particularly our Youth gathered here today.
4. Throughout this year, we have focused the strategy for Africa’s structural transformation on strengthening our collective anti-corruption fight.
5. As African leaders, we made history in adopting this theme in January 2018 in Addis Ababa and openly debated and evaluated our strategy in Nouakchott last July. And today in Nigeria’s capital with our Youth, we are rallying against this once-hidden taboo and hydra-headed challenge that freezes our aspirations and dents the hopes of our youth for a newly emergent Africa.
6. During the mid-year summit of the African Union Assembly, African Heads of State and Government adopted the Nouakchott Declaration on the Anti-Corruption Year, to serve as a roadmap in the fight against corruption over the coming years. The Declaration reiterated that corruption is not only an African phenomenon but a global one, especially when we consider Illicit Financial Flows where Africa, regrettably is in fact a net creditor to the world.
7. To the young people of Africa, this fight against corruption is yours to lead and to win in order to reverse the negative trends of corruption and it’s implications for Africa.
8. The Youth of Africa must pool their energies to effectively ensure that our natural and mineral resources remain on the continent for value addition, job and wealth creation as well as to create affordable health-care and quality education for our people. Winning the fight against corruption is very much in your hands!
9. Of particular interest to the youth, as reflected in the Nouakchott Declaration, is the emphasis on the imperative of investing in the demographic dividends through anti-corruption, education and sensitization campaigns, targeting young people as a means of bringing about behavioral change.
10. I thereby encourage young Africans, to use this Declaration as motivation to achieve greater resource investment in developing anti-corruption curricula and anti-graft campaigns in schools, businesses and the general public space.
11. African Youth must remain the front and centre of restoring traditional African values of probity, integrity, honesty, diligence and hard work. It is only when the youth drive this change, that corruption will be eliminated!
12. Your Excellencies, African Youth Representatives, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as a build up to this youth congress, l was briefed by the African Union Commission on the African Governance Architecture (AGA)-organized Regional Youth Consultations, dedicated to the Anti-Corruption theme of the year.
13. I am pleased to learn that the youth regional consultative forums were informative and rewarding for the over 600 young people from across the continent who sharpened their strategies and skills to fight corruption.
14 Furthermore, Youth meetings serve as vital platforms for young people to engage. I would like to recognize some of our young leaders here present who have demonstrated the zeal and determination to build the “Africa We Want”:
15. First, I wish to recognize Mr. Moussa Kondo from Mali for his Accountability Lab in the Republic of Mali. He blazed the trail on how to build sustainable coalitions of “Accountapreneurs”.
16. Secondly, I recognize, Mr. Maxence Melo, from the United Republic of Tanzania, founder of Jamii Forums for strengthening the viability of whistleblowing policy tools.
17. I also enjoin us to celebrate our very own Nigerian – Damilola Olawale, founder of Code IT for using technology to give young people the tools to demand transparency in the management of public resources.
18. These young people have done impressive work in pushing the boundaries of innovation in the pursuit for greater accountability. And so today, we celebrate them and indeed we celebrate all of you – anti-corruption youngsters. You are the unsung heroes of our thematic year of the African Union, the high-impact achievers. You are the REAL AFRICAN CHAMPIONS!
19. This Congress is therefore a grand rallying point to catalyze policy and practical action against the vice of corruption. We must listen to the perspectives of the African Youth and engage in frank and honest conversations. Communication, upwards and sideways can only be ignored at a price.
20. I am most pleased to observe that this Abuja Congress will take adequate stock of policy and institutional mechanisms in the fight against corruption as well as the role of technology amongst others.
21. I am confident that you will give due support to the continental strategies to: stem illicit financial flows out of Africa; expedite stolen assets recovery and return; strengthen the capacity of national anti-corruption institutions; explore the link between corruption and conflicts; strengthen oversight by citizens on budget performance.
22. You should also strongly advocate the universal signing and ratification of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption by all Member States of the African Union.
23. At the end of your deliberations in this Congress, I am confident that you will come up with an Agenda for Action on Winning the Fight against Corruption that will serve as the rallying cry of the African Youth towards a corruption-free Africa. Strive for an Agenda for Action that will be results-oriented and serve as a roadmap for our continent.
24. Let me share with you what I believe are the A, B, C of fighting corruption:
“A” stands for ACTION. Let us all move from talk to action. I urge you to develop tangible projects in your community to instil transparency and accountability of the highest standard. I look forward to receiving your Creed of Transparency from this Congress with a view to forwarding the recommendations to the next Summit of the African Union in February next year.
“B” stands for BUILDING BRIDGES. The youth have a unique opportunity to spearhead the building of inter-generational and cross-sectoral bridges in our various communities. Often, fighting corruption requires partnerships with unlikely allies. Be open to exploring constructive partnerships with a wide base of actors. Again, I look forward to all of you joining the Transparency Champions Network that was created following the Regional Youth Consultations.
“C” stands for CULTURE. So, let us cultivate and equip ourselves with African culture, right attitude and mindset change that will enable us to stand firmly against corruption. By so doing, accountability and change will begin with you and me.
25. My Highly Esteemed Young brothers and sisters from all over Africa, I believe that as we wind up the African Union Anti-Corruption Year, the young people across the continent remain the cornerstone of shaping the future of the fight against corruption. While our symbolic year may be ending, our campaign must not end, for our common future is even brighter.
26. As Africa promotes regional integration and global prosperity, corruption remains a major stumbling block to the realization of the seven (7) aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
27. We must therefore fight it from all angles and avenues without ceasing. And only a united front led by the African Youth can change this present narrative to a great story of African transformation.
28. Finally, permit me to leave you with a quote from the late Nigerian anti-corruption crusader Gani Fawehinmi, who said:
“You do not justify your crime by a defence that there are other criminals”.
29. I therefore urge you all to challenge corruption in your different countries as we are doing in Nigeria and DO NOT COMPROMISE!!
I thank you for you attention.
God bless Africa!.

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Ogene Anuka Aguleri

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