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Norway, FAO sign agreement to provide $6.3m support to 300,000 persons in North-East

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Norway, FAO sign agreement to provide $6.3m support to 300,000 persons in North-East

Norway, FAO sign agreement to provide $6.3m support to 300,000 persons in North-East

The Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway has renewed its funding cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), targeted at assisting over 300,000 most vulnerable persons in Nigeria.

The Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein, said this on Friday at the signing ceremony to kick-start project implementation.

Lein said “this particular programme has a framework of about $6.3 million which we are signing today, that comes in addition to the core support that we are giving to FAO”.

The three-year intervention will benefit 43,990 households (about 307,930 individuals) with at least 45 percent of them being women as direct beneficiaries who will receive agricultural inputs, livestock assets and energy-saving stoves.

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The beneficiaries are internally displaced people (IDPs), host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

“This project is part of Norway’s larger support to Nigeria in general, including humanitarian efforts specifically targeting those in need in the northeast region.

“We have partnered with many organizations in addressing a number of issues, including health, food security, democracy, gender equality and more,” Ambassador Lein pointed out.

On his part, Fred Kafeero, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said “here we are looking at how we will provide inputs for farmers to be able to grow food.

“We are talking about improved seeds, high yielding but also drought resistant livestock because it is a key aspect in these particular communities, such as goat, poultry, some of those that are easily converted to income eventually.

He appreciated the support by the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway, describing it as another milestone in strengthening the commitment in the fight against poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in Nigeria.

“The new project, whose agreement we are signing here today, marks the continuous and fruitful collaboration, and partnership that exists between the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and FAO in Nigeria,” Mr. Kafeero said.

He said the collaboration over the years have helped to douse the conflict that has affected populations of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states.

They have greatly benefited from the agricultural-based livelihoods support that has enabled them to improve their food security as well as build their resilience.

The support also aims at enhancing resilience to the humanitarian crisis, climate variability and change of vulnerable communities and building resilient livelihoods in the BAY states against the negative effects of climate change.

The project comes a few weeks after the release of the October 2022 food and nutrition analysis (Cadre Harmonisé), which indicates that about 17 million people, including IDPS and returnees in 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory were in crisis or worse through October 2022. Three (3) million of these people are living in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

Furthermore, an estimated 25.3 million people are projected to be in crisis or worse levels during the 2023 lean season (June – August) with 4.4 million in Borno. Adamawa and Yobe, if immediate steps to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance are not taken.

Since 2017, the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway has issued financial support of more than US$20 million from the beginning of the crisis, reaching over 1,085,777 conflict-affected people in the northeast region of Nigeria. 

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African Group Backs Okonjo-Iweala for WTO Term

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African Group Backs Okonjo-Iweala for WTO Term

African Group Backs Okonjo-Iweala for WTO Term

By Halima Abdulkadiri

The African Group at the World Trade Organization (WTO) presented a proposal at its General Council (GC) to re-elect Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as director-general of the organization.

Adebayo Thomas, the Director of Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, announced this in a statement in Abuja.

According to him, the proposal is for members to consider Okonjo-Iweala to run for another term as chief executive officer of the organization.

He said the proposal was also to enable the Chair of the General Council (GC) to commence the process of the appointment of the director-general as soon as possible.

He quoted Amb. Abdulhamid Adamu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the WTO, at the GC, as saying that members debated the issue.

“All members highlighted Okonjo-Iweala’s efforts and contributions to the organization, which have led to significant progress and development,” Adamu said. “They all affirmed that she deserves to be reappointed as the director-general. Almost 58 members from all regions supported the proposal.”

He added that members resolved that the General Council Chair should start consultations on the appointment process as soon as possible.

In response, Okonjo-Iweala thanked all members and assured them she would respond soon after consulting with her family.

African Group Backs Okonjo-Iweala for WTO Term

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SGF Approves Eight New FRSC Deputy Corps Marshals

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SGF Approves Eight New FRSC Deputy Corps Marshals

SGF Approves Eight New FRSC Deputy Corps Marshals

By Halima Abdulkadiri

Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has approved the promotion of eight Assistant Corps Marshals to Deputy Corps Marshals (DCMs) of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Olusegun Ogungbemide, Acting Corps Public Education Officer, announced this in Abuja on Monday.

Three of the new DCMs will proceed to immediate retirement, while the remaining five will fill vacancies in the South South, South East, South West, North Central, and North West geopolitical zones.

The promoted officers are DCM Clement Oladele (North Central), DCM Chidiebere Nkwonta (South East), DCM Sunday Iyamah (South South), DCM Musa Yerima (North West), and DCM Abiodun Akinlade (South West).

The retiring DCMs are Kingsley Agomoh, Jonas Agwu, and Zubairu Mato. SGF Akume praised the transparency of the promotion process and urged the new appointees to commit to the FRSC’s vision of reducing road traffic crashes and creating a safer motoring environment.

FRSC Corps Marshal Shehu Mohammed congratulated the promoted officers and emphasized the increased responsibilities their new ranks entail.

He encouraged them to stay focused and dedicated, and reassured all personnel of ongoing efforts to improve their welfare.

SGF Approves Eight New FRSC Deputy Corps Marshals

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N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

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N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

By Halima Abdulkadiri

Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo State, Sadiq Atayese, has stated that the newly-approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers is not the solution to the country’s economic challenges.

Atayese made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan.

He emphasized that sustainable solutions to the cost of living require positive economic policies from the government. Atayese highlighted the exchange rate as a key factor influencing fuel costs and subsidies.

He stressed that the government must prioritize fighting corruption and implementing policies beyond just increasing the minimum wage. According to Atayese, corruption in high places accounts for over 90 percent of corruption cases in Nigeria.

“Will this new minimum wage actually assuage the daily rising costs of foods and services? Can it bring a stable solution to the nation’s economic challenges? The answer is No,” he said.

Atayese also urged the government to focus on agricultural development and address issues such as security and funding for effective farming. He believes that addressing these critical issues would have more significant benefits than even a minimum wage of N150,000.

“Labour Party will continue to stand for the wellbeing of the people and development of the society,” he said.

The Federal Government and labor unions recently agreed on N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers. Initially, the government proposed N60,000, which was raised to N62,000, while labor demanded N494,000 before revising it to N250,000. Labor leaders agreed to the N70,000 offer due to additional incentives attached.

N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

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