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FG approves N9bn to procure fertiliser

Posted by LERE OJEDOKUN, Abuja on 2005/08/18 | Views: 262 |

FG approves N9bn to procure fertiliser


FEDERAL Government yesterday, took another shot at boosting food supply with the approval of N9 billion for the procurement of 156,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer for distribution to farmers in the 36 states.

•Iwuanyanwu urges return to agric


FEDERAL Government yesterday, took another shot at boosting food supply with the approval of N9 billion for the procurement of 156,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer for distribution to farmers in the 36 states.

Another N165 million was voted for the purchase of 3,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer in continuation of government’s assistance to ffamine-ravaged Niger Republic. About N453 million had been spent in the last three years.

The government’s decision came just as Executive Chairman of Champion Newspapers Limited (CNL), Chief (Dr.) Emmanuel Iwuanyamwu, canvassed a return to agriculture to secure the future of the country.

However, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which considered wide range of issues at its weekly meeting, chaired by President Olusegun Obasanjo, also approved N1.6 billion erosion and flood control projects in five states.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr. and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Adamu Bello briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.

The ministers said the fertilizers which would be subsisted by 25 per cent, were meant for this year’s planting seasons under the National Special Programme on Food Security, adding that Federal Government’s contribution to the N9 billion was N2 billion, with states paying the N7 billion balance, to be deducted at source from their statutory allocations.

Mallam Bello explained that 60 per cent of the fertilizer had already been supplied while distribution of the rest was on-going even as he revealed that states have also started importing the commodity to meet demand.

He disclosed that the country’s application of the farming input was about 10 per cent, lower than what the advanced countries were using, just as he said that supply would improve as soon as the privatisation of the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) in Onne, Rivers State, was completed.

On ecological projects, Mr. Nweke said that the contracts include the construction of erosion and flood control works in Obosi, Idemili, Anambra State at N655.1 million; gully erosion control works in Umuagwu-Uruala, Ideato north local government area of Imo State, for N185.3 million and another one in Pejuola, Abeokuta South local government, Ogun State, for N176.5 million.

The rest are at University of Jos (UNIJOS) permanent site in Naraguta, N137 million, and Gusau-Dan Sadau, Zamfara State, N345.2 million just as the council also okayed N54.5 million for the engineering services towards the construction of a dam and water supply in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Health issue also received attention with PEC approving N74.3 million each for the installation of medical waste incinerators at the Federal Medical Centres (FMC) in Yola, Adamawa State and Gombe, Gombe State while another N192.7 million was voted for the completion of the Bayero University Kano’s (BUK) central library.

Besides, the council received a progress report from the presidential committee on National Policy on Export Promotion which made some recommendations on the implementation of the national export strategy 2005 - 2010.

Mr. Nweke explained that the essence of the exercise was to fashion out appropriate strategies and programmes of action to position made-in-Nigeria goods as exportable and ensure they comply with global standards.

"One of the things that have pre-occupied the attention of this administration is the diversification of the economy. What can we do to add value to basic commodities and other items that are produced in Nigeria? We know the only way these commodities can be exportable is to meet global standards", he said.

The minister said further that the council received a report from the committee set up to consider reasons for premature failure of roads in the southern part of the country.

He said the primary reasons include inappropriate design and supervision and substandard materials, while secondary reasons offered include wrong timing, poor maintenace, wrong choice of materials wrong choice of contractors and delay in paying them, excessive tonnage as well as inadequate drainage system.

Meanwhile, Chief Iwuanyanwu made the call for return to agriculture on Monday, in Aba, Abia State in a paper entitled: "The Nigerian Economy And Oil Politics", he presented at the 11th national conference of Nigeria Association of Economists (NAE).

Commending the diversification programme of the Federal Government as being in the right direction, Chief Iwuanyanwu said the best course of action is to move from subsistence farming to mechanized agriculture.

He urged Nigerian engineers to begin the manufacture of small agricultural hand tools to replace hoes that are still largely used in many parts of the country.

"The manufacture of small agricultural hand tools will no doubt create employment and widen the industrial base of Nigeria.

"Above all, the new challenges to the end of oil economy, must be met with vigour. The diversification programme of the Federal Government is in the right direction.

"The outcome of previous programmes of the federal Government, given our history, is not pleasant. I hope the diversification programme will be an exception.

"There is nothing wrong with being a subsistence economy for a while, the problem is Nigeria has for too long remained a subsistence economy:, he said.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.