PRNigeria Emerges Finalist of PR Golden World Award

Agriculture

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Yushau  Shuaib, Publisher of PRNigeria

The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) with Headquarters in London, United Kingdom has shortlisted PRNigeria’s campaigns for Nigeria’s military and security among the finalists for the Golden World Awards (GWA).

The Golden World Awards are the world’s most prestigious PR awards.

In a congratulatory message to Publishers of PRNigeria, the IPRA Member Services Manager, Janice Hill wrote thus: “Congratulations you are a Golden World Awards Finalist for your entry: Managing Security Information on War on Terror in Nigeria in the Crisis management – Agency category.”

She said that the first round of judging is complete as a number of entries have been put through as finalists for the next round of in-person judging next month in Brussels.

Through its parent body, Image Merchants Promotion, PRNigeria has been actively engaged in changing the media narratives from Boko Haram propaganda to PR approach strategies of security agencies in Nigeria. It has also remained the major source of official information from military, security, intelligence and response agencies.

Through the establishment of Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) and subsequent Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC), PRNigeria ensures the sustenance of mutual relationship between the media and security agencies for improved quality of timely and responsible reporting on counter-terrorism and security consciousness campaigns.

As the operator of most popular Press Release platform in Nigeria, PRNigeria has over 300 top media executives in its unique mailing list and has issued over 2000 Press Releases on behalf of its clients since its inception in 2013

Speaking on the awards, the IPRA’s President Bart de Vries stated that: “We have seen some great entries in 2016. There was an excellent spread of geographies with a record number of entries from Russia as well as from countries we have not seen entering previously. Community relations, Consumer PR Event management and Public sector proved especially popular this year.”

IPRA is the leading global network for Public Relations professionals. It aims to further the development of open communication and the ethical practice of public relations. It fulfils this aim through networking opportunities, its code of conduct and intellectual leadership of the profession. With 60 years of experience, IPRA, recognised by the United Nations, is now present throughout the world wherever public relations are practiced.

The annual IPRA Golden World Awards (GWA) initiative, established in 1990, recognizes excellence in public relations practice worldwide in a variety of categories. The awards meet international standards of excellence in public relations. An overall IPRA Grand Prix for Excellence is presented each year to the entry judged as representing the highest standards that year. While there are many national and regional PR awards, there is only one truly global scheme: the GWA.

The Grand Prix 2016 will be announced and special awards presented at a Gala event in November 2016.

IGR: 36 States Generates N682bn… 15 Appear to be going bankrupt…

Agriculture

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… Lagos Generates More IGR than 32 States Combined

… Rich States: Lagos, Rivers, Delta, Ogun, Edo

…Poor States:  Yobe, Zamfara, Ekiti, Borno, Kebbi

An investigation by the Economic Confidential has shown that Fifteen States may go bankrupt as their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) in 2015 were far below 10% of their Federation Account Allocations (FAA) in one year from June 2015 to May 2016.

The report further indicates that the IGR of Lagos State of N268bn is higher than that of 32 States combined together excluding Rivers, Delta and Ogun whose IGRs are very impressive. The 32 other states merely generated a total of N257bn in 2015.

Recently the Economic confidential, an economic intelligence magazine published the total allocation each state in Nigeria received from the Federation Account Allocation (FAA) between June 2015 to May 2016 which signified one year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The latest report on IGR reveals that only Lagos State generated more revenue than its allocation from the Federation Account by 150% and no any other state has upto 100% of IGR to the federal largese.

The IGR of the 36 states of the federation totalled N682.67 billion in 2015 as compared to N707.85 billion in 2014, a drop of N25.18 billion or a minus 3.56 percent.

The report provides shocking discovery that indicates that 15 states may go bankrupt and may not stay afloat outside the Federal Account Allocation due to lack of foresight in revenue generation drive coupled with arm-chair governance.

The states that may not survive without the Federation Account due to poor internal revenues include Yobe which generated meagre N2.2b compared to a total of N57.4bn it received from the Federation Account Allocation (FAA) from June 2015 to May 2016 representing about 3.9%. Others are: Zamfara with IGR of N2.7bn compared to FAA of N56.6bn representing 4.8%; Ekiti N3.2bn compared to FAA of N50.460bn representing 6.5%; Borno with N3.5bn compared to N78.7bn of FAA representing 4.5% and Kebbi with IGR of N3.5bn compared to N64.8bn of FAA representing 5.5% within the period under review.

Others poor internal revenue earners are Taraba which generated N4.1bn compared to FAA of N56bn representing 6.4%; Nassarawa N4.4bn compared to FAA of N50.5bn representing 8.5%;  Adamawa N4.4bn compared to FAA of N62.2bn representing 7.1%; Gombe N4.7bn compared to FAA of N49.8bn representing 9.6%; Jigawa N5bn compared to FAA of N73bn representing 7%; Bauchi N5.3bn compared to FAA of N72.6bn representing 7.4%; Imo N5.4bn compared to FAA of N71.6bn representing 7.6%; Katsina N5.7bn compared to FAA of N88.8bn representing 6.5 %; Niger N5.9bn compared to FAA of N74.8bn representing 8% and Sokoto N6.2bn compared to FAA of N69.7bn representing 8.9%.

Meanwhile Lagos State retains its number one position in IGR with a total revenue generation of N268.22bn in the twelve months of last year. It is followed by Rivers State N82.10bn, Delta State N40.80bn, Ogun State N34.59bn and Edo state N19.11bn.

However, these five states look good to be on top of the current economic challenges. They are: Enugu, Oyo, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Kano with N18.08bn, N15.66bn, N14.793bn, N14.791bn, and N13.611 bn respectively.

The Economic Confidential report further showed that the richest northern state is Kano which is the only state from the North to be among the 10 highest IGR earners while the rest are Southern States. The poorest southern State is Ekiti which is the only state from the South to be among the 10 lowest IGR earners while the rest in the category and bottom of the ladder are Northern States. 

Meanwhile the IGR of the respective states can improve through aggressive diversification of the economy to productive sectors rather than relying on the monthly Federation Account revenue that largely come from the oil sector.

Culled from EconomicConfidential

Sokoto Orphans, Indigents Get Clothes, Food Items

Agriculture

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Twelve thousand four hundred and eighty-five orphans and indigent persons in Sokoto have received clothing materials and food items from Sokoto state Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

The event, which took place in Kuchi village of Kebbe Local Government, had beneficiaries drawn from 85 districts in the 23 Local Government Councils of the state.

Both the food items and the clothing materials were purchased by the state
government through the state Zakkat and Endowment Committee.

Speaking at the occasion, Tambuwal said that each female orphan will receive a wrapper and N1000, while each male orphan will receive five yards of clothing material and N1000.

Tambuwal stated that the gesture was aimed at assisting the orphans and the
needy to celebrate the forthcoming Eid-el-Fitr with ease.

”The state government is strongly committed to ensuring the
welfare of all categories of people in the state. We will always strive to fulfill our campaign promises to the people of
the state in spite of so many challenges,” the governor said while also announcing his personal donation of three hundred bags of rice to the people of Kuchi District.

Represented by the District Head of Binji, Alhaji Kabiru Usman, Sultan Saad Abubakar commended the state government for the gesture and urged wealthy persons in the state to emulate the state government.

Appealing to Nigerians to pray fervently for leaders at all levels to succeed, he also admonished Nigerians to seek divine forgiveness as a panacea to the current challenges in the country.

The Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Alhaji Mani Katami also commended
Tambuwal for according priority to all the activities of the Ministry.

”We will continue to live above board in the discharge of our duties, to further alleviate the suffering of the people in the state,” Katami promised.

I’m Being Prosecuted for Old Grievances- Ex-NSA Dasuki

Agriculture

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                       Dasuki

Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has told a federal high court in Abuja that he is being punished by some persons at the highest level of power in the country for perceived grievances they hold against him while in active military service many years ago.

Dasuki who did not name any particular person said that the punishment being meted on him was unfortunate having borne out of mere vendetta.

In an emotion laden submissions while reacting to the government request for his secret trial, Dasuki who spoke through his counsel Mr. Joseph Daudu SAN told the court that he has rested his case in God for the ultimate judgment.

“It is crystal clear that the defendant (Dasuki) is being punished by the powers that be for the perceived offences committed long before… we leave them to the Almighty God for his ultimate judgment”.

Dasuki had been arraigned before three different high courts for various allegations and was granted bail but was rearrested in December last year by the Federal Government and has since been held incommunicado.

At the resumed trial today, the Federal Government had approached the court, seeking secret trial of Dasuki who is facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms, money laundering and breach of trust.

In the fresh motion argued by the prosecuting counsel, Chief Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), government prayed the court to allow witnesses give evidence behind the screen to be provided by the court.

He held that the request hinged on the fact that Dasuki as a former top security chief has large loyalists across the country who may jeopardize the trial if done in the open.

He further submitted that Dasuki has in the recent past held the highest security office in the country and has loyalists in the security circle whose loyalty has been transferred to personality and whose actions might be inimical to prosecution witnesses some of whom are still in the service.

Okpeseyin cited the case of the government witness who was involved in a serious accident, resulting in multiple fractures and injuries but however stated that in as much as he would not allude that Dasuki has a hand in the accident, it heightened the need to have the witnesses protected by the court.

He further submitted that in the highest military office where Dasuki served last, loyalty was the first, second and the last rule and because of the peculiar nature of loyalty some persons have for him within the military and beyond, those to give evidence in the trial were at one time or the other, staff of the defendant.

He stressed that since the witnesses are those of the court whose primary duty was to assist the court arrive at a just conclusion, the issue of security must be viewed with a serious concern.

He therefore urged Justice Adeniyi Ademola to screen the witnesses from the public in the interest of justice, and to protect them, their families and career.

But Counsel to Dasuki,  Joseph Daudu (SAN), vehemently opposed the request for secret trial of Dasuki.

His argument was that it will breach the principle of fair trial.

He added that contrary to the position of the government, Dasuki cannot be a threat to the witnesses as he has been in the custody of the federal government since December last year.

Daudu argued that open trial is the minimum requirement in a criminal trial and as such, any attempt to opt for a secret trial in the instant case, which was not a capital offense will run contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution on fail trial.

The Defence counsel therefore asked the court to discountenance the claim made by the prosecution on the issue of loyalty in the military circle, stressing that such claim was a mere speculation and not backed up by facts.

On the accident of the witness, Daudu told the court that the accident would not have been caused by Dasuki, who has been in the government custody for almost a year.

He said that the alleged accident has no bearing with the request for secret trial.

He therefore urged the court to dismiss the application for secret trial as such will trample on the rights of the defendant to fair trial.

Justice Ademola after taking argument from both parties fixed ruling and continuation of trial for September 13, 14 and 15.

Culled from PRNigeria

GMOs Not Officially Grown in Nigeria – FG

Agriculture

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Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has said that there was not presently any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) officially grown in Nigeria and therefore called on Nigerians not to panic over the issue.

In a statement issued by the Minister on Monday in Abuja, she stated that the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), established in 2015 under the Federal Ministry of Environment, was charged to, among others, ensure proper regulation of modern biotechnological activities and genetically modified organisms so as to protect the lives of Nigerians.

According to her, with the Act in place, Nigeria had taken laudable strides in order to adopt the necessary legal biosafety framework and policy, bearing in mind that if Nigeria got it right, it would guide other African countries.

“What we have approval are for field trials. All the GMOs in Nigeria officially approved are under experimental fields,” Amina stated adding that “the insect resistant cotton for commercial release will still be subjected to further processes for the next two years.”

The Minister further stated that the quest for Nigeria’s biotechnological advancement dated back to 2001 when the country adopted a National Biotechnology Policy and subsequently established the National Biotechnology Development Agency, adding that over 20 Research Institutes, private biotechnology firms and universities are also players in the biotechnology sector.

“The Agency is not working alone, as it is partnering with critical stakeholders such as the Nigerian Customs, the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps (NCDC), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Ministry of Justice, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, National Seed Council, Science and regulatory based institutions, the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and African Biosafety Network of Expertise, (ABNE), among others,” she explained.

She disclosed that the NBMA had the onerous task to ensure that potential impacts of the GMOs on human or animal health, the environment and the socio-economic effects were carefully weighed and the risk assessment fully carried out before being released.

While describing the concerns on GMOs expressed by the public as legitimate, she disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), is organising an experts meeting, involving Civil Society groups, National Agencies and International Organisations to address all concerns expressed, with a view to clarifying Nigeria’s position on the use of GMOs.

She enjoined the citizenry to cooperate with the Federal Government in its quest to diversify the Nigerian economy for the present and future generations, adding “Nigerians should be rest assured of the protection of their health and environment by the National Biosafety Management Agency”.

Features: Burkina Faso Leadership in Biotech Adoption Threatened as Nigeria Explores Bt Cotton Opportunities.

Agriculture

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By Rose Gidado, PhD.

In an interesting turn of events, Burkina Faso’s recently fiasco over Bt. cotton fibre length – and the decision by cotton companies to slow adoption while the issue is being resolved – is being interpreted differently in the region.  Most francophone countries envy the tremendous success Burkina Faso has experienced. Yields and farmers’ incomes have risen, chemical use is down, and cotton and cottonseed oil have become major exports.

Delegations from neighbouring Benin and Togo have visited Burkina to see for themselves how Bt. cotton has transformed the economy. Participants included farmers, government officials, members of parliament, and textile industry representatives. Their mission: to see first-hand the impact of Bt. cotton in Burkina Faso as a first step towards the eventual adoption of policies allowing its cultivation within their own borders.

Anglophone and Francophone countries in West Africa – most notably Ghana and Burkina Faso – are also exploring how best to engage with the technology.  Nigeria, whose earnings from the oil sector continue to drop sharply, is seriously considering the adoption of Bt. cotton.

In the corridors of power, the need to wean the country on reliance on petro-dollars is well established.  Most decision makers feel the technology challenges Burkina Faso is facing have been exaggerated by anti-GM activists.  The country is unequivocal that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda must include the adoption of biotechnology; more specifically, the country sees Bt. cotton as a viable way of engaging with the technology and technology providers.

Alhaji Salman Abdullahi, the Chairman Cotton Ginners Association (CGA) says adoption of Bt. cotton should be part of the strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change.  Another organization, the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, is concerned with the current dwindling status of cotton production in Nigeria and sees Bt. cotton as a viable answer.  The Agency says in the textile sector – 26 out of 52 ginneries are currently operational; 34 out of 184 Textile Mills are operational and all of which operates at 30% installed capacity and contributes 25 percent of GDP in addition to providing well over 700,000 jobs, next only to government.
 
While the Director General/CEO, the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), Mr. Hamman Kwajaffa, says lack of confidence by participants across the cotton value chain over the years restricted the much-needed investments. The Association says cotton farming in Nigeria over the years has suffered because the opportunity cost of planting cotton has remained high. Cotton does not compete favourably against other lower risk crops and this has led to a dwindling of farmers involved in cultivating the crop over time.

The Association sees Bt. cotton as a real solution because seed quality remains a problem, affecting yield and by implication farmers’ income and motivation to cultivate. The prevalence of pests which leads to increased expenses in pesticides, unnecessarily high cost of inputs also demotivates farmers.

The cotton sector is a potential key contributor to the economy especially now that the government is exploring non-oil revenue options to boost public finance. Bt. cotton provides an opportunity to revive the cotton industry, which has a high potential for added value generation from raw material to, finished goods and is a major employer of urban and rural populations.

A major public policy issue in West Africa is not whether, but how to introduce Bt.-cotton in the region. Analyst argues that the implications of non-adoption may be more significant than previously thought.  Liborio S. Cabanilla, Tahirou Abdoulaye and John H. Sanders, in a paper on The economic cost of non-adoption of Bt.-cotton in West Africa point out that there are significant farm-level benefits. They say “aggregate benefits depend on adoption rate and yield advantage of Bt.-cotton. These range from a low of US$7 million to a high of US$67 million in Mali; US$4 million to US$41 million in Burkina Faso; US$5 million to US$52 million in Benin; US$4 million to US$38 million in Cote d’Ivoire; and, US$1 million to US$7 million in Senegal.” They say that non-adoption of Bt.-cotton in the region will ultimately result in non-competitiveness in the world market.

Although the writers focus on francophone Africa, their argument holds weight across West African countries where cotton is a primary export crop and a major source of cash income among millions of resource-poor farmers.  In Nigeria for example, the economic benefits from Bt. cotton are expected to be high. The technology would enable Nigeria and the region minimise the risk of revenue loss from insect damage faced by farmers who are also constantly subjected to harsh environmental conditions.

Bt. cotton was first introduced for commercial adoption in 1996. To date developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Burkina Faso, Sudan and South Africa – as well as the USA and Australia – have planted Bt. cotton on a commercial scale.

Nigeria’s adoption of Bt. cotton would fast track the harmonisation of legislation in ECOWAS, which covers all 15 countries of West Africa.  A smaller grouping of francophone countries, WAEMU, is already helping members harmonise national biosafety legislations.  An alignment of ECOWAS and WAEMU position on biotechnology would drastically improve the investment climate in the region, reading to an upsurge of investments in the agricultural sector.  This is the leadership Nigeria hopes to provide.

Rose Gidado, PhD, is the Coordinator of the Open Forum for Biotechnology (OFAB) in Nigeria and an Assistant Director at the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA)

Dasuki Sets for Supreme Court Over Denial of Freedom After Bails

Agriculture

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               Sambo Dasuki

… Says he is not afraid of trial

Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) is fully set to storm the Supreme Court to press for his freedom denied him by the federal government after three different High Courts in Abuja had admitted him to bail in the criminal charges filed against him by the government.

The ex NSA had on Wednesday at the Court of Appeal in Abuja lost his bid to enforce his freedom after he had secured bails on all the charges against him.

Dasuki’s lawyer Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN confirmed that appeal papers have been put together to be filed at the Apex Court to challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal and the high courts that gave judgment to government on the re-arrest after bail.

The SAN said that there are sufficient grounds for his client to approach the Supreme Court to seek the enforcement of his freedom from detention ordered by the federal government after he had been granted bail by three Judges who are prosecuting him on the charges.

Dasuki said that he was not afraid of trial in the charges against him as a former National Security Adviser but added that the proper thing must be done by government by respecting the bail granted him lawfully but courts.

He claimed that since government had approached court in his matter, the same government must be fully ready to abide by court decisions in the interest of justice and the rule of law.

The ex NSA had been admitted to bail by three different high courts in Abuja but he was re-arrested on December 29, 2015 by operatives of the Department of the State Security Service (DSSS) on the alleged order of the federal government and had since been held incommunicado.

But the government in its defence in a motion on notice filed in court claimed that Dasuki being a Crown Prince of Sokoto Caliphate had large sympathizers across the length and breadth of the country who may jeopardize his trial if allowed on bail.   

Dasuki had asked the high courts and the Court of Appeal to stop the federal government from further prosecuting in the criminal charges until the bail granted him is obeyed and also pleaded that the courts should no longer grant indulgence to the federal government having been in contempt of the courts by the refusal to allow him freedom after the bail. 

In an unanimous judgment of the full panel of the court delivered by Justice Abdul Aboki, the Appeal Court upheld the submission of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which put Dasuki on trial, that it was not in contempt of any court order because the re-arrest of the appellant (Dasuki) in December last year was not at its (EFCC) instance.

Justice Aboki said that from the submissions of the appellant counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) and the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the bail condition granted Dasuki was perfected on December 29, last year and that a warrant of released to that effect was served on the Comptroller of Prisons in Kuje, upon which he was released.

On his re-arrest by the operatives of the Department of the State Security Service (DSS), the Appeal Court agreed with the Abuja High Court that the re-arrest cannot be turned to a disobedience to its order on bail because the court bail was not targeted at the DSS when it was granted.

The appellate court also said that the EFCC which put Dasuki on trial on criminal charges at the FCT High Court cannot be held responsible for the action of DSS on the ground that the two agencies are different entities established by different Acts and vested with different powers.

Besides, the appeal court said there was no existing order against the re-arrest of Dasuki and that since there is no existing order, there cannot be a disobedience to a non-existing court order.

The court held that the appellant ought to have established the terms of court order on the bail clearly to indicate in clear terms, the agency that can be held for contempt if the order is violated.

In the appeal, the court said that form 48, which deals with contempt of court, was not served on either EFCC or DSS and as such, the two agencies cannot be held liable for the offense of contempt.

Justice Aboki therefore held that there was no violation of any court order either by DSS or EFCC in respect of the bail granted Dasuki on December 18, 2015 and his subsequent re-arrest on December 29, 2015 by DSS operatives, shortly after he perfected his bail condition and secured freedom.

However, the Appeal Court warned that court order must be obeyed and the issue of bail was a right to any person charged to court adding that any act of disobedience to court order by government is injurious to smooth running of the society and it is an invitation to anarchy.

Dasuki had approached the Court of Appeal praying it to set aside the ruling of an Abuja High Court which exonerated EFCC from his re-arrest shortly after he perfected his bail conditions.

He asked the appellate court to void the ruling of the High Court and set it aside on the ground that DSS and EFCC are both agents of the Federal Government which is the complainant in the charges against him at the high court.

 Culled from www.PRNIgeria.com

NYSC In Sokoto Gets Doubled State Allowance

Agriculture

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Sokoto government has jacked up allowances of youth corps members serving in the state, with a pledge to begin immediate payment of the new structure.

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal announced the new policy during the swearing-in ceremony of 2006 Batch A Stream II corps members at the state NYSC orientation camp in Wamakko.

He said the state government appreciates the services of corps members and government would continue to make their welfare a top priority.

Tambuwal said the new increase affects all categories of youth corps members, with those serving in the medical line, getting more funds than others.

“Graduates of medicine will now be paid N50,000 from the current amount of N36,000; Pharmacists will be paid N25,000 up from the N19,000 obtainable in the past, while graduates of lab science and other medical technicians like nurses are now entitled to monthly stipend of N15,000, up from the current N9,000 they are receiving from the state government.

“In the same vein, graduates of social science and humanities will now be paid N5,000 monthly, a one thousand addition from the previous N4,000 they receive from as state allowance.”

While urging the youth corps members to reciprocate government gesture by being diligent in their areas of primary assignments, Tambuwal urged them to shun vices that would lead to breakdown of law and order and communal harmony.

“I urge you to shun militancy, terrorism and cultism. I also invite you to explore Sokoto and study its rich history, culture and people,” the Governor added. 

CBN Releases New Forex Market Guidelines, Floats The Naira

Agriculture

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Wednesday announced a full float of the Naira, which will make the foreign exchange, forex, rate to be now determined by market forces, although the apex bank said it will intervene “as the need arises”.

Disclosing this in Abuja at a press conference on the Flexible Exchange Rate Policy, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele averred that the 41 items banned last year from access to forex remained banned.

According to him, “We’re talking about an open, transparent two-way system… It’s intended we don’t have speculators and rent-seekers. I don’t expect that any other exchange rate will be recognized.”

For the first time however, the CBN appointed primary dealers who are expected to help boost foreign exchange, FX, liquidity in the market and introduced a two way quote which basically means that the market will act like the stock market where buyers and sellers will state price and quantity they are willing to sell.

The CBN Governor also revealed that Nigeria will now be operating a single market, adding that the new price for the Naira will be known when the market opens officially on Monday.

Below is a summary of the press conference on Wednesday…

1. The Market will operate as single market through the interbank

2. The FX Rate will be purely market-driven

3. CBN will participate through periodic interventions

4. FX primary dealers will be registered to deal directly with the CBN for large deal sizes.

5. FX primary dealers will deal with other authorised dealers

6. There will be no more spread restrictions

7. The 41 items classified for not valid for FX are still not admissible in FX interbank market

8. CBN may offer long-tenored FX forwards

9. Selling of FX forwards must be trade backed with no pre-determined spreads

10. Over the Counter FX futures will be introduced. The OTC FX futures are bespoke and volumes could be non-standard

11. Non-oil exporters are now allowed unfettered access to export proceeds via the interbank market

Timelines

12. Guidelines of the general FX market will be released immediately

13. Guidelines for FX primary dealers will be released immediately

14. FX primary dealers will be appointed and notified by June 17, 2016

15. Interbank FX trading under the new guidelines will begin on June 20, 2016

Tambuwal Launches Sales of Subsidised Fertilizers, Seeds to Sokoto Farmers

Agriculture

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe

In preparation for the 2016 cropping seasin, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Saad Abubakar on Tuesday began sales of subsidised fertilizers and seeds variety varieties to farmers in the state.

At the sales, which launched in Silame town of Silame Local Government Area, Tambuwal announced that the state government has subsidized the cost of the Urea, NPK and SSP brands of the fertilizers by 70 percent to enable farmers enhance production.

“This year, Urea brand, bought by the government at N6,859, will be sold to farmers at the price of N2,300; NPK, which was procured at the cost of N6,400, will be sold at the rate of N2,200 while SSP, also bought at the rate of N6,400, will be sold to our farmers at the rate of N2,100,” the Governor said.  

Promising that his administration would not relent on efforts to improve agriculture, Tambuwal also said that government had procured 19,620 bags of rice seeds of 50kg to be distributed to rice farmers for the 2016 wet and dry season farming.

“In the same vein, certified seeds of onions and lettuce have been sourced for distribution to vegetable farmers in Goronyo, Rabah, Wurno, Kware, Tambuwal, Wamakko, Silame, Kebbe, Sokoto North and Shagari LGAs,” he added.

Tambuwal said government will continue to explore avenues to enhance water management especially for the two major dams in the state, in order to mitigate flooding and its negative consequences, and at the same time improve wet and dry season farming.

About 9,000 metric tones of fertilizer was procured by the government for the 2016 cropping season.