ASUU calls on govt. to address outstanding issues

The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), National Executive Council (NEC) on Tuesday called on the Federal and State Governments to address all outstanding issues with the union.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President, ASUU said this in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the ASUU-NEC meeting held at Obefemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife between May 11 to May 12.

Osodeke said that the union had rejected all the ongoing illegalities and flagrant violation of university autonomy in public universities as a result of non-reinstatement and reconstitution of governing councils.

He said that NEC observed with dismay the continued erosion of autonomy of public universities, contrary to the provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act (1993, 2012).

He said, ‘The dissolution of Governing Councils by the present administration has paved way for all manner of illegalities in the Nigerian University System.

‘University administrations now place advertisements for the appointment of Vice-Chancellor with
out authorisation from the appropriate quarters – the Governing Councils.

‘Outgoing Vice-Chancellors, working in cahoots with the Federal and State Ministries of Education, are illegally running the universities on daily basis.

‘They routinely usurp the powers of governing councils to recruit and discipline staff as well as manage university finances in manners bereft of transparency and accountability.’

He said that for the past 11 months universities were being run without a governing council which had given room to all sorts of illegalities in the universities system.

Osodeke said the union undertook a dispassionate and comprehensive review of the status of its engagements with Federal and State Governments on how to reposition Nigeria’s public universities for global reckoning and competitiveness.

The president also said that the meeting took a critical look at the worsening living and working conditions in universities and the nation at large.

‘The meeting received alarming reports on the failed pr
omises of the Federal and State governments towards addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on the nationwide strike of February-October 2022.

‘As our union has consistently stated, salary awards are no substitutes for a negotiated agreement.

‘Each negotiated Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ASUU is a comprehensive package that captures not the just salary component.

‘But also a gamut of requirements for benchmarking a competitive university system designed for addressing the developmental challenges of Nigeria.

‘ASUU’s demand for negotiated salary and other conditions of service is anchored on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention No. 98 which underscores the principle of collective bargaining.

‘The last FGN/ASUU Agreement was in 2009. Consequent upon the union’s advocacy spanning almost one decade, our union went into the renegotiation with the FGN as in 2017,’ he said.

Osodeke said that NEC shall reconvene after two weeks from the date
of the NEC meeting to review the situation and take a decisive action to address the issues.

On the issue of the indefinite strike in university of Abuja, he said they were fully in support of the action.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Oilserv pledges to support Nigeria’s cleaner energy transition

The Managing Director of Oilserv Engineering Limited, Mr Nnanna Anyanwu, has reiterated the company’s resolve to contribute meaningfully to Nigeria’s transition to cleaner fuel.

Anyanwu said this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists on the sideline of the inauguration of the Assa Gas Process Treatment Facility in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the ANOH-OB3 CTMS gas pipeline and ANOH gas processing plant in Assa, Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State.

Tinubu also inaugurated the expansion of the AHL gas processing plant 2 gas project in Kwale in Delta.

The projects were inaugurated virtually by the President with the theme ‘Gas to Prosperity’.

Anyanwu, leading Oilserv as the contractor of the ANOH PTF – OB3 CTMS gas project, said the company was focused and proud to be associated with the country’s transition to cleaner fuel.

He said that their duty which ensured the success of the gas project entailed the Engineering, Procuremen
t, Construction, Installation and Commissioning (EPCIC) of the 36′ x 23.3km gas export pipeline and Pigging facilities (Launcher and Receiver).

Anyanwu said the project they are handling would facilitate the transportation of natural gas from the NGC manifold at Assa to OB3 CTMS.

According to the CEO, the completion of Assa Process Treatment Facility to OB3 CTMS works and the 36’x 23.3km pipeline has significantly demonstrated Oilserv’s dedication to meeting project timelines, schedule, safety, quality and excellence.

‘The project will turn around the Nigerian economy. We have increased our ability to deliver on infrastructure; we have the skills but most importantly, we have improved our competitiveness globally.

‘So by the time you think about this pipeline, how it will unlock gas potential, contribute to Nigeria’s decade of gas and ensure that Nigeria can transit to cleaner fuel, ultimately, you will see that it is progressive for the nation,’ he said.

The traditional ruler of Assa Autonomous Commun
ity in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo, HRH Eze Emmanuel Assor, described the project as an economic boost to the area and the nation.

Assor said that it would add value to the economy of the country.

‘It is a thing of joy that we have this. It will create job opportunities for our people and we pray that they will give us that concessional treatment as people from this area who have donated a lot.

*Our people are predominantly farmers who have now lost their farmland to the establishment of this project.

‘We are hopeful that it will help in the development of this area as we are sure that other investors will come to invest in the area due to the commencement of this gas project.

‘We appreciate NNPC Ltd.’s decision to site the project here, our people are happy but we expect NNPC Ltd. to reciprocate because it is not easy to make this kind of sacrifice.

‘We expect them to give us very serious development, infrastructure and amenities; we will appreciate that,’ he said.

Oilserv Limited is an Oil and Gas EPCI
C (Pipeline and Facilities) Company, incorporated in 1992 and commenced business in 1995 with a mission to provide EPCIC, Fabrication, Upgrade, Repairs and Maintenance of oil installations.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FG inaugurates 3 gas infrastructure in Delta, Imo to boost economy

The Federal Government on Wednesday inaugurated three critical gas infrastructure projects in Imo and Delta to drive the country’s gas sector.

President Bola Tinubu, while inaugurating the projects virtually, expressed delight and congratulated Nigerians for the achievements recorded within months of his administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president inaugurated the ANOH-OB3 CTMS gas pipeline and ANOH gas processing plant in Assa, Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State.

Tinubu also inaugurated the expansion of the AHL gas processing plant 2 gas project in Kwale in Delta.

The projects are being undertaken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) and partners in line with Tinubu’s commitment to leverage gas to grow the economy.

According to the NNPC Ltd., the projects will add 500MMscf/d gas production capacity to the country and also increase the available gas pipeline network by 23.3 kilometres

Tinubu said: ‘this inauguration is highly significant to our country as
it demonstrates the administration’s concerted efforts to accelerate the development of critical gas infrastructures.

‘It is also geared at significantly enhancing the supply of energy to boost industrial growth and create employment opportunities.

‘Also, the projects are fully in line with the decade of gas initiative, and the Federal Government’s quest to grow value from the Nation’s abundant gas assets.

‘While concurrently eliminating gas flaring and accelerating industrialisation,’ he said.

The president said approximately 500MMscf of gas in aggregate would be supplied to the domestic market from these two Gas Processing Plants, which represented more than 25 per cent incremental growth in gas supply.

See also Authority promises technical support for CNG provision

Tinubu said: ‘in practical terms, this is more gas to the power sector, gas-based industries and other critical segments of the economy.

‘I, therefore, commend the strategic vision of the NNPC Ltd. and its partners Sterling Oil Exploratio
n and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) and Seplat Energy Plc for this laudable and value-adding projects.’

The President, while reiterating the desire of his administration to diversify from petrol and diesel, said significant progress had also been recorded in incentivising gas development through Presidential Executive Orders.

He assured Nigerians of the Federal Government’s commitment to step up its coordination of other landmark projects and initiatives that would ensure the earliest realisation of gas-fueled prosperity in Nigeria.

Similarly, the president assured investors in the energy space that his government would not relent in facilitating the ease of doing business.

He said that the theme of the commissioning – ‘from Gas to Prosperity; Renewed Hope’, must be adopted by all gas sector participants and would-be investors.

‘As a clarion call to ramp up efforts to accelerate investment and developments of projects in the gas sector on a win-win basis.’

The president commended the effort
s of NNPC Ltd., alongside SEEPCO and Seplat Energy on the business partnership while congratulating Nigerians on the successful implementation of the three projects

‘I want to reiterate the Federal Government’s resolve to continue to provide support in deepening domestic gas utilisation.

‘To increase national power generation capacity, revitalise industries and create multiple job opportunities for economic growth.

‘I have the singular honour to inaugurate the expansion of the projects in line with this administration’s resolve to provide energy for Nigerians.

See also Tinubu signs data protection bill into law

‘I urge NNPC ltd. as our national energy company of choice to continue its relentless efforts and record more successes in the energy sector for the benefit of all Nigerians,’ he said.

Earlier, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd., Mele Kyari, re-assured of the company’s commitment to maintain energy security by continuing to execute more strategic gas projects for the benefit of Nigerian

‘The three infrastructure projects will enable additional gas processing capacity and also increase the supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), thereby reducing the dependency on importation.

‘Also, the projects are fully in line with the Federal Government’s quest to derive value from the Nation’s gas assets while eliminating gas flaring and moving towards environmentally friendly energy sources.

‘Nigeria is endowed with significant natural gas resources of over 209TCF of proven gas reserves, with the potential to grow to over 600TCF.

‘As a commercial enterprise, these milestone projects present an opportunity to monetise our abundant natural gas resources, by expanding access to energy to support economic growth, industrialisation, and job creation,’ he said.

While reiterating efforts of the corporation to drive the sector, Kyari said NNPC was deploying CNG delivery installations in its retail stations across the country.

He then, appreciated the support of its various stakeholders in ensuring ach
ievement of these projects.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, reiterated that the projects would enhance domestic gas availability, boost power generation and hasten industrialisation in Nigeria.

He said the administration’s effort in keeping with the climate control accord would move the nation towards achieving green energy sufficiency by 2060.

See also NNPC Ltd, TotalEnergies sign MoU on adoption of methane detection technology

He commended the president for his futuristic leadership and encouragement which had helped in achieving the projects being inaugurated.

NAN reports that the event was attended by senior government officials, partners and stakeholders in the sector.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

First Bank, Rotary empower 102 beneficiaries with N20m start-up kits

The First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, with Rotary Club International, District 9110, has distributed N20 million worth start-up kits to 102 beneficiaries in Lagos to empower them across various trades.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that start-up kits distributed included: grinding machines, plumbing kits, deep freezers, sewing machines, generators, gas burners and cylinders, barbers and hairdressers kits, among others.

NAN further reports that the community intervention project had beneficiaries from the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria drawn from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.

Ms Helen Ihonre, Unit Head, Other SME Products E-Business and Retail, FirstBank, during the presentation, offered insights on financial management and economic discipline.

She emphasised the importance of maintaining records and accessing low-interest loans to support business growth and expansion.

She urged beneficiaries to prioritise saving from the inception of their businesses, while discouraging them from keeping funds a
t home, which might lead to misuse.

‘Start saving from the beginning of your business. Don’t wait till you sell and keep the money in your house. Your child will come and say give me, you give him, you will use it to cook soup. At the end of the day, you will not account for what Rotary has done for you.

‘So, we want you to open an account and I will give you very few tips on how to succeed in a small business,’ she said.

Rotary District 9110 Governor, Ifeyinwa Ejezie, spoke on the significance of economic empowerment in Rotary’s initiatives and called for government collaboration to reach grassroots communities effectively.

She emphasised the role of Rotary in complementing government efforts and stressed the need for recognition and partnership to enhance community development.

‘We know that government cannot do it alone and that is why we are assisting them in no small way in doing what they are supposed to be doing in our communities.

‘So, the best they can do is recognise Rotary for what it does an
d then partner with us accordingly,’ she said.

She added that the N20 million items distributed was the largest the district had done in one empowerment initiative in recent times.

Bukola Bakare, Rotary International District Governor Nominee Designate, explained the process and challenges of raising funds for the project and how they incorporated Rotary from Singapore to absorb shocks from inflation.

Bakare, who was the Project Cordinator, said, ‘everything that has been given here today is free for the beneficiaries’.

She said that First Bank was a major sponsor for the project, adding that the 102 beneficiaries were chosen based on a needs analysis from Igbos, Hausa and Yorubas resident in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.

‘First Bank is our major supporter for this programme, we have a 10-year plan,’ she said.

Mr Babatunde Adewale, Permanent Board Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education, lauded the empowerment programme, while reeling out contributions and projects of Rotary International to schools
in the state.

‘We really appreciate Rotary and SUBEB will always continue to collaborate with them,’ he said.

Mrs Kemi Kalesanwo, Director, Lagos State Agency for Mass Education, said that 22 out of the 102 beneficiaries were from the agency’s vocational training centres.

Kalesanwo said that the state government believed in public, private partnership and was happy with the collaboration with Rotary and First Bank.

She listed projects donated by Rotary to include construction of one of the eight vocational training centres, owned by the agency in Igbogbo area of Lagos.

Kalesanwo, therefore, urged other Nigerians to support government programmes.

Otumba Wemmy Osunde, Chairman, Illisan Development Association, Ogun State, pledged personal commitment to ensuring beneficiaries utilise the items for economic gain.

Adekunmi Adeniyi, an industrial gas burner and cylinder beneficiary alongside other beneficiaries expressed gratitude to Rotary International and First Bank for the initiative.

He acknowledged th
e impact on their respective trades and crafts.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

EU ambassador says global partnership crucial to tackling terror

Ms. Samuela Isopi, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and the ECOWAS on Wednesday, identified global partnership as an ingredient for successful peace-building and the fight against terrorism.

The envoy expressed the thoughts in Abuja, at the Road to Schuman Security and Defence Forum 2024, organised by the EU, in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The event had the theme, ‘Reducing Vulnerabilities Through Partnerships- a Stakeholders’ Engagement” on regional defence and security perspectives.

Isopi said, ‘We live in a single security theatre, where crises and conflicts travel at the speed of light and what emerges locally becomes global with far-reaching effects.’

She quoted Josep Borrell, the European Union High Representative Vice President (HRVP) as saying at one time that ‘No country or institution, acting alone, can address challenges such as the weakening of multilateralism.

‘The return of power in pol
itics across the world, the renewed assertiveness of authoritarian regimes, and the mix of conventional and hybrid threats that we are facing ‘

The envoy added that ” this is why the EU has launched the Schuman forum and invited under the leadership of the EU HRVP, Josep Borrell and the 27 member states, and over 60 partner countries and international organisations in Brussels from May 28 to May 29.

‘The Schuman forum will have three objectives which are to listen to our partners on peace, security, and defence issues.

‘To jointly assess the threats and challenges we face, and to explore ways for deeper cooperation,” she said.

See also EU calls for more action against human rights abuses

According to her, the EU is Africa’s leading partner in peace and security.

Speaking at the event, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Mr Nuhu Ribadu, said the forum was organised to engender effective partnership in the changing security dynamics.

Ribadu who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, National Coordin
ator for NCT, said ‘the event is noting the crucial situation of our country, Nigeria, with the multi-faceted security challenges confronting it.

‘ Therefore, the employment of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches toward enhancing national responses to these emergent security threats in the country.

‘This becomes a critical objective which we must pursue to enhance national development, not only in the country but the ECOWAS sub-region as a whole.

‘The scourge of terrorism is a menace which affects Nigeria and other countries around the globe,” he said.

Speaking also at the same event, the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, represented by Dr Ibrahim Kanami, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, described terrorism as a global challenge to national security.

He added that the collaboration with the EU and Nigeria would surmount the security threats such as Boko Haram and its likes in the near future.

Badaru also said that the world is a global village and this is a time for the worl
d to come together to address the scourge.

‘But now, Nigeria is faced with these security challenges with different issues surrounding the causes of the rising challenges. But our dream and desire is for Africa to be a united force as the EU bloc,” he said.

He emphasised that job creation can create lasting peace and is key to curbing most of the security challenges faced in Africa.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Nigerian Army conducts medical outreach in Nigerian-Cameroon border community

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday conducted a free medical outreach in Belegete, a border community with Cameroon, in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the outreach is part of the army’s non kinetic effort in communities.

NAN also reports that services carried out during the outreach include consultations, test for malaria, typhoid fevers, blood sugar and pressure as well as the distribution of drugs.

Belegete is a border community with Cameroon and one of the hard-to-reach areas in Cross River with undulating terrain, no access road, telecommunication network or electricity.

Speaking on the outreach, Brig.-Gen. Muftau Ibrahim, the Commander 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Calabar, said it was conducted in order to provide medical services for residents of the community.

Ibrahim also said that it was organised to reassure residents in the Nigerian-Cameroon border communities that the Nigerian Army was ready to stop the illicit activities of rebels on the c
ountry’s territory.

‘In line with Nigerian Army’s constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and deterring violent aggression, troops of 13 Brigade conducted series of operations along the Nigerian-Cameroon border.

‘This is to check incursions into Nigerian territory.

‘The Nigerian Army operations have successfully denied the rebels freedom of action, leading to an effective containment of the Ambazonia threat in Nigerian border communities in spite of its difficult topography,’ he said.

In his remarks, Mr Simon Akor, the community’s leader, disclosed that some pregnant women as well as sick people had been lost due to non-accessibility of medical care occasioned by the difficult terrain.

Akor expressed appreciation to the Nigerian army for carrying out the outreach in Belegete.

He added that residents of the community had suffered seriously because of the difficult terrain.

‘When a woman is pregnant or someone is sick, he or she is carried by the villagers to climb the hill and valleys throug
h the forest to get to town where you can find a health facility, most times, the patients die on their way.

‘We are happy that for the first time the Nigerian Army came here with good drugs and professionals to take care of our health and know how we are doing especially as the community had been attacked in the past by Ambazonians.

‘We don’t know who represents us in the Cross River House of Assembly, but we want to use this medium to appeal to the government that we need access road, telecommunication network and a health facility,’ he said.

Similarly, Mrs Maria Olia, the Women Leader of the community, said that though there were Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) who help women in the community, there were challenges of moving them when there were complications.

Olia also said that, for the children, they relied on herbs as there was no access road through the forest to town.

Mr Aku Collins, a youth who spoke to NAN, also said that before the outreach they relied on some quack medicine dealers who ca
me from time to time.

He added that though their services were unprofessional, the residents relied on those quacks as they had no choice.

NAN reports that it takes approximately six to eight hours to move from Butatong, the last town before Belegete, to maneuver through the mountainous terrain and thick rain forest to access Belegete.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

BOI launches RAPID initiative to empower rural businesses

The Bank of Industry (BOI) has introduced the Rural Area Programme on Investment and Development (RAPID), which aims to empower youth and women-led businesses in underserved regions.

RAPID is to provide capital and opportunities to rural communities, in addressing challenges like rural-urban migration.

The Managing Director of BOI, Dr Olasupo Olusi, during the launch in Lagos on Tuesday, said that RAPID was designed to foster economic inclusion by providing rural dwellers with equitable access to capital.

Olusi stated that this access to capital was crucial to enhance commercial and economic activities as well as address the inadequacies in existing intervention programmes, primarily favoured urban areas.

He said that the initiative offered substantial financial support, with potential funding of up to 10 million naira per project.

He added that RAPID targeted existing small businesses seeking expansion capacity and new startups with a focus on youth and women-owned businesses.

According to him, the ter
ms include a three-year repayment plan with a six-month moratorium at a concessionary interest rate of five per cent.

‘As a pilot launch, it is limited to 10 beneficiaries per state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) totalling 370 beneficiaries.

‘The grant component is developed to incentivise good repayment and businesses with significant social impact in employment generation for women and youth.

‘To ensure the programme’s accessibility, applications can be submitted via a dedicated online portal or physically at any BOI district office nationwide starting May 15,’ he said.

The Executive Director of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, BOI, Mr Omar Shekarau, said that RAPID, covers all 36 states and the FCT.

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According to him, it will focus on sectors like agriculture, textiles, garment manufacturing, leather goods, and food processing and preservation.

He said this comprehensive coverage would ensure that the benefits of economic
growth were felt across the country, transforming rural areas into burgeoning economic hubs.

Shekarau added that beyond financial support, capacity building was a critical component of the initiative.

He said by empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and skills, RAPID aimed to ensure sustainable development and long-term self-sufficiency for rural businesses.

‘As RAPID rolls out, the BOI anticipates significant improvements in job creation, financial inclusion, and economic diversification, which are expected to contribute to national prosperity and stem the tide of migration from rural areas to cities.

‘The programme not only represents a significant investment in Nigeria’s rural economies but also serves as a model for future initiatives.

This aims to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development across West Africa,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

UN, Foundation offers GBV toll free helpline

The UN Trust Fund in collaboration with the Tabitha Cumi Foundation (TCF), have partnered to offer toll free helpline to report Gender Based Violence (GBV) and improve virtual management of cases in Nigeria.

Mrs Tayo Erinle, Executive Director, TCF during the project dissemination and closeout event of the Flashlight Actions on Girls Safety (FLAGS) project on Tuesday in Abuja said the GBV helpline would assist in ending GBV and ensure justice for survivors.

‘The GBV free toll helpline that were disseminated today keeps FLAGS project flying because even though FLAGS is closing out GBV has not ended.

‘So to keep it flying, we have got this toll free line supported by the UNTrust Fund for people to reach us, flag up cases, set up virtual management and increase stakeholders that we have been working with.

‘This will help us manage cases at one sitting to avoid re-traumatisation of the survivor and be able to proffer next steps to take,’ she said.

According to her, in the past three years of the project has
supported 750 girls in 10 communities within Nasarawa, Niger and the FCT.

‘We have been able to build the capacity of 750 girls in 30 safe spaces in Nasarawa, Niger and FCT to prevent, respond and refer GBV cases.

‘The girls are more aware, they are confident and know that anyone can be a perpetrator and know what to do and where to go if they are violated or know someone who has been violated.’

See also IWD: First Lady urges women to support, inspire one another

According to her, the major outcome of the project was the virtual case management, which is a girl centered multi sectoral approach to GBV.

‘We have been able to meet and handle 162 cases, two are in courts, two are in shelter, some are going through psychosocial support,’ she said.

Ms Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria, commended TCF for the successes recorded in implementing the FLAGS project and reducing GBV in the country.

Eyong, represented by Patience Ekechukwu, Programme Officer for Women’s Economic Empowerment,
noted that in spite of existing legal frameworks and policies, GBV and harmful traditional practices against women and girls still exist.

‘Ending violence against women and girls that is why we are gathered here to look at issues and solutions and what we can do to ensure that women and girls in Nigeria live free from violence.

‘UN Women is committed to working with government agencies, CSOs, traditional and religious organisations to prevent the violence that affects millions of women around the world.

‘We all have critical role to play in ending violence against women and girls. We must speak out against harassment, violence in our work places, various religious platforms, through the media.

‘We need to lend our voices to be heard to ensure that the world is free from violence against women and girls,’ she said.

Other highlights of the event were the presentation of excellence awards to notable persons and communities for their supports in ensuring the success of the FLAGS project.

See also President
Tinubu assures youths of better future

Others include: fireside chats with project beneficiaries and stakeholders, as well as the launch of the TCF GBV Helpline, 0800 0040 404.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Nigeria’s inflation rate hits 33.69% in April- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.69 per cent in April 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for April, which was released in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to the report, the figure is 0.49 per cent points higher compared to the 33.20 per cent recorded in March 2024.

It said on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate in April 2024 was 11.47 per cent higher than the rate recorded in April 2023 at 22.22 per cent.

In addition, the report said, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in April 2024 was 2.29 per cent, which was 0.73 per cent lower than the rate recorded in March 2024 at 3.02 per cent.

‘This means that in April 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in March 2024.’

The report said the increase in the headline index for April 2024 on a year-on-year basis and month-on-month basis was attributed
to the increase in some items in the basket of goods and services at the divisional level.

It said these increases were observed in food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel, clothing and footwear, and transport.

Others were furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, education, health, miscellaneous goods and services, restaurants and hotels, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola, recreation and culture, and communication.

It said the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12 months ending April 2024 over the average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12-month period was 28.10 per cent.

See also Insurance NGO urges FG to exempt NAICOM from IGR deduction

‘This indicates a 7.28 per cent increase compared to 20.82 per cent recorded in April 2023.’

The report said the food inflation rate in April 2024 increased to 40. 53 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.92 per cent higher compared to the rate recorded in April 2023 at 24.61 per cent.

The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis is caused by increases in prices of Garri, Millet, Akpu Uncooked Fermented (which are under the Bread and Cereals class), Yam Tuber, and Water Yam, CocoYam

‘Others are Dried Fish Sadine, Dried Catfish, Mudfish Dried, Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil , Beef Feet, Beef Head, Liver, Frozen Chicken.

‘Others are Mango, Banana, Grapefruit, Coconut, Water Melon, Lipton Tea, Bournvita, and Milo.’

It said on a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in April was 2.50 per cent, which was a 1.11 per cent decreaese compared to the rate recorded in March 2024 at 3.62 per cent.

‘The fall in food inflation on a month-on-month basis was caused by a decrease in the average prices of Guinea corn flour, Plantain Flour etc (under Bread and Cereals class); Yam, Water Yam, Irish Potato, and CocoYam.

‘Others are Beer, Loacl Beer, Milo, Bournvita, Nescafe, Groundnut oil, Palm oil, egg, fresh milk, powdered milk, Tin Milk, Soft drinks, wine and fruits. ‘

The report sa
id that ‘all items less farm produce and energy” or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce and energy, stood at 26.84 per cent in April on a year-on-year basis.

‘This increased by 6.87 per cent compared to 19.96 per cent recorded in April 2023.”

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‘The exclusion of the PMS is due to the deregulation of the commodity by removal of subsidy.’

It said the highest increases were recorded in prices of Actual and Imputed Rentals for Housing, Journey by motorcycle, Bus Journey within a city, Consultation Fee of a medical doctor, X-ray photography among others.

The NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 2.20 per cent in April 2024.

‘This indicates a 0.24 per cent decrease compared to what was recorded in March 2024 at 2.54 per cent.’

‘The average 12-month annual inflation rate was 22.84 per cent for the 12 months ending April 2024, this was 5.15 per cent points higher than the 17.70 per cent reco
rded in April 2023.’

The report said on a year-on-year basis in April 2024, the urban inflation rate was 36 per cent, which was 12.61 per cent higher compared to the 23.39 per cent recorded in April 2023.

‘On a month-on-month basis, the uban inflation rate was 2.67 per cent, which decreased by 0.50 per cent compared to March 2024 at 3.17 per cent.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis in April 2024, the rural inflation rate was 31.64 per cent, which was 10.50 per cent higher compared to the 21.14 per cent recorded in April 2023.

‘On a month-on-month basis, the rural inflation rate was 1.92 per cent, which decreased by 0.95 per cent compared to March 2024 at per cent.”

On states’ profile analysis, the report showed in April that all items inflation rate on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi at 40.84 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 39.91 per cent, and Oyo at 38.37 per cent.

See also High food prices put balance diet out of reach of Nigerians- Survey

It, however, said the slowest rise in headli
ne inflation on a year-on-year basis was recorded in Borno at 26.09 per cent, followed by Benue at 27.53 per cent, and Taraba at 28.69 per cent.

The report, however, said in April 2024, all items inflation rate on a month-on-month basis was highest in Lagos at 4.52 per cent, followed by Ondo at 3.35 per cent, and Edo at 3.27 per cent.

‘Kano at 0.30 per cent, followed by Ebonyi at 0.97 per cent and Adamawa at 1.27 per cent recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month inflation.’

The report said on a year-on-year basis, food inflation was highest in Kogi at 48.62 per cent, followed by Kwara at 46.73 per cent, and Ondo at 45.88 per cent.

‘Adamawa at 33.61 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 33.85 per cent and Nasarawa at 34.03 per cent recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis.”

The report, however, said on a month-on-month basis, food inflation was highest in Lagos at 4.74 per cent, followed by Edo at 4.06 per cent, and Yobe at 3.99 per cent.

‘While Kano at 0.47 per cent, followed by
Adamawa at 0.98per cent and Zamfara at 1.50 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in inflation on a month-on-month basis.’

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NGO offers $40,000 grant to boost agritech entrepreneurship in Nigeria

Heifer International, an NGO, has offered 40, 000 dollar grant to youths and women to engage in the 2024 AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria to promote innovative and technology-driven agri-centric enterprises.

Dr Lekan Tobe, Country Director (Interim), Heifer International, disclosed this at the unveiling of the 2024 AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria, an initiative of the organisation on Tuesday in Abuja.

Tobe described the challenge as an enterprise development programme to identify, nurture and support innovative, relevant and technology-driven agri-centric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive.

According to him, the gesture will go a long way in addressing food insecurity.

He said the challenge would identify outstanding young agritech innovators, assisting in the formation of strong partnerships for increased visibility, growth and improvement in smallholder farmers’ productivity.

‘If we are going to transform agriculture and food system in Nigeria and Africa at large, then we have to look at Youth and tech
nology because youths will not do agriculture without technology and innovation.

‘The acronym, AYuTe means Agriculture Youths and Technology; we have women in that midst because women make up 50 per cent of our population.

‘If we neglect those two demographic (youths and women), then we are not ready for agriculture transformation and food security in our country.

While urging eligible agripreneurs to apply and be part of the challenge, he explained that the project would empower them with innovative solutions to impact significantly on smallholder farmers.

‘We are deepening our commitment to supporting agritech innovation and youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

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‘We believe that this challenge will not only empower young entrepreneurs but also contribute to the transformation of the agricultural sector and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers,’ he said.

Chuba Eziegwe, Communications Manager, Heifer International, Nigeria, said the gr
oup had been supporting small holder farmers to bridge the living income gap across the world, touching the lives of 40 million people until date.

‘Agriculture in Africa is seen as a career for the aged; but we see the revolution that happened in other sectors leveraging on young people like fintech, health tech and others.

‘So we needed to create a platform, where young agripreneurs can be supported with grants, business mentorship and business incubation.

‘This will enable them to grow their ideas; innovations and scale it up to the extent that it is affordable for those at the bottom of the pyramid, small holder farmers, key players in the market and ecosystems to leverage these technologies and ensure food security across Africa,” he said.

Also, Tajudeen Yahaya, Chief Executive Officer, Extension Africa and 2023 winner of the AYuTe Africa Challenge, Nigeria, advised applicants to be focused and make their work simple and clear.

‘The platform is huge for agritechs; so you have the opportunity to meet
like-minded people and mentors to help you build your ideas and scale it up.

‘You also have opportunities to work with partners to see how you can scale up not just in Nigeria, but other African country as well,’ he said.

On his part, Mustapha Abokede, Venture Lead, Wennovation, an implementing partner of the challenge, encouraged women to participate in the challenge towards accelerating agritech entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria