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ABP: CBN Disburse N1.079trillion, As Loan Repayment Stands At N503billion



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By Iyojo Ameh

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the sum of N1.079 trillion, has been released for the Anchor Borrower Programme, ABP, as of February 2023, as the loan repayment stands at N503billion.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Dr. AbdulMumin Isa, disclosed this in Abuja, while exchanging views with journalists on the performance of the ABP, adding that the balance of N0.119 trillion was not due for repayment.

According to the apex bank, the sum of N0.960 trillion was due for repayment.

According to him, the CBN ABP had supported about 4.57 million smallholder farmers at end-February, 2023, who cultivated over 6.02 million hectares of 21 commodities across the country.

He listed the commodities as rice, wheat, cowpea, millet, maize, cotton, fish, soya bean, poultry, cassava, groundnut, ginger, sorghum, oil palm, cocoa, sesame, tomato, castor seed, yellow pepper, onions, and cattle/dairy.

Citing statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA), Dr. Isa noted that the ABP had contributed significantly to the increased national output of focal commodities, with maize and rice peaking at 12.2 and 9.0 million metric tonnes in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

He said the programme had also helped to improve the national average yield per hectare of these commodities, with productivity per hectare almost doubling within the eight years of the Programme’s implementation.

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While further noting that repayments under the ABP are made through cash or produce by the beneficiaries, the Acting Spokesperson of the CBN stressed that the outstanding due balance on loans was still under moratorium due to the COVID-19 forbearance granted to beneficiaries of the Bank’s interventions in March 2020 and extended to February 28, 2022.

“It is pertinent to note that the tenor of loans under the ABP is based on the commodity gestation period. For instance, loans granted to farmers cultivating some perennial crops could have up to seven-year tenor,” he explained.

Dr. Isa emphasised that the Bank’s interventions, with the core objective of catalysing the economy’s productive base, have continued to support investments in capital assets in sectors with high-growth and employment-elastic potential.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria remains committed to its developmental mandate of stimulating access to finance for the real sector, particularly agriculture, as it continues to support the Federal Government’s drive for food security and economic growth.

Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria continues to welcome applications from eligible Nigerian farmers and firms under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme,” he added.

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DG Harps on Discipline, Patriotism as TAC Deploys Volunteers to S’Leone …volunteers thank FG for the opportunity to Serve …pledge Commitment



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By Iyojo Ameh

Director General of the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps,Rt.Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub, has called on the Corps’ Volunteers to always abide by the laws of the country where they have been deployed to serve.

He said it is by so doing that Nigeria as a big-brother country will continue to retain the respect and admiration of their host countries wherever the Volunteers have been deployed.

The TAC DG, who made the call today in Abuja during the ceremony for the deployment of 18 Volunteers to Sierra Leone,thanked President Tinubu for his continuous support for the 37-year-old programme since assuming office in 2023.

Buba also added that the Volunteers were Ambassadors of the Nigerian nation and were, therefore,expected to exhibit the highest form of discipline,decorum and obedience to constituted authorities.

“Just as you have been informed,the Technical Aid Corps was established 37 years ago as a flagship programme for the advancement of our nation’s Foreign Policy goals through the deployment of technical support to our brothers and sisters in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

The Nigerian Technical Aid Corps has deployed over 35 thousand professionals and experts in various fields of learning to these countries over the past 37 years.

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“The Government of Nigeria places great interest and value on this foreign policy tool. This is why you go out there with our official passports.And just as our Ambassadors,you are expected never to do the don’ts of the country in which you are going to serve.

You must keep in mind that what you are involved in is Volunteer service.So,no matter the opulence of your home,if you are quartered in a 1-room apartment,do not forget what took you there.

” Over the last 37 years,all those who have served everywhere in this Scheme,have done so with dignity and honour,and nothing less is expected of you.I congratulate you on being successful among the thousands of those who applied for this opportunity and wish you well in the journey ahead of you all.

“I also like to add that, while in Sierra Leone,the High Commission of Nigeria there remains your guardian,while we here are your parents.Whatever you want to do,please, remember to follow the rules in the Country Agreement and the tripartite agreement the Federal Government through TAC has signed with you and the Government of Sierra Leone.

Endeavour to study these rules and regulations in order not to fall foul of any of the provisions.For us,as an Agency,we will ensure that all responsibilities towards you are followed to the letter”


Earlier speaking while presenting the Volunteers to the DG,Director of Programmes in the Agency,Amb.Zakari Usman, explained that the new Volunteers had arrived from across the country and had since undertaken various processes in the bid to prepare for deployment.

He thanked the DG for his support at ensuring that the processes were easy and seamless.

Among the 18 health professionals, who belong to the first batch of the Volunteers scheduled for Sierra Leone,are very experienced nurses and Medical Doctors that have served Nigeria in various communities and public institutions.

The Volunteers who also spoke to journalists during the exercise also expressed readiness to commit to the ideals of the TAC mandate and make Nigeria proud through hard work and obedience to the authorities of the host country.

It will be recalled that the Agency has since last month commenced the deployment of Volunteers to The Gambia,Uganda and now Sierra Leone. It is expected to carry out more deployments in the weeks ahead to different ACP countries.

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Ex Gov. Yahaya Bello, Again, Absent In Court, Wants Case Against Him moved To Kogi state



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By Admin

The Immediate past Governor of Kogi state ,Yahaya Adoza Bello was absent today, June 27, at the Federal High Court in Abuja where he was to enter his plea to the charge on a case of alleged corruption when he was in office.

The charge was brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Instead of appearing in court to defend himself, the former Governor wrote a letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, pleading to be allowed to face his trial in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital.
Yahaya Bello, in the letter by his team of lawyers, led by Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN), said that only the Lokoja Division of the high court has the territorial jurisdiction to handle the allegations that were raised against him by the EFCC.

At the resumed proceeding in the matter today, June 27, one of the lawyers who announced appearance for him, Adeola Adedipe, (SAN), brought the attention of trial Justice Emeka Nwite to the letter his client wrote to the CJ.
Addressing the court after the matter was called, Adedipe said: “My lord, after the proceedings of the last adjourned date, I went back and gave a report of what happened in court to our team.
“However, I was made to understand that a letter had been written on behalf of the defendant to the honourable Chief Judge of the Federal High Court requesting in substance, that this matter be administratively transferred to the Federal High Court, Lokoja Judicial Division, which we believe have territorial jurisdiction to handle this matter.
“That letter was received at the Chief Judge’s Chambers and the office of the honourable CJ wrote the prosecution team through Mr.’s Iseoluwa Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), on June 13, notifying him that administrative steps has been activated, whereof he was directed to provide a response to the request for transfer of the matter.
“My lord, as of this morning, I am not aware whether there has been a response by the prosecution team in compliance to the directive of the CJ.
“We are also not in receipt of any decision that has been made on this request by the CJ.
“I am also aware that this administrative directive of the CJ has been formally communicated to this court.
“We have filed an affidavit wherein we attached two documents referencing the details that I have just highlighted.
“My duty is first to the court. As of the moment, I am not urging anything from the court, but just to present the facts as they were.”
On his part, the EFCC, through its counsel, Kemi Pinhero (SAN), urged the court to compel the defence lawyer to explain why the defendant was not in court, despite an undertaking he made on June 13 to ensure his presence in court for arraignment.
Pinhero,) prayed the court to dismiss “the story of the defence lawyer as dilatory and a further attempt to treat this court with scorn.”
He said that the letter to the CJ did not discharge the undertaking that was made by the senior lawyers representing the defendant.
The EFCC counsel argued that even where a petition is forwarded against a judge to the National Judicial Council, (NJC), it does not stop proceedings on cases pending before the judge.
Pinhero therefore applied for the court to invite the two senior lawyers representing the former governor to show cause why they should not be dealt with for contemptuous conduct.
Source: The Eagle Online

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Cultivating Prolific Leaders for Government Institutions: Driving a Paradigm Shift in the Digital Economy



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By: Ojo Emmanuel Ademola

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the digital age, governmental institutions are at the forefront of steering nations toward competitiveness and economic vitality. The emergence of digital technologies has revolutionized commerce, communication, and governance, necessitating a transformative shift in how governments operate. Central to this evolution is the development of prolific leaders who possess the vision, skills, and fortitude to navigate and drive this paradigm shift. These leaders must excel not only in traditional governance but also in leveraging digital innovations to create engaging, efficient, and inclusive economic environments. This piece highlights appropriately the comprehensive strategies needed to cultivate such leaders and enable government institutions to thrive in the digital era.

Creating prolific leaders within government institutions who can drive an operational paradigm shift towards a competitive and engaging economy in the digital age requires comprehensive strategies. Here are key steps and considerations for achieving this goal:

1. *Leadership Development Programs:*

– *Training and Education:* Implement continuous professional development programs focusing on digital literacy, economics, and innovation. This may include workshops, online courses, and certifications in relevant areas such as digital governance, cybersecurity, and data analytics.

– *Mentorship and Coaching:* Establish mentorship programs linking emerging leaders with seasoned professionals to foster knowledge transfer and practical insights.


2. *Policy and Regulatory Framework:*

– *Digital Economy Policies:* Develop and enforce policies that encourage digital innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in digital infrastructure.

– *Public-Private Partnerships:* Encourage collaborations between government, industry, and academia to drive technological advancements and economic growth.

3. *Technological Infrastructure:*

– *Invest in Infrastructure:* Ensure the development of advanced digital infrastructure, including high-speed internet, cloud computing, and cybersecurity measures.

– *Smart Governance Tools:* Implement e-governance tools that enhance service delivery and transparency, making the government more efficient and accessible.

4. *Innovation Ecosystem:*

– *Innovation Hubs:* Create innovation hubs or technology parks that provide resources and facilities to startups and entrepreneurs.

– *Funding and Incentives:* Offer grants, tax incentives, and other forms of financial support to businesses adopting digital technologies and fostering innovation.

5. *Talent Acquisition and Retention:*

– *Attract Top Talent:* Develop competitive compensation packages, modern work environments, and career advancement opportunities to attract and retain top digital talent in government institutions.

– *Skill Development:* Invest in upskilling current employees and creating a culture of continuous learning to ensure the workforce remains competitive in the digital age.

6. *Data-Driven Decision Making:*

– *Big Data Analytics:* Utilize big data and analytics to inform policy decisions and identify trends, opportunities, and potential challenges.

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– *Transparency and Open Data:* Promote transparency by making government data open and accessible, which can spur innovation and public trust.

7. *Culture of Innovation and Agility:*

– *Encourage Experimentation:* Foster a culture that encourages experimentation and the acceptance of failure as part of the innovation process.

– *Agile Practices:* Implement agile methodologies in governmental operations to enhance flexibility, responsiveness, and efficiency.

8. *Citizen Engagement:*

– *Digital Platforms:* Develop and enhance digital platforms that enable citizens to engage with the government, provide feedback, and participate in decision-making processes.

– *Inclusive Policies:* Ensure that digital transformation initiatives are inclusive, addressing the needs of all demographic groups, including marginalized communities.

9. *Global Collaboration:*

– *International Partnerships:* Engage in international cooperation and partnerships to share best practices, knowledge, and resources.

– *Global Benchmarking:* Benchmark against global standards and practices to ensure competitiveness in the digital economy.

10. *Ethical and Responsible Innovation:*

– *Ethical Standards:* Establish and enforce ethical standards and guidelines for digital transformation to ensure privacy, security, and equitable access.

– *Sustainability:* Integrate sustainability into digital strategies to address long-term environmental and social impacts.

In conclusion, the journey toward establishing a competitive and engaging economy in the digital age is intricate and multi-dimensional. Creating prolific leaders in government institutions who can drive an operational paradigm shift necessitates a comprehensive approach that includes developing leaders with a profound understanding of digital dynamics, fostering an ecosystem that promotes innovation, and maintaining a robust technological infrastructure. By investing in leadership development, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, and ensuring the inclusive and ethical application of digital technologies, governments can effectively navigate this new era. The role of visionary leaders becomes pivotal in guiding this transformation, ensuring that governmental institutions not only adapt to but also spearhead advancements in the digital economy. Through thoughtful strategy and committed implementation, governments can unlock the full potential of digital transformation, driving sustained economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens.

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