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FCDA agency trains 150 revenue workers to improve IGR

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The management of Economic Planning, Revenue Generation, and Public-Private Partnership (EPRGPPP) Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory has trained over 150 revenue desk officers.

Speaking while declaring open the two-day training, which was held recently at the conference hall of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), the Secretary of the Secretariat, Hon. Agboola Dabiri, urged the revenue officers and heads of revenue-generating Secretariats, Departments, and Agencies (SDAs) to show more commitment and dedication to the onerous task of raising the internally-generated revenue profile of the Administration by improving their knowledge and skills in revenue drives and management.

This was made known in a press statement signed by Mr. Nnachi Okafor, the Chief Information Officer of the agency.

He charged them to seek more avenues and sources of revenue for the FCTA while plugging revenue leakages in their various SDAs. He explained that the Secretariat has been championing the cause of harmonizing revenue from all revenue-generating agencies in the FCT with a view to blocking leakages and grow revenue for the provision of social services for the people as well as infrastructure for the accelerated development of the FCT. He said, in view of this, he would continue to extend the hands of friendship and collaboration across all revenue-generating SDAs and other strategic stakeholders in the FCT towards actualizing his mandate.

Highlighting some of the objectives and benefits accruing from sustained revenue generation and payment of taxes, the Secretary further explained that without sustained revenue generation, the Administration’s plans to embark on and complete massive infrastructural projects in the FCT would be a mirage, especially in the areas of road construction, electricity, potable water, health, and qualitative education. “Without revenue, the government cannot provide public infrastructures such as good roads, hospitals, schools, and other welfare services for the people. The economy of the FCT needs transformation. We need to put in more efforts; we need to bring more creativity and innovation in our revenue generation initiatives”, he noted.

Speaking in his goodwill message to mark the end of the two-day capacity-building worship, the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Mallam Musa Bello, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Alh. Muhammed Abubakar Sadiq, emphasized the importance of improving the IGR of the FCT Administration considering the numerous development challenges facing the Administration, and the need to mobilize resources for the provision of social amenities for the residents of the FCT.

In his words: “The importance of improving our internally generated revenue cannot be overstated if we are to fulfill our mandate and meet our objective of building for our country a world-class city. Although we currently rank second (only to Lagos State), it is no secret that our internally-generated revenue is no longer sufficient. No matter how seemingly impressive, it is a far cry from what we actually require to fulfill our mandate, he emphasized.

UN lists Nigeria among 10 countries suffering acute hunger

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The UN Security Council met on Thursday to address global food insecurity and called on the international community to strengthen cooperation to solve it.

At the parley, it listed Nigeria among the top 10 countries suffering acute hunger and food shortage necessitated by war and other crises.

Last year, most of the 140 million people suffering acute hunger around the world lived in just 10 countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – eight of which are on the council’s agenda.

“When war is waged, people go hungry,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council during a debate on conflict and food security chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Some 60 percent of the world’s undernourished people live in areas affected by conflict, the top UN official said, adding that “no country is immune.”

“Let there be no doubt: when this council debates conflict, you debate hunger. When you make decisions about peacekeeping and political missions, you make decisions about hunger. And when you fail to reach consensus, hungry people pay a high price,” Guterres said.

   Despite being pleased to announce that the Central Emergency Response Fund is releasing 30 million U.S. dollars to meet food security needs in Niger, Mali, Chad, and Burkina Faso, the UN chief said sadly: “But it is a drop in the ocean.”

   Guterres expressed concern over food insecurity in the Horn of Africa, which is experiencing its worst drought in four decades, affecting more than 18 million people, while in Ethiopia and Somalia, continued conflict and insecurity plague the people.

   At the moment, 44 million people in 38 countries are at emergency levels of hunger, known as IPC 4 – just one step away from famine.

   More than half a million people in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Yemen, and Madagascar are already suffering from IPC level 5: catastrophic or famine conditions.

   “The war in Ukraine is now adding a frightening new dimension to this picture of global hunger,” said the secretary-general.

   Guterres outlined four steps that countries can take to stop “the deadly dynamic of conflict and hunger,” beginning with investing in political solutions to end conflicts, prevent new ones, and build sustainable peace.

   “Most important of all, we need to end the war in Ukraine,” he said, calling on the Security Council to do everything in its power “to silence the guns and promote peace, in Ukraine and everywhere.”

   Secondly, he underscored the importance of protecting humanitarian access and essential goods and supplies for civilians, drawing attention to the members’ “critical role in demanding adherence to international humanitarian law, and pursuing accountability when it is breached.”

   Third, he said there needed to be “far greater coordination and leadership” to mitigate the interconnected risks of food insecurity, energy, and financing, while reminding us that “any meaningful solution to global food insecurity requires reintegrating Ukraine’s agricultural production and the food and fertilizer production of Russia and Belarus into world markets – despite the war.”

   Finally, it is “more necessary than ever” for donors to fully fund humanitarian appeals with official development assistance.

   “Diverting it to other priorities is not an option while the world is on the brink of mass hunger … Feeding the hungry is an investment in global peace and security,” said the secretary-general.

   In a world of plenty, no one should accept “a single child, woman or man” dying from hunger, including “the members of this council,” he concluded.

   David Beasley, chief of the World Food Programme, spoke extensively about “the perfect storm” that drives hunger, including conflict, climate change, and the COVID pandemic.

   He cited destabilizing dynamics in Mali, Chad, Malawi, and Burkina Faso; riots and protests in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Peru; conflicts in Ethiopia and Afghanistan; drought and famine in Africa, and a “ring of fire around the world” as an escalating number of people continue “marching to starvation.”

   “Food security is critical to peace and stability” globally, he underscored.

   And while the “perfect storm” has resulted in a rise in food prices in 2022, he said food availability would be a big concern in 2023.

   Beasley stressed the importance of increasing production, opening Ukraine’s ports, and emptying its silos to stabilize markets and address the global food crisis.

   Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu discussed the importance of people, peace, prosperity, and the planet.

   “Worldwide, prosperity is being reversed,” he said. “There is less food security, health security, and income” while inequality becomes greater.

   He pointed to a “spike in acute hunger globally,” with 2022 threatening even further deterioration.

   While FAO has strengthened agri-food systems to save lives and protect livelihoods for the most vulnerable, “more needs to be done together,” according to its top official, who called the conflict “the single greatest driver of hunger.”

   Qu reminded us that we “are neighbors on this small planet village. What happens to one affects us all,” and flagged the need to prevent accelerated acute food insecurity in the coming months and years.

   “We must protect people, agriculture food system and economics against future shock … increase sustainable productivity, (and) strengthen the capacity to deliver relevant services,” said Qu.

   Nobody needs to go hungry “if we all play our part,” he added, describing investing in agri-food systems as “more relevant than ever.” 

XINHUA

8 killed as truck crashes on Lokoja-Ajaokuta road

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Eight people died and five others were injured when a truck lost control and crashed into a ditch on a busy road in Nigeria’s central state of Kogi, the country’s traffic police said on Friday.

   The incident occurred on late Thursday along the Lokoja-Ajaokuta road in the state as the driver of the rock-laden truck lost control of the vehicle while at a high speed, said Steve Dawulung, a sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Kogi, while briefing reporters on the crash in Lokoja, the state’s capital.

   Dawulung said seven people died on the spot, and the eighth person died later at a government hospital in Lokoja.

   The official said there are currently five injured, including the driver, responding to treatment at the same hospital.

   According to him, some of the victims were sitting atop the rocks which rolled over them as the truck toppled.

   The FRSC official said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

   Deadly road accidents are frequently reported in Nigeria, often caused by overloading, bad road conditions, and reckless driving. 

XINHUA

Lagos to train 150 women, youths in honey production

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Authorities in Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos said Friday that at least 150 women and youths will be trained in the bee-keeping and honey production, packaging, and marketing value chain to bridge the existing gaps in that sector of the economy.

   Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos Abisola Olusanya said at an event to commemorate the 2022 World Bee Day celebrated globally on May 20 that the initiative was borne out of Nigeria’s consumption of 380,000 tons of honey annually.

   Recent data by the ministry of agriculture and rural development showed that only 15,000 metric tons of honey were produced locally, thereby resulting in massive importation. The shortfall was augmented by imports from Asia and Europe.

   “Since many people are unable to afford this imported product, some people have taken undue advantage to produce adulterated and low-quality honey or use sugar and other industrial by-products to produce honey,” Olusanya noted, saying this unwholesome act is not unconnected with several health challenges being witnessed, such as complications in diabetes and cancer-related illnesses.

   “In order to control and reduce importation, improve the quality of honey being produced and ensure that adulterated honey is flushed out of our system, is imperative that the narrative changes from what it used to be, to a brand new system that allows for training of our teeming youth and women for human capital development,” the official said.

   Beneficiaries of the government’s initiative on honey production would undergo intensive training on the value chain, from May 30 to June 3, she said. The trainees would be empowered with beehives, bee suits, smokers, harvesting knives, bowls, and kegs to enable them to start on an easy note.

   Olusanya said at the end of the training, the beneficiaries would be expected to appreciate the importance of bees and bee-keeping, honey production, packaging, and marketing for the improvement of the honey value chain.

   Noting the role of bees in agriculture and economic development could not be over-emphasized, she said massive importation of honey and other hive products had resulted in the increase in prices.

   Bees do not only contribute to the pollination of wildflowers but also play a huge role in the pollination of agricultural crops, she said, adding without bees, there would be a decline in the pollination of economic crops.

XINHUA

CFAO Motors’ LOXEA provides fleet management solutions

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CFAO Motors, a subsidiary of the CFAO Group, the largest automotive distribution network in Africa, with over 158 subsidiaries, has unveiled LOXEA by CFAO in Nigeria.

Already present in 22 African countries, LOXEA offers operating lease and fleet management solutions.

With the initiative, customers can have better access to the CFAO range of products: Mitsubishi and Suzuki cars, Fuso trucks, King Long buses, Toyota forklifts, and JCB construction equipment.

According to the General Manager of LOXEA by CFAO, Mr. Philippe Lefort, “Partnering with LOXEA will allow companies to enjoy the inherent benefits of the CFAO network, a trusted and reliable organisation that has been providing best-in-class products and services for over 119 years in Nigeria.”

LOXEA offers a broad range of services from regular operating leases to comprehensive fleet management and car-sharing through a web portal and mobile applications through its three pillars: LOXEA Lease, LOXEA Connect, and LOXEA Ride.

LOXEA Lease provides rental of vehicles or equipment from 36 to 48 months with full maintenance, according to the manufacturer’s prescription, fully comprehensive insurance, replacement vehicle (after 48 hours), and geolocation. The fleet management solution provides a fleet manager, drivers 24/7, fuel card management, fleet analytics, and fleet mobility optimisation.

NIPC INTELLIGENCE