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13,548 Youths to Benefit from Lagos Agribusiness Project



Lagos Agribusiness Project

By Adedapo Adesanya  

Not less than 13,548 youths will benefit from the Lagos State Government collaborative project with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC) which will boost agriculture value chains in the state.

This disclosure was made by the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, at the opening ceremony of the Young Africa Works Agribusiness Internship Orientation Training at the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Oko-Oba, Agege on Monday.

She explained that the participants would be trained to build skills and secure fulfilling work opportunities within the agriculture value chains.

She said that the Young Africa Works Project of the IITA was a strategic approach to agribusiness training to arouse the interest of youths and teenagers in the agricultural space to enable them to make a decent living out of it.

“I am particularly delighted to be in your midst today on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Young Africa Works Agribusiness Internship Orientation Training being implemented by the IITA and the Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC) in partnership with the Lagos State government.

“I have been told that the Young Africa Works-IITA Project is an innovative approach to agribusiness training and start-up for Nigeria’s young people which is focused on improving the livelihoods of youths and teenagers.

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“The training will impart in them the needed skills to do viable agribusiness within their communities.

“I have also been reliably informed that IITA seeks to provide skills to over 40,000 youths and enable 242,724 young women and men to secure dignified and fulfilling work in agricultural value chains in a five-stage model within a period of five years.

“Specifically, for Lagos State, a total of 13,548 youths including 3,120 secondary school students are expected to participate in this programme,” the commissioner said.

Ms Olusanya said that the state government was particularly interested in the partnership as it was in tune with the goal of recruiting more youth, teenagers and women into the agricultural space in order to replace the ageing farmers.

She said the partnership was also in tune with goals to increase food production, create employment opportunities, alleviate poverty, and boost income generation in the state.

The commissioner noted that programmes such as the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP), the Lagos Food Production Center, the Schools’ Agricultural Programme (SAP), the Summer School Programme, the World-Bank assisted FADAMA and APPEALS Projects had been carrying out series of trainings.

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She said that such programmes had provided training especially for the youth and women to ensure increased food security in the state and reduce its level of dependence on other states for food.

“When we talk about food security, we are talking along the lines of production, linkages to the consumers, productivity required of our farming community such that they also see sustainability around what they do.

“They can be motivated to put in more investment within that space such that the financial sector will be able to support, and in the process, we will see a bigger and more holistic food system in the state and country at large.

“This training and capacity building programme is a step in the right direction and it is in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda where agriculture constitutes a major part of making Lagos a 21st Century economy.

“What we see is that we have a huge population of youthful people, most of whom are not gainfully employed and with the skill set deficiency required especially in a space like agriculture.

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“With this initiative to train over 40,000 people in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna, specifically 13,548 in Lagos, we believe that we should be able to close the gap around the deficits we have in our food supply system,” she said.

The commissioner said that the initiatives of the state government had indeed provided different platforms for youth engagement through training, capacity building and empowerment in different agriculture value chains.

This, she said, was contributing to job creation, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation.

Ms Olusanya further commended the novel strategy being offered by the combined efforts of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)/Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC) to train the youths.

“The Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture is, therefore, delighted to be a part of this laudable programme as it is very much in line with our aims and objectives.

“You can be rest assured of the support of the Lagos State government at all times,” she said.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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NGX Lists 29.4 billion GT HoldCo Shares at N28.55 Each



GT HoldCo Shares

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited has finally listed 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GT HoldCo) Plc on its trading platform.

The stocks were admitted on the exchange on Thursday, June 24, 2021, after the delisting of the entire GTBank equities on the same platform.

Business Post reports that the shares were listed today at a unit price of N28.55.

Last Friday, the stock exchange placed trading in the equities of GTBank on full suspension ahead of their delisting to allow the introduction of GT HoldCo shares.

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Today, the GTBank shares were removed from the exchange, a total of 29,431,179,224 and were replaced with 29,431,179,224 units of GT HoldCo.

Confirming this development, the NGX in a circular said, “We refer to our market bulletin with reference number NGX REG/LRD/MB16/21/06/18 dated June 18, 2021, wherein the market was notified that trading in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB) was placed on full suspension effective Friday, June 18, 2021, in preparation for the delisting of GTB and listing of the Holding Company, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GT HoldCo).

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“The market is hereby notified that the entire 29,431,179,224 issued shares of GTB were delisted from the daily official list of the NGX today, June 24, 2021, while GT Holdco’s entire issued share capital of 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each were also today, June 24, 2021, listed on the daily official list of NGX at N28.55 per share.

“The delisting of GTB and listing of GT HoldCo on NGX is pursuant to the Scheme of Arrangement between Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and the holders of its fully paid ordinary shares of 50 kobo each as approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and sanctioned by the court.”

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GTBank restructured its business to allow it to offer more services and improve the earnings and value of the company. This led to the change to a financial HoldCo, with GTBank becoming a private company and will operate as a banking institution.

Other subsidiaries were created to offer services in financial technology (fintech), insurance, asset management and other sectors.

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June 2021 Allocation to FG, States, LGs Drops to N605.96bn



June 2021 allocation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government, the 36 states of the federation and the 774 local government areas shared the sum of N605.96 billion from the revenue generated in May 2021.

This was disclosed by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in a communique released on Thursday after its meeting held via virtual conferencing.

Business Post reports that the amount shared by the three tiers of government for the June 2021 allocation was lower than the N616.9 billion disbursed last month.

Giving a breakdown of the disbursement, the committee explained that from the inclusive cost of collection to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the federal government received N242.1 billion, the states received N194.2 billion, while the local government councils got N143.7 billion.

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The nine oil-producing states of Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Imo, Abia and Lagos all received N26.9 billion as a 13 per cent derivation of mineral revenue.

The communique issued by the FAAC at the end of the meeting indicated that the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) for May 2021 was N181.1 billion as against N176.7 billion achieved in the preceding month of April 2021. This resulted in an increase of N4.368 billion.

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The distribution is as follows; federal government got N25.3 billion, the states received N84.2 billion and local government councils received N58.9 billion.

The distributed statutory revenue of N428.198 billion received for the month was lower than the N497.385 billion received for the previous month by N69.197 billion, from which the federal government received N175.5 billion, states got N89.0 billion, while the LGs got N69.6 billion, and the 13 per cent mineral derivation handed to the nine oil states amounted to N24.666 billion.

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The communique also revealed that Companies Income Tax (CIT), and Oil and Gas Royalties, Import and Excise Duty decreased in the month, meaning only VAT increased in the month under review, although marginally.

The communique, however, disclosed that total revenue distributable for the current month inclusive of gross statutory revenue of N357.9 billion, VAT of N168.4 billion, solid mineral revenue of N7.9 billion, exchange gain of N1.7 billion and augmentation from oil and non-oil revenue of N50 billion and N20 billion respectively brought the total distributable revenue to N605.958 billion.

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National LPG Takes Sensitization to 12 States



Domestic LPG

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Liquefied Gas Petroleum (LGP) sensitization and awareness campaign to reduce gas flare has kickstarted in 12 states across the country.

Speaking at a two-day sensitization and awareness campaign held in Abuja, Mr Dayo Adeshina, the programme manager National LPG expansion implementation plan (NLEIP), said the exercise was the commitment of the climate change initiative to reduce emission by 20 per cent.

He said the National LPG pilot programme, which will start after the sensitization, is to begin in Enugu and Ebonyi States for South-East then to the South-South States of Delta and Bayelsa and in the South West – Lagos and Ogun.

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In the North West are Sokoto and Katsina States; the North East batch will be done in Bauchi and Gombe States while in the North Central, it will kick off in Niger and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said, “The sensitization awareness campaign is targeted at 12 pilot states, two in each geo-political zone. During the campaign, we will highlight the importance of the LGP to the government and the people.

“Every year almost nine hundred thousand people are affected by the effects of kerosine and charcoal which leads to malaria, the government plan is to display the energy mixture which currently stands at 65 per cent, kerosine 30 per cent, LPG 5 per cent.

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“LPG would ensure accessibility, acceptability and affordability.”

Mr Adeshina said to drive the exercise well, an inter-ministerial committee on LPG was constituted and is being headed by the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, adding that the composition of the committee shows the commitment of the federal government to the expansion and implementation of LPG in Nigeria.

“So, to make it available, some of the policy directives were worked on and past in 2017, the government will remove necessary bottlenecks,” he said.

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LPG is a fossil fuel closely linked to oil. As a fuel, it is used for cooking, lighting, and central heating. It is a clean-burning, non-poisonous, dependable and high-performance fuel stored and transported in containers as a liquid, but is generally drawn out and used as gas.

LPG has a very wide variety of uses, mainly used across many different markets – agricultural, recreation, hospitality, calefaction, construction, sailing and fishing sectors – as an efficient fuel.

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