The 2021 budget of the Federal Government contains 316 duplicated projects valued at N39.5 billion, BudgIT, a civic-tech non-profit organisation in Nigeria declared on Tuesday.
The Lagos-based firm disclosed this in a statement issued by its Communications Associate, Iyanu Fatoba, which was titled, “BudgIT highlights corruption loopholes in the budget process, calls for urgent budget reforms.”
The advocacy organisation said, “Our investigations into the 2021 budget revealed at least 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5bn, with 115 of those duplicate projects occurring in the Ministry of Health.
“This is very disturbing especially considering the health infrastructure deficit and the raging COVID-19 pandemic affecting Nigeria.”
It added, “Even worse, agencies now receive allocations for capital projects they cannot execute. For example, the National Agriculture Seed Council has an allocation for N400m to construct solar street lights across all six geopolitical zones.
“The Federal College of Forestry in Ibadan in Oyo State got N50m for the construction of street lights in Edo State. These are aberrations that need to be corrected.”
BudgIT also called on the government to audit security spending and close loopholes for corruption in the budget process.
The Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Gabriel Okeowo, was quoted as saying, “2021 has been a horrifying year for Nigerians concerning security as the country combats mutating forms of crime and terror across all its 36 states.
“This is despite allocating over N10.02tn to security between 2015 and 2021. In the 2021 budget, the entire security sector’s allocation was N1.97tn, representing a 14 per cent increase from the N1.78tn allocated in 2020.”
The firm stated that increased resources allocated to the security sector meant that less money was available to develop other sectors.
It, therefore, noted that there was a need for more scrutiny of how these allocations were budgeted and spent.
BudgIT’s publication noted that various non-security-related government agencies now request and receive allocations for security votes, an opaque feature of the Nigerian security ecosystem devoid of accountability.
It stated that in the 2021 budget, a total of 117 federal agencies received allocations for security votes worth N24.3bn, despite many of these agencies already having allocations for security charges to cover each agency’s security needs.
Furthermore, BudgIT observed that the little budgetary allocation provided to other sectors were plagued with various loopholes for leakages and theft of public funds.
Okeowo enjoined the Federal Government to urgently block all loopholes in the budget creation and implementation process.
See the Pageant Organisers Contesting for National Executive Position Of The As
See the Pageant Organisers Contesting for National Executive Position Of The Association
BATTLE READY!!!New Pageant Executives Set To emerge Ahead of the Much Anticipated Election After 7 Years
The Association of Beauty Pageant and Fashion Exhibition Organisers Of Nigeria, ABPFEON will in coming weeks have a new leadership as conclusions are being made to hold its much anticipated elective convention.
This is coming seven years after the organiser of Most Beautiful Girl in Abuja, Hon. Ejiro Okpihwo had held sway as the president of the association.
The election expected to hold in Abuja, the nation’s capital is to consolidate on the efforts of Hon. Ejiro to reposition ABPFEON and bring so much sanity to it.
Forms for various elective positions are currently on sale while contenders are aggressively making purchases rolling out their campaign and presenting their manifestos.
Within the past seven years of Hon. Ejiro’s leadership, the association has made tremendous progress in terms of attracting partnerships, bringing in quality individuals to associate with as well as branding its image for a wider acceptance.
Under the leadership of Mr. Ejiro Okpihwo the association reached an understanding with National Lottery Commission with regards to setting star prizes and other prizes being designed for winners after each beauty pageant.
The association also made its position known by dissociating itself from the outrageous sex scandal involving one Chidinma, winner of Miss Anambra over her self-pleasure with cucumber.
It said Chidinma’s action was against its norms, in addition to the fact that she was not a member of the association, which is known for its decency and upholding high moral standard.
In the last seven years also, the association has fully formalised its registration as a recognised body within the framework of Nigerian Constitution.
Hon. Ejiro’s leadership has also attracted commendation for expanding the structure of Association of Beauty Pageant and Fashion Exhibition Organisers of Nigeria, ABPFEON within the six geopolitical zones of the country and the states by ensuring there are individuals who are in charge of its affairs across the country, monitoring conducts of members.
His intervention also led to amicable resolution of disagreements between beauty queens, organisers and their sponsor agencies. It has not been very rosy even though he has committed personal funds and time but he has also reasonably surmounted challenges.
As the election draws nearer, top names in the industry have indicated interest to lead the association.
One of such is veteran pageant organiser and project director of Face of Democracy Nigeria, Comrade Olufunsho Alexander Ajagbonna popularly known as FAJAG who is eyeing the presidency of the association.
ABUJAPRESS reliably gathered that there are no serious or strong contestants for the position, a situation that may see Fajag emerge unopposed as president of the association.
He has also recently unveiled his manifesto to make real his readiness. Fajag is believed to have a rich network of contacts within and outside the industry which will make him a perfect fit for the office of the President.
Some contestants have also indicated interest to vie for office of the National Secretary of the association. Among them is Amb. Raymond Jefferson, the organiser of Miss Comely Queen Nigeria and The Nigeria University carnival Queen. He has also released his manifesto with assurance of bringing positive impact to the organisation.
Amb. Ajeh Raphael of Face Of Orient & Face Of Ultimate Queen and Amb Clinton Nwoso of Miss Indigenous Nigeria have also indicated interest to run for office of the National Organising Secretary of the association while others are Hilda Yange of Queen Of Culture And Tourism Benue and Felicity for National Vice President position, Amb. Gozskej Obinna of Queen of Unity Nigeria & Queen Of South South Nigeria and Okafor Uche Innocent of Queen Of Emerald Pageant will battle it out at the polls for National Financial Secretary position. As Amarachi Favour of Miss Apex Queen heads for National Deputy Organising Secretary office if not last meeting opposition.
Other major contenders for the coveted offices are Amb. Roland Chidi Owualah of Face of Culture Nigeria and Comrade Prince Ustry of Queen Of Gold Africa to slug it out for the juicy position of National Treasurer. While the battle ground for supremacy when other contestants Join the race are Public Relations Officer contested by Usman Moses Omoaka of Queen of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Amb. Duke Bassey of Face Of Royalty Africa for National Provost and Foga Luter Timothy of Face Of Peace Nigeria. Though the contest is still open as more are expected to join the in the coming days.
The race appears not to be very tight in some positions as those who believe they have capacity to lead the association are the ones joining the race.
The rich credentials of some of these contenders wield may also have intimidated some intending contestants as number of those jostling for elective positions are not as large as expected with regards to the number of pageants in the country.
The election of new executives is expected to reposition the pageant industry as stakeholders are already showing interest in the process.
Chairman of the election Committee, Mr. Tosin Adeladun who is the organiser of Miss NGO Nigeria has assured that the process will be free and fair, noting that the credibility and quality of contestants is a huge boost.
He therefore appealed to individuals and corporate organisations to show support to the incoming executives as they are poised to bringing new innovations in the system.
He also expressed gratitude to Hon. Ejiro Okpihwo, the head of the outgoing executives for the roles he has played in bringing goodwill to the association as well as marketing it as a global brand.
Ginger production can improve Nigeria GDP, NGAN tells FG
The National Ginger Association of Nigeria (NGAN) has called on the federal government to invest in ginger production, noting that its value chain has the capacity to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country.
The President of the Association, Mr. Mikah Adamu who made the call during the inauguration of South-South zonal executives in Asaba, said Ginger production would boost the revenue of the nation and also provide employment for the unemployed youths.
He said, “Ginger crop and its value chain have the capacity of generating more foreign exchange as an alternative to oil.
“It has the capacity to create jobs, boost wealth creation and improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country.
“Some of us who have worked in the gas industry decided to introduce the best approach to the farming of ginger, it is a good crop that can compete with crude oil in the international market”.
On his part, the Chairman of Delta State Chapter of the NGAN, Mr. Harrison Opia said the success recorded by ginger farmers in the South-South region was very huge, saying that ginger can also grow in the southern part of Nigeria.
He called for the support of the state government saying “that diversifying our economy through agriculture and ginger cultivation and processing to its value chain is the way to go.
In his remark, Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Julius Egbedi who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ben Agama commended ginger farmers in the region in ensuring productivity within a short period.
He pledged the support of the state government to the advancement of the agricultural sector of the state.
Ministry Of Agriculture , NSPRI Train ADP Staff On Post Harvest Management
In a bid to curb post harvest losses among farmers in the country, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Nigeria Stored Product Research Institute (NSPRI) organized a four day training programme for staff of the Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) with persons selected from states in the South-South and South East geopolitical zones of the country.
The training which is anchored on technological innovation in post-harvest management was held in Sapele, Delta State.
Addressing the participants during the opening of the four-day training programme , the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr(Mrs.) Patricia Pessu said “that the training programme was aimed to step down knowledge on post-harvest management through the ADP staff to farmers in the rural areas.”
The Executive Director, said that “post harvest losses had a significant effect on the economy. The institute would be taking advantage of the platform as an opportunity to disseminate information and share their experiences as well as achievements on post harvest management to reduce post harvest losses. ”
“Losses on grains such as maizes, sorghum, millet, cowpea is between 20%, 25%, and 30% in root and tuber crops such as yam, cassava and potatoes while about 50%of fruits and vegetables are lost post harvest, unfortunately this loss are from the rural area, that are in dire need of development” She added.
The NSPRI boss, who described ADP officials as partners and stakeholders in the agricultural sector, said that “over the years, they had helped to improve the livelihood of the farmers by helping to provide inputs such as fertilizers and seedlings.
“As we know, post-harvest has not been in the forefront of their roles and we, having the mandate to conduct research on post-harvest losses, decided as part of our 2021 project to get the ADPs on board, realizing their importance at their grassroots”.
“So, we are able to bring them on board to put them through all the available technologies in the industry realizing that they are close to the grassroots and they will be able to impact on the farmers and to eventually improve their livelihood and then improve the economy.”
She also said that the partnership would continue after the training programme , adding that the institute intended to have some of the technologies in some places that would be identified by the ADPs where the farmers would access facilities and use them free of charge.
Also speaking, the Delta State coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mr John Onovughe in his goodwill message said that the training program would enable ADP staff to orientate farmers on how to preserve their goods.
“The training is commendable as it will be nice if we can get it right this time around, post harvest storage will boost the Nigeria economy.
Technology innovation of post harvest training will enhance the living condition of the farmer”, he added.
One of the trainees, Eng Godwin Eze thanked the Ministry and NSPRI for the capacity building workshop assuring that whatever they were taught would be impacted on others to enable them , especially farmers help to reduce lost of produce in post harvest.
Declaring the workshop open, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, represented by Mr Edwin Odiete, Programme Manager of the ministry of Agriculture Asaba said that farmers were responsible for feeding the nation, adding that they lacked post harvest storage facilities.
He added that the training would improve the method of preserving the food, stressing that the knowledge acquired in the course of the training would be extended to farmers on how best to preserve their produce especially those in the rural areas.