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How beekeeping can grow economy

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Bees on a honey comb

Bees on a honey comb

Image result for Honey Bee NestAgricultural scientists observe that apiculture — scientific rearing of honey bees — can contribute tremendous amount in value to the economy of any nation that harnesses the potential in the sector.

According to them, honey is produced by bees; flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination to produce honey and beeswax that can be harvested in commercial quantity.

Similarly, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) notes that between 235 billion dollars and 577 billion dollars worth of annual global food production relies on direct contributions by pollinators such as bees, birds and bats.

It says further that that the annual world beekeeping trade value stood at 450 billion dollars (N162 trillion).

Further to this statistics, it states that the African market share was at five per cent of the world annual production of honey with Ethiopia contributing 40,000 tonnes at 255,300,000 dollars (N91.9 billion) while Nigeria contributes about 15,000 tonnes worth N96, 025,000.

Experts in honey production then observe that Nigeria consumes more than 400,000 tonnes of honey annually and produces less than 40,000 tonnes which is 10 per cent of the consumption, leading to an import bill of more than two billion dollars.

They note further that although the production rate is low due to primitive methods of farming bees, farmers are gradually adopting the modern ways of beekeeping to increase production.

They also express optimism that with Nigeria’s bid and win to host the 6th ApiExpo Afrcia 2018 from Sept. 24 to Sept. 29, there will be the convergence of apicultural thought leaders, international experts, farmers, processors from around the globe to promote the benefits of bee farming and processing in Africa.

Identifying beekeeping as a potential, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the Federal Government would collaborate with the Afe Babalola University to support bee farmers and keepers in the purchase special types of woods for the production of bee hives.

Ogbeh explained that the expo would help to promote the potential of bee farming and the need to produce such to the international community and promote the sector.

“It is a bit embarrassing that Nigeria is listed very low among the nations participating in this industry.

“Embarrassing to a place not too difficult to explain, once we found oil and gas, we lost our memory for agriculture.

“Bees help us pollinate our crops, people rent bees across the continents now, bees are dying in large numbers in many countries like Western Europe and the United States.

“Scientists are trying to find out what is wrong, is it transmission by telephones, is it chemicals in the farms, or is it climate change issues.

“Will the same thing happen in Africa? If it does, how do we pollinate 75 per cent of our crops, how do we increase yield?

“I think that we need to show more services to the animals so they can give services to us.

“Don’t lose hope, together, we are coming back. We will support the bee farmers,’’ he said.

Mr Filippo Amato, the Head of the Trade and Economic Section of European Union (EU), said that no fewer than 10 countries in Africa were eligible to export honey to the EU.

He listed the countries to include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Amato, therefore, urged Nigeria to join the list to boost the country’s economy.

“Being listed is not an easy process, it requires the effort, willingness and cooperation of several stakeholders both from the private and public sectors,’’ he explained.

Similarly, Mr Ernest Aubee, the Head of Agriculture Division, ECOWAS Commission, said the commission would partner with the Federal Government to ensure that the ApiExpo would be a success.

He commended the agricultural transformation of the Federal Government, noting that the commission would ensure the replication in ECOWAS member countries.

Mr Bosco Okeilo, the Chief Executive Officer, Apitrade Africa, said that the objective of the exposition was to foster economic drive, social mobilisation and political influence to move apiculture industry forward.

In his view, the Chairman of the ApiExpo Africa 2018 Organising Committee, Dr Dooshima Kwange, explained that the event would create international trade opportunities and foreign market access for the beekeeping industry.

Kwange noted that the expo would stimulate refined processes for a sustainable growth through seamless collaboration between the public and private sector players to create employment and reduce rural-urban movement.

She said that the objective of the event was to increase food security through reduction of hunger related malnutrition to meet the 2030 zero-hunger FAO’s target and maintain eco-diversity balance through mitigation of global warming.

Kwange explained that the exposition with theme “Beekeeping Industry for Sustainable Development, Wealth Creation and Economic Diversification’’, was expected to bring the country’s bee industry goods, services and research to global relevance and attain international recognition leading to an improved national image.

Dr Chinyere Eneh, the Secretary of the ApiExpo Committee, said that the event was a continental trade expo organised by ApiTrade, a pan-African not-for-profit organisation with the headquarters in Uganda that works in all 55 African Union member states.

Eneh said that the event would help in the improvement of the sector and help in actualising the Sustainable Development Goals.

She said that all Africa countries as well as some European and Asian countries had indicated interest to participate in the exposition.

In her opinion, Mrs Obianuju Okpo, the National President of Women in Beekeeping, said that bee farming could create wealth, employment, generate revenue for the government, create raw materials for industries and increase crops yields by 225 per cent.

According to her, bees can produce honey, bees wax, bee venom, royal jelly, propolis, bee bread and pollen which could be used for api-therapy in the pharmaceutical industry.

She observed that that bee-farming “is made up different segments which involves harvesting, research, processing, pollination, extension services, technology development, among others’’.

Highlighting the benefits of bee products, Mrs Ngozi Ibe, the Head, Manufactures Unit, Product Development Department of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, said that unlike other forms of agriculture, few resources were needed for bee-farming and land ownership was not essential in the venture.

Ibe listed the different types of bees to include the queen, worker bees and the drones, explaining that bee venom had been proved to be anti-cancer, anti-ageing properties and for bone health.

Stakeholders in agriculture, therefore, note that there is no doubt that the 2018 Africa ApiExpo would expose the country’s apiculture industry to greater economic benefits in future.(NANFeatures)

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FG Commissions First Mobile Radio Frequency Monitoring Equipments

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Dr. Adebayo Shittu

Dr. Adebayo Shittu

BY SARAUNIYA G USMAN,ABUJA

The Federal Government, through the ministry of communication has commissioned the first-ever Mobile Radio Frequency Monitory Equipment, National Spectrum Management System, Denial of Service (DOS) Equipment and a National Control Centre.

During the commissioning of the devices today at the Shehu Musa Yar’dua’s Centre,the Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu,
described the development as historic and necessary, looking at the fact that the Ministry is the Secretariat of the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).

Dr. Shittu who expressed joy on the successful delivery of the equipment and explained that it is a pioneer project of the current administration and being first of its kind after several attempts and efforts by past administrations to get funding for the project proved abortive.

“With these facilities in place, the Ministry now has the capacity to detect, identify and locate the sources of transmissions and is, therefore, able to determine if a frequency user is duly licensed or not”.

“In addition, the use of the state-of-the-art equipment would enable the Ministry to ensure that duly licensed users of radio frequency spectrum operate in compliance with technical specifications,” the Minister maintained.

He disclosed that Ministry of Communications had in March 2017 secured the federal executive council’s (FEC) approval to award a contract for the project to Messrs.’ TCI International Inc., USA at the cost of Nine Million, Eighty-Five Thousand, Forty-Three US Dollars, Ninety-Three Cents ($ 9, 085, 043. 93) for the supply, installation, and commissioning of the sophisticated world class monitoring devices.

The devices include five state-of-the-art Mobile Radio Monitoring Equipment, a National Spectrum Management System, two Denial of Service (DoS) equipment and the establishment of a National Control Centre.

In his words,, “Radio Frequency Spectrum is a very important and scarce resource that supports and drives the Multi-billion dollar wireless telecommunications and ICT industry globally, hence, must be managed well for its efficient, judicious and equitable use by various radio communication services to drive the socio-economic development of our country”, He stated.

The Minister said that each of the five monitoring vehicles would now be deployed to each of the Monitoring Centers in Gusau, Zamfara state to cover the North Western States, Ipaja, Lagos to cover the South Western States and Ogoja, Cross River State to cover States in the South-South while each of the two Denial of Service equipment would be deployed to Abuja and Lagos to serve the North Central and Southern States respectively.

He urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Private individuals and organisations that use the frequency spectrum to first obtain authorisation from the Ministry of communications before procuring and operating any radio communications equipment.

Dr. Shittu warned that all operators of unauthorised frequency spectrum should formalise their operational status to avert appropriate sanctions. He added that the ministry has incorporated other components which are aimed to guarantee the durability of the equipment having trained 29 engineers, technologists, and other professionals to effectively Mann the facilities.

The manufacturers, according to him, have given six (6) year warrantee for the equipment to serve without any defect with the company taking care of maintenance and management of the facilities without demanding a dime from the Federal Government.

In her address at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Nkechi Ejele said, the project was born out of a dire need of the Ministry of Communications to show exemplary leadership in the promotion and development of the telecommunications and ICT industry in Nigeria.

Nkechi added that the devices would proffer requisite infrastructure, skills, technical competence and capacity to aid the Ministry in policy formulation for effective management of the natural but scarce frequency spectrum resource, to curb its irregular and illegal usage.

Earlier, the Chief of Defence staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin, who was represented by Maj. Gen. JA Orokpo, described the project as a noble idea, noting that the project has the capacity to play a great role for the Nigerian armed forces in dealing with the terror activities of Boko Haram in the North Eastern Nigeria.

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PT’s candidate to grow economy to $4trn

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PT’s presidential candidate

PT’s presidential candidate


Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, Presidential Candidate for People’s Trust Party, has pledged to grow Nigeria’s economy from $510 billion (its highest in 2013) to $4 trillion in 10 years, if elected.

Olawepo-Hashim told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja the economy would be grown to be at par with that of Malaysia, Thailand and other middle income economies.

“We are not setting standards like we want to become the United States of America; we just want to be where we were in 10 years, where we were in 1960.

“A $510 billion GDP as at 2013 when we celebrated being the biggest economy in Africa is of course too small for 200 million people as our projected population is now.

“Nigeria needs a $4 trillion economy to become a middle income economy; that’s our target and it’s doable and we have set up a strategy to achieve this,’’ he said.

He also proposed to effect a minimum wage of N50,000 for workers, noting that the standard of living for Nigerian workers was quite low.

“I am going to have a N50,000 minimum wage and that is lower than the minimum wage that Nigerian workers were awarded in 1983 which was N125; at that time you needed 55 kobo for a dollar.

“So basically, N125 minimum wage was more than N60,000 of today’s Nigeria; so by the grace of God when elected, the minimum wage by the first anniversary of our government will be N50,000 in Nigeria.

“That is what I believe is decent for an average worker; you can’t deal with corruption when you underpay people,’’ he said.

He said his government would prioritise tourism, restructure the education system and expand income through infrastructure funds, solid minerals, foreign investments, and intellectual capital protection.

He promised to promote knowledge-based economy through effective copy right laws to ensure that innovators get due reward for their work and protect Nigeria’s intellectual property.

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FG, KOICA to Launch Phase2 ICT Project

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Adebayo Shittu

Adebayo Shittu

BY SARAUNIYA G USMAN, ABUJA

The Federal Government and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) are collaborating to launch second phase of partnership in ICT that would develop experts and highly skilled labor in information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.

This was disclosed yesterday when a high powered delegation from the KOICA office, led by its Country Director, Sook Hyun Park paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Communications, Abuja.

The country Director said that, South Korean government through KOICA has enjoyed a strong partnership with Federal Ministry of Communications in its e-government capacity building project for the past 7 years.

“Our first e-government project which has existed for the past 7 years with a strong partnership with Federal Ministry of Communications would be concluded next year.

We shall keep our effort and support to Nigeria. E-government in the 2nd project which we plan to embark upon, we are interested in developing human skilled labor in ICT areas hence, the need for the Minister to share his expertise and ideas that would be of good direction to the Federal Government ”, the Director stated.

Sook Hyun stated that KOICA’s visit to the Ministry of Communications was aimed at introducing the agency’s upcoming project (phase 2) being worked towards year 2020 and beyond, following the conclusion of the introductory (first phase) which would be concluded by 2019.

In his contribution, Headquarter Coordinator, An Kwangsoo, said KOICA as an agency was set to move from the introductory part of its partnership project which was focused on e-government capacity building, scholarship for masters and PHD Degrees in Korean Universities for Nigerians to a bigger phase in order to assist Nigeria in achieving the implementation of her e-government master plan.

In his remarks, the Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu thanked KOICA on behalf of the Federal Government, for generously investing so much towards the development of Nigeria, particularly in areas of e-government and capacity building.

The Minister said that, Federal Government cannot take KOICA’s selfless cooperation for granted and urged them to sustain the smooth relationship that is being enjoyed by both parties in service to humanity.

He urged the Agency to meet with the Ministry’s e-government department to work together for a very beneficial launch of the 2nd phase of broader partnership between the federal government and the Republic of Korea via KOICA.

In the new phase, Shittu urged the Agency to make conscientious efforts to ensure at least 100,000 civil servants are trained annually, to improve Nigeria’s system of operations to be more effective and efficient.

He also appealed to them to collaborate with the Nigerian Universities by sending technology gurus from the Korean universities to impart technological ideas and knowledge to students in Nigeria who shall in turn train others.

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