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Inside Abuja

FCT sets up biogas plant at abattoirs

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has established a biogas plant to improve the sanitary condition of abattoirs in the nation’s capital. CALEB ONWE reports

Poor sanitary condition of abattoirs in the Federal Capital Territory has been a challenge to the government, residents and other stakeholders, who depend on the slaughter houses for their daily meat needs.

The poor environmental condition of most abattoirs is said to have contributed to the spread of diseases, which help in endangering human health. In a bid to address the challenges, the government had made several efforts but the conditions have persisted, creating anxieties in the minds of residents.

Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory, Stanley Nzekwe, said that when he assumed office, the condition of abattoirs in FCT was so poor, that he had to start work towards evacuating animal dung that was allowed to pile up everywhere in these abattoirs.

Recently, the sanitary condition of the abattoirs attracted the attention of an International Environmental Organisation, African Environment Action Network(EANet-Africa). The organisation has taken some steps to provide a biogas plant said to have the capacity of addressing the challenges of evacuation of animal waste in these slaughter houses.

A visit to some of the abattoirs within the nation’s capital shows that they do not provide only slaughter slabs for animals, but also makeshift accommodation for both the butcher and meat sellers.

Inside Abuja observed that the makeshift structures at the Karu abattoir was a home to some families of those who eke out a living from the economic activities that go on in the place.

The biogas pilot project Recently, Nzekwe flagged off the construction of the first modern low carbon biogas plant in Karu abattoir.

The project was said to be in collaboration with an International Environmental Organisation, African Environment Action Network(EANet-Africa). The project, Inside Abuja learnt, was a Public Private Partnership arrangement that would be completely funded by the organisation, and would serve as a multi-purpose facility to reduce the effects of climate change and provide a cleaner environment in the abattoirs.

According to experts:”Biogas can be produced from raw materials, such as agricultural waste, animal dung manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste” It was also said that the biogas plant will serve as a source of renewable energy that can power electricity for the abattoirs community and its environs.

While the cost of the project was not made public, the organisation through its representatives said that the FCT administration has no hand in the funding. Nzekwe, who did the ground breaking ceremony, said the project was coming at the time it was most needed given the escalating human activities impacting negatively on the environment.

Inside Abuja also gathered that the project was conceived and designed to be completed within six months, and the success achieved with the pilot scheme at the Karu abattoir, would determine whether it would be extended to other major abattoirs within the nation’s capital.

According to him, FCTA will not relent on collaboration with development partners and providing the enabling environment for agribusiness development in the FCT. Co-Founder, EANet- Africa, Victor Ayodeji, disclosed that the project was envisioned and funded with the assistance of international partners, in line with the organisation’s objectives of community development.

Ayodeji told Inside Abuja that the project was designed to tackle the effects of climate change in rural communities, and that it had the capacity to generate electricity for no fewer than 150 households in the area. He also told Inside Abuja that the organisation was committed to the project, and would ensure that it was completed within six months.

The project, Ayodeji said, would help reduce the pressure of animal waste on the environment.

According to him, 85 per cent of the cause of air pollution in the FCT would be tackled when the plant comes on stream. “There is going to be a biogas station in Karu, the first of its kind in the country, to reduce what is causing climate change in the society,” he explained.

Head, Animal Services, ARDS, Dr Regina Adulugba, said the initiative would not only bring the desired transformation in FCT abattoirs, but a sure solution to the climate change concerns which all stakeholders are committed to addressing. She described the project as a demonstration of the commitment of the FCT administration to promoting sustainable development in the society.

“We are combating anything that will destroy our environment because of the increasing effects of climate change,” she noted. Stakeholders react to the project Chairman of the Karu Cattle Dealers Association, (Sarki Fulani), Isah Malami, said the abattoir community sees the project as a good development, pledging that they will cooperate with the government to achieve the goals of the project.

He however called on the government to check the increasing activities of illegal butchers, who are suspected to be collaborating with cattle rustlers in the territory. He urged relevant authorities to ensure that the biogas plant project was sustained, while introducing other initiatives that will better the lives of those who depend on abattoirs for survival.

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Inside Abuja

VIDEO: Sunday Igboho steals show as Moshood Adeoti declares to succeed Aregbesola

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One of the leading aspirants in the race to Abere government house for the September 22nd governorship election in Osun state, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti popularly addressed as “SHEU” by his admirers has officially declared his intention to contest for the post of the governor, to succeed his boss, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola under the platform of the All Progressives Congress APC.

He made his intention known when he visited the state secretariat of the party in Osogbo, accompanied by his teeming supporters, loyalists and well-wishers gathered from all local governments of the state, in his words at the occasion, “Mr. Chairman, I have come forward today as a disciplined and active party member of APC to declare my interest in contesting for the governor of Osun, I have gathered valuable experience over the years, starting from my humble political background as a councilor in Iwo to the state party chairman of Action Congress AC, Action Congress of Nigeria ACN, and now the secretary to the state government in the last eight years, i am most experienced and qualified among all the contestants from both the PDP and APC ” he said.

My interest primarily is to make success out of everywhere Governor Rauf Aregbesola has failed as we have many shortcomings as an administration but government is a continuum, our party APC made many promises which we cannot fulfill but I vow to fulfill all of them if elected as governor. I also want to align with the six integral action plan of Aregbesola and I am totally committed to fulfilling them all provided the APC will give me the platform to contest as its flag bearer, he stressed further.

Speaking at the short ceremony, one of the notable personality who accompanied Adeoti to the ceremony, Chief Sunday Igboho Adeyemo, a chieftain of PDP in Oyo State and a former ally of former Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who affirmed his total readiness to work assiduously for the emergence and success of Adeoti at the polls categorically assured that all known and prominent thugs within and outside Osun will be mobilized to support the ambition of Adeoti. Igboho, a known confidant of Senator Rashidi Ladoja said he has gotten approval of Ladoja to support the APC aspirant.

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One of the party elders from Ejigbo who accompanied Adeoti to the event but prefers to stay anonymous expressed shock about the missed opportunity and lack of cohesion displayed by the grassroot politician of Adeoti caliber, this was an opportunity for Sheu to itemize his manifesto to the party and people, prove bookmakers wrong that he has the capacity needed to administer our state, he also failed to showcase to the public the achievements of the administration in which he served as SSG for eight years, instead was hammering on areas of weaknesses and failures of Aregbesola, the former AD councillor lamented.

“We have over 50 party leaders here, and Sunday Igboho who is not a resident, citizen or voter in Osun state was the one of the persons recognized by the SSG to address the gathering, Igboho that was in Osogbo 2months ago for the PDP state Congress where Adagunodo was elected chairman, this is an insult to our collective sensibility in Osun, the septuagenarian questioned.

When asked when he will resign his present appointment, he simply answered, there is no place in Nigeria or APC constitution where it was written that I have to resign because I want to contest for governor, I’m still the SSG, he boasted.

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Business

Nigeria: Soaring investment inflow amid deficit, insecurity

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Nigeria’s investment profile is rising based on data from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Ironically, infrastructure gap and insecurity are threatening the investment landscape. Abdulwahab Isa reports

 

Nigeria’s exit from economic recession has spurred investors’ appetite. They have, in recent months, upped their investment stakes while potential ones are at various stages of taking decisions.

Investment data from key agencies, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) attest to increase in this regard.

Latest chart by NIPC revealed that inflows totaled $17.88 billion in first quarter of 2018 while NBS put it’s own at $6.3 billion. The figure is higher than that of 2017.

 

Outlook

With a population of over 190 million, Nigeria is unarguably a darling for discerning investors.

For instance, NIPC’s investments record shared recently with the media revealed that of the $17.88 billion investments recorded in the first quarter of 2018, they were spread across 32 projects in eight states of the federation.

The figure surpasses the $6.38 billion investment flow in six projects across four states recorded in the first quarter of 2017.

Further scrutiny of NIPC data showed that most of the investments and sources of their finances came from the United Kingdom, accounting for $59.000 million, followed by Nigeria with $212.00 million, United States $2,357 million and China $1.200 million.
Others are Switzerland with $847,00 million, while $262,00 million came from other sources respectively.

In a similar data by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), first quarter 2018 saw a continuous growth in total capital importation into Nigeria.

The total value of capital imported in the quarter stood at $6.30 billion, which is a year-on-year increase of 594.03 per cent and a 17.11 per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.

This increase in capital inflow in Q1, 2018 was driven mainly by portfolio investment, which grew from $3.47 billion in the previous quarter to $4.56 billion, accounting for 72.42 per cent of the total capital importation during the quarter.

Further analysis of the report showed that foreign direct investment stood at $246.62 million, dropping by 34.83 per cent from the figure reported in the previous quarter, and growing by 16.67 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

“Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria was still weak when compared to Portfolio Investment and Other Investment, representing only 3.9 per cent of total capital imported,” NBS capital investment flow data revealed.

While presenting investment data to the media in Abuja, NIPC Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, listed oil and gas sector, transport, construction, ICT, manufacturing and solar plants as areas mostly favoured.

Sadiku listed Lagos, Kano, Niger, Ogun as preferred destinations.

 

I Guide Nigeria

To consolidate the process, NIPC has come up with an investment guide, a sort of compendium on investments for investors.

I Guide Nigeria is meant to open Nigeria investment opportunities to foreign investors. It was launched by NIPC in collaboration with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD) to showcase country’s investment opportunities.

It houses all the vital investment information, which gives details of the business opportunities in Nigeria as well as steps for engagement from registration to land acquisition to would be investors.

Speaking at the occasion, Sadiku said the online platform showcasing Nigeria business environment would assume the position of the country’s investment voice, saying it was important to give Nigeria business environment a voice

“The I Guide online platform is such a simple investment tool, yet very useful. I Guide is an easy-to-use online platform providing investors with up-to-date and pertinent information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of doing business in Nigeria, to enable investors get access to the basic information they need to make better informed decisions on Nigeria as a preferred investment destination.

“The platform provides information on starting a business, labour, production factors, land, taxes, investor’s rights, growth sectors and opportunities. It is a marketing tool as information on Nigeria investment processes and procedures are on one platform for easy access,” she said.

Sadiku said the platform provides information on local data, which “contains information on labour costs, taxes, rent values, utility prices and transport cost as well as information on relevant laws and regulations as well as contact of ministries and agencies responsible for the issuance of licences/approvals.”

 

Bottlenecks

While investment horizon looks pretty good and decidedly certain for Nigeria, the country is contending with huge infrastructures gap and protracted insecurity challenge – the two are vital indices that influence investors’ decision.

Experts in infrastructure postulate that the country needs to spend $3 trillion on economic infrastructure over the next 30 years, if it must meet its ambitious development goals.

Nigeria’s major infrastructure challenges border on poor power supply, bad roads, and inefficient railways.

Relatedly, security is intractable challenge and a draw back to investment. Kidnapping, banditry, Boko Harram attacks and other crimes cast a spell on investments flow.

Whatever quantum of investments that came into Nigeria during the period under review, a higher figure of investments flow would be attained under a better atmosphere.

Interestingly, the Federal Government said its faith on investment flow was undaunted, notwithstanding security and infrastructure challenges.

Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelemah, said the Federal Government was aiming first to 100th position on the World Bank ranking on the ease of doing business with the launch of I Guide.

According to the minister, Nigeria appreciated 24 places in the recent ranking of the World Bank’s ease of doing business presented last year, moving from 169 places to 145 among 190 countries.

Enelemah expressed optimism that with the government’s efforts to improve ease of doing business, Nigeria would fair better in 2018 ranking.

 

Last line

While the country’s investment outlook is very attractive and irresistible to investors, the onus is on government to upgrade its various infrastructure facilities and curtail the current high level of insecurity.

A work on these two infrastructure will certainly put Nigeria in league of first top investment destinations.

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Inside Abuja

Coping with economic realities in Abuja

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Times are hard and the role of women in many families are changing. In Abuja, many women have dumped their traditional status as housewives. DEBORAH OCHENI reports

 

The economic hardship in Nigeria has unleashed a silent revolution in many homes in Abuja. The rate at which women financially support their families to make ends meet is now unimaginable.

Gone are the days when women were contented with keeping the home as housewives and their husbands were meant to carter for all the needs of the family. In some homes today, women have become the bread winners, particularly where the husband has lost his job due to the job cuts, down-sizing and lay- offs in various work places in and around the Federal Capital Territory. Nowadays, it’s very difficult to find a “stay at home mum” in Abuja.

But this is not only attributable to the hardship but also to the growing population of women who have acquired western education and have got the skills to seek paid employment or be self employed.

These educated women try to force their way into one organization or the other no matter how little the salary might be, while the semi-educated acquire vocational skills such as catering, tailoring, soap making and petty trading to assist their husbands in running the homes. Indeed, many women, who were once mere housewives are now in the business of selling provisions and food stuffs in Abuja.

Invariably, there is no point denying the fact that they are happy at their decision of refusing to be ‘stay at home mothers’, as they can attend to their vital needs and the needs of their family from their income without involving their husbands. Most of these women are no longer contented with the meagre resources they get from their husbands as housekeeping allowances.

They now hustle their way to ensure their contribution to the economic wellbeing of the family is greatly felt in their homes. Inside Abuja went on the streets to interact with some of the financially independent wives.

The interviews showed that they all have diverse reasons for their choice of pursuing additional livelihoods independent of their husbands. However, the underlying factor is the fact that most women are tired of always asking their husbands for money to cater for their needs no matter how little it may be.

Blessing Augustine, a mother of four children, said she decided to enrol in a skill acquisition training programme to enable her acquire the needed skills to do something meaningful for her family. “I only regret not taking this decision earlier.

The worst thing that can happen to any woman is to relax at home and watch her husband providing all her needs. It doesn’t matter if you have to suffer a lot before you can have small gain on whatever legal business you do. It is better you suffer and make your money because it will cause your husband to respect and appreciate you more.

Before now, it’s so difficult for me to feed my children if their father doesn’t provide money for feeding. But those days have passed. I can’t even remember the last time I asked my husband for feeding money but my children are feeding fine and I am happy. I can now do my daily contributions, feed my children conveniently and buy my cosmetics effortlessly,” she said. Ladi Sunday is a provision shop owner in Abuja. She said she was living comfortably but decided to earn a living on her own.

“I thank God I have a husband that cooperates well with me. He said I should stay at home and take care of our children. Although he meets every of our needs timely, he never complained but I was still not comfortable.

I discussed with him how I desire to have a personal source of income and he opened a shop for me. Since then, I feel so fulfilled because I do so many things now without involving my husband.” Sunday said. Joy Akhire, a seamstress, who makes a living from her fashion and designs shop, said it was a decision she had to make because of the realities of the times.

“My upbringing did not allow us to stay completely idle at home no matter how wealthy the husband is. Marriage almost made me a lazy woman but the present condition of the country made me to realize the need to seek for extra income for the family.

I have slight knowledge of tailoring but when the family load became too much on my husband, I decided to perfect the tailoring skill in me and the outcome has been awesome,” Akhire said. Mary Makoji, a mother of four children, narrated to Inside Abuja how she delved into multiple economic activities that made her financial contributions to the family almost equal to that of her husband.

“Initially, I was comfortable using whatever comes out of my husband’s pocket but when we had our second baby, I thought of the high rate of house rent and our children’s school fees and then realized that my husband’s salary cannot handle it.

I saw that if we continued that way, we might not feed well or attend to other things. “Severally, I sold the idea of opening a hair dressing saloon to my husband but he wouldn’t allow me based on what people may say. I started by bringing customers to the house for hair dressing at an affordable rate. Gradually , the level of patronage blossomed but my husband was not aware of all this as he goes to work early and returns late.

I could attend to three customers in a day and I get paid. “As time went on, I was not complaining much in terms of feeding again because whatever he drops for feeding I will add up money and prepare delicious meal while paying my daily contributions. When it’s time to renew our house rent, I suggested to my husband that we should add up what I have saved from the daily contribution to the rental fee to build a house since we already have a land and my husband was shocked to his marrow at the amount that I coughed out.

That was how we built our house. Although, I have not gotten a shop yet, I still do hair-dressing and tailoring in one of my rooms. I sell soft drinks and foodstuffs too. I am relieved of so many things now.

We no longer pay rent. Our four children go to the best school around us and we feed better. My husband loves and appreciates me more now,” she said. Similarly, Veronica Ochanya, mother of three, said she detested being called a ‘housewife’ and decided early in her marriage not to allow herself to be boxed into a corner. “I detest the slogan ‘housewife’ that relegates many women to the house.

We have a lot of potentials that can fetch us better money but men with their ‘I can take care of my wife’ mentality will waste our potentials in the name of marriage. “Thank God for the hype in cost of living in Abuja. It has made my husband to realize the need for me to go out and make extra money for family upkeep and he is enjoying everything now because it’s a great relieve for him,” said Ochanya.

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