Nigeria Inflation at Almost 3-1/2 Year High in Feb.

Nigeria's annual consumer inflation rate rose 11.4 percent in February, 176 basis points higher than in January, to near a three-and-a-half year high, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday.

Africa's biggest economy is facing its worst economic crisis in decades fuelled by the collapse in crude prices, which has slashed government revenues, weakened the currency and caused growth to slow. The economy grew 2.8 percent last year, its slowest pace in decades.

Farmers’ Associations Laud FG’s Single Digit Interest Rate on Loan

Some farmers associations on Friday in Lagos lauded Federal Government’s single digit interest rate on farmers’ loan through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the country’s economy tilts toward non-oil development.

The presidents of the associations in separate interviews told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was a laudable step toward improving commercialisation, processing and self-sufficiency in the agriculture sector.

‘We’ll Urgently Develop Agriculture Sector, Others’

President Muhammadu Buhari said late Tuesday in Riyadh that his administration was fully committed to increasing the productivity of Nigeria’s agriculture and solid minerals sectors to save the nation from the harsh effects of lower crude oil prices.

Speaking at a meeting with leading members of the Council of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry, President Buhari said that with declining revenues from crude oil exports, Nigeria’s hopes of economic resurgence now lie in the rapid development of its immense agricultural and solid mineral resources.

‘CBN Agrees 5% Agric. Lending Rate’

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had agreed to five per cent interest on lending rate to farmers in the country.

Ogbeh made this known on Tuesday, while delivering a keynote address at the opening of a two-day national workshop on a ``New Agricultural Policy for Nigeria.’’

The workshop was organised by the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) in collaboration with the ministry and All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).

Expert Seeks Govt., Stakeholders’ Synergy to Revive Agriculture

The President, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF), Prof. Gbolagade Ayoola, has stressed the need for synergy between stakeholders and government agencies to revive the agriculture sector.

Ayoola made the suggestion while delivering a paper at a workshop organised by the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The titled of the paper is ``Agricultural Rebirth in Nigeria: Issues of Policy and Institutional Realignment.’’

Bird Flu: Veterinary Department Seeks Urgent Action Against Spread

The Federal Department of Veterinary Services has called for ``urgent and decisive action’’ through the collaborative efforts of all three tiers of government to contain the spread of Avian Influenza in the country.

The Director of the department, Dr Eze Egejuru, made the appeal at the 44th Meeting of the National Livestock Development Committee on Friday in Abuja.

Cashew Association Targets ₦80B from Cashew Export in 2016

The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) has said that it hoped to generate about N80 billion from cashew export in 2016.

Mr Sotonye Anga, the spokesman for the association, disclosed this in an interview recently on the sideline of the Annual Cashew Logistics Meeting in Lagos.

Shipping companies also attended the conference.

Anga noted that shipping lines had recognised cashew as revenue generating cash crop and contributor to the country’s economy.

32 Ships Laden with Petroleum Products, Foods Expected in Lagos

Thirty two ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are expected to arrive Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos from Jan. 7 to Jan. 24.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) stated this in its publication - `Shipping Position’, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

NPA explained that the expected ships contained general cargoes, buck wheat, containers, fresh fish, bulk fertiliser, bulk sugar, steel products, empty containers, bulk charcoal, ethanol, diesel, bulk rice and petrol.

Kano State Govt. Employs 729 Extension Workers

The Kano State Government has employed 729 extension workers to assist farmers to improve agricultural production in the state.

Prof. Mahmud Daneji, Managing Director, Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), disclosed this in Kano at the weekend.

Daneji said that the government had also distributed 400 motorcycles to extension workers to solve their transportation problems.

Sugar Farming: Benue Govt. Signs £1bn MoU with Trans-Sahara Consortium

The Benue Government on Friday signed a one billion pound Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trans-Sahara Consortium for sugar farming and construction of sugar plants in Benue.

Dr Tersoo Kpelai, the state Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, signed the MoU on behalf of the government in Makurdi.

He said that the project, when completed, would generate jobs and create wealth for the local populace and the government.