15 Borno indigenes in Edo IDP drop out of varsities, send SOS to Zulum

No fewer than 15 Borno indigenes in the internally-displaced persons (IDP) camp in Uhogua, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo, have been forced out of school by management of the camp due to financial challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IDPs, who dropped out of schools, were in various levels in different tertiary institutions across the country.

Some of the drop-outs, who spoke with NAN in tears, expressed sadness that their hope of attaining education so that they could be useful to themselves, the society and the country had been cut short.

They appealed to Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno to come their aid so that they could continue their education.

John Ayuba, an IDP from Gworza in Borno, disclosed that for more than two years, the IDPs of Borno origin in the camp had tried in several ways to reach Zulum to appeal to him to take over their education and help them pay their fees.x

He noted that in spite of their efforts, they had gotten no response from the governor, adding “we don’t know why the governor is not responding to our cries”.

Another IDP from Borno, Usman Philemon, told NAN that the least the governor could do for them was to encourage them by sponsoring their education.

“It is not by our making that we have become IDPs, but since we have found ourselves in this condition, we cannot afford to become useless in life. That is why we have decided to pursue our education.x

“When we finish, we will come back home to help develop the state and give back to the state its investment in us.

“Imagine in this camp, we have about 12 of us from Borno studying Medicine, another 12 studying Law and five studying Chemical Engineering.

“The management of the camp has been sponsoring us from secondary school up till now, but today, things have become very difficult for us; they can’t meet up with the sponsorship again.

“This has forced some of us to drop out of school.

“We are still appealing to our governor to come to our aid and help us achieve our educational dream so that we be useful to the state and become worthy ambassadors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Coordinator of the camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, told NAN that the 15 IDPs, who dropped out of school, were from the 63 IDPs presently in various higher institutions of learning across the country.x

He explained that that it was quite painful to the management that some of them had to stop schooling, adding, however, that it was due to the present realities in the camp.

Folorunsho said that the management of the camp could no longer fund the education of the IDPs due to financial constraints and other challenges which the management was trying to cope with.

He added that the management of the camp had been responsible for their education since the insurgency forced them out of their state and they found shelter in the camp more than seven years ago.

The coordinator also stated that the management tried to reach out to some persons and even state governors where the IDPs came from, but no response had been received.

According to him, it has been quite challenging from the period of COVID-19, adding “it has been very challenging to pay their fees.”

The coordinator, however, disclosed that aside the 15 IDPs from Borno, three from other states were also affected.x

Speaking on the last UTME, the coordinator said that 134 out of the 150 IDPs enrolled were able to write the exams.

He explained that the 16 IDPs, who didn’t write, couldn’t get their centres until after the exams.

“As I speak to you, those ones are just hoping that they will be called again to do the exams,” he said.

Folorunsho further disclosed that out of the 134 IDPs, who sat for the examination, more than a quarter scored above 200.

Africa Agri-food Development Programme Application Now Open

Applications are now open for the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP), a joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the Department of Foreign Affairs to develop partnerships between the Irish Agri-Food Sector and African countries to support the sustainable growth of the local food industry, build markets for local produce and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa.

This will be achieved through supporting eligible Irish companies to build meaningful partnerships with African companies and use their expertise and resources to jointly work on projects which will have a strong development impact.

It is a requirement of the AADP that any investment of public funds will be at least matched by co-funding from the private sector. It is intended that AADP investments serve as a catalyst for far greater private sector investment, which will deliver significant development impact and develop meaningful partnerships between Irish agri-food companies and locally owned and operated African companies. Funding will only be approved for applicants who can clearly demonstrate financial and development additionally. The fund is designed to leverage greater expertise, experience and investment from the Irish agri-food sector and projects should demonstrate results with a long-term developmental impact that will ultimately lead to sustainable benefits in African countries through investment by the private sector.

Irish agri-food expertise is wide-ranging and examples of suitable AADP projects include:

  • Business and capacity development
  • Sustainable production and processing systems
  • Knowledge and Technology Transfer
  • R&D
  • Project Management

Funding Information

  • AADP funding is up to a maximum of €250,000 per company for a Full Project and €100,000 for a Feasibility Study;
  • AADP funding will not exceed 50% of the total costs of the project;

Funding Conditions

  • Funding will only be awarded to Irish-registered agri food companies;
  • AADP funds must be allocated in a manner that shows a direct line between the services and activities supported and the Programme’s core objectives;
  • ‘In kind’ contributions offered by applicants to the AADP-funded project will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to assess whether these contributions can be accepted as part of the matched financing arrangement. Companies must declare all other funding provided any other Irish or EU Public funding source to be used as funds contributed by the Irish registered company.
  • AADP funds must only be used for:
    • The procurement, use and maintenance of machinery and other capital assets
    • Construction, retro-fitting, renovating and maintenance of commercial facilities and infrastructure that are primarily used for agri-food activities
    • Costs associated with training, education and extension services
    • Employment costs for staff that are exclusively working on activities relating to the project
    • A maximum of 50% of Travel & Subsistence costs for Feasibility Studies
  • Travel & Subsistence will not be eligible for AADP funding under Full Projects
  • A maximum of 50% of external Consultant, Project Management or Technical Support fees for project-specific activities (incl. Monitoring & Evaluation). Rate to be set at a maximum of €200 per day or as advised by relevant embassy for local rates.
  • AADP funds will not be used to fund the manufacture, development or sale of weapons, tobacco, alcohol or gambling activities.
  • In accordance with “Environmental Sustainability” being a core criterion of any successful AADP application, AADP funds will not be used to support the production of fossil fuels.
  • AADP funds will not be used to support activities that contribute to deforestation (i.e. the conversion of a forest to another land use the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10% threshold) and/or forest degradation (i.e. the reduction of the capacity of a forest to provide goods and services).
  • AADP funds will not be provided to companies or commercial activities that do not comply with international standards and conventions regarding: human rights, the environment, corruption, or labour laws; and where the company cannot demonstrate clear goals and ongoing measures to address these problems.

Eligibility Criteria

  • All proposed projects must be commercial in nature and focus, and must contribute strongly to the sustainable development of the food system within the African country(ies) selected;
  • All applicants must be agri-food companies that have been registered/incorporated in Ireland at least 12 months prior to the AADP application period commencing;
  • Along with the relevant Application Form, all AADP applicants must provide:
    • At least one year of audited accounts;
    • Company and tax information
    • An account of project-related “flow of funds”
    • Any background contracts and Memoranda of Understanding
    • Any further documentation found to be relevant and agreed with partners
    • The partners involved for Full Projects must include at least one Irish registered agri-food company and one local commercial entity in Africa.
  • All applicants for Full Projects must be able to demonstrate that they have at least three years of experience within their team in the relevant agri-food sector and development context.
  • The application must clearly outline how these two distinct companies will enter an equitable and ethical partnership.
  • If an applicant company proposes to undertake a Feasibility Study, it should include a list of any potential partners within the application.
  • All proposals must clearly explain: (i) how the intended results of the project will provide additional contributions to the sustainable development of the local agri-food system in the African country(ies) and (ii) why public funds are essential to finance the initiative and will not replacing existing funding sources.
  • Successful AADP funding applicants will be encouraged to engage with Irish and other national and international NGOs where possible on various aspects of the projects i.e., project design, community engagement and mobilization, training and extension, etc.
  • Projects will be supported in the following countries – Botswana, Cóte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe;

For more information, visit https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/international-priorities/africa/aadp/

France, Germany donates to Northeast humanitarian projects

The French and German Governments have donated towards the United Nations World Food Programme (UN/WFP) humanitarian projects in the North-east.

A statement on Thursday by the two Embassies of the two European countries in Nigeria said that €400,000 has been donated to support humanitarian projects in Nigeria’s troubled North-east Nigeria.

The statement read: “On behalf of our respective Governments, France and Germany have decided to make a voluntary contribution of 200,000 EUR each to support the continued operations of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operated by the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“These voluntary contributions are made in light of the current humanitarian, security, and operational conditions prevailing in the Northeast regions of Nigeria.”

The statement added: “In this context, we view UNHAS activities as critical to maintaining humanitarian access to populations in need of assistance as well as the security of humanitarian personnel – both of which France and Germany are determined to guarantee, notably as co-initiators of the ‘Call for Action’ to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law and principled humanitarian action.

“We also seize this opportunity to reiterate the support expressed at the Annual Session of WFP’s Executive Board last month, underlining the central importance of UNHAS for the entire humanitarian community and the necessity of a principled approach to ensure that UNHAS continues to be perceived as an independent humanitarian service.”

Both countries also encouraged WFP to continue entertaining a close dialogue with NGOs, implementing partners, and other relevant actors in the conception and implementation of UNHAS operations.