The National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM) has said that it has completed arrangements to outlaw the importation of some agricultural tools into the country.
NCAM, which disclosed this in Minna, Niger State Monday, said the organisation would now emphasise the local production of the farming implements.
Speaking at the donation of some modern farming implements to agricultural cooperative societies in the state by the Director General of the Ilorin Kwara State-based organisation, Mr Jackson Babajide, said some of the farming tools imported into the country were becoming too difficult for rural farmers to use.
“We have discovered that farming methods and some implements are becoming very difficult for farmers in the rural communities. Part of our mandate is to discover and develop small scale equipment to reduce the burden of processing to the teeming farming population across the country looking at the areas of comparative advantage.
“The machines manufactured and fabricated by the centre are designed to withstand environmental hardship and could be maintained locally without any difficulty,” Babajide said.
He said it was as a result of the “remarkable achievements” of the organisation in the field of agricultural technology that the agency decided to embark on a tour of the six geo political zones of the country to “showcase some of our works for interested farmers throughout the country and to reproduce them based on demand”.
The Managing Director of the Niger State Agricultural Mechanisation Development Authority, Alhaji Sadiq Ibrahim, in an address, said the donation of the modern farming tools by National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation of Nigeria was to encourage rural farming activities and interested large scale farming across the state.
Ibrahim appreciated the gesture of the NCAM for choosing Niger State among the beneficiaries of its technological products, assuring the firm that the state government would liaise and persuade farmers and other cooperative societies on the need to urgently adopt mechanised method of farming for rapid agricultural development in the state
The farming tools distributed to the cooperative societies included rice planters and threshers among others.
Insurance companies urged to adopt new innovation
Insurance sector operators have been advised to prepare for the next generation of consumers and talents by embracing changes and responding to the economic, social and technological needs in the sector.
Stakeholders who spoke at the 2018 Presidential Valedictory Lecture to mark the end of the tenure of Funmi Babington-Ashaye as the 48th President and chairman of Council of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), stressed that the industry must embrace new ways of delivering its services to meet the expectation and speed of the new generation of consumers, and talents.
The lecture which was delivered by Babington-Ashaye had as its theme, ‘Insurance and Generation Next- Meeting the Needs of Stakeholders’. Speaking at the event, the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, who chaired the event said insurance model today is not sustainable.
“The industry will die if it does not open itself to change and embrace the new space,” stating that there are lots of disruptors that are ready to take over the business and offer the same services the insurance companies or the brokers think they are offering. She said the potential for growth was huge, saying the industry currently operates at the least of its capacity.
“There is a bit of complacency in the industry, so you might not survive the next generation if people and technology come in with the new things they have, she stated.
Babington-Ashaye, in her lecture said for the industry to catch-up with the generation next, players in the business must leverage technology, adopt new ways of working, repackage products, and improve products and pricing strategy, as well as data mining.
The insurance industry she further said, is at the threshold of its evolution in which developments in technology would significantly impact its products offerings, operations and the skill set of personnel required to deliver value to the diverse stakeholders, in the near future, which will be dominated by generation next.
“Given the declining inflow of new entrants into the profession, the fear of a talent gap is rife. We need to change the wrong perception by showcasing the career opportunities that exist, the product we develop, the risks we assume and the professional advisory services we provide, Babington-Ashaye stated.
Speakers at the event all agreed on the need for the industry to bring flexibility and varieties of offering, open up the sector for new talents, particularly from outside insurance, and improve on remuneration to make the sector attractive for generation next, enhance perception and increase trust.
According to them, all of these will position the sector for sustainable growth and attract the generation next.