5,000 Farmers to Benefit from New Partnership on Maize Production

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Bennett Oghifo
The OCP Africa has launched an agricultural intervention programme, known as Agribooster Campus Offer, in partnership with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

OCP Africa is a subsidiary of OCP Group, a Moroccan company and the world’s largest producer and exporter of phosphate and phosphate-based fertilizers. The multinational company drives a bilateral partnership between Nigeria and Morocco on the supply of phosphate to blending plants in several states across the country.

The Agribooster Campus Offer programme, launched recently, was targeted at 5,000 maize farmers within the university and its immediate environs, according to a statement by OCP Africa, recently.

As part of the launching of this programme, the Faculty of Agriculture, ABU, Zaria nominated 15 of its postgraduate students to be trained and equipped by OCP Africa on agriculture extension skills in order to reach the target 5,000 farmers, teaching them best practices in the application of various farm inputs to maximize their yield in maize cultivation.

The Country Manager of OCP Africa, Mr. Caleb Usoh, said that the initiative would provide the farmers with fertilisers, seeds, and agro-chemicals; funding through its project partner, ABU Microfinance Bank Limited as well as training for the postgraduate extension workers who would in turn, train the farmers.

Usoh said, “We are very positive that this program will significantly expand the yields of these farmers, based on the quality of the seeds and fertilizers we have brought in. The students who are going to become agri-promoters in the different villages where these 5,000 framers are operating will create awareness for them in the proper use of farm inputs.

“With this intervention by OCP Africa and its partners, the farmers will be able to get the right types of fertilizers and other critical inputs in sufficient quantities, and at the right time.”

The Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, ABU Zaria, Professor Olufunmilola Alabi said, “We are happy that OCP Africa has chosen our school to begin the roll out of its Agribooster Campus Offer in Nigerian universities. The selected postgraduate students are being trained to become extension workers who will work with the farmers within our immediate environs. We expect that this intervention would increase the maize yield drastically for the farmers concerned, and it will translate into more money for them.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Kaduna State, and representative of the state governor at the event, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kasim, expressed optimism that Agribooster Campus Offer would be a good complement towards the transformation of agriculture in the entire Kaduna state.

“We congratulate the company and its partners for putting together this intervention which will ultimately help our state to move agriculture away from subsistence levels and make it a more profitable business.”
One of the ABU’s postgraduate extension workers, Mr. Elijah Ogunshola said, “With the training he has undergone both in the classroom as well as what he has now got from OCP Africa in the past six months, the yield of farmers under his watch would significantly increase. It is high time we brought our local farmers up to speed with modern practices, and by God’s grace, we will try our best to see that we put a smile on the farmers face, helping them to make farming a more profitable venture than what they are used to.”

Group Advocates Disruptive Strategy for Social Impact, Behavioural Change
Raheem Akingbolu
A Lagos-based integrated communications agency Yellow Brick Road (YBR), has advocated the use of disruptive social impact communication strategy to effect positive behavioural change in Nigerian societies.
The duo of Olumide Olowole (Kaliko) and Nnenna Onyewuchi, in their capacity as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Strategy respectively, at a high level capacity symposium in Abuja, averred that disruptive and creative communications strategies could be a powerful way to change society.
Addressing stakeholders from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and members of the media at the sideline of the event with theme: A Marketing Approach to Behaviour Change – Disrupting Social Impact Communications, they averred, that the agency has successfully deployed a non conventional approach to address gender inequality and other social challenges using disruptive social impact to drive real social change.
The agency also shared insights gleaned through experience working with UNICEF, Voices4Change, Girl Effect, MTN Foundation, Oando Foundation, British Council and Dangote Foundation.
According to Olowola, YBR’s philosophy for developing communication campaigns is based on a digital first approach, using the disruption method which seeks to challenge conventional concepts of advertising. He stressed that the practice is split into a commercial arm to service its private sector clients and a social marketing division to service Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The agency, he added embarked on the disruptive marketing practice to drive behavioural change in the way most people do things so that there can be better society, explaining for instance that sexual slavery, gender inequality, lack of access to education are limitations of growth that the world is contending with. According to him, if these societal challenges are not properly addressed especially through unconventional disruptive strategy, it will one day blow up on the faces of Nigerians.
Olowola said: “These are all issues that if not taken care of now will blow up in our faces at some point and what this will lead to is economic disenfranchisement, as well as economic flight because people might be forced to leave the country.
“What YBR is therefore trying to do in its little way in synergy with other stakeholders is to deploy marketing campaign that can help address and redress these behavioural attitudes.”

Allianz Nigeria Launches Free Auto Insurance Campaign
Ebere Nwoji
Allianz Nigeria Insurance Plc has launched free auto diagnosis insurance marketing campaign programme tagged ‘Allianz Auto CARdiology.’
The company, also said its target in Nigeria was to emerge as the largest retail insurance firm and one of the largest financial services provider in Nigeria.
Allianz Nigeria which has its parent body in Germany, said it wants to achieve the target within the next five years.
The Executive Director of the global insurer, Mr Owolabi Salami, at a press briefing said in extending its investment tentacles to Nigerian insurance market, Allianz aims to redefine the future of Nigerian insurance market by deemphasising corporate business and focusing on retail insurance, which he stressed was where the future of the insurance industry lies.
He said it was part of the company’s strategy of promoting and engaging in activities that would deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.
He said Allianz Nigeria insurance, has registered a micro insurance firm and has submitted its application to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) .
He said to boost its operations in the micro insurance market, Allianz had acquired stake in Bima, a company that pioneered platform for micro insurance in Ghana, Senegal among other African countries.
He said being part of Allianz, the management would leverage on Bima to deliver micro insurance to Nigerians.
He said part of the micro insurance sales strategy was the CARdiology motor insurance.
According to Salami, the CARdiology auto diagnosis is a brand marketing programme targeted at luring motorists in the country to buy motor insurance.
He spoke on the working of the programme saying CARdiology is a brand awareness and marketing campaign to acquire motor insurance policy.He said by offering the services to the subscribers into the promotional campaign, Allianz Nigeria would invite applications from the public and would select about 2000 applicants.
These, according to him would be directed to choose from 20 available garages chosen by Allianz where they would send their vehicles for diagnosis and detection . He said Allianz Nigeria would bear the cost of the diagnoses to the tune of N10,0000. He, however, said the company in the policy cannot bear the cost of repair. According to him, it would only bear the cost of detecting the problem.

Nem Insurance Announces Dividend Pay-out
Nem Insurance Plc has announced a dividend pay of 13 kobo for every 50 kobo share to its shareholders. The company announced this at its 49th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos recently.
Addressing the shareholders at the meeting, Nem Insurance Chairman, Fidelis Ayebae, said during the year under review,the company’s Gross Premium recorded was N15.04 billion, an increase of 12.2 percent over the previous year’s turnover of N13.4 billion as well as increase of 9.1 percent
“That is, while N10.7 billion was earned in 2018, N9.8 billion was earned in 2017”, he explained
According to him, the company’s investment income increased by 34.2 per cent, adding that while the income for 2018 was N952.8 million, that of 2017 was N709.9 million.
In terms and of claims payment, the Nem Insurance Chairman said the company incurred gross claims of N6.01 billion, showing 20 per cent increase over that of the preceding period that was N5.01 billion.
“The Gross Claims ratio for 2018 stood at 40 per cent whereas that of 2017 was 37.4 percent an increase of 2.6 per cent
“Net Claims paid for the year was N2.6 billion, while that of the previous year was N1.8 billion; resulting into an increase of 43.2 percent ,The Net Claims ratio was 23.9 percent for the year under review and 18.2 percent for 2017; an increase of 5.7 percent”, he explained .
According to Ayebae, the positions of the Group’s Financial Assets decreased by 39.1 percent while total assets and totait’s quity improved by 27.7 per cent and 27.6 per cent respectively.
“The parent company also had the same percentage decrease in Financial Assets as that of the Group i.e. 39.1 percent ,the Total Assets and Total Equity increased by the same percentage i.e. 27.4per cent.”
In his report at the meeting titled “reaching for the new heights”, Nem Insurance Group Managing Director, Tope Smart, noted that despite the difficult operating environment businesses waded through during the period under review, Nem Insurance had maintained its focus as it continued to increase its market share.
“From about five per cent market share, we now control close to seven per cent market share of non life business. We are determined to improve on this figure.
“Our associate in Ghana, Regency Nem Insurance is expanding its operations into the major areas in Ghana. This will lead to more income for the company and ultimately impact its bottom line in the nearest future”, Smart stated.

Law Union & Rock Grows Net Benefit, Claims by 117%, Profit Falls
Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, said it grew its net benefit and claims by 117 per cent, to N1.6 billion at the end of its 2018 financial year, compared with N0.737 billion in the corresponding period of 2017.
Based on the phenomenal increase in net benefits and claims, the company’s profit before tax fell by 55.4 per cent to N0.490 billion from N1.099 billion recorded in 2017.
The Chairman of the company, Remi Babalola, disclosed this during the company’s 50th annual general meeting held in Lagos recently.
Babalola, while presenting the annual report of the company to the shareholders, said, “We are pleased to be one of the top claim paying Insurance companies as our claim paid per premium earned is one of the highest in the industry.”
He said in furtherance of its commitment to continually enrich the company’s shareholders, the board recommended cash dividend of two kobo per share for the 2018 financial year.
The chairman said that the company’s gross premium written rose slightly by 6.79 per cent from N4.252 billion achieved in 2017, to N4.541 billion.
Its underwriting profit however dropped significantly by 46.05 per cent to N0.638 billion, from N1.182 billion posted in the preceding year, he added.
He however, assured that the company had remained unrelenting in sustaining high corporate and ethical governance standards in its business.
He said the board had been at the forefront of ensuring total compliance with every directive from the National Insurance Commission.
“The company’s management went through a significant overhaul with the appointment of Mr Ademayowa Adeduro as the new Managing Director/chief executive officer,” he said.
Speaking on the outlook of the company, Adeduro said, “While we anticipate an improved operating economy, our strategic initiatives for the year 2019 includes to begin sales in AutoReg-Courtville franchise that bundles our auto insurance with vehicles licence renewal.
“We will broaden the horizon of our financial institution/bancassurance and broker marketing groups; to have two sub-units under FI and three sub-units under brokers.”