The multi-billion naira Abuja Water Treatment Plants (phases three and four) have been slated for commissioning in May next year by the federal government. The treatment plants that is being constructed at the lower Usman Dam, Abuja when completed and commissioned is expected to cater fully for the water needs of residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and those living in its environs, and make water scarcity in the FCT a thing of the past. Currently, the phase three of the project is 95 per cent complete while phase four is 65 per cent ready and are expected to be handed-over to the government by the contractors undertaking the projects in November 2009 and first quarter of 2010, respectively. Speaking during an inspection tour of the project site, FCT Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero said the government attached great importance to the project and was committed to ensuring that it delivers potable water to Abuja and its satellite towns, as promised in his ‘Millenium Park Declaration” to usher in year 2009. Senator Aliero assured that the government was not leaving any stone unturned in its commitment to fulfill its promises to the residents to provide potable water to the entire nooks and crannies of the Federal Capital Territory. The minister, who expressed satisfaction with the zeal and commitment shown by the contractors, directed that the technical staff that are expected to be involved in its maintenance after completion should now be identified and trained on the job as the project is about to wind up. His words: “I am impressed by what I have seen so far but I want to direct that the staff that would be involved in its maintenance should now be identified and given adequate training for smooth take over as well as its efficient operation.” “We have made a promise to the people of the Federal Capital Territory to provide potable water within specific period of time and we are determined to fulfill such pledge, everything being equal.”
Herdsmen Kill Four, Raze 50 Houses In Plateau Attack
The Plateau State Police Command has confirmed, at least, four persons dead and 50 houses razed in renewed clash between suspected Fulani militants and youths of Jebbu in Miango, Bassa Local Government of the state.
The clash, according to police, was between Irigwe youths in Miango community and Fulani militants over an age-long land crisis in the area.
The three other persons were injured in the bloody clash on Saturday night.
It was gathered the clash lasted for hours.
Spokesman of Plateau State Police Command, ASP Gabriel Ubah, in a statement, yesterday, explained “On 31/07/2021, the command received a report that there was a conflict between gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias and youths from Irigwe at Jebbu Miango, Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
“Unfortunately, fifty houses were torched and four natives were also shot dead.
“Upon receipt of the report, the tactical team of the command was immediately deployed to the scene to tighten the security of the area and to restore peace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, with other senior officers of the command visited the scene and has ordered a discreet investigation to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act. Normalcy has been restored in that area.”
Mother Of Kidnapped Bethel Baptist School Student Begs For Help
A 85-year-old mother of one of the 78 Bethel Baptist School students still in kidnappers’ den, Mrs Esther Joseph, has called on relevant authorities, including international bodies, to urgently intervene in the release of the students.
She expressed faith in God to intervene in the students’ case.
Looking weak and dejected, Mrs Joseph, who said she sold all her properties and paid ransom for the release of her daughter, said she was disappointed as the kidnappers made a fresh demand.
It would be recalled that kidnappers had reached out to parents last week, making a fresh demand of N100million after they had paid N68million.
The kidnappers released 28 students two weeks ago and promised to release the rest in batches.
However, they have made a fresh demand for ransom.
Mrs. Joseph said she spoke with her daughter when the kidnappers made contact.
“From the way she was responding to me, I knew my daughter was in pain. Her speech was distorted as she was crying throughout the period we spoke on the phone,” she said.
“As a widow, I can’t even afford to feed myself and other siblings as I have sold everything I had. I am trusting God that one day, my daughter will be freed,” she added tearfully.
Gunmen had on July 5 abducted 121 pupils during an attack on the school along the Kaduna-Kachia highway, Damishi, in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Made-In-Nigeria Foods: NAFDAC Raises Alarm Over Rejection By US, EU
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye, has decried the incessant rejection of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria by the United States of America USA and the European Union member countries over what she described as “poor quality”.
The DG, in a press statement on ‘Quality and Safety of Export Food Trade’ made available to newsmen, yesterday, urged all the regulatory agencies at the port saddled with the responsibility of ensuring high quality of imports and exports to find urgent and lasting solutions to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) Border Rejection Notifications from the European Commission on products originating from Nigeria.
Adeyeye lamented the resultant bad image the repeated rejection of commodities from Nigeria by the EU has caused the country.
She expressed concern over the volume of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria that is currently facing challenges at entry points in some countries in Europe and the US where they have been repeatedly rejected.
‘’NAFDAC has a statutory responsibility to safeguard public health through the execution of its mandate. We are charged with the responsibility to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled and packaged water, chemicals – generally referred to as NAFDAC regulated products.
“NAFDAC is designated as World Trade Organization/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Enquiry Point in Nigeria on Food Safety to facilitate international trade, and respond to enquiries on safety standards, regulations, and guidelines on food trade in Nigeria”.
Adeyeye said internationally, Nigeria’s products meant for the export market are faced with the presence of contaminants such as pesticide residues, notoriously dichlorvos and other impurities, exceeding maximum permitted level and some with inadequate packaging and labelling which had caused a lot of products’ rejections in the global market.
She noted that the international market is competitive in nature and only welcomes products of high quality with relevant certifications and quality packaging that is environmentally friendly, to trade globally, stressing that the problem of quality, standard, certification, and appropriate packaging for made-in-Nigeria products destined for export has been an issue in the international market and there is a need to address the issue of rejections.
The NAFDAC boss disclosed that the agency has over the years intervened to assist Nigerian exporters to meet with international regulations thereby creating employment and earning foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Through this intervention by NAFDAC, she added that it was agreed that these products be subjected to 100 per cent pre-export testing and issuance of Health Certificate to products with satisfactory limits before European Union further verifies at their border control points.
Adeyeye further disclosed that her agency had analysed the RASFF alert from the EU and observed that most rejected products by the EU were smuggled out and not certified by NAFDAC nor the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services at the ports, adding that this calls for proper collaboration and synergy amongst all agencies of government to curb the indecent behaviour of some exporters and ensure only quality and certified products are exported.
‘’We need to close gaps and work together to prevent regulatory gaps being exploited by the unscrupulous traders and their collaborators. There must be convergence for all regulatory activities especially at the Ports of Exit as a starting point before we begin cleaning up and capacitating the honest operators and traders within the country’’.
Based on the RASFF alert received from the EU, she said NAFDAC had sensitized food processors, handlers and exporters through training programmes, workshops and seminars on current Food Safety Management requirements such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), Risk Analysis to ensure that products are safe and of good quality, to gain consumers’ confidence and acceptability in Nigeria and international export markets.
“Effective assessments of export products are very key and basic information that may need to be considered in the accompanying shipping documents include Certificate of Radiation, Health certificate, Sanitary and Phytosanitary certificate, Evidence of fumigation of vessels and evidence of risk-based inspection on food Safety, must all be certified by the appropriate and designated competent authorities having current scope-testing accreditation.”
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