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FCT

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) last
Wednesday urged Christians and Muslims to co-exist peacefully in the interest of national unity.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the association made the call during a one day interactive session with religious leaders, political parties and security agencies in Abuja.
Our correspondent reports that the event was organised by “Think Nigeria Christian-Muslim Movement’’, an NGO.
Oristejafor said the two main religious bodies should ensure that their members were guaranteed protection in the country.
“ We must make a commitment to each other publicly, that Christians are safe in Muslim-dominated areas and Muslims are also safe in Christian-dominated areas,” he said.
Gombe

The Director of the Lake Chad Research Institute
(LCRI), Maiduguri, Dr Oluwasina Olabanji, has said that Nigeria will produce 1.5 million tonnes of wheat by 2017 as part of efforts to reduce the importation of the commodity.
Olabanji made this known at this year’s Wheat Farmers’ Field Day at the Dadin Kowa Irrigation Dam in Yamaltu/Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State.
Olabanji said the institute planned to cultivate 150,000 hectares of wheat using 75,000 wheat farmers in 2015/2016 season, while production would increase to 300,000 hectares in 2017.
“The wheat value chain aims at increasing productivity of wheat from two tonnes per hectare in 2013 to five tones to six tonnes per hectare by 2017and national production from the current 150,000 tonnes to 1.5 million metric tonnes in 2017 and to transform the wheat to major high income generation industrial crop for farmers.”
Kano

The Emir of Daura in Katsina State, Alhaji Farouk
Umar Farouk, last Wednesday described the newly constructed Kano city gates as  monuments to be preserved and safeguarded.
He made the remark while inaugurating the gates situated at different locations in Kano.
He said, “Daura and Kano are sharing many things in common given the revered status of the former being the origin of the seven Hausa states of which the latter is a prominent member.’’
He said preservation of cultural heritage made people to remember their identity and progeny, adding that the gates were symbolic monuments depicting the city’s ancient treasures.
Kogi

A senior Medical Consultant Ophthalmologist, Fed
eral Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, Dr Osayande Osawe, has urged governments to increase awareness to prevent blindness through glaucoma.
He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lokoja on the sidelines of this year’s World Glaucoma Week.
Osawe emphasised the need to prevent our eyes from glaucoma rather than seeking for cure, adding that glaucoma is incurable.
He said it was difficult defining glaucoma because of its complexity in the manner in which it attacked and made the eyes to become blind.
Kwara

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State
has reiterated his administration’s commitment to partner with non-governmental organisations in promoting infant and maternal healthcare in the state.
Ahmed restated this commitment at the inauguration of Maternity Referral Centre built by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited in Ilorin last Wednesday.
The project was executed in partnership with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company in collaboration with Kwara State Government.
Ahmed described the project as an intervention that would give birth to hope and midwife succour, especially in rural and district communities.
The governor said the significance of the referral centre laid in the fact that child and maternal health was a major index of any efficient system.
According to him, pregnant women and infants are some of the most vulnerable in the society, especially in rural communities.

Lagos

The Arewa Traditional Institution in Lagos last
Wednesday said it was not part of its values for a Sarki to go about visiting and attending political rallies and meetings.
At a news conference in Lagos, the Sarki Hausa of Lagos, Alhaji Aminu Yaro-Dogarai, advised anyone with such an exalted position to play the role of a father and not to be partisan.
He frowned at the activities of some people he called impostors, who were trying to smear the image of the institution.
Yaro-Dogarai said it was disheartening to see people claiming to hold the exalted and highly esteemed office of the traditional Arewa institution visiting and attending political rallies and meetings wearing full traditional regalia.
“It is dishonorable for a bonafide Sarki institution to participate in active partisan politics,’’ he said, noting that it should rather act as a father to all politicians, irrespective of their political class or affiliation.
Nasarawa

The Nasarawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP), has appealed to Labaran Maku, the former Minister of Information, to return to the party in the interest of the state.
Senator Solomon Ewuga, Director General, PDP governorship Campaign Organisation, made the appeal on behalf of the party at a media briefing last Wednesday in Lafia.
He urged Maku to jettison his governorship ambition on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and return to the PDP which he said, ‘kept him in public service for 14 years.’
He said that the APGA governorship flag bearer should appreciate God and the PDP for the special favour bestowed on him.
Ewuga expressed dismay that Maku had made the PDP which developed his political career his enemy by using religion and ethnicity to sow seed of discord amongst the people of the state.
Niger

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration
and Control (NAFDAC) in Niger State has stopped the mop up of tomato pastes suspected to be dangerous for consumption.
It said it stopped the mop up following instructions from its national headquarters to avoid panic among the people.
An official of the agency, Mr Dadi Mullah, told newsmen in Minna last Wednesday that it was awaiting directives from the headquarters to resume the mop up.
The agency started the mop up of the suspected killer tomato pastes in circulation in the state on Tuesday.
“The management of NAFDAC is strategising on how to mop up these products without causing market panic.”
Ogun

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ogun
State chapter, yesterday commended the Federal Government for reducing electricity tariff by 50 per cent.
The President of the association, Mr Wale Adegbite, told newsmen  in Ota that the “step was a welcome development’’.
Adegbite said that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had finally listened to the complaints of manufacturers.
“But, what the NERC has done is to reverse the increase the commission did in January, so it is not really a reduction,’’ he said.
Adegbite said that there was need for the Federal Government to create enabling environment like provision of stable electricity, good roads and adequate security.

 R-L: Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State; Yoruba Leaders, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Prof. Dupe Olatubosun and Dr  Frederick Fasehun, at a post National Conference Summit in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: NAN

R-L: Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State; Yoruba Leaders, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Prof. Dupe Olatubosun and Dr Frederick Fasehun, at a post National Conference Summit in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: NAN

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Foundation Donates N6m To Children With Cancer

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Okapi Children Cancer Foundation yesterday donated N6 million to children fighting cancer disease in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Ms Kemi Adekanye, Chief Volunteer and Founder of the Foundation, Ms Kemi Adekanye said the gesture was part of its annual events to support children fighting cancer at the National Hospital Abuja (NHA) and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital(UATH) in Abuja.
Adekanye, while decrying the high cost of treatment and management of childhood cancer, stressed the need for the government and other philanthropists to support the patients and families, which will increase chances of survival for them.
According to her, the organisation, since its inception in 2017, had donated over N14.8 million to support the children.
“We have been able to render support to these children to reduce the cost of treatment, as well as provide emotional support and job opportunities for some of their parents.
“A lot of these children commence treatment and abandon it midway because of the high cost of treatment and other care,”she said.
She, therefore, stressed the need for more awareness and enlightenment on childhood cancer, which will garner more support and initiation of policies to help manage the disease.
Consultant Paedetric Oncologist, UATH, Dr Uduak Offiong, while commending the foundation, said the donation would support parents, whose children were fighting cancer, especially in accessing blood platelets.
According to her, many children abandon cancer treatment due to financial constraints.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to subsidise cost of treating childhood cancer as well as include it in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for less privileged families to access treatment.
Similarly, Head of Unit, Paedetric Oncology, NHA, Dr Oyesakin Adewunmi, represented by Dr Patricia Igoche of the same unit, stressed the need for more support and attention to be given to childhood cancer.
On his part, President, Nigeria Cancer Society, Dr Adamu Umar, while decrying lack of awareness and neglect of childhood cancer in the called on the Federal Governments to include it in the NHIS and funds should be allocated for its management.
Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Dr Margaret Olokpo, called for more emotional supports to both the children suffering from cancer and their parents.
One of the recipients’ parents, Mrs Titilayo Adewunmi, commended the organisation for their unwavering support to them in caring, managing and treating their children fighting cancer.
The organisation recently held a walk and zoom meeting to educate the public on signs, symptoms and appropriate treatment for childhood cancer in the FCT.

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Minister Seeks More Funding For Agriculture

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The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, has solicited for more financial support to upscale investments in the agricultural sector.
A statement issued by Chief Information Officer in the ministry of Agriculture, in Abuja, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, quoted  the minister as saying this at a virtual high-level panel discussion last Friday, to round off activities to celebrate the 2021 World Food Day.
He said that being the focus of government’s diversification agenda, agriculture deserved better funding, to provide credit facilities that would support the sector’s value chain activities.
Shehuri said that the ministry was strongly committed to meeting domestic food requirements, exporting at qualitative levels and creating a favorable business environment that would make agribusiness thrive.
“ There is a deliberate strategic approach to job creation, conserving foreign exchange and attaining national food security,” he said.
The minister pointed out that the seed sub-sector supply chain was being repositioned to ensure that farmers had access to quality seeds to improve yields.
“The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), under my watch, has been directed to interface with key seed industry stakeholders to ensure that Early Generation Seeds (EGS) are structured, to ensure uninterrupted supply of certified seeds.
“ There is also an on-going awareness campaign by the Council on the importance of using improved seeds to boost production,” he said.
The minister added that the administrative bottlenecks that had previously hindered farmers’ easy access to fertiliser had been addressed, while the partnership with the Government of Brazil to pilot the establishment of 117 mechanisation centres across the country was on- going.
“ When these centres are completed and made operational, farmers will be able to buy mechanisation services for a fee, with relative ease, and without the need to own expensive equipment for farm operations,” he said.
‘’ Nigeria’s agriculture has done well under this administration in areas such as, being the world leading producer of yams with 18.3 million MT, world leader in the production of Cassava that has steadily risen to 70 million MT”, he said.

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#EndSARS: LCCI Seeks Strict Adherence To Democratic Ideals

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged leaders in sub-Saharan Africa to embrace the rule of law and democratic ideals to forestall political unrests.
Director-General, LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, made the call in an interview with The Tide news yester in Lagos.
She spoke against the backdrop of the one-year anniversary of #EndSARS protests which impacted negatively on businesses across the country.
Almona added that bad governance, forceful takeover of government and extended stay in office may continue to instigate violent protests that disrupt business operations.
She noted that the economic impact of violent protests on the business community globally in 2020 was 14.96 trillion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity terms.
This figure, Almona said, was equivalent to 11.6 per cent of the world’s economic activity or 1,942 dollars per person.
She said that the economic impact of violence increased by 0.2 per cent in 2020.
Almona disclosed that the LCCI estimated the immediate loss from the EndSARS to be above N700 billion in October 2020, with discoveries of more losses after weeks of investigations by the government across the country.
“The 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) released by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked Nigeria 146 among 163 independent nations and territories, according to its level of peacefulness in 2020.
“Nigeria moved one step from 147 in 2020 (from 2019 rank), though it still ranked eighth among the least peaceful countries in Africa after South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan and Mali.
“In 2020, the world witnessed almost 15,000 violent protests and riots.
“The damage it caused came with a hefty price of about 15 trillion dollars or 11.6 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Among those, more than 5,000 were pandemic-related and were recorded between January 2020 and April 2020,” she said.
Almona advised that businesses should consider taking various insurance policies to protect their premises and facilities against unforeseen destruction.
She called for enhanced programmes that would address youth unemployment and reduce social vices.

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