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Nigerian Jollof Rice, My Best Food – Envoy

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French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Denys Gauer, says Nigerian Jollof, is his best food. Jollof rice is one of the most common dishes in the whole of West Africa.
The food which is believed to have originated from the region of Wollof speaking people, which happen to be north-western Senegal, The Gambia, and southwestern coastal Mauritania, is arguably the best known African dish outside the continent.
Gauer, who spoke in Abuja yesterday said, “Jollof rice is my best Nigerian food; maybe because I find it everywhere I go in Nigeria.’’ The envoy said further that the country was blessed with rich cultural heritage that attracts foreigners, especially its food.
“I remember a year ago, when I attended the annual yam festival organised by the Ogidi community in Kogi. “I had wonderful time and I saw and appreciated the display of their cultural performances especially the presentation of the new yam.
“The cultural display in the two days event showed that the festival was a moment to showcase the tourism potentials abundant in that area,’’ he said. Guaer, who spoke further on the state of the nation’s tourism sector, said that basic infrastructures were needed to develop it.
He said that tourism was an income generating sector and would create job opportunities for the youths adding that, tourism was a contributing factor to France’s GDP. “Tourism and gastronomy food are very important sectors in France because it contributes to the GDP.
“The food sector is an art, it also contributes to the economy and it provides a lot of activities, jobs and wealth creation in the country.
“In Nigeria, tourism still remains under developed and there is a lot to be shown in the sector but it just a pity, because the infrastructure are still not in place.
“Nevertheless, Nigeria is progressing especially in the area of cuisines, because I notice there are more good restaurants here in Abuja, Lagos and other cities in the country.
“But, what the country needs is more vocational training and we hope with such events as “The chef’s taste challenge’’ and promotion, it would attract more people and create more interest in the sector.
The envoy added that, the teaming youths in the country can be engaged on studies about the art of cooking maybe in France or elsewhere. He expressed optimism that the sector could be developed to generate jobs in Nigeria.
The envoy who spoke on the just concluded “The chef’s taste challenge’’ for chefs in Abuja and organized by the French Embassy, said most ingredients used at the event was locally sourced.

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FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters

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The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.

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Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu

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A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.

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Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse

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The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.

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