APPEALS Project Will Boost Agricultural Productivity – National Coordinator

The National Coordinator of the APPEALS Project, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Jobdi has reaffirmed the commitment of the APPEALS Project towards boosting the agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and value addition along the priority value chains in the six participating states.

The National Project Coordinator made this known in Lagos State today during the opening ceremony of the ongoing Pre-Mission exercise to the state, ahead of the World Bank 6th Implementation Support Mission.

Jobdi said that the project has recorded significant achievements in Lagos State with the election and training of beneficiaries of the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme, the development of Business Investment Plans by beneficiaries and all other areas of the Project’s interventions.

‘’We flagged off the mission to take stock of what we have done, and to see if the Project is on track and see how we can forge ahead before the World Bank midterm review of the project,’’ he said.

Alhaji Sani Jobdi thanked and appreciated the Lagos State Government for the prompt payment of counterpart funds and for providing good leadership for the implementation the project in the state.

In her keynote address, the Lagos State Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya explained that stakeholders are satisfied with the level of the project’s interventions in the state.

Ms. Abisola who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Oluyiwole Onusanya, said that so far, a total of 879 farmers, SMEs have been supported directly with physical inputs and equipment across poultry, rice, and aquaculture value chains while 3,516 stakeholders have benefitted indirectly.

Dr Onunsanya added that over eight thousand farmers had received training/ demonstrations with strong evidence of a positive effect on the Project Development Objective.

In her vote of thanks, the State Project Coordinator Mrs Oluranti Sagae-Oyiebo thanked the support of the state government, National Coordinating Office Abuja and the World Bank on the implementation of the project and pledged to do more toward the achievement of the project in the state.

​Oyo: Yoruba elders condemn burning of Sarkin Fulani’s residence

Elders in the South West have condemned Friday’s attack on Sarkin Fulani, in Oyo State, Alhaji Salihu AbdulKadir and his family where houses were burnt down, livestock killed and 11 cars also burnt to ashes.

The elders, who stated their opposition to the action attributed it to some criminals led by a secessionist, Sunday Adeyemo, in a statement under the umbrella of Coalition of Oduduwa Elders, said the development was inimical to the unity of the country which they stand for.

Expressing shock that such ugly development can happen in Yorubaland which they noted, had been in the forefront of a united Nigeria, the elders tasked security agencies to immediately swing into action with a view to arresting the culprits so they can face the wrath of the country’s law.

In the statement signed by their National Coordinator, Dr Tunde Aremu and National Secretary, Barr. (Mrs) Folake Ajasin, respectively, the elders said the action does not represent the Yoruba people.

“We received with utmost shock and disbelief the burning down of the residence of Sarkin Fulani Oyo State, his livestock and 11 cars, by some suspected criminals in Yoruba land allegedly instigated by one Sunday Adeyemo otherwise known as Igboho. This action is unacceptable to us, it is criminal, barbaric and uncivilized, and we call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Sunday Igboho and all the perpetrators of this dastardly and unwarranted act,” they said in the statement.

The elders said,” While we acknowledge the criminal activities of some suspected Fulani herdsmen in the state, we must state that the attack of the Sarkin Fulani Oyo is madness taken too far.”

“The Sarkin Fulani has lived in Oyo State for a very long time and has been known to be very peaceful. He has spoken publicly and privately against the criminal activities of some of their deviant youths and tasked security agencies to go after them. The Sarkin Fulani Oyo deserves commendation for his actions against the few criminals masquerading as herdsmen in Oyo and not this kind of evil and injustice meted on him by some of the criminals in our region,” they added.

Noting that, “This is highly condemnable and must be condemned by all”, the elders said: “Criminality is not a tribal trademark but a global trend involving people from every tribe and race.”

“We all know that they are more good Fulani people than the bad ones just like there are also criminals of Yoruba extraction, hence it will be wrong to attribute criminality to every Fulani person in the South West,” the statement added.

According to the elders, “We must remember that we have our brothers in the North who have been living there for ages as well. We shouldn’t set this country on fire for our selfish interest.”

” We, therefore, urge all the governors in the South-West states to take responsibility of their states’ security by ensuring that every lawful Fulani man and woman living in the South West is safe and protected from any form of attack and violence in the interest of peace and national unity, they must commence an immediate robust stakeholders’ meetings to engage all parties.

“While we call our Fulani and Northern brothers not to see this act as an act of Yoruba people but a clear act of criminality perpetrated by some misguided youths that will be brought to book in no time.

“The unity of Nigeria cannot be sacrificed on the altar of criminality,” the statement read.

Northern elders condemn burning of Sarkin Fulani’s Oyo home

Some Northern elders have condemned in strong terms the burning of the home, livestock, and cars of the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, by some youths in allegedly instigated by an ethnic bigot, Sunday Adeyemo otherwise known as Sunday Igboho.

While describing the action of the youths as provocative and senseless, the elders charged both the state government and security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of the heinous act were arrested and prosecuted.

The elders, who operate under the Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD), said the need for all those responsible for the arson to be brought to deserved justice had become urgent, to serve as deterrence against future occurrences.

The coalition, which made its position known in a statement by its National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni, cautioned youths across the country against engaging in acts of violence.

Specifically, the coalition noted that at all times, legal and constitutional bodies such as the judiciary and police should be allowed to settle grievances of whatever nature, rather than resorting to self-help, which they frowned at.

This was as the elders reminded Nigerians that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) guaranteed every citizen the right life and conduct legitimate business in any part of the country.

While suing to peaceful co-existence, national cohesion, religious and ethnic tolerance, the elders called on authorities to always rise to the occasion, whenever issues that threatened national security and stability reared their heads.

In the same token, the elders have enjoined Northern youths to remain calm and law-abiding, saying reprisals will only exacerbate the situation.

“We condemn in totally the senseless, provocative and disturbing act of arson targeted at the home of the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alh. Saliu Abdulkadir, by youths suspected to be Yoruba.

“As elders, we are alarmed that the home of the Sarkin, his livestock, and 11 cars would be burnt in that manner at a time the country needs urgent healing and reconciliation.

“We maintain that violence remains inimical to the progress of any society and her people, as it retards socio-economic development on all fronts”, the elders said in the statement.

They tasked security operatives to go after perpetrators of the wicked act, even as they insisted that security around the Hausa/Fulani community in the state must be heightened, to avoid further needless attacks.

They have, however, identified some persons suspected to have masterminded the violent attacks, urging the police to track and arrest them immediately.

“We charge the police and other law enforcement operatives to ensure adequate security protection for the Hausa/Fulani community in the state, who may be prone to further attacks.

“Particularly, we call for the immediate arrest of one Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho and all the perpetrators of this evil act and bring them before the law.

“Furthermore, we wish to make a passionate appeal to all the Fulani and Hausa youths in the north to once again disappoint these enemies of national unity by remaining peaceful and wait for the government to act in a manner that will bring justice to those affected”, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the elders have alleged that the act was “fueled, and sponsored by an online news medium own by a failed presidential candidate from the South East in the 2019 general election”.

They accused the unnamed politician of “doing everything possible to undermine national unity and security”, saying “and we must resist them and all their supporters”.

“We also call on Nigerians to ignore media propaganda by this medium, which is aimed at causing disunity among Nigerians.

“Finally, we call on the Oyo State government activate measures to compensate all those affected by this mindless act, to assuage their pain”, the elders said.

We are making significant progress in public health sector ― Osinbajo

Due to the diligent work of Nigeria’s health workers and experts across the nation, the country has expanded its public health response capabilities and is making a progress in the public health sector since after the nation’s first COVID-19 case last year.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this on Friday at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, Abuja, where he underwent a facility tour, accompanied by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Dr Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora; and the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

While noting “that we have a critical situation on our hands currently with the increasing number of cases being recorded”, the Vice President, however, added that a lot of progress has been made since Nigeria’s first case was reported in February 2020.

“We have activated nearly 120 laboratories nationwide – 70 of them public laboratories – and have significantly ramped up our testing and case management capacity”, he disclosed.

“We have expanded the footprint of our sovereign public health response capabilities especially at the subnational level and in areas where previously such capabilities did not exist. “Not so long ago, test samples had to be flown out of the country for examination. This is no longer the case as we now have the capacity to process samples internally.”

Prof. Osinbajo observed that such an achievement should not be taken for granted, “but one that we are determined to consolidate on.”

He said, “this very facility is a testament to the strides that we have made during a short period. While we are not yet where we want to be as a nation, we are most certainly not where we were at the onset of the pandemic.”

The Vice President then applauded Nigeria’s public and private healthcare specialists and workers in the line of duty for ensuring the safety, cure and prevention of the majority of Nigerians from the COVID-19 virus, sometimes under extremely challenging circumstances.

His words, “thousands of health professionals have been working tirelessly on Nigeria’s COVID-19 public health response. From the people across sample collection sites and laboratories ensuring testing, and our dedicated physicians, nurses and other health workers in treatment centres providing care to the sick, to our medical scientists that are conducting research on various aspects of this plague. We also have State Public Health Teams working hard to ensure data reporting and analysis, contact tracing, risk communications and so much more.

“Within this period, you have all worked extremely hard to activate testing in all states of our country, you have increased our knowledge of this disease, grown our capacity to swiftly identify those infected by the plague and render aid to them.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo noted that, “I know that the work you do can often seem thankless and the long hours you put in unnoticed and unappreciated. “Often it happens in the background and in the shadows, away from public attention and it will not often grab the headlines. But it only seems this way. In truth, this is the sort of work that builds nations and saves lives.

“When the record of our response to this unprecedented threat to our public health is written, the efforts of our healthcare professionals will occupy a significant place with the thanks of a grateful nation”

The Vice-President also gave special commendation to NCDC where he added, “The excellent work I have witnessed today at the NCDC Reference Laboratory, is one of the best examples of how this pandemic has produced at least one silver lining, a showcasing of the remarkable skills and talents of our public health experts, here at NCDC and across the health sector.”

He declared that it is “fair to say that the staff of the NCDC and all those engaged in Nigeria’s COVID-19 public health response, represent public service at its very best in Nigeria, and are an example of the type of public sector that we all want.

“So, to all staff of the NCDC and Public Health Teams across the states, thank you for the excellent work that you do. I want you all to know that your country is extremely proud of you. Incredible as it may sound, you are indeed making history every single day.”

The Vice President spoke on the ground-breaking research of several Nigerians towards creating a cure for the COVID-19 virus. He said, “Last week I was in briefing meetings, listening to the landmark research of a team of Professors from LUTH who are investigating the efficacy” of some of the drugs in the therapeutic management of Covid-19 and are researching its prophylactic use.

“A few days later I was listening to Professor Christian Happi and his team who have produced a ground-breaking COVID-19 rapid test, but more remarkably, are developing a Nigerian anti-Covid-19 vaccine.”

The Vice-President further urged Nigerians to continue to comply with COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical measures, urging all Nigerians to comply with the advice of “our scientists and healthcare professionals and to continue to take every measure to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

The Vice-President then assured that as a nation and people, “we will come through this period of our history as we have come through all previous seasons of adversity – by working together, protecting each other, believing in each other and committing to seeing better days ahead for our nation.”

During the tour of the facility in Gaduwa, the Federal Capital Territory, the Vice President was taken round the laboratories and also interacted with a select group of staff. He paid tribute to the memory of the late NCDC staff, Uche Njoku, who died in the course of service.

​Ganduje redeploys 4 permanent secretaries

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has approved the redeployment of four permanent secretaries in the interest of efficiency and better service delivery.

Ganduje said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar in Kano on Saturday that effective governance and service delivery remained crucial to his administration.

The governor also approved the appointment of Sani Kofar-Mata, as a new permanent secretary.

He said that while Kofar-Mata assumed duty at the ministry of Rural and Community Development, Hajiya Mu’azatu Dutse had been deployed to the Ministry of Special Duties.

Ganduje further disclosed that Kabiru Magami who was formally in the Ministry of Special Duties would move to the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He said Umar Albasu formerly in Ministry of Housing and Transport would move to Establishment Directorate, while Ibrahim Sagagi would move from Ministry of Youth and Sports to the Ministry of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs.

“You are to work hard and prove your mettle, you are urged to comply with global best practice in governance and service delivery.

“We have gone through your credentials and found out that you deserve this position, it is your duty to justify the confidence reposed in you,” he said. (NAN)