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Thursday, November 15, 2018

UNICEF assembles key players over sanitation markets in West, Central Africa - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
In an effort to support 250 million people globally to abandon open defecation and 60 million to gain access to at least basic sanitation services by 2021, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is convening industry, financial institutions, governments and development partners from the 13th to 15 November in Abuja to discuss shaping healthy sanitation markets in the West and Central Africa Region.

One of the key approaches in the UNICEF global strategy for water, sanitation and hygiene is to build sustainable markets for goods and services where supply meets demand. “There is a need for governments and development partners to work in partnership with global and local businesses to ensure that appropriate solutions are available and affordable to those who need them,” says UNICEF’s Supply Director, Etleva Kadilli.

This consultation is an important signal that solutions are urgently needed to achieve targets set In the Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, 2.4 billion people worldwide do not use improved sanitation.[1] As a key custodian of SDG 6.2, UNICEF works to achieve equitable access to adequate sanitation and hygiene for all and to end open defecation by 2030.

Open defecation is a life-threatening practice, as contact with human waste can lead to diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio and diarrhea. Inadequate or non-existent sanitation causes tremendous harm. Every day, 700 children under five die from diarrhea-related diseases.

Sanitation in West and Central Africa (Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana)

The level of open defecation in West and Central Africa accounts for 14 per cent of the global open defecation rate. In Nigeria alone, 46.5 million people practice open defecation, making it the second highest ranked country in the world. Between 2008 and 2017, the creation of sanitation demand through Community Approaches for Total Sanitation[2] in West and Central Africa has led to an increase of almost 25 million people living in open defecation-free communities.

“Despite this recent success, the current rate of progress is insufficient to eliminate open defecation by 2030,” says Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “While UNICEF will continue to rely on proven strategies, new accelerators are needed to support local markets to deliver sustainable sanitation solutions at scale. Following the rise in demand for toilets, we will work with countries to enhance the engagement of the private sector to provide adequate and affordable sanitation products and services, including in isolated, often underserved rural areas.”

In the first of a series of regional sanitation industry consultations, the event in Abuja will convene product manufacturers, service providers, government officials, financial institutions and development partners to share information, discuss market challenges, communicate perspectives and identify strategic steps to strengthen local markets in West and Central Africa and specifically in Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Similar consultations in other regions such as Eastern & Southern Africa, Southern Asia and Eastern Asia and the Pacific are also in the pipeline. UNICEF is a key market influencer for solutions that improve the lives of children and their families. As the world’s leading organization for children and the largest procurement agency in the United Nations, UNICEF has a long history of influencing markets and driving product innovation that has increased children’s access to essential commodities.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Inclusion of DRC Grand Inga 3 dam sparks energy protest - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Human rights activists from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and civil society organisations including International Rivers and WoMin will picket at the Department of Energy in Pretoria this coming Friday 16 November against the inclusion of the Grand Inga 3 hydroelectric dam in the updated draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Of concern to South Africans is the impact that Grand Inga will have on local electricity prices. Studies show that, if South Africa goes ahead with procuring this hydro-electric power from the DRC, the cost of electricity will increase by R400 million per annum.

Another concern is the lack of transparency and inadequate involvement of local, already marginalised Congolese communities. It is estimated that over 30 000 people will be displaced if the project goes ahead.

The picketers will hand over a petition signed by over 10,000 community members from Inga in the DRC against the construction of the dam in which South Africa is heavily invested: in 2014, the government under Jacob Zuma signed a treaty in which it pledged to buy 2500MW of Congolese hydropower per year once the dam comes online in 2030.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Improve nutrition funding in Nigeria says CS-SUNN - NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS—SUNN), has urged the three tiers of government in the country to make certain adequate budgetary allocations on nutrition activities, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A communiqué issued at end of a 3-day workshop , the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) called on government to ensure adequate and prompt release of the nutrition budgets in order to facilitate necessary provisions for the treatment of drugs for the handling of malnutrition issues ravaging children under 5 years old.

The workshop with the theme; "the journalists' role in ensuring transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health/ nutrition funds in Nigeria", was aimed at building the capacity of media practitioners in reporting issues of nutrition

Endorsed by Salihu Mohammed Alkali and Priscilla Dennis, chairman and secretary of the Communique Committee, respectively, described as unacceptable, the record of over 2000 of children under 5 dying daily as a result of cases of malnutrition.

Participants also decried the daily 145 maternal death as a result of malnutrition, recognising nutrition as multi sectoral issue admonishing all hands on deck to be able to tackle the menace.

Participants noted that preventing malnutrition is better and more cost effective than curing the problem, regretting that any malnourished child will be resistant to immunisation.

They further urged media to promptly and adequately report malnutrition cases in order to effectively tackle the problem.

The workshop was organised by CS-- SUNN in collaboration with Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems, PINNS.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Dialogue, knowledge exchange scopes to zero hunger - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Food security experts have identified forging ahead strategies and partnerships with different organizations will ensure that food systems are visible, and recognized, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Leading this call at the weekend is Christiana Louwa Saiti from El Molo People in Kenya, while speaking at the wake of High-Level Expert Seminar on Indigenous Food Systems held to explore how to build on traditional knowledge to achieve Zero Hunger in Italy.

"What it is important about this seminar is not only indigenous peoples themselves coming together, but that we are forging ahead strategies and partnerships with different organizations to ensure that our food systems are visible, recognized and respected," said Christiana.

Indigenous food systems are dynamic and their very persistence highlights their value as a source of insights for broader global challenges, said Helena Semedo, FAO's Deputy Director General.

She urged seminar participants to think of "how can we embrace key features of indigenous food systems that depend on both cultivated crops and wild plants, synergies with the natural environment and biodiversity, close adaptation to local conditions, a high level of diversification, a light carbon footprint, fewer ‘negative externalities' and reduced use of external inputs while being closely tied to socio-cultural and spiritual activities?"

Along with opening and closing ceremonies led by Abuela Amalia, a traditional healer of the Nahuatl People in Mexico, and Taita Morales, the seminar addressed topics ranging from how indigenous food systems can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Zero Hunger Challenge. Sessions were also dedicated to case studies related to communities in upland Vietnam, northern Finland, the Solomon Islands and Cameroon's forests.

"I learnt all that I know about handcrafts and the use of medicinal plants from my grandparents. Today the mission of the youth is to take care and save the natural resources and the sacred elements of their communities and cultures", said Abuela Amalia, calling attention to the challenges, noting that migration and the loss of natural resources pose challenges for the transmission of traditional knowledge to indigenous youth.

Diversified practices linking pastoralism, nomadic gathering and agroforestry from Guatemala, India, Kyrgyzstan and Mali were also presented.

"I think the biggest challenge now is to take what we have learnt and discussed here to the local levels, and be able to engage with communities in preserving and valuing our indigenous food systems," Hayu Patria from the Dayak people in Indonesia.

Along with spurring greater and broader commitment to strengthen the understanding, promotion and preservation of indigenous food systems, the goal of the seminar is to upscale the current indigenous peoples task force into a FAO Technical Network with bolstered links to research institutions, universities, indigenous organizations and other United Nations agencies so as to coordinate activities, and to foster an informal action network to serve as a platform for countries to highlight and support the role that indigenous peoples and their food systems can play in ensuring food security and nutrition.

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Pix: Christiana Louwa Saiti from El Molo People in Kenya

Monday, November 12, 2018

IFAD donates to Anambra farmers after flood disaster - NaijaAgroNet

Some farmers affected by the recent flood disaster in Anambra State have been compensated with the relief materials worth N50 million by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The IFAD-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has donated relief materials and farm inputs worth over N50 million to farmers affected by the recent flood disaster in Anambra State.

Some of the items presented to the farmers at Umueri General Hospital which serves as a holding centre in the state included bags of rice and garri, cartons of noodles, vegetable oil and soaps.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo said that the gesture was to help ameliorate their sufferings.

“The items are to ensure that you have food to go back home with and while the inputs are to ensure that you have something to go back to farm with,” he explained.

The commissioner further disclosed that the state government already had a rice nursery farm in Umueri for dry season farming which commences immediately the flood recedes.

Mbanefo said that the State government was partnering with other agricultural intervention programmes, agencies and stakeholders to further give succour to farmers in the state.

The State Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha said 200 rice farmers and 50 cassava farmers will be supported with inputs to enable them to get back early to farms to continue business.

“Every rice or cassava farmer will be supported with farm inputs for one hectare. “Rice seeds, cassava stems and fertiliser inputs would be provided for a total of 250 hectares of rice and cassava farms.

“The inputs will be provided as soon as the farmers are ready to go back to farm,” Aguncha assured while stressing the need for them to ensure their farms to mitigate loss during disasters.

In his remarks, the traditional ruler of Umueri, Igwe Ben Emeka appealed to the Federal Government to establish damns that would collect the flood water when they overflow their banks.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Theresa Obi, the chairman, Nnaemeka Cooperative Society, Umuoba-Anam commended the IFAD-VCDP and the state government for coming to their aid.

“If you come to our farms, you will pity us; but I thank God that they have fulfilled their promise.

“This gesture has rekindled our hope,” Obi said while appealing to other affluent individuals to come to their aid.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE

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‘Strengthen indigenous food systems key to achieving zero-hunger world’ - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Indigenous Food systems and indigenous traditional knowledge have survived hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, therefore they may have some of the answers we are looking for, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to him, FAO considers indigenous and tribal peoples as fundamental actors in the fight against poverty, hunger and all other forms of malnutrition, as well as in the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices.

Graziano da Silva also said in a keynote speech wrapping up High-Level Expert Seminar on Indigenous Food Systems held to explore how to build on traditional knowledge to achieve Zero Hunger. Failing to grasp and support indigenous food systems risks losing ancestral knowledge and centuries of know-how.

"The loss of biodiversity, is also the loss of our identity of our foods and medicines, said Taita Ignacio Morales, a traditional healer from the Muiska-Piuret people of Colombia.

Seventy panelists coming from indigenous communities and organizations; universities; research centers and more than 180 attendees and 49 countries, exchanged their expertise and knowledge on indigenous food systems. By combining presentations on traditional knowledge and expertise from scientific knowledge, the seminar allowed to increase the understanding and contributions that indigenous food systems have been making to the world.

Participants reviewed some of the analytical and field studies done over the past year by a task force set up by FAO and Bioversity International, the Center for International Forestry Research, France's Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and the Indigenous Partnership for Food Security and Sovereignty, as well as several local indigenous organizations, on how indigenous communities around the world generate food while managing the territory and the environment in a sustainable way.

"In the path to achieve the Zero Hunger Goal we need more efficient food production methods. We need to cease environmentally unsound practices. We need to innovate on and open to all manner of food systems" highlighted Patrick Rata, New Zealand Ambassador.

Co-organized by FAO, UNESCO, UNPFII, FILAC and DOCIP, the expert seminar was an opportunity to exchange knowledge, understandings and concepts, which will be articulated in a future publication. The expert seminar and the publication are key contributions to the global debate on sustainability and climate resilience in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition.

Indigenous peoples number more than 370 million people speaking more than 4,000 languages in 90 countries and occupying around 22 percent of the earth's surface while acting as custodians of 80 percent of the planet's biodiversity. Yet while representing around 5 percent of the world's population, they make up 15 percent of the world's poor.

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Pix: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Waste not, want not: Improving diets by reducing food loss and waste

NaijaAgroNet:
A new policy brief has called for action to reduce the loss and waste of high-nutrient foods, reports NaijaAgroNet.

With one in five deaths associated with poor-quality diets, a policy brief launched today urges policymakers to prioritize the reduction of food loss and waste as a way of improving people's access to nutritious and healthy food.

The brief, Preventing nutrient loss and waste across the food system: Policy actions for high-quality diets, points out that poor-quality diets are now a greater public health threat than malaria, tuberculosis or measles. Meanwhile, approximately one third of all the food produced for human consumption never reaches the consumer's plate or bowl.

The brief was prepared by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

It notes how foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, dairy products, meats and seafood are rich in nutrients, but are also highly perishable and therefore susceptible to losses throughout the food system. The numbers are staggering: each year more than half of all the fruits and vegetables produced globally are lost or wasted. A vital source of protein, around 25 percent of all the meat produced - equivalent to 75 million cows - is not consumed.

Panel member and FAO Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva, said: "To tackle all forms of malnutrition and promote healthy diets, we need to put in place food systems that increase the availability, affordability and consumption of fresh, nutrient-rich food for everyone. Taking specific actions to reduce the losses and waste of fresh and nutritious food is a fundamental part of this effort."

Action across the entire food system

The brief proposes a series of policy actions across the entire food system, including: educating stakeholders; focusing on perishable foods; improving public and private infrastructure; encouraging innovation; and closing the data and knowledge gaps on food losses and waste.

Panel member and President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Prof. Srinath K. Reddy, welcomed the brief, saying: "The Global Panel's policy actions show how reducing food loss and waste could play a key role in improving the poor and inadequate diets that affect 3 billion people globally, and which are often responsible for persistent undernutrition, and also the rise of overweight and obesity and the associated increase in non-communicable diseases".

FAO data indicates that in low-income countries food is mostly lost during harvesting, storage, processing and transportation, while in high-income countries the problem is one of waste at retail and consumer levels.

Together, they have a direct impact on the number of calories and nutrients that are actually available for consumption. The loss and waste of micronutrients is of particular concern given the direct impact on wellbeing, learning capacity and productivity.

Globally, agriculture produces 22 percent more vitamin A than we require. However, after loss and waste, the amount available for human consumption is 11 percent less than required. Reducing the loss and waste of nutritious foods could therefore yield substantial health benefits.

It would also deliver economic returns, as the value of food lost or wasted annually at the global level is estimated at $ 1 trillion. Eating more of the food already produced would also avoid the waste of the water, land and energy that went into its production.

Isaac Oyimah

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Nigerians urged to prioritise first 1000 days of child life - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Nigerians have been urged to prioritize the first 1000 days of life of a child, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The participants made this call at the three-day Media Training at Consort Luxury Suites, Abuja, on the theme, “The Journalists’ Role in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Allocation and Use of Health and Nutrition Funds in Nigeria.”

The event organized by the Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) under the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project, saw to building of capacity of media practitioners to develop stories and programmes focusing on transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health cum nutrition funds in focal states and the country at large.

The training was also organized to engender passion and commitment to reporting health and nutrition issues through site visited to Kwali Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre for firsthand experience of the challenges in the sector among other important issues.

Rising from the workshop, participants in a communique made available to NaijaAgroNet noted the importance of Nigerians prioritizing the first 1000 (one thousand) days of life of a child, saying it’s very crucial to the survival and ability of such child to live beyond five years.

For this, participants urged most Nigerian mothers at the Public Health Care (PHC) centres, have been found not practicing Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF), at least in the first 1000 days of a child.

They also urged Nigerian media to sensitize women more on the need to exclusively breastfeed their children in the first six months of life, without addition of water.

“Media should also sensitize women to continue to breastfeed their children for two years in addition to adequate complementary feeding,” the communique stated, just as they called on husband to get involved on how their children are handled especially in matters regarding Exclusive Breast Feeding for the first 1000 days of infants.

NaijaAgroNet  recalls that breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants and lowers baby's risk of having asthma or allergies, just as experts have often said that babies breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.


Also, they lamented that government across the state, should make adequate budgetary allocation, approval, timely release and cash backing in support of nutrition interventions.

“Where budgets are allocated and released, they focus more on the curative measures than preventive measures,” part of the communique read.

Chuks Egbune/GEE


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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Communiqué: 2,000 children, 145 women die daily due to malnutrition - NaijaAgroNet

Communiqué issued at the end of a 3-day Media Training/Field visit at Consort Luxury Suites, Abuja from October 29th to November 1st, 2018.
Theme: The Journalists’ Role in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Allocation and Use of Health/Nutrition Funds in Nigeria. 
The Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) under the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project, organized the training to build capacity of media practitioners to develop stories and programmes focusing on transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health/nutrition funds in focal states and the country at large. The training was also organized to engender passion and commitment to reporting health and nutrition issues through site visit to Kwali Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre for firsthand experience of the challenges in the sector among other important issues.

It was observed that:

1. Malnutrition is a multi-sectorial issue of serious concern that requires a collective response.

2. Nigeria loses over 2000 children under five years of age on daily basis due to malnutrition.

3. Over 145 women of child bearing age die daily due to malnutrition.

4. The first 1000 days of life from the time of conception to a child’s second birth day is not prioritized.

5. Governments have not been making adequate budgetary allocation, approval, timely release and cash backing.

6. Where budgets are allocated and released, they focus more on the curative measures than preventive measures.

7. A malnourished child when immunized does not absorb/utilize the immunization.

8. There is low reportage of nutrition related issues in Nigeria.

9. 53% of deaths from child killer diseases is directly related to malnutrition.

10. Most mothers at the PHC are not practicing Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF).

11. There is lack of male/husband involvement and support towards EBF.

Recommendations:

1. Participants agreed that stakeholders (Government, Media, CSOs, care givers, Donor agencies etc) need to place emphasis on preventive than curative measures.

2. Government and policy makers should be held accountable for their commitments.

3. Journalists should be consistent in their reportage on nutrition.

4. Media practitioners should hold government accountable by getting enough information aimed at addressing nutrition issues.

5. Media should put nutrition at the front burner and influence policy decisions through their reportage for improved nutrition interventions.

6. Participants should advocate for policies to mainstream nutrition into agriculture.

7. Media should sensitize women on the need to exclusively breastfeed their children in the first six (6) months of life, without addition of water.

8. Media should also sensitize women to continue to breastfeed their children for two years in addition to adequate complementary feeding.

9. Media practitioners are encouraged to explore key components of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so as to bring to the fore requisite solutions to the plights of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

10. Government should scale up and sustain existing interventions on nutrition.

11. Media should intensify campaign towards behavioral change, especially for men to support EBF.


Signed:

Mr. Salihu Mohammed Alkali (chairman, drafting committee)

Priscilla Dennis (Mrs) (secretary, drafting committee)

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Monday, November 5, 2018

WAOM berates Morocco over Africans travel restrictions - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The West African Observatory on Migrations (WAOM), has berated Morocco for joining the European Union (EU) against African migration, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Morocco, NaijaAgroNet gathered is a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

As said by WAOM, the travel restrictions for Malians, Guineans and Congolese wishing to travel to Morocco, is disheartening.

A press statement from International conference on environmental migration in West Africa made available to NaijaAgroNet, said "Far from appearing as an experiment as presented by the Morocco kingdom, this measure is a real step backward as it removes from the citizens of these countries the possibility that they had until then to travel without a visa to Morocco. A few weeks before the international conference to adopt the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakesh, the Moroccan decision shocks deeply because it goes against the will reaffirmed by the African Union to move towards the free movement of Africans on their continent.

"The dream of an African Schengen area, where citizens can travel without any visa or travel authorization requirement, seems to be called into question by the Kingdom of Morocco, which is nevertheless presented as the ” Leader ” for migration by the African Union. After returning to Africa Union, in January 2017, Morocco was given the responsibility by its African peers to propose the broad outlines of a migration policy for the African Union. In the wake of its reconquest of the continent, the Moroccan kingdom had then manifested its candidacy to join the Economic Community of States of West Africa (ECOWAS), which advocates a free movement for the citizens of its community. The glimmers of hope thus sent by Morocco seem to be buried in the face of pressure from the European Union, which is constantly reinforcing the role of the countries of North Africa and the Sahel as gendarmes of its policy against the immigration of Africans.

"This Moroccan decision, contrary to African interests, can only be understood in its perspective of pleasing the European institutions. Indeed, the European Union has just opened a series of negotiations with some African countries to demand that they repatriate their “undocumented” citizens residing in Europe on pain of having their Schengen visa restricted for their nationals wishing to travel legally to European countries. 

Morocco seems miraculously not threatened by this blackmail from the European Union despite recent events that saw Moroccan citizens trying to illegally gain Europe. It seems more than ever necessary for African civil society, as a whole, to raise its voice against the dictates of the European Union, which under the guise of development aid, weaken African integration and prevent Africans from traveling without visa in the same way as the citizens of the European Union. The West African Observatory on Migrations is appealing to all citizens of African countries to advocate on their States not to accept measures that undermine our mobility rights on our African soil and destroy our will to live a real fraternity life as sons and daughters of the same continent.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Sapele Power petitions IG Idris over police harassment - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The operator of the 1,020MW Sapele Power Plant, the Sapele Power Plc (SPP), has petitioned the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, over the use of Police to settle business scores by Seistech, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In a petition to the police high command on the details of the contract with Seistech, the management of Sapele Power noted that during the power privatisation exercise, SPP, along with its assets which include two storage tanks and a jetty located within the power plant, was acquired by Eurafric Power Limited.

The petition also noted that sometime in 2016, Seistech Energy Limited, an oil and gas company, approached SPP for the lease of one of its storage tanks in the plant for storage of crude oil produced by Mid-Western Oil & Gas Company Limited. A Storage Lease Agreement dated September 6, 2016 was negotiated and executed.

Sapele Power says Seistech had now failed to meet the terms of the agreement and has resorted to intimidation, attempt to forcibly takeover its facilities and threat to life, among others.

Just as the company also alleged complicity of the Police in the matter for which it has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, asking that he puts a stop “to the use of the police to perpetuate illegality.”

“Few months into the transaction, Seistech became bankrupt, and unable to meet its financial obligations under the contract, Seistech then introduced Mid-Western to assume its financial responsibility and Mid-Western effected tank rental payments on behalf of Seistech. Subsequently, Seistech had a fall-out with Mid-Western and payment for the tank rental was suspended.

“Rather than look for creative means of liquidating its indebtedness, Seistech chose to cunningly cook up lies and misinform our business partners, regulatory authorities and unsuspecting third parties that the rented tank did not belong to SPP, rather, belonged to Seistech.

“As a result of this development, we terminated the tank rental contract with Seistech and asked them to pay up outstanding rental debt, evacuate the products from the storage tank in question and vacate our premises immediately.

“Instead of complying, Seistech surreptitiously and continuously sought ways to defraud us by evacuating product in storage without settling its indebtedness (presently in excess of N600,000,000 (Six Hundred Million Naira). So far, its threats and activities have impeded our activities and smooth operations of the power plant”.

Sapele Power Plc maintained that to undermine security and control of the its power plant, within which the storage tank is located, Seistech, with the connivance of the Police, deployed mobile policemen from Mopol 33 into the plant, leading to a faceoff with SPP’s mobile policemen from Mopol 44 with threat of gunfire exchange.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/ED, Ops

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

African women shine @Anzisha Prize Awards'18 - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The Mastercard Foundation and African Leadership Academy are thrilled that 22-year-old healthcare entrepreneur Melissa Bime has won the US$25,000 Grand Prize at the 8th annual Anzisha Prize awards gala. She is the founder of INFIUSS, an online blood bank and digital supply chain platform that ensures patients in 23 hospitals in Cameroon have life-saving blood when and where they need it. She is only the second woman to win the grand prize since Best Ayiorworth took it home in 2013.

“Today, I stand here to represent every young girl out there that just has her dreams,” said Melissa Bime during her acceptance speech. “I stand here to represent this amazing group of entrepreneurs that I am a part of. With these people, the future of Africa is very bright. We are going to change this continent.”

Melissa was selected from among 20 finalists during a ceremony on 23 October that was live streamed to over 3,000 viewers and created a social media buzz across the continent.

The first runner up, 18-year-old Alhaji Siraj Bah will receive US$15,000 in prize money. He is the founder of Rugsal Trading in Sierra Leone, a company that produces handcrafted paper bags as well as briquettes for cooking fuel. Alhaji hopes that the funds will boost the impact his business is already having and will enable him to hire more youth from his community. “I had only US$20 dollars when I started and I have created an impact already,” said Bah. With US$15,000, I am going to impact 7.5 million Sierra Leonians’ lives in less than five years. It will happen.”

Joan Nalubega, 21, was the second-runner up. She is the co-founder of Uganics, which produces mosquito-repellent soap to combat malaria inUganda. With the US$12,500, she will conduct a certification study for the company’s products and prepare Uganics for export to neighboring countries which will help to widen her impact in the fight against malaria.

The keynote speaker, renowned entrepreneur Sim Shagaya spoke plainly about the challenges faced by the continent but was confident that young entrepreneurs are best placed to solve them. He concluded his inspiring remarks with a simple message to the finalists, “you must lead!”

“We are proud of all 20 finalists and are excited to see two young and dynamic women taking home top prizes,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation. “Their contributions will continue to impact their countries and they are role models for other young women across the continent. They are demonstrating how to turn obstacles into opportunities that create value and jobs for others.”

The Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs, is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation. The 20 finalists spent 10 days in a business accelerator camp strengthening their business fundamentals before presenting their ventures to a panel of judges that included Ntuthuko Shezi, Bita Diamomande, Saran Kaba Jones, and Polo Leteka. They join a pool of more than 85 Anzisha Fellows and a network of support that includes access to mentors, experts, and networking. Each returns home with a US$2,500.

“This year was exciting in that we announced our new efforts to support the parents of very young entrepreneurs in Africa,” said Josh Adler, Vice President of Growth and Entrepreneurship at African Leadership Academy. “Our new book – Raising the Boss – uncovers the critical role they play and how we must invest in them if we are to see more young people confidently choosing an entrepreneurship career path post school.”

Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2019. Nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Nestlé releases 2018 financial results for Q3, offers N20 dividend - NaijaAgroNet

The Nestlé Nigeria Plc has proclaimed its financial results for 9 months period ending 30 September 2018, with recorded revenue of N 203.1 billion which translates into 9.7 per cent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the third quarter results sighted by NaijaAgroNet, stressing that for the period January to September 2018, the company recorded revenue of N 203.1 billion with a growth of 9.7 per cent over same period in the previous year.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Nestle Nigeria made Profit After Tax (PAT) of N 33.1 billion.
The unaudited financial statements of the company, NaijaAgroNet also gathered, saw Nestlé Nigeria Plc posting a revenue of N 67.8 billion in Q3 2018, up from N 63.3 billion in Q3 2017.

Further, NaijaAgroNet reports that the company board in its meeting held on October 29th 2018 approved an interim dividend of N20 per share.

Below is the full detail of the January - September 2018 financial result.


N’000
N’000
Revenue
203,134,728
185,242,450
Cost of Sales
-116,984,764
-109,361,943
Gross Profit
86,149,964
75,880,507
Marketing and Distribution expenses
-29,739,809
-25,260,332
Administrative expenses
-7,050,143
-7,534,933
Results from operating activities
49,360,012
43,085,242
Finance income
1,389,846
6,281,172
Finance costs
-2,661,306
-14,887,393
Net finance costs
-1,271,460
-8,606,221
Profit before income tax
48,088,552
34,479,021
Income tax expense
-14,970,265
-11,499,031
Profit for the period
33,118,287
22,979,990

 Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

RBM unveils media fellowship, celebrates impactful 20 years - NaijaAgroNet

The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership to End Malaria has unveiled media fellowship in commemoration of it's impactful 20th years since establishment, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Precisely, NaijaAgroNet gathered, that October 30 marks two decades of global action against malaria as the RBM Partnership to End Malaria as they celebrate 20th anniversary and launched new media fellowship to build on achievements which to date have contributed to saving more than 7 million lives and preventing over 1 billion malaria cases.

Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) in 1998 by the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, today the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Through increased funding, distribution of millions of lifesaving interventions and by introducing innovative and improved tools, the Partnership has played a key role in global efforts that have reduced malaria deaths by over 60%, contributed to an 1,000% increase in malaria funding, and added an estimated US$2 trillion to the economies of malaria affected countries.

Looking towards future action, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is now launching a first-ever media fellowship, open to journalists from the 11 countries in the world with the highest burden of malaria, according to the most recent World Malaria Report.

Successful candidates will meet with some of the world’s leading health and malaria experts to understand the key challenges and opportunities for ending malaria in their home countries. According to latest WHO data, 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India represent over 70% of the world’s malaria cases. The RBM Partnership will provide support to the selected fellows with their projects and features relating to malaria for one year. Journalists will be encouraged to explore their own interests within the field, and to delve deeper into solutions that could be employed to meet their country’s challenges from the malaria burden. The closing date for applications is 31 January 2019.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Dr Kesete Admasu, said the global partnership over the past two decades has significantly reduced malaria deaths and cases, saving 7 million lives.

“This progress has allowed us to set our sights on ending this preventable disease for good. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we look toward what we can accomplish in the next 20 years, including inspiring new audiences about the historic opportunity to end malaria. This media fellowship will offer much-needed support to journalists in the highest burden countries who want to shine a light on the impact malaria has on their communities and the urgent need for citizens and country leaders to drive further progress against the disease, especially at a time when cases are on the rise,” he said.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that events marking the 20th anniversary will also reflect the achievements of the past two decades and look ahead towards upcoming opportunities for malaria elimination.

The celebrations, he further said, will conclude an event in Maputo, Mozambique that coincides with the annual launch of the WHO World Malaria Report and a new High Burden to High Impact: Targeted Malaria Response, on 19th November.

“To highlight the key successes against the disease over the past two decades, the RBM Partnership have created a new video of these achievements, which is available here,” he said.

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Forum says ‘Leverage ICT to transform agriculture’ - NaijaAgroNet

Over 200 attendees at the 2018 Global Forum just concluded in Marrakesh, Morroco, have called for the leveraging of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a veritable tool for the transformation of agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet. 

The Forum, NaijaAgroNet reports was supported by the European Union and organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), made this call in its outcome document.

The Forum also made a strong case for greater investment in innovation, stressing that digital technologies are transforming every sector of the global economy, including agriculture.
New technologies are improving agricultural productivity, lowering carbon emissions and making better use of the earth's natural resources. They are also making information more accessible to small-scale producers across the globe.

While the 
private sector is largely driving the development of such technologies, the public sector can help facilitate their adoption and keep an eye on technologies that have the power to bring positive outcomes, especially to small-scale farmers and small-to-medium enterprises. That means understanding the different technologies - and obstacles hindering their uptake, especially by small-scale producers - and identifying the necessary policies, regulations, incentive frameworks and capacity development.

Other discussions at the Forum focused on the private sector's views on investing in emerging markets and managing risks in value chain financing, and on the importance of making agrifood systems greener as well as more inclusive, especially for women and youth.   


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Educating Nigerians on nutrition requires media stepping up - NaijaAgroNet


Educating Nigerians is one of the cardinal points for the media in the country, especially on nutrition-related issues, which requires media practitioners to step up their games, says the Communications Officer at the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Lilian Aja-mong, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at a 3-day media workshop on reporting nutrition which opened in Abuja, Monday, she noted the urgent need to step up media engagement in and around reporting nutrition and urged for redoubling of efforts.

She told participants at the workshop with the theme: Role in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Allocation and Use of Health Nutrition Funds in Nigeria, it’s time to intensify efforts in educating Nigerians on the dangers of malnutrition in the country so that requisite actions can be taken for a better society, so as to limit the associated menace.

He commended participants and urged them to make good of the workshop by learning as much as possible to increase their passion on curtailing malnutrition in Nigeria using the power of the media, that is result driven, efficient, serviceable, effective and transparency.

Welcoming participants, CS-SUNN Project Manager, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, pointed out that part of the effort of the organization has been to train journalist on how to write a comprehensive report on malnutrition aimed at achieving the desired goals.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that part of the objectives of the workshop is to build the capacity of media to write stories for transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health cum nutrition funds in focal states and country at large.

In addition, the work tends to engender passion and commitment to reporting health and nutrition issues through site visits for first-hand experience of challenges in the sector, as well as disseminate and ability to correctly and accurately interpret the 2014-2018 health and nutrition budget analysis for media audience, whereas increasing salience of nutrition and making it a front burner on agenda of government.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Public funding can’t end poverty, hunger - NaijaAgroNet

Public funding alone has been identified as not being enough to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and development even as international financing institutions must collaborate more strategically to leverage private investments, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was the seemingly consensus of over 200 investors, business leaders, representatives from multilateral development institutions, and policy-makers and government officials from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas in attendance at 2018 Global Forum.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the Forum supported by the European Union and organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), estimates that incremental resources of up to USD 265 billion a year are needed to end poverty and hunger by 2030. This is 0.3 per cent of the average projected world income for the period.

"With the 2030 deadline approaching fast, development and international financial institutions must work together with the private sector to find durable solutions to major development challenges such as poverty, climate change and migration. That means creating environments where innovation can flourish and where private investors have incentives to contribute to inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability," said EBRD's President Sir Suma Chakrabarti.

Food and agriculture systems face daunting challenges - from having to produce more with less to feed a growing planet, to shrinking the sector's carbon footprint, to creating decent employment opportunities, especially for youth in developing countries.

"FAO is custodian of 21 of the SDG's indicators, and can play a key role in helping the private sector to shape and monitor their contributions to these sustainability goals. We are also committed to promoting more enabling environments for private investment in sustainable agrifood systems, while also making sure those finances reach where they are needed most," FAO's Deputy Director-GeneralDaniel Gustafson said.

"One encouraging trend - already visible in the agriculture sector - is impact investing, in which private investors are investing in initiatives that generate profits as well as social and environmental impacts," Gustafson added.

According to a survey by the Global Impact Investment Network, the world's leading impact investors collectively manage over USD 228 billion in impact assets. That is more than the amount of public funding available in 2017 through official development assistance.

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Doctors-on-Air medical mission lands in Bariga - NaijaAgroNet

The 2018 Doctors-On-Air Medical Mission programme landed in the Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The programme which is organised by Synlab, formerly PathCare Laboratories, in partnership with Classic FM and over 20 other medical and non-medical care providers in Nigeria, came together for on Saturday, 13 October, offering residents free medical checks, tests, treated and where necessary, referred for further medical attention. 

Doctors on Air is a weekly health program focused on preventive healthcare, it airs every Wednesday at 8am on Classic FM and 8.40am on Naija FM. One of the important tenets of DOA is to encourage the populace to Know their Numbers, by having routine check ups to keep healthy. Whilst most people can go to SYNLAB to have these wellness checks qualitatively done, there are some people who cannot afford it. The Chief Host, Dr Pamela Ajayi, emphasised the importance of knowing your numbers through the weekly program by creating awareness around diseases, prevention and treatment. The annual Medical Mission is designed to make medical services accessible to communities who cannot ordinarily afford private healthcare services. 


The mission was set up initially to provide these services but has expanded to provide qualitative services offered by the specialist consultants who come on the program, for example the ophthalmologists provided free glasses and used latest technology for glaucoma checks, cardiologists used specialised equipment for the heart screening such as ECGs and echocardiogram, other screening done were breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Deworming for adults and children was done, along with special dental care and health talks on various topics. Doctors on Air is sponsored by SYNLAB.

It is estimated that over 10,000 Nigerians have benefited from the annual Doctors on Air Medical Mission over the past 7 years. Among the beneficiaries of the 2018 event were children, teenagers, adults and the elderly including Mama Misirat Bello and Mama Lambo Rafatu, both in their 80s. They were full of praise for the program which offered them high quality healthcare with referral for further care afterwards, all free of charge. Mrs. Abosede Amos whose son, Daniel Amos, was examined and treated for eye defects was one happy mother who commended and praised SYNLAB and its partners for the laudable program.

The Chairman of the Bariga Local Community Development Area (LCDA), Barr. Kolade Alabi, addressed members of the community at the venue encouraging them to make the most of the opportunity that the program presented. "We had promised that if elected, we would focus on programs that are mass inclined and help the individuals in the community live better lives”. 

Executive chairman of Bariga LCDA said that we have a saying in the LCDA that goes: 'my Bariga, my Pride'. But that saying is only meaningful when we are healthy. The administration is currently working on putting in place quality housing and infrastructure and quality healthcare and well-equipped primary healthcare centres. 

What SYNLAB is doing today is completely in line with our plans and we are looking forward to more collaborations like this, as people need good health for them to enjoy the infrastructure and economic growth being planned and executed by the government.

SYNLAB and the community of Bariga LCDA took turns to acknowledge and appreciate the support and contributions of the key sponsors of the 2018 Doctors-On-Air medical mission – Classic FM, Naija FM, Bridge Clinic, Leadway Assurance, Chike Okoli Foundation, The Eye Doctors Clinic, SKKY Dental Clinic, Paelon Memorial Hospital, Lakeshore Cancer Center, Optimal Cancer Center, Nigerian Association of Dermatologist, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Lagos State Blood Transfusion, Smile 360 Dental Services, Health Plus, Reals Pharmaceuticals, Dara Foundation, Renaissance Medical Center, Medplus Healthcare, Ultimate Eye Clinic, Metro Eyes Nigeria, Sight City, Men’s Clinic, Euracare Medical Center, Choice Dental Clinic, May and Baker, Mopheth Pharmaceuticals, Zolon Healthcare, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, JNC International, Maryland Rotary Club, Bariga LCDA, MTV Shuga in partnership with the Society for Family Health and Oceanic Health.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Agriculture alone can't revive Nigeria's economy, but innovation - NaijaAgroNet

President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, has said that mere agricultural revolution cannot revive Nigeria's economy, but innovation reports NaijaAgroNet.

He, therefore called for use of an economy build on innovative technologies which he said, will thrive much better than the old concept of mere agriculture, reports 

Contributing to the discussion at the 2018 WorldStage Economic Summit on the theme “New Sources of Economic Strength to Make the future Happen,” at the Event Centre of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Mr. Teniola maintained that the development of the economy through the old concept of agriculture will not take the country far.

As said by him, for a culture of technology as demonstrated in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, it has become obvious for the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the schools.

This, he stressed will aid Nigeria to compete favourably in any area, “it must be up to date in innovation and technology.”

Equally speaking at the event, Mr Soji Adeleye, Chief Executive of Alfe City Institution, underlined the absence of leadership in the country which had resulted to the lack of progress.

For meaningful progress to be achieved, he said the leadership has to be aware of their responsibility to the society, not to just occupy space.

In her contribution, Mrs Oluyinka Omojolaibi, Senior Research Economist, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) was also underlined the importance of government to formulate and implement policies that can move the economy forward.

She said government needed to do more in the area of the provision of infrastructure, machineries, cheap loans for the economy to be productive and competitive.

She said that would be crucial so that made in Nigeria products can be competitive in the local and international market.

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Pix: ATCON president, Teniola