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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Ekiti moves to curb perennial flooding - NaijaAgraNet

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Saturday disclosed that his administration has commenced dredging of major water channels in the state in a bid to prevent perennial flooding in the state, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Governor Fayemi disclosed this in a chat with journalists shortly after inspecting flooded areas in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Ikere-Ekiti Eporo and Ogbese.

Several communities were affected by flooding following Friday night’s heavy down pour. These include: Oke Osun in Ikere Ekiti, Olujoda zone 1 (Ado Ekiti), Ureje (Ado Ekiti), Elemi Afao road Ado Ekiti and Ogbese in Ise-Orun local government.

Dr Fayemi who empathized with the victims of the heavy flooding which overran some bridges and flooded some homes and farm lands promised government’s support for the victims, adding that his government would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that perennial flooding is completed curbed in the State.

He assured that government would provide succour for those who were rendered homeless by the flood.

While warning citizens against indiscriminate disposal of waste in the drains, the governor urged them to imbibe the maintenance culture and desist from acts that are capable of endangering the society. He added that anyone caught disposing waste in the drains would face the wrath of the law.

Fayemi stated that government had desilted blocked drainages in virtually all parts of Ado Ekiti, the State capital so as to give room for free flow of water and forestall flooding, but lamented that some citizens have not stopped dropping refuse in the drains.

“This government prioritizes the welfare of citizens. We cannot fold our arms and watch people lose lives and property to flood. This was why we embarked on the de-silting of blocked drains and the dredging of blocked waterways. For us as a government, we are committed to a safe environment. Just a few days ago, I got a call that Ureje bridge along Poly road in Ado was affected by a heavy rain that fell on Tuesday, and as a responsive government, I directed the Commissioner for Environment to see what could be done to address the menace.”

“While we have filled up the areas eaten up by erosion with heavy stones to prevent the Ureje bridge from caving in, we are also considering some lasting solutions. But our people too have critical roles to play in ensuring that we have a safe environment. It is unacceptable to dump refuse in the drains. Once the drains are blocked, flooding is certain to happen. Whoever is caught dumping refuse in the drains will face the wrath of the law”, he said.

At Ogbese, the bridge had been overrun by flood and had sacked residents living close to the river bank.

The governor interfaced with members of the community said the flood was not unconnected with the lackadaisical attitude of the contractor handling the construction of Ogbese dam.

Governor Fayemi immediately went to the dam and summoned the contractor to his office on how to control water from the dam and preventing it from causing needless flood.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Rice by 2030: Japan to help double Africa production - NaijaAgroNet

The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.

Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.

“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he said.

In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.

“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.

According to the FAO's 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.

Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”

Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including - Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Shell, SAP offer free ICT training to graduates - NaijaAgroNet


Ten Nigerian graduates of business and information technology disciplines have completed a one-year specialised digital training and certification in financial accounting and project management while another set of 10 beneficiaries have commenced their training cycle in the programme sponsored by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) in collaboration with SAP Nigeria.

Speaking in Lagos last week at the closing ceremony for the exiting participants, SNEPCo’s Managing Director, Bayo Ojulari, described the training initiative as critical in preparing young Nigerian graduates for the evolving workplace technology and to give them industry exposure and certification in selected SAP modules.

According to Ojulari, SNEPCo and other Shell companies are key players in digitalisation. “Shell’s strategy is to be a leading player in digitalisation. We are a pioneer in the development and deployment of many digital technologies, and we use advanced IT infrastructure in innovative ways.”

Represented by the Information Technology Manager for Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Dave Osewemgie, Ojulari applauded the collaboration with SAP “especially for taking on our recommendations, which helped to improve the training curriculum.”

Also speaking, the Nigerian Content Development Manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Olawuyi Olarenwaju, explained that the programme which began in 2018 was designed to improve the employability of young Nigerian IT and Business graduates.

He said, “Shell Nigeria partnered with SAP to deploy the programme in Nigeria and the initial partnership featured 22 young Nigerians, 10 of which were deployed in Shell Nigeria companies. SAP affirms that globally, 99% of the trainees have been able to find employment after graduation. For the 10 graduates deployed this cycle, five are already at the recruitment stages of different organisations. These speaks to the quality of the training provided by SAP”.

The certification training is worth US$ 25,000 per students and is provided by SAP Nigeria at their training facilities to the selected candidates as part of their SAP Skills for Africa programme. Initiated in 2018, SAP skills for Africa programme runs in 22 countries and has produced 22,700 participants so far.

One of the graduates, Dafe Isodje said, “The programme is not only about technical skills but also about the soft skills. It was a pleasure to work in an environment where everybody is hungry to win, yet humble when they do. We just want to say a big thank you to SNEPCo for contributing greatly to our professional development through this programme.”

Since 2011, Shell companies in Nigeria have awarded more than 5,000 university and graduate educational grants as part of their human capacity development. In particular, the Shell Niger Delta Post Graduate Scholarship programme has benefitted more than 75 Niger Delta indigenes with studies at three top universities in the United Kingdom – University of Leeds, Imperial College and University of London. Also, since 2014, 140 young engineers and geologists have acquired industry experience through the Shell/Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) internship programme.

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Pix: Head, Social Performance and Investment, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, Hope Nuka, (right) receiving the award of ‘Most Outstanding IOC Contributor to Gas Development in Nigeria’ from Chairman, Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria, Olatunde Dodondawa, at the 20th annual conference of the association in Lagos, last weekend.

UNICEF partners IHS Towers for children in rural communities - NaijaAgroNet

UNICEF has signed a partnership with IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers, in support of a Child Friendly Community Initiative (CFCI) on which UNICEF is working with the Government of Nigeria to  empower and strengthen the capacity of local governments and rural communities, including local development councils, religious and traditional leaders, to adopt child-centred attitudes, behaviours and practices and improve access to basic services that promote child well-being and development, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Children and women in Nigeria face multiple deprivations and challenges, many rooted in poverty and inequality, with millions of them vulnerable to disease, malnutrition, lack of education and numerous violations of their rights. UNICEF aims for the Child Friendly Community Initiative to help accelerate tangible and sustained improvements for children in rural Nigeria who are consistently experiencing the highest levels of deprivation and poverty, with a view towards Nigeria achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

Vulnerable children tend to suffer from multiple overlapping deprivations that are often mutually reinforcing”, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative, adding that “UNICEF believes a holistic and integrated approach is required that actively supports communities and local government with child-centred planning and service delivery, informed decision-making and corresponding attitudes, behaviours and practices that lead to better outcomes for children.”

Speaking at the signing event, Mohamad Darwish, IHS Towers Co-founder, Senior Vice President and IHS Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, commended UNICEF’s efforts in driving this initiative. He said, “Our four pillars - Ethics, People, Environment and Education – have been critical in driving our sustainability efforts within local communities in which we operate throughout the country and we are delighted to partner with UNICEF to continue addressing the needs of the most vulnerable individuals in-line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” 

A child friendly community is one where every child receives the nutrients, dietary diversity and stimulation that they need to develop; where every child is fully immunized, has a birth certificate, is protected from violence, exploitation and abuse, has access to quality health care, education and clean water; where the community is certified as open defecation free; and where parents, caregivers, young people and community leaders are informed about and actively engaged in promoting the well-being and development of children.

Communities will be sensitized on child rights and child-centred attitudes, behaviours and practices and means of improving access to basic services that promote child well-being and development.  Community level structures and institutions will also be strengthened through training to actively plan, manage services and maintain/sustain created assets.

“The Child Friendly Community Initiative will be accelerated across Nigeria with the active engagement and support of a diverse range of stakeholders; the private sector has a key role to play as well. We are delighted that IHS shares this vision and is the first company to join the initiative, demonstrating how the private sector can help boost development for children.” said Peter Hawkins.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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N70bn commitment: NIRSAL signs MoU with Ecobank - NaijaAgroNet

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ecobank on a N70Billion portfolio commitment from the bank to Agribusiness projects initiated and de-risked by NIRSAL, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The facility will be drawn down in series, with the MOU effectively kicking off an initial N15Billion agribusiness financing provision by Ecobank.

The commitment by Ecobank is the latest fruit of NIRSAL’s focus on breaking the jinx of poor investment in agribusiness by the financial sector by providing banks with strong incentives such as risk-sharing, technical assistance and innovative insurance.

The MOU is an offshoot of a meeting that took place between the two organisations on June 20, 2019, in which NIRSAL aroused Ecobank’s interest with its de-risked agribusiness model; prompting the bank’s immediate financial commitment and desire to formalize the partnership.

It is believed that the attraction for Ecobank, and indeed other commercial banks who have recently made portfolio commitments to NIRSAL-supported agribusiness projects are anchored on NIRSAL’s Mapping-to-Markets (M2M) strategy, conceived to de-risk and make operations in commodity value chains more efficient through optimized primary production in a closed financing loop.

Announcing the partnership in Lagos after a business meeting with the management of Ecobank, Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director/CEO, NIRSAL Plc, said that Ecobank’s onboarding demonstrates the growing acceptance of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s proposition of NIRSAL as an innovative mechanism targeted at de-risking lending to the agricultural sector and providing a safe climate for highly profitable private sector investments.

Abdulhameed stated that “this MOU Signing marks the beginning of a collaboration between NIRSAL and Ecobank on NIRSAL’s agri-business initiatives and the development of products that will support lending to actors in the agricultural value chain in conformity with Ecobank’s risk acceptance criteria and credit process. With Ecobank’s commitment of a N70Billion portfolio to NIRSAL’s agribusiness initiatives, the bank and NIRSAL would jointly select and develop projects that will meet the financing needs of actors in NIRSAL’s focal commodity value chains”, he added.

According to Abdulhameed, NIRSAL’s focus commodity value chains, otherwise known as the 5-4-3-2-1 commodities, include 5 Industrial Commodities – Maize, Soybean, Wheat, Cassava and Cotton; 4 Export Commodities – Hibiscus, Sesame, Ginger and Shea; 3 Consumer Commodities – Rice, Sweet potato and Beans; 2 Controlled Environment Agriculture Commodities – Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (FFV) and Aquaculture; and Integrated Livestock Commodity.

Under this agreement, and in line with its Mapping to Markets (M2M) strategy, NIRSAL will identify and refer structured projects to Ecobank to support the Bank’s deal origination and financing operations in agribusiness. On its part, Ecobank will finance the projects leveraging NIRSAL’s Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) which is a further comfort for lenders to agriculture and agribusiness.

Also speaking at the MoU signing ceremony in Lagos, Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria Limited said the bank is actively promoting agriculture as a strategic initiative to support national development which is critical to the wellbeing of Nigerians. According to Mr. Akinwuntan Ecobank is committed to working with NIRSAL to open up the vast opportunities that abound in agriculture and to ensure citizens benefit ultimately.

“This is a collaboration. The Federal Government had made it clear that investing in the agriculture sector is very critical for Nigeria to succeed, especially taking into consideration the natural endowment God granted us in terms of population, land and whether. We have the opportunity to make agriculture the economic spinner for Nigeria. What we are doing is to fulfil this policy direction of the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)” he noted.

Further, Mr. Akinwuntan reiterated that “in Nigeria Ecobank hopes to contribute positively to move the economy forward, creating employment for the teeming population through agriculture. We found a natural partner in NIRSAL as they have the requisite intellectual capacity to act as a meeting point for the stakeholders in the sector. The de-risking participation of NIRSAL gives us the will to provide these facilities at single-digit rates at a maximum of 9% to ensure that the users are able to make profits. When our customers make profits, we are also able to make profits. So, it is a win-win business for everyone”.

NIRSAL’s M2M primary production strategy, to which commercial banks are opening up their balance sheets, has already been deployed for the production of Maize and Soybeans in Geo-cooperatives across Benue, Ekiti and Niger States. A fortnight ago, NIRSAL hosted value chain players across all segments of the commodities’ value chains in a roundtable where terms of engagement were discussed and adopted. The clear indication of an end-to-end control of the production and marketing process presented banks at the roundtable with opportunities to, not just invest, but to sell their retail services for the long-term.

The M2M strategy is a closed-loop financing system whereby all financing transactions on a particular project site is mandatorily maintained in a single bank. This confers cashflow visibility and control on the operating bank- a key risk management strategy, besides several other benefits. Accordingly, NIRSAL will refer input and service providers, commodity merchants and industrial off-takers under the M2M to Ecobank for account opening and debt finance hence, driving the growth of the bank’s business.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Friday, August 23, 2019

FirstBank agric expo set to promote opportunties -NaijaAgroNet

Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced that its 2019 FirstBank Agric Expo would hold on Friday, 30 August 2019 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. The 2019 edition - the third in the series – is themed “Agricultural Value Chain – Spotlighting Opportunities and Managing Risks” would have Professor Benedict Oramah, President of AFREXIM Bank as the Keynote Speaker, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The annual FirstBank Agric Expo, launched in 2017 provides the lead in national discourse on sustainable agriculture value-chain as a substantial source of Nigeria’s economic development, improved contribution to her balance of trade as well as foreign exchange. The 2019 edition would host over 600 delegates and over 60 exhibitors to display the latest technology in farm equipment, tools and machineries as well as packaged finished agricultural produce, logistics and supply, thereby keeping the participants and sundry agribusiness practitioners abreast with new opportunities in the Agricultural industry.

Besides the plenary session, the expo will feature three (3) Masterclasses with in-depth analysis on specific areas of Agribusiness, facilitated by enterprising Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The Masterclass facilitators include Mr. Leonard Anyanwu, Group Executive Director, Saro International Limited; Mr Segun Ogunwale, Team Lead, Kominity Digital and Mr Bamidele Ayemibo Managing Director, 3T Impex Trade Centre, who will provide insight as well as share success stories and experiences.

Expressing his delight on FirstBank’s leading role at not just promoting Agriculture but diversifying the Nigerian economy, the CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan said ”in the last 125 years, more than any other financial institution, we have played a key role in financing different sectors of not just the Nigerian economy but other economies in sub-Saharan Africa. As Nigeria expands opportunities in its non-oil sector – especially Agriculture – we remain committed to the growth of the agricultural sector and its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.”

“Our consistency in convening the FirstBank Agric Expo, which is in its third consecutive edition, is a demonstration of our commitment to building the agribusiness economy which is capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generating exports, supporting sustainable income and creating employment opportunities”, he concluded.

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New reports focus on malaria eradication goal - NaijaAgroNet

The RBM Partnership to End Malaria welcomes two new forthcoming reports on the opportunity the world has to achieve the eradication of malaria, a disease which still threatens half the world’s population, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication (SAGme) today released an executive summary of its report “Malaria Eradication: benefits, future scenarios and feasibility” due out later this year. The summary calls for renewed global commitment and action against malaria, particularly in the areas of R&D and Universal Health Coverage.

On September 9, the Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication will release its report “Malaria Eradication within a Generation: Ambitious, Achievable and Necessary” at the WHO-hosted forum “Rising to the Challenge of Malaria Eradication,” featuring WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The Commission’s report proposes solutions to the major operational, biological and financial challenges on the path to eradication.  

“Since 2000, global efforts have driven tremendous progress, saving more than 7 million lives and preventing more than a billion cases of malaria, creating the opportunity to end malaria within a generation. Today, there are more countries without malaria than with malaria, and more countries than ever have fewer than 10,000 malaria cases, putting elimination within reach. However, malaria cases are increasing in the highest burden countries, and we are working with partners to do more to reignite and accelerate progress to drive malaria cases back down and stay on track to end this deadly yet preventable and treatable disease once and for all.

This won’t be easy, but study after study shows that the benefits of malaria eradication will greatly exceed the investment needed to reach it, whilst also contributing to advancing health for all,” said Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

The executive summary of the forthcoming SAGme report calls for increased domestic and external resources, increased political commitment and fast tracking of new tools and innovations. It also calls for making better use of data and surveillance, and a strong health system, important components of the WHO and RBM Partnership High Burden to High Impact approach. We must also ensure that the lifesaving tools we do have, such as insecticide treated nets, are reaching everyone who needs them.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. 

The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.  

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

'Collaboration with OPC reduced crime in South West' - NaijaAgroNet

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has revealed that his collaboration with the Oodua Peoples Congress has led to a significant reduction in crime rate in South West Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The IGP, who made the revelation through a delegation sent to the Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland and Leader of the OPC, Iba Gani Adams, in Lagos on Thursday, said he would sustain the synergy and partnership to further reduce crime rate and ensure peace in the South West area.

Rising from a meeting with the delegation, the Aare Ona Kankanfo commended the initiative of Adamu to partner with his organisation to fight crime, pledging that the OPC will not betray the trust.

Adams noted that the most important part of security is intelligence gathering, recalling how the police in Lagos were able to end the menace of the dreaded Badoo cultists involved in several killings in the state by forming a partnership with the OPC.

He also noted that the OPC was not set up as a crime-fighting organisation, revealing that the circumstances that led to its involvement in security matters was when the landlords associations on Lagos Mainland sought its assistance to stem the tide of rising crimes.

He reflected on the confrontations between the OPC and the police between 2000 and 2004, and expressed joy that today the IGP has found the organisation worthy of his collaboration in crime fighting.

Commending Adamu for believing in community policing and taking pro-active steps, Adams said the OPC would work with the newly established Police Special Squad deployed to the South West to fight kidnapping and armed banditry, as his men who know the territory well are ready, willing and able to confront criminals in the region.

The Leader of the IGP’s delegation, Jude Nwankor, assured the Aare Ona Kankanfo that the mistake of the past would not repeat itself again.

Members of the delegation included the Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos State, Chief Superintendent of Police Peter Gana; and the Commander, Seme Border Patrol, CSP Ogechi Moses Udu. 

Also at the parley on the side of Iba Adams were the former Special Adviser, Political, to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Basorun Akin Osuntokun; OPC’s Director of Mobilisation, Comrade Dauda Asikolaye; Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo; Osi Aare Ona Kakanfo, Gani Kola Balogun; Segun Sani; and key members of the OPC.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

‘Focus on structures and processes,’ Fayemi's wife charges Inner Wheel members - NaijaAgroNet

The First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi has urged the National Body of the International Inner Wheel club in Nigeria to do more in the area of protecting the rights of women and the girl child in the country, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Mrs. Fayemi who noted that the organisation has been trying its best on gender issues, however pointed out that the situation of women in terms of empowerment and enjoying other rights as men in the country is still discouraging. She therefore urged the Inner Wheel and other stakeholders to do more on gender issues.

She made these remarks on Friday while being presented an award in recognition of her role in advancing the rights of women and girls all over the world , by the Inner Wheel Nigeria led by the National Secretary Mrs. Olawumi Oladimeji in her office in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

She said: " Great Inner Wheel members, we need to Level Up, we need to move to the next level. You have been doing the same thing for the past thirty something years. You have increased the levels at which you are working, the intensity and your reach. That you have done, but the issues still remain the same.

“Poverty, discrimination, exclusion, lack of voice for women, and a lot of the interventions you are making are addressing the symptoms of those issues, not the root causes. That is why 30 years from now all women’s organizations we are still going to be working on the same issues.”

" The charge I am giving Inner Wheel Nigeria as an organization is that you should now focus on the structures and processes that make it possible for women to continue to experience discrimination. For us to continue to be working on the same issues 30 years after the fact,” said Erelu Bisi Fayemi.

Speaking further, Erelu Fayemi said the Club should also help in pressurising the government to enact laws to protect women from violence.

She explained that apart from Ekiti State there is no other State in the South-West that has domesticated the National Gender Policy.

She said: “Nigeria has had a National Gender Policy since 2005, it was revised in 2015, and the idea is that all the states in the Federation are supposed to domesticate the National Gender Policy. The Gender National Policy is what provides the governments, Federal and States the direction in how to invest in economic empowerment for women, in agriculture, in micro enterprise development, addressing issues around personal safety, violence, and women’s political participation, to mention a few.”

“I will like you to do is to ensure that all the States in the South West domesticate the National Gender Policy. There are many women’s rights organizations and consultants who can work with you in your different States to make sure that it is done.” She gave this as her primary charge to the Inner Wheel members.

“We need to press our government and insist that they provide an enabling environment for women to grow and develop. And that enabling environment includes providing laws, ensuring there are policies in place, ensuring that there are institutions or structures in place,” she said in closing her remarks.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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GAS: Nigeria, Egypt, 4 others lead investment across supply - NaijaAgroNet

Some six countries in Africa are leading investment across supply to the 2019 Gas Summit worth some $103 billion, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The countries include Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Mozambique, Senegal and Mauritania lead investment across supply and demand driven projects.

The continent holds 7.1 per cent of proven global gas reserves ( and is expected to contribute nearly 10 percent of global production growth through to 2024 (

On the demand side, Africa’s large, urbanized and industrialized societies of the future will require reliable and sustainable power generation. With greenfield investments in Nigeria, Egypt, Mozambique and elsewhere reaching nearly $103 billion this year (, it is clear that liquefaction is viewed as the most profitable strategy for realizing Africa’s gas potential.

Record investments on the supply side

Nigeria accounts for over 50 percent of current LNG production capacity on the continent ( With October 2019 seeing a final investment decision on the $12 billion expansion of the country’s liquefaction plant at Bonny Island in Rivers State.

The Train 7 expansion project would increase Nigerian LNG production capacity by 35 percent, from 22 million tons per annum to 30 million. Current indications point to a positive verdict ( The twenty-year-old facility is owned and operated by a consortium which includes NNPC, Shell, Total and Eni (

In North Africa, Egypt has successfully re-established itself as an important investment destination following the downturn in the gas sector in 2014. In the first half of 2019, the behemoth Zohr offshore gas field produced 11.3 billion cubic meters - 3.6 times more than it did in 1H2018. The success is set to continue with reports earlier this year of a new Eni discovery in the Nour North Sinai Concession ( Evaluation is ongoing but there are hopes that the new field could rival the Zohr, which would open significant opportunities for investment in new liquification plants. In February, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Corporation awarded five new gas exploration concessions to Shell, ExxonMobil, Petronas, DEA and Eni in which it expects to see 20 wells drilled (

In June, Anadarko gave its final approval for a $20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique. The Area 1 project is the single largest LNG project ever approved in Africa ( And, it could be closely followed by Exxon’s $14.7 billion Area 4 development – FID is expected before the end of the year ( Political stability and access to east Asian markets could see Mozambique become a major global gas market over the next decade.

Investors are also paying attention to smaller projects in countries like Mauritania, Senegal and Cameroon. Operators have been successfully able to deploy floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) technology to realise the value of smaller assets in these markets and this could be a continuing trend in 2020 and beyond ( / Eni and partners are considering a $7 billion FLNG for the Coral South field in Mozambique (

South Africa’s LNG diversification play

In terms of African demand for LNG, South Africa – the most industrialized economy on the continent – could be an influential market.

Heavy coal consumption and unreliable power generation make natural gas an attractive solution to diversify its power generation base. In 2020, Transnet – a state-owned freight logistics firm – will launch a tender for the development of an LNG import terminal at Richards Bay Port. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation has committed $2 million to fund the project planning (

These and other recent developments reflect a growing and diverse African LNG sector. From top-tier greenfield developments to faster-to-market, agile FLNG operations; massive new discoveries to expanding existing liquefication infrastructure. It is an exciting time to be involved, as demonstrated by the high-profile speakers taking part in this year’s Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum, be hosted by Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, August 19, 2019

SDG: Senator Mustapha pledges support to INSTACON'19 - NaijaAgroNet

The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on SDG, Senator Lekan Mustapha has pledged to facilitate quality support of the Senate Committee on SDG and the Office of Senior Special Assistant  to the President on SDG (OSSAP-SDG) towards the success of the forthcoming International Stakeholders Conference on Sustainable Development (INSTACON SDG- 19), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Senator Mustapha gave the pledge at his country home in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State when he played host to the team of Local Organising Committee of INSTACON SDG 2019 led by the LOC Chairperson, Ms Moji Akinsanya on a courtesy visit.

The LOC team include, former Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Prof Kayode Oyesiku, former member of Ogun State House of Assembly and Chief of Staff to Wife of Ogun State Governor Hon. Adebowale Ojuri, Chairman Publicity/Media Committee, Mr. Tola Adenekan, Head of INSTACON Secretariat, Mrs Ireti Disu, Representatives of JDPC Mrs. Bunmi Ekundayo and Miss Jenifer.

A press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, quoted the Senator Mustapha who was presented with SDG Souvenirs and publications as urging the CSCSD to come up with various SDG projects that members of the legislature can adopt as constituency project.

While the team leader, Moji Akinsanya explained the SDG initiatives, the workings of CSCSD and the forthcoming Conference, Professor Oyesiku informed the Senator of the teams successful participation at the High Level Political Forum on SDG in New York which has added an international acceptance of the conference.

Mr Adenekan on his part provided insights into media engagement for the Conference aimed at setting agenda for quality citizens sensitisations on SDG, while Mrs Ireti Disu spoke on Private Sector participation in the Conference.

Hon Ojuri on his part, corroborated the need for the  Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District to sponsor 50 participants to the Conference, 5 each from the 9 Local Governments of Ogun East and five political aides.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor
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FLOOD: ISOPADEC, NEMA to send relief materials to Imo communities - NaijaAgroNet

The Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC and the National Emergency Management Agency-NEMA are set to send relief materials to communities affected by flood in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta Local Government Areas of the state, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona disclosed this weekend, while addressing a delegation of Egbema People’s Forum, who paid a courtesy call to him in his Oguta residence.

He however warned that the relief materials must not be diverted, but should be distributed in a transparent manner to the victims of flood.

Deputy Governor Irona who also used the occasion to brief the people of the plans and programmes of the Governor Ihedioha-led administration for the people, urged them to contribute their quota towards resolving the challenge of militancy and insecurity in the area.

“Everyone from Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta appointed so far into a political office is deserving of it. Governor Ihedioha is determined to fulfill his campaign promises to people of the state. Some of our youth are creating a bad image for us. Why must we be known for bad things? We must end thuggery, militancy and every form of crime in our area and you all have roles to play, as security is everyone’s business.”

“Governor Emeka Ihedioha has great plans for our people and he has already started implementing them. Today, ISOPADEC is receiving one hundred percent of its allocation. Local Governments are receiving their allocations in full. ISOPADEC and NEMA will soon deliver relief materials to communities affected by flood. We will soon start training our young people, with a view to enhancing their skills and creating sources of livelihood for them, while providing bursary for those in Institutions of Higher Learning. Our youth will be trained in Oil and Gas, as well as Agricultural-related fields.”

“The State Government is intensifying efforts to restore electricity in all the communities in our area, but, you must take deliberate steps to ensure the protection of electrical installations and indeed, all public assets in your localities.”

The Deputy Governor used the occasion to reiterate that steps have been taken to revive Adapalm Nigeria Limited, even as he challenged the people to partner with the new management of the company in order to help them succeed.

Reacting to an appeal that the abandoned Teachers Training College-TTC, Egbema be converted to a University of Agriculture or made one of the campuses of Imo State University, the Deputy Governor promised to visit the TTC premises soon, with a view to having first-hand information on the state of things, and advise the Governor accordingly.

Irona however used the occasion to reassure the people of the commitment of the present administration to work for the people and take development to their door steps.

Speaking earlier, President of Egbema People’s Forum, Professor Victor Nwugo commended the Governor Emeka Ihedioha- led administration for what he described as early signs of greater things to come, assuring him of total support of people of the area.

Nwugo used the occasion to outline the challenges facing people of the area, urging the state Government to come to their aid.

He lauded the leadership qualities of the Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona, describing him as an exemplary public servant, whose footsteps are worthy of emulation.

Speaking on behalf of Political appointees from the Area, Imo State Commissioner for Environment and former member of the House of Representative, Hon. Tony Okere assured the Deputy Governor of unalloyed support of people of the area, even as he promised the people that the present administration will not fail the masses.

Adding his voice, former Inspector General of Police and Chairman, Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro reiterated the decision of people of the area to support the present administration in the state. “We thank you for empowering our people. We are solidly behind you.”

In another development, a community leader in Oguta, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, Mr. Emeka Adizua, weekend hosted the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Uche Okororie expressed gratitude to God for the emergence of the present administration in the state, reiterating the people’s unalloyed support for her.

“Imo people are already heaving a sigh of relief. We thank God for the mission you have come to accomplish in Imo. God will give you the wisdom to tackle the numerous challenges facing Imo.”

Adding his voice, Ogbuagu Kelvin Uwakwe described the Deputy Governor’s moves to reconcile and bring all stakeholders in the area together as historic, adding that God prepared him for a special assignment in the state.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Badagry women adopting family planning on the rise - NaijaAgroNet

Residents of Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State, have shown increase in the number of women adopting family planning the locality, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Some of the women who spoke to NaijaAgroNet during a recent field visit to the Ajara Flagship Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Badagry, under the auspices of Media Advocacy Working Group (MAWG) in partnership with Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Initiative (PHSAI), gave these indications.
Elated Badagry women, told NaijaAgroNet that the opportunity offered by the access to family planning services far outweigh the disadvantages.
They were particular about prevention of unintended pregnancy, and enjoined others to take advantage of the primary health care services.
A 33 year old Mrs Labake Orija, said her husband also understands the importance, hence she has his approval to attend the family planning scheme of the PHC.
As said by her, after four children what is left is to cater for them with quality educational support so that they can be their best out of the 8-year marriage.
Although Labake was attending the family planning session for the first time, she expressed delight in the exercise despite having heard about family planning before then.
“I have the support of my husband. We have decided that the four children we have now are sufficient for us,” she enthused.
She attributed her keenness to family planning to advice given to her from onset by her mother, who pointed out the efficacy of having children you can afford to train with an average size of four children and with both spouse making it six.
Also speaking, a 39-year-old Mrs. Atinuke Oke, told correspondent that having been married for over 14 years with three children, she has her spouse consent to save the family from avoidable medical expenses which encouraged her to commence family planning some 10 years ago with injectable.

According to her, she came for checkup on her last injectable, three months ago and in fact came to  renew her dose, which is every three months.
Isaac Oyimah/Editor
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Shell wins Best Exhibitor Award, others at 2019 SPE conference - NaijaAgroNet

Shell Companies in Nigeria have won the most coveted Best Exhibitor and eight other awards at the 2019 Nigeria annual international conference and exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) held in Lagos on August 5 -7, coming barely a month after winning the Excellence Award, the highest industry recognition at the Nigeria Oil and Gas annual conference in Abuja recently, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Shell had also won the Best Exhibitor award in the 2016 and 2018 editions of the SPE conference including other industry individual leadership trophies won by staff of the companies.

Shell exhibition combined illustrative and educative posters with learning sessions for young and student engineers and free medical services for conference participants where hundreds of persons received medical checks and drugs.

The SPE International President, Sami Alnuaim and the outgoing Chairman of the Nigeria Council of SPE, Debo Fagbami who made a joint presentation of the award described Shell as a leading light in the oil and gas industry providing direction and support particularly to indigenous companies in the industry.

Country Chair of SCiN and Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Osagie Okunbor and the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, Bayo Ojulari received the award on behalf of Shell companies.

Okunbor described the award as a reward for consistent excellence and diligence displayed by the hardworking staff of Shell in Nigeria adding that Shell companies would continue to invest in industry growth, new technologies and professional development and affiliation of its workforce. “We recognise that being an industry leader puts on us enormous responsibility and we have continued to rethink and reshape our strategies in a manner that brings optimal value to Nigeria, our partners and the local service industry.”

According Okunbor, Shell companies are up-to-date on the conference theme of ‘Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mobile Technology: Changing the Future of the Energy Industry. “We are leaders in deploying artificial intelligence and are using it in areas ranging from seismic analysis to drilling and predictive maintenance because we know that digitalisation has a big role in delivering all of Shell’s strategic goals.”

A Shell Nigeria team of engineers led by Ogochukwu Benheogor won the Best Technical Paper award at the conference while Elisha Ezekiel-Hart won the technical award for projects, facilities and construction. Other winners were Okenufowo Ojonah (Formation Evaluation) and Erasmus John Nnanna (Regional Production and operations). Stella Egwim Ogbodu won the Regional Director’s Recognition Award while Oghogho Effiom received the Award for Regional Service.

Earlier in the year, Shell companies in Nigeria emerged the international oil company with the most impactful local content initiatives in the upstream category at the 2019 edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair organised by the country’s local content regulator, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board. The companies were also named the Local Content Operator of the Year at the 2019 Annual Oil Industry Achievement Awards by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).

Pix: L-R: Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari; International President, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Sami Alnuaim; Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor; and outgoing Chair, SPE Nigeria Council, Debo Fagbami, at the presentation of Best Exhibitor Award to Shell companies at the 2019 annual conference and exhibition awards night of the SPE held in Lagos.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

US looks at Africa for monitisation of LNG - NaijaAgroNet

With record-breaking US gas production this year, and the promotion of gas as a “cleaner, cheaper” energy source a continued priority for the current White House, the US Department of Energy is now looking towards Africa to develop opportunities in the exploration, production and monetization of LNG, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In the words of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, “increased amounts of US LNG on the world market benefit the American economy, American workers, and consumers and help make the air cleaner around the globe.”

Appetite for imported gas is growing steadily across the African continent. Just recently, South Africa announced plans to open its first LNG import terminal in 2024. Meanwhile, US gas production is skyrocketing. Currently at 6 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day, production is forecast to grow to 10 bcf by the end of 2020. This confluence of circumstance makes Africa a common-sense partner for the US as it sets out to cement its position as an Energy superpower.

As part of this mission, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, will join 22 Pan-African ministers at the Africa Oil Week summit in Cape Town this November. He will use the event to share US energy policy points with the continent and outline a vision for deeper US commitment to Africa in the oil, gas and power sectors. This vision looks set to encompass increased two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa, with the US making potential capital available on joint-ventures and to part-finance LNG infrastructure for energy-lacking African countries.

The announcement of Secretary Winberg’s attendance to the summit comes alongside several major US private-sector investments into the African energy sector. ExxonMobil are making progress in Mozambique with their Rovuma LNG project in deepwater Area 4 block which contains more than 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

Particularly notable though is Anadarko’s recent announcement of its Final Investment Decision (FID) to construct a $20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique, the largest single LNG project approved in Africa. A representative from ExxonMobil will be covering the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique at Africa Oil Week and there will be strong presence from ENH and INP at the conference. Africa Oil Week is putting a renewed focus on the place of gas, with 5 dedicated sessions dedicated solely to LNG in the event programme. 

Isaac Oyimah/Editor
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EBF saves lives says Funmi Akinyele, urges Nigerian media for adoption - NaijaAgroNet

The Chair, SubCommittee on Capacity Building at the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition Nigeria (CS-SUNN) Dr. Funmi Akinyele, has urged Nigerians, especially the media to join the campaign for Exclusive Breastfeeding because it saves lives, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at the 2019 media roundtable in Abuja on Exclusive Breast feeding put together by CS-SUNN in commemoration of the annual World Breastfeeding Week at Bon Hotel Elvis, on the theme: Exclusive Breastfeeding in the First 1000 Days: The Critical Window of Opportunity, she said that Nigerians should adopt EBF holistically because it saves.

She told participants at the roundtable with the theme: Changing the Nigerian story, that the EBF saves lives, because the first 1000 days is critical to growth of any child.

“The first 1000 days are the only crucial window to ensure a well-nourished child and reduce the likelihood of non-communicable diseases in adulthood,” she declared.

Akinyele also said that malnutrition is a global issue and is a significant public health issue in Nigeria, just as it encompassed “Undernutrition (Stunting, Wasting, Underweight); Over-nutiriton (Overweight, Obesity; and Hidden Hunger (Micronutrient Deficiency).”

Malnutrition, she said, could be prevented by early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, adequate and appropriate complementary feeding as well as adequate diet in adolescence and adulthood.

She pointed out that maternal nutrition is important pre-conception, during pregnancy, during lactation, and after pregnancy, while intervening at the adolescent stage is key to stopping the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition.

The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

UNICEF, WHO call on govt, employers to be family-friendly – NaijaAgroNet

Becoming the parent of a new baby is both a life-altering gift and an immense responsibility. This week, as countries around the world celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) are calling on governments and all employers to adopt family-friendly policies, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In a joint press statement available to NaijaAgroNet by the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on the theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” they demanded a family-friendly policies that support breastfeeding.

Family-friendly policies – such as paid parental leave – enable breastfeeding and help parents nurture and bond with their children in early life, when it matters most. The evidence is clear that during early childhood, the optimal nutrition provided by breastfeeding, along with nurturing care and stimulation, can strengthen children’s brain development with impacts that endure over a lifetime.

Family-friendly policies are particularly important for working parents. Mothers need time off from work to recover from birth and get breastfeeding off to a successful start. When a breastfeeding mother returns to work, her ability to continue breastfeeding depends on having access to breastfeeding breaks; a safe, private, and hygienic space for expressing and storing breastmilk; and affordable childcare at or near her workplace.

Time off work is also important for fathers: Paid paternity leave allows fathers to bond with their babies and promotes gender-equality, including through the sharing of childrearing and household responsibilities.

Returning to work too soon is a barrier to the early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continued breastfeeding until age 2 or longer – practices that can boost children’s immune systems, shield them from disease, and provide protection from noncommunicable diseases later in life. Breastfeeding also protects maternal health -- women who breastfeed reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

In addition to their impact on children, family-friendly policies support women’s participation in the workforce, improve their physical and mental health, and enhance family well-being. They also advance business objectives and strengthen the economy. Such policies have been shown to increase employee retention, improve job satisfaction, and result in fewer absences. In short, family-friendly policies are good for families, babies and business.

As the world marks World Breastfeeding Week, WHO and UNICEF call on governments and all employers to adopt family-friendly policies – including paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks, and preferably, for a period of six months – as well as paid paternity leave.

In line with the policy actions advocated by the WHO-UNICEF-led Global Breastfeeding Collective, we also call for greater investments in comprehensive breastfeeding programmes, improved breastfeeding counselling and support for women in health facilities and the community, and an end to the promotion of breast-milk substitutes to enable parents to make informed decisions on the best way to feed their infants.

Together, with the support of governments, employers and communities, we have the power to enable breastfeeding and support families in fostering a nurturing environment where all children thrive.

World Breastfeeding Week 2019. World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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EBF: MeCAM established to bridge gap in child nutrition reportage - NaijaAgroNet

A media advocacy group with focus on curbing children malnutrition in Nigeria, under the auspices of the Media Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM) has explained why it was established, saying that the goal is to bridge the gap in nutrition coverage, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The National Coordinator, MeCAM, Mr. Remmy Nweke in his intervention at a media roundtable on “Exclusive Breastfeeding: Changing the Nigerian story” in Abuja recently to mark the 2019 World BreastFeeding Week organized by the Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN).

He said that the group was founded by senior media editors to bridge the gap between the media as an institution, practitioners and correctness of story-telling emanating from Nigeria as far as malnutrition is concerned.

MeCAM, he also said its well-positioned to drive this collaboration in the Nigerian media space and across Africa for betterment of our children and curb malnutrition generally from Nigeria, considering the benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding, for instance.

He also called for more fund at the event held at Bon Hotel Elvis, Abuja, to be made available to advocacy on EBF, noting that every 1USD invested has good return on investment of about 16 USD, currently.

Nweke further recalled that this year’s theme is on “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” noting that more is saved when the right and accurate information is passed.

Media, he said, cannot give what it does not have and called for more capacity building for media practitioners, especially MeCAM membership, who already committed to highlight issues on child malnutrition in Nigeria and beyond, for better children growth including exclusive breastfeeding, overweight, stunted growth, undernourishment to name a few.

Founded in August 2015, MeCAM has membership across online, print, broadcast media respectively.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Pix: Remmy Nweke with first lady of Kaduna State HE Aisha Ummi Garba and Hajia Nafisa of Express Radio Kano at media roundtable on EBF.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hajiya El’Rufai urges Nigerian mothers to key into Exclusive Breast Feeding - NaijaAgroNet

The first lady of Kaduna State, Her Excellency, Hajiya Aisha Ummi Garba El’Rufai has urged Nigerian mothers to key-into Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) due to the advantages therein, reports NaijaAgroNet.

She made this call as the special guest at the Media Roundtable on Exclusive BreastFeeding with the theme “Changing the Nigerian Story” organized by the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition In Nigeria (CS-SUNN) to mark the 2019 World Breast Feeding Day which commenced since August 1 and conclude on August 7.

She noted that if mothers’ key into Exclusive Breast Feeding, “our babies” would be better nourished with requisite intellectual quotient, among others.

This, she said, makes the future of the country brighter, explaining that God has made breast milk to also have sufficient water and has the capacity to prevent our children from failing ill.

For the media, she said, there should be continues engagement with regards to building the capacity of our media practitioners to ensure the dissemination of the right information, especially on Exclusive Breast Feeding.

Emphasising, she said, this step would pave the way for changing the narrative of exclusive breast feeding Nigeria for good.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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