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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Insights on ACP extra 9m Euro - NaijaAgroNet

The recent deal between the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Qu Dongyu, has an insight on how the deal came about to aid EU provision of an additional €9 million to support the UN agency's work in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The gradual loss of vegetative cover due to poor land management practices has led to a dramatic degradation in land and water resources - and, in the most extreme cases, to desertification. Intensive farming patterns put additional pressure on natural resources, with global trends such as climate change, urbanisation and population growth adding to the problem. Each year 12 million hectares of land lose their productive capacity due to drought and desertification.

This capacity-building programme for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States is the product of a partnership between the European Commission, the ACP countries, the UN Environment Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

It builds on the achievements of previous cooperation between the EU and ACP countries. It has reached over 3 200 beneficiaries from 35 ACP countries, including government officers, civil society, the private sector and rural communities.

The programme's first two phases have mainstreamed environmental management issues within institutions and national development plans in a large number of ACP countries. For instance, the programme has supported the disposal of tons of obsolete pesticides and strengthened pesticide risk assessment procedures in several ACP countries. It has positively influenced global dialogues on the need for good governance and policy coherence to protect biodiversity.

As a result, the agriculture sector has been able to implement more effectively the relevant conventions on biodiversity and chemical and waste management. At the same time, a strong case has emerged around the need for a more joined-up approach to addressing agriculture's environmental impact. 

This programme will therefore deliver important outcomes on biodiversity preservation, contributing significantly to global efforts ahead of the upcoming Conference of Parties of the CBD (COP 15) in 2020, and establish a robust foundation for an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

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PHSAI youth identifies high risk in adolescents’ sexual behaviour - NaijaAgroNet

The youth arm of the Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Initiative (PHSAI) has attributed the high risk in sexual behaviour among Nigerian adolescents as responsible for the increasing teenage pregnancy, out of school girls, baby dumping, post abortion complication and death, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Coordinator, Life Planning for Adolescents and Youth at PHSAI Lagos State, Abiodun Ajayi, made this disclosure while addressing participants at World Contraception Day 2019 hosted by the Pathfinder International.

Dwelling on ‘Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) in Lagos,’ Ajayi noted that despite bold steps taken by the state and some stakeholders to increase young people access to youth-friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services, the upsurge in sexual behaviour remained high.

He called for an urgent need to increase discussion around youth SRH cum family planning issues at all levels.

Ajayi also called for increase in funding to sufficiently meet the SRH-FP need of the high risk sexual behaviour of these rapidly growing young populations.

He identified further lack of adequate access and accurate life planning information and services, stressing that lack of youth friendly health facilities and provider bias as some of the worrisome issues.

Additionally, Ajayi said that poor knowledge of contraceptive options and benefits have been a stumbling block for the youth in the state.

“The Lagos State Youth Policy that could provide some backing to the state response to AYSRH has some significant gaps, especially the target audience which is youth between 18 and 35 years and its focus is more on poverty alleviation and other interventions as appendages,” he told NaijaAgroNet.

Ajayi lamented that though the policy had provision for reproductive health services, “it was not explicit on access to contraceptives or family planning services.”

Further, he proposed there should be an evidence based policy and legislative advocacy for implementation of AYSRH services in Lagos State.

“Enhance partnership with NGOs by the state government to establish youth friendly SRH services,” he said.

The PHSAI youth coordinator, maintained that trainings and supervisory programmes that effectively address medical and personal provider’s biases regarding young people’s use of all available contraceptives should be conducted.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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FAO DG hails partnership potential with civil society -NaijaAgroNet

Multiple level partnerships have been described as critical to achieving a world without hunger, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said Saturday at a meeting with leading exponents of civil society and indigenous peoples representing small scale food producers and family farmers.
"We need all of civil society to play an active role", the Director-General said in wide-ranging remarks underscoring the need to improve global food systems. "FAO is here to help you."
He addressed the annual Forum of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples' Mechanism (CSM), a vehicle for the participation of non-governmental actors in policy formulation at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), itself a multistakeholder platform. Today's event focused on how to strengthen commitments to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, also known as Zero Hunger.
A cornerstone of effective action means making sure "family farmers are the final beneficiaries," Qu added, noting that the UN Decade of Family Farming  offers a great opportunity to implement and leverage ideas and recommendations made by CFS.
He emphasized the importance of learning and working together for concrete solutions with "interaction, brainstorming and open minds." In this context, digital solutions can play a decisive role in improving the livelihoods of small scale and vulnerable food producers, particularly in relation to the impacts of climate change, according to the Director-General.
Qu also emphasized that FAO would pioneer youth and women engagement initiatives at all levels and highlighted the positive way that FAO's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) helps generate economic value, knowledge and rural-development solutions.
"We need to defeat hunger and poverty, which are inextricably linked," said CFS Chair Mario Arvelo. "We need to use every tool in the toolbox, as the Director-General said."
CFS itself needs to continually expand its inclusiveness, Arvelo said.
The CSM is a self-organized body designed to give smallholder family farmers, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples, fisherfolks, herders, youth, consumers and other global citizens a voice in the work of the upcoming session of CFS, which starts on 14 October and lasts throughout the week.
The CSM's main message to the upcoming CFS session, which starts on Monday 15 October, is that "the possibility of attaining zero hunger is becoming more and more unlikely" and that policy initiatives need not just to be accelerated but to change direction.
The group noted with approval CFS progress in thematic areas such youth employment in agriculture and food systems and reiterated its priorities in the ongoing process of developing Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, an exercise expected to be completed in 2020.
Among the panelists alongside FAO's Director-General at Saturday's event were Silvia Dywilli from the World March of Women, Nettie Wiebe of La Via Campesina, Azra Sayeed of the International Women's Alliance and Musa Sowe of ROPPA, organizations representing a broad array of global regions.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Africa, others attract extra 9m Euro for promoting nature-friendly agro practices - NaijaAgroNet

The European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Qu Dongyu, have signed a new agreement to see EU provide an additional €9 million to support the UN agency's work in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In particular, the funding will boost the efforts of countries in the targeted regions of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States to bring about sustainable changes in agricultural policies and practices to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and natural resources.

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu stated: "Our support for more biodiversity and better quality food is decisive for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Agriculture and biodiversity are strongly intertwined. The agricultural sector depends heavily on biodiversity, yet it is also a contributor to biodiversity loss. This new programme will help overcome the socio-economic and political barriers that prevent countries and farmers from adopting ecosystem-based agricultural practices and approaches to biodiversity and chemical management."

Commissioner Mimica said: "Nature is under threat - the world needs more sustainable agricultural practices that boost food security, poverty reduction and economic growth, while preserving the planet's precious natural resources. I am very glad to be announcing this additional funding just two days before World Food Day. It is a further example of the EU's firm commitment to work with its ACP partner countries on these very aims."

Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary General of the ACP Group of States, said: "I welcome this new project, which is of great importance for ACP countries. Conserving biodiversity and reducing the pressure on natural resources and ecosystems, while also tackling climate change, has never been more important for our diets, our health, our planet and our survival."

Today's contract is part of a broader EU support programme promoting environmental sustainability in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries via stronger environmental governance and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements like the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The programme will also address some of the most unsustainable practices in agriculture, such as the use of highly hazardous pesticides, and scale up ecosystem-based practices and approaches that favour natural pest control and protect pollinators and other beneficial organisms. Examples include agro-ecosystem-based approaches, organic agriculture, land restoration and landscape management, agroforestry, integrated pest management, pesticide risk reduction and the conservation of local crop diversity.

Partnerships with the private sector and civil society will act as drivers towards more sustainable agricultural systems. In addition, regional and national institutions will be able to do more to design and implement agricultural policies that enhance biodiversity, while at the same time maintaining production and profitability.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Nigeria’s healthcare professionals need tech innovation - NaijaAgroNet

Healthcare practitioners have been advised to take advantage of the several premium healthcare solutions and technologies in the advanced economy to improve the Nigerian healthcare sector, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speakers at the HealthCare Business Conference (HBC) of the Medic West Africa Exhibition and Congress, held in Lagos, South West Nigeria, said technological innovation would help bring healthcare services to millions of Nigerians.

In his remarks, Dr. Chibuzo Opara, Co-CEO, DrugStoc, said that advanced medical technology can improve the standard of medical practice in Nigeria saying that that can be done through the introduction of innovative ,high quality affordable and state-of-the art medical equipment.

Beyond the impact of technological innovation on the health sector, the practitioners also had the opportunity to examine the issue of business management alongside bookkeeping skills.

Highlighting the essence of business management, Country Director, Iqvia and Board Member of Healthcare Foundation of (HFN), Mr. Remi Adesuen said that most members of the HFN are in the SMEs sector of the economy and they offer primary healthcare services to Nigeria contrary to the notion that primary healthcare is that of government.

According to him, over 70 percent of Nigerians access their healthcare through the private sector noting that 60 percent of the practitioners are SMEs, who needs business skills and technology to give the required medical care.

He said that the HBC which was held in partnership with Anadach Group was designed to give its members attending the Medic West Africa Exhibition and Conference access to knowledge on business planning, model and innovative approach to healthcare business.

Besides those, he said that the SMEs were taking through the rudiments of bookkeeping and the regulatory laws of the several agencies that they deal with so that they don’t go against the laws of their operating environment.

He stated that the deployment of digital technology is the best adoption for the SMEs in today’s health sector particularly as the business began to grow.

Adeseun advised that the SMEs common together to access some basic services that bother on accounting, business and other related services so that the cost of those services can be reduced for them.

He called on them to look for opportunities of partnership or collaboration with other players in the public or private sector that would bring the benefit of economy of scales to bear on their businesses and improve the nation’s healthcare.

According to him, although health is a social services, the era when it was run entirely as social service has ended and as such it must be run presently as a business for the services to be sustainable.

He stated if enough fund is not generated to cover the source of fund for the business wither it is government or private, the free health will fail because there will be no longer materials for the business.

To avoid such scenario, he suggested the health insurance scheme which he said has proved effective in most advanced countries of the world saying that the Nigeria health insurance scheme has failed because it was not mandatory.

First Vice President of HFN, Dr. Festus Osoba disclosed that the Foundation is an advocacy group enable the private sector healthcare practitioner to speak with one voice in the country saying that this year it is focusing on the business aspect of healthcare services.

He noted that they are concern about the impact of technological innovation in the sector noting that was why in one of presentation focus was on electronic data, investment in data management as well as implementation and project management since data can help them grow their businesses.

He also said that HFN wants their members to be patient-centric and the right of the patient protected so that the healthcare system meets global standard.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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PHSAI advocacy boosts FP funding in Lagos - NaijaAgroNet

The Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Initiative (PHSAI) has declared that its efforts gave boost to the family planning (FP) funding in Lagos State, reports NaijaAgroNet.

PHSAI chairman, Mr. Ayo Adebusoye made this disclosure in his address to mark the 2019 World Contraception Day with the support of Pathfinder International under the theme: FP Funding Advocacy Overview in Lagos State.

According to him, the Lagos State Family Planning (FP) Advocacy Working Group (LAWG) known formally as the Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Initiative (PHSAI) was established in January 2015 with the support of Pathfinder International.

PHSAI, he said, comprises civil society, faith-based organizations, the media, and local government units for budget and reproductive health and family planning.

As said by Adebusoye, between 2015 and 2018, PHSAI efforts is beginning to manifest through series of meetings with the key stakeholders in Lagos State, including policy makers in the health sector, local government executives, community leaders and Reproductive Health and Family Planning Managers among others.

The essence of these meetings, he said, was to identify ways to leverage funds for Family Planning.

As such, he disclosed that presently, some 18 Local Government Areas cum Local Council Development Authorities “are now reported to be funding family planning consumables in 2018.”

In addition, he said that Lagos State budget for family planning doubled “from N86,740,000 ($240,944.44) in 2017 to N177,500,000 ($493,055.56) in 2018.”

In 2017, for instance, he said, the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board for the first time in history “created a specific budget line for family planning consumables in the sum N50,000,000 ($140,000). The same amount was allocated in the 2018 budget.”

PHSAI’s advocacy intervention, he said, is to improve family planning funding, reiterating the group committed to scaling up the lessons learnt by sharing with the state and local governments throughout Nigeria.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Mantashe launches African Energy series - NaijaAgroNet

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa, Gwede Mantashe, has launched the Africa Energy Series: South Africa 2019 report at the Africa Oil & Power conference, reports NaijaAgroNet.

On the second day’s theme of “Energy in Powering Growth”, panel discussions and talk sessions unpacked the challenges and opportunities in Africa’s power sector; Program highlights included topics such as the energy transition, Africa’s renewable energy sector, financing the power sector and energy security.

Following the successful conclusion of the first day of the three-day African Oil &Power conference and exhibition, the second day commenced today with a focus on the future of Africa’s power sector.

The day began with a keynote address from Kholly Zono, Acting CEO of CEF Group, who introduced Hon. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa.

In his introduction, Zono outlined CEF Group’ energy s strategies and shared that the CEF group is, in line with the conference theme, motivated by the goal of making energy work and, is driven by the agenda of addressing inequality, unemployment, and poverty.

He said, at the core of its strategy, the group is built on the fundamental principles of empowering people and innovation.

“The theme of the conference #MakeEnergyWork resonates very well with the CEF Group of companies, taking into account the global challenges in terms of energy requirements,” Zono said. “Making energy work is challenging us to move beyond strategies and focus on innovative approaches.”

In his keynote address, Minister Mantashe spoke about the role the energy sector plays in driving economic growth.

“South Africa recognises the energy and mineral resources sectors as catalysts to economic growth. We have witnessed how an adverse impact of high costs and unreliable supply of energy have on the productive sectors of the economy,” Mantashe stated. He further added that the government is also promoting the Integrated Resource Plan and the Amendment to the Gas Act of 2001 to encourage investment in the energy sector and to increase energy security in the continent.

Minister Mantashe also launched the Africa Energy Series: South Africa 2019 report compiled by Africa Oil & Power and dedicated it to the late Deputy Minister, Bavelile Hlongwe.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Obiano excites youth with Juliet's appointment as SA - NaijaAgroNet

The Anambra State Governor, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano has excited members of Society of Young Nigerian Writres (SYNW) with the appointment of their own, Mrs. Juliet Chudie as a Special Adviser on Youth Empowerment, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The signing and issuing of the appointment letter which took place penultimate Monday at the Government House, Awka, the state's capital was witnessed by some top government functionaries.

Reacting to the good news, Mrs. Chudie described the appointment as a call to serve, and appreciated Gov. Obiano for finding her worthy to hold such a revered position, and giving her the opportunity to serve the state and Ndi Anambra.

She promised to employ her wealth of experience and knowledge in the discharge of her duties, so as to contribute her own quota in actualizing Gov. Obiano's transformation agenda for the state, especially through the aspects of youth empowerment and development.

Mrs. Chudie who is a member of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) is a native of Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, and the founder of Juliet Chudie Foundation, founded in 2015.

She is the author of 'A Mother's Heart Bleeds' and the winner of the CSA Award as the Creative Writer of the Year 2018, and has through her foundation, touched many lives, empowered many youths and restored many hope in various localities of the state.

In his own reaction, the National President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Mr. Wole Adedoyin described the appointment as recognition of hardwork, and eulogized Gov. Willie Obiano for giving youths opportunities and voices in his administration.

Disclosing that there are many young ones out there who have a lot to contribute in development and governance of every state, Mr. Adedoyin also called on other governors of the various states in the federation to emulate such gesture and give youths more opportunity, maintaining that such will also help to spur other youths to play their drums well in their various fields of endeavour.

He further urged Governor Obiano to also consolidate on this feat by appointing another young writer, suggestively the Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers in the state, Mr. Izunna Okafor as an aide on Literary Matters, being an internationally acclaimed award-winning author/journalist and convener of the Chinua Achebe Annual Literary Festival.

According to him, "Anambra State is a hub of literary figures in Nigeria, and in fact, the first state to reckon with when it comes to literary matters, having given the world arrays of literary champions; and as such, the state deserves to have an aide who will stand as a liaison officer between the government and writers in the state (both established and burgeoning writers)".

"In fact, Anambra State is expected to be the first state to set the pace on having such an aide on Literary Matters, which no state government has ever had in the history of the country; and I trust Gov. Obiano is best expected to set such pace, being a youth-loving Governor. So, as I appreciate him, I also urge him to buy into this humble suggestion." Mr. Adedoyin said.

Ozo Nweke Ozo in Awka/Editor

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sustainability Week: Dangote goes waste-to-wealth, tree planting initiatives - NaijaAgroNet

Activities marking the 2019 Global Sustainability Week, saw the employees of the pan-African conglomerate, the Dangote Industries Limited coming up with an initiative tagged “Waste to Wealth initiative” to manage waste disposal while generating income and giving back to communities wherein they operate, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Company marked the Sustainability Week with the theme: “Our Community, Our Passion” with various activities held in the Lagos and across its Business Units and plants. These activities focused on investment programmes directed towards turning waste to wealth, and reviving reading culture in young children in host communities.

In Lagos, over 200 Sustainability Champions and employee volunteers across the business units, assisted five international facilitators to train the children on turning the most insignificant materials and waste in the environment into tangible assets of economic value to the nation.

Dangote employees took the initiative to St. George Primary School and Aunty Ayo International School in Ikoyi, where the facilitators, with additional help from the volunteers, trained the children on how to manage their wastes and create sustainable products that are marketable from their everyday generated wastes.

Speaking on the initiative, the Group Chief Sustainability and Governance, Dangote Industries Limited, Dr. Ndidi Nnoli, said the company’s sustainability approach is driven by a desire to contribute and impact positively towards the development of host communities and the society at large.

According to her, the 2019 Sustainability Week is directed towards safeguarding the environment by educating the host communities on how to turn waste to wealth to achieve sustainable development.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, October 7, 2019

GOCOP 2019 confab gets NLNG applause - NaijaAgroNet

The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has applauded the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), saying that the 2019 conference theme is very paramount to the organisation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Nigeria LNG Limited, Sophia Horsfall gave this commendation in her goodwill message at the third annual conference of GoCOP held at Sheraton Ikeja, Lagos.

"I thank you for your warm welcome and for the constant support you offer Nigeria LNG Limited. We value your partnership with us in communicating our messages to our various stakeholders. Thank you once again.

"The theme for this conference: “Economy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward,” is most relevant at this time considering the prevailing socio-economic issues in Nigeria. I commend you for bringing various thought leaders together to discuss how to use your vantage position to address a theme that is very paramount to all of us irrespective of industries and sectors," she said.

In addition, she noted that Nigeria LNG Limited as a critical player in nation's economy appreciated the theme, saying,2019, is very remarkable one for the company as it marks 30 years of incorporation as a business entity and 20 years of safe and reliable operations. 

"Over the last 30 years, we have observed various obstacles to the economy, security and development of Nigeria. Some of these have challenged us as a company operating within the country. Nevertheless, we are proud to have been able to navigate through all the complexities to remain a Nigerian success story and a model for other organisations," she said.

Pointing out that the tough truth is that the same cannot be said of most other companies doing business in Nigeria.

"The challenges of national development are real and detrimental to many businesses, families and individuals in Nigeria," she said, stressing that the good news is that "we can find solutions to these problems if we ponder, rub minds, outline collective goals and work together as a nation."

NLNG, she said, believes this is what this conference is all about., just as she declared that "Today, building blocks can be erected to create strong pillars for a safe, strong, innovative, productive and leading country."

For NLNG, she said, as Nigeria turns 59 and as Nigeria LNG turns 30 this year, there could not have been a better time than now for a conference like this. 

"I congratulate all the members of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers for putting this conference together and for being an important association working towards ensuring Nigeria realizes her full potential. I urge you to sustain this conference as an annual event for the benefit of us all. I wish you success," she said.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

Pix: GOCOP president in a handshake with Sophia Horsfall while deputy president, GOCOP Maureen Chigbo watches with interest.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

South African returnees to trigger agriculture revolution in Oyo - NaijaAgroNet

The Oyo State Government has expressed readiness to empower its indigenes who are returning from South Africa as a result of xenophobic attacks through agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The state’s deputy Governor, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, who made the declaration on behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, while receiving 30 indigenes of the state who were victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, said that the State would not just give them fish, but teach them how to fish.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the government of Oyo State had expressed its readiness re-orientate and re-integrate the returnees into the society as well as empower them based on their needs.

The statement read: “I want to assure you on behalf of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, that you have no reason whatsoever to go back to South Africa or anywhere again.

“We are going to provide for you; we are here for you. The people that you left behind voted for us in your absence and we will tell them that they did not make a mistake.

“We are not going to give you money but we will provide for your needs based on your requests when we get your needs assessment through adequate profiling so as to cater for your needs.

“I welcome you back. You may not like this, I am happy to see you here. It is not that I like what happened to you. One of you said he left with nothing, but I tell you that is not correct. As far as you are alive there is hope and Oyo State is the hope you need because there is a new dawn in Oyo state.

“Because the state is going to create a lot of opportunities in the area of Agribusiness, you have a lot to do. For some of you who are interested in government work, thank God the state has not recruited yet, when the time comes and you have the prerequisite qualifications, you will be considered.”

The state government also enjoined the returnees not to go into crime or lose hope, as the Deputy Governor urged the returnees not to seek a return to any country for the proverbial greener pastures, adding that life would be better for them in the state.

He further said: “I want to urge you all to inform other Nigerians who are still residing in Saudi Arabia and other foreign lands to return home, because there is plan in place to revolutionise agriculture to create economic opportunities for residents and there will be better plans in abundance for the returnees in Oyo State.”
The state government proceeded to make cash provisions of N30,000 each available to the returnees as transport fare to their various destinations within the State, pending the assessments of their needs and further actions from the government.

Speaking on behalf of returnees, Mr. Lawal Bolatito, appreciated the efforts of the Oyo State Government and further appealed for empowerment and job opportunities for them.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Pix: Deputy Gov. Mr. Rauf.

Kwara flags off nutrition treatments for children, pregnant women - NaijaAgroNet

The Kwara State Government has flagged off a statewide campaign against chronic malnutrition in the state, with the Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) officially launched to boost nutrition among children and women, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The ANRiN, facilitated by the Federal Government on Wednesday, is a World bank-assisted Project designed to encourage consumption of nutritious food/supplements among the citizens of the participating states, especially pregnant or lactating women and children.

“Our decision to key into ANRiN followed the unsavoury news that 238,171 out of every 696,405 children under 5 years of age in Kwara are stunted, a development that is an evidence of chronic malnutrition and a potent socioeconomic threat to the state,” Secretary to the Kwara State Government Prof Mamman Saba Jibril said at the flag off in Ilorin, the state capital.

Jibril represented Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the event attended by the Chairman Kwara State House Committee on Health and representative of the Kwara State First Lady, Abdulrasak Owolabi; representative of the Federal Ministry of Health Dr Kamil Soretire; Permanent Secretary Kwara State Ministry of Health Dr. Rhoda Ajiboye; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communications, AbdulGaniyu Mustapha; representative of the World Bank, Sangeeta Carol Pinto; Magaji Are and representative of the Emir of Ilorin Aremu Zubair.

Jibril, who urged Kwarans to visit the primary health centres nearest to them to access the services, called the ANRIN a bold step to address malnutrition by increasing the utilisation of high quality and cost effective nutrition interventions among pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under the age of five (5) years.

“We are proud to say that Kwara State, which could have dropped out of the list of 11 states shortlisted for the intervention, is privileged to be on board because our administration promptly paid the first ever counterpart funds of N50m,” he said.

“This means that our pregnant women and children will benefit from ANRiN as the implementation of the project begins today across the 16 local government areas of the state. By this, our mothers and children, especially the under-fives, will henceforth have free access to an array of nutrition-related treatments across the Primary Health Centres in the state. There will be provision of micro nutrient powders, zinc/ORS to children, iron and folic acid tablets for pregnant and lactating women, high calories food for malnourished children, Vitamin A for children, malaria-preventing drugs to pregnant women, and deworming of children, among other benefits.”

Pinto, the World Bank official at the event, commended the government for keying into the programme, saying the partnership on ANRiN will go a long way in curbing child and maternal mortalities in the state.

Owolabi said the ANRiN programme would help halt the 50 percent countrywide child and maternal deaths on account of malnutrition.

Applauding the World Bank, Federal and the State Government for the project, he noted that the first 1000 days of the life of a child represent a critical period of their brain development, hence the need to access good nutrition to enhance their intellectual and cognitive capacities.

Ajiboye, for her part, noted that the government's giant stride in health sector is capable of achieving universal health coverage in the state.

She said the government's commitment to implementing ANRiN project will translate to huge relief for healthcare seekers.

Ajiboye commended AbdulRazaq for providing the state with a focused, goal-driven and purposeful leadership, a gesture she described as a sincere fulfilment of his campaign promises.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sectorial Nutrition plan: CS-SUNN urges Lagos to invest N56b - NaijaAgroNet

Arising from the 2-day harmonization training meeting organized by CS-SUNN, the Lagos State Government has successfully mainstreamed the State Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition into the State Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) ahead of the 2020 budget process, reports NaijaAgroNet

Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, told 
NaijaAgroNet that the training was aimed at strengthening the capacity of Heads of Planning Units, Nutrition Desk officers, Planning Officers, Statisticians among others in all nutrition line ministries to mainstream strategies into the State Nutrition Strategic Plan of Action.

“It further sought to improve collaborations among personnel from these nutrition line ministries in preparing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) budgets and other nutrition related planning documents for the state,” she said in a press statement available to NaijaAgroNet.

The Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Adetutu Abiola, who declared the training open, said it was apt considering the malnutrition challenge bedeviling the country. 

“One of the objectives of this training is to acquaint budget officers of line ministries on the importance of the multi-sectoral costed workplan in planning for nutrition programmes and projects and how to achieve the set targets in the domesticated policy documents”, said Adetutu. 

She therefore tasked budget officers to familiarize themselves with the policy documents and costed workplan as information from the documents will guide preparation of annual budgets of the line ministries.

In a presentation, the Secretary of the State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN) Mrs. Braheem O.C stated that malnutrition still remains a public health challenge in Lagos State and a silent crisis that imposes a staggering cost to the State’s economy. She revealed that the state government requires a total sum of Two hundred and eighty-four billion, eight hundred and twenty-six million, four hundred and ninety-nine thousand naira only (N284, 826,499, 000.ooK ) with an average annual cost of Fifty-six billion, nine hundred and sixty-five million, two hundred and twenty-nine thousand, eight hundred naira only (N56, 965,299,800. 00K) to implement the State Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition (2019-2023).

Earlier this year, the Lagos SCFN in collaboration with CS-SUNN had domesticated the National Policy on Food and Nutrition specific to Lagos state and developed the state multi-sectoral costed workplan.

The plan covers 6 core areas which include, Food and Nutrition Security, Enhancing Caregiving Capacity, Enhancing provision of quality Health services, Improving Capacity to Address Food And Nutrition Insecurity, Raising Awareness and understanding of the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and Resource Allocation for Food and Nutrition Security at all Levels. It is expected that the plan if followed through will result in increased food production leading to a reduced rate of malnutrition, reduced Morbidity and Mortality among women and children and enhanced capacity to deliver effective and appropriate nutrition interventions in the state. It will further enhance the capacity to deliver effective and appropriate nutrition interventions and operationalization of budgetary provision for all Nutrition objectives and developmental plans and programmes across all line MDAs.

The validated policy will serve as a guide for the execution of programmes and projects targeted at addressing malnutrition in Lagos state.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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