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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Egube applauds CS-SUNN on advocacy, explains why Lagos voted N7bn on health insurance – NaijaAgroNet

The Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Samuel Egube, has applauded the Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), over the advocacy at ensuring Nigerians eat healthy meals, reports NaijaAgroNet.

CS-SUNN, NaijaAgroNet gathered, is a non-governmental, non-profit making coalition, made up of organizations with a shared vision to transform Nigeria into a country where every citizen has food and is nutrition secured.

Welcoming the delegate from CS-SUNN on a courtesy visit to his office and led by the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, the Commissioner noted that nutrition has become a multi-sectoral subject that should be embraced by all.

He applauded CS-SUNN for championing nutrition education in the country, which longterm effect is good health for the citizens.

“Nutrition is a deliberate attempt to make life better for the citizen,” he declared.

Lagos, Egube said, has to push for the social health insurance and even voted the sum of N7 billion for this scheme.

ALSO READ: CS-SUNN commends Lagos over nutrition budget lines in 9 MDAs - NaijaAgroNet

He equally charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) not to relent on their efforts, but to encourage Lagosians to take the scheme seriously.

“Nutrition is everyone problem and CSO have lots to do than the government,” he asserted, stressing that more could be do with partnership.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Eluaka in the company of Aji Rachael Robinson - Sub-Committee Chairman Research, Programme Manager, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, Lagos State Coordinator at CS-SUNN, Dr (Mrs) Modupe Akinyinka, National Coordinator, Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM), Mr. Remmy Nweke.

Equally in attendance were the Lagos State Director in the ministry, Mrs. Otuyalo and State Nutrition Officer (SNO) Mrs Olubunmi Braheem among others.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CS-SUNN commends Lagos over nutrition budget lines in 9 MDAs - NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has commended the Lagos State government for creating nine budget lines for nutrition across its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Giving this commendation on behalf of CS-SUNN, its Executive Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka during a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Samuel Egube, on Tuesday at the State Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja.

In addition she said that Lagos has what it takes to develop multi-sectoral policies that will stimulate nutrition in the state.

She also noted that Lagos was the first to sign the six months maternity leave into law, and congratulated ‘Eko’ for this fit.

The Executive Secretary further called for more positive actions in promotion of nutrition especially in children in Lagos. Stressing that the effect of malnutrition and stunting in the state, usually poses negative economic indexes should be addressed.

CS-SUNN also requested for approval of the state specific nutrition policy among other related plans by the State Executive Council (SEC).

In his response, the Commissioner, Mr. Egube, noted that nutrition problem is everybody’s problem.

“Everybody must come together. There is need to pull volunteers that will act together to deliver a society where basic nutrition is no longer a problem," he said.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that CS-SUNN launched in 2014, pursues her lofty goal by engaging government and non-state actors to raise awareness, sustain commitment and actions to effectively tackle under-nutrition in Nigeria.

The CS-SUNN delegation led by Executive Secretary, Mrs. Eluaka included the Sub-Committee Chairman on Research, Aji Rachael Robinson, Programme Manager, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, Lagos State CS-SUNN Coordinator, Dr (Mrs) Modupe Akinyinka and Secretary, Mrs Ebere Okey-Onyema, National Coordinator, Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM), Mr. Remmy Nweke, and in attendance of the Lagos State Director in the Ministry, Mrs. Otuyalo and State Nutrition Officer (SNO) Mrs Olubunmi Braheem.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Food for All Africa launches campaign for 1000 free lunch box - NaijaAgroNet


The Food for All Africa is partnering with Ghana Food Movement and Chef Elijah Addo for the fundraising campaign to distribute 1,000 free lunch box and meals on the 8th International School Meals Day to school children within Akuapem-Mampong in the Eastern region of Ghana, reports 

The International School Meals Day, 
NaijaAgroNet gathered, encourages children and young people around the world to connect and talk to each other about the food they eat and the role that it plays in their lives. 

The 2020 edition, NaijaAgroNet also gathered, would hold on 12th March, 2020 with the theme ‘Sharing our Successes’. 

Chef Elijah Addo, founder of Food for All Africa noted that thinking about favorite foods, developing nutritional projects and discussing where food comes from and who provides it all offer opportunities to share time with family, friends and communities.

"This year’s theme allows pupils to share stories and undertake learning about what works well in relation to their meals — whether that’s how the food is grown or cooked, the recipes used, how it’s served or who it’s served by. We want to know! Maybe it’s a favorite family recipe, or food provided at school and served by a favorite member of the school feeding catering team," he said.

Addo pointed out that every day, millions of children take a giant step out of poverty simply by going to school. But no child can take that step on an empty stomach. 

"It takes nutritious food for them to be able to learn and grow up healthy," he said.

Equally, Addo cited for instance, the World Food Programme (WFP) recent reports, stressing that there are 66 million primary school-age children who attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.

"I have had the opportunity to interact with school children in both Ghana and across the world. I must confess that given the importance of school lunch to our children, we need to do all within our means to secure the safety and quality of meals that Ghanaian children eat in school. We must all get involved”

School lunch is critical to student health and well-being, especially for low-income students—and ensures that students have nutrition they need throughout the day to learn. Research shows that receiving free or reduced-price school lunches reduces food insecurity, obesity rates, and poor health

Food for All Africa has since 2018 been commemorating the International School Meals day in Ghana with a stakeholders forum on improving the school feeding programs across communities currently not covered by Governments National School Feeding programme.

Through extensive research and feedbacks from stakeholders, they realized the safety of food served in most of the schools is compromised due to the plates used by the school children. It is in line with addressing this challenge that they are fundraising to provide 1,000 free lunch box and meals to school children within the Akuapem-Mampong vicinity of the Eastern region. For each GH¢15 donated you have provided a lunch box and balanced meal on the day to one school child.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Nigeria ranks bottom 10 on child flourishing - NaijaAgroNet


The ranking is based on factors including measures of child survival and well-being such as health, education, nutrition, equity and income gaps.

The report, A Future for the World’s Children?, includes a new global index of 180 countries, comparing performance on child flourishing.  Nigeria ranks 174 out of 180 countries, below Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

The report finds that the health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at children. According to the report, no single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their futures.

“This demonstrates how far we still need to go in Nigeria to ensure children can live healthy lives in an environment where they can thrive. We know that investing in the future of our children, giving them an education and making sure they are healthy and receive the right nutrition, works to provide a better future for everyone.  We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect the health and future of every Nigerian child,” said Claes Johansson, UNICEF Nigeria Representative a.i.
According to the report, while the poorest countries need to do more to support their children’s ability to live healthy lives, excessive carbon emissions – disproportionately from wealthier countries – threaten the future of all children. If global warming exceeds 4°C by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this would lead to devastating health consequences for children, due to rising ocean levels, heatwaves, proliferation of diseases like malaria and dengue, and malnutrition.

The index shows that children in Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands have the best chance at survival and well-being, while children in Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Niger and Mali face the worst odds.

“More than 2 billion people live in countries where development is hampered by humanitarian crises, conflicts, and natural disasters, problems increasingly linked with climate change,” said Minister Awa Coll-Seck from Senegal, Co-Chair of the Commission. “While some of the poorest countries have among the lowest CO2 emissions, many are exposed to the harshest impacts of a rapidly changing climate. Promoting better conditions today for children to survive and thrive nationally does not have to come at the cost of eroding children’s futures globally.”   

A manifesto for immediate action on child and adolescent health

  1. Stop CO2 emissions with the utmost urgency, to ensure children have a future on this planet
  2. Place children and adolescents at the centre of efforts to achieve sustainable development
  3. New policies and investment in all sectors to work towards child health and rights
  4. Incorporate children’s voices into policy decisions
  5. Tighten national regulation of harmful commercial marketing, supported by a new Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet family of journals, said: “The opportunity is great. The evidence is available. The tools are at hand. From heads-of-state to local government, from UN leaders to children themselves, this Commission calls for the birth of a new era for child and adolescent health. It will take courage and commitment to deliver. It is the supreme test of our generation.”
“From the climate crisis to obesity and harmful commercial marketing, children around the world are having to contend with threats that were unimaginable just a few generations ago,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “It is time for a rethink on child health, one which places children at the top of every government’s development agenda and puts their well-being above all considerations.”

“This report shows that the world’s decision makers are, too often, failing today’s children and youth: failing to protect their health, failing to protect their rights, and failing to protect their planet,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization said. “This must be a wakeup call for countries to invest in child health and development, ensure their voices are heard, protect their rights, and build a future that is fit for children.”

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Kano to partner FG on Pfizer-inspired diagnosis centre - NaijaAgroNet

The Kano State government, would be partnering the Federal Government to bring back to live, the abandoned Pfizer-sponsored diagnosis centre in Kwanar Dawaki, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The centre, a multi-billion Naira establishment, NaijaAgroNet gathered, was funded by Pfizer for over 10 years, due to alleged gaps between the state and the company, which later in 2012 was given to the then Northwest University, Kano (now Yusuf Maitama Sule University), as Teaching Hospital, then, would be resuscitated to become fully functional.

This was disclosed by the governor of Kano State Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje when he paid inspection visit to the Centre with the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Emmanuel Enahire, who was in Kano, for 2020 Kano Primary Health Care Summit.

He said with the support of the federal government, on the facility his administration would do a great work there, adding that, "The real issue is that, the facility was built by Pfizer and then disagreement erupted between Pfizer and the then state government."

The governor made it clear that "We will try our best to see that we contact Pfizer and discuss with them, so as to see what are the gaps that need our attention. We will try and fill in those gaps, because it will be for the benefit of our people."

"We will also look at other areas like consumables to dialogue with the Pfizer. Even then management of the facility would be discussed with them, to have good landing for the facility to bounce back to good use. We will definitely dialogue with them. Because we cannot afford to waste the costly machines that are put in place," he assured.

Impressed by the types of machines he saw at the facility, the Health Minister, Dr Enahire, said he was moved by what he saw, some installed and some not installed, hinting that, "This facility will go a long way in further developing quality research for scholars and students."

"There is still opportunity for collaboration between this facility and similar ones across the country. For example there is a similar facility in Lagos. And in other similar places," said the Minister.

Being under the Yusuf Maitama Sule University, students of Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Biochemistry use the facility under Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences.

Some of the Laboratories visited by the governor and the Minister during the visit included Histopathology Lab, Immunology Lab, Chemical Pathology Lab and  Hematology Lab, among others.

The visitors were briefed that at Hematology Lab, the machines that were installed are Genotype Machine, Molecular and DNA Analysis Machine. At the Lab a Special Refrigerator that has Minus 50°C temperature, that has the capacity to keep samples for over 50 years.

At Chemical Pathology Lab, visitors were briefed that the Machines for Kidney and Liver test are superb and could take all tests under clinical research, sometimes at a time.

It was also revealed that, some of the Machines that came with consumables, the consumables were expired. While those Machines that were installed, needed trained staff to run them, those that were not installed, needed both installations and training of staff.

Another machine at Microbiology Lab, Microbacterial Growth Indicator Machine can take 7 days for diagnosis unlike the traditional 40 days, as obtained by other similar machines. This according to the explanation, could help to drastically reduce TB cases.

The Centre, as a Research Centre, as at now, attracts many scholars and students, PhD students particularly, even from far away Calabar city. Generally, it was observed and advised that, what was needed for the immediate utilisation of all machines, was largely installation and training, that was referred to going back to drawing board.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sao Tome & Principe partners IFAD to improve nutrition - NaijaAgroNet

The International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD) is supporting a new project to increase incomes, improve food and nutrition security and build the resilience of at least 34,800 rural farmers of Sao Tome and Principe, an island country highly affected by climate change, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Rising sea levels and climate disturbances put the poor rural people of the country at risk, impacting its agriculture and fisheries.

Micronutrient deficiency rates in Sao Tome and Principe are also alarming, with 96 per cent of preschool children and 18 per cent of girls and pregnant women suffering from vitamin A deficiencies. The malnutrition rate for children under five is more than 17 per cent.

To address these issues, the financing agreement for the Commercialization, Agricultural Production Nutrition Project (COMPRAN) was signed today by Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of IFAD, Programme Management Department and Osvaldo Tavares dos Santos Vaz, Minister of Finance of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

With 69 per cent of the young people in Sao Tome and Principe unemployed, this €19.2 million programme will target young people, aiming for at least 50 per cent. It will contribute to livelihood development, improved nutrition and resilience, all of which are critical areas for the country to achieve food security, as well as meeting several Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality and climate action (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).

Funding includes an €0.9 million loan and €3.8 million grant from IFAD. In addition, the Government of Sao Tome and Principe is providing €0.4 million, with a further €0.5 million contributed by beneficiaries themselves and significant cofinancing from other development partners.

“COMPRAN is an innovative project that will also strengthen capacities of key rural public and private institutions in the country to catalyse and well manage investments and strengthen public-private and producer partnerships, at both central and decentralized levels. This will ensure the continuity and the sustainability of the gains of the former Smallholder Commercial Agriculture Project that registered huge achievements and impact on the livelihoods of rural populations through increased incomes,” said Emime Ndihokubwayo, Country Director for Sao Tome and Principe.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Power to Nigerians: Lumos to the rescue - NaijaAgroNet

Clamour for affordable clean energy for all is the Sustainable Development Goal 7, REMMY NWEKE in this piece, examines how Lumos 'Yellow Box' is coming to the rescue of Nigerians for renewable energy solutions.
Never Expect Power Always (NEPA) for most Nigerians mean different things. For a child that alerts family on return of public power supply with resounding ‘Up NEPA!’ to a mother who simply declares, ‘Thank God for NEPA’ and father who laments the inability of National Electric Power Authority (NEPA); a public utility for the supply of electricity to the entire citizen, reputed for lack of service but forceful payment of NEPA bills, otherwise the little shared power supply may be disconnected.

And when disconnected, the following-up exercise with NEPA officials to reconnect you after payment and arming yourself with receipt, may not still give you power without tips to the field electricians and area marketers, could take a whole day, which requires you abandons every other thing to queue after the ‘tin god’ field officers.

On the other hand, due to shared electricity of one-day on, one-day off, you were able to save and buy a generating set, at least, the one called ‘I better pass my neighbour’ only to discover that you provide more power time for yourself than NEPA. This forced some industry watchers to describe ownership of any generating set as an individual independent power supplier and overhead maintenance cost and attendant misperformance, courtesy of unwary mechanics.

These are synopsis of some key reasons most Nigerians do not expect public power supply always.

Average temperature in Nigeria:

In the midst of this, Nigeria is known as a tropical nation that could be very steamy and dry. According to online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, “there are a total of four climate types which affect the weather in the region. Those are the equatorial monsoon or tropical rainforest climate, tropical Savannah climate, tropical dry climate and Alpine climate.

To sum up if Nigeria is hot or cold, the ClimatesToTravel experts noted that in the northern Nigeria, winter is warm and dry; it could get uncomfortably hot during the day, up to 40 °C (104 °F), but it's usually cool at night, and even get cold in the northern hilly areas, where cold records are around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F).

For instance, an average temperature for Lagos, the commercial centre of the nation, is between 73 and 92 Centigrades or Celsius unit of temperature, all year round, in line with Climate-zone. Succinctly put, 0°C is the freezing point of water and 100°C is the boiling point of water. Centigrade is an old fashioned name for Celsius, which could be shortened to °C.

So, for possible alternative options in a Nigerian like environment, solar power sounds more reasonable, because as a reliable and resilient energy source, when installed, generates clean, renewable energy round the year.

Although cold weather reportedly prevents solar panels from heating up, but a solar panel will still do its job so long there is sunlight and cold temperature will not impact electricity production. Factually, hot climates could cause solar panel overheat. Thus, solar panels actually produce electricity more efficiently in cold weather. In winter months, solar panels will brighten user’s day and home.

Energy Efficiency by 2020:

The 2013 Power Sector Reform targets renewable energy technologies to contribute to the overall goal to achieve 18 per cent of electricity generation from renewables by 2025 and 20 per cent by 2030 across the small-hydro: 2,000MW (600MW in 2015); solar photovoltaics: 500MW; biomass-based power plants: 400MW (50MW in 2015); wind: 40MW and electrification level of 75 per cent in 2025 (60 per cent in 2015);

While the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy developed by the Federal Ministry of Power as at 2014 and was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2015, consolidated previous policies, with main aim at developing power generation through renewables and energy efficiency capacity by 2020.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan is a follow-up to the primary objective to expand access to electricity as rapidly as possible in a cost-effective manner via grid and off-grid approaches from renewable and thermal sources in rural areas.

Noteworthy is that Nigeria is a signatory to the Kyoto protocol and has in place a National Policy on Climate Change and Response Strategy for implementing climate change activities in the country.

How affordable is clean energy:

As global population continues to grow, so also will demands for cheap energy, thus investing in solar, wind and thermal power to improve energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all is vital if we are to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by 2030.

According to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, whose office is leading a Sustainable Energy for All initiative to ensure universal access to modern energy services, improve efficiency and increase use of renewable sources, “Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean and more efficient energy in all countries will encourage growth and help the environment.”

UN facts and figures available to 
NaijaAgroNet showed that energy is the main contributor to climate change; to the tune of about 60 per cent of greenhouse gases. Just as one in seven persons still lacks electricity, and most of them live in rural areas of developing countries. Pointing out that more efficient energy standards could reduce building and industry electricity consumption by 14 percent.

Special Report on Goal 7:

Presenting the 2019 special edition “Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report” the Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres, at a high-level political forum on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, noted that Goal 7, which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; that access to electricity in the poorest countries has begun to accelerate, energy efficiency continues to improve and renewable energy is making gains in electricity sector.

He underscored the fact that despite this progress, some 800 million people remain without electricity while access to clean cooking fuels and technologies needs dedicated attention. In addition, if SDG 7, 13 and related goals are to be met, much higher levels of ambition are required with regard to renewable energy, including transportation and heating.

Global electrification rate, he said, rose to 87 per cent in 2015, with increased acceleration to 89 per cent in 2017. But, some 840m people around the world are still without access to electricity. While global share of the population with access to clean cooking fuels and technologies reached 61 per cent in 2017, stressing that despite this progress, close to 3 billion people still rely primarily on inefficient and polluting cooking systems.

He said, “The renewable energy share of total final energy consumption gradually increased from 16.6 per cent in 2010 to 17.5 per cent in 2016, though much faster change is required to meet climate goals. Even though the absolute level of renewable energy consumption has grown by more than 18 per cent since 2010, only since 2012 has the growth of renewables outpaced the growth of total energy consumption.

"Global primary energy intensity per ratio of energy used per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) improved from 5.9 in 2010 to 5.1 in 2016, a rate of improvement of 2.3 per cent, which is still short of the 2.7 per cent annual rate needed to reach target 3 of Sustainable Development Goal 7.

"International financial flows to developing countries in support of clean and renewable energy reached $18.6 billion in 2016, almost doubling from $9.9 billion in 2010."

Lumos to the rescue:

For a graphic artist, Mr Bayo, not having sufficient lights during the Christmas and New Year seasons to make designs for as many as possible, hence he began search for possible options and by the time he finished analyzing various cost implications, resolved to try the Lumos Mobile Electricity powered by MTN Nigeria Communications, equally called MTN Yellow Box; following series of messages he received before Christmas day, as to install and get on month and when recharged one month, he would get another month free. Thus attractive and affordable to acquire with about N25,000, which is less than $ 68.633 USD.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the MTN Yellow box afforded Bayo access to electricity whenever needs arise, which, stood it out because no need to start the generating sets and when you compared even if its only N1000 every two days used in fueling the genset, its better imagined the saves he made, outside the comfort he gained without disturbing his neighbours with gen-sounds and emissions as every day presents a little sunshine, he literarily must have electricity for hours.

Bayo explained that his Lumos lights up his sitting room which serves as current workshop plus kitchen, and charges his two mobile phones and power appliances including two rechargeable fans, LED TVs, and two laptops.

Bayo told 
NaijaAgroNet sagely he can afford power now from both Direct Current (DC) from the solar, which is compatible with appliances and Alternative Current (AC) compatible appliances with this Lumos Mobile Electricity system, namely with DC having up to 100 Wax (accumulative) and 12 Voltage.

By using the AC component, he said, appliances of up to 60W and 220 Volts, stressing, MTN maintained the box cannot support air conditioners, deep freezers, refrigerators, electric cookers, washing machines, AC ceiling fans among others.

But for anyone to join this service, he said, must first obtain an MTN Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card which is linked with the service to enable customers recharge with airtimes, which is another plus.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered entails a certified and authorized installer coming to the location to complete the process, via customer’s mobile phone.

One of the key lessons learnt, according to Bayo in using Lumos Mobile Electricity for a while now is that when the ‘yellow’ display button is ‘on’ it means the power is switched off and when the ‘off’ is displayed, the light will be on for use and any connection will be supplied light.

Whereas the advantages of solar power like Lumos, NaijaAgroNet reports, is that pollution reduce drastically as no greenhouse gases to be emitted after installation; dependence on fuel for generating set and fossil fuels. Renewable clean power that is available every day of the year, even cloudy day produces some power to sustain a small business like Bayos.

And for growing Nigerian, desirous of electricity without much ado, moreso a small business entrepreneur like Bayo, if we must and is ready to reduce unemployment, especially among the youth and innovative minds, who want to change the electricity narrative in Nigeria to always not only to expect power but constantly use to improve the socio-economic activities, definitely, Lumos comes to the rescue.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Nigerian govt must scale-up nutrition says CS-SUNN – NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has called on governments at all levels to scale-up nutrition provision of basic package of nutrition services, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Making this call in Lagos, Wednesday at the end of a one-day media roundtable on Micro-Nutrient Deficiency Control in collaboration with the Federal Ministries of Health and Agriculture, the Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, said the government must scale-up nutrition across the Primary Health Care Centres in the country.

She also said that there is need for massive sensitization, education and awareness creation to provoke behavioural changes that will promote adequate Infant and Young Child Feeding practices in the country.

According to her, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six (6) months of life and adequate complementary feeding are key behavioural traits required for scaling up nutrition.

In addition, she said, provision of routine services in Primary Health Care centers will promote distribution of Micronutrient powder, Iron/Folic Acid supplements and Zinc including Vitamin A supplementation for Pregnant Women and Children respectively.

“We call on state governments to scale-up not only the provision and distribution of these supplements to hard- to- reach areas and across health facilities during the MNCH week but also counselling to ensure compliance. We urge Nigerians to diversify their diet and to ensure adequate nutrition by consuming a wide range of foods, including vegetables, proteins and fruits to improve their nutritional status,” she said.

CS-SUNN, Mrs Eluaka said, had supported some State Committees on Food and Nutrition including the Lagos State Committee on Food and Nutrition to develop and cost their plans. Low funding for nutrition has been one of the major setbacks to implementation of nutrition interventions.

“We again urge states without budget lines for nutrition to create such and ensure releases with specific funds allotted to interventions around micronutrient powder, biofortification, iron folate supplementation and Vitamin A supplementation among others. We also underscore the need to strengthen multisectoral coordination across institutional structures documented in the National Policy for Food and Nutrition to address the causes of MNDC and the need for promotion of the production of bio-fortified crops among Nigerian farmers, to ensure availability for consumption among Nigerians.

“Some of these measures, if in place will reduce the incidence of micro nutrient deficiencies and contribute to improving nutrition outcomes in Nigeria,” she said.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Pix: Lagos State Coordinator Dr Mrs Modupe Akinyinka, Executive Sec. Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, SUN Nigeria Ambassador Mrs Lola Alonge and representative of Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Mr Uruakpa John at the one day media roundtable in Lagos.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

How Agrikore boosts diversification of Nigeria’s economy

When he assumed office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari made a passionate appeal to youth to engage in agriculture as a means of job and wealth creation as well as economic diversification.

His administration then introduced various initiatives to achieve this objective. They include the backward integration drive that birthed the directive to dairy companies to source local raw materials for their milk products, and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s agriculture intervention/collaboration schemes. An excellent example of the partnerships is the 10,000 hectares oil-palm plantation in Kogi State between the CBN and Agro-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Stocks and Minas Agricultural Advocacy Network Africa (SMAANA).

However, the initiatives have only impacted food production and wealth creation in trickles, no thanks to the inefficient Agric value-chain.

Issues including poor storage, transportation and distribution have steadily retarded the sector’s growth and stopped it from achieving its potential as a foreign exchange earner. Though inputs including fertilisers, tractors, seeds and even loans have been made available to farmers, the nation’s dream to feed itself and export the rest is yet to be actualised.

How then can we reduce inefficiency and wastages in the Agric value-chain for the benefit of all stakeholders and Nigerians?

Innovation via technological advancement holds the key to unlocking the potentials of the agricultural sector.

To this end, leading pan-African technology company, Cellulant Corporation, operating in Nigeria and 19 other African countries, introduced and deployed a solution called Agrikore.

Agrikore is a blockchain-based smart-contracting, payments and marketplace system-based platform. It is an ingenious digital platform that ensures everyone in the agricultural eco-system; farmers, community aggregators, food processors, financial institutions, insurance companies, governments, development companies, and logistics companies, relate truthfully with each other.

Blockchain refers to a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of data and share it among a network of independent parties.

Cellulant, through Agrikore, provides the platform which farmers, logistics companies, wholesalers, community aggregators and others come aboard and carry out end to end transactions from the farmers to the consumers. It enables aggregators to organise cereal/grain farmers to focus on farming while the community aggregators ensure logistics companies can pick up the produce. They also ensure they are transported conveniently and that farmers receive fair value for their crops.

This helps make everyone in the Agric value chain to focus and perform their task optimally, ensuring value is created.

Cellulant recently held a partners’ summit attended by players across the Agric sector. Participants had nothing but praise for the company as they confirmed they have been reaping profits from signing up on the Agrikore platform.

The platform currently caters to cereal/ grain farmers, with plans to extend to other crops soonest.

Fittingly, Cellulant’s strides are being recognised by development partners and financial institutions. At the partners meeting, Wema Bank signed an agreement to provide N2 billion in loans via Agrikore to prospective farmers, thus improving the economic diversification drive.

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Moyamed Bin Zayed solar lifts West African PV complex - NaijaAgroNet


The African Energy Chamber ( addresses its heartfelt congratulations to the Republic of Togo for breaking ground on its 50MW Mohamed Bin Zayed Photovoltaic Solar Power Complex today in Blitta. The project was launched in presence of H.E. Faure E. Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo, and Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of AMEA Power, the company in charge of designing, financing, building, launching, operating and maintaining the facility.

The Moyamed Bin Zayed Solar PV Complex is West Africa’s largest ongoing solar PV project, and supports Togo’s ambitions to increase its rural electrification rate to 50% by 2022, and 100% by 2030.

“AMEA Power is a foreign investor who understands Africa and has demonstrated a commitment to supporting local content wherever it operates,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group. “As public and private sector interest for Africa grows in the Middle East, such players are most welcomed. Their work in and with Africa contributes to the development of a sustainable and prosperous future.”

The project further confirms the growing presence of AMEA Power in the continent. The UAE-based company has become a serious investor in Africa’s energy sector and represents the growing appetite of private players and investors from the Middle East to invest in Africa. At the end of 2019, Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power signed two long-term power purchase agreements for 250MW of solar PV projects in Ethiopia, while state-owned ADNOC is reportedly looking at several investments into the African upstream oil & gas sector.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

Pix: Pöllö - Own work, CC BY 3.0, 

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