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Lagos pledges vigorous pursuit of food security, unveils strategies to tackle soaring food prices

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Lagos pledges vigorous pursuit of food security, unveils strategies to tackle soaring food prices

In a resounding commitment to address the escalating costs of food commodities and bolster food security, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State declared that his administration will intensify efforts to prioritize and elevate the agricultural sector. This announcement was made during the vibrant 2023 Lagos Food Festival held at the Muri Okunola Park on Victoria Island, where the governor’s deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, represented him.

 

**Governor’s Pledge to Prioritize Food Security**

 

Against the backdrop of the festival’s theme, “A Fusion of Flavours,” Governor Sanwo-Olu affirmed that his government’s dedication to enhancing food security is unwavering. He underscored the significance of this commitment in curbing the rising costs of essential food items within the state. Emphasizing the pivotal role of the agricultural sector, the governor noted that it has been a focal point in the THEMES Agenda—a comprehensive plan encompassing key developmental areas for Lagos State.

 

**Agricultural Sector Initiatives and Prosperity Showcase**

 

Expressing satisfaction with the substantial turnout at the festival, Governor Sanwo-Olu commended the vibrant spirit of Lagos exhibited by the attendees. He highlighted the festival as a platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture and food sector to showcase their products, network, and contribute to the state’s economic prosperity.

 

“The event is about young people mostly showing their talents, making money, so we cannot be a society just sitting and complaining,” the governor remarked. He observed the multitude of young entrepreneurs at the festival, lauding their prosperity, ingenuity, innovation, and the unmistakable spirit of Lagos.

 

**Lagos Food Festival: A Celebration of Talent and Innovation**

 

The Lagos Food Festival, characterized by music, entertainment, cooking competitions, and dance, attracted a diverse audience. Esteemed personalities, including former World Guinness Record holder Chef Hilda Baci, served as judges during the cooking competition. Live performances by renowned artists such as Tuface Idibia, Adewale Ayuba, Laffup, and Chef Gibbs further heightened the excitement of the event.

 

The festival, hosted at the bustling Muri Okunola Park, resonated with families and individuals seeking festive enjoyment and relaxation during the Yuletide season. The festive atmosphere, coupled with the diverse range of activities, transformed the park into a hub of joy and celebration.

 

**Agriculture Commissioner’s Perspective on 2023 Challenges**

 

Addressing the challenges facing the agricultural sector in 2023, Ms Abisola Olusanya, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, acknowledged the difficult circumstances. Factors such as the upcoming general elections, subsidy removal, and the naira redesign policy of the Federal Government were cited as contributors to the sector’s hardships.

 

Ms Olusanya stressed the importance of recognizing and mitigating the negative effects of these challenges on farmers and SMEs in the agricultural space. Her insights provided a sobering backdrop to the festivities, shedding light on the intricate dynamics influencing the agricultural landscape.

 

**Farmers’ Perspective and Pleas for Government Support**

 

Mrs Falilat Oladimeji, a fish farmer and member of Eja Lonibu fishermen and women in the Liverpool area of Apapa, applauded the state government for creating a platform that supports farmers and SMEs. However, she urged the government to provide essential resources such as boats and engines, fish dryers, fishing nets, freezers, and cold rooms to enhance productivity.

 

Attending the festival for the sixth time, Mrs Oladimeji expressed gratitude for the opportunities the government has offered but underscored the need for continued support. She highlighted the escalating costs of fishing materials, contributing to the increased prices of fish in the market. Mrs Oladimeji’s sentiments underscored the real-world impact of external factors on the daily operations of farmers, emphasizing the necessity for sustained governmental support.

 

**Conclusion: A Pledge Towards a Resilient and Abundant Food Future**

 

As the curtains fell on the 2023 Lagos Food Festival, Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to prioritizing food security and addressing the challenges faced by farmers and SMEs in the agricultural sector echoed resoundingly. The festival not only celebrated the diversity and vibrancy of Lagos but also served as a platform for dialogue and collaboration between the government and those driving innovation in agriculture.

 

In the face of challenges, the festival provided a glimpse into the resilience and determination of individuals contributing to the agricultural landscape. The government’s promise to intensify efforts in supporting farmers and SMEs signals a step towards a more robust and sustainable future for Lagos’s food security. As the state navigates the complexities of 2023, the festival stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of Lagos and its collective commitment to fostering prosperity, ingenuity, and innovation in the pursuit of a secure and abundant food supply.

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Network8tv Special

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

 

In a bid to safeguard Nigeria’s food security and combat the illicit exportation of grains to other African nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to curb this menace. Ify Ogbudu, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone B of the service, made this declaration during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his palace.

During the visit, Ogbudu reiterated the NCS’s commitment to curbing the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s grains. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the 42,000 metric tons of grains approved for distribution by the Federal Government reach those in need, as directed. Ogbudu sought the emir’s support in this critical endeavor, underscoring the pivotal role of the Customs Service in advancing the government’s agenda for poverty alleviation and food security.

In response, the Emir of Kano expressed gratitude for the Customs Service’s dedication to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic integrity, despite facing numerous challenges. He commended Customs officers for their diligence and urged them to exhibit compassion towards local traders who may inadvertently engage in illegal activities due to ignorance.

NAN reports that the emir emphasized the significance of enlightenment and community engagement in stemming the tide of illicit activities. He pledged the emirate’s full support in facilitating legitimate trade and commended the progress made in reducing disputes between traders and customs officials through stakeholder engagements.

Furthermore, the emir lauded the ongoing enlightenment initiatives aimed at supporting local traders and businessmen in conducting lawful trade activities. This collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and local authorities signals a concerted push toward ensuring food security and economic stability in Nigeria.

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Health

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

 

 

In a sweeping enforcement action, authorities in Ogun State have shuttered the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta. The crackdown, led by officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health and the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee, comes in response to the college’s operation of an unaccredited nursing programme.

Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). This unauthorized operation, spanning six years, posed a significant threat to public health and perpetuated quackery within the nursing profession.

NAN reports that during the enforcement exercise, Oladehinde, represented by Acting Director of Nursing Services, Serifat Aminu, emphasized the grave implications of pursuing a nursing degree from an institution lacking NMCN accreditation. Such degrees, he asserted, hold little to no value, rendering graduates ineligible to obtain a valid license to practice nursing in Nigeria or internationally.

“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students,” stated Oladehinde. “Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted.”

Oladehinde urged prospective nursing students and their parents to exercise caution and diligence in selecting educational institutions. He advised thorough research, including consulting the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, as the regulatory body updates the list annually. Additionally, he cautioned against falling prey to false claims made by unaccredited institutions, reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating quackery in nursing education and practice.

In response to the enforcement action, a 300-level student, speaking anonymously, expressed shock and dismay over the lack of accreditation at Harvarde College. The student lamented the financial investment made by her parents on her behalf, underscoring the personal toll of the college’s deceptive practices.

The closure of Harvarde College’s Nursing Department leaves students in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the realization that their academic pursuits may have been in vain. As authorities continue to crack down on unaccredited institutions, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in safeguarding the integrity of professional education and protecting public health.

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

 

In a significant development, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Hafsat Abubakar Bakari as the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), succeeding Modibbo Hamman-Tukur. This decision, announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, underscores Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing financial intelligence and combating illicit financial activities in Nigeria.

Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, a seasoned lawyer and financial intelligence expert, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at the helm of the NFIU. Having previously served as Deputy Director within the NFIU, Bakari’s appointment signals a strategic move to leverage her expertise in areas such as anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

NAN reports that, Ngelale highlighted Bakari’s distinguished career trajectory, noting her tenure in various leadership positions within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bakari’s roles included heading the General Services Unit, leading the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and overseeing the Board Secretariat. Her multifaceted experience within the EFCC equips her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of financial crime investigation and enforcement.

Emphasizing the significance of Bakari’s appointment, Ngelale expressed confidence in her ability to navigate the complex landscape of illicit financial flows and other nefarious activities plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange markets. Tinubu’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing financial crimes and fostering transparency and accountability within the financial sector.

While Bakari assumes her new responsibilities in an acting capacity, her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Nevertheless, her track record and expertise position her as a capable leader poised to advance the mandate of the NFIU and bolster the government’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by illicit financial flows and economic malpractice, Bakari’s appointment signifies a proactive step towards strengthening the nation’s financial intelligence framework. Her leadership is expected to enhance coordination between relevant stakeholders and facilitate the implementation of robust measures to safeguard Nigeria’s financial integrity.

In accepting this critical role, Bakari is poised to leverage her expertise to tackle emerging threats in the financial landscape and uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Her appointment aligns with Tinubu’s vision for a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria, free from the scourge of financial crimes and illicit activities.

As Bakari assumes her duties at the helm of the NFIU, stakeholders anticipate her strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. With her appointment, the nation embarks on a new chapter in its fight against financial crimes, signaling a renewed resolve to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests and promote sustainable development.

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