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African leaders commit to achieving global nutrition goals



 Heads of African Union (AU) member states have called for more commitment and accountability in Africa’s effort to achieve continental and global goals for nutrition.

The leaders in a statement issued on the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) website on Thursday, made the call ahead of the 2025 World Health Assembly Nutrition target deadline.

The members spoke in a nutrition-themed side event during the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU, co-organised by the Kingdom of Lesotho, the AU Commission and AfDB.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised under the Bank’s African Leaders for Nutrition initiative and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN).

The event’s had as its theme: “Progress and Achievements in Addressing Malnutrition in Africa: Accountability for results in achieving continental and global targets for nutrition’’.

The event was also centred on finding long-lasting measures to curb malnutrition and food security in the continent.

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Samuel Matekane, speaking on behalf of King Letsie III of Lesotho Kingdom, said it was unacceptable for the continent to stay silent and indifferent.

“Especially at a time when 60 per cent of our continent’s population (799   million people) is affected by moderate or severe food insecurity, making Africa the highest level globally.

“This means one-third of the world’s undernourished, or 282 million people, live in Africa,” he said.

The King, an African Leader for Nutrition, encouraged attendees via a pre-recorded message to meet nutrition goals established by the World Health Assembly and Malabo targets.

He said this would help reduce malnutrition and stunting by 2025, adding that he had a strong conviction that the continent’s nutrition targets would be achieved.

“If we can accelerate investments and improve the coordination of efforts, Africa will advance nutrition and improve food security outcomes.

“The event serves as a wake-up call for African nations to strengthen political will toward achieving continental nutrition targets.

“And their willingness to invest in tackling imminent challenges contributing to malnutrition and food insecurity which have intensified across the AU Member States,’’ he said.

The Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development at the AU Commission, Minata  Cessouma, presented the progress report based on the Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard.

According to Cessouma, the scorecard is a data-based advocacy tool that gives an overview of how African leaders deliver main nutrition indicators.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Vice- President, Tiemoko Kone summarised the activities held during the AU Year of Nutrition 2022 and the Abidjan declaration.

According to Kone, this calls for accelerated investment, implementation and coordination to improve nutrition and food security in Africa.

Dr Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, said, “it is now more crucial than ever to support vulnerable communities with multiple innovative solutions.

“It is important to help them build their resilience and transform agri-food systems to deliver better nutrition.

Meanwhile, the  AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, said that its Multi-Sectoral Action Plan offered solutions to Africa’s malnutrition challenges.

Represented by Dr Beth Dunford, Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development in the AfDB, Adesina  said the plan was catalysing nutrition-smart investment across bank operations.

He said this has resulted in the bank re-locating 2.8 billion dollars of investment in its portfolio to be nutrition-smart.

“I believe that nutrition is a central pillar for Africa’s development.

“The plan’s goal is to see a 40 per cent reduction in stunting due to chronic under-nutrition by 2025.

“While AfDB has made significant progress in the re-allocation of resources, there’s a need to translate these funding re-allocations into stunting reductions on the ground,” he said

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Gov. Fubara directs LG Heads of administration to oversee councils



Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers, on Tuesday, directed the Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAS) to immediately take charge of their councils.
He said this followed the expiration of the tenure of the 23 local government chairmen on June, 17.
Fubara gave the directive in a statewide broadcast at Government House in Port Harcourt.
He commended the dedicated services of the outgoing elected local government chairmen and councillors whose tenure expired after three years of service.
The governor, on behalf of the state, thanked them for their commitment in serving the state.
Fubara congratulated them on the completion of their tenure and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The governor said that he would continue to provide leadership and direction to the people, to ensure that the constitution of the federal republic was upheld, and  law and order maintained.
“I hereby direct heads of local government administration to continue to provide leadership in their respective LGAs,”he said.
He directed the heads of LGAs to immediately take charge of the councils with renewed vigor and readiness to serve.
Fubara urged them to wait for other directives as the state navigated toward greater accomplishments.
He assured Rivers people that his administration would continue to provide infrastructure development, sound health care delivery,  quality education and undiluted welfare service packages to the people.
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Over-ambition fueling coups d’etat in Africa – UNDP



By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has identified lack of core value and over-ambition of young military officers who do not want to wait for their turn as the major causes of coups d’état in Africa.

The UNDP Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, Matthew Alao, said this in an interview with newsmen after the Graduation Ceremony of the Leadership and National Cohesion Course at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, in Jaji, Kaduna State.

He said that though the military cannot be divorced from the society where it situates, but over-ambition by young military officers, eroding core societal values, religious beliefs, and lack of education are the key reasons for more coups in West African countries and Africa at large.

Alao who noted that then fundamental problem the world is facing today is the lack of core values, said this resulted to persistent coups and counter-coups staged in Africa by military officers.

“Our core values are fast breaking down. You will see agitation and expectation on so many issues that may not be reality.

“Most people don’t go to school. Some do go to school but do not have employable skills. This contributes to what is happening.

And because the military cannot be divorced from the society where it situates, they also feel part of that agitation. When that cry is going on, it speculates and overshadows the event. I think that is one of the reasons for coups.

“Then, maybe over-ambition by the young officers. They don’t want to wait for their turn. The idea of young people wanting to be there is another cause of coups.

“Young people need to learn. Because if young people don’t learn, we continue to somersault. After all, this country was ruled by 27-year-olds. At a point they delivered, but they didn’t deliver well. If the military of those days had the necessary experience and requisite vision when Nigeria was still in the morning, they would have planned our future and laid the foundation and we wouldn’t be where we are today. We wouldn’t be clamoring for roads, infrastructure, and all that.

Suppose the people that found this country, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, were able to do something up to the late 80s, Nigeria would have been better than this. The situation we are now is dangerous.

“In those days, Ibadan was flourishing, Kaduna was a hub, Lagos was a factory ground, but within a blink of an eye under the Structural Adjustment Program, everything collapsed.”

He expressed concern that this leadership deficit was taking a toll on the country and should be addressed right from the family unit to the community level

Alao described Nigeria today as very individualistic, saying, “We have lost it. Now it’s all about I and my family. And this is leading us nowhere. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.”

”Leadership start with us as parent that brings little children to this world. Leadership starts from grassroots.

”Unfortunately, we have lost it. Nigeria today is very individualistic. It’s all about i and my family. And this is leading us to no where. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.

”If nothing is done to address the leadership deficit from the family unit, from the community unit and community level, we are not going anywhere. Money can not save our society.”

He said the leadership course, which happened to be the brainchild of the past Commandant of the Peacekeeping Centre, Major General Obinna, was born due to the spate of coups happening in West Africa.

“They felt that providing leadership training to the middle-level military and civilians is an antidote to it.

”They felt that because that quality training, that orientation on subordination is weakening in the military and political space of West Africa. They felt that UNDP, with the funding made available by the government of Japan, is sponsoring it,” Alao added.

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Eid-ul-Adha: NSCDC charges personnel to focus on protection of critical national assets



By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

Following the Federal Government’s declaration of Monday, 17th and Tuesday, 18th June, 2024 as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebration, the State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC ), Lagos State Command, Mr Adedotun Keshinro has deployed more officers and men for the protection of national assets.

This was related through a press release signed by the PRO, NSCDC, Lagos State Command, DSC Oluwaseun Abolurin. According to him, “The Lagos State Commandant has immediately deployed personnel to protect transmission lines and towers in the state, following the express directive issued, by the Honourable Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji – Ojo to the Corps, during the passing out parade of the second ( 2nd ) batch of mining marshals at Abuja on Friday.”

He said that Eid-ul-Adha is the latter of the two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year and It honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) to sacrifice his son, Ismail as an act of obedience to God’s command.

“The officers and men deployed for this assignment were drawn from various departments, units, area commands, divisions, points, and other relevant formations of the command across the state.”

The commandant further said, “This deployment is also aimed at ensuring the effective protection of all our critical national assets and infrastructure; transmission lines and towers, oil and gas pipelines, power installations, telecommunications, railway systems, road, water resources, government buildings, hospitals, schools and many more across the state while the celebration progresses.”

He seized the opportunity to felicitate the Muslim Ummah and sued for peace, sacrifice , kindness, love and unity amongst citizens across the state as exemplified by the aforementioned Prophet above.

However, the Lagos State commandant also warned against all criminal elements, particularly vandals, to desist from their evil and disastrous acts of economic sabotage or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.

“We will not go to bed during the holidays but rather remain fervent and committed to the corps’ mandates and statutory functions, as embedded in the act establishing our dear service, standard operating procedures, code of conduct and guidelines and other extant laws,” he added.

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