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Palliatives: Farmers seek improved investment in agriculture

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AS economic situation bites harder on Nigerians, some farmers in Gombe have urged the state government to leverage the additional funds received from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), to invest in the agriculture.

They said such investment was imperative to encourage productivity and address challenges militating against sustainable growth in agriculture.

The farmers, who spoke while reacting to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the increase allocation to states sequel to subsidy removal, said the measure would enhance wealth creation and food security.

According to them, since over 80 per cent of the citizens of the state engage in agriculture such investment would improve social and economic wellbeing of the people.

A cotton grower, Umar Na-Bingi said noted that farming was the only sector that could be leveraged by government at all levels to change the economic fortunes of the state and country.

He said agriculture was critical to poverty eradication and improving the wellbeing of the people, especially rural dwellers.

Na-Bingi said that most farmers could not cultivate their farmlands due to hike in prices of fertilisers and inputs occasioned by fuel subsidy removal and inflationary trend.

“It is good to increase investment in agriculture and enhance farmer support services following increase in FAAC allocation to the state.

“There is no empowerment that will help address poverty in rural areas like supporting the agriculture sector where majority of our people could be reached”.

Corroborating Na-Bingi, Amos Bulus said such investment would impact positively on the wellbeing of the farmers and enhance Nigeria’s economic diversification drive.

“Such investment in agriculture will have positive impact on the economy of the state”.

Also, Musa Malala commended the Gombe government over the distribution of fertilisers to the farmers at subsidised rate of N15,000 per bag.

A news checks in major markets across Bauchi, Gombe and Jigawa showed that a bag of NPK brand of fertiliser was sold between N25,000 and N28,000 while Urea brand of the commodity sold between N21,500 and N23,500, respectively.

Similarly, Mr Garba Jinjiri, Chairman, Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organisation has advocated introduction of comprehensive youth empowerment programme sequel to increased in the FAAC allocation to states.

According to him, empowerment will ameliorate the sufferings of the youth, create jobs and enable them to become self reliant.

He urged the state government to initiate a palliative towards addressing hikes in prices of inputs to encourage productivity and enhance food security.

“We have the artisans, if the government can offer them loans it will help a lot.

“Cost of education is rising and this can lead to a high rate of school dropout.

“It’s ideal for the government to use some of the money received from FAAC to subsidise education in the state,” he said.

To ease transportation difficulties, the Bauchi government procured additional 30 buses for its own Yankari Transport Corporation.

Gov. Bala Mohammed said the government spent N480 million on procurement of the vehicles.

He said the state government in collaboration with Federal Government adopted proactive measures to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

In Jigawa, the state government expressed readiness to utilise the increase in its FAAC allocation to provide palliatives and execute viable projects to fast track infrastructure development in the state.

Mr Babangida Umar, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, said the state received N7 billion as first tranche of FAAC allocation following the removal of fuel subsidy.

“We have also received the sum N21 billion as special grant for infrastructure approved to each of the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja.

“Part of the money would be used to finance infrastructure and other essential services across the 27 local government areas of the state.

“The aim is to cushion the effect of subsidy removal and cope with the rising cost of prices of food items and other essential services.” he said..

Also, Mr Sagir Musa, the Jigawa Commissioner for Information, Youths, Sports and Culture, said the government had approved over N100 million to empower 1,000 women traders and 1,500 youth in the state.

According to Musa, each of the women will be get N50,000 to enable them to expand their businesses, adding that the government also approved N134 million for procurement of five trucks of rice for distribution to the people.

“The government will also support 1,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with N100,000 each,”

The gesture, he said, would complement the federal government effort towards mitigating the effect of fuel subsidy removal in the country.

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Tinubu appoints Olatunji Bello CEO, Vice Chairman of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, pending confirmation by the Senate.

A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu’s media aide, noted that Mr. Bello is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist.

He is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

Mr. Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor, Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor of National Concord.

He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.

Ngelale said the President expects that the new CEO of this important agency will ensure the holistic realisation of the commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

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NCDC reports 1,598 suspected cholera cases in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has reported 1,598 suspected cases of cholera across 107 local government areas.

The cholera outbreak is characterised by a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels.

Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in regions with inadequate sanitation and clean water access.

Understanding the transmission mechanism of cholera is crucial to curbing its spread and implementing effective prevention measures.

Idris said: “Government is deeply concerned about the rapid spread and higher-than-expected mortality rate, indicating a more lethal outbreak.”

He emphasised that the fatalities represented significant personal losses, including those of family members, spouses, parents and healthcare workers.

“This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” he added.

He disclosed that Lagos State accounted for the highest number of deaths with 29, followed by Rivers with eight, Abia and Delta with four each, Katsina with three, Bayelsa with two and Kano, Nasarawa and Cross River with one each.

He added: “This alarming trend highlights the urgent need for coordinated response to prevent further escalation of the crisis. Sixteen states accounted for 90 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Lagos being the epicentre of the outbreak. Lagos State, having the highest number of cases, has received significant focus, with ongoing support and resources directed to manage the outbreak effectively.”

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NAFDAC alerts public on unregistered B-GAG syrup

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has notified Nigerians about the illegal production and sale of unregistered B-GAG mist pot CIT syrup.

The alert is contained in a public notice No. 023/2024, issued by the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in Abuja on Sunday.

The unregistered product is alleged to have been sold by a company named Babban Gida Agalawa General Enterprises.

According to the statement, the product, being presented in a pet bottle, was discovered during a surveillance operation carried out by the NAFDAC Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate Officers in Maiduguri, Borno, and Keffi, Nasarawa States.

It said that the product was found to be without a NAFDAC registration number and a misleading label.

NAFDAC in the statement said that illegal marketing of medicines or counterfeit medicines posed a risk to public health.

Adeyeye noted that without compliance with regulatory provisions of safety, quality, and efficacy of such products were not guaranteed.

The agency gave the batch number of the fake product as 0070, the manufacturing date as 01/02/2024, as well as the expiring date as 01/02/2027.

Adeyeye also gave the address of the manufacturer as No. 883/884 Western Bypass Ring Road, Kumbosto Local Government, Kano State.

Adeyeye further said that NAFDAC Zonal Directors and State Coordinators had been directed to carry out surveillance to mop up the illegal products within the zones and states.

She advised consumers and caregivers to avoid the use of the product, adding that all medical products must be obtained from authorised and licensed suppliers.

Adeyeye said that products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked before buying.

She also advised healthcare professionals and consumers to report any suspicion of either the sale of substandard and falsified medicines or medical devices to the nearest NAFDAC office.

Adeyeye called on the public to report any adverse reaction to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or via email: [email protected].

She encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of medicinal products through NAFDAC E-reporting platforms.

The e-reporting platforms, according to her are: www.nafdac.gov.ng, the Med- safety application available for download on Android, and IOS stores or via e-mail on [email protected].

She said the notice about the product would be uploaded on the World Health Organisation, Global Surveillance and Monitoring System.

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