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FAO challenges FG on update of Food Composition Tables to checkmate malnutrition in infants

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FAO challenges FG on update of Food Composition Tables to checkmate malnutrition in infants

By John Akubo

To checkmate malnutrition and stunting growth among infants and children in Nigeria, the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) has challenged the Federal Government to revolutionise its food composition tables and promote nutritious indigenous foods to arrest malnutrition.
FAO Country Director in Nigeria Dr Suffyan Koroma made the call at a three-day National Consultation and Capacity Development Workshop on Integration of Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture for Agric extension agents on Tuesday in Lokoja.

Represented by Dr Mawuli Sablah, Nutrition and Food Systems Expert with FAO, the Country Director said malnutrition, including under-nutrtion, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies have remained the major challenges in Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

He said that only recently, there was alarming outcome from the FAO a total diet study where it supported the country to complete to evaluate the degree of chemical contaminants in Nigeria foods.

According to him, the 2018 Global Nutrition Report launched a few days ago in Thailand, also reveals that Nigeria is not on track in meeting up with most of the World Health Assembly Global Nutrition targets; especially for anaemia in WRA and overweight/obesity in adults.

The prevalence of stunting growth in children that where they are found to be too short for their age is still very high in the country as it is estimated to be at 43.6 per cent.

Koroma said that as part of their continued understanding of the
complexity of addressing the challenges of malnutrition in Nigeria, they need to continue to advance effective coordination and institutionalization of multi-sectoral platforms for nutrition sensitive agriculture in Nigeria.

He said the country also needed to update food composition tables and promote nutritious indigenous foods through reinforced capacity for integrated and improved Nutrition sensitive agriculture Programming.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State represented by Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, while declaring the workshop open, said the statistics on malnutrition rolled out were frightening.

He said there was need for all stakeholders to wake up and reverse the trend against the backdrop of the population of the country growing at 3.5 million per annum.

“We cannot continue to give birth to children that are stunted and mentally retardeded and constitute liabilities to the world. Importation of food has really not done any good to this country. We need to promote nutrition sensitive agriculture”, he said.

The workshop was organisrd by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Synergos Nigeria to build capacity of targeted agric extension agents on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture under the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA).

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Insecurity: HURIWA asks FG to account for $1bn drawn from ECA for weapons

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Insecurity: HURIWA asks FG to account for $1bn drawn from ECA for weapons

A pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari account for what his administration did with the $1 billion that it took from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in the name of purchasing and procurement of combat weapons.

This is coming agaisnt the background that the minister for information, Lai Mohammed had accused the international weapon sellers of refusing to sell arms to Nigeria.

Besides, the Rights group, however, canvassed for the aggressive training of the operatives and officers of the Nigeria Police Force to embrace the skills of intelligence gathering and proactive policing rather than the dominant reactive methodology they are using to enforce the law.

HURIWA, therefore, urged Nigerians never to get tired of providing support and solidarity for the members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria as they increasingly get involved in the intensive campaigns and war against terrorists and the diverse segments of armed non-state actors that are unleashing bloody violence against civilians all over the country.

“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to do all he can to sufficiently equip the men and officers of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are by this statement demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari provide the fuller accounts of what this administration did with the $1 Billion that it took from the nation’s escrow account in the name of purchasing and procurement of combat weapons.

“Nigerians want to know what was bought with that humongous amount if the government has admitted publicly that it is finding it difficult to procure arms to battle the armed Islamists of Boko haram terrorists?”

In a statement signed on Thursday in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said one of the causes of the increasing crimes rate is the dearth and lack of intelligence gathering capacity on the part of most police operatives and officers who ought to lead the process of crime-fighting and law enforcement.

The Rights group argued that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has in the last four years failed to build up the intelligence generating capacity of the police.

“It is unbelievable that armed and violent criminals are allowed to roam freely all around the Country and to continuously unleash devastating and bloody violence on the citizenry but the operatives of the Nigerian Police seems to be gravely ill-equipped with the 21st-century compliant policing skills which must of necessity include the effective deployment of capacity to generate intelligence and to build a formidable data bank of useful tips and information so as to be able to fall back on such abundant actionable materials to tackle crime.

“The Nigerian Police still operate as if we are in the 18th Century era because the police lack the technology to fight crime, the Nigerian Police lacks the scientific facilities like fingerprints devices to stop criminal on their track before they strike but every year humongous budgetary releases are made but it seems that the Country is grossly under policed and unsecured, ” HURIWA said in the statement.

HURIWA wondered what kind of police will wait for a citizen to first be killed before they will shamelessly announce to us that the suspected killers have been apprehended.

HURIWA added that in Nasarawa and Ondo States, the APC Party Chairman was killed and a first-class traditional ruler was murdered by armed non-state actors, but the Police which could not prevent these violent crimes from happening will only rush to the media to announce to us that the killers have been arrested.

“This reactive form of policing like people groping in the dark is not sustainable and has no capacity to check the high crime rates. The Nigerian Police Force and its hierarchy should update their knowledge of making the police effective through proactive strikes of criminals before they attack, ” it added.

HURIWA, therefore, tasked the authorities to fine-tune and rejig the policing strategies in the country because as, the police has proven incapable of combating violent crimes, and this lacuna and incapacity to play the routine policing duties has overburdened the Nigerian Army to partly go into internal security operations rather than concentrate and wage a relentless war against terrorists threatening to tear Nigeria apart.

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

By Friday Idachaba

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has reopened the closed section of the Murtala Muhammad Bridge, Jamata on Abuja-Lokoja highway to ease movement of traffic movement during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

Engr. Kajogbola Jimoh, Federal Controller of Works in Kogi State disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lokoja.

Kajogbola said that though the rehabilitation work on the dual carriage bridge was yet to be completed, a substantial part of it on Lokoja-bound portion had been done and could be reopened to traffic to address heavy vehicular movement during the festivities.

According to him, what remains for the Lokoja bound bridge to be completed is to change the damaged expansion joints which have to be ordered from abroad adding that the contractor has some constraints in this area.

“Presently, all other works are completed and we have asked him to cover the edges of the old expansion joints so that when the new ones arrive, he will simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones.

“If the closed section is not opened, Nigerians will suffer during this festive period and that is why we are insisting that they should open it for now till when the contractor is able to get the new expansion joints”, he said.

Kajogbola said he collaborated with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corridors Commander, Sector Commander and other officials to remove the barricades and redirect the traffic all in the presence of the contractor’s representative.

He pointed out that the reopening was an interim arrangement saying, “This is just temporary reopening, the work is for two years and the contractor has not spent up to a year.

“So, it’s just to let Nigerians know that the Federal Government cares for them and that we are working and to tell them what stage we are on the project.

NAN reports that the bridge which is currently under rehabilitatinon/ maintenance work, being handled by Hallekem Ltd., had only one functional 2-lane carriageway in use before this reopening.

The Controller appealed to motorists to be patient, resist temptation to drive against traffic and to keep their vehicles in good condition to avoid break down. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chiefs

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chief

The senator representing Ekiti Central Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele has asked President Muhamadu Buhari to respect the resolution of the National Assembly that he should sack the service chiefs without further delay.
The senator while contributing to the motion on the beheading of 67 farmers in Borno, by Bokoharam insurgents: Need for Urgent, Decisive action pleaded with the service chiefs to voluntarily resign based on national interest.
He said they can then wait to be appointed as Presidential Advisory Panel on security.
“For me the number one resolution that I will like to reemphasize on this floor of the senate is for the President to allow the service chiefs to go, they have done their best, they have worked so hard, the best anybody can give is his best.
“You cannot give what you do not have and if the President believes so much in these service chiefs he should remove them as service chiefs and constitute them as Presidential advisory committee on security matters and they will still be there to be advising him and let the younger ones take over as service chiefs to move the country forward.
He said, “It is yet another moment when we run the risk of Nigerians looking at us as a group of elected representatives who sit in the red chamber to shed crocodile tears but we know that is not what we do.
“We are victims of certain circumstances that make it look like that. There is probably nothing any of us could say here today that has not been said, the only thing that is new is that more people have been killed in most barbaric manner. Yet we have to say something as representatives of the people.
“We are unhappy about what happened in Borno, Katsina and Niger States and some Northern parts of the country. Even in the South South, south East and south west where people are being kidnapped, there are some forms of insurgency.
“In Ondo State just last week a paramount ruler was killed. My own contribution is this, let us stand on existing resolution, in addition of course to the prayers that the mover of this motion made clear to us.
“Fighting Bokoharam cannot be something we do by habit, it cannot become part of our national life, it cannot become what we budget for year in year out as a routine.”
He lamented that the war was becoming a routine adding that there is a need to bring it to an end as lives are being lost on a daily bases.
He also made refrence to a constitutional provision in section 14(1)b which defines the primary purpose of Government to be the welfare and security of the people.
“We all agree that this is not being fulfilled and where a Government is deemed to be in breach of section 14(1)b the Government is also automatically seen to have breached section 32 and 34 of our constitution which provides for the right to life, right for personal liberty, and life against torture.
“These are things that goes together once you fail to fulfill the provision of section 14(1)b so what are we talking about let these service chiefs go.
“If the President would not remove them we call on these service chiefs in the interests of the public to resign and look forward to being appointed as members of Presidential committee on security. So this is one contribution that I really want to make.”
He also made reference to the budget of over N800b set aside for all of the armed forces, whereby more than 60% of it is specifically tailored towards prosecuting the war against insurgency.
“I believe before this budget is passed it is either the president come to address this parliament on the way forward on how to address the security matter or we hold a joint session and do a public hearing and allow Nigerians an opportunity to also speak to this issue.
“I dont think it should be a question of us sitting down to pass this budget it should not be business unusual.”

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