Development Partners Canvass Food Fortification

Development partners yesterday called for sensitisation on food fortification and local patronage of premixes in Nigeria.

The development partners stated this during the Food Fortification &
Digitalization Roundtable organised by TechnoServe Nigeria under its
Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods (SAPFF) program.

The organisations, who are spareheading global nutrition security, said despite the severity of hidden hunger in the country, many
Nigerians still do not understand the need for fortification in food products.

They added that Nigeria’s data on multiple levels of nutrition
derivation shows that fortification is no longer a choice but a must
in the country.

“The general public still does not know what fortification is all
about. There is a need for sensitization and the government has
demonstrated to us that it can be done,” said Philomena Orji, country
director, Hellen Keller International.

“A few years ago, NAFDAC did the “shine your eye” campaign with
medication. If we can put the same effort into fortification, then we
can increase the demand for fortified products and achieve our
fortification goals,” she noted.

She called for collaboration between government agencies to ensure
effective monitoring just as she urged industry-wide collaborations to address fortification challenges.

Speaking also, Joyce Akpata, head – policy and advocacy, Global
Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) stressed the need to encourage local production of premixes, saying it plays a significant role in the country’s quest to tackle malnutrition and hidden hunger.

“Food processors need to patronize local premix manufacturers and the
government needs to provide incentives and create an enabling
environment for the industry to thrive locally,” Akpata added.

“As much as we are trying to eradicate hidden hunger, we should build businesses in the process as well,” she adds.

Road Construction: FG, Nasarawa, Benue Collaborate On Compensation For Communities

 

The federal government is collaborating with the Nasarawa and Benue State governments to pay compensation to communities affected by the dualisation project of the Abuja-Keffi-Lafia-Makurdi highway.

 

Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola stated this
yesterday in Lafia during a one-day working visit to Nasarawa State
to inspect the road and other federal government projects.

Fashola noted that providing compensation had impeded the speed of work on the project.

According to the minister, the federal government is working with the communities in Nasarawa and Benue States to identify real beneficiaries for the payment of compensation so as not to be hijacked by middle men.

 

“Though progress is being made, there are places that are avoided for now because we still need to deal with the compensation issues.

 

“Agitation does not solve problems, we are working in collaboration
with the Nasarawa and Benue States Government, we are working toward
resolving this problem,” he said.

The minister commended Governor Sule of Nasarawa for his intervention to resolve issues of payment of compensation and agitation by the
communities which have helped the contractor to speed up the work.

Fashola said the Loko-Oweto bridge linking Benue and Nasarawa States has been completed.

He added that the federal government had also approved the re-awarding of 74 Kilometres road project from Nasarawa to Loko Oweto bridge to three contractors for speedy completion of the road.

In his remarks, Governor Sule thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister for supporting the state.

The governor pointed out that the completion of the Loko-Oweto road
would go a long way to address the security challenges in the area.

Sule, however, appealed to the central government to complete the Gitata-Panda-Guruku
Federal Road project in order to reduce the burden of heavy traffic on
the Abuja-Keffi Road and ease the movement of people and goods.

 

Project manager of China Harbour Engineering Company Mr Li -Qiang Qiang said work on the Keffi – Lafia – Makurdi Road is at 49.6 percent.

He said the rainy season was devoted to building bridges, while
expressing hope that they would start earth work as the rains subside.

 

Osun: Former Gov, Oni, Picks PDP Governorship Form

 

Former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, yesterday picked the
expression of interest and nomination forms of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold next year.

 

Oni’s aide, Hon Yemi Arokodare, a
member of the House of Representatives from 2003-2007, picked the form on his behalf at the national secretariat of PDP.

Speaking to newsmen after securing the form, Arokodare said Oni, having picked the PDP forms is set to win the party’s primaries and emerge
victorious at the governorship election in 2022.

He said “It must be said at this point that it is only the quality of
the candidate the PDP presents in Ekiti that will count and not the
propaganda that the PDP can field just anyone and win.”

He added, “Today, anyone can visit Ekiti State to do a survey and
general assessment: the civil servants are waiting, pensioners are
waiting, farmers are waiting, traders are waiting, women are waiting,
the youths are waiting, people living with disabilities are waiting,
even the men are waiting; everyone is waiting for the emergence of
Segun Oni, as the candidate of the PDP, to elect and crown as the next
governor of the state. It is going to be a movement like no other.

“The people of Ekiti State once tasted the administration of Chief
Segun Oni (2007 – 2010), and for them, it is still the best experience
in terms of a people-driven government, good governance and open government.

“Chief Segun Oni is the real and practical definition of an
unblemished Omoluabi that is tested and trusted. He is a rare breed of
a politician who critics and everyone testify to his honesty, decency,
integrity and charismatic leadership.”

 

2023: Parties Lack Power To Zone Presidency, Others Elective Offices –
Olawepo-Hashim

 

Presidential candidate in 2019 and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has cautioned against the escalating tussle over which geo-political region should produce the president in 2023, saying political parties lack the power to zone elective offices.

Olawepo-Hashim, who warned that the bickering among regions for the ticket has become corrosive and divisive to an already fractured polity.

Noting that every Nigerian has a right to freedom of expression, he however stressed the need for utmost care to ensure that the delicate situation of the country is not complicated by the pitching of one section against another.

He said the constitution guarantees every Nigerian who meets the
required criteria, the right to stand for any elective office regardless of ethnic descent or religious persuasion.

“Any politician that wants to contest to be President from wherever
can jolly well jump into the ring, there is no need to continuously
blackmail the country by hiding under ethnic nationality groups. While
political parties can zone party offices they have no power to zone
elective offices. There is no need to split hot air over this any
further,” he said.

He also maintained that whatever hue and cry that were raised in the
past about a section of the country been excluded from being President
has been settled by our experience since 1999 return to democracy,
adding that “of the 22 years since 1999, the nation has seen 14 years
of President from Southern Origin -Obasanjo’s 8 years and Jonathan’s 6 years.

 

“When Buhari by the Grace of God ends his tenure in 2023, we would
have seen Presidents of Northern origin for 10 years. This should be
enough to lay to rest the divisive arguments about power rotation. “

Olawepo-Hashim admonished that “while we recognise the freedom of
expression of every Nigerian, utmost care is needed now more than ever
before not to complicate the delicate situation of the country by
pitching one section of the country against another. This will be
pouring gasoline into a raging inferno.”

 

He also warned that “If we allow ethnic nationality groups prompted by different factions of the political elites to continue to drive the
debate on our future, we shall soon arrive at 350 confusing pathways
as Nigeria is made up of 350 ethnic groups.

 

“The other day, I saw a video of people speaking that even if the
Yorubas are to produce a President, it cannot be from Ogun, Lagos axis
again after Awo, Obasanjo, Abiola, Shonekan, Diya, Osinbajo and so on
and so forth. This is what you get if you yield the polity to
ethno-religious tantrums,” he said.

 

He asserted that the power rotation argument is always emotive and it
tears nations apart. “This is exactly what led to genocide in Rwanda
causing the killings of 800,000 souls and same thing that ignited the
collapse of Yugoslavia to an extent that virtually every county wanted
to become a country,” he added

 

Olawepo-Hashim submitted that Nigeria is a modern state, not an ethnic federation; its subnational components are states and local
governments and her primary focus is citizenship rights not regional
and ethnic charters.

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