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700 to benefit from Ajuloopin free eyecare initiative in Kwara

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No fewer than 700 people from Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara will benefit from a free eye care outreach programme under the Ajuloopin Healthcare Initiative set to commence on Thursday.

Hon. Tunji Olawuyi, the member representing Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency, who is sponsoring the programme,  disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

He said 70 persons would be picked per ward in the local government while the programme would kick off from the Alofa of Ilofa Palace.

The lawmaker also said an agricultural employment programme, which would involve training and start-up fund covering no fewer than 210 beneficiaries, was underway.

Olawuyi explained that the agricultural employment programme was a CBN support Initiative and would draw participants from the four local governments in the constituency.

“The agricultural programme requires training and loan on any field of your choice.

“You most prove to the officials that you are capable of doing well in the chosen field and you can empower more people by providing employment after successful completion of the programme, ” Olawuyi said.(NAN)


OOH/OJO

(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)

General news

Gov. El-Rufai appoints 8 more aides

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Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai has appointed eight more aides including Ahmed Maiyaki, the spokesman of former Gov. Mukhtar Ramalan-Yero,

A statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Kaduna, said Maiyaki is now Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Community Relations.

Also appointed is Mrs Saude Atoyebi, a former Personal Secretary to the governor, as Kaduna State Focal Person on the National Social Investment Programme.

Others were Umar Yaro, Special Assistant, Social Investment Programme; Mubarak Abdulkadir, Special Assistant, ICT; Rebecca Padonu, Special Assistant, Social Investment Programme, and Adamu Abubakar, Special Assistant, Economic Matters.

The rest include Samuel Hadwyah, Special Assistant, Economic Matters and Umar Abubakar,  Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Legislative Matters.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Environment

Surulere Super Plaza gutted by fire in Lagos

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NAN correspondent who was at the scene reports that many of the shop owners were seen packing out their goods, including, furniture, to reduce their losses.

NAN reports that the plaza comprised of many shops and churches including Fountain Hall, Dominion City Worship, Omega Fire Ministries, Textiles and Fabrics, Bureau de Change and Gift Gallery, among others.

A witness, Mr Abayomi Ayelomi, commended the effort of the Lagos State Fire Service and other emergency services who supported in putting out the fire, adding that the building was formally Super Cinema before it was converted to a shopping plaza.

Director General of Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Oke-Osanyintolu, said that
preliminary investigation conducted on site indicated that the fire resulted from an electrical surge in one of the shops before escalating to other parts of the plaza.

“No loss of life nor injury has been sustained so far at the scene of the fire where properties worth a fortune have been lost to the inferno,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Middle Belt Youth Organization takes peace advocacy to schools

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The Middle Belt Youth Organization, said on Wednesday that it would continue to mobilise students to promote peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians irrespective of religious, ethnic and religious affiliations.

The National President of the organisation, Amb. Victor Enjema stated this during the opening of the 3rd annual interfaith quiz competition for youth in Kaduna.

He said that the organisation had sensitised not less than 200 students on peace and nation building through the teaching of interfaith activities.

According to him, the organization’s main aim is to spread the culture of tolerance, forgiveness and better understanding among Nigerians especially school children.

Enjema said it was important to educate young people on the imporatance of living in peace and harmony with every Nigerian.

He stressed that the quiz competition was also to spread the teaching of peace and tolerance.

“Our aim is to improve relationship, consolidate peace and curb insecurity in northern Nigeria to avoid religious crisis which is tearing us apart.

“Christian and Muslims are worshipping same God, and we are from one family under God.

“We must join hands to unite the entire 19 northern states to save the region from the increasing daily challenges that is setting the entire region backward,” he said.

He expressed the belief that the platform will provide a rallying point for Muslim and Christian students, enhance integration and “provide a common voice that is nationally audible and acceptable by all in the society.”

In her remarks, Chief Anna Avong, Chairperson Dignity for Women, emphasized the importance of promoting peace among students.

She called on religious leaders to enhance efforts toward senstitizing the public on the importance of peace and unity.

Similarly, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, an activist, called for the introduction of peace clubs in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria, as well as peace education in schools.

She said it was necessary for students to learn about accommodation, tolerance, forgiveness and understanding of each other irrespective of religious, cultural and ethnic differences.

Tijjani called on the Federal Government to create centres for comparative studies in all states of the country to deepen understanding of the teachings of Islam and Christianity.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Malaysia exhibits indigenous cuisine at Abuja expo

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NAN reports that among Malaysian cuisine showcased at the expo were Nasi lemak, kuih lapis, puteri agu, kanpap and sirap selasih which had distinctive health benefits for consumers.

Speaking with NAN at the expo, Mohd Yunus-Ibrahim, Head of Chancery, Malaysia High Commission, Abuja, said his country was endowed with varieties of food, batik and different forms of arts and crafts which were also exhibited.

“Our local cuisines and drinks are highly nutritious, most especially “sirap selasih”, which is prepared with basil seed; it has cooling effect for the body.

“Our foods contain the right proportion of nutrients the body need for energy and growth.

“Malaysia has been famous for preparation and use of high quality batik, this is another aspect of our culture we want Nigerians and other countries to patronise,” he said.

Yunus-Ibrahim also expressed his love for Nigerian cuisines like Egusi, Moinmoin, Amala and the local drink called kunu-Aya which he said were well garnished with the right spices and delicious.

He urged Nigerians to project more of their cuisines to the world which were capable of putting the nation on the global tourism map if well exhibited and marketed.

According to the Malaysian envoy, Nigeria is well endowed with tourism potential but those potential had not been properly developed and exhibited for the world to see.

He said that with Nigeria’s enormous tourism potential, Nigeria should be listed with Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa as tourists’ preferred destinations.

“We are here to see how we can work with Nigeria to showcase its tourism potential as we also showcase ours.

“I have been living in Nigeria with my family for four years now and I know Nigeria has one of the best crafts and tourist sites.

”I want every Nigerian to work in promoting these tourism potentialities for international patronage.

“Tourism in Malaysia generates huge revenue for the country.

”Malaysia attracted over 30 million visitors in 2018 and Nigeria can achieve more than this as well,” he said.

The theme of the expo, organised by National Council for Arts and Culture, is: “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Economy

120 SMEs for Lagos MegaCity Fair — Organiser

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No fewer than 120 small businesses from across the country are expected to participate in this year’s Megacity Fair which opens on Friday at Amuwo Odofin Festival Mall in Lagos.

Convener of the Fair, Ifeoma Emenahi, told journalists in Lagos on Wednesday that the three-day event would offer free master classes for women to acquire new skills that would empower them financially.

She said that the 8th edition of the Fair, tagged, ‘Black Friday Sales’, was aimed at supporting vendors and small businesses to network and showcase Made-in-Nigeria products.

“The event this year is not just for the visitors to come and buy, but also for them to come and learn, adding value to themselves.

“We want to empower the women with skills by teaching them how to make headgear like facinators, auto gele and turbans.

“There’s also a master class where they will be taught how to make accessories using Ankara fabrics; all these will be taught for free,” she said.

She added that the Fair would also feature red carpet events, raffle draws, games and bouncy castles to keep the visitors entertained.

“If visitors come to the fair and they find it dull, they won’t come back again but if they are entertained, they’ll be happy to stay,” Emenahi, said.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

AFEX wins IAMN Technology Innovation for Agribusiness Investment Award

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AFEX Commodity Exchange, a private sector commodities exchange, has won the Institute of Agribusiness Management Nigeria’s (IAMN) Technology Innovation for Agribusiness Investment award.

A statement issued by the AFEX’s Brand and Communication Lead, Obianuju Okafor on Wednesday in Abuja, said the award was given at the fifth edition of IAMN’s National Agribusiness Conference held in Abuja.

She said AFEX had been deploying solutions for the Nigerian agriculture sector for the past five years,

According to her, IAMN is a recognised professional body for agribusiness executives, agriculturists, entrepreneurs and practitioners working within the food and agricultural value chains in Nigeria.

The brand and communication lead said the award was received by AFEX’s Business Development Manager, Akinyinka Akintunde, who thanked the institute for the recognition.

Okafor stated that Akintunde while receiving the award noted that the award was “A recognition of AFEX’s work over the years.

“It is also a little encouragement as we go into our next five years as a company, recommitting ourselves to digitising the agricultural sector in Nigeria so that with more measurable and manageable risk associated with the sector, it becomes more attractive to investors at various levels.

“We are excited about the future and cannot wait to carry everyone along on the journey with us.”

Okafor pointed out that AFEX had a key technology solution that it had deployed with great results accruing to its business, with a number of other solutions under development.

“AFEX’s technology solution, WorkBench, is an integrated ERP designed for agriculture value chain management.

“WorkBench ensures that data and warehouse transactions are shared in real time with the AFEX office, and also allows the Exchange’s clients to track and monitor the progress of their projects with AFEX.

“This solution, therefore, helps to capture necessary events in the agricultural value chain and introduces a level of transparency that Nigeria’s fragmented agricultural sector has been historically unable to enjoy, “she said.

Okafor further said the Chairman of IAMN, Richard Ogundele, who commented on the award said, “From amongst 3 nominees driving Agribusiness via innovative technology in Nigeria, AFEX was adjudged most innovative with real impact by the IAMN at the National Agribusiness Conference 2019.

“About seven categories of sector awards were considered by the IAMN and industry actors were asked to nominate recipients with a basis of selection.

“A google link was created and circulated amongst actors for nominations. About 250 entries were received, collated and sorted for the winner of each category to emerge.”

The brand and communication lead further pointed out that Key in AFEX’s innovation with WorkBench was an understanding of the Nigerian environment.

According to her, such understanding led to WorkBench been developed to work offline, enabling field agents who work in remote areas to easily register farmers, capture their data and geotag their farms with all the data syncing to the server when the field agent got into an area with internet access.

She also said the transparency and traceability enabled by AFEX’s technology solution had been key in attracting more investment into primary production from varied sources.

She said the Exchange facilitated access to finance for 6, 231 farmers through its 2019 input financing programme, enabling them to access good quality inputs like fertilizers and crop protection products for their production activities.

Okafor further noted that with over 250 million smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Africa with the need for improved and meaningful livelihoods, digital solutions for agriculture was a game-changer in supporting and accelerating agricultural transformation across the continent.

“AFEX’s continued drive to digitise the sector will go a long way in continuing to make the sector attractive to investors, making for a stronger agriculture economy that will ensure a fair exchange of value among players,”she said.

On the mission and vision of AFEX, Okafor said it was Nigeria’s first private sector commodities exchange firm providing solutions to make Nigeria’s agriculture economy scalable and efficient.

She noted that AFEX was working towards helping Africa to feed itself by continually drawing on its knowledge of the food systems in Africa to create the right incentives and a shared platform that supports wealth creation, risk management and efficient markets.

She said in its first four years of operating in Nigeria as at 2018, AFEX reached and enhanced the livelihood of over 100,000 farmers and aggregated over 100,000 metric tonnes of grain.

On the task ahead, Okafor said AFEX was seeking to create a market infrastructure that would promote a transparent, data-driven, tech-enabled agriculture ecosystem, where risks were efficiently measured, managed, and priced.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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