The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has rated Ebonyi the best among its participating states in Nigeria.
Alhaji Garba Bala, the new National Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, gave the commendation when he visited Chief Moses Nome, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, as part of his familiarisation tour of the state.
Bala said that Ebonyi distinguished itself by its 18-page document that showcased all its completed projects and another four-page document that showed its ongoing projects.
“The Ebonyi office will commence new projects by the end of July as over N500 million will be released to it for effective project implementation,” he said.
Bala said that Ebonyi was the second state being visited after Niger since he assumed office on June 1.
“I, however, urge the state government to expedite action on the payment of its counterpart fund as it is very important and meaningful to the programme.
“The state government, particularly the governor, has shown great enthusiasm in revolutionalising agriculture and has collaborated effectively with us to achieve set goals.
“It should, however, be understood that the counterpart funds in question are in arrears as the government has offset current ones.
“Government is, however, a continuous process and government does not belong to any individual whether past or present, it is the same Ebonyi,” he said.
He said that the programme had effectively taken steps to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on its benefiting farmers across the country with the provision of items such as protective wears, face masks, sanitisers, chemicals and other palliatives.
The state commissioner said he was gratified but not surprised to hear that Ebonyi was the best performing state in the country on IFAD-VCDP programmes.
“You cannot talk about agriculture in Ebonyi without mentioning IFAD-VCDP and FADAMA but the former has played more significant roles in constructing rural-farm roads, provision of farm inputs, among others.
“IFAD-VCDP provided for us the best seed producing equipment in the country and has trained our citizens on seed production among other forms of agricultural skills acquisition abroad.
“The state government rates IFAD-VCDP the best in agriculture intervention and it remains the best of all World Bank-assisted programmes operating in the state,” Nome said.
Nome promised to convey the request for the counterpart fund payment to the governor and commended IFAD-VDCP for including three additional local government areas among those benefiting in Ebonyi.
Mr Sunday Ituma, State Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, thanked Bala for the visit and assured that the rating of Ebonyi would motivate the office to attain greater height.
Edited By: Joe Idika/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Bayelsa Govt. promises safety of students as schools reopen Aug.5
Bayelsa Government says it is taking steps to ensure that schools are safe to allow final year students to resume and participate in external examinations as directed by the Federal Government.
Messrs Freston Akpor and Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information and Education, respectively assured that the government was doing its best to protect students and teachers.
They said that government was already fumigating schools across the state as well as providing hand washing facilities and urged parents and communities to complement the efforts of the government.
Akpor, who is a member of the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that Gov. Douye Diri of the state who chairs the Task Force had approved the deployment of health professionals to schools while temporary isolation facilities would be put in place in schools.
“The government of Bayelsa has been working to get our schools ready and safe for our children and that is why we have scheduled a train the trainers programme to acquaint schools with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The essence is to build capacity of our people and update them with the guidelines from the Federal Government on the reopening of schools that is why we are taking our time and shifted the resumption for final year students to Aug. 5.
“Government is providing face masks, infrared thermometers and access to water for schools without water supply, alternative arrangements are in place and we are poised to check the spread of the coronavirus.
“In view of the questionable and low quality of hand sanitisers, we are emphasising frequent hand washing with soap and water and we appeal to members of the public as well as parents and guardians to complement the efforts government is making.
“Parents should for example provide additional face masks for their wards so that for instance when they wash the ones provided in schools, they can have a spare one,” Akpor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government has scheduled a COVID-19 prevention training programme for private and public schools to ensure safety protocols are complied with when schools resume on Aug 5.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Work resumes in Osun after Eid-el-Kabir holiday
Workers in Osun resumed work on Monday after observing Thursday and Friday Eid-el-Kabir public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
The state civil servants working at the state secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, were also back to their duty posts, as many were already behind their duty desks carrying out the day’s work.
The same scenario also played out at the Olorunda and Osogbo Local Government secretariats, both in Osogbo, where some workers were seen resuming to their offices, as some others, already at the secretariats, were busy with their office works.
Staff and workers of the state House of Assembly in Osogbo, were also at the assembly’s complex carrying out their various duties and responsibilities.
Workers at some federal establishments in Osogbo too were also back to their stations as a lot of them were seen carrying out their daily jobs.
A federal worker, Mr Kareem Ashimu, said he traveled to Lagos, where his family resides, for the Eid-el-Kabir, and he returned back to the state on Sunday evening to resume work this morning.
Ashimu said the extended public holidays gave workers the opportunity to spend more time with their family, especially those working in separate states from their family.
“Apart from the festivities and celebration stuff, the break afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with my children.
“Though the COVID-19 restricted visitations and social gathering, I had a low key celebration with my immediate family and the expenses was also minimal,” he said.
A staff of the Osun House of Assembly, Mr Kamal Adeniyi said this year’s Eid-el-Kabir was the only one he ever observed without travelling to his own town to celebrate with his extended family.
“I just pray that this Coronavirus goes away soonest because it has really caged a lot of us and restricted our freedom,” Adeniyi said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
Study finds people can transmit coronavirus to cats, dogs
A study by Italian scientists has found that people can transmit the coronavirus SARS–COV-2 to cats and dogs.
The study tested 540 dogs and 277 cats living in households in northern Italy, particularly in Lombardy, where someone was infected with the virus or in areas where there were many cases.
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed yet, found coronavirus antibodies in 3.4 per cent of dogs and 3.9 per cent of cats, indicating they were infected with the virus.
Swab tests for active virus infections were negative in all animals, as the virus shedding period ended after two weeks.
The tests were conducted between March and May of this year.
Thomas Mettenleiter, leader of the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), said the results showed that the virus could be transmitted between humans and animals.
“This confirms what we already know,” Mettenleiter said, adding that the large scale of the study was unprecedented as it was difficult to get samples.
According to Mettenleiter, most animals in the study came from households affected by the coronavirus, indicating that infection is generally transmitted from humans to animals.
People, who are infected with the virus, however, should limit their contact with their pets, although there are no indications so far that animals can die of the coronavirus, according to Mettenleiter.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)