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Association calls for mechanisation of yam land preparation



The National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers (NAYFPM), has called for the urgent need to mechanise yam land preparation for planting of yam to avoid scarcity.

Prof. Simon Irtwange, thre president of NAYFM, made this call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Abuja.

Irtwange entertained the fears that if yam land preparation is not mechanised in few years’ time, there might not be enough farmers left to make mounds and heaps for planting yam.

“We want yam to be mechanised because yam is presently cultivated on 5.4 million hectares in Nigeria.

“Yam production from the beginning to the end is all manual and to produce enough yams to meet local demand, the industry and export, there is the need for us to go into mechanisation.

Most importantly, the reason is that yam farmers are no longer willing to use hoes and cutlasses to make mounds and heaps that are used for planting yam,’’ Irtwange said.

He added that the population knowledgeable in making heaps and mounds are aging and young people are not in the villages, but in towns engaged in various businesses.

“It, therefore, becomes very urgent for us to mechanise the land preparation aspect by using ridges.

“Ridges will enable us to plant our yams and as well as enable us to meet the present  demand for yam nationally and internationally,’’ the president said.


World Environment Day: Association urges Lagos govt. to create more parks, gardens



The Association of Lagos Landscapers on Friday called on the Lagos State Government to create more parks and gardens to actualise the state’s ‘Green Alternative’ drive.

The association made the call in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Mr Olusegun Osadare and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

The association, which is the umbrella body of horticulturists working with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), made the call to mark the 2020 World Environment Day with the theme: ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’.

An Executive member of the association, Mr Ismail Badejo, said that the association was in total support of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s environmental policies to reduce the effects of climate change.

Badejo said that the association was working hard to ensure greener parks and gardens in the state; while applauding the numerous national and international recognition so far received by the state.

“The goal and aspiration of the group is to achieve greener parks, gardens and sites as it used to be years ago that earned the Lagos State Government various awards both local and international in the area of environment.

“We call and encourage the Ministry of the Environment to play a vital role by ensuring adequate attention is paid to activities of our supervisory agency.

“There is also need for government to ensure that policies that will promote greenish environment and tree planting to reduce the impact of climate change should be encouraged,” he said.

Badejo also urged the government to take the plight of the association’s workers into consideration, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic by paying their outstanding salaries.

He said that the development could hinder the efforts put into work to maintain a greener Lagos, which could lead to negligence by members.

“The same horticulturists that worked with the state years ago are still around working. Our association is trying its best but government needs to motivate us.

“In the last five years, payment of members of the association has not been regular. This often affected our performances,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of the association, Mr Padonu Amosu had earlier encouraged communities to understand the importance of tree planting and to key into the idea of conserving the environment.

Amosu said that tree planting and keeping of gardens were not only for the rich but explained that there were cheaper and available flowering and gardening options for everybody.

He debunked the myth that flowering and gardening was exclusively for the rich.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)


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Lagos Squash Association cautions players as lockdown eases



Tomi Falase, the Chairman, Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA), on Friday cautioned squash players that playing the game was still unsafe, even though the Federal Government had eased COVID-19 lockdown.

Falase in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos said that to help everyone to continue to stay active, the warning had become imperative.

He noted that sports like squash, basketball and other indoor games were considered as high risk sports.

Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two (singles) or four players (doubles squash) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball.

The players alternate in striking the ball with their racquets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court.

He explained that players always sweat on the squash court because it was physically challenging, fast and with the enclosed environment within which the game took place, players would inevitably sweat heavily over the course of a match.

Falase explained that due to regular close physical contact between players on the court, the infection could spread readily if any of the players was infected.

He said mostly in squash where two or four athletes were in close contact, if any of them was infected and coughed, the droplet had high chances to be inhaled by other athletes, facilitating viral transmission.

“To emphasise that strenuous exercise induces a much more frequent spitting of secretions and this can further contribute to the COVID-19 spread, particularly if the distancing recommendations are not strictly followed,’’ he explained.

Falase, however, urged caution amid concerns of fresh clusters of cases, saying that precautionary measures must be adhered to strictly to avoid the spread of the virus.

He also noted that easing the restrictions by government did not indicate that the virus no longer existed.

He said because the sports was regarded as higher risk of spreading the virus either within the players or to the general public, emphasis should be on the need for players to focus on maintaining their fitness and practice at home.

Falase urged the players to adhere to safety measures including use of face masks, social distancing and washing of hands.

“The main factors taken into account were the amount of contact between players, the distance between them and the protective measures likely to be put in place to mitigate risks both for training and competitive play.

“Squash is played in a confined space, where close contact is unavoidable; which means players cannot be 2 metres (6ft) apart very often during a game.

“We are looking into possible protective measures for players on court to mitigate the risk of inhaling contaminated droplets and avoiding face touching, which would lower the risk of transmission of the virus,’’ he said.

Falase gave an assurance that the sport would definitely resume but it would take a while because COVID-19 had not gone away.

Edited By: Hawa Lawal/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Association to manufacture basic orthopaedic hardware locally by 2021 – Official



The Nigerian Orthopaedic Association (NOA) will begin to manufacture basic hardware used in orthopaedics, locally by 2021, according to its Vice-President, Dr Mohammed Salihu.

Salihu told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday, that the association was working with the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mills and some engineers to achieve this feat.

He said importation of basic hardware in the practice of orthopaedic made it very expensive.

“Manufacturing it locally will make it cheaper,’’ he said.

Salihu, also a medical director at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dala in Kano (NOHD) said the association had developed the prototype of the hardware.

“We do have the picture of the first one that has been designed and we are test-running it.

“But we will need a lot of money, rules and regulations in the process.

“We are hoping that after the initial test-run, between now and the next one year, we should be proud to have the first phase.

“We should be proud to say that we are now manufacturing the hardware that we use in orthopaedic practice in this country,’’ Salihu said.

He said that producing the hardware locally was one of the ways to address the challenge of heavy duty equipment used in the practice.

“As a country, we need to come together to ensure we manufacture some of these hardware locally.

“If we do that, we are going to get jobs for the young people and it will improve the economy as well.’’

The director, however, urged the private sector operators and individual investors to partner with manufacturers for production of these things locally.

“It is definitely going to help the country and it will reduce the cost of service, rather than continuing to buy from the United States, Europe and Asia.

“The main challenge in orthopaedic and trauma practice is that it is not cheap.

“It is not cheap because we use loads of heavy duty equipment, we use hardware that are not manufactured in Nigeria.

“The equipment and hardware are manufactured in the United States and Europe; so we needed to buy these materials with euros, dollars and pound sterling.

“The challenge of funding; the challenge of heavy duty equipment are real issues,’’ he said.

According to him, due to advancement in medicine through technology, some surgeries are done with some of the technology without necessarily using conventional method of opening the bones.

“So, we need money to buy this equipment and it is only when we are able to buy them that we can move to a higher level of practice,” he added.

Salihu, therefore, appealed to the government and all willing Nigerians to come to the aid of the various departments in orthopaedic hospitals to procure modern equipment.

“In today’s orthopaedic and trauma practice, somebody can have a fracture today and he can walk the following day if we have all these gadgets.’’

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Association calls on Edo govt. to protect lives of women, children



The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo branch has called on the Federal Government and relevant security agencies to protect the lives of women and children in the state.

Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, the President of MWAN made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.

“MWAN calls on the government and all relevant security agencies to ensure justice is carried out for Vera Omozuwa, who was attacked and raped on May 27.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for the prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry.

“We call on government at all levels to partner with forensic scientists and pathologists to create a national DNA database of convicted criminal and place CCTV cameras in public places,’” she said.

The association president urged parents to put in more effort in training the boy-child to know that “violence and rape are unacceptable in the society’’.

“The worst pain you can inflict on a girl-child or a woman is rape. It’s five minutes for the perpetrator but life time for victim.

MWAN Edo as doctors, mothers, women, girls and females say no to rape. Save-a-girl child; save-a-woman and save-the world: No consent to rape”, Urhoghide-Edigin said.

She advised ladies not to stay on lonely places at odd times.

Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Association seeks justice over rape, murder of UNIBEN student



The Medical Women  Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo Chapter, has decried the rape and murder of 23-year-old Miss Vera Omozuwa, calling on the authorities to fish out and punish the culprits.

The victim was a 100 level Microbiology student of the University of Benin(UNIBEN) before her death.

Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, President of MWAN in Edo, in a statement in Benin on Monday,  described the incident as “devilish acts of unkind beings.”

Urhoghide -Edigin said the actions were condemnable and should not be condoned by any society.

MWAN strongly condemns what happened to Omozuwa and any other girl child that has gone through this devilish acts  by unkind beings.

MWAN condemns rape,violence of any kind and killings of human beings.

“This case has been reported to our national body and is already receiving the expected actions.

“We will  visit the commissioner of Police with the SGBV-RT team in Edo to express our utmost displeasure on this case and demand for justice.

“Every life matters and this should not be treated with levity nor swept under the carpet. The criminals must be caught and prosecuted. They must face the law of the land,” she said.

She urged the Edo government and all relevant security agencies to ensure justice and protection of every life, especially women and children as they were the most vulnerable in the society.

MWAN stands in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for their prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry set up,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Omozuwa, a 23-year-old student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) was raped by a gang of unknown men on  May 27 and died few days later in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital(UBTH).

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)


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Social media usage in Germany increases strongly due to COVID-19: association




The usage of social media platforms by German citizens has increased strongly due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey published by the German digital association Bitkom on Wednesday.

“In times of widespread contact restrictions, social media help people stay in touch with friends and family, follow public events and find entertainment and distraction,” said Bernhard Rohleder, chief executive officer (CEO) of Bitkom, adding that “social distancing becomes more bearable with social media.”

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Germany, 75 percent of Germans used platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Xing and Twitter “more intensively.”

Almost two-thirds of German citizens used social networks for news, according to the survey conducted on around 1,000 German citizens above the age of 16 in April.

The use of messenger services also increased in recent weeks since the outbreak of the pandemic. Some two-thirds of Germans wrote messages more frequently while almost every second person also increasingly conducted video calls via services such as Whatsapp, Threema and Telegram.

Earlier this month, a survey published by Verivox showed that the coronavirus lockdown in Germany had boosted digitalization, particularly among younger Germans.

The survey found that 40 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds in Germany used video phone calls for the very first time during the coronavirus crisis, while 20 percent had never used a webcam before.

“The use of digital services in Germany is expandable in all age groups,” said Eugen Ensinger, Verivox telecommunications expert. “This is particularly surprising among the younger generation, who are said to be living a completely digitalized everyday life.”


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COVID-19: Association donates 300 face masks to FCDA



The National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America (NANNNA) on Wednesday donated 300 face masks to the Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).

Mr Martin Eyube, leader of NANNNA, said that the gesture was to express members’ care and support to their country of origin and to remind Nigerians that Nigeria nurses abroad were still part of the family at home.

“These nurses here are trained and registered in Nigeria, but they are already practising in the North American Continent in USA, Mexico, Brazil and Canada.

“The idea behind this donation is to support the healthcare system in Nigeria, we have about 300 face masks to support and contribute our own quota.

“The main aim of this initiative is to remind the entire Nigeria community that the nurses home and abroad are still nurses for Nigeria.

“This gesture is a way of reaching out and build a robust relationship with the practising nurses here in Nigeria,” he said.

Receiving the items, the acting Secretary of the HHSS, Dr Mohammed Kawu, appreciated the gesture, noting that the donation was a plus on the side of the association.

Kawu, who was represented by the the Director, Nursing Services, FCT Hospital Management Board, Mrs Grace Eleri, said that HHSS had received numerous donations from different NGOs as support to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“This kind of presentation has been witnessed in other states, we are really glad to have you here in FCT to donate this item in the fight  against COVID-19.

“The health workers will use this protective shields to guide against the spread of the virus. They are in the war front, it is a battle field, they volunteer to be part of the COVID-19 story in order to care for this nation,” Kawu said.

Mrs Grace Musa-Leo, Director of the Nursing Department, FCTA, appreciated the association, saying that members have really put in their best to curtail the spread of the novel  Coronavirus pandemic.

She prayed for God’s blessing and sustainability upon the association, adding that the donation was the beginning of  better things that would enhance collaboration with nurses in Nigeria.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Int’l Nurse Year: Association suspends celebration in solidarity with fight against COVID-19



A non-profit making organisation, Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association-United Kingdom (NNCAUK), says it has suspended the global celebration of International Year of the Nurse and Midwife slated for July due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The group said this in a statement by its President, Ms Wendy Olayiwola-Odutola and Director for International Liason, Mr Peters Omoragbon, which copy was obtained by News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

“The entire world is gripped with the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a lot of strenuous demands on the entire nursing and medical team as frontline professionals.

“Along with doctors and other medical staff, nurses have been on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus-sharing stories of exhaustion and heroism in the face of a disease that has killed so many.

“As at May 25, according to John Hopkins University, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 5.4 million people and killed over 344,000 worldwide.

“The United Kingdom has recorded more than 36,675 deaths with 257,154 cases and Nigeria with over 8, 000 cases and 223 deaths recorded so far.

“In the light of the above, the NNCAUK, the umbrella association for all Nigerian nurses and midwives in the UK in consultation with the Global Stakeholders at a meeting has painfully decided to suspend the celebration,” she said.

According to her, the event and international scientific training programme slated from July 12 to 19 in Lagos is aimed at commemorating The Year of the Nurse and The Midwife.

The WHO has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of the 200 birth anniversary of the progenitor of the modern-day nursing/midwifery profession, Florence Nightingale.

The Year of the Nurse designation by the WHO highlights the push to increase the global nursing workforce.

“The action to suspend the celebration is in solidarity with the global fight against this dreaded virus in so doing, we would love to admonish every nurse and midwife in Nigeria.

“We admonish every nurse not only as frontline soldiers against the spread of the infection but to also act as agents of attitudinal change to respect all the directives on COVID-19.

“We urge you to respect all the directives that have been put in place by the government, especially as it relates to social distancing and obeying the lockdown order.’’

The officials, however, commiserated with every Nigerian at this trying time, especially as it related to meeting their financial obligations and hoped that the government would provide palliatives to mitigate the hardship.

“To the family of our colleagues and other Nigerians that have died from the infection, we pray God to grant you peace and gratitude to bear your losses.’’

In addition, they urged the health workers to be focused and take the opportunity provided by the association to improve on their skills.

NNCAUK shall continue its virtual engagement with all nurses/midwives in Nigeria with educational and informative programmes.

“We continue to engage them through webinars and social media on fighting the COVID-19,  to celebrate and support our colleagues with skills and knowledge transfer.

NNCAUK with the Nigerian Nurses/Midwives in Diaspora as Global Stakeholders held the inaugural Webinar on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020.

“We registered over 800 participants at the Webinar and 183 live participants with officials of the Federal Ministry of Health.

“We also had participants of officials of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, World Health Organisation, Lagos State Government with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and more than 25 countries were in attendance.

“This will continue on a regular basis,’’ the official assured.

NAN reports that Nurses Charitable Association-UK is a non-profit making organisation incorporated in January 1998 in the UK.

The association represents about 5,000 Nigerian Nurses and Midwives with established chapters nationwide.

The mission of the association is to provide a forum for collective action by Nigerian nurses to investigate, define and determine issues affecting its members.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Real time trading, helping capital market to thrive — shareholders’ association



Mr Eric Akinduro, the Chairman, Shareholders’ Association, Ibadan Zone says real time trading is helping the Nigerian Capital Market to thrive in the face of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Akinduro made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan.

He commended the leadership of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for being proactive in setting machineries in motion for such a time as this.

“As one of the players in the market, I can say that the market is really encouraging.

“It is very active in the sense that we are getting more bullish period (Stock Market characterised by rising share prices).

“Economically, if we should look at it, by now we should not have such a thing because there is not much activity in the economy.

“But when you look at our market at times, what is driving our market is quite different from finance, as we can see it in the market presently,’’ he said.”

He noted that the market was not feeling the heat of the present pandemic and lockdown occasioned by the novel COVID-19.

“The lockdown has not really affected the market negatively because we can see that some of the companies are really performing well now.

“But one thing we know which I am quite sure of is that we are going to see the likely reverse aspect of the market at the end of the day.

“It may not be in the long term but in the short term because the market is one that is progressing,” he said.

The trend we are passing through presently would affect the market but it would be in the long term.

“When we look at some of these companies that are in the market, they are really making good business now.

“And at the end of the day, the report they will give as their quarterly report will be very encouraging, I am quite sure,” he said.

According to him, the manufacturing companies, beverages and others are earning good money now unlike some other sectors like hotels and the likes.

“Some of the companies will surely give us good reports but we cannot rule out that the market will definitely feel the heat after this period. 

“But one thing I know is that, it is not going to be for the long term but for the short term and at the end of the day the market will definitely correct itself.

“This will make investors to keep on enjoying themselves,” he said. 

Akinduro also said the electronic means of transactions had been effective and helpful in the capital market.

“It seems our operators of the capital market have helped our economy by going ahead of this current situation.

“The leadership of the Nigerian Stock Exchange at this present time envisaged this and has put every stock broking firm on their toes to ensure that they are up to the task. 

“As you can see now, there is no physical trading but trading is going on online and investors are participating.

“That is why when you have leadership they should see challenges ahead before it turns to problem. 

“They have envisaged this before now and we thank God that the real time trading is really helpful to investors now and we are enjoying it.

“If I have anything to buy today and I instruct my broker before noon, I get the alert that is to show us the proactiveness of the NSE and the capital market.”

Akinduro said if NSE had planned for such a time as this, he believed there would not be any way the investors could be participating in the market as at now. 

“They are aware of this and have put a tough strategy in place so we don’t feel the heat of the lockdown on the market as everything is going on as it ought to be,” he said.

NAN reports that the association has members in Ekiti, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States.


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)


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