Organisers of the Big Dreams Nigeria Talent Show, a reality show geared toward discovering and developing young talents in acting and music, have announced that this year’s edition will be premiered in August.
Amb. Kingsley Amafibe, CEO of Peace Ambassador Agency and Principal Executive of the Big Dreams Nigeria Talent Show project, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Amafibe, the contestants were selected from a nationwide audition held by the organisers at the beginning of the year.
He said that registration for participation was free as the initiative was to offer talented and passionate youths a platform to express themselves and be discovered in the creative industry.
He said that the selected housemate would be mentored and trained for five weeks by professional filmmakers, artistes and other stakeholders, at the end, movies and music produced by them would be premiered.
“The Big Dreams Nigeria Talent Show, has expressed its readiness to showcase high class event which was initially placed on hold as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the novel coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the world.
“The show, which is aimed at building the next generation of talented Nigerians in the areas of music and acting, has housemates ready for the grand open this August.
“Contestants will be reduced on a weekly eviction process, until the last two persons are announced winners on Sept. 28 and will receive cash prizes, landed property and top movie roles, among other rewards.
“The house will have two in-house music producers, who will be directing and producing songs and sounds respectively for contestants who are talented in the music art.
“Other contestants would be on a movie project and a book titled: “Virtue” that will be developed to review the nature and developments of Girl Child Education in Africa,”he said.
He said that Housemates of the 2020 Big Dreams Nigeria Talent Show would feature in the new movie alongside Nollywood stars Nonso Diobi, Chyke Chuks, Francis Duru, Empress Njamah, Akpororo, and others.
Amafibe, however said that organisers were making sure everything works in tandem with the “new normal” reality being due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He explained that potential housemates would be quarantined in preparation for the premiere date, adding that they had enough potential housemates for replacement in case of eventual health challenge.
“Big Dreams organisers have assured Nigerians and the government that global best practices, precautions and preventive measures for COVID-19 pandemic have been put in place and will be followed throughout the show,” he said.
He said that the show would be aired for the viewing pleasure of Nigerians on AIT, Arise TV, Aso TV, as well as on social media handles.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
Jigawa reopens 40 schools, directs all workers to resume duty
Gov. Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa on Monday announced the immediate reopening of 40 schools in the state and also directed all categories of civil servants to return to work from Aug. 4.
The governor, who made this known while briefing newsmen in Dutse, also directed the Ministries of Health and Education to come up with time schedules for running the programme under strict compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the recalling of the workers came few weeks after officers from level 12 and above had resumed.
NAN reports that the state government had initially directed its workers to work from home for two weeks from March 24 and continually expanded the order so as to protect workers from being exposed to COVID-19.
Badaru said the decision to recall all workers back to their duty posts was sequel to the progress recorded in terms of compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures after recalling those in the category of level 12 and above few weeks ago.
According to him, government will adopt the same strategy across the workforce in all the ministries and departments in order to ensure total compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures.
He, however, said that the 40 schools would be selected from primary, junior, senior and private secondary schools from the three senatorial zones of the state.
The governor assured parents and guardians that other schools would also be reopened gradually if there were some improvements in terms of compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures in the selected 40 schools.
Badaru also announced that the state had no single COVID-19 patient for now, adding that the only remaining suspected patient had been discharged after being tested and confirmed negative.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
AFAN, OFAB, NABDA advocate use of biotechnology to scale up food production
Following the impact of COVID-19 and banditry activities in the country, some stakeholders in the agriculture sector and scientists have advocated the use of biotechnology to be deployed to scale up food production in the country.
Some of the stakeholders made it known during a webinar session tagged: “Media Summit on Status of Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Nigeria”, in a statement by the organisers – National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Kabir Ibrahim said it was imperative to explore the option of the use of innovation to upscale food production to bring about food sufficiency to avert hunger due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, emphasised on the need to sensitise smallholder farmers to embrace technological advancement to avert hunger caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying to achieve food security modern technologies such as biotechnology must be used.
“Already, a lot of work has been going on to commercialise cowpea, maize, cassava, rice, sorghum as well as cotton and the farmers are seeing good results so it is, therefore, easy to get them to embrace biotechnology,” he said.
She said that this move was crucial and necessary for the acceptance and adoption of innovative technology.
Gidado said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of zero hunger by 2030 was fundamental for national development and well being of Nigeria, adding that the facilitation of adequate understanding of the several ways Nigeria to achieve the goal “is very fundamental”.
She said that with the current population of over 200 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria is faced with the risk of the decreased farming population due to age, decreased arable land, poverty, malnutrition and hunger.
She said that agricultural biotechnology was the solution to Nigeria’s food security. She also said the conventional method of agriculture could no longer meet up with the country’s demand.
“With the current state of agriculture in Nigeria, it has become paramount to also adopt this technology to improve our productivity and revive our industries.”
“The time is now, let us sensitise people on the potential of this innovation to aid decision making and adoption in Nigeria.”
The Acting Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa harped on the importance of biotechnology application for the benefits of man, especially in the areas of health, agriculture and environment.
“Biotechnology has other applications; in agriculture, it is massive and that is where most post–COVID-19 is coming, you find out that here in NABDA, using Biotechnology we have started impacting massively in the area of agriculture.
“For instance, in our yam multiplication programme, last year, we were able to produce one million yam seedlings and this year, we are targeting five million yam seedlings, all these things are feasible because of biotechnology,” he said.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)
WAEC: KDSG directs schools to open Aug. 10
The state Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, said in a statement in Kaduna on Monday, that the directive was in compliance with the Federal Ministry of Education resolution for schools to open on Aug. 4.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Education is directing all school principals to arrange to receive SSS 3 boarding students on Aug. 9 and day students on Aug. 10.
“All administrators of public and private schools are to note that the one-week period commencing from today is to allow for necessary preparations and arrangements to meet COVID-19 guidelines for the opening of schools.
“Principals are to ensure compliance to agreed guidelines, which include reduced hours of work/revision to four hours per shift, social distancing in classes, laboratories, libraries and hostels,’’ he said.
He warned that no school should open before Aug. 10, except for boarding schools, where students are expected to arrive on Aug. 9.
The commissioner further directed private secondary schools in the state to report their readiness to open to the schools’ Quality Assurance Authority.
He said that private schools should report, using the appropriate checklist and obtain a written ‘no objection to open’, on clean bill of health.
He also asked that head of higher institutions and principals of secondary schools should report to the relevant department in the ministry.
He called on parents to ensure proper arrangement for safe transportation of their children to and from schools.
“To make the environment safe and conducive for academic activity, the government is doing everything possible to decontaminate and disinfect public schools, including higher institutions and provide hand washing facilities.
“We will also arrange for temperature monitoring of both staff and students, provision of face masks to staff and students, as well as hand sanitisers.
“However, parents are advised to equip their children with extra face masks and small 100ml hand sanitisers for use during their transportation to and from schools,’’ he added.
Makarfi said that appropriate dates for other examinations would be announced in due course, including school opening for the rest of the classes including SSS1, SSS2, JSS 1 to 3 and primary schools.
He encouraged schools to continue the e-learning programme using Google class, Zoom, radio and television and other online platforms until normalcy returned.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Group trains agric officers on practices of organic agriculture
The Ibadan GO Organic Multipurpose Cooperative Society, in collaboration with Nigeria Go Organic Project is training agricultural officers, extension officers, producers, among others on the principles and practice and entrepreneurship in organic agriculture.
Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, the Country Coordinator of Ecological Organic Agriculture in Nigeria, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.
AdeOluwa said the training mode consisted of the first phase, July 20 to July 31, a -two week intensive virtual class work with field trip, while the second phase was four months practical work.
He said the training firs phase of the training emphasised on livestock, while the second phase would last for four months, August to November.
According to him, the virtual training is also meant to improve profitable organic agriculture business drive.
“It is also intended to boost production capacity of organic agricultural producers, handlers and middlemen toward domestic and export market,’’ he said.
The training tagged: Training of Trainers(ToT), AdeOluwa said that the goal of the training was to train participants on the principles and practices of organic agriculture in an entrepreneurial way to enable them to train others.
“At the end of the training, participants are expected to have a good understanding of organic agriculture and the concept.
“They should be able to know how to run successful organic agriculture enterprises,’’ he said.
The EOA Coordinator was positive that trainees should be able to provide basic extension assistance to other practitioners within the value chain of organic agriculture.
AdeOluwa said the the training was important due to the increasing global market for economic development.
“The training is due to the misconceptions surrounding organic agriculture, emerging global health challenges, global change issues, and opportunity for diversification of income, among others.”
According to him, knowledge is the fulcrum of sustainable development.
“The exponential development of the global organic agriculture sector is based on adequate knowledge of the organic sector by practitioners.”
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)