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Cultural preservation: Society tasks media on folklore

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Cultural preservation: Society tasks media on folklore

Dr Bukar Usman, President Nigerian Folklore Society

Folklore

Abuja, May 16, 2019 The Nigerian Folklore Society (NFS) has called on media practitioners to promote and preserve Nigerian culture by airing cartoons, video games and movies, among others.

Dr Bukar Usman, the President of the society, made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.

Usman decried the over promotion of foreign culture by some media organisations in the country at the expense of our local folklores.

According to him, the media has a great role to play in the promotion and preservation of our culture, noting that through such measures “we will be able to bequeath our cultural values on the children”.

He described the rate of airing of foreign cartoons, video games and others in the new media as inimical to the development and preservation of the Nigerian culture.

“To sustain and preserve the Nigerian culture our reliance is on the media to carry the message across board not only to citizens but even to the entire world that there is something we are promoting in Nigeria.

“Media practitioners are the people who can best spread it. I appeal that they should not relent in ensuring video games and materials which will promote the character formation of a child is based on our own local tales and culture and not on foreign ideas.

“History is the same as folklore and they are the bases of which our totality of experiences of our society will be carried forward from one generation to the other,” Usman noted.

NAN reports that folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people which encompasses the traditions common to that culture.

It includes tales, chants, legends, proverbs, oral poetry and myths.

Usman emphasised that priority should be on the production of dramas, motion cartoons and animation to educate the children on our local culture aimed at character building as well as instilling in them diverse cultural heritages.

He however frowned at the trend and presentation of foreign cartoons, animations among other tales like Tom and Jerry, Disney Junior in the media that attracted the attention of children all through the day undermining other activities, including food and academic work.

The president of the society reaffirmed that majority of these cartoons portray western or foreign culture at the detriment of the indigenous ones.

According to him, by using animation to illustrate what transpired in the past since no parents have time to tell children tales about tortoise and others as applicable in the past we will be able to sustain our culture.

Usman specifically described children as crucial in transmitting and preserving culture and history of any society.

He noted that in the past parents often sat with their children under the moonlight or whatever to tell tales, which served as a means of education for character formation but there were no such opportunity for the children.

According to him, presently most parents can no longer sit with their children to tell them stories of the past due to their busy schedule.

He emphasised that the only way to bridge such gap was for the media to encapsulate video games and cartoons, among others, based on Nigerian cultures and tradition in their daily programmes and presentations.

He also urged all and sundry to rise up to their responsibilities of bequeathing our culture to upcoming generations through folklore, video games and cartoons.

“Before formal education our parents are the first teachers and they devote time to sit with their children to tell them stories about animals by using animals to represent human characters.

“So moral lessons or messages from such are `do not steal’, `don’t tell lies’, and `be intelligent’, among others, that is the only form in which they convey moral messages to their children but not recorded.

“But now technology has improved on how to keep records. We must use the medium of preservation of our culture like animation and cartoons so that our children will be familiar with the environment and other things we are acquainted with rather than relying on foreign culture productions,” he advised.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

Agriculture

Buhari’s agricultural revolution to create 5m jobs, inject $10bn into economy

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The President Muhammadu Buhari’s agriculture revolution programme tagged “The Green Imperative’’ will create about five million jobs and inject over 10 billion US Dollar (about N3.8 trillion) into the economy within 10 years.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Thursday at a media briefing to set the stage for the implementation of the mechanised farming programme.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the briefing was jointly addressed by Mohammed and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono.

Mohammed said The Green Imperative, a Nigeria-Brazil bilateral agriculture development programme, was worth 1.2 billion US Dollar and would be implemented over a period of five to10 years.

He said funding for the programme would come from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank.

The minister added that insurance was provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

Explaining how the programme would revolutionise agriculture, the minister said six motor assembly plants would be reactivated in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assemblying of tractors and other implements.

He said the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors would be imported as well as numerous implements for local assembly annually, for a period of 10 years.

Mohammed said 142 agro processing service centres would be established for value addition, with one centre in each senatorial district.

He said 632 mechanisation service centres would also be established to support primary production in the 774 Local Government Areas and the Federal Capital Territory.

“This will create 774 service centers nationwide to mechanise our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce locally.

“It will lead to efficiency and eliminate post-harvest losses, thereby cutting down cost of food all year round.

“It will create sustainable supply chain of agricultural raw materials for our large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of US Dollars in food-related forex,’’ he said.

The minister disclosed that private sector operators would operate and manage all the service centres and the assembly plants.

He said no fewer than 100,000 extension workers would be trained within three years and the programme would impact over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically.

The minister said the programme would revitalise research and extension service delivery through a five-year technology-package transfer component.

He said the benefits would also include the transfer of technology from Brazil’s manufacturers and institutions to Nigeria.

The minister said The Green Imperative dated back to June 6, 2016, when the country decided to enrol in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP).

He recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the programme officially on January 17, 2019, in the presence of the representatives of Brazil, Deutsche Bank as well as Brazilian and Nigerian private sector.

“The stage is now set for an agricultural revolution that will strengthen food security, create massive jobs, transfer technology and revive or reinvigorate many assembly plants.

“It will strengthen the economy, save scarce resources, mechanise farming and lead to the emergence of value-added agriculture, among other benefits,’’ he said.

For his part, Nanono gave the assurance that the programme would not be hijacked by politicians and that it would be private sector driven while government would only provide the policy framework.

He said participation would be through limited liability companies, cooperative societies and farmers’ associations.

“People must take this programme very serious; they should take the opportunity by beginning to form cooperative societies and farmers’ associations,’’ he said.

The minister said that the youths would be the major target of the mechanised farming programme and would-be participants should not be discouraged by the challenge of insecurity, now being addressed by government.


Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Extension workers backbone of agricultural development says AATF

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Dr Issoufou Kollo, the Regional Director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), West Africa says extension workers remain the hub on which the agricultural development revolves.

Kollo said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja by Alex Abutu, West Africa Communication Officer of AATF.

”As long as the extension workers are in the dark, you don’t have agricultural development, extension is very important for agricultural development.

”It is not only about research but how the research enhances the lives of the people. Agricultural development has two legs – research and extension.

”When researchers finish their work in the laboratory and conduct their on-station and on-farm trials, extension worker or agents will now take over and take the new variety or technology to farmers.

”These agents understand the language of the farmers and are in a better position to introduce them to new varieties of crops,’’ he said.

Kollo said that AATF and the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University had entered into a strategic partnership that would ensure Nigerian farmers take advantages of the PBR Cowpea.

According him, NAERLS can reach all the extension workers in Nigeria and millions of farmers, so it is very good to have collaboration with them.

”Public education is very important as you know. Scientists cannot explain everything to the public, there are other people who have such knowledge.

”So, we choose NAERLS because of their very good network to reach thousands of people at the same time, especially farmers and extension workers,” he added.

Kollo said it was important that smallholder farmers in the country have unhindered access to the PBR Cowpea considering its potential.

He made reference to an ex-ante study conducted by the U. S.-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on the PBR Cowpea which showed that Nigeria would record a revenue increase of more than N48 billion (132 million dollars) annually from the planting of the PBR cowpea.

”The study added that PBR cowpea will benefit Nigerian farmers and consumers, PBR can generate annual benefits equivalent to N26.2 billion for producers N9.2 billion for consumers. PBR cowpea will have an impact on the overall economy.

“We have the data, we didn’t fabricate these data, the data came from farmers managed trials during the National Variety Performance Trials, many farmers have been able to test on their own and compared it to other varieties.

”We have two sets of trials, one is on-station across Nigeria and across different local governments which has been selected by the extension people.

”When you look at the trials, the yield difference between the PBR cowpea and the other varieties of cowpea was about 70 per cent.

The PBR cowpea yielded about 70 per cent higher, then when you look at the farmers managed trials, the yield of PBR cowpea is about 154 per cent superior compared to the yield of the other cowpea varieties,” he said.

Kollo said that Nigeria had about three million hectares of land under cowpea cultivation, adding that if one has 20 per cent yield increase on the three million hectares, imagine the amount of money it could give.

”It is even underestimated on our side of what PBR cowpea can produce in a year.

Annually, about 12 to 15 million hectares of land is cultivated with cowpea worldwide with the Sub Saharan Africa accounting for the bulk of the total area of production (about 12 million hectares).

And Nigeria responsible for about four to five million hectares of total world production area,” she said.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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General news

Kano farmers hail FG’s agricultural transformation programme

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Farmers in Kano state have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the introduction of Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP), aimed at transforming agriculture towards self sufficiency in food production in the country.
A cross section of the farmers interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria , on Friday in Kano disclosed this, saying that the progarmme had assisted in enhancing agricultural value chain in the country.
Alhaji Aminu Isa, a rice farmer, said that the Federal Government under the stewardship of Buhari adopted proactive measures to enhance farmers access to agricultural financing and extension services to encourage productivity.
Isa said that the farmer support services initiated by the Buhari administration had mobilised participation in agriculture and galvanised drive to achieve self sufficiency in food production.
The Buhari administration has encouraged many people to go back to the farm through the ABP scheme.
“It addressed the problem of fertiliser scarcity, provides job opportunities to the teaming unemployed youths, reduced poverty and enhanced wealth creation in the society.
“The programme builds farmers’ capacity, enhance entrepreneurial skill for value addition and create market for the produce.
“We are indeed grateful to the president for his support to farmers,” Isa said.
NAN reports also that over 40, 000 rice farmers and 26, 000 cotton growers are participating in the ABP programme in Kano State.
An entrepreneur, Alhaji Mahdi Tahir, added that the Buhari administration had initiated viable programmes aimed at encouraging growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
Tahir noted that the feat achieved by the administration in the development of cottage industries would accelerate sustainable social and economic development of rural communities.
Mr Muhammad Abdulsalam, a resident, who corroborated earlier opinion, added that the administration had executed viable programmes to transform the power sector; education, health and road network in the country.
“The president has shown greater commitment to reinvigorate the power, education and health sectors. He ensured the completion of ongoing road projects and initiated new ones to enhance transportation services.
“He has also performed creditable well in the fight against corruption as well as promoting transparency, accountability and good governance,” he said.
Also, Mrs Bilkisu Ahmed, a women activist, said the administration had been able to record significant successes in the counter insurgency campaign in spite of numerous security challenges facing the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari has tackled the insurgency, decimated Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast, and restored the morale of the military by re-organising and equipping them.
“Further more; the APC led government under his stewardship rescued thousands of people under the insurgents’ captivity as well as secured the released of some abducted Dapchi and Chibok school girls,’’ she added.
The ABP is a critical component of the federal government agriculture transformation agenda designed to encourage rice and crop productions as well as processing to achieve self sufficiency.
It is also aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to fertiliser, seeds, inputs, value addition and create market for the produce.
The programme is being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and designated agricultural input dealers otherwise called “prime anchors”.

 

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Foreign

Israeli research finds genetic, cultural similarities in Canaanite people

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An Israeli genetic research has found that the Canaanite people, albeit living in different city-states, were culturally and genetically similar, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said on Thursday.

The Canaanites lived in the Southern Levant area, which is now recognized as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and parts of Syria, during the Bronze Age (about 3,300-1,200 BC).

In a study published in the journal Cell, HU researchers provided new insight into the Canaanites’ history based on a new genome-wide analysis of ancient DNA collected from 93 Middle-to-Late Bronze Age individuals.

The genomic analysis showed that the Canaanites do represent a clear group.

“Individuals from all sites are highly genetically similar, albeit with subtle differences, showing that the archaeologically and historically defined ‘Canaanites’ correspond to a demographically coherent group,” the researchers explained.

The researchers also found that a broader Near Eastern component, including populations from the Caucasus and the Zagros Mountains, likely accounts for more than 50 percent of the ancestry of many Arabic-speaking and Jewish groups living in the region today.

(XINHUA)

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Environment

Expert tasks landscape architects on appropriate horticultural practice

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An Environmental expert, Mr Amos Alao, has cautioned landscape architect on the need for planting the right trees and flowers in a building structure to prevent structural defects.

Alao, an architect and a climate change enthusiast, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.

He said that lack of knowledge on horticultural best practices on the part of most landscape architects had resulted in a lot of structural defect in buildings across the country.

Alao said this was what prompted him to publish a literature on “Plant Photo Book for Greenhorns” to educate the public on impact of inappropriate planting trees or flowers in most building structures.

“Knowing the characteristics of plant helps you to know where best to plant, so as not to cause an environmental disaster, and in recent times structural defects in buildings.

“The size of the crown of most trees is the size of its root under the ground and if planted too close to a building may likely cause structural defects with the extension of its roots.

“So, if a tree is planted less than three meters from the foundation of a building, there is a likelihood of the roots growing to break the foundation footing of a building.

“The plants begin to cause cracks on the walls and even fences; a lot of Nigerian roads are also grossly affected by wrongly planted trees and flowers.

“Wrong tree selection and cultivation along most highways in the country have caused a lot of roads and drainage collapse,” the expert said.

Alao said that with the establishment of Landscape Architecture Departments, there was need for a literature that would be a valuable tool for Landscape Architects and other professionals in the building environment.

He said: “Landscape Architecture is the art and science of creating outdoor spaces for sustainable habitation and human enjoyment.

“Knowing the name of a plant helps you research better on the benefits and importance of the plant online.

“Some plants and flowers are pungent and are not good for children with respiratory diseases like asthma, and also the colours of most plants impact the mood of individuals.

“Plants and flowers also reduce the effect of global warming and climate change.

“They reduce the impact of air pollution and gives out fresh air, thereby reducing artificial cooling gadgets in spaces.

“The major component of Landscape Architecture is ‘Green’ and what the profession is concerned about is preserving nature and creating macro-climatic conditions that are habitable for human and animal comfort,” Alao said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Foreign

Foreign ministers recommit to German-Russian cultural cooperation

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German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday recommitted their countries to closer cultural cooperation at the opening of an annual conference held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a welcome speech read out online to mark the start of the 23rd Potsdam Meeting, a German-Russian discussion forum, Maas said he hoped the pandemic would help the two countries pursue a positive agenda.

“We should not draw back from our joint responsibility at this point.

“This year’s meeting will focus on the effects of the pandemic on foreign and security policy.

“The coronavirus pandemic will, in the immediate future, be one of the most important factors in developing joint approaches in foreign policy in the global economy to boost cooperation between countries,’’ Lavrov said.

He added that Germany and Russia would focus on the leading role of their countries in a rapidly changing world.

The Potsdam Meetings, set up by the German-Russian Forum in 1999, run parallel to the Petersburg Dialogue, established in 2001.

Report says the forums aim to promote understanding between German and Russian civil societies.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye (NAN)

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Tourism

Use Nigeria’s cultural diversity to build formidable nation: CBAAC chief

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The Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) on Friday harped on the need for Nigerians to use their cultural diversities to build a formidable nation.

Mrs Osaro Osayande told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that Nigerians needed to live in love, peace and harmony to achieve national aspirations.

Osayande spoke to NAN in an interview to commemorate World Culture Day.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, known popularly as World Culture Day is a UN approved international day for the promotion of diversity.

The day is set aside to help communities to understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.

Osayande said that Nigeria’s multi-cultural potential was a huge asset that provided opportunities that Nigerians should take advantage of to achieve national development.

She said that most of the conflicts experienced in the country were due to cultural differences, advising citizens to take out time to understand one another’s culture.

“We all must learn to live peacefully, respect people’s culture and not make jest of anyone’s culture.

“We are meant to celebrate our cultural diversity as a people because there are a whole lot we can achieve with that when we take out time to understand one another.

“We should learn to interact with one another to take right decisions and not take decisions based on assumptions.

“Living peacefully in love and harmony will enable us achieve our goals as a nation.”

She also advised Nigerians to learn at least one local language that is not their mother tongue to hasten cultural integration.

The director-general enjoined parents to educate their children and wards on cultural issues to integrate them into their cultural milieu.

“Everyone must attain a level of majority to imbibe the mode of dressing of other ethnic groups and also learn to cook and eat other people’s dishes.

“No culture should be seen as inferior or superior to another,” said Osayande.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Entertainment

World Culture Day: Nigerians call for protection, promotion of cultural heritage

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Some Nigerians resident in the FCT, have called on government at all levels to take responsibility by protecting and promoting Nigeria’s cultural heritage, as the World marks the 2020 Day for Cultural Diversity.

Some of the respondents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Thursday in Abuja, said the preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage was imperative if the country would completely liberate itself from the clutches of imperialism, which was clearly destroying the country’s natural values.

Mr Nnamani Ogbonna, a civil servant, said the preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage such as; respect for elders, traditional marriage systems and abhorrence for gay relationships, was imperative.

“We should not allow foreign influence on our culture. Their cultures, such as indecent dressing, is not part of our culture.

“Section 21 of the Constitution puts a responsibility on federal and state governments to protect, preserve and promote Nigeria’s culture.

“Government at all levels should not forget that responsibility,” Ogbonna said.

He also called on the National Assembly to enact laws that would abolish cultures that were alien to us as a black, decent race.

He commended the National Assembly for halting plans to legalise gay relationships, which he described as alien to the Nigerian culture.

Mr James Kindness, a businessman, said that the benefits of cultural diversity could not be listed.

“In those days, women only wear beads on their waist, tie a piece of clothe to cover their breasts, and there were no issues, but today, diverse positive cultures have been imbibed.,” he added.

Mr Ola Joel, also a civil servant, advised Nigerians to appreciate and promote the country’s diverse cultures, adding that cultural diversity was significant for national growth.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development, is celebrated every May 21. (NAN)

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

 

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General news

Kogi to explore cultural diversity, tourism potential — Official

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Mr Femi Bolaji, Special Adviser to Kogi Governor on Culture and Tourism, says Kogi is ready to fully harness its cultural diversity and tourism potentials for the benefit of the people of the state.

Bolaji gave the assurance in a statement in Lokoja, to mark the ”World Cultural Day 2020”, with the theme: ”The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Cultural Day is celebrated every May 21, to encourage people around the world to come together in celebrating cultural diversity, and advocating for ways to protect and promote it in their own communities.

According to Bolaji, “culture is all that define us, knowing that culture and man cannot be separated which is why despite all the odds brought to the entire globe by COVID-19, we still live together strong and united.

”In this era of pandemic, culture will be celebrated in a grand style as we shall be getting prepared and ever ready to explore our heritage being the heart of the nation known to the world as the giant of Africa.

”The history of our nation made it known to citizen who cares to find out that the great Britain started it all from Lokoja, gave the nation the name NIGERIA after the river “Niger” (Niger Area) which is one of our numerous tourists centre of attraction.

”In our state alone, we are blessed with diverse cultural and tourism assets which are significant to the state and nation’s existence.

”Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, has the Cenotaph used in World War 2, Lord Lugard’s residence and office, the Holy Trinity School by Bishop Ajayi Crowther in 1860 (the first school in the province), the European Cemeteries, Mount Patti with a flat top where one could see the confluence point of River Niger and River Benue, and the beauty of the state capital.

”All these and more are situated in the state capital alone; now is the time to make the world see them in a grand style,” Bolaji said.

He stressed that it was very clear that Kogi remained extremely blessed by nature and the post COVID-19 era would be to fully explore those great blessings.

“To educate our people on the benefits, significance, cultural protection, generate funds, promote its culture globally and make Kogi the great state that Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello so much desired.

”The effects brought to our cultural activities by COVID-19 cannot be over emphasized and it is a great lesson to us; surely, we shall overcome because we have always won against pandemics and other diseases like Lassa fever and the rest, thus it shows the strength and uniqueness in us.

”Our culture will win against COVID-19 pandemic, we will win because of you the great sons and daughters of Kogi State.

“Our success will be attributed to the great effort of yours and when all this is over, the whole world will hear about us and our uniqueness,” Bolaji said.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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