Dr Olusola Obabori, Chief Executive Officer, Red Star Express, has called on the three levels of governments to address the challenges inhibiting growth of the logistics industry to deepen economic growth.
Obabori made the call during the November Breakfast meeting of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) on Friday in Lagos.
The meeting was themed: “The Nigerian Logistics Industry: Current Trends and Persistent Challenges.”
Obabori said that there was a need to strategically position the industry to be globally-competitive to actualise its potential growth of N57.5 billion by 2022.
He attributed the growth of the industry to robust e-commerce ecosystem, big data, technology disruption, innovation and changing landscape of the global logistics industry.
Obabori said that addressing the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, fuel costs, high interest rate, multiple taxation, access to capital, improvement of regulatory environment would place the industry on growth trajectory.
The expert emphasised that effective implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was crucial to boost the competitiveness and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Obabori said that safety, efficiency, speed and ease in operation were fundamental to boost the county’s logistics performance index.
Also, Ms Christine Kelly, Commercial Attache, U.S. Embassy, said that the phase of global logistic would continue to change and have an economic impact on the world.
“Logistics is no longer just the flow of goods and services but also the flow of information. This sector knows that data is the life line of a smooth operation.
“This is more important than ever before, as data can connect companies with their customers. Same way, airports and shipping lines connects goods to consumers.
“It is in this capacity that logistics has impacted innovations and economic platforms,’’ she said.
Kelly said that Nigeria had the potential to leapfrog by finding a niche in the data and information management aspect of logistics, saying that the country stands to benefit economically from the promising logistic sector.
Earlier, President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said that Nigeria should revolutionise its logistic industry to maximise opportunities in its various trade agreements.
He said that a stronger logistics industry would catalyse economic growth, reduce cost of goods and services and enable Nigeria evolve to West Africa trade hub.
Edited by Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi
Ethiopian expert says Africa can learn from Chinese pandemic management system
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic advisor to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, noted that the African continent currently accounts for a small fraction of the infections globally.
However, Costantinos told Xinhua that “African countries have taken a disproportionate hit due to plummeting oil and commodity prices and weaker currencies, which ramp-up external debt servicing costs.”
Costantinos, also professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, stressed that China is probably the only nation that can address the challenges faced by the global South in improving economic governance and curtailing corruption.
According to the latest figures from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across the African continent had surpassed 171,206, as the death toll from the pandemic surged to 4,766.
The continental disease control and prevention agency, which noted that the virus has so far spread into 54 African countries, also disclosed that more than 75,083 people who had been infected with COVID-19 had recovered across the continent so far.
COVID-19 : Expert warns against overdose of vitamin C
Okoh told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that such overdose could cause undesirable effects.
Many people also take supplements to ensure that they get enough of it.
However, this has raised concerns over the likelihood of an accidental overdose.
The nutritionist said that it was wrong to take an overdose of vitamin C to prevent being affected by the virus.
According to him, Vitamin C is a type of antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals that damage and destroy healthy cells.
“In this respect, getting enough of the nutrient is just one way you can support your body’s natural defenses against illness.
“This is how it gained its reputation as a virus-fighting vitamin.
“It also helps increase iron absorption, which is essential for growth and overall body functions. Not having enough vitamin C can lead to a potentially deadly condition known as scurvy.
“Oranges and orange juices are perhaps the best-known sources of vitamin C, but other items in the produce aisle are bell peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi
potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes.’
The patients may probably not need vitamin C supplement if they eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
“In fact, just one serving of any of the above foods could get you to your daily quota,” he said.
Okoh said that the average adult woman required 70mg of vitamin C per day, while the average man required 90mg.
He recommended that the amounts were higher for pregnant and nursing women.
According to him, it’s important to discuss your individual nutritional needs with your doctor.
“The maximum recommended amount or upper limit is 2,000mg per day for all adults.
“Taking more than the upper limit for vitamin C is not life-threatening, but you may experience side effects like: abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, headaches, nausea and possible vomiting, and also sleeping problems.
“People with hemochromatosis are in danger of a vitamin C overdose.
“This condition causes your body to store excessive amounts of iron, which is exacerbated by taking too much vitamin C. This condition can lead to body tissue damage,” he said.
Okoh stated that Vitamin C supplements may also interact with certain medications, especially medications for heart disease and cancer.
“Be sure to check with your doctor before taking a supplement,” he advised.
He said an overdose of vitamin C may also result in undesirable health conditions such as gall bladder stone, kidney stones and pelvic ulcer.
”You know vitamin C is good for the body but its important people should take it moderately, at least only once in a day.
“But unfortunately some of our patients take double or triple dose in a day and one of the side effects of this drug is that it causes peptic ulcer, which will create other problems for them.
“About 10 of our patients were discovered to have taken the overdose of these drugs.
He advised Nigerians to desist from self-medication, adding that drugs should be taken based on doctor’s prescription.
Polio eradication expertise backs Africa’s COVID-19 response –WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says expertise in polio eradication that has put Africa on the verge of being certified free of wild poliovirus has been brought to the frontlines of COVID-19 fight.
The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo disclosed this in a statement posted on its website and also on its twitter handle on Friday.
“While testing is the core of any strategy to contain the virus, the region has had a relatively low number of tests performed.
“Since the outbreak started, nearly two million tests have been carried out in the WHO African Region, with an average test rate of 15.3 per 10 000 population.
“Hundreds of tests are carried out every day using polio testing machines in Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.’’
The statement quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying: “in Africa, no one has the footprint of the polio programme nor the expertise for mounting effective response campaigns.
In addition, WHO Geographic Information System (GIS) centre in Brazzaville is using its huge experience in outbreak response and disease surveillance to support countries with a range of GIS and software technology and manual solutions to respond to COVID-19.
More than 2,000 polio response experts from WHO, UNICEF, Rotary, as well as STOP consultants from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are supporting the COVID-19 response in the African Region.
A quarter of WHO polio staff are dedicating more than 80 per cent of their time towards COVID-19 efforts, with 65 per cent anticipating a commitment of six months or more.
The statement further quoted Moeti as saying: “It is important that the support to COVID-19 response does not jeopardize the progress made in stopping all forms of polio transmission in the region.
The suspension of high-quality immunisation rounds may risk new polio outbreaks due to low coverage.
Make Lagos more natural, greening, Expert urges Govt, corporate bodies
Prof. Babajide Alo, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has called on Lagos State Government, corporate bodies and individuals to embrace greening as a way of improving the health and wellbeing of the citizenry.
He also urged the state government to return and improve on the parks and garden beautification era to provide and make the state more natural and greening.
The topic of the conference was: “Nurturing Nature Between the Town and Gown.”
It stresses on the importance of active participation in environment conservation and sustainable living.
The theme was: “Celebrate Biodiversity.”
He said biodiversity was important to man as an ecological life support, providing functioning ecosystem that supply oxygen, clean air, water and other ecosystem services.
The expert, however, noted that biodiversity was under threat due to human activities.
“Universities have opened up more to the external world, and have given much attention to the diffusion and economic exploitation of their research.
“There is need to focus more on making the gown assist the town, our communities to conserve nature to protect biodiversity,” he said.
Alo said biodiversity and the ecosystem loss had generated tremendous concern globally, as the extinction of plants and animal species were decreasing earth’s biodiversity, thereby depriving humans of potential resources such as food, medicine and enjoyment of nature.
He identified global trade in wildlife and global shipping as issues affecting and destroying nature and biodiversity.
Alo said with the COVID-19 experience, there was need for action for nature.
“Hence, this pandemic must, therefore, be teaching us a lesson that it is time to re-build for people and the planet,” he said.
Alo called on the universities to develop systematic environmental and biodiversity data collection for improved management and application.
He said: “Universities can join in the vanguard to reverse the degration; we must encourage all experts in biodiversity.
“We must fund them and make our curricula to have compulsory courses in biodiversity conservation and protection.
“Universities should make our teaching and research at all levels incorporate nature studies, inclusion of studies and text on biodiversity conservation into the national primary and secondary education as stipulated in the 2015 National Implementation document.”
Interview: CABI expert sees “strong commitment” in ecological conservation in China
China, with its “strong commitment” in ecological conservation, has achieved some “remarkable outcomes” in its long-term national strategy for promoting sustainable development, an expert from Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said.
“We applaud the Chinese government for its strong commitment and increasing investment in ecological conservation in recent years,” Dr Hariet L. Hinz told Xinhua in an interview ahead of World Environment Day, a UN campaign celebrated every year on June 5 to raise awareness about the protection of the environment.
“China has highlighted ecological civilization as a long-term national strategy for promoting sustainable development, aiming at achieving harmony between people and nature, and by pursuing green development and guiding the transformation of production methods and lifestyle of the entire society,” said Dr Hinz, co-director of China MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs)-CABI European Joint Laboratory.
To conserve the environment, China has adopted measures including massive tree-planting and coral restoration campaigns, clamping down on illegal wastewater discharge, treating polluted rivers and launching public education activities.
“What other developing countries can learn is that to make these programs succeed requires strong political will and foresight to balance economic development with environment protection, the development of a sound policy and legislation framework, substantial financial commitment, mindset change, and public education and awareness-raising etc,” said Dr Hinz.
CABI, headquartered in Britain, is an international, inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.
With a close partnership for over 30 years, China and CABI have achieved outstanding results through the establishment of joint laboratories in China and Switzerland and implementation of many joint research and development cooperation projects.
“In addition to those projects benefiting China directly, the joint labs have also assisted in introducing China‘s green plant protection products/techniques to developing countries under the umbrella of South-South cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative,” Dr Hinz said.
Many of these programs have helped pave the way for more sustainable crop production, as well as establishing a better environment and healthier lives for the farm households in the target region, according to Dr Hinz.
Roundup: Experts root for deepening South-South cooperation in fight against COVID-19
Developing countries in Africa and beyond should strengthen partnership and solidarity under the South-South Cooperation modality to jointly address common socio-economic impacts imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, experts argued.
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic advisor to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), told Xinhua on Friday that the South-South cooperation platform as a viable way to deepen technical and financial cooperation among developing countries in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The South-South cooperation refers to the technical cooperation among developing countries in the Global South. It is a tool used by the states, international organisations, academics, civil society and the private sector to collaborate and share knowledge, skills and successful initiatives in specific areas,” the scholar said.
Noting Africa in particular accounting for a small fraction of the infections globally, Costantinos stressed that “African countries have taken a disproportionate hit due to plummeting oil and commodity prices and weaker currencies, which ramp-up external debt servicing costs.”
“As the COVID-19 hits countries under the global south, the South-South cooperation platform can help collaborate and share knowledge, skills and successful initiatives in specific areas such as agricultural development, human rights, urbanization, health, and climate change,” Costantinos said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Antonio Pedro, Director of the UNECA’s Sub-regional Office for Central Africa, also stressed that the global community, mainly countries in the developing world, should strengthen solidarity in order to effectively contend the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe as well as to build back better after the coronavirus pandemic.
Pedro mainly underscored the South-South collaboration scheme as an important global partnership platform in addressing the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis given to addressing the negative impacts of the pandemic on the socioeconomic and healthcare aspects of the African continent.
“The South-South collaboration, as part of the global partnership, is important to address this pandemic, especially in the context of Africa because of the vulnerabilities exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis,” Pedro said.
The ECA director also stressed that the global solidarity against the COVID-19 “goes beyond the short term imperative of curing people that have been affected and ensuring that people don’t infected, but also building back better.”
Costantinos, also professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, mainly singled out China as an important player in propelling global partnership and solidarity under the South-South cooperation platform, as he emphasized the Chinese engagement in propelling the development of countries in the Global South.
“China is at a historical crossroads today when it comes to the economic recovery and global health with the United States withdrawing from most global development and security initiatives,” Costantinos told Xinhua.
The scholar emphasized China‘s role in in improving economic governance and curtailing corruption in the Global South and addressing the impact of climate change adaptation in the global south, among others.
Pedro, who emphasized the crucial imperative of deepening global solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, also singled out China as a major player in propelling the much-needed global partnership and collaboration towards combating the virus.
“We see the Chinese engagement and the support that it is providing to African governments and to the African Union in terms of access to medical supplies, masks and other things as part of the global solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ECA Director told Xinhua.
“We very much look forward to see more and more countries to emulate the Chinese example because it’s only through global partnerships, with collaboration, and with supporting each other that we will be able to combat this virus,” he affirmed.
According to a recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report entitled “South-South Cooperation at the time of COVID-19: Building Solidarity Among Developing Countries,” for many developing countries, where up to 90 percent of the workforce engages in informal activity and lockdown is a difficult proposition, the first effects of the crisis came through economic contagion before the health shock.
Expert urges journalists to embrace data journalism
A Leader, Centre for Open Data Research, Dr Patrick Enaholo, has urged Nigerian journalists to embrace Data Journalism to enhance their reporting, particularly on issues like health, nutrition and wellness reports.
Enaholo made the call at an online programme tagged: “Advancing Nutrition, Health and Wellness through the Media’, organised by Nestlé Nigeria Plc, in collaboration with the Lagos Business School.
He described data as well reasearched and objective facts based on reality, which could be in form of numbers, words or letters.
According to him, embracing Data Journalism is the way to go and the way to remain relevant in the industry.
“This can keep the readers hooked to your news story.
“Journalists need to invest time and resources to equipping themselves with hands-on data journalism skills.
“Learning these skills will start you on the path to adding that extra punch to your news story by teaching you how to create data visualisations using available tools such as Google spread sheet, Excel, charts, infographics among others,” he said.
Enaholo, who also works at the School of Media and Communications, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, said such knowledge would help journalists to understand how to find, interpret and analyse data to tell a news story in a clear, simple, compelling and appealing way.
He, however, urged media organisations to also embrace data visualisation in their reports to tell deep an insightful stories and for easy understanding by readers.
World Environment Day: Expert calls for actions in biodiversity protection
An environmental activist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, says there is the need for more proactive actions in biodiversity protection in the country.
Emechete made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos, in commemoration of the 2020 World Environment Day (WED).
It is celebrated every June 5.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Biodiversity: Time for Nature“.
Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water.
According to him, biodiversity is a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world.
He added that about one million plant and animal species risked extinction largely due to human activities.
The expert called on Nigerians to take biodiversity serious and stop seeing nature only as a source of foods, raw materials and extra income.
”We do not understand the importance of protecting species of animals and plants. All we think about is what is good for food or can bring in income. This ought not to be so.
”What we basically perceive nature for in Nigeria is food, medicine and basic source of raw materials.
”We fell trees without replanting and poach wildlife without a thought of the specie going into extinction. We basically do not take enough actions to protect biodiversity,” he told NAN.
”We need to do something significant in terms of actionable plans to protect nature and the environment from our end.
”We have not done any significant work in biodiversity in Nigeria. I am not talking of paperwork and reports, but meaning practical actions.
”We have a few polices against tree felling, but the question is: Are they being implemented?
”Sometimes some forest guards even take bribes to allow people to fell trees,” he said.
Post-COVID-19: Experts call for review of Bilateral Air Services Agreement
Mr Nick Fadugba, the Chairman of African Business Aviation Association (AFBAA), said the multiple entry points and the frequencies of foreign airlines had been a disadvantage to Nigerian airlines as opposed to the advantages the agreement was supposed to present.
“At the time the bilateral agreement was made, Nigerian airlines in play at the time were relatively new, and now to ensure the growth of the airlines, there’s a need to review the agreement to properly incorporate the airlines as the agreements do not favour the average Nigerian carrier.
“The multiple entry points have diluted the domestic market for the carriers,” he said.
Fadugba noted that there was need to overhaul the current business plans of the airlines with emphasis on unit cost, load factor and yield.
He said that for the airlines to rise above the current situation, there should be cooperation among airlines through joint training, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), spares pooling, joint operation, interlining and code-sharing.
Another panelist at the webinar, Ms Iyabo Sosina, an international aviation expert and former Secretary General of African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), stated that the future of air transport in Nigeria was bright inspite of all the challenges at play now.
Sosina advocated the need for rebuilding and repositioning of the industry.
According to her, there is a need to focus on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) without unnecessary political interference with the authority.
She, however, advised that airlines in Nigeria should be reduced to about four, adding that these airlines must be able to boast of between 10 and 20 aircraft each.
Sosina also noted that more than ever before, there was a need for airlines to initiate collaborative ways of doing business as mergers could not be forced.
This, she said, would make the industry stronger to be able to compete on not just the domestic level but also on the regional and international scenes.
Also speaking, Dr John Arthur of Ghana Airport Company, said that airports need to start afresh by collaborating with each other and aviation stakeholders.
Arthur advised that African countries should come together to share expertise in order to make the aviation industry viable.
He also noted that countries should look at investing in non-aeronautical inclusions such as building malls in the airports.
Sindy Foster, the Principal Managing Partner at Avaero Capital Partners, stated that the Nigerian aviation industry had been in crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Foster, the lack of capitalisation and the low propensity of Nigerians to fly has been a major issue.
“There is need to look into the factors frustrating the airlines business, one of which is the ticket prices. Multiple taxations should be removed to encourage airlines growth,” Foster said.
Foster, however, disagreed with the Nigerian government over social distancing on flights by reducing load factor to between 50 and 70 per cent.
She said the airlines were already in a dire situation when they were operating at full capacity and asking them to reduce the load capacity was another way of putting down airlines striving to get back on their feet post COVID-19.
The Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Operations at International Air Transport Association (IATA), Ms Adefunke Adeyemi, said the airline industry in Africa had experienced a revenue loss of about 6 billion dollars and flights were down by 94 per cent at the end of April.
Adeyemi stated that inspite of government implementing significant relief measures across the globe, there was need to do more.
According to her , IATA has advocated financial support for Africa from various organisations like UNWTO, World Travel and Tourism Council and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).
Adeyemi, however, advised that in order to restart the aviation sector, it was necessary to restore public confidence in air travel, putting adequate health and safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring aviation essentials to jump start economies.
In his contribution, Mr Richard Gimblett, a Partner at Holamn Fenwick Willian, a UK-based law firm, while supporting the points made by other panelists, stated that governments across the world were devising measures to restart the aviation sector.
He said that the Nigerian government should not be left behind.
Gimblett advised that the government could restart the industry by providing direct financial support to passengers and cargo carriers, ensure relief on fees, charges and taxes, make forex available for technological innovations, while also engaging with the leasing and financial community.
Emuwa, who is also the Managing Partner and Head of Tax at AELEX, said there was need for transparency in the management of funds for the aviation industry to grow.
- Cambodia confirms 1 more imported COVID-19 case, 126 in total
- New Zealand has no new COVID-19 case for 16 consecutive days
- S. Africa’s COVID-19 epicenter seeking thousands health workers amid surge in cases
- S.Korea reports 57 more COVID-19 cases, 11,776 in total
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- COVID-19: NNPC lays foundation for 200-bed hospital in Borno
- 2 officers in New York state charged with felony assault after shoving elderly protester
- Peaceful protests for George Floyd continue in southern United States
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- UNICEF condemns killing of children in DR Congo
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- World Environment Day: Society urges Nigerians to protect planet earth
- PLO warns of Israel’s steps towards annexing parts of West Bank
- I-G condoles with PSC over Jumbo Offor’s death
- Interview: South Sudan envoy commends China’s COVID-19 medical supplies assistance
- Jos residents shun Hair Salons for fear of the Coronavirus
- 5.8-magnitude quake hits 104 km N of Ba, Fiji — USGS
- Sen. Folarin worried over increased insecurity in Oyo
- FAO intensifies desert locust control measures in Kenya’s county
- Thai state drug buster hands 600 kg of seized marijuana to medical researchers
- Two women killed in violent attacks in Carinthia, Austria
- Kenyan police nab 3 terror suspects with explosive materials
- Bangladesh reports 2,635 new COVID-19 cases, 35 new deaths
- Malaysia reports 37 new COVID-19 cases, 8,303 in total
- Interview: Death of George Floyd reveals Washington’s double standards, says Indonesian analyst
- 108-year-old Italian woman in nursing home recovers from COVID-19
- Ogun TRACE warns commercial motorcyclists driving against traffic
- Ole! La Liga fires up again after old foes unite
- France says its army killed al Qaeda North Africa chief, Droukdel
- Malians rally against President Keita, demand his resignation
- 27th annual Ulan Bator Book Festival kicks off
- Death toll in India’s chemical factory blast rises to 10
- People attend protest over death of George Floyd in Los Altos
- People participate in march to mark World Environment Day in Athens, Greece
- Iran reports 2,269 new COVID-19 cases, 169,425 in total
- Nomadic tribe begins bi-annual seasonal migration towards upper reaches of Indian-controlled Kashmir
- Legal practitioner seeks amendment of law on rape
- Protestors carry signs during anti-racism rally in Vancouver, Canada
- Chinese embassy donates food to less privileged S. African families
- Troops of Operation Accord kill 70 bandits in Kachia forest – DHQ
- Killings: Oyo police commissioner relocates to Moniya
- World Environment Day: Nigerians must recognise interdependence of all lives on earth – CSOs
- Flood: Adamawa govt urges residents to relocate to safer places
- NERC says 62.3% electricity consumers still on estimated billing
- Thai gov’t allows 7 more domestic airports to open
- Nigeria, India deepen bilateral defence cooperation
- India registers record single-day COVID-19 spike, caseload tops Italy’s
- Nigerian electricity supply industry recorded ₦119.46bn deficit in Q4 2019, says NERC
- California says film, TV production can resume June 12
- COVID-19: Ekiti Assembly marks low-key 365 days in office
- 8.10m MWh electricity generated in Q4 2019 – NERC
- Taliban outfit sets free 36 Afghan detainees
- Thai restaurants required not to serve alcoholic beverages on premises
- Osun records 2 new COVID-19 cases
- Feature: Thousands march in Australian cities over treatment of Indigenous Peoples
- Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases surpass 30,000 with death toll exceeding 1,800
- NGO empowers 23,817 young girls, women in Kaduna
- 5.2-magnitude quake hits Edinburgh of Seven Seas, Saint Helena — USGS
- COVID-19 : Expert warns against overdose of vitamin C
- COVID 19: Umahi threatens shutdown of Ebonyi international market over precautionary measures non-compliance
- Philippines reports 714 new COVID-19 cases, total surge to 21,340