Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019 Mr Suileman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, says the Federal Government has commissioned no fewer than 700 water projects in Ogun and Kano states in the last two years.
Adamu, who disclosed this at the Nigeria News Agency forum in Abuja on Friday, said the projects were under the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene (PEWASH).
NAN recalls that PEWASH was launched by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in 2016 in a bid to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six and to address the challenges being faced in the water supply, sanitation and hygiene sub-sector.
Cue in audio 1
“I think the people of Ogun and Kano, which are the two pilot states that we started with will tell you because two days ago, I received a nice letter from a community in Ogun state appreciating what we have done.
“Between the two states, we have rehabilitated or commissioned over 700 water schemes in the last two years, so that will tell you something.
“We are also working with Ondo state. Now we have 26 or 27 states that have subscribed to PEWASH. So we are stepping it up.
“We are discussing with the World Bank with additional funding so we will be able to expand to reach other states.
“So, the two pilot states we have done have been very very successful.’’
Adamu said that funding and commitment from state governments were required to sustain the PEWASH programme.
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“There are two key issues that will sustain this programme, one is funding.
“If we can get the required funding in our appropriation at the federal level and the states are ready to provide the matching grants that we said they must provide under the PEWASH we are good to go.
“Secondly, it is for the states to continue to make it a priority that water and sanitation sector is a priority. If they do that then I believe the PEWASH programme will make serious impact eventually.
`We also need the support of development partners up till now we have not received any commitment from them except from the World Bank that is willing to provide about 350 million dollars.
“And after this interview, the new Country Director of World Bank is coming to be visiting and one of the things I will tell him is to step up, we need much more than that.
“We requested for about 700 million dollars targeted at rural communities. This has been the efforts the Federal Government has been making but it does not supplant the responsibilities of the states.
“They should be doing their own beat and that is what we hope they will continue to do.’’
Edited by Grace Yussuf
Food sufficiency: Osun commissioner inaugurates ‘Wave City’ project
Osun Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adewole Adedayo, on Tuesday inaugurated an agricultural project, ‘Wave City,’ sited by FarmKonnect Agribusiness Nigeria Ltd at Wasimi to promote food sufficiency.
Speaking at the inauguration, Adedayo, who described the project as the first of its kind in the state and the South-West region, said it was aimed at promoting food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.
According to him, every responsible government must create an enabling environment for farmers.
“Today, I believe FarmKonnect is now realising a dream that started in 2017. Today, having FarmKonnect in Osun State is another dream.
“Today, having these facilities on ground to develop agriculture in the south-west is a dream realised. So FarmKonnect has realised a dream.
“Like I keep saying, agriculture has the highest potentials to create jobs, both for skilled and unskilled labour. So, I will like to thank FarmKonnect for bringing this project to Osun State,” he said.
According to the commissioner, agriculture is top on the agenda of the state government.
The commissioner, who highlighted the various initiatives of the government to support agricultural development, pledged the administration’s readiness to welcome investors like FarmKonnect to the state.
“We are looking for investors like this, people who will empower our youths and also create jobs for farmers,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FarmKonnect was founded by Lt.-Col. Oluwole Azeez who voluntarily resigned from the Nigerian Army to invest in agriculture real estate business.
Azeez said that his organisation’s mission was to take agriculture beyond just planting crops and making money to a business which promotes food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.
“In FarmKonnect, we run a model we call agricultural real estate and we are the first to do that. This allows multiple people to own a portion of the farm and they don’t necessarily have to step on the farm.
“All they just need to do is engage their money and we take all the performances around. The greenhouses you are seeing here are specifically designed for the tropics.
“The vision is to build one million square metres of greenhouses, a controlled farming environment technology using greenhouses and net houses to produce fruits and leafy vegetables from tomatoes to pepper.
“This is the first of its kind in Nigeria. This is specifically designed for minimal electricity as well as to expand our yield,” he said.
Azeez said he was grateful to the Osun government for its tremendous support to the project and assured it of greater benefits in terms of food sufficiency and job creation.
Also speaking, Dr Bosade Ogunlana, the Founder of Entrepreneurship Initiative, commended FarmKonnect for the project, saying it would help in empowering the youths.
According to her, Africa has more youths to engage in land cultivation in order to boost food sufficiency and security.
“Africa is the biggest gun of the world because over 60 per cent of arable land in the entire world resides in Africa. I know with something like this happening here today, there is hope for Nigeria.
“It can help us to engage the youths. It can help us to ensure there is no scarcity of food,” she said.
Ogunlana thanked the Osun government for its support to FarmKonnect, urging it to ensure adequate security for the project.
The event was also attended by Mr Yemi Lawal, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Osun, as well as representatives of the various partners of FarmKonnect.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Limit your speed on highways to avoid crashes, FRSC urges motorists
The Ogun Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has warned motorists to limit their speed while on the highways in order to avoid unnecessary road traffic crashes.
NAN reports that Umar was reacting to the accident that occurred on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, leading to the death of three persons, with seven others injured.
Umar said that the accident could have been averted, if the commercial bus had adhered strictly to the speed limit.
“The FRSC wants to appeal to motorists to install speed limit devices in their vehicles to regulate and prevent tragedy, when accidents occur,” he said.
The sector commander enjoined motorists to refrain from putting used tyres on their vehicles so as to avoid unnecessary mishaps on the road.
Umar, however, condoled with the families of the accident victims and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the losses.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
30 stranded Nigerians in Lebanon rescued, among 150 awaiting evacuation – NIDCOM
Thirty Nigerians, who were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon have been rescued, and are among a total of 150 victims awaiting evacuation to Nigeria.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) made this known in a statement by Gabriel Odu of its Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit on
The commission said the rescue came after a video footage of the stranded Nigerians making an appeal to the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid viral on the Internet.
According to it, the appeal for help by the stranded Nigerians led to their rescue by officials of the country’s mission in Lebanon.
The stranded Nigerians have already been relocated to a more conducive apartment.
“They will be part of 150 others to be evacuated to Nigeria after they were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon.
“The Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Houssam Diab disclosed the evacuation plans when the Management of NIDCOM, led by the Secretary, Dr Sule Bassi, visited that country’s mission in Abuja,” Odu said in the statement.
He quoted Diab as saying that the 150 girls would be returned home in batches with the first group of 110 people leaving Beirut for Lagos on Aug. 12.
The second batch sws expected to arrive Abuja on Aug. 16.
“The diplomat commended efforts of the Lebanese Community and the Oyo State Government who is sponsoring the return of 55 of the girls,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the NIDCOM Chairman/CEO, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Secretary of the commission, who acknowledged the excellent ties between Nigeria and Lebanon, urged both countries to sustain the cordial relationship.
Bassi also lauded the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Amb. Goni Madu Zanna Bura for his dedication and commitment.
He also commended the staff of the Nigerian mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oyo and Ogun state governments and other strategic partners for their efforts.
“As part of the Nigerian Embassy’s Consular responsibility, the ladies in the said video that went viral and many other distressed Nigerian domestic workers were located and relocated to a safer place.
“Suffice it to say that 150 of these stranded victims are expected to be evacuated next week and handed over to NAPTIP, the agency responsible for (dealing with human) trafficking.
“A break down of the evacuees shows that Oyo State had 41, Ogun 21, Lagos 12, Ondo 18, Osun 26, and Imo 3.
Others are Kwara– 9, Enugu — 1, Ekiti — 6, Kogi — 1, Edo — 1, Delta — 3, Ebonyi — 1, Benue — 1, Abia — 1, Akwa Ibom — 1, and Anambra — 1,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Ogun schools comply with COVID-19 protocols as students resume
Private and public secondary schools in Ogun on Tuesday reopened for students in the exit class in compliance with the directive of the state government.
Various schools in the state had resorted to online method of teaching to ensure that their students continued to learn.
Gov. Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday, however, directed that schools be opened for students in SS3 to enable them write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) scheduled to commence on Aug. 17.
NAN correspondents, who visited some schools in Abeokuta metropolis, observed that they all had hand washing buckets and sanitisers at their entrances, corridors and other strategic points in the premises.
Health officials were also on ground at the gates of the schools to take the temperature of students, teachers and visitors before allowing them into the premises.
The students, who wore face masks, also maintained social distancing in sitting arrangement.
“Out of a total number of 148 students in our SS3 classes, no fewer than 97 of them representing about 90 per cent, resumed for classes today,” he said.
He gave an assurance that adequate safety measures had been provided for the students within the school premises.
” We have extended the classes by making use of the ones in the Junior Secondary School and this has enabled us to limit the number of students in each class to 15 to enable us observe social distancing of at least two metres.
“In the event that the temperature of any of the students rises above the normal, such student would be taken to the sick bay.
” If we notice any COVID-19 symptom , such students will be referred to our isolation centre before the parents and officials of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control are contacted for proper verification,” he said.
The Principal of African Church Grammar School, Mr Adetunji Elegbede, in an interview with NAN at the school said the teachers and other staff members had undergone physical and online training by the government on COVID-19 ahead of resumption.
Elegbede told NAN that in compliance with the the government directive, the school did not insist on the provision of COVID-19 negative test certificate before admitting boarding students into the hostels.
He, however, gave an assurance that adequate arrangements were in place to monitor both the day and the boarding students to ensure that they complied with the COVID -19 protocols.
The principal explained that the task of monitoring the students in the hostels would be much easier since it was only SS3 students that were around.
Elegbede, who could not give the specific number of students who resumed on Tuesday, said ” about 80 per cent of the 481 students in our SS3 classes resumed today.”
The Proprietor of Paragon Secondary School at the Oke-Aregba area, Mr Lawrence Holumide, told NAN at the school that the school had arranged regular health talks for the students in addition to other safety measures that were put in place.
Holumide, who is the National President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools(NAPPS), added that the school had reduced the number of students in each of the rooms in its hostels from eight to four in observance of social distancing.
He commended Abiodun for cancelling the order on the provision of COVID-19 negative test certificate as a mandatory requirement for admitting boarding students into the hostels.
“Boarding students in the private schools had earlier been asked to pay N25,000 for the test and we considered such amount too high.
” We, however, thank the governor for reversing such directive to enable all the students to resume,” he said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)