The Head of Procurement, Lula Rice Mill, in Gombe, Mr Ahmed Bamusa, on Thursday said the Federal Government’s intervention in agriculture had attracted investments in rice production.
Bamusa said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe.
According to him, investors are now interested in investing money in rice production in Gombe State, due to the intervention.
He said that if the efforts were sustained, Nigeria could become the biggest exporter of rice in Africa in the near future, while boosting food security.
“We started in 2019, and today we are already working towards expanding our production because of the demands.
”We take demands from Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Ogun and other parts of the country.
“Go round, you will see that many people are now investing in one form of rice value chain or the other.
”This is how our economy will be diversified, and agriculture holds the key,” he said.
Bamusa said that people were coming into rice farming, processing and marketing, which meant more jobs for the youth.
He said the private rice milling company had employed over 91 youths so far and would soon employ more.
Bamusa said that the border closure by government was a turning point for rice production in the country.
According to him, rice was being smuggled into the country before, with the economy is hurting, but today it is different.
Bumusa said the Federal Government should strengthen its intervention in rice production by aggressive sensitisation of farmers in rural communities to adopt modern seedlings to improve quality of paddy.
“We must support local farmers to embrace modern farming practices; this is the only way to get the best from agriculture.
”In 2019, Lula Rice chairman, Alhaji Farouk Bamusa, sold improved and disease-resistant seedlings to farmers.
“He bought improved rice seedling at the rate of N10, 000 per bag and sold them at subsidised rate of N4, 000 per bag, and after harvest, we bought the produce and they were happy,”, he said.
Bumusa said that the gesture was the company’s effort to encourage local farmers to use improved seedlings that meet best global standards while boosting productivity and enhancing their income.
He advised rice farmers to embrace the use of modern inputs and improved seedlings, as it was easy to market quality paddy than the ordinary ones.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Nigerian youths appreciate FG’s N75bn Investment Fund
Nigerian youths on Monday presented letter of appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari
through the Minister of Youth and sports, Mr Sunday Dare, for the approval of 75 billion investment fund for them.
Mr Sukubo Sara-Igbesukubo, the President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), who presented the letter in Abuja,
thanked the president for the laudable act of establishing the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund with an initial capital of N75 billion.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government in July approved the establishment of N75 billion
Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) for three years, following a memo presented by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development.
The NYIF is to serve as a sort of youth bank that will fund and support the innovative ideas, skills, talents and enterprise of the Nigerian youth.
Sara-Igbesukubo said that the fund was a special window for the Nigerian youths to access financial facilities for their entrepreneurial ideas,
innovations and projects.
He added that “the laudable milestone has shown that the present administration has the interest of Nigerian youths at heart.
“Today, the hope of millions of talented, hardworking and creative young Nigerians is being restored.”
Dare, who was represented by Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary in the youth and sports ministry, said that
the fund would enable the country to go beyond empowerment to investment.
He said that the fund would help to boost youth investment in the country, noting that the ministry would work with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
to evolve modalities that would ensure that the fund was used for the investment it was meant for.
“The youths will be involved in the decision making as they will be in the forefront to achieve the goal of the fund,’’ he said.
Dare said that Nigerian youths did not lack ideas but have not had enough opportunities to utilise the talents.
He said that “we are hoping that with the fund, the youths will put every effort to get it running.”
The minister advised youths to be more involved in social media to be abreast with current developments in the world.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Stakeholders highlight advantages of exclusive breastfeeding
Health experts and other stakeholders on Monday, urged Nigerian mothers to practise a minimum of six months exclusive breastfeeding of infants to enable them to grow into strong and healthy adults.
Alive and Thrive is a global nutrition initiative to save lives, prevent illness and ensure healthy growth and development through improved maternal nutrition, breastfeeding and complementary feeding practice.
He said that there was the need for countries to promote exclusive and optimal breastfeeding as a way of protecting the planet.
“It is a great pleasure for the Gates Foundation, working with the government of Nigeria, to support, protect and promote breastfeeding in Nigeria as part of the commemoration of the WBW.
“Two things are remarkable and noteworthy about this year’s celebration. The first is the theme that is connected to sustainable development.
Ajieroh said that the present rate of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria stood at 29 per cent, and expressed optimism that achieving the target of 50 per cent by 2025 was feasible.
He said that the theme of the 2020 commemoration “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet,’’ was relevant in highlighting those global challenges.
“The theme, “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet’’ is remarkable because it is coming at a time when the world faces two major challenges, climate change and the VOVID-19 pandemic.
“It shows the important role breastfeeding can play in solving these global challenges .
“It is cheering to note that Nigeria has made steady progress in exclusive breastfeeding, having moved from 17 per cent to 29 per cent in the last few years.
“The 50 per cent target for 2025 is achievable,’’ he said.
The Director of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Salma Anas-Kolo, said that women that exclusively breastfed their children were contributing to a healthy environment.
She said that exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first six months played a major role in raising a crop of intelligent youths that would provide purposeful leadership in future.
Anas-Kolo called on all women and men to continue to support and promote exclusive breastfeeding through advocacy and sensitisation.
Dr Uche Ralph-Opara of Alive and Thrive said that the organisation had, in the last few years, supported some states in Nigeria through survey to establish the status of exclusive breastfeeding.
She said that findings showed that many mothers believed that due to hot weather, their infants needed to supplement breast milk with some quantity of water.
“The breast milk contains 80 per cent water, so the infants can get all the water they require at any point in time from breast milk,’’ she said.
The webinar drew participants from the academia, NGOs, government and other stakeholders.
WBW is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanise action on themes related to breastfeeding.
It is celebrated between August 1 and August 7 every year in commemoration of the 1990 Innocent Declaration.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Man bags 1 month imprisonment for impersonation
A Kano Chief Magistrates’ Court on Monday sentenced a 23-year-old man, Musa Zakariya, to one month in Correctional centre for impersonation.
The Trial Judge, Senior Magistrate, Fauziyya Sheshe, sentenced the man after he pleaded guilty to count charge of impersonation.
The Judge sentenced the convict to one month imprisonment with an option of N1,000 fine.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Sgt. Ibrahim Tsanyawa, had earlier told the court that a team of Police Joint Task Force attached to Rogo Local Government Area of the state, arrested the man on July 7, at about 11:30 a.m.
Tsanyawa alleged that the accused person was found in possession of a set of Nigerian Army uniform and some documents.
“The accused person used the documents and paraded himself as a serving military personnel,” he said, adding that the offence contravened section 132 of the Penal Code
In his submission, Zakariya pleaded guilty to the charge and sought for leniency.
Expert cautions couples on effects of overweight, obesity on fertility
Dr Joseph Akinde, the Chairman, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SGON) Lagos Chapter, says obesity and overweight can reduce the chances of conception among couples.
Akinde, who is also the Medical Director of Living Spring Hospital, Ejigbo, a private medical facility, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday.
The fertility expert defined infertility as the inability of cohabiting couples to get pregnant after one year of adequate unprotected sexual intercourse.
He also defined overweight and obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that might impair health.
He said that infectious diseases were the leading causes of infertility in developing countries, saying that obesity and environmental changes, among others, had been recognised as major contributors.
Akinde said that modern day living and various lifestyles today had contributed in no small measure to the accumulation of fat and toxic materials in our bodies.
According to him, such can affect several natural body functions and the ability to reproduce, thereby contributing to various degrees of sperm disorders in men and implantation failures in women.
The expert added that overweight and obese men could experience hormonal changes that could reduce their level of fertility and make them less interested in sex or unable to perform.
He said that obese men were more likely to have challenges getting an erection with low sperm quality than men of healthy and normal weight.
Akinde stated that such factors could reduce the chances of men who were overweight or obese fathering a child.
He said that obesity in women could also affect their chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.
“A good hormonal balance regulates the menstrual cycle. Overweight and obese women have higher levels of a hormone called leptin, which is produced in fatty tissue.
“This can disrupt the hormone balance and lead to reduced fertility.
“Obese women can experience hormonal imbalances, ovulation problems; particularly for obese women having their first baby.
“The risk of pre-eclampsia doubles in overweight women and triples in obese women, as well as the likelihood to have a miscarriage.
“Overweight women also have twice the risk of gestational diabetes and obese women eight times the risk, compared to women of healthy weight,’’ he said.
Akinde added that infants born to obese women were more likely to be very big, in need of neonatal care or born with congenital abnormality.
He advised obese individuals to exercise, eat healthy with supplementation in order to boost the quality and quantity of sperm and eggs needed for optimal fertility.
He said that with technology, most infertility cases could be treated, saying that research had also proven that there were cases of unexplained infertility.
The fertility expert urged obese couples with infertility concerns to seek medical help after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse; eat organic foods and live a healthy lifestyle.
“For both men and women, healthy eating, regular exercise and losing even a few kilos can improve the chances of pregnancy. However, being underweight can also reduce fertility,” Akinde said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)