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Gov. El-Rufai seeks broader jurisdiction for states to fight fake news

Jurisdiction

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Jurisdiction

Kaduna, Dec. 14, 2018 (NNN) Gov.  Nasir el-Rufai  of Kaduna State has advocated broader jurisdiction for States legislature and judiciary to legislate and adjudicate on strict laws to tackle the menace of fake news and hate speech.

The governor made the call when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed paid him a courtesy visit on the sideline of the 47th Meeting of the National Council on Information, holding in the state capital.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports, the minister, states Commissioners of Information, Heads of federal information agencies and other stakeholder attended the meeting.

The theme of the meeting is : “Fighting Fake News and Hate Speech to Enhance and National Unity”

The governor who said the theme for the Council meeting was apt added that Kaduna had bore the brunt of hate speech and fake news more than any other state in the federation.

He noted that fake news and hate speech could tear the nation apart and therefore required strict and vigorous law enforcement actions.

el-Rufai, however said that Kaduna like other states was constraint to using the outdated penal code in fighting hate speech and fake news.

Specifically, the governor said the jurisdiction of state high courts should be widened to enable them have Cyber Crime Act that provides framework to pursuing people that use social media to proliferate fake news.

He noted that the states could not effectively prosecute those that are involved in the crime because they are relying on the penal code.

The governor gave the instance of a fake report circulated in the social media by one Aminu Maikori which claimed that five students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, were ambushed and killed by Fulani herdsmen in southern Kaduna.

He said the report which turned out to be false almost triggered reprisal killings, “yet the mastermind of the fake news was still walking the street freely because of absence of firm law.

“Audu Maikori who sat in the comfort of his home in Lagos and posted a story that 5 students of Journalism of College of Education Gidan Waya had been killed which was totally false.

“We are prosecuting Audu Maikori and when he realised that he was misled, he posted a retraction and thought that was all.

“We said No, we are going to have him convicted first. But this was since 2016, we are in 2018 he is still on bail.

“We have fundamental problems. We need to give state governments and state high courts jurisdiction to try these people because the federal government cannot do it alone.

“What we are thinking of doing in Kaduna state is to enact our own legislation to tackle the menace.

“We need a stronger framework that will compel the technologies and processes that are used now more than ever,” he said.

The governor also explained that the recent crisis in Kaduna metropolis and Kasuwan Magani was largely as a result of hate speech.

“Rumours started circulating that the abducted Chief of Agara had been killed and within an hour, 22 people were killed in reprisal attacks.

“The story circulated was that I invited the chief to a meeting and told him that his chiefdom will become an emirate and when he disagreed with me, I said I would deal with him.

“So, when he was abducted on his way back from Kachia it was implied that I had arranged the abduction. This was what started the crises and it is totally false.

“I have never invited any chief to the government house except when they write to me and say they want to meet me for one reason or the other”.

The governor queried: “Why should I have argument with a Chief or abduct him, when in fact, if he flouts the law, I have legitimate and constitutional power to abolish his chiefdom or emirate.

“Unfortunately, that was the fake story that was circulated, it raised tension and till today parts of that chiefdom are still under partial curfew”.

In addition, the governor said the fake news about the cloning of the President was not peculiar to him.

He said someone also went to
his Wikipedia page and changed
his birthplace to Bamako, Mali.

el-Rufai commended the Council for bringing the meeting to Kaduna and charged participants to come up with strong recommendations to tackle the menace.

Earlier, the minister had called on the states to compliment the efforts of the federal government in fighting fake news and hate speech.

He said the fake news phenomenon was increasing because the opposition were using it as campaign tool to discredit the Buhari administration ahead of the 2019 elections. (NNN)

ROT/JPE/MZA

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Maharazu Ahmed

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Agriculture

NDE begins poultry training for 50 youths in Delta

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The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) says it has began practical training of the 50 youth recently inducted into its poultry farm scheme in Delta.

The State Coordinator of the agency, Mr Tony Olu, disclosed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Asaba.

Olu said that the practical was a follow-up of the earlier orientation training given to the trainees by the Director-General of the agency, Dr Nasiru Ladan, in Asaba.

“The practical actually commenced on Nov. 15 and it is expected to run for three months.

“On Thursday, Nov. 21, the trainees will be taken through a process of bird vaccination, water and feeding techniques and how to change wet litters to maintain good hygiene in poultry farm,” he said.

He said the trainees were recruited under the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) of the Rural Employment Promotion (REP) Department of the directorate.

According to Olu, the director general of NDE, represented by the Acting Zonal Director, South-South, Mr Duke Edem, inaugurated the programme earlier in the month, with a charge on beneficiary to take it seriously.

“The DG approved the implementation of the programme for selected states of the federation with 50 persons to be recruited in a state and Delta is one of the benefiting states.

“The programme is designed to give experiential training in crop production and livestock farming to the unemployed, with emphasis on enhancing food production and mass employment.

“The training of which the curriculum is structured to include major areas of modern agricultural production, marketing and agripreneurial training, life skill lecture and business plan, will last for three months,” he said.

The state coordinator said that at the end of the programme, the trainees would be linked with financial institutions and other sources of funds to sustain their businesses.

Edited by Ejike Obeta/Donald Ugwu

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Agriculture

Lion domestication: Police your environment, LG urges residents

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Lion

Lagos, Nov.19 The Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos state, on Tuesday, urged people of the area to police their environment to nip latent dangers in the bud.

Dr Samuel Akingbehin, Head of Department of Environmental Services in the council area, said this while reacting to the evacuation of a lion from a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island.

He told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that rearing wild animal in homes contravened the Wild Animal Laws of Nigeria, 1975.

The environmental officer said that people should be mindful of goings-on in their area, particularly those that could pose threat to their lives and promptly alert authorities to arrest such situations.

“People have to be involved in keeping the environment safe from seen and unforeseen environmental and health-related acts which can disturb their lives and the community.

“We were able to remove the lion from the private home of an Indian who was rearing it because of the alarm raised by the neighbours. Without such an environment policing attitude, the situation would have degenerated into a major crisis.

“It is everyone’s civic obligation to ensure that the environment is protected from hazards, to foster sustainability of life and human habitat,” he said.

According to him, rearing of wildlife in residential area is prohibited in the state, adding “such practice is not only alien to our culture, but can cause injury to both the owner and others, in the case of the animal straying”.

The council official alerted the state government of numerous abandoned and empty properties in the area, all of which, he said, constituted environmental challenges  and threat to life.

He urged the residents of the area to be vigilant over abandoned properties that could provide hideouts for street urchins and other environment non-compliant elements.

NAN reports that a lion, brought from Cameroon two years ago and domesticated by an Indian resident, had, on Monday, been evacuated to Omu Resorts, Bogijie Epe, Lagos, for safe keep.

Officials of the ministry of agriculture, in conjunction with the state environmental task force team, led by Dr Samuel Akingbehin of Iru-VI LCDA, had carried out the evacuation exercise.

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Agriculture

FGN/IFAD VCDP urges Anambra farmers to embrace insurance

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The Federal Government/International Fund for Agriculture Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has advised farmers in Anambra to embrace insurance schemes to mitigate losses during disasters.

Mr Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, the -VCDP Agricultural Production Officer in the state, gave the advice at a sensitisation forum on insurance cover for farmers at Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area near Onitsha on Tuesday.

Chukwukwelu said the programme was currently paying an insurance premium to over 2,000 farmers in the eight participating council areas.

He said the payment include the 750 farmers, who had benefitted from a N9 million fund set aside for the insurance premium.

“We want to further sensitise farmers on insurance because the weather situation cannot be determined any more.

“We want to encourage farmers to always take insurance cover when they plant their crops, rather than waiting until VCDP insures one hectare for them.

“VCDP insurance premium will only cover one hectare of rice farm for those that benefitted from our inputs,’’ he said.

He said the insurance programme was the only successful window through which the Federal Government could assist farmers affected by hazards like flooding, fire and pest.

Mr Andrew Uzoma, the State Manager, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Cooperation, (NAIC) also enlightened the farmers on insurance policies documentation and claims settlement procedure.

Uzoma said NAIC was preparing indemnity owed to farmers with claims in this year’s disaster.

He also said that the corporation had paid more than N132 million indemnity to farmers in Anambra farmers in 2018.

The manager expressed happiness that more communities were keying into the insurance policy.

Mrs Joan Ajie, a rice and cassava farmer from Ochuche community, appealed for early disbursement of farm inputs to enable the farmers harvest before flooding.

Another rice and cassava farmer, Mr Aloysius Nwadeghi from Umunankwo community, commended the VCDP for the sensitisation visit

He said that majority of the farmers were ignorant of the benefits of insuring their farm.

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Dada Ahmed

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Agriculture

UBEC introduces school-to-farm programme in basic schools

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The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) said on Tuesday, it has introduced School-to-farm programme at basic education level to inculcate practical agricultural skills among learners in primary and junior secondary schools.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi made this known at the opening of a three-day workshop on the implementation framework of the programme in Kaduna.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the participants include UBEC officials, directors and desk officers at State Universal Basic Education Boards in charge of schools agriculture programme.

Bobboyi, who was represented by UBEC Director, Administration and Supplies, Rev. Edwin Jarumai, added that the programme would prepare the learners for a life-long learning in line with the commission’s mandate.

He noted that over the years, the teaching of agriculture as a subject was mainly theoretical and less practical, which left most learners ignorant of proper agricultural practices.

“In view of this, UBEC has approved 2.0 per cent of the Universal Basic Education Grant for the school-to-farm programme to make agricultural science more practical and hands-on at basic education level.

“The objective is to provide learners with requisite skills to stimulate self-employment, equip them with functional entrepreneurship and life skills, promote dignity of labour and self-esteem and expose them to biological process of agriculture.”

The executive secretary said that the learners would be exposed to cultivation of farm produce like maize, cassava, yam, guinea corn, and vegetables, as well as livestock like poultry, rabbit, snail and fisheries.

He added that the programme would equally build the capacity of teachers and community members who would be part of the implementation of the programme.

Bobboyi explained that the objective of the workshop was to familiarise the participants with the approved guidelines and build their capacity on the implementation of the programme.

“It is also designed to develop instruments for monitoring, share experience and adopt best practices.

“It is expected that at the end of the workshop, participants will come up with mechanism that will ensure sustainability of the programme in different geographical zones of the country,” he said.

Earlier, the Director Academic Services, UBEC, Malam Wadata Madawaki, said that the programme, if successfully implemented, would boost agricultural production in the country.

Madawaki called on all stakeholders to support the commission in ensuring the success of the programme.

Also, the commission’s Director, Social Mobilisation, Malam Bello Kagara, said that the programme would enable UBEC deliver equitable access to quality and functional education at basic education level.

According to him, the acquisition of practical agricultural skills will add value to the lives of learners and make them self-reliant.

Prof. Sadiq Abubakar of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, commended UBEC for the initiative, which he believed would be “a useful legacy for the coming generation”.

Edited /Maharazu Ahmed

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Agriculture

Association raises alert on antimicrobial resistance to public health, livestock

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Antibiotic

Abuja, Nov. 19, 2019 The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA), on Tuesday, joined the global effort to raise awareness on antimicrobial resistance to public health and livestock.

The NVMA made the call in a statement on Tuesday to mark the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, signed by its publicity secretary, Dr Gloria Daminabo.

The association stressed that though antimicrobial are useful in disease treatment, their misuse leads to failure as microbes develop resistance to these life-saving treatments.

It said these resistant microbes are also transferred to other animals and humans as well.

“Antimicrobial resistance in livestock industry is a threat to public health, livestock productivity, food security and the economy, especially in developing nations such as Nigeria,’’ the association said.

The NVMA said the Nigerian situation arose as a result of poor production practices, poor hygiene, weak policies, under regulation of antimicrobial use in animals and inadequate veterinary and other related manpower.

The statement said that with antimicrobial resistance come attendant losses from increased cost of research in producing more effective antibiotics, when the available ones stop working.

Other losses noted by the NVMA as a result of antimicrobial resistance include;   increased cost of livestock production, as more funds go into treatment and losses from deaths of livestock and people.

It also said the country shall be unable to neither participate, nor benefit fully from international trade in animal products in spite of enormous livestock resources.

On this note, the association also called on stakeholders in the livestock production sector to imbibe good production practices, and seek advice from professionals with the use of antimicrobial.

It urged all regulatory agencies and professionals to be proactive and alert to their responsibilities, and work in synergy to reduce antibiotic misuse in the overall interest of the country.

The association pledged to continue its advocacy and professional role, and  in collaboration with all relevant stake-holders and the public, to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance to the benefit of humanity.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Agriculture

KDSG partners Arla foods, Miyyetti Allah on N15b Damau Milk Farm

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Kaduna State Government on Monday said it would spend N15 billion on the construction of Household milk farms in Damau, Anchau Local Government Area.

Gov. Nasiru el-Rufai, who disclosed at a meeting with members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Kaduna, said the project would be executed in collaboration with Arla foods.

He said that the money would be spent on the programme which will cover 1, 000 herdsmen.

el-Rufai, represented by his Senior Adviser, Jimmi Lawal, said the initiative was to proffer solutions to the multifaceted problems associated with nomadic pastoralists.

He said the goal was to develop a world class grazing reserve to enable government centralise activities of herdsmen in one community.

The governor said the project would reduce importation of milk product, ensure self sufficiency and food security in milk and beef.

“We believe that their lives are important as the rest of us as the life of a commissioner,’’ he said.

He noted that the government is for all and there is the need to empower the people to achieve the best in their endeavours.

el-Rufai said that the programme would stop herdsmen from roaming about, create employment and stop the importation of meat and milk.

“The programme is costing the government N15 billion in the first phase. We had to borrow N10.5bn out of the money from the Central Bank as government guaranteed the repayment of the money.

“It means per person, the government is spending N15 million per herdsman that is going to be settled in that programme

“As part of the N15 million to be spend on each of the herdsmen we will be looking for those who will have their own cattle for the first time.

“Each will have between 12-15 cattle each and will have at least N1.5 million as working capital.

“There will also be a two bedroom farm house at about N2.5 million that each of the herdsmen will own,’’ he said.

He said the farm will also have road network, hospital, electricity supply, market, schools and all other social amenities.

The chairman, MACBAN, Alhaji Haruna Usman assured the association’s commitment for proper utilization of the programme.

He said the gesture was a promise fulfilled by the state government in proving the breeders with modern method of rearing animals.

Usman appreciates the efforts of the state government, adding that the programme should have been by the Federal Government.

On his part, Hafis Bayero, Managing Director, Kaduna Market and Development Company said the programme would aid in settling all herdsmen in one single location to rear their animals.

He said the programme would also allow them to live with their family in a proper modern house and to have access to pasture and water while the partner add value to the milk and sale it

Bayero assured that another component of the project would be the expansion of Ladduga ranch in Kachia Local Government and many other locations.

“We will ensure that pastoral and movement of cows becomes  a thing of the past, we will settle them in one location for the benefit of all.”

Edited by Kabir Muhammad/Maharazu Ahmed

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