The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has commended the Federal Government over its ongoing closure of the country’s land borders.
Ibrahim made the commendation on the sidelines of his visit to inspect facilities at the General Yakubu Gowon NYSC Orientation Camp, Dutse, on Saturday.
He was represented by the Director, Human Resources Management (HRM), NYSC National Headquarters, Abuja, Mr Abdulrazak Salawu.
“The closure of our land borders is a welcome development toward our economic development.
“It is unfortunate that most of the goods manufactured in foreign countries that are being imported into Nigeria through these outlets are not better than our goods.
“If you take advantage of this closure to do something through the Skills Acquisition Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), there is market for your goods and services.
“I, therefore, charge you to rededicate yourselves to learn something that will make you to become self reliant after your one-year mandatory national service because there are no more white-collar jobs,” he said.
The director-general also urged the corps members to take advantage of the border closure to learn something through SAED that would sustain them after service.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the NYSC, Hajiya Binta Muazu, also visited the camp on a familiarisation and inspection tour of facilities at the camp.
Muazu, who led other members of the council, expressed satisfaction with the facilities and the general sanitation at the camp.
She described the Dutse NYSC camp as one of the three best orientation camps in the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Coordinator of NYSC, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad, thanked the chairman of the governing council and her team as well as the NYSC boss for their visit to inspect facilities at the camp. .
Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf
We’re working to ensure Nigerians have access to COVID-19 vaccines when available – NCDC
Ihekweazu said that the centre was working with the global community to ensure this access.
He informed that data on research and development of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the global scientific community showed that results on a possible vaccine were expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The DG, while noting that a vaccine was the best weapon in taming the virus, however, stressed that equitable access was key.
He added that the health agency was working together with other colleagues around the continent, through the Africa CDC, to start advocating for some of the trials to be done with African institutions in the short term.
“To do this, we have to build capacity, gather sufficient data and include African institutions in these efforts.
“We have to start preparing Nigerian population for vaccine delivery when it becomes available.
“Access is a very key issue when it comes to vaccines; that a vaccine is developed do not necessarily translate to being available to those that need it the most.
“So, through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with GAVI to ensure that vaccines are available to countries regardless of their ability to pay.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that GAVI is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
He also said that it was important to involve the private sector and academia in vaccination manufacturing.
Ihekweazu hinted that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) would lead the distribution and planning.
The DG pointed out that campaign to enlighten Nigerians on the benefit of the vaccine was important.
This, according to him, is because a small part of the population resisted vaccines for different reasons.
“So, the time to start the risk communication about the benefits of the vaccine is now.
“As soon as a vaccine becomes available, it’s our collective responsibility to prepare Nigerians for the implementation of the vaccination campaign for whatever form they take.
“So, it’s important that we start thinking about this,’’ the DG said.
Ihekweazu stressed that a vaccine was the biggest weapon to get the virus under control and by far the most important medical tool known in history.
“Vaccine development normally takes 10-20 years, but we’ve made incredible development in the last six months,’’ he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
AFAN, OFAB, NABDA advocate use of biotechnology to scale up food production
Following the impact of COVID-19 and banditry activities in the country, some stakeholders in the agriculture sector and scientists have advocated the use of biotechnology to be deployed to scale up food production in the country.
Some of the stakeholders made it known during a webinar session tagged: “Media Summit on Status of Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Nigeria”, in a statement by the organisers – National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Kabir Ibrahim said it was imperative to explore the option of the use of innovation to upscale food production to bring about food sufficiency to avert hunger due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, emphasised on the need to sensitise smallholder farmers to embrace technological advancement to avert hunger caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying to achieve food security modern technologies such as biotechnology must be used.
“Already, a lot of work has been going on to commercialise cowpea, maize, cassava, rice, sorghum as well as cotton and the farmers are seeing good results so it is, therefore, easy to get them to embrace biotechnology,” he said.
She said that this move was crucial and necessary for the acceptance and adoption of innovative technology.
Gidado said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of zero hunger by 2030 was fundamental for national development and well being of Nigeria, adding that the facilitation of adequate understanding of the several ways Nigeria to achieve the goal “is very fundamental”.
She said that with the current population of over 200 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria is faced with the risk of the decreased farming population due to age, decreased arable land, poverty, malnutrition and hunger.
She said that agricultural biotechnology was the solution to Nigeria’s food security. She also said the conventional method of agriculture could no longer meet up with the country’s demand.
“With the current state of agriculture in Nigeria, it has become paramount to also adopt this technology to improve our productivity and revive our industries.”
“The time is now, let us sensitise people on the potential of this innovation to aid decision making and adoption in Nigeria.”
The Acting Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa harped on the importance of biotechnology application for the benefits of man, especially in the areas of health, agriculture and environment.
“Biotechnology has other applications; in agriculture, it is massive and that is where most post–COVID-19 is coming, you find out that here in NABDA, using Biotechnology we have started impacting massively in the area of agriculture.
“For instance, in our yam multiplication programme, last year, we were able to produce one million yam seedlings and this year, we are targeting five million yam seedlings, all these things are feasible because of biotechnology,” he said.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria – NCDC Coronavirus Records
COVID-19: FCT leads with 130 cases, as Nigeria records 386 new infections
August 2, 2020 6:14 am By Abujah Racheal
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) led the pack on Saturday with 130 Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as the country recorded 386 new infection in the country.
Data from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC ) showed that the cases were spread across 18 states and the FCT.
The NCDC said that FCT topped the list for the of states with higher daily cases of COVID-19 for the third time consecutively with 130, while Lagos, the epicentre of the virus, reported 65.
Other states with new cases were Ondo, 37, Osun, 29, Plateau, 23, Rivers, 15, Enugu, 14, Nasarawa, 12, Bayelsa, 11, Ebonyi, 11, Ekiti, 9, Oyo 8, Edo, 8, Abia, 6, Ogun, 3, Katsina, 3, Imo 1 and Adamawa 1.
The health agency said that Nigeria had now successfully treated 20,087 COVID-19 cases following the discharge of 522 additional patients in the last 24 hours.
The health agency noted that four more persons have died from the disease.
According to the NCDC, till date, a total of 43,537 cases of the virus have been confirmed, 20,087 cases discharged and 883 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 would continue to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria conducted 145,454 tests in July and recorded 17,457 positive cases during the same period.
It said compared to June, the figures represented 95 per cent increase in testing numbers and 12 per cent increase in positive cases.
”It is good news that Nigeria significantly stepped up testing in July. The 95 per cent increase in testing in July compared to June only resulted in 12 per cent increase in positive cases.
”June, 74,580 tests, 15,532 positive cases. July, 145,454 tests, 17,457 positive cases. July also recorded one of the lowest monthly test positivity to date.
”July test positivity is 12 per cent . June test positivity is 21 per cent. May test positivity is 17 per cent. July also records 51 per cent of cumulative test in the country,” it said.
The Agency said that states that had made this possible by their daily increase in testing were, Kano, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos, FCT and Rivers States in July. (NAN)
NEMA distributes relief materials to victims of bandits attack in Katsina communities
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed relief materials to five communities that were recently attacked by bandits in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The Director-General of the Agency, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (Rtd), presented the items to the victims in Batsari on Friday.
Muhammed said that Garin Zaki, Yar Jiba, Salihawar Dakamna, Kukar Samu and Kurmiyal communities were attacked on Wednesday by bandits.
He explained that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Agency to distribute 1000 bags of 12.5 kg of rice, 1000 bags of 25 kg beans, 1000 bags of 12.5 kg maize and 50 cartons of Milo.
Others include 50 cartons of powdered milk and 50 bags of 50 kg sugar to the victims to cushion the effect of the attack.
According to Muhammed, other items include 167 cartons of seasoning, 83 cartons of tin tomatoes, 2, 000 pieces of blankets, 2, 000 pieces of nylon mats and 2, 000 pieces of foam mattresses.
Also 100 jerrycans of 20 litres of vegetable oil, 3,500 pieces of women clothing and 2,500 pieces of children clothing, among others.
The DG said that the federal government noted with sadness that the incidence occurred few days to the Eid-el-Kabir celebration when the people were already in festive mood.
“Preliminary report on the sad incidence indicated that many of the affected persons have lost their belongings, including household items, food and livestock”
“It is on this note that President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, to intimate the Agency to provide succor to the people of the five communities,” Muhammed said. NAN
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)