A pan-Nigerian group on Thursday announced the unveiling of a new reality show, known as “Naija Unity House’’, to bring young Nigerians together to take charge of their destinies.
The convener of the project, Mr Ebhodaghe Cletus, made the announcement at a news conference in Lagos.
He said the show would bring 37 young Nigerians, drawn from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory together and house them for 60 days for them to interact and collectively plan their destinies together.
Cletus was flanked at the event by members of the body, including Nollywood thespian, Steve Eboh, Mrs Beauty Cletus and the National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima.
He said that the show would be used to show that the amalgamation of Nigeria since 1914 was not a mistake and that the show was needed at the grassroots level to make young Nigerians to see that “they are one after all.’’
Cletus, who is also the President of the Initiative for Fostering Unity in Diversity, Youths and Nation Building, said the show would be declared open formally in February, 2021.
According to him, the show is imperative at a time like now when Nigerians have turned against one another, slaughtering each other and rattling the populace with banditry and deadly insurgencies.
“Nigerians have not really utilised the advantages of the nation’s diversity. Naija Unity House is now here to provide the missing link in our quest to become one united, indivisible nation.
“So we are about to bring 37 Nigerian youths from diverse cultures, creed, tribes and tongues to reside in a unity house for 60 days to learn from one another and build their futures and destinies.
“The rationale for this is to instill values, ethics and culture of tolerance and appreciation in one another regardless of their diversities and to project same to other youths.
According to Cletus, we believe it is critical to explore the subject of unity in diversity in a reality show to reinforce its importance in Nigeria’s corporate existence.
He said that the takeoff theme of the show is: “Together We Shall Stand”, describing the theme as apt because of the disturbing times caused by violent events and intolerance nationwide.
“It is rightly said that our strength is in our diversity. We should not try to alter out differences, rather we should embrace our differences and find expression for them in the transformation process of the country.”
The Company Secretary, Mrs Beauty Cletus, said that the show would go a long way in promoting the spirit of oneness and brotherhood in Nigeria, irrespective of culture, creed and social background.
“Nigeria is a peculiar nation with many ethnic groups, we must focus our perspectives and drop the clamour for division.
“The youths are targeted because they have a huge role to play in fostering unity in diversity and strengthening the ties that bind us as a nation.
“The time has come for the youths to rewrite this narrative and bury all hatchets and bitter-feelings that our parents have nursed for so long.’’
Also speaking, Eboh, the Project Consultant, said that the participants would be made to explore sports, culture and other aspects of human endeavour and determine how Nigeria could be better served.
He said that ideas gathered from each participant would be documented and sent to relevant groups and organisations for adoption.
The Nollywood actor noted that the show would also be competitive and that the best person on the show would be considered for employment with lots of prizes.
“The show will just be like any other one but with difference in orientation and content.
“We will have bankers and other professionals coming to the house to educate and motivate the housemates.
“Auditioning will be done at the grassroots level from different parts of the country,” he said.
Edited By: Silas Nwoha (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)
Group trains agric officers on practices of organic agriculture
The Ibadan GO Organic Multipurpose Cooperative Society, in collaboration with Nigeria Go Organic Project is training agricultural officers, extension officers, producers, among others on the principles and practice and entrepreneurship in organic agriculture.
Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, the Country Coordinator of Ecological Organic Agriculture in Nigeria, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.
AdeOluwa said the training mode consisted of the first phase, July 20 to July 31, a -two week intensive virtual class work with field trip, while the second phase was four months practical work.
He said the training firs phase of the training emphasised on livestock, while the second phase would last for four months, August to November.
According to him, the virtual training is also meant to improve profitable organic agriculture business drive.
“It is also intended to boost production capacity of organic agricultural producers, handlers and middlemen toward domestic and export market,’’ he said.
The training tagged: Training of Trainers(ToT), AdeOluwa said that the goal of the training was to train participants on the principles and practices of organic agriculture in an entrepreneurial way to enable them to train others.
“At the end of the training, participants are expected to have a good understanding of organic agriculture and the concept.
“They should be able to know how to run successful organic agriculture enterprises,’’ he said.
The EOA Coordinator was positive that trainees should be able to provide basic extension assistance to other practitioners within the value chain of organic agriculture.
AdeOluwa said the the training was important due to the increasing global market for economic development.
“The training is due to the misconceptions surrounding organic agriculture, emerging global health challenges, global change issues, and opportunity for diversification of income, among others.”
According to him, knowledge is the fulcrum of sustainable development.
“The exponential development of the global organic agriculture sector is based on adequate knowledge of the organic sector by practitioners.”
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)
Edo 2020: Obaseki assures Akoko Edo traditional rulers of better days ahead
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has assured the people of the state that he will not disappoint them if re-elected, as he has laid the foundation for greater development in the state.
Obaseki made the pledge at the palace of Otaru of Igarra, Oba Emmanuel Saiki, where he solicited the royal father’s blessings and support for his re-election at the Sept. 19 gubernatorial election in the state.
“I am seeking for a re-election because we have started a revolution of development in the last four years to make governance relevant to Edo people.
“We pay civil servants and pensioners on time; we have trained our teachers to be digital and now our children are learning well.
“We have improved on infrastructure in Igarra land and we will do more.
“Agriculture must be improved on and taken seriously as farming should be a priority because money from Abuja has been cut down.
“What you have seen in the last four years is small, compared to the great things that will follow in my second term. We have the experience that they don’t have.
“Our radical reforms have given us a solid foundation to build on. We will tackle security challenges in the state as we will finance the vigilance groups as they are well organised,” he said.
In his remarks, Oba Saiki, prayed God to continue to guide tne governor in all his ways and urged him to continue to advise youths to shun political thuggery.
Contributing, the Chairman of Akoko Edo Traditional Council, Oba Patrick Okara, lauded Obaseki for his prompt response to COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Okara further commended him for the rehabilitation of roads in Akoko-Edo, adding that there were more roads begging for attention across the region.
“We have been feeling the impact of your government, but we want to feel it more. We demand for any institution of higher learning in the oldest local government in Nigeria, Akoko-Edo,’’ he said.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Okowa felicitates with Ibori at 62
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated a former Governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, on the occasion of his 62th birthday day anniversary on Aug. 4.
Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, on Monday in Asaba eulogised Ibori for his path-finding and immense contributions to the development of Delta and outstanding input to nation-building.
While felicitating with his boss, whom he served as two-term commissioner, Okowa said that Ibori’s deep knowledge of politics and his administrative acumen put him ahead of his contemporaries, and stood him out as a worthy and legendary leader of all time.
He commended Ibori for championing and his doggedness in the fight for resource control struggle.
Okowas said that the result of the resource contro struggle was the establishment of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the Federal Government as an interventionist agency for the development of oil producing communities.
“My distinguished leader, I can recall clearly that you and other great leaders fought very hard for the oil -producing states of the Niger Delta to enjoy 13 per cent derivation of the nation’s oil resources.
“As a champion of Resource Control and Fiscal Federalism, you were among the true patriots who struggled for the establishment of a regional interventionist agency to address the issues of development and environmental degradation of the oil-rich Niger Delta, which gave birth to the NDDC.
“As a respected voice in Nigeria’s democratic experience, we were not surprised when your colleagues in the forum of former governors named you as “Patron” of the group in an obvious recognition of your political sagacity and amiable disposition to the unity of the country.
“As the father of modern Delta, let me commend you for the visionary and inclusive leadership that you epitomised in the eight years of laying the foundation of the desired modern Delta laced with building bridges of unity among the diverse ethnic groups in the state.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I rejoice with your family members, friends, political and business associates on this occasion of your 62nd birth anniversary.
“It is my prayer that your best years are yet to come even as God Almighty grants you long life, good health and wisdom to keep navigating Nigeria’s political and business landscapes fruitfully,” Okowa said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)