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Rains:Farmers urge Kaduna Govt. to provide fertilisers, pesticides, others



Some farmers in Kaduna have called on the state government to provide enough fertilisers and other modern farming tools early for farmers across the state.

The farmers who made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) said that the first rain in the state symbolised the end of dry season and beginning of rainy season.

Aliyu Hussaini, a farmer, described the rain as God’s miracle, adding that it was a sign for farmers to start preparing their lands for planting.

“As a farmer, this is a sign that the rainy season is approaching, more rain will fall subsequently; we call on the government to provide fertiliser, good seeds and pesticides for us the small scale farmers,” he pleaded.

Another farmer, Nasir Aliyu, said that he normally planted vegetables and maize along River Kaduna and was motivated by the rainfall to visit his farm and commence preparation for farming.

Aliyu called on other farmers to get ready as the next rain was not far from now.

He urged the re -elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari to do more on empowering small scale farmers with fertilisers and other farming equipment so as to start 2019 farming early.

Usman Ali, a 21-year-old farmer, said that government should empower youths like him with land and farming tools to achieve food security in the country.

Abdullahi Halilu, another farmer, decried the insecurity facing farmers in Kaduna, urging government to do more in terms of security for farmers.

“Some farmers are scared to go to their farmlands, which are normally outside town due to fear of  killers and kidnappers; we hope that the government will do more by providing security for the farmers,” he said. (NNN)

Edited by Bola Akingbehin/Maureen Atuonwu



COVID -19: Gov.’s wife trains 60 women on face masks, hand sanitisers production in Zamfara



Wife of Zamfara Governor,  Hajiya Aisha Bello-Matawalle has trained 60 women in production  of face masks and hand sanitisers, as part efforts to control  spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Speaking while flagging off the training in Gusau on Thursday, the governor’s wife’s  said: “This is another good response to the COVID -19 prevention plans for people of the state under Gov.  Bello Matawalle’s administration

“Few weeks ago, my office made relentless efforts to cushion the effect of the lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic among our women and vulnerable groups across the state.

“We provided palliatives and preventive materials including hand sanitisers, face masks, hand gloves, soaps, sensitisation flyers, clothing materials and foodstuffs.

“Our support to women in the state will still continue in the wake of the pandemic.

 “We deemed it imperative to mobilise local tailors from grassroots to produce home made PPEs.

“It is my honour today to launch the Mask-up Zamfara initiative programme sponsored under my office, which is a hand sanitisers and face masks production training programme for women in response to  COVID 19 prevention in the state.”

According to her, the training program which is targeting 20 women in each of the three senatorial zones, will be scaled up to all the fourteen Local Government Areas of the state.

“The training is aimed at capacity building for women and also to equip them to produce massive numbers of face masks and hand sanitisers as well as impacting the knowledge to other women.

 “Though Zamfara has been declared COVID-19 free, but the dust is yet to settle across the country.

“I hope that this initiative will bring positive impact on  the lives of women and children in the state,” she said.

She noted that the effort would make face masks and hand sanitisers more accessible to people at the grassroots level as part of government’s efforts of protecting people from infectious diseases.

“I want to use this medium to express my gratitude to my husband,  for his incessant support and advise to this laudable initiative, which amongst others has led to many tremendous successes.

I pray for Allah’s guidance and support for  his leadership to move the state to greater level,” she said.

The  governor’s wife urged women in the state to continue to take steps to protect themselves and their children against COVID-19 and other diseases.

She also appealed to people of the state to continue with prayers to Allah to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Heavy rains, floods leave 10 killed in southeastern Yemen: official




At least 10 people were killed and several others injured during heavy seasonal rains and floods that hit Yemen’s southeastern province during the past 24 hours, a government official told Xinhua on Thursday.

According to the local government official who preferred to remain anonymous, “the heavy seasonal rain began late Wednesday and caused flash floodings that killed at least seven people in Hadramout and three others in the neighboring province of Shabwa.”

“Dozens of houses and civilian vehicles were flooded and livestock were washed away during the heavy seasonal rains continued throughout Thursday morning,” the source said.

He pointed out that “military helicopters of the government forces intervened to rescue several families trapped in their villages by the flooding.”

Yemen’s National Meteorological Center issued a statement on Wednesday expecting the continuation of heavy seasonal rains and thunderstorms during the upcoming hours and warned citizens to stay away from flood ducts.

The center also asked the Yemeni citizens living in mud houses in Hadramout to take necessary precautions in order to ensure their safety.


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NEWMAP warns Calabar residents against dumping of refuse in drains



The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) has warned Calabar residents against dumping of refuse in drains to avoid flooding and erosion in the state.

Dr Fidelis Anukwa, the state coordinator of NEWMAP, stated this on Thursday while inspecting ongoing desilting of gutters in Calabar Municipal and Calabar South Local Government Areas.

Anukwa said that the project is funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Cross River State government, under the NEWMAP project.

“We are approaching the rainy season; the essence of desilting is to open up the drains for the water to flow freely to the right channels.

“What they are doing here is that after the desilting, they will evacuate the silt to the dump site.

NEWMAP is environmental security and stability, our focus is to keep the gutters free to serve the purpose for which they were created,” he said.

Anukwa advised residents in the state to keep their immediate environment clean and to always dump their waste at the designated waste bins.

Also Speaking, Dr Inyang Asibong, the State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, said the collaboration with the NEWMAP was the best way to prevent flooding and erosion.

Asibong, who is the Chairman of the NEWMAP Project Steering Committee, said desilting was the primary way of preventing flooding and erosion.

According to her, if the gutters are not desilted ahead of the rainy season, some areas within Calabar metropolis will continue to witness massive flooding.

“The desilting is in two ways; apart from delisting the gutters, we are also ensuring that the by-products are evacuated to the dump site to completely allow running water to flow freely into the channels.

“This project is going on simultaneously in all communities within Calabar metropolis because we have many areas in Calabar that are prone to flooding,” she said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Rainy season: NSCDC warns Jigawa residents against dumping of refuse in drains



The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) , Jigawa Command, has warned residents of the state against dumping refuse in drains as the rainy season approaches.

The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Alhaji Garba Muhammad, gave the warning in a statement signed by the command’s spokesperson, Adamu Shehu, in Dutse on Thursday.

Mohammad said the warning was imperative in order to avoid flooding as the rainy season was approaching.

“With the approaching of the rainy season and the occasional rainstorm being experienced along with it over the weeks.

“Causing destructions of buildings, trees and electrical installations in many places especially within the state capital, it has shown that torrential downpour may be experienced in due course.

“As such, it has become imperative to caution the general public against blocking the drains with refuse.

“The command, therefore, warns the public against blocking drains with garbage and sand to avert flooding, which could lead to destruction of property and sometimes, lives.

“It is on this note that the the command wishes to draw the attention of members of the general public to inculcate the habit of community service in the evacuation of the already blocked drains to give way to free flow of rainwater,” the commandant said.

He advised the residents not to solely rely on the government to maintain and protect the environment from flooding.

According to him, the government has played its part by providing the drains.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Lagos govt trains 2,200 vulnerable females 



The Lagos State Government said it had trained 2,200 vulnerable women and young females to be financially independent and self-reliant in past one year.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Cecilia Dada, made this known on Tuesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the first year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Dada said that the series of programmes were to improve status of women and make them economically independent.

Short-term Vocational Skills Acquisition Training Programmes were organised to tackle unemployment situation of women and young female adults and widows, indigent/vulnerable women.

”The programmes were to tackle unemployment situation of women living with health challenges and disabilities.

“Others were civil servants exiting from active service and women drawn from faith-based organisations and other categories of women in the Lagos State.

”This was done with the assurance that the skills acquired to create income-generating ventures for beneficiaries,” Dada said.

The commissioner said that the training programmes, which spanned for four weeks, included areas as hair braiding/weaving, tie and die, event decoration, cakes and snacks production, soap and pomade making.

She said that at the end of each training programme, which held in Victoria Island, Ebute Metta, Ojo, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Badagry, participants received start-off packs to help kick-start their businesses.

Dada said that in a bid to sustain the general wellbeing of the female gender in the state, the ministry organised medical screening for 500 women and young adults.

According to her, the medical screening are on cervical screening, breast screening, sugar level examination, eye tests and provision of eye glasses, where necessary.

She said that the screening was carried out to ascertain their health status and checkmate bigger challenges that might arise in the future.

The commissioner also said that in a bid to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry produced and distributed 450,000 facemasks and 30,000 hand sanitisers to residents of the state.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Passenger trains resume service in BiH




Passenger trains are running again in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), railway companies from BiH’s two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the Republika Srpska (RS), announced on Monday.

The public passenger traffic has been suspended in FBiH on March 19 and in RS on March 22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Until further notice, the passenger trains in both entities will run on reduced and altered schedule published by the RS Railways and the Railways of the FBiH.

Railway staff and the passengers are obliged to follow all precaution measures currently in force, such are wearing protective mask, following recommendations regarding social distancing and disinfection measures.

Over the past two weeks, BiH has gradually mitigated the protective measures related to the pandemic as the epidemiological situation was slowly stabilizing. So far, the country reported 2,524 COVID-19 cases and 154 deaths.


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Career: Unilorin trains children on anchoring radio talk show



The University of Ilorin management says its radio, 89.3FM has trained some Primary school pupils on methods of anchoring special live broadcasts on the radio.

According to the University of Ilorin Bulletin issued on Monday, the training is part of its sustained effort to promote the community service mandate of the University to its environment.

The publication stated that the children were drawn from various schools within the Tanke Community of Ilorin, the University’s immediate host community.

It stated that the pupils were trained and made to handle most of the routine programmes of the radio station for the day.

“Among the scheduled programmes handled by the pupils were the station’s daily newspaper review programme tagged “Top Highlight”, the various day’s news bulletins in English.

Also ‘Wednesday Give-away on Radio’ an audience phone-in programme in which callers win various gift items; as well as Children’s Variety, a discussion programme in which children-related issues were discussed”.

The publication said that at the end of the programmes, the children expressed satisfaction and happiness for having the opportunity to broadcast live on radio.

“They said that the opportunity has ignited the urge in some of them to pursue a career in the journalism profession, especially the broadcast aspect.

“Speaking on behalf of others, Samuel Jato of St. Joseph College, Ilorin, appreciated the management of Unilorin FM for the opportunity given to them to have first time and professional experience in broadcasting.

“Jato stated that his love for radio has increased while his inquisitiveness to know what is talking on radio means has also been satisfied,” it said.

The publication added that other children who also participated in the special Children’s Day broadcast were Olatundun Olawuyi from Hillspring Montessori School, Tanke; and Adekunle Quadri from C & S College, Sabo Oke, Ilorin.

“Addressing the children after their radio programmes, the Director of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Mr. Kunle Akogun, stated that the management of the radio station designed the special Children’s Day programme as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities obligation to the University’s immediate host community.

“He added that this is to identify with the children who are the leaders of tomorrow.

“Akogun pointed out that the programme is also a means of identifying the talents of the kid-participants toward assisting them to make a viable career choice early in life,” it said.

Akogun also advised the children to face their studies squarely and plan adequately for their future.

“He also advised them to set realistic goals for themselves, a situation which he said will make them focus more on result oriented programmes on radio and television rather than just watching movies and listening to frivolous programmes.

“Also speaking, the Ag. Station Manager of Unilorin FM, Mr. Idris Alooma, appreciated the Director of Corporate Affairs, for his prompt approval of the special Children’s Day programme on the radio station when it was proposed to him.

“Alooma, however, advised primary and secondary schools in Kwara to establish press clubs in their various schools, which he said will enhance the student’s learning process and bring the positive aspect of the society closer to them in their various schools”.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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FG begins 2020 systematic maintenance of all Lagos bridges, drains evacuation



The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola, on Sunday said the  government had begun a “systematic maintenance of all bridges in Lagos’’ to ensure smooth rides and safety.

Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone that government had a schedule to fix all bridges in Lagos State in batches this year as funds were made available.

“We have plans for maintenance of all bridges in Lagos state this year, our prayer is that the COVID-19 pandemic should come to an end so that we can swing into action.

“There is going to be systematic maintenance, we will change the rubbers of the expansion joints and any one that the metal is bad.

“We are going to replace bearings on expansion joints that are worn out, that is the systematic programme that we have this year.

“We say systematic because we cannot take all the bridges at once; for instance, we are to maintain Third Mainland Bridge, Marine Beach Bridge, Eko Bridge, Ijora 7Up Bridge, so, we are taking them one after another, ’’ he said.

He explained that funding and traffic congestion were some of the reasons why the bridges could not be shut for repairs at the same time.

“We want to schedule the maintenance,’’ he said.

He explained that contracts for repairs of the Third Mainland, Ijora 7Up and Marine Beach Bridges had been awarded while that of Eko Bridge was undergoing procurement for award.

Speaking on the Marine Beach Bridge in Apapa which was supposed to be closed for repairs, Popoola said that the closure for rehabilitation was still being delayed because of rainfall.

He explained that the rains was slowing down ongoing patching of all adjoining roads to the bridge to avert gridlock, adding that, repair works were being washed off by flood.

“We will complete the repairs  and close the bridge anytime this week to begin work on it, I cannot tell you if it is Monday or Tuesday but I am sure it will be this week.

“We have to ensure the adjoining roads are in good condition to take traffic before we close any part of the bridge,’’ he said.

Popoola explained that drains on highways and bridges were also being cleaned to avert flooding.

“The cleaning of weep holes on Long Bridge (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway) is ongoing. Desilting of weep holes is a regular thing, that is, we open them up and clean if not, they will have all been silted up by now, silted up means that they will have been blocked by sand.

“We are also removing garbage from  manholes so that all our drainages will function very well.

“We are currently cleaning manholes on Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road, Globatek (contractor) is working on it  to address major problems of flooding on that road,’’ he said.

The controller appealed to Lagos residents to stop indiscriminate disposal of refuse in drains and open manholes to avert flooding.

“Lagosians should please stop dropping garbage inside the manholes. When you go there you will see used tyres, planks and all manners of rubbish. It will be difficult for flood waters to pass through to go into the canals.

“Manhole is not meant to collect garbage, people should not drop refuse in gutters and all drainage paths to allow free flow of water,’’ he said.

He lamented that vandals were stealing manhole covers but that plans were on to replace the covers with concrete that could not be easily removed.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Nsukka council Chairman warns residents against dumping refuse in drains



Chief Patrick Omeje, the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area in Enugu State, has warned the residents against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drains.

Omeje gave the warning while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Nsukka on Saturday.

He said that it was imperative for the residents to know that the presence of waste in the drains would lead to flooding and erosion in their communities.

“Nsukka residents should have a collective responsibility towards reducing the effect of flood in the area.

“This they must do by ensuring regular clearing of the drains, avoiding dumping of waste in gutters as well stopping erection of illegal structures on water channels.

“We should change the habits that violate our environment as they escalate flooding in our area.

“Together we can protect our environment from flood disaster that will kill our people, destroy property and render many people homeless,” he said.

Omeje assured the residents of his administration’s commitment to constructing more roads with good drainage for free flow of water and to mitigate the effects of flood in the communities.

He said that the council recently began clearing of drains across the university town and other areas, with a view to reducing the effects of flood during this rainy season.

“The council’s environmental team has been creating flood safety awareness from community to community to sensitise the residents on how to be environment-friendly during this rainy season.

“The first priority of my administration is to ensure the protection of lives and property of residents and that’s why the council is always proactive.

“I thank the people of Nsukka LGA for their continued support and cooperation with my administration and I want them to keep it up.

“My promise is that by God’s special grace I will leave Nsukka council better than I met it,” Omeje said

Edited /Ejike Obeta

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