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SAHCO targets expansion of operations to W/African sub-region in 2019

By Solomon Asowata
Lagos, Dec. 28, 2018 (NNN) The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO), is planning to expand its ground handling services to other countries in the West African sub-region in 2019.



By Solomon Asowata
Lagos, Dec. 28, 2018 (NNN) The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO), is planning to expand its ground handling services to other countries in the West African sub-region in 2019.

The Managing Director of SAHCO, Mr Basil Agboarumi, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Lagos on Sunday.

Agboarumi said the company was mapping out strategies toward achieving its vision to become the leading provider of passenger, ramp and cargo handling services in West Africa.

“We are business people and every business person has a mindset to grow and I can assure you that we are looking at some of those areas that we can expand to.

“In doing that, we are going to look at our vision statement to be the leading provider of ground handling services in the West African sub-region.

“West Africa is in our radar and we are looking at it and I can tell you that with God helping us, as we go into the new year, those are some of the drives we are actually looking at,’’ he said.

The managing director noted that SAHCO had grown as a company since its privatisation in 2009 when it was handed over to the SIFAX Group.

Agboarumi said: “As at 2009, we had less than 20 per cent of the market share but today we have far exceeded 40 per cent of the market share.

“SAHCO was worth N5. 25 billion when it was acquired in 2009. The company has grown under the leadership of our Chairman, Dr Taiwo Afolabi and is now worth about N16 billion.

“The government sees this place (SAHCO) as a test case for the story of privatisation in the world and we sat down with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

“SAHCO is a testament that privatisation can work in Nigeria. Recently, BPE officials came here and they were very impressed with what the company has become.

“Since the privatisation, all major airlines that have come into Nigeria chose to do business with us.

“Some airlines have left our competitors to come to us because they recognise our ability to deliver safe, speedy and excellent services.”

He noted that the ongoing sale of SAHCO’s 406,074,000 shares was based on the terms of the executed Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA) in respect of the privatisation which mandated its shareholders to divest 49 per cent equity stake in the company to the Public.

According to him, the agreement also says SAHCOL must go to the stock market after a period of time.

Agboarumi, therefore, urged Nigerians and SAHCO’s clients to invest in the company by buying its ongoing shares in the market.

He said: “Why do you need to buy SAHCO’s shares? You need to buy our shares because since 2009 till date, most of the airlines operating in the country want to do business with us.

“The shares we are selling will serve as a form of robust to the company. We have been very consistent with service delivery and performance.’’

The managing director sad that he had received from abroad several telephone calls from intending subscribers of the Initial Public Offering (IPO), making
enquiries on what they could do.

Agboarumi noted that he could not give a verdict on the IPO yet; saying that at the end of the offer, there would be collation to know the extent of subscription.

According to him, federal character is also guiding the IPO to ensure that a local government does not get more than the other.

“The only assurance we can give you is that we will continue to discharge our jobs professionally and work assiduously to improve on the existing performance,’’ he said.

NNN reports that SAHCO Plc, which is a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, is an aviation ground handling company that offers services in passenger handling, ramp handling, cargo handling and warehousing.

It also offers services on aviation security, baggage reconciliation, crew bus and executive lounge services and other related ground handling services.

The company was handed over to the core-investor (SIFAX Group) on Dec. 23, 2009, after being carved out of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Ltd. (NNN)
Edited by Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi


Gastroenteritis epidemic: Health workers advise public on preventive measures



Two health officials in Lagos State on Sunday advised members of the public on steps to tackle the outbreak of waterborne gastroenteritis (stomach) disease in the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that there has been incidences of stomach disorder that has left many children hospitalised in Ajegunle area of the state.

The officials, in separate interviews with NAN in Lagos, said the preventive measure was key.

Mr TaiwoAwonuga, the President of Lagos Chapter of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), advised residents to clean and disinfect vomit and faecal spillages promptly.

“We have to increase the frequency of routine environmental inspection and in cleaning, including toilets, bathrooms and the surrounding.

“Particular attention has to be given to cleaning objects that are frequently touched such as faucets, door handles and bed rails.

“Environmental services and waste management department personnel should wear gown, gloves and a surgical or procedure mask when cleaning surface soiled with vomitus and faecal material.

“The use of approved disinfectant, freshly prepared sodium hypochlorite solution to disinfect the surface contaminated with faeces or vomitus is highly recommended,’’ Awonuga said.

According to him, the reliability of disinfectant, other than those containing chlorine to kill the norovirus, is uncertain.

“So, chlorine containing hypochlorite is recommended for use whenever is possible.’’

Mr Aroe Adesola, the state Public Relations Officer of EHOAN, decried the outbreak as epidemic and advised people to maintain a clean culture and ensure their homes were cross-ventilated.

“Clean carpets and soft furnishing with hot water and detergents or stream clean, dry vacuuming is not recommended.

“Open defecation and channelisation of faecal matters into public drain need to be discouraged out rightly, while offenders should be prosecuted.

“Hand washing should be encouraged after visiting toilets and before handling of food,’’ Adesola told NAN.

According to him, water samples are being collected in the affected areas for analysis at the Drug Quality Control Laboratory, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH),  for effective control.

He enjoined the public to notify the appropriate Environmental Services/Primary Health Care Department of any suspected case.

Adesola said that advocacy and health education on the importance of personal and food hygiene would be intensified.


Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Tajudeen Atitebi

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Border Closure: NGO launch magazine to educate youths more on Agriculture



An NGO, Madison Development Partners (MDP) has launched a new magazine known as “Nigerian Harvest” to educate Nigerian youths in every part of the country on agricultural developments.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the vision of the quarterly magazine is to gather and serve the reading public with news about promising agricultural and rural development initiatives.

It also aims to tell success stories that impact or have impacted lives and livelihoods of Nigerians.

The NGO, while launching the magazine in Abuja, charged the government and private sector operators to galvanise efforts to support and provide Nigerians with useful information on agriculture that would enable abundant harvest in the country.

Mr Godson Ononiwu, the Publisher/Editor-in-chief of the magazine said that the objectives and the vision of the magazine was to share knowledge and information on food and agriculture as they affect the lives and livelihood of Nigerians.

According to Ononiwu,  development implies change and change is the product of decision based on information.

“That is why all actions in the agriculture value chains continually need and consume information to enable them make progress.

“Over time, we find out that agriculture is being relegated, but now many people are pouring into agriculture hence the publishing of this magazine.

“In the past few decades, so many programmes on agriculture development have been instituted by government and individuals with varying degrees of success.

“Some of them failed, while some others succeeded but unfortunately, many of them feezled out due to poor publicity or lack of media attention.

“This magazine therefore hopes to transmute from Nigerian harvest into African harvest not too long from now as predicted by a well wisher, “he said.

Ononiwu, who is also a former Director, United States Agency for National Development (USAID), MARKETS Project assured Nigerians that the magazine would not only educate people on food and agriculture.

“it will also help to transform the narratives of Nigerian news on agriculture in the country.

“Agriculture and rural news do not usually make headlines of popular print or electronic media because they are not hot news or hard news.

“The vision of the Magazine “Nigerian Harvest” is to fill this gap through gathering and serving the reading public promising agricultural development initiatives as well as success stories that will impact on lives and livelihood of Nigerians.”

Prof. Joy Ogwu, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the event said that the survival of any Nation was dependent on food security.

“That is why this platform is so vital because food security is what sustains the power of a nation.

“Without enough food, we will have conflicts and that’s war,” she said.

Ogwu, who was also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN said that the younger generation felt that agriculture was slow in its rewards.

She however urged the youths to look at the vitality of agriculture in the national interest.

“Over the years we have heard of efforts being made not only by government but also individuals to ensure that there is adequate food security.

“So, I want to urge Nigerians who would like to venture into agriculture to use this magazine as a guide and a golden opportunity,” she added.


Edited by Grace Yussuf

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APPEALS, KNARDA train farmers on improved rice farming



Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project, in Collaboration with Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), has trained 30 farmers on improved rice farming technology.

Speaking at a farmer’s field on Saturday in Gurdo community of Bagwai Local Government Area, the APPEALS’ Project Coordinator in Kano state, Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim said the aim of the training was to teach farmers how to increase theirs productivity.

Ibrahim, represented by the APPEALS’ specialist in charge of productivity enhancement, Malam Baushe Mohamed, said the farmer field and business school was initiated to train farmers on modern rice farming technology, introduce standard practices and improved variety of Faro 61.

According to him, such standard practice was aimed at getting a higher yield of production compared to the farmers’ usual traditional farming method.

Ibrahim added that such improved method would also assist in easing the farmers’ production processes in addition to reducing their difficulties and  cost of production.

He said that APPEALS was ready to provide the beneficiaries with the necessary support that would enable them to remain in business.

“This programme will not only end here in Bagwai, we are hoping to extend it to other Local Government Areas, therefore, we are calling on the beneficiaries to make proper use of the opportunity,” he said.

The Managing Director of KNARDA, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulaiman, said that the training would also give the farmers opportunity to acquire knowledge on how to market their produce after harvest.

“Such improved method when applied from the land clearing to harvesting has since been in existence in most of the developed nations, especially the United States of America (USA).

”With the experience they acquire during the training, the farmers can contribute their quota to improve the agricultural sector in Nigeria to compete with the developed countries,” he said.

Sulaiman added that such initiative would go along way in complementing the efforts of both Kano State and Federal governments on agricultural production.

Malam Mansur Akawu, who spoke to the Nigeria News Agency on behalf of other beneficiaries commended APPEALS project and KNARDA for the initiative.

He assured that the eneficiaries would utilise the knowledge they acquired and teach other farmers that were not opportuned to attend the training programme.

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Tukur Muntari.

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IITA, ACAI to train 30,000 farmers on cassava weed management



No fewer than 30,000 farmers from Abia, Benue, Oyo, Ogun and Osun states will benefit from the training on the six steps to cassava weed management and best planting practices in November.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the training is being organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, and African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI).

Mr Godwin Atser, the IITA Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist, made this known in a statement made available to NAN on Saturday, in Ibadan.

Atser said that the training was aimed at empowering farmers with the knowledge to boost cassava and maize productivity and yield per hectare.

This, he added, would subsequently increase farmers’ incomes, improve their standard of living and create jobs for more people.

He said that the trainings would be done in collaboration with the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) and other extension service providers.

“To ensure a seamless and successful dissemination of the six steps to cassava weed management and best planting practices tool, the team has developed videos and translated same into local languages: Igbo, Yoruba and Tiv, targeting the respective zones.

“The ACAI team has also procured mini-projectors and mobile phones to empower extension service providers in the participating states.

“The six steps to cassava weed management tool was first developed by the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project. The tool has since integrated the best planting practices of ACAI.

“Farmers, who use the toolkit, have more than doubled their cassava yield from the national average of nine tonnes per ha to more than 20 tonnes per ha.

“It is amazing to see how the tool is changing the face of cassava farmers,” he said.

Also, Dr Alfred Dixon, the IITA Director for Development and Delivery, described the toolkit as an innovation that combined a set of agronomic recommendations and plant protection products to control weeds and increase cassava productivity.

According to Dixon, beyond Nigeria, several other countries have requested for the toolkit with ACAI team training partners in Liberia, Tanzania, Burundi and Zambia.

“Apart from the use of videos, the ACAI team has put up the recommendations from the tool on the 3-2-1 service of Airtel.

“In this, subscribers in Nigeria can dial 3-2-1 and get information on cassava weed management and other agronomic practices free of charge, up to 10 times in a month.

“The idea is to get the recommendations to thousands of farmers across Nigeria and Tanzania so that they can get better yield from cassava farming,” Dixon said.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Border closure: Agriculturist advocates mega mills to boost rice production



An agriculturist, Alhaji Abba Kale, has called for the establishment of mega rice mills to accelerate production and achieve self-sufficiency in the country.

Kale made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Kale, who is one of the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) clients in the Northeast, called on the Federal Government to support the establishment of modern mega rice mills in each of the 109 senatorial districts in the country.

He said that the call was imperative to encourage processing, value addition, enhance farmer enterprising skills, promote competition and create market for the produce.

“We have paddy rice in prolific abundance, the produce cultivated by the farmers is higher than the capacity of the existing mills in the country.

“The ban on importation of foreign rice is a well come development, and the sudden hike in prices occasioned by the border closure can be pushed down and control through mass production.

“Most of the mills in operation lack basic equipment such as boiler, driers and trash machines to enable them produce high quality rice to meet local demands and for export.

“It is desirable for the Federal Government to support establishment of mega mills by businesses in each of the senatorial districts to encourage productivity and attain self-sufficiency,” he said.

Kale also urged state governments to adopt proactive measures to mobilise participation in the ABP scheme to encourage agricultural activities, processing, provide job opportunities and enhance wealth creation in the society.

Commenting on the border closure, Kale said the measure would reinvigorate agriculture and manufacturing, stimulate government’s drive to diversify the economy and enhance security in the country.

Kale called on the people to support government policies and programmes as well as patronise local products for sustainable social and economic development of the country.

NAN reports that ABP is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation agenda designed to encourage production and processing to achieve self-sufficiency.

It is also aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to fertilisers, seeds, inputs, promote farmer enterprising skills, value addition and create market for the produce.

The programme is being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC), farmer associations and designated agricultural input dealers known as  d private anchors.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Kebbi: Flood victims receive 14,000 bags of free fertilizer in Shanga LGA



Flood victims in Shanga Local Government Area of Kebbi on Friday received assistance of 14,000 bags of fertilizer and other inputs donated by the National Food Security Council.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the donation was distributed to the 2018 flood victims in the area by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

Alhaji Sani Dododo, the SEMA Chairman, said while distributing the items in Shanga, that it was to cushion the impact of the losses incurred by the farmers.

“The gesture is part of the present administration’s policy through National Food Security Council to assist farmers whose farmlands were ravaged by 2018 flood disaster in the state,” Dododo said.

He noted that the state had received donation of 149 trucks of fertiliser and assorted chemical from the Council, out of which farmers in Shanga were allocated 14000 bags.

“Each victim will get nine bags of fertiliser, chemicals, sprayer and two bags of improved seeds,” the chairman explained.

Dododo said a committee had been set up to distribute the items and warned against diverting the relief materials, as anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.

Alhaji Aminu Kawara, Vice Chairman of the local government, commended the Federal and state government for the gesture and assured that the beneficiaries would use the items judiciously.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Adamu Ali thanked the government for the intervention.

NAN reports that no fewer than 11,345 victims were affected during the 2018 flood in Kebbi.

Edited by Hawa Lawal/Maharazu Ahmed

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