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Food Scarcity: Reps Move To Host National Summit On Food Security And Nutrition

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…urge FG to improve short-term food subsidies to dry season farmers
By Gloria Ikibah
As part of its efforts to tackle the dangers of food scarcity across the country, the House of Representatives has resolved to organise a National Summit on Food Security and Nutrition.
In the bid to address the challenge, the House also tasked the Federal Government to improve on short-term food subsidies, assistance to farmers, especially those engaged in dry season farming, improved supply chain control to reduce wastage, and short-term price control.
This resolve was sequel to the adoption of a motion  of urgen national importance on “Food scarcity in Nigeria, Nutritional dangers and urgent need for more Government remedial measures to address food shortages ahead of the rainy/farming season”,  by Rep. Chike Okafor, on Wednesday at plenary.
Leading the debate, Rep. Okafor decried that the spreading issue of food scarcity in Nigeria and the impending nutritional dangers that accompany it, calls for urgent action towards proffering lasting solution to the challenges.
The motion reads: “As we approach the farming season, it is imperative that we take immediate action to avert a worsening crisis and ensure the availability of food and well-being of our citizens.
“The House is aware that the current state of food scarcity in Nigeria poses a grave threat to the health and livelihoods of millions of our people. Insufficient access to nutritious food not only leads to hunger and malnutrition but also exacerbates existing health conditions and undermines the overall development of our nation.
“The House is also aware about the various positive interventions by Mr. President, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), and the commitment of Mr. Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas in the 10th National Assembly Legislative agenda for wellness and wellbeing of Nigerians, it is worthy to note that the Rainy and farming season is fast approaching, and the looming specter of food shortages looms large.
“Without adequate remedial measures in place, we risk plunging our country into deeper turmoil, with far-reaching social, economic, and political implications, hence the need for a purposeful gathering and more government import waivers for farming and agricultural equipment in Nigeria.
“The House is worried that Nutrition and Food is the most important existential challenge in Nigeria today, because 24.9 million Nigerians are presently in an acute/critical stage of hunger, and this is considered to be an emergency, while 85.8 million Nigerians have insufficient food consumption and out of this number, 47.7 million Nigerians have a crisis or above crisis level in terms of food-based survival margin.
“The House is also worried that peaceful protests is taking place now in some states with citizens groaning due to hunger and demanding immediate government intervention.
“The House is cognizant that the government needs to increase resources to support smallholder farmers and agrarian communities, ensuring they have the necessary inputs, tools, and infrastructure to enhance food production through short-term subsidies as the Government continues to strengthen the existing food distribution networks and mechanisms to ensure equitable access to essential food items across all regions of the country”.
The House also mandated its Committee on Nutrition and Food Security in conjunction with House Committee on Agriculture Production and Service and Committee on Agriculture College and Institutions to urgently organise National Food Security and Nutrition Summit with a view to address the current shortage of food and nutrition dangers with a view of finding lasting solution to the food crises facing the country.
The House also directed all relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organizations, and private sector partners to actively participate in the summit and contribute towards the formulation of comprehensive solutions to ensure more Legislative input for Food security and Nutrition for all Nigerians.
The House unanimously adopted the motion and mandated its Committee on Nutrition and Food Security and other relevant Committees to ensure compliance and report back to the House within three legislative weeks.
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Democracy Day: Senator Dafinone Felicitates Tinubu, Deltans, Nigerians, Calls For Unity

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ede Dafinone has called on Nigerians to take time out as the country marks 25 years of unbroken democratic rule to remember sacrifices of those who fought valiantly for the democracy we now enjoy.

The renowned accountant, now a lawmaker while congratulating President Bola Tinubu, the people of Delta Central and Nigerians in a signed statement, noted that Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken democratic rule is a testament to the resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment of the Nigerian people to the principles of democracy and freedom.

The Delta Central lawmaker also called on Nigerians to embrace unity, love, and respect for one another and to deepen their engagement in participatory democracy, and to guard against antidemocratic tendencies and ensure that our democratic values and culture are firmly entrenched at all levels of society.

Senator Dafinone’s media release titled: “Celebrating 25 Years of Unbroken Democratic Rule in Nigeria,” reads.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and to all Nigerians as our beloved country commemorate 25 years of unbroken democratic rule. This significant milestone is a testament to the resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment of the Nigerian people to the principles of democracy and freedom.

“As we celebrate this historic day, let us remember the sacrifices of those who fought valiantly for the democracy we now enjoy. June 12th is not just a date; it symbolizes our collective struggle for justice, equity, and the rule of law. It is a reminder of the power of the people’s voice and the strength of our democratic institutions.

“I urge every Nigerian to embrace unity, love, and respect for one another. In our diversity lies our strength, and it is only through mutual understanding and cooperation that we can achieve the greatness we aspire to as a nation. Let us set aside our differences and work together towards a common goal: a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Nigeria.

“Furthermore, I call on all citizens to deepen their engagement in participatory democracy. It is our collective responsibility to guard against antidemocratic tendencies and ensure that our democratic values and culture are firmly entrenched at all levels of society. Let us hold our leaders accountable, participate actively in the democratic process, and foster an environment where every Nigerian feel valued and heard.

“As we celebrate this momentous occasion, let us renew our commitment to building a Nigeria where democracy thrives, where every citizen enjoys their fundamental rights, and where the future is bright for generations to come.

“Once again, congratulations to President Bola Tinubu, the Urhobo Nation and to all Nigerians. Together, let us continue to strive for a more united and democratic nation.

“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Senegal Joins Oil-Producing Countries In West Africa, Produces Oil For The First Time

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Senegal has become one of West Africa’s oil producing countries as the country started producing oil for the first time on Tuesday.

As President Bassirou Diomaye Faye promised that profits from the sale of the country’s oil and gas would be “well managed”, Australian energy giant Woodside described the oil production in Senegal as a “historic day” and a “key milestone” for the company and the country.

BBC reports that the Sangomar deep-water project, which also has gas, aims to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

It is expected to generate billions of dollars for Senegal and boost the country’s economy.

The general manager of the national oil company Petrosen, Thierno Ly, said that the country had entered a “new era” when production began on Tuesday.

Ly was quoted as saying, “We have never been so well positioned for opportunities for growth, innovation and success in the economic and social development of our nation.”

It was reported that Petrosen has an 18% stake in the project while Woodside owns the remainder.

Elected in April this year, President Faye has been keen on renegotiating the deal as part of reforms he promised during the election campaign.

The President, while speaking to students on Tuesday, said that the earnings from the oil and gas production would be “well managed”, and that an “inter-generation fund” had been set up for the benefit of “your generation and those to come.”

The country’s move to renegotiate oil and gas contracts has been seen by some analysts as making investors jittery, but government supporters have reportedly said that it is vital for the West African state to increase its stake in projects so that the nation benefits from its natural resources.

A former opposition politician, Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko, who was a key figure in the president’s election campaign, recently insisted that contracts signed by previous administrations were ”unfavourable” to the country, and would be reviewed.

Sonko was quoted as saying on Tuesday, “We’re the ones who promised you we’d renegotiate the contracts, and we’re going to do it. We’ve started already.

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Apple surpasses Microsoft as world’s most valuable company

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Apple on Wednesday reclaimed its berth as the world’s biggest company when measured by stock price, taking back the top position from Microsoft

The iPhone juggernaut is on a Wall Street tear following its announcements of AI features at its annual developers conference on Monday.

Apple, which had taken its time to draw up its AI strategy, lost the top spot in January as investors rewarded Microsoft’s unabashed rollout of new generative AI products under its Copilot brand.

At 1530 GMT, Apple’s market capitalization stood at $3.33 trillion compared to Microsoft’s $3.26 trillion. Both shares are traded on the Nasdaq exchange in New York.

Apple has unveiled a new AI platform called Apple Intelligence that will be gradually added to a new version of the iOS 18 operating system.

The technology will only be available on Apple’s highest-end hardware, forcing interested customers to pay premium prices to enjoy the AI.

Analysts, while lukewarm at first, have grown to believe that the iPhone’s new powers will motivate the company’s 1.5 billion strong user base to update their phones in order to take advantage of the AI powers.

“The delayed positive reaction from the Street on the Apple Intelligence news was investors starting to fully digest that the AI revolution will come through the consumer with an Apple device over the coming year,” said Wedbush Securities senior analyst Daniel Ives.

AFP

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