The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines in the last 70 years.
More than 37 million people face acute hunger, with approximately seven million children under the age of five severely malnourished in the region.
While finding food and clean water is the top priority, the WHO said ensuring a robust health emergency response is necessary to prevent preventable illness and death.
The UN agency is requesting $123.7 million to respond to growing health needs and prevent a food crisis from becoming a health crisis.
"The situation is already catastrophic and we must act now," said Ibrahima Soce Fall, WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response.
"We cannot continue in this underfunding crisis."
Severe drought The Horn of Africa includes Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.
Climate change, conflicts, rising food prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have aggravated one of the worst droughts in the region in recent decades, according to the WHO appeal: "There are now four seasons in which the rain did not come as forecast and it is estimated that a fifth season will also fail.
In places where there is drought, the problem just keeps getting worse and worse,” said WHO Incident Manager Sophie Maes. “In other places like South Sudan, there have been three consecutive years of flooding with almost 40 per cent of the country inundated.
And we are seeing something that is going to get worse in the near future.” Hunger crisis More than 37 million people in the region are projected to reach the third level of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC3) scale and more high in the coming months This means that the population is in crisis, and only marginally able to meet minimum food needs through depletion of essential livelihoods or through coping strategies Effects of drought are particularly severe in eastern and southern Ethiopia, eastern and northern Kenya, and southern and central Somalia Food insecurity in South Sudan has reached the most extreme levels since independence in 2011, with 8, 3 million people representing 75% of the population facing severe food insecurity Cost of inaction Acute malnutrition leads to increased migration as populations Communities move in search of food and grazing, according to the WHO, and disruptions often result in deteriorating hygiene and sanitation, as outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as cholera, measles and malaria, are already on the rise.
Additionally, weak vaccination coverage and under-resourced health services could lead to a widespread increase in the number of disease outbreaks in the country and across borders.
The care of severely malnourished children with medical complications will be severely affected, leading to high infant mortality rates.
Disruptions in access to health care can further increase morbidity and mortality, as emergency conditions force populations to modify their health-seeking behavior and prioritize access to life-saving resources such as food and water.
The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated the National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC), to tackle some of the challenges in the cocoa sector.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 11-man Committee on National Cocoa Management, in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the committee was to develop strategies to solve these challenges.
“Some of the challenges being encountered in the cocoa sector include pest and diseases, logistics such as rural roads and infrastructure.
“Also, old cocoa plantations, ageing of our cocoa farmers, processing, access to finance, environmental concerns such as deforestation, climate change and absence of a national coordinating body,” Abubakar said.
The minister said the event was the culmination of enormous collective efforts including a recent visit by the officials of the ministry to Ghana to study the implementation of Living Income Differential (LID).
“Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire introduced the Living Income Differential (LID) as a premium on their cocoa and as tool to complement their prices of cocoa in international market.
“The purpose of this is to increase the share benefits received by cocoa farmers in these countries,” Abubakar said.
He spoke on the tetms of reference of the committee, some of which are: “The NCMC shall develop a framework for the regulation and monitoring of the activities of the cocoa sector to make the industry more transparent.
“The NCMC shall develop a strategic plan towards the establishment of a Nigerian Cocoa Board.
“The NCMC shall develop a Nigerian charter towards joining the d’Ivoire initiative”.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, expressed delight for being part of the inauguration of the committee.
“This is in line with the present Administration’s policy on diversification of the Nigerian economy from the oil to the non-oil sector of which Agriculture is playing a major role,” Umakhihe said.
The Committee chairman is Mr Abdullahi Garba Abubakar, from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja.
The Secretary, Dr Patrick Adebola, is from Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria.
Some occupants of illegal structures and shanties in Kuje Area Council have been rendered homeless following the demolition of their property by the FCT Administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that many of the displaced persons are scavengers, miscreants and motorcycle operators, popularly known as ‘Okada’.
The Department of Development Control and Sanitation of FCTA embarked on the demolition of illegal structures and shanties in Kuje Area Council, FCT.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had earlier warned of plans to remove illegal structures along the Tipper Garage, Forest Market and Kuje-Gwagwalada road axis of the city.
The authorities said that before the demolition, scavengers, miscreants, Okada riders and some criminal elements used the shanties and other illegal structures as their safe heaven.
NAN also reports that the affected people were seen stranded at the Tipper Garage and Forest Market areas after the exercise started on Monday.
Some residents of Kuje said the exercise should be used to checkmate insecurity by finding out the identities of the affected people.
But speaking, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the Minister of FCT, Mr Ikharo Attah, said the demolition was aimed at constructing a befitting road to end congestion of vehicles on the busy road.
Attah disclosed that the congestion of vehicles on the road was being compounded by illegal trading, expansion and unconventional markets, all over the road shoulders.
He explained that some of the structures had been marked for long and adequate publicity was given to the general public.
“We have seen that there is heavy roadside trading, illegal attachments, expansion towards the road and indiscriminate roadside markets.
“We have also assessed the situation and have notified the general public before now,” he explained.
Meanwhile, concerned persons, motorists and commuters are already groaning over the exercise.
Some of them who spoke on the development called for speedy completion of the demolition to free the traffic flow, and ease loss of man-hours.
Masters Edward Chidera, 17, and Chinweizu, Okemdi, 14, have emerged winners of this year”s Flowing Feathers Tourism Writing Competition.
They were announced winners on Tuesday in Enugu during the prize award ceremony for the competition organised by Jands Travel Networks (JTN).
The Convener of the competition, Mrs Chioma Obi, said Chidera won the award for the senior category while Okemdi won the competition”s junior category.
Obi said the competition was aimed at redirecting the students to the development of tourism in Nigeria through creative writing and speaking skills.
Obi, who is also the Managing Director of JTN, said that the tourism sector had remained untapped, whereas its development could pull the country out of its economic challenges, if given the necessary attention.
According to her, a student of today will become a stakeholder or policymaker tomorrow; it will be sad if a future stakeholder or policymaker lacks the basic ideas of how to develop or move the tourism sector forward.
“The topic for this year’s competition is: “If you are given the opportunity and authority, what laws would you put in place to help preserve and promote Nigeria’s culture and tourism?
“Hundreds of students from 41 primary and secondary schools across the federation participated.
“Ninety of them who met the cutoff mark were invited to defend their works before a team of professionals and industry captains.
“Today, 26 out of the 90 defenders, comprising the junior and senior categories, will receive prizes for their dexterity, intelligence and discipline,” she said.
Obi said aside the prizes and awards, the top three winners would be given a brand new laptop and a tab each.
She lauded the Enugu State Government and other sponsors for making the event a reality.
She pledged that the organisers would sustain the competition annually.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Manfred Nzekwe, reiterated the vital role of tourism in many economies of the world as well as the cultural exchange it had created.
He congratulated the recipients for passing the rigorous processes of writing, submitting in accordance with the laid down rules and defending their entries before the judges.
He also lauded Mrs Joy Egolum, the Corporate Affairs Manager, East, Nigeria Breweries PLC, for the company”s support for the competition and interest in the academic development of children.
Countries must work more together to stop the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak, "regardless of the nationality, skin color or religion of the affected population," the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Speaking from Dakar, Senegal, WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergencies Ibrahima Soce Fall said "we have been working on monkeypox in Africa for several years, but no one was interested."
Once dubbed a "neglected tropical disease", he said the WHO had been working on Monkeypox with very little resources.
However, once the northern countries began to be affected by the disease, “the world reacted”.
“The same thing happened with the Zika virus and we have to stop this discrimination,” said Dr. Fall. Public health emergency On July 23, the WHO declared the spread of the virus a public health emergency of international concern, the organization's highest alert level.
In this way, the WHO aims to improve coordination, cooperation of nations and global solidarity.
“The world must get involved to protect these populations, regardless of their nationality, skin color or religion,” said Dr. Fall, “I think it is extremely important and now that more than 70 countries are affected in the world, everyone is activating.” Resources for Africa Until this year, the virus that causes monkeypox has rarely spread outside of Africa, where it is endemic.
But reports of a handful of cases in Britain in early May indicated the outbreak had moved to Europe.
“It is important, and we have already been doing so, to accelerate the monkeypox research and development agenda so that the most affected African countries can have the resources to prevent and fight monkeypox,” said Dr. Fall. .
Time for global investment Although a vaccine to prevent monkeypox was approved in 2019, availability remains limited at this time.
“We have had a lot of cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Cameroon and some sporadic cases in countries like Ghana, Benin, etc,” said Dr. Fall. “I think it is time for the world to invest so that these populations that are living in rural areas and in forest areas can be protected.” According to Dr. Fall, “If we only treat what is happening in Europe and America, we will only treat the symptoms of monkeypox, not the actual disease.
It is important that the world mobilizes in the face of this type of disease.”
Investors at the Nigerian stock market gained N364.39 billion, following the rise in equity capitalisation by 1.35 per cent on Tuesday.
The equity capitalisation rose from N26.94 trillion recorded on Monday to close at N27.3 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 675.72 points to close with 50,626.04 points compared to 49,950.32 points recorded the previous day.
The year-to-date (YTD) return fell to 18.52 per cent.
Overall, market breadth closed positive as 19 stocks appreciated while nine others declined.
Honeywell Flour Mill led the gainers with 9.66 per cent share price appreciation closing at N2.27 per share.
Jaiz Bank followed by 9.46 per cent to close at 81k per share, while Caverton Offshore Support Group rose by 8.18 per cent to close at N1.19 per share.
Also, Japaul Gold and Ventures increased by eight per cent and 7.56 per cent each to close at 27k and N1.85 per share respectively.
On the losing side, McNichols’s share price depreciated by 9.76 per cent to close at 74k per share.
Wapic Insurance next by 9.76 per cent to close at 37k per share, while Chams fell by eight per cent to close at 23k per share.
Nigerian Exchange Group dropped by 2.73 per cent to close at N21.35 per share.
Also United Bank for Africa (UBA) declined by 2.08 per cent to close at N7.05 per share.
Investors parted with N2.86 billion for 129.17 million shares in 4,706 deals.
This is higher to N2.27 billion raised on 176.05 million shares in 4,965 deals on Monday which represents 27 per cent decline in volume, 26 per cent improvement in turnover.
FBN Holdings recorded the highest volume of 14.6 million traded shares worth N159.56 million.
It is followed by Multiverse Mining & Exploration which traded 9.48 million shares at N18.56 million.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) sold 9.37 million shares worth N191.03 million, while Zenith Bank traded 9.29 million shares at N196.25.AIICO sold 64 million shares at N3.77 million.
Mr Harvest Igben, the Federal Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission (PCC) in Delta on Tuesday said that plan was on to establish six additional zonal offices in the state Igben made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area, Dr Michael Tidi. The commissioner, who led some members of the commission on the visit, said that the essence was to widen the reach of the commission in the state.
Igben said that the commission resolved an average of one thousand (1000) cases yearly.
He said that the commission, also called the Nigerian Ombudsman, currently operates in six zonal offices in the state located at: Agbor, Warri, Ughelli, Ogwashi-Uku, Oleh and Ozoro.
“Going by documentary public records of the commission’s activities, PCC resolves an average of one thousand (1000) cases yearly, thereby bringing joy to many lives across Delta and beyond.
“The commission renders services at no cost and is easily accessible even at the grassroots.
“The primary function of the commission is to investigate complaints by members of the public concerning the administrative action of any public authority ( governments) “Companies or their officials and other related matters, all with the purpose of reducing and even eliminating all forms of administrative injustice in the system,” he said.
Igben appealed to the chairman of Warri South LGA to provide the commission with a larger office in the council secretariat as well as office furniture.
“It is our firm promise to continue to improve upon the salutary services of the commission to the indigenes and residents of Warri South Local Government Area,” he said.
Responding, Tidi said that before now, a lot of people did not know much about the commission.
“I am glad you intend to widen your reach in the state.
There is need for more sensitisation campaign to the people, regarding the activities of the commission.
“I implore you not to rest on your oars, but to continue with the good work.
I assure you that your request will be looked into.
“The only problem we have is availability of space.
I never knew you take up cases pro bono,” Tidi said.
The Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Plateau, Mrs Kaneng Pam-Hworo, has pledged her organisation’s support for the state’s chapter of the National Asociaton of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
Pam-Hworo made the pledge during a courtesy visit paid to her office by the newly inaugurated team of the NAWOJ excecutive members on Tuesday in Jos. Pam-Hworo congratulated the team, noting that NOA had always had a good working relationship with NAWOJ.
“We’ve always worked together, we always look out for each other wherever we go to.
“I must tell you that the organisation has been very instrumental to the path of the success story we read in NOA today.
“Not just for me personally but I count it as a success story for this team and NOA as a whole,” she said.
While responding to the need for collaboration in terms of awareness creation as regards voter sensitisation, Pam-Hworo said “it is an ongoing process which the organisation executes without segregation.
“Speaking on creating awareness, yes, we do create awareness on issues; we create awareness for Plateau people.
“We work for the citizens, for people across religious, racial and whatever divides, we are working for the good of Nigeria.
“We are not working for a segmented people, what we are doing is for the good of the entire populace.
“Especially for the women, the underprivileged women and young children who do not have a voice” Mrs Nene Dung, the Chairperson of NAWOJ in Plateau, said that the association hoped to have a beautiful working relationship with NOA.
“There’s alot to be done to salvage the cause of the vulnerable and the underprivileged, particularly in Plateau and the Nigerian society at large.
“We covet your unrelenting support and cooperation in the area of sensitisation and awareness creation.
“Particularly in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) which is on the increase in the state.
“We would continue to fight for the cause of the common man and seek to promote peaceful coexistence in Plateau and its environs”, she said News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NAWOJ team was made up of the Chairperson, Mrs Nene Dung, Mrs Mwuese Adem (Secretary) abd Patience Aliyu (Financial Secretary), among others, from various media organisations in the
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has signed a contract to acquire drones to monitor its pipelines and wellheads in the Niger Delta.
SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Mr Igo Weli made this known at a news conference in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
He said the company decided to acquire drones due to frequent attacks on its pipelines, leading to huge revenue losses from activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
According to him, the oil thieves punctured SPDC pipelines and wellheads, and thereafter, redirected crude oil to their illegal refining sites, thus denying the company needed revenue.
“To this end, we have signed a contract, and soon we will start using drones to monitor our pipelines, wellheads and other facilities.
” Shell does so much to protect its assets in Nigeria,” he said.
Weli said that frequent attacks on its oil and gas facilities by organised criminals had worsened over the years, resulting in the company spending huge funds to protect its facilities.
“Some of the other extraordinary things we do as a company is flying helicopters daily to check the pipelines that come at a huge cost to the company.
“Even when we see illegal refineries, we cannot do much other than draw the attention of the authorities to it.
“The SPDC builds cages and installs technology to protect its wellheads – just like we put burglary proof in our homes to ward off robbers.
“This is worrisome and should be of concern to everyone, understanding that oil and gas is where the country generates huge forex and creates employment for millions,” he added.
The SPDC general manager said the company was also collaborating with security agencies through the sharing of data on the locations and activities of illegal bunkers and refining sites.
He said the sharing of data was done to ensure the menace was decisively tackled, to improve the business and working environment.
Weli said governments at both state and Federal levels had been doing their best to address the menace but that more needed to be done to end the menace.
“This is why we have been talking about this over the years, and went as far as opening a website on oil spillage in 2011.” On the reopening of Trans Niger Pipeline shutdown by the company in March, Weli said the company would only reopen the pipeline when the facility is secured from attacks.
The Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls, a non-governmental organisation, has called on the government to work towards preserving the traditions and culture of the original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mr Abiodun Essiet, the Executive Director of the organisation said this at a town hall meeting organised for the original inhabitants of the FCT on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event has as the theme; “The Role of Indigenous Women in Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge”.
Essiet said that the meeting was organised as part of activities to commemorate the International Day for the World’s Indigenous People, celebrated globally on Aug. 9. The executive director noted that original inhabitants of the FCT were in dire needs of basic amenities such as accessible roads, primary health care facilities and,schools, among others.
She said that it was important for the government to also preserve the culture and traditions of the people to avoid it from going into extinction.
“We want to sensitise the public to the issues that women are facing and also to highlight the role of women and the government in promoting the original inhabitants’ traditions and culture.
“Also we want to raise awareness to the government to do more for the original inhabitants, especially those in the FCT, by providing better renumeration to compensate them for their lands.
“We want them to provide schools, better healthcare and access roads, among other basic amenities, in their communities.
“For the indigenous women, we want them to be included in governance, either through appointment or election.
This will allow them to have a say in decisions that affects them.
“For instance, in the last area council administration, we had only one female councillor, who represented Ushafa ward in the whole of the FCT, out of the 62 wards.
“This has taken a toll on their development, so we are advocating for the plights of indigenous people to be heard,” she added.
NAN reports that the indigenous inhabitants of the FCT comprises the Gwari, Koro, Gwandara, Ganagana, Afo and Bassa ethnic groups.