The United States welcomes reports that an American hostage has been released in Niger.
We express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to our Nigerien partners who helped secure the hostage's release.
US officials remain in contact with the individual and we continue to provide all appropriate assistance.
The Biden Administration has no higher priority than bringing home American citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained, and we will continue to work aggressively to secure their freedom around the world.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reported that world food prices have fallen for a fifth consecutive month but are still nearly eight per cent higher than a year ago.
FAO, in its latest Food Price Index published on Friday, showed that the prices of five commodities – cereals, vegetable oil, dairy, meat and sugar – were lower in August than in July. The Index tracks the monthly international prices of these breadbasket staples.
It averaged 138.0 points in August, down nearly two per cent from July, though 7.9 per cent above the value a year before.
The UN food agency said the decline in cereal prices reflected improved production prospects in North America and Russia, and the resumption of exports from Black Sea ports in Ukraine.
A landmark agreement to unblock Ukraine grain exports amid the ongoing war was signed in July by the country, Russia, Turkey and the UN.
The price of rice was stable on the average in August, while quotations for coarse grains, such as maize, increased marginally.
Vegetable oil prices decreased by 3.3 per cent, which is slightly below the August 2021 level.
FAO attributed this to increased availability of palm oil from Indonesia, due to lower export taxes, and the resumption of sunflower oil shipments from Ukraine.
Although dairy prices saw a two per cent drop, they remained 23.5 per cent higher than in August 2021. The price of cheese increased for the tenth consecutive month, though milk prices “eased” following expectations of increased supplies from New Zealand, even amid projections of lower production in Western Europe and the US.
The price of meat declined by 1.5 per cent but remained just over eight per cent higher than the value last August.
International quotations for poultry fell amid elevated export availabilities, and bovine meat prices declined due to weak domestic demand in some top exporting countries, while pig meat quotations rose.
Sugar prices also hit their lowest level since July 2021, largely due to high export caps in India and lower ethanol prices in Brazil.
FAO has also issued its global cereal production forecast for this year, which projects a decline of nearly 40 million tonnes, or 1.4 per cent from the previous year.
The bulk of this decline mainly concerns coarse grains, with maize yields in Europe expected to drop 16 per cent below their five-year average level due to the exceptional hot and dry weather conditions affecting the continent.
By contrast, FAO expects there will be a “negligible drop” in worldwide wheat production resulting from expected record harvests in Russia and conducive weather conditions in North America.
Global rice production is also expected to decline by 2.1 per cent from the all-time high reached in 2021.
Ensure heaThe wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Friday urged market leaders to ensure healthy and secure marketplaces in the state.
Sanwo-Olu gave the advice during a one-day seminar on Market Sanitation and Security for Market Leaders and Stakeholders in Lagos Division, held at Surulere Local Government Secretariat, Surulere.
The seminar was organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.
She said that it had been established by empirical evidence that there is a nexus between the state of an environment and the health of the residents there.
”Garbage in, Garbage out; it is the way you treat your environment that it responds to you.
“This is why hygiene in the market becomes extremely important, as all residents are connected one way or the other toward the markets.
”We know that a lot of waste is generated from our markets and as market leaders, it is important that we must reject unhygienic practices in their entirety, including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages, and street trading, among others.
”The truth is that it is in our collective interest to imbibe international best practices in administering markets and our environment.
”The issue of hygiene and cleanliness in our markets is paramount, and every important and necessary step must be taken by all stakeholders to inspire a healthy and secure marketplace,” Sanwo-Olu said.
She said that the seminar, which was the fifth in the series, was with the commitment to put the welfare and wellbeing of market men and women on the front burner.
According to her, the security and safety of the markets as part of the topics at the seminar is for obvious reasons that security is everybody’s business.
The wife of the governor said that market men and women and community leaders must be conscious of the need to make security a priority.
”When we see something, let us not only say something but do something to ensure that a potential security threat is nipped in the bud.
”Let me reiterate that there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the market.
“The monitoring and evaluation of security activities in the market must be a daily affair and also in every community.
”As market men and women, you must take ownership of security in your markets, and you have to speak up and speak out loud and clear when you suspect any suspicious movement or activity around you.
”These and many others, including ensuring that fire outbreaks in the markets are prevented, are the reasons for this seminar,” she said.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said It was important for market stakeholders to conduct themselves responsibly.
He said that this was so, with the space limitation of the state in the face of a teeming population.
Bello, represented by an official in the ministry, Dr. Hassan Sanuth, said that the stakeholders should make conscious efforts to manage the market sites.
In his welcome address, Mr Bolaji Robert, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Community Affairs, said that organising such programme consistently over the years was a proof that concerted efforts would help in making Lagos State a 21st Century Economy.
Robert said that the seminar; ”Market Sanitation and Security for Market Leaders”, addressed the fibre of the state, security, sanctity and sanity of the markets in Lagos State.
He said that ”security” and ”sanitation” remain vital issues in the society, especially in the markets; hence, the reason COWLSO had continued to lead the frontier of the noble cause.
”We have seen a tremendous level of compliance in our markets as it concerns market sanitation and security.
”This is why we must commend the efforts of the First Lady of Lagos State, the entire members of COWLSO; our amiable Iyaloja-General and market leaders and users, whose concerted efforts have led to this noticeable compliance.
”Today, we are here again to resonate Lagos State’s mantra; ”Igbega Ipinle Eko….
Ajumose Ni…”, this is why we must ensure that the same message spreads across other nook and cranny of the state.
”As a state that maintains its City of Excellence status, I want to also urge the Office of the Iyaloja-General to continually implore our market leaders and the members of the Lagos State Market Advisory Council (LASMAC) to ensure compliance to hygienic and safety procedures in our markets,” Robert said.
He said that the Lagos State Government had been on top of the security situation in the state, hence, the ease of business and the development projects being experienced.
The special adviser, however, said that much vigilance and attention must be paid even to the tiniest detail in the markets, so as to guarantee safety of lives and properties.
He said that the rains had come, and traders must ensure clean and healthy market environment, where the market produce and wares could be trusted to have been kept in best hygienic conditions.
Robert urged them to bag their waste and dispose them in the containers provided by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
The Dingyadi-Badawa ward leaders, Bodinga Local Government in Sokoto State have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A statement from Hassan Sanyinnawal, the spokesman of the party, on Friday in Sokoto said the defectors include ward Secretary, Ummarun Hassan and Assistant Treasurer, Manu Abubakar.
Others are Barno Akamawa, the ward Public Relations Officer (PRO) and four ward delegates: Shehu Abubakar, Sani Modi, Sunusi Imam and Bello Alhaji, as well as hundreds of their supporters in the area.
Receiving them into the party, Alhaji Bello Goronyo, the state PDP Chairman, assured them of equal treatment with all the party members across the state.
“You are all now full members of the PDP and I want assure you of equal treatment with all our members in the state,” he said.
Goronyo further promised to carry them along while calling on them to use their wealth of experience in politics to ensure the success of the party during the 2023 General Elections .
Earlier, while Introducing the defectors, Alhaji Aminu Bala, the Commissioner of Lands and Housing, stated that their action followed the good leadership style of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal.
Bala congratulated the new party members while assuring them of proper working relationship with all members of the party in the state.
Responding on behalf of the new members, the former APC ward Secretary, said they were convinced with “the good leadership style of the PDP- led government in Sokoto State.
“We are truly happy to be part of the current development and laudable projects executed by Tambuwal.
“As such, we promised our loyalty and support to the PDP, to ensure its success during the forthcoming general elections across the state and the country in general,” Hassan said.
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised importers and exporters in the Eastern Ports and Bonded Terminals to adhere to the rules and regulations guiding ports’ operations.
Mr John Okwori, Head, Ports Inspection Directorate (PID), NAFDAC, Outstation, gave the advice at a one-daystakeholders’ meeting held on Friday in Awka.Okwori said that harping on the matter followed the recent handover of Onitsha Inland River Port to a new operator.
He explained that due to the development, NAFDAC was hoping that business activities would soon pick up at Onitsha Port.“The Federal Government has made Onitsha a port of destination and departure and by this , business activities will soon blossom at the port.
“All what is now needed is for importers and exporters to be knowledgeable, be equipped and be armed with the basic information on the usage of the ports to ensure seamless businesses,” he said.
Okwori said that the agency had automated its operations, noting that one would not require to visit NAFDAC office to obtain necessary documents to export or import products.
Giving more insight on the concessioned Onitsha Inland River Port, he said that goods coming into the port would no longer require to stop over at either Onne or Lagos Port.Okwori encouraged importers and exporters to show more interest in the Onitsha Port and the Bonded Terminals in the area, assuring them that the agency would ensure smooth operations at the ports.
Mr Tenalo Princewill, an official of NAFDAC who delivered a paper on ‘Enhancement of Clearance Process at the Ports, Seaports Land Borders and Bonded Terminals’, said that the agency’s automation was for transparent business transactions.
Princewill said that at physical inspection level, if violations were encountered, the timely release of container could be delayed.
He listed categories of violations to include: documentary level (false declaration), product packaging violations, labeling lapses, unapproved pictorial and importation with permit among others.
Mr Uzoma Ihembiri, another official of the agency who delivered another paper on ‘Enrollment of Clearance Processes at the Ports’, advised importers and exporters against violation of the rules.
He advised them to always use the Federal Government’s trade portal, adding that every process had been designed for users.
Mr Lambert Kalu, the Area Manager of the Nigeria Shippers Council, Onitsha, said that the council had beamed its searchlights on the activities of alleged fraudulent persons who had constituted problems to legitimate activities at the ports.
The meeting was attended by representatives of importers, exporters, clearing agents, Customs, terminal operators, Nigeria Shippers Council and others stakeholders.
The Kano State Government says it has reunited 805 suspected beggars with their families across the 44 local government areas of the state.
The Commander General of the Kano State Hisbah Board, Dr Haruna Ibn-Sina, confirmed this to newsmen on Friday at the Hisbah headquarters in Sharada, Kano. He noted that the 805 beggars , comprising 536 females and 279 males, were indigenes of Kano State.
He said that they were amongst the 931 suspected beggars evacuated by the men of the Hisbah Board for allegedly violating the law banning street begging in Kano Metropolis.
Ibn-Sina said that those who were from neighbouring states were assisted to their various state governments and handed over to their relatives while others were receiving care from the board.
According to him, out of the 931 evacuated, 320 are males while 611 are females.
He said that three out of them tested positive to while some of the underage females were pregnant.
“Among those evacuated was an old woman who was found with a huge amount of money.
“Most of the beggars were evacuated on major roads, under bridge markets, railway stations and other public places within the metropolis.
“They were provided with their daily three square meals.
“The beggars who, however, go back to the streets begging after being evacuated will be prosecuted; as the state government prohibits begging,” he said.
Ibn-Sina alleged that some of the beggars were among those who were alleged to be snatching phones, syndicate and terrorising people.
He said that there was a high case of underage children engaging in social vices and using drugs, adding that, so far, the board had arrested about 132 of such suspected miscreants at various recreational centres in Kano. “The state government has shown its readiness to curtail societal vices and street begging,” he said.
He urged parents and guardians to complement the government’s efforts by giving their children and wards proper moral upbringing.
Nigerian Army intercepts 792 parcels of cannabis in Ogun Nigerian Army intercepts 792 parcels of cannabis in Ogun Interception By Oladapo Udom Lagos, Sept. 2, 2020 Men of 81 Division, Nigerian Army, have intercepted 792 parcels of illicit drugs, suspected to be cannabis sativa (Indian Hemp),in Ilaro area of Ogun .
This is contained in a statement signed by, Maj.Olaniyi Osoba ,the Divison’s spokesperson,on Friday.
According to Osoba, the interception of the drugs followed an intelligence-driven operation at a checkpoint along the Ilaro-Benin Republic Border.
“The parcels of Indian hemp were concealed in a truck coming from the Volta Region of Ghana.
“It was estimated that the suspected illicit drugs were worth about ten million naira and were to be delivered to a drug syndicate based in Lagos.
“The syndicate is currently on the run,” he said.
Osoba said that a search on the truck conveying the suspected consignment indicated that the truck was designed specifically to convey illicit drugs.
“There is a special compartment welded to the base of the truck for concealment purposes that can only be discovered on scrutiny.
“It took the vigilance of the troops at the checkpoint to detect the concealed drugs after resisting the bribe offered by the suspected drug syndicate.
“Accordingly, members of the public are enjoined to continue to provide useful information on criminal activities to security agencies for prompt response,” he said.
Osoba said that the suspected illicit drugs had been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Lagos Command for further action.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Friday said 23 ships, conveying bulk sugar, bulk wheat, frozen fish, bulk salt, bulk gypsum, butane gas and others, were expected at Lagos ports from Sept. 2 to Sept. 16. It also stated that 18 ships were already at the ports discharging bulk wheat, general cargo, petrol, frozen fish, pet coke, container, bulk urea and automobile gasoline.
The authority added that five other ships had arrived the ports and were waiting to berth with general cargo, bulk urea, container and petrol.
Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, APC National Chairman, on Friday solicited the support of traditional rulers towards ensuring hitch-free 2023 General Elections.
Adamu made the plea during a courtesy visit on Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu-Bashar, in Birnin Kebbi.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the APC Chairman was in Kebbi State to attend the wedding Fatiha of the two daughters of ex-Chief of Staff, Kebbi Government House and present National Organising Secretary of APC, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad-Argungu.
Adamu said: “We are here in Kebbi for a wedding ceremony, but we felt it is necessary to pay homage on you as a father to all.
“We are here to seek royal blessings and at the same time plead for your support and cooperation towards a successful conduct of 2023 General Elections.
“As a father and highly respected individual in the society, who is always in contact with his people at all levels, it’s imperative to come and seek for support and cooperation.
”The chairman appealed to the Emir to use his position to counsel the youth on the need to conduct themselves peacefully before, during and after the general elections.
He called on youth not to be allowed to be used by selfish politicians to cause confusion, advising, “we should understand that Nigeria belongs to all of us.
” L-R: Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, APC National Chairman and Emir of Gwandu speaking during a courtesy visit on the Emir at Abdullahi Fodio palace in Birnin Kebbi on Friday.
Responding, Iliyasu-Bashar, appreciated the national chairman for the visit, advising politicians to caution their supporters against acts capable of causing violence during the forthcoming elections.
“Election is not a war, it is no a do or die affair, so there is need for politicians to caution their supporters against violence.
‘’People should be allowed to vote for whoever they think will take them to the promised land,” he said.
According to him, no meaningful development can be achieved in any country in an atmosphere of uncertainty and chaos.
The emir, who urged eligible voters to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before the elections, called for continuous prayers for peaceful elections in the country.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has felicitated the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Kashim Shettima on his 56th birthday, describing him as a visionary leader.
Shettima, the immediate past governor of Borno State, clocked 56 on Friday, Sept. 2. Sanwo-Olu, in a congratulatory message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, said that Shettima was a committed and selfless public servant.
He said that the former governor contributed not only to his state but Nigeria as a whole, as an experienced banker, respected politician and public officer.
The governor said that the APC vice presidential candidate had displayed pragmatic leadership with selflessness and dedication.
He said that he did so by rendering quality service to people at the state and national levels both in the private and public sectors.
”On behalf of my wife, Ibijoke, and the good people of Lagos State, I join family, friends, political associates, leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to congratulate Sen. Kashim Shettima, the running mate to our National Leader and presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on his 56th birthday.
”Sen. Shettima, in the last three decades, has distinguished himself as successful banker and public officer, rising to the position of a General Manager in Zenith Bank before yielding the clarion call in 2007 to serve as Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development in Borno State.
”As a golden fish, which cannot be hidden, Shettima within four years served as Commissioner in five ministries – Finance and Economic Development, Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Education, Agriculture and Health under Gov. Ali Modu Sheriff from 2007 to 2011. ”Having proved to be a trusted and committed manager of manpower and resources, his people elected him as Governor in 2011,” he said.
According to him, Shettima’s input in the growth and development of Borno State during his tenure as governor is a clear testament to his visionary leadership.
He said that his developmental strides in the Borno State were noticeable in different areas of endeavour to date.
Sanwo-Olu said that he had also distinguished himself in the legislative chamber as a member of the Senate, representing Borno Central.
”His penchant for diligence and contributions toward the development of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political landscape based on his service to the nation in different capacities in the past without any iota of doubt made him the right choice as the APC vice presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential poll.
”On this occasion of his 56th birthday, I wish ‘our incoming Vice President’, by the grace of God, good health and wisdom, as he continues to render more services to our dear country,” Sanwo-Olu said.