The Managing Director, EcoBasic Seeds Company, Mr Brighton Karume, says the company has produced 10 varieties of hybrid maize seeds that can triple maize production in the country.
Karume made this known while addressing a press conference on Saturday in Kaduna to mark the company’s one year anniversary.
He said that it was time for Nigerian farmers reduce their concentration on Open Pollinated Varieties of Maize and embrace Hybrid varieties.
This, he said, would cut the current eight million tonnes maize deficit in the country.
“Hybrid varieties yield better and has the capacity of leap frogging Nigeria to the attainment of self-sufficiency in maize production,” he added.
According to him, the company will bridge the existing gap in early generation seeds production in Nigeria and drive the seed sector in West Africa with the production of high quality and pure seeds.
“Nigeria can double the size of its maize production, if 50 per cent of maize farmers across the country adopt hybrid maize varieties.
“Ninety per cent of farmers still focus on using the old methods of seeds while only 10 per cent of Nigerian farmers use hybrid seeds, which makes it impossible for the country to meet the national maize demand,” he added.
Karume said that the company had kept to its plan of bridging the wide gap between foundation and certified seed production in the country.
This, he said, was to give farmers the opportunity to maximize profit and expand their production with the availability of quality and 100% seed purity.
“We have been able to transform into an exciting organization working with Outgrowers to cultivate over 50 hectarage of maize and cowpeas (beans) foundation seeds across Nigeria.
“The company has so far established about 60 different demonstration sites across Kaduna, Niger and Kano states, with about 10 different varieties of hybrid maize including Sammaz 62, Sammaz 63 and Sammaz 68 drought tolerant and high yield.
” The managing director said the seed company has developed a business to business model, transacting directly with registered seed companies in Nigeria.
He said that the seed companies have committed to placing foundation seed orders of various hybrids produced by the company, including the new cowpea seed, ahead of the 2023 planting season.
“We are convinced that with sustained investment, Nigeria will be able to meet its annual maize deficit which currently stands at eight million metric tons “In Africa today, Nigeria is not leading in maize production but grows the largest maize hectarage on the continent.
“This is hugely due to its inability to utilize the opportunities provided by the introduction of hybrid varieties which enable the farmer to produce more from the same old piece of land,” he said.
Karume said farmers must embrace technology which is playing very crucial role in agricultural productivity.
He added that hybrid technology brings about improved varieties, helping farmers in other countries in their quest for food and nutritional security.
“Nigeria cannot afford to miss out.
As a new entrant to the seed sector in Nigeria we also get a lot of support from our local and international stakeholders and partners.
” The News Agency of Nigeria reports that EcoBasic Seed Company was established in Nigeria in 2021 to foster increased supply of high quality foundation seeds across West Africa.
NAN also reports that journalists were taken round one of the company’s demonstration sites located along Zaria-Kaduna highway.
The Imo Government and the state chapter of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) have called for caution in the handling of the alleged compromise of the INEC voter register in the state.
They also urged politicians to desist from any act capable of hitting up the polity ahead of the 2023 general elections.
They made the call in separate reactions to the claim by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) that the voter register in Imo and 20 other states had been compromised.
The Spokesman for CUPP, Mr Ikenga Ugochinyere, had alleged that inflated figures and fictitious names were uncovered in the voter register for Omuma Ward of Gov. Hope Uzodimma.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Declan Emelumba, dismissed the allegation as “reckless, irresponsible and seditious.
“It could only have come from a jaundiced, mischievous mindset,” he said.
Emelumba said that the establishment of a tertiary institution at Omuma could have accounted for the existence of non-Igbo names in the voter register.
According to him, only those who hack INEC’s server can gain access to the commission’s information that has yet to be brought to public knowledge.
He, therefore, urged relevant security agencies to arrest and investigate CUPP and its spokesman, in order to ascertain their source of information.
“Imo is not on INEC’s official list of states guilty of fictitious registration of voters and INEC has not completed the Automated Biometric Verification of the system.
“The exercise must be concluded before an official voter register can be released to the public.
“It is therefore clear that Ugochinyere has either hacked into INEC server and doctored documents there or forged the document he was brandishing.
“Either way is criminal and it is important that he is immediately arrested for questioning,” the commissioner said.
Also reacting, the state Chairman of IPAC, Mr Levi Ekeh, said it was premature to make such allegation when INEC had yet to publish a cleaned up voter register for public scrutiny.
Ekeh said INEC had no doubt introduced a lot of innovations to allay peoples’ fear regarding the 2023 General Elections.
“We as a body commend their good efforts so far.
“At the same time, we caution them that Imo people, Nigerians and the entire world are watching them as unbiased umpires to deliver free, credible, fair and acceptable elections in 2023. “In line with the Electoral Act, after the Automated Biometric Identification System and clean up, the commission shall display the voter register for seven days for the public to scrutinise and raise objections and complaints,” Ekeh said.
He said that the allegation by CUPP could only become an issue, if INEC failed to address the objections and complaints raised.
He said that INEC would publish the final register after treating the objections and complaints.
While recognising the rights of citizens to speak out in a democratic process, IPAC called for patience and understanding at this critical moment of the country’s electoral process.
The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has recommended early detection and exposure of mismanagement or theft of public funds and other illicit acts to combat corruption in the country.
The group said the proactive strategy is an effective strategy in the fight against corruption.
The Coordinator of the centre, Dr Chido Onumah, said this on Saturday in Ilorin at separate training for stakeholders and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in Kwara South, Central and North senatorial districts.
The training has its theme as “Community Based Organisations as Change Agents in Promoting Whistleblowing”.
Onumah, who was represented by the Programme Manager of AFRICMIL, Mr Kolawole Ogunbiyi, said that whistleblowing had proven to be the most direct method of exposing corrupt acts.
He said that the rural dwellers felt the pains and gains of both poor and good governance more, hence the need to bring training to the rural communities.
The coordinator, said that the centre was ready to work with CBOs at the grassroots to encourage people to adopt the culture of whistleblowing as a way of fighting corruption in Nigeria He commended MacArthur Foundation for its support while also appreciating the CBOs and other participants at the meeting.
“Since 2017, AFRICMIL has been working on a project tagged Corruption Anonymous (CORA), supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
“The project is designed to build public confidence and support for the whistleblowing policy of the Nigerian government.
“Creating awareness and sensitising the public on the importance of whistleblowing as tool to fight corruption, advocating honest implementation of the policy and ensuring effective protection for whistleblowers are the aims of the project.
“We have added another plank of engagement, which aims at institutionalisation of whistleblowing as a vital mechanism for transparency and democratic good governance in Nigeria.
“We are morally and legally bound as citizens not to keep quiet to any act of corruption or wrongdoing when we see one,” Onumah said.
He called on Nigerians to expose abandoned projects and other corrupt acts by visiting www.
org and clicking on whistleblowing form or visit https:.
In Kwara Central, Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, the CEO, Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation (GLOHWOC), said there was need to speak up against corruption, misappropriation of funds, bad governance, sexual and gender based violence.
Abayomi-Oluwole in an open discussion with participants on the effects of constituency projects on the rural dwellers expressed dissatisfaction with negative effect of norm of silence by whistleblowers.
Dr Oluwabunmi Niyi-Gafar of the Dept. of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Ilorin, speaking on the culture of silence and ‘she or he is our own’ mentality of Nigerians, condemned the silence of the people owing to ethnicity and religious bias.
Niyi-Gafar urged resident participants to rise beyond ethnic, religious and gender biases to every act capable of shortchanging Nigeria’s development and common good.
At Ojoku in Kwara South, His Royal Highness, Olojoku of Ojoku, Oba Abdulrasaq Afolabi Iyiolasemi III, commended AFRICMIL for deeming it fit to sensitise the community on whistleblowing.
Oba Afolabi charged the public on good character, saying that curbing corrupt practices is everyone’s business.
He called on the people to unite in the fight against corruption while reporting anyone or anything that jeopardises communal development.
The Executive Director of Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication, Mr AbdulRahman Ayuba, one of the resource persons while speaking at the meeting at Bode Sa’adu, Kwara North, said that it was important for citizens to speak against every wrongdoing.
Ayuba also said that the passage of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act has empowered citizens to ask questions to demand for accountability from government officials.
One of the community leaders, Alhaji Ibrahim Baba, appreciated AFRICMIL for taking it upon itself to introduce whistleblowing at the community level.
Baba said the policy would help reduce corruption in the society, saying government should be open to providing information when necessary, especially when projects are awarded, to enable citizens monitor its implementation.
One of the participants who simply identified herself as Mufahat, speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria , commended the organisers for the programme.
Mufahat said that there was need for employment and empowerment opportunities for the youths in order to avoid bad characters.
She urged the participants to speak out against all forms of impunity.
Another participant, Ariyo Fatimah, tasked the government on provision of more healthcare centres, water supply and adequate electricity.
Fatimah said that corruption was denying ordinary citizens their basic rights to education and social infrastructure.
She however urged all those involved in corruption to stop the evil act.
NAN also reports that Mrs Jumoke Olaoye, the Kwara Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, among other dignitaries, attended the event.
Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe has expressed shock and sorrow over the boat mishap in Jumbam, Tarmuwa Local Government Area of the state.
Buni made this known in a statement by his Director-General Press and Media Affairs, Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, in Damaturu on Saturday.
He said the incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when two passenger boats bound for Babbangida weekly market capsized in a flood wave.
The governor said two bodies were so far recovered, while an unascertained number of passengers were still missing.
Buni directed relevant agencies in the state to commence intensive search for the remaining victims.
He described the accident as sad, unfortunate and devastating, and prayed for the safe rescue of the remaining passengers.
He advised people traveling by road or water to always be cautious.
The governor direct those living along waterways to move to higher grounds for their safety.
“The heavy rains and floods usually come from far and unannounced; we should always be on the watch out and avoid dangerous waterways,” he said.
Buni prayed to Allah (SWT) to protect the people of the state, their properties, livestock and farmlands against the increasing menace of flood.
Jack Grealish scored inside the first minute and Erling Haaland netted his 11th Premier League goal of the season as Manchester City eased to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.
Phil Foden added a third in the second half as City moved to the top of the table with 17 points from seven games, while Wolves are in 16th place having won only once this season.
The home side were reduced to 10 men on 33 minutes after a horrendous challenge from defender Nathan Collins.
The defender launched himself studs-first into the midriff of Grealish and could have no complaints about the straight red card.
There was a minute’s silence ahead of kickoff following the death of Queen Elizabeth and the majority of fans kept a respectful silence.
While there was warm applause on 70 minutes from all around the ground to mark the number of years the monarch was on the throne.
The opening goal after 55 seconds was a first of the season for Grealish, who has come under criticism this week for his failure to both score and provide assists since his 100 million pound move from Aston Villa last year.
“It was nice to get off the mark this season and get the three points at a difficult place to come against a top team,” Grealish told BT Sport.
“This Wolves team is so underrated and they showed that in the second half, so it is a great result for us.
“I should be scoring goals and getting more assists.
I’m always going to have people talking about me with the amount I was bought for.
“But even at Aston Villa I did not score as much as I should have.
It is something I want to add to my game.
” The champions took the lead when Kevin De Bruyne’s inviting cross into the six-yard box was turned home by Grealish, before Haaland scored his 14th goal in all competitions with a scuffed shot from the edge of the box after Wolves defender Max Kilman stood off him.
The Norwegian striker became the first player in Premier League history to net in his first four away games, and the points were sealed when De Bruyne was again the architect with another low cross into the six-yard box which was turned home by Foden.
The win sees City unbeaten in their last 22 away Premier League games, a club record, and was achieved despite a lethargic second-half display in which they were not at their sizzling best.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority has clarified that the viral video showing officers of the agency driving against the traffic is not a recent one.
The General Manager, LASTMA, Mr Bolaji Oreagba, made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a viral video surfaced on Friday in which a man blocked the agency’s officers for driving against the traffic around the Oworonshoki Bridge area of the state.
Oreagba said the patrol van seen in the viral video was among LASTMA operational vehicles burnt alongside its office building by #EndSARs protesters at Iyana-Oworo, Lagos.
He noted that all the officers involved in the incident had been sanctioned.
Oreagba said, “The attention of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority has been drawn to a viral video on Twitter (@OmoGbajaBiamila).
“The video shows where our officers who drove against traffic (one-way) with an operational vehicle , RTM 08 LA Zone 25 Bariga, was blocked by a private vehicle on Oworonsoki Bridge, Lagos.
“The agency hereby states categorically that the video incident occurred in 2020 before the #ENDSARS protest around Iyana-Oworo.
“All officers involved have been appropriately sanctioned by the authority.
”He, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard the video that was deployed to embarrass the agency’s team of hardworking officers.
Oreagba said LASTMA would continue effective monitoring and control of traffic across the state, just as it would not condone indiscipline among its personnel.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, has told staff members of agencies under the ministry that it can no longer be business as usual.
This is contained in a statement on Saturday by Mr Mukaila Sanusi, spokesman of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
Sanusi quoted the commissioner as speaking during his maiden meeting with staff of agencies under his ministry on Friday in Alausa.
The meeting, according to the statement, was held with staff of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) District Officers.
It said that the state government was adopting rewards and sanctions for efficiency of its agencies monitoring the construction sector and urged the staff to brace up for change.
The commissioner is quoted as saying that the ministry was confronted with several challenges it could not ignore He said they could not be ignored if the ministry must meet the aspirations of the state government for sustainable built environment and 21st century economy.
“To enhance the quality of our services, it has become incumbent upon us to frontally address notable gaps in the processes.
“It is by so doing that we can engender crops of well empowered field officers, improve public sensitisation of available resources and enhance feedback mechanism as well as reduce negative public perception,” he said.
Bamgbose-Martins said the change would be targeted at building positive public image through effective feedback mechanism and prompt, timely and courteous service.
He urged the District Officers to embrace transparency and accountability in their official conducts.
The commissioner warned that officers must be conscious of their conducts as ambassadors of the state government in their respective districts.
He said that plans were on “to encourage healthy rivalry amongst district offices through the application of a reward system and discipline”.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on eGIS and Planning Matters, Dr Olajide Babatunde, expressed confidence that incessant building collapse would be a thing of the past in Lagos State when the reforms being pushed get a foothold.
Babatunde said that it was necessary for all District Officers as operators of the system to understand and internalise the change being advocated.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs Abiola Kosegbe promised Lagos residents efficient planning approval and enforcement processes.
She said that these would reduce illegal construction and tame building collapse.
Also present were General Manager (GM), LASBCA, Mr Gbolahan Oki; GM, LASPPPA, Mr Kehinde Osinaike; and GM, Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Agency, Mr Daisi Oso. The GM, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, Mr Olufunso Elulade, was also listed among those in attendance at the meeting.
The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in partnership with the Cardiovascular Education Foundation, an NGO, has commenced a cardiac mission intervention targeted at offering treatment to patients with cardiovascular diseases.Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, who spoke at a news conference organised on Friday to flag-off the programme said the intervention was a landmark event."What we are doing here today is about interventional cardiovascular procedures that we have lined up for some of our less privileged patients in collaboration with Cardiovascular Education Foundation."This is another landmark event for LASUTH and it is made possible because we are open for partnership, alliances and association with willing partners, and this has helped us over the years."They have come to LASUTH at the right time because few months ago, we partnered an organisation to set-up a cardiac catheterization laboratory, which happens to be the first and only functional lab of its kind in any public institution in Nigeria."Since the set-up of the laboratory, we have been doing cases but with this mission the scope of the lab will be put to good use because a lot of procedures are going on in the lab."They are also working side by side with our experts withing so that skills can be transferred," he said.Fabamwo commended the foundation for identifying with the hospital and providing medical interventions to patients."The missioners in their kindness and magnanimity brought with them all the very expensive materials needed for some of the procedures."The patients are paying virtually next to nothing for the procedures and this is a very commendable gesture'" he said.He advised Nigerian to maintain healthy lifestyles to avoid cardiovascular diseases.Speaking also, Dr Obi Emerole, the President of Cardiovascular Education Foundation said the aim of the partnership was to provide relief for patients who cannot afford the care they need."Over the next week one week, we will be providing care to a lot of patients and this will include, Geographic Variation, implantation of pacemakers, implantation of cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) among others."This is an opportunity for close to 20 patients who will not ordinarily be able to afford the care they need."It is also an opportunity for skills transfer to some of the Nigeria based cardiologists and at the same time, we will be able to learn from them."I must commend the effort of LASUTH cardiologists for having done the ground work so that this intervention can commence immediately," the U.S. based consultant cardiologists said.Emerole said the foundation would continue to partner with the institution towards making LASUTH a premier destination for cardiovascular education training, research and patients care in Sub-Sahara Africa.
The Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) on Saturday, offered skills training for teachers in its schools to enhance their capacity.
The teachers were also drilled on security measures for their safety and that of students in their care.
The capacity development training with the theme, “Creativity in Teaching Learning and Safety Measure”, was held in Abuja and had participants from NAOWA nursery, primary and secondary schools.
In her speech, NAOWA President and wife of the Chief of Army Staff, Mrs Salamatu Yahaya, said educational development remained a key component of her administration.
Yahaya said that continuous training and retraining of staff would enhance their productivity, adding that the training seminar was the sixth in the series.
She said it was aimed at making the beneficiaries better and effective given the array of resource persons that delivered lectures in various areas.
She urged the teachers to justify the investment that had been made on them in the area of capacity development by putting in their best to teaching and learning outcomes.
“To have an effective teacher, training and retraining is very important.
Since coming on board, we have been organising the staff development series and this is the sixth series.
“It is all aimed at making them better and effective teachers.
“It is also a means for them to interact with other teachers because all the resource persons are also professional teachers in their own right.
“So, it is also a way for them to interact and exchange ideas, and understand current trends in teaching methodology as well as teaching in the 21st century.
“The theme is apt and the topics treated are also apt with regards to current trends in education.
“NAOWA has really invested in them by training them and ensuring that they have good welfare package.
It is expected that they put in their best and be the best teachers that they can be,’’ she said.
The Head, Staff Training Committee, NAOWA, Mrs Fatima Mohammed, said the training was organised for the teachers to learn more effective ways of imparting knowledge to their students.
Mohammed added that the training would also help them to match the teaching techniques of the past with new skills to produce a greater generation of Nigerians.
She said technological and infrastructural development have made it necessary for teachers to bring creativity into their daily activities to achieve the desired goals and ensuring that schools were safe and conducive for learning.
One of the resource persons, Mr Abdulrazak Muhammad, in his lecture titled, “Safety and Security Measures in Schools” said that safety of schools was paramount to educational development.
Muhammad, a former Secretary of FCT Universal Education Board, said the current security challenges had affected the nation’s educational system in some parts of the country.
“It is very important that we create awareness among the stakeholders, teachers, students and administrators in order to enhance and ensure safety and security of children in schools,” he added.
He said many schools and institutions all over Nigeria have porous security system, and were not adhering to standard security measures.
Muhammad said there must be strong understanding between host communities and schools, while government should provide adequate security for schools.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NAOWA president used the event to honour some members of staff with gifts for their dedication and commitment to duty.
A faith based association, the United Pastors Initiative For Good Governance (UPIG) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government for tackling the issue of insecurity, especially in the North East.The association also urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards achieving secured society, stable economy and sound educational system for its citizens.
The association’s President, Rev. James Muya, stated this during a press conference on Saturday in Abuja.
He advised the government to put in place policies that would address the lingering strike in higher institution to improve the country’s educational system.
The president, who said the association was not a political party and not ready to endorse any candidate for the forthcoming elections, urged INEC to give a level playing ground for all participants.
“In the fight against insecurity, before President Buhari took over in 2015, a lot of Nigerians in the North East had no homes and with no hope of going back to their villages.
“But today, President Buhari made their returning home possible as he promised Nigerians after his swearing-in.
“Therefore, President Buhari deserves a recommendation in the aspect, ” he said.
Muya also commended Buhari for signing the Electoral Act 2023, urging those planning electoral violence or malpractice in the 2023 general elections to have a rethink.
He expressed the association’s readiness to observe, monitor, analyse and report the credibility of the 2023 general elections to the public.
“That is why we are advising those that are preparing for vote buying, rigging, declaration under duress and other possible electoral crimes, to give up their evil intentions before it becomes too late.
”He commended the administration on its various achievements including the completion of projects initiated by previous administration.
He described the president’s achievements the best ‘continuity government’ that never stopped any good initiative created by the past administration.
On his part, the North Vice President of the association, Mr Yakubu Anza, said that President had done his best for the past seven years but needed to check the appointment of security heads.
He said Nigeria had two major faith, noting that if security heads were appointed from both religious, that would go a long way in making the fight against insurgency easier.