A Professor of Nutrition Biochemistry, Prof. Gloria Elemo, says food and nutrition insecurity are of public health importance troubling, not just Nigeria, but many African countries.
Elemo, a former Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), made the assertion on Tuesday in his inaugural lecture at the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo.
The lecture was entitled: “Let There Be Bread: The Struggle in Achieving Food and Nutrition Security in Nigeria.”
She said that the issue of food and nutrition were matters of governance, leadership, wealth, poverty, national security, peace, and most importantly, matters of life and death.
“To have ‘bread’ everyday in Nigeria, for at least about 10 per cent of the population, has been a struggle for a long time now.
“Albeit, Nigeria has a landmass spanning over 924,000km2 with about 40 per cent of arable land being cultivated and a huge economic agricultural potential.
“Agriculture, which has been a major contributor to the Nigerian economy, has not been able to solve the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition,” she said.
Elemo said that the ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 Report’ showed that 11.5 per cent of the Nigerian population were undernourished, while 24.8 per cent of the total population were severely food insecured.
According to her, some factors responsible for food insecurity in Nigeria include: inadequate investment in agriculture; poorly implemented agricultural policies and plans; inadequate financial support for subsistent-level farmers.
She listed other factors as high cost of farm inputs, poor storage facilities, poor market access, and market inefficiency, insurgency in the North, adverse climatic conditions and poor food processing and preservation systems.
On the way forward to achieving food nutrition and security, Elemo said the Federal Government should ensure that the power sector meet the needs of Nigerians.
“If this can be achieved, it will alter the status quo with regards to food processing, food preservation, value addition and thus contribute to reducing food and nutrition insecurity,” she said.
Elemo stressed the need to continue to push policy issues in the country until they become fully implemented.
She said that the Bill canvassing 10 per cent to 20 per cent cassava flour/sorghum flour in bread should be represented before the National Assembly.
The expert added that science, technology, and innovation should be prioritised, noting that challenges of inadequate research funding should be addressed.
“There is a need to invest in research and development that would provide local solutions to our local problems.
“Establishing science parks in geopolitical zones of the country, for example, is a way to showcase local scientific achievements and innovation to stakeholders,” she said.
Elemo called on the stakeholders to collaborate with research and academic institutions to achieve broad objectives of market-driven research and development.
“The struggle to ensure that everyone has food in the right quantity, quality, safety, socio-cultural acceptability everyday of their lives is real.
“Efforts have been made and are still being made to combat the many faces of food and nutrition insecurity.
“The struggle continues, because the challenges of food and nutrition insecurity are multifaceted,” she said.
Elemo said the challenge could only be alleviated when all stakeholders brainstorm and chart out a sustainable pathway that would be beneficial to everyone, particularly to the most vulnerable ones.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye
NCDC records 189 new COVID-19 cases, total now 57,145
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Saturday.
“As at Sept. 19, 2020, 189 new confirmed cases and one death was recorded in Nigeria.
“Till date, 57,145 cases have been confirmed, 48,431 cases have been discharged and 1,095 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” it said.
The agency stated that the 189 new infections were reported from 15 states of the federation.
“Lagos (70), Plateau (37), FCT (24), Kaduna (19), Rivers (12), Oyo (5), Ogun (4), Ebonyi (3), Katsina (3), Ondo (3), Osun (3), Imo (2), Yobe (2), Ekiti (1), Nasarawa (1),” it said.
The agency said that cloth masks provide protection when properly worn and cared for.
“Wear mask covering your nose and mouth, handle mask with clean hands and wash cloth face masks after each use.
“MaskOnNaija with other preventive measures. Learn how to make your own face mask: covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/DI… ,” it advised.
“TakeResponsibility and adhere to all non pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19 if you must travel,“ it said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujini/Sadiya Hamza
NIDO-Ghana plans webinar to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Ghana chapter, said on Saturday that it would organise a webinar as part of events to celebrate Nigeria’s sixtieth independence anniversary.
Mr Elija Iposu, Public Relations Officer of NIDO-Ghana, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
Iposu said the event would be organised by NIDO-Ghana in collaboration with a Ghana-based private firm, Diplomats Extra and Milestone Communications.
According to him, the webinar, which will hold on Oct. 2, is a virtual ceremony with Zoom ID: 742450910 and the title: ’60 years of Ghana-Nigeria diplomacy’.
Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, former Director-General Institute of International Affairs, and Amb. Bulus Lolo, former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria are among high-ranking personalities expected to participate in the event.
Some other expected guests are Mr Oluwaseyi Adeyemi, Publisher, Inside Watch Africa Magazine, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, UN Senior Mediation Advisor, Prof. Baflour Agyeman-Duah, former UN Special Governance Advisor and Affail Monney, President Ghana Journalists Association.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 16, unveiled the logo and theme for the 60th independence anniversary celebration.
He said that the celebration would be observed for a whole year, to end on Sept. 30, 2021 and would be muted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Ekiti Deputy Gov eulogises late theatre icon, Jimoh Aliu
The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has paid tributes to the late theatre icon, Chief Jimoh Aliu.
He eulogised the late prominent artiste for using his talent in promoting arts and culture locally, nationally and internationally.
Egbeyemi, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on media, Mr Odunayo Ogunmola, on Saturday, described the late Aliu as a worthy Ekiti Ambassador, who placed the name of the state on the global map of theatre, arts, culture and entertainment.
He described the death of the former National President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), as a great and monumental loss not only to Ekiti, his state of origin but also to entire Nigeria.
According to him, the late dramatist and producer exhibited the famed Ekiti virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work and good name, which the youths of nowadays must emulate.
Egbeyemi noted that the Aliu mentored many young artistes and promoted local content in the nation’s entertainment industry.
The Deputy Governor said the plays and films produced by the deceased taught moral lessons, bravery, valour, strong will, determination and self-belief in pursuit of dreams and vision.
He said that Aliu rose to stardom by hard work and perseverance, and never forgot his roots as he lived among his people throughout his lifetime.
Egbeyemi regretted that the late Aliu died at a time his wise counsel was still needed, noting that the deceased contributed his quota to the development of Ekiti State.
The Deputy Governor, while commiserating with the family and associates of the deceased, urged them to be consoled by the good life he lived and the legacies he left behind.
“Surely, the vacuum left behind by this great legend of the stage and movies will be difficult to fill owing to his sterling contributions over the years.
“This is a monumental loss not only to Ekiti, but to our entire country. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Felix Ajide
Banditry: Lawmaker urges FG to deploy more security to Sokoto
A Member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Yusuf Kurdullah has urged the Federal Government to deploy more security personnel to Gudu and Tangaza Local Government Areas of Sokoto State to protect residents from recurring attacks by bandits.
Kurdullah who was reacting to the recent attack by bandits at Gidan Madi in Tangaza LGA, made the call while briefing newsmen in Sokoto on Saturday.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Police had confirmed the death of a Divisional Police Officer and an Inspector during the Gidan Madi attack by bandits dressed in military uniform.
The police also said about 100 gunmen attacked the town.
The lawmaker who represents Gudu/Tangaza Federal Constituency, said that the bandits had in recent times, also attacked many villages and towns in the two local government areas, where a number of innocent citizens were kidnapped or brutally killed.
He however, commended the dedication of security personnel on ground, but said more should be deployed to save the people from further attacks.
Kurdullah pledged to support all efforts to ensure the security of lives and properties, not only in the area but across the country.
He urged people of the area to remain law abiding and support security agencies with useful information to help in restoring peace and stability in the area.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed