The recently proposed ban on “kpomo”, a Nigerian delicacy which serves as cheaper substitute to meat for the poor, has generated reactions from some stakeholders in agribusiness.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that kpomo is made from hides and skins of domestic animals such as goat, sheep, and cow.
Imal Silva, agropreneur and advocate for sustainable agriculture, appealed to the Federal Government not to ban kpomo for the sake of the people that have made it their special delicacy.
Silva said people above 40 years of age could not eat much of regular meat, as such kpomo was more ideal for them, and there were some tribes that kpomo was part of their delicacy .
“The government should not say because some people are making good money exporting hides and skins, then stop the poor people who also buy it to cook and eat,” he said.
Silva urged the Federal Government to rear more cattles so that there would be enough to eat and export.
He also appealed to exporters of cow skin to partner with different stakeholders in the cattle business to use the opportunity to rear more cattle.
Silva added that they should sell beef meat as well as hides and make more money from partnerships.
“There is also the need to look for more alternatives to cow skin, both animal and plant options,” he said.
Mallam Farouk Hassan, a meat seller in Abuja said the ban of kpomo was not what the people needed.
“If you ban kpomo, what is the alternative for it that people can afford?
“I am a meat seller and I have been doing this business for more that 20 years and I can tell you that kpomo is a life saver for many homes.
“What we need is for government to make the environment safer so that farmers can go back to farms.
This will also help animal rearing to improve,” Hassan said.
Mrs Folashade Ajewole, a farmer, appealed to government to reconsider its stand and look into the issue closely.
“Banning of kpomo is not the problem, what will be the alternative to kpomo for the people, do we have industries that will use the cow skin for the various shoes and bags we need?
” Ajewole wondered.
“Government needs to make the environment safer, let more people rear cattle as this will help because there will be more cattle to go round for eating and exporting,” she said.
NAN recalls that Prof. Muhammad Yakubu, the Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology, Zaria, had spoken on the decision to ban kpomo.
Yakubu disclosed that the decision to ban kpomo was geared towards resuscitating the moribond tanneries and leather industry in the country.
He said that the habit of eating animal skin, which had no nutritional value, should be stopped in order to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.
The DG said the institute, in collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, would approach the National Assembly and state governments to bring out legislation banning consumption of kpomo.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained 40 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Prison Inmates and Retired Civil Servants in Katsina State.
The Director- General (DG) of the Agency, Mr. Olawale Fasanya, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on the sideline of the training in Katsina onTuesday.
Represented by Alhaji Ado Bello, Deputy Director (DD), Enterprisership, Headquarters, Abuja, Fasanya said N8.5 million was spent on the procurement of skills materials which was given free of charge to the participants after the training.
He noted that the training was designed to provide enterpreneurship and vocational skills as well as provide equipment to fill the existing gaps to the target group.
“We decided to assist these vulnerable group because insecurity had forced them out of their ancestral homes to take refuge in IDPs Camps, “About 700,000 of inmates, men and women were released from prisons each year, most of them were still rearrested after returning home because they dont have stable income or employment to take care of themselves, hence they still indulge in criminalities.
” “A lot of public servants who spent their lives serving the nation don’t even have skills of doing something to stand on their own.
According the DG, it is in view of these that most of them ran into serious problems and subsequently die of frustration.
“Therefore, we feel it is pertinent that we designed the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme to support these vulnerable class to acquire skills that will make them earn a living and become relevant in the society,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that out of the 40 participants that benefitted in the training, 20 of them got 20 make-up materials at the rate of N250,000 each.
Another set of 20 people got 20 sowing machines at the rate of N175,000 each which made the total N8.5 million www.
Ogun Government and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) are partnering to further deepen the gains of reforms in the state public service.
A statement issued on Monday in Abuja by BPSR Director of Strategic Communications, Mr Umar Aliyu said this was agreed during a visit by the Director General (DG) of the Bureau, Mr Dasuki Arabi in Abeokuta.
The DG met with the Secretary to the Ogun Government (SSG), Mr Tokunbo Talabi and other stakeholders during the visit.
The SSG said that the partnership would enhance the various reforms to reposition the state public service embarked by Gov. Dapo Abiodun.
Talabi said the reforms include, the automation of the process of appointment of Permanent Secretaries and the digitisation of registration of public schools.
Others are the digitisation of Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System, establishment of state Bureau of Public Procurement, Government Delivery Unit, as well as Housing reforms, among others.
“The government delivery unit was created to serve as a platform for effective tracking and coordination of priority initiatives.
“It has consistently engaged and collaborated with Ministries Departments and Agencies, as well as stakeholders in ensuring transparency, accountability, resource control, control resolution, quality assurance and due process,” he added.
Talabi explained that the digitisation of schools registration had curtailed juvenile delinquency and criminal tendencies of some students who in the past moved from one school to the other to evade consequences of their actions.
According to him, the reform of the housing sector has removed bottlenecks for middle class citizens including public servants in owning decent houses.
Earlier, Arabi said that the visit was to offer necessary support to the state government towards establishing a full-fledged Bureau of Public Service Reforms to improve public administration.
The DG emphasised that the reforms would bring about core public service institutions in a systemic and sustainable manner for enduring changes in the behaviour of public sector actors in the interest of the people.
Present during the visit were the State Head of Service, Dr Nafiu Aigoro, Permanent Secretary, Ogun Public Service Transformation Office, Mr Jola Oyeneye, and his counterpart in the Bureau of Establishments and Training, Mrs Lydia Fajounbo, among others.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) on Tuesday announced it is entering into synergy with Ethiopia and Mozambique to ensure entrenchment of biosafety practices in Africa.
The Director General (DG) of NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, said this in Abuja while receiving delegates from Ethiopia and Mozambique on a learning tour on biosafety.
Ebegba said that Nigeria deserves to synergise with other African countries to ensure biosafety.
The DG said that NBMA has the responsibility to regulate the activities of modern biotechnology, deploy and use their products which is the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
He said the agency had always ensured that GMOs did not have negative impact on the society.
“The agency has been able to establish a GMO detecting analysis laboratory to ensure that all GMOs suspects are properly analysed, detected and confirmed not to have meritorious genes.
“The activities of the agency have led to various development of various guidelines to enable effective delivery of national biosafety activities in our country.
“We have not failed our country in ensuring that safety is our watchword,” Ebegba said.
Responding, the Mozambican representative, Dr Roda Uniz, said the agency was a good example to follow in terms of biosafety around the continent.
“We are here to learn how this technology is going to improve the lives of Africa and to protect our environment,” Uniz said.
Prof. Firew Mekbib, President, Ethiopia Society of Biotechnology said that Africa could not develop without biotechnology.
Mekbib commended NBMA for its activities to ensure biosafety in the continent.
Dr Francis Nang’ayo, Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, African Agricultural Technology Foundation Kenya, promised to comply with approval conditions from NBMA on biosafety.
Nang’ayo commended the great achievements made by NBMA and promised to learn more on biosafety from the agency.
Dr Egesi Chiedozie, Project Manager, NextGen Cassava, has disclosed that five new cassava varieties have been released in the last 18 months to farmers across Nigeria.
Chiedozie announced this on Tuesday at the NextGen Cassava Annual meeting in Abuja, saying that the project was about improving cassava varieties to enhance food security and increase income for farmers.
He described NextGen as the largest cassava breeding network located in four continents, and currently working with 20 partner organisations across the world.
According to Chiedozie, in NextGen, gender responsive breeding was done to make sure that the voices of women were heard.
“So, we do not just go to scientists to give us new breed varieties, but to the village woman who plants cassava and prepares garri or fufu from it,” he said.
The Director General (DG)of National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Dr Phillips Ojo, said the distinct role of NextGen in development of breeding capacities in cassava seed sector had really changed the face of the cassava seed system in Nigeria.
The DG who was represented by Zidafamor Jimmy, Director, Seed Coordination and Management Services, said the focus for cassava was building and transforming the practices of stakeholders in the cassava value chain.
Ojo said that this would help in enhancing the farm-level productivity of our smallholder farmers.
He said the new improved cassava varieties that were released in the country, were expected to have significant impact on food security, enhance farmer incomes, improve agro-industrialization and create jobs.
Ojo said that over the last four decades, researchers have released 54 improved varieties of cassava in Nigeria.
“This is a significant feat as we now have varieties that are fit for purpose and economically viable to encourage large scale participation,” he said.
Dr. Godwin Asumugha, Ag. Executive Director, National Root Crops Research Institute, (NRCRI) Umudike, said NextGen Cassava meeting would reiterate commitments to deploy technology, innovative and global best practices to strengthen cassava for economic diversification.
“In 2020, the Nigeria’s National Crops Release Committee approved the release from NRCRI of five new improved cassava varieties to meet the demand of farmers, processors and consumers,” Asumugha said.
He said that NRCRI would continue to support and provide conducive environment for the research activities of the NEXTGEN Project to contribute to the national food security.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has promised to effect continuous regulatory systems on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
The Director General (DG) of the agency, Dr Rufus Ebegba said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
Ebegba said that the guidelines would help the agency to be more effective in the regulatory systems with respect to GMO’s.
The DG said that the NBMA’s guidelines would also guide various research institutes, individuals and technology developers in their activities.
He said that the guidelines would ensure that modern technology in the area of inclusion of more than one gene in the development of GMOs was safe.
“In the recent development of GMO’s, we believe these guidelines have been reviewed thoroughly and not in the Nigeria context alone.
“The guidelines have also been subjected to international exposure.
We are happy with our international input to these guidelines.
“Our decision has been based on the interests of our country and conviction that these approvals were granted as safe and not only being safe,” Ebegba said.
He urged the staff of NBMA to take issues of security seriously.
“As the world is going on, we don’t doubt that the issue of terrorism might emerge so Nigeria as a country must be well prepared,” Ebegba said.
He assured that the agency would always ensure that the environment was protected from harmful biological agents.
The DG said that the issue of COVID-19 is still very much alive and Nigerians must understand that its impact was not only on human life but also on socio-economic lives of citizens.
He said that the pandemic had brought economies to their knees.
“Over the years, we have strived to make giant strides in the face of challenges.
“We, as an agency representing the government at the international level has assisted Africa as a continent.
“We have also supported the African continent in the area of putting together skills and knowledge to ensure that Africa is not left behind in the issues of biosafety and biosecurity,” Ebegba said.
Women encouraged to take up global positionsConsul General of South Africa to Nigeria, Darkey Africa has said that Africa would not grow to maximise its full potential if it fails to involve women.
He told African leaders, that in pursuing the objectives and aspirations of Agenda 2063, they should ensure that women are not a footnote of what will happen in the future because they should be allowed to contribute adequately to the society.
He said this as South Africa consulate General in Lagos, commemorated the country’s yearly Women’s Day Celebration in Lagos.
It was themed, ‘Women’s Socio-economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women Resilence.
’South Africa marks its Women’s Day in August to pay tribute to the over 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on Aug. 9, 1956 to protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women.
Africa noted that there are certain prejudice and stereotypes that limit the ability of the African continent to achieve its purpose.
“Over 50 per cent of the continent, which are women are denied the opportunities that they should have.
“If we have half of our population, which are the women, not allowed to help us solve our problems, we would not grow.
Africa has got everything it takes to become great.
If we can leave out certain traditions, religious biases used to suppress women, we are going to go far,” he said.
Women were urged to take up global positions especially in politics.
They were also encouraged to support other women striving to make impacts in their various fields.
Policies that encourage and enhance women’s participation in all parts of government were also buttressed.
Speaking from the diplomatic angle, Consul General of the Cameroonian Consulate in Nigeria, Manga Bessem, said there are no limits in diplomacy.
“When you are a woman, you have an advantage, because collectively, when women are on the table, the discussion is different.
I am out there to encourage more women into politics.
As women, we should support other women trying to make impacts,” she said.
Bessem called for deeper collaboration among women.
Founder, Black Roots Media, Lusanda Chauke, noted that from a media perspective, women are winning the fight by producing things that tell their stories.
“Women are taking the lead and in the forefront of media.
The forefront conversations are always that we have to tell the stories.
We shouldn’t be afraid to tell our stories,” she added.
She explained that as females, their role is to create sisterhoods where support and encouragement is the norm.
Senior Lecturer, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Lagos, Mary Akinyemi, said its time for a change of narrative, which should start with the girl child.
She called for more policies that encourage and enhance womens participation in all parts of government.
She stressed that women need to be family builders and show the girl child that they can balance family and career.
“We can’t separate the fact that we need women to be family builders.
We need to tell our girls that they can balance family and career.
We have nine female Vice Chancellors with at least 202 universities in Nigeria.
We still have a long way to go,” Akinyemi said.
Director General (DG), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Chinyere Almona, said that the current challenge is that the girl child is not sufficiently equipped to become the women we want them to be.
“As women, we should bring up a boy child to be aware of the fact that women are the same as them.
We should do more to raise the boy child.
She noted that there are traditional barriers that needs to be named and dealt with.
Almona urged women to get mentorship and be open to learn from others.
“Look around your environment and find out who is doing what you want to do.
Learn from others because this is a great way to move ahead,” she said.
Managing director/ CEO of NMO Management Limited, Ngozi Omambala, called on women to get involved in politics because that’s where policies are made and where they can make their voices heard.
Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director General (DG) of the National Biosafety Agency Management (NBMA), on Tuesday assured Nigerians that the centre would address the lingering environmental issues in the country.
He said this at the unveiling of the Rufus Ebegba Centre (REC) for Leadership and Environmental Sustainability and book launch in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the book is titled “Developmental Drive and Strategies, Solution Approach”.
The DG said that without an ideal environment, man could not survive, hence “environment is where we all live”.
He said that his vision is to see how a world where leadership would always be there for the people could be created.
He said in spite of the threats in the country, citizens had a duty towards leadership.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, commended the efforts of the DG for the unveiling of the centre and the book launch.
The Senate President, who is represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Otive Igbuzor, urged everyone to take part in the development of the country so as not to leave it for the government alone.
The Emir of Nasarawa, Malam Ibrahim Jibril, urged everyone to take environmental issues serious as they were front burners that had consequences on humans.
The emir who is also a former Minister of Environment, said the environmental issues were occasioned by climate change and had consequences on the socio economic activities of Nigerians.
Jibril commended the DG for establishing the centre where researches could be carried out on environmental issues and sustainability.
The DG of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, said that writing book and establishing a centre was a legacy left for everyone to benefit.
He commended Ebegba for conceiving a centre that would transform the lives of people in the country.
“Touching lives of people is something that not everyone of us has the ability to do,” DG NABDA said.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said the centre would offer a lot in the area of biosafety, biotechnology, biosecurity and bio regulations on genetic applications in the country.
The minister, who is represented by his Special Assistant on Environment, Mr Abdulkadir Abdullahi assured of his support for the centre.
The book reviewer Prof. Peter Anyaegbu, said that the book was a veritable tool to the politicians of conscience, civil servants and students of various courses.
He said that it classically discussed the state of Nigeria today and proffered solutions to it in order to achieve a viable and stable economy in Nigeria.
The book has 15 chapters and 188 pages.
The Director General (DG)of the National Biosafety Agency Management (NBMA) Dr Rufus Ebegba on Tuesday assured Nigerians that his Centre would address the lingering environmental issues in the country.
Ebegba said this at the unveiling of the Rufus Ebegba Centre (REC) for Leadership and Environmental Sustainability and book launch in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the book is titled “Developmental Drive and Strategies, Solution Approach”.
The DG said that without an ideal environment man cannot survive, hence the environment is where all humans live.
He said that his vision is to see how a world where leadership would always be there for the people can be created.
Ebegba said that in spite of the threats in the country, the citizens had a duty towards leadership.
In his own speech, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, commended the efforts of Ebegba in unveiling the centre and launching of the book.
Omo-Agege who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Otive Igbuzor, urged everyone to take part in the development of the country and not leave it for the government alone.
The Emir of Nasarawa, Malam Ibrahim Jibril urged Nigerians to take environmental issues seriously as they were front burners that had consequences on humans.
Jibril who was also a former Minister of Environment said that the environmental issues were occasioned by climate change and had consequences on the socio economic activities of Nigerians.
The Emir commended the DG for establishing the centre where researches could be carried out on environmental issues and sustainability.
The Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, said that writing a book and establishing a centre was a legacy left for everyone to benefit.
Mustapha commended Ebegba for conceiving a centre that would transform the lives of people in the country.
“Touching lives of people is something that not everyone of us has the ability to do,” he said.
The Minister of Environment Dr Mohammed Abdullahi said that the centre would offer a lot in the area of biosafety, biotechnology, biosecurity and bio regulations on genetic applications in the country.
Abdullahi who was represented by his Special Assistant on Environment, Mr Abdulkadir Abdullahi promised to support the centre.
The book reviewer, Prof. Peter Anyaegbu said that the book was a veritable tool to politicians of conscience, civil servants and students of various courses.
Anyaegbu said that the book classically discussed the state of Nigeria today and proffered solutions to challenges in order to achieve a viable and stable economy in Nigeria.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) on Monday says it will collaborate with other stakeholders to eliminate harmful biological agents known as biorisk, in the environment.
The Director General (DG) of NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, said this during a two-day capacity building workshop organised for officers of the agency in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop is in collaboration with Health Security Partners and Biosecurity Engagement Programme.
Ebegba said that biorisk are organisms which cannot be seen through the human eyes and are harmful.
The DG further said that the workshop was to educate research institutions on organisms which could be infectious and dangerous to human health.
“NBMA would work with all stakeholders that have related mandates to ensure biosecurity in the country.
“The process is just starting, we will be convocating a national conference very soon on how to implement national biosecurity policy,” Ebegba assured.
The Minster of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, commended NBMA for the workshop to strengthen the capacity of officers of the agency.
Ekumankama who was represented by a director in the ministry, Dr Oyinye Nwankwor said that the NBMA policy was aimed at institutionalising a coordinated and functional biosecurity system in the country.
He said that the policy would minimise the risk of bio-threats to human health, biodiversity and the environment.
The minister assured that his ministry and relevant parastatals under the ministry would be actively involved in the implementation of the policy which its overall aim would attain a bio – secured nation.
Dr Kinsley Odiabara, Director, Medical Laboratory Services in the ministry said that the concept of biosafety and biosecurity needed to be well understood to avoid confusion.
“Biosafety tells you what to do so that you can avoid exposure to pathogens anywhere you find yourself, not to infect yourself and others.
“Biosecurity is much more dangerous and complicated, it tells you that if you do not manage your biological agents and materials that contain biological agents, you may run into trouble,” Odiabara said.
Dr Prasid Kuduvalli, Director of Scientific Programmes, Health Security Partners promised to strengthen its partnership with NBMA to support the course of biosafety in Nigeria.
Kuduvalli said the partners had worked with over 30 countries as Health Security Partners to prevent and protect against biological threats.