Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says residents of the state consume about N4.5 billion worth of food daily just as he reiterated commitment to food security.
Sanwo-Olu said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day zonal sensitisation workshop with the theme: “Implementation of Food Systems Transformation Pathways in Nigeria 2022,” on Monday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Lagos Ministry of Economic, Planning and Budget.
NAN reports that Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti are participating with a Lagos as coordinating state for Southwest goepolitical zone.
The governor represented by Mr Sam Egube, Commissioner for Economic, Planning and Budget, said that the state had decided to take the bull by the horn in guaranteeing food security for people with different agricultural and food value chain.
According to him, Lagos has a rich history of economic growth and transformation.
“Although it covers only 0.4 per cent of Nigeria’s territorial land mass making it the smallest in the country.
“It accounts for over 60 per cent of industrial and commercial activities. Lagos is a coastal state and has an extremely limited arable land space and home to about 21 million people.
“Its residents consume about N4.5 billion worth of food daily and 50 per cent of beef produced in the country running into several billions in other trading activities with markets cutting across all the local government areas in the state,” he said.
He called for joint collaboration among Southwest goepolitical zone to implement the Food Systems Transformation Pathways 2022.
Sanwo-Olu added that improving the food systems would influence positive changes and as well address multiple challenges being experienced in the country.
He said that the state agric roadmap was a deliberate effort to develop the agricultural sector by way of interventions from the public and private sector, international technical and donor organisations.
“I am aware that the need for states across the six geopolitical zones to be adequately sensitised on the implementation of the National Food Systems Transformation Pathways is the basis for this workshop.
“It gives me great pleasure to note that Lagos State was selected to host the South West geopolitical sensitisation which I consider as an acknowledgement of the positive impacts our policies and efforts are making in the agricultural sector.
“As a state government, we will continue to provide infrastructure and incentives to support all private sector initiatives where required.
“History has shown that any society that is unable to provide food guarantee, its security is open to abuse and utmost danger,” he said.
The governor commended the efforts of the Federal Government on its unrelenting efforts to ensure that the food systems summit in conjunction with the United Nations is developed.
“I assure you that the Lagos State Government is fully committed to achieving a food secured Lagos and Nigeria through partnership with all national and sub-national entities as well as private sector and international technical and donor organisations.
He urged all participants at the workshop to show commitment by sharing ideas and opinions on the selected programmes slated to kick-start implementation.
Mr Mathias Schmale, the Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations, commended the Federal Government for its consistent efforts toward sustainable food systems in the country.
Schmale who was represented by Mr Isiaka Ibrahim, UN Coordinator in Lagos, reiterated that the UN would continue to work with government and as well strengthen collaborations with all stakeholders in support of this transformational journey.
“Today marks another important step in the highly anticipated transformational change we have worked for in partnership.
“The zonal sensitisation workshop is designed to onboard all of us as we begin to bring synergy across states and regions.
“The momentum at which the Federal Government is accelerating the national food systems transformation pathways is highly commendable.
“Today, the government has identified three critical priority actions to be addressed at all levels to achieve food security and reduce malnutrition among the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in Nigeria.
“They are to achieve a sustainable food system that works for all; to ensure the achievement of all SDGs in the next decade.
Mrs Olusola Idowu, the National Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said an implementation team made up of key stakeholders had been constituted to develop an implementation plan.
Idowu noted that the workshop provides an opportunity to present and discuss the identified priority actions selected for implementation from January 2022.
She added that it would help to define and assign roles and responsibilities for effective implementation of the priority actions.
Idowu noted that the workshop was being held in all the six geopolitical zones concurrently from July 4 to 8, focusing on three low hanging fruit programmes and 80 priority actions.
“Please, I make this passionate appeal that we all ensure that this implementation stage is truly for implementation.
“Wherein, we do less talk and more action so that we can impact lives of Nigerians,” she said.
M. Abisola Olusanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, said that food systems remained an important part of the national economy.
Olusanya said that effective food system had contributed to a variety of solutions to developmental challenges.
She said that there had been dialogues amongst all relevant stakeholders across the six geopolitical zones of the country since 2021 which gave birth to the National Pathways for Sustainable Food Systems.
Since joining the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) as its 81st shareholder in 2020, Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa. That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa-Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin, when African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business community to invest more in Africa.
"If you're not investing in Africa, you're not in business," Adesina told her audience. "Ireland's foreign direct investment in Africa was $572 million at the end of 2020 and represented just 0.05% of Ireland's total net foreign direct investment," Adesina said. “This is too low. Ireland should invest much more in Africa. Let's set a target of 15% of Irish investment in Africa."
The exhortation from the head of Africa's leading development finance institution was matched by publicly expressed enthusiasm by Irish officials about Ireland-Africa cooperation. Speaking at the forum on Thursday, Foreign Secretary and Defense Minister Simon Coveney spoke about deepening Ireland's economic and cultural links with Africa. He pointed to the prospects for closer trade links with the continent, noting that trade between Ireland and Africa was likely to reach €5bn by 2025.
Hosting the head of the Bank Group on Friday, Irish President Michael D. Higgins congratulated Adesina on his work in the recent establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. “Nothing is more important than that,” President Higgins said. He spoke about her long-standing interest in Africa and her optimism for its economic advancement. Discussing the looming global food crisis triggered by Russia's war in Ukraine, President Higgins welcomed the pre-emptive steps the Bank had taken to ensure the continent's food security.
Describing their meeting, Adesina said, “President Higgins received me very warmly. He has a heart and a passion for Africa. He told me: 'You are doing an incredible job for Africa with your leadership in managing the African Development Bank. I'm inspired by your vision.'”
Similar support for continued strong cooperation came from senior Irish officials Adesina met during his visit, notably: Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance and the Diaspora; John Hogan, Secretary General of the Finance Department and Deputy Governor for Ireland at the African Development Bank Group; and Paul Ryan, Director of the department's Climate and International Finance Division, which is responsible for managing Ireland's shareholding in international financial institutions.
Adesina thanked the Irish government for joining the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund, the Bank Group's concessional lending arm, and expressed appreciation for Ireland's contribution, announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense Coveney on Thursday, of 2 million euros to the African region. Development Bank for Climate Adaptation.
In a speech (https://bit.ly/3Ap2qkt) at the forum on Thursday, the head of the African Development Bank held a packed conference room captive as he spoke about the current African economic environment, the continent's challenges, its many opportunities and on the role of the African Development Bank Group as a "solutions bank", a valuable partner to its regional member countries, its international development partners and the international business community, whose investment he said was desirable. “You can count on the African Development Bank as a partner,” he emphasized.
The Bank's President was also interviewed (https://bit.ly/3NFm9PZ) at the Institute of International European Affairs (IIEA) by Ambassador David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. Welcoming Adesina, he said: “Dr. Adesina is often described as Africa's Chief Optimist and is widely praised for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa's transformation. Since he took over as president of the African Development Bank in 2015, the Bank has achieved the highest capital increase since its inception in 1964.”
In his opening remarks, Paul Ryan said: “As well as being Africa's chief optimist, I would like to say to Dr. Adesina that he is also Ireland's closest friend at the African Development Bank and on the African continent as well. . He has been a fabulous partner for Ireland over the last few years, particularly since we joined the Bank in February 2020. […] The Bank's response, under the leadership of the President, to Covid and now to the war in Ukraine, has been absolutely exemplary. Many steps have been taken to prepare for the future in relation to food security, renewable energy and economic development, and it is exactly in line with our development goals. We are very happy to join the bank, very satisfied with the level of commitment and really satisfied with the work that the Bank has been doing on the continent”.
Ryan added that Adesina, “first elected president of the Bank in 2015 and unanimously re-elected for another five-year term in August 2020”, is a bold reformer who completely transformed the agricultural sector in Nigeria as agriculture minister for four years. years. and that she has replicated that same success at the African Development Bank. “We are very happy with the president. Our colleagues in the constituency are very happy. And what is more important, the broader membership of the African continent is very happy.”
Adesina spoke about the Bank's work, in particular the top 5 strategic priorities credited with developing the institution, and how he saw these priorities as the fulcrum for both transforming Africa and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the ONU.
Adesina invited officials and operators from the private sector to the next edition of the Bank's Africa Investment Forum, which will take place in Abidjan in November.
Libyans angry at rising prices, chronic power cuts and political gridlock planned more demonstrations on Monday after a night of angry protests in the capital.
Masked youths set car tires on fire and blocked roads, including a major coastal road between central Tripoli and the western suburbs, but security forces did not intervene.
Videos published by local media also showed demonstrations in Beni Walid and the port city of Misrata.
A youth movement calling itself "Beltress" said more protests were planned in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square at 4:00 pm local time (1400 GMT).
The movement calls for elections and the dissolution of both the country's rival governments and its two houses of parliament.
Public anger has been fueled by power cuts that often last 18 hours amid high summer temperatures, despite the fact that Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa.
The vast country has been mired in political unrest and armed violence since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed dictator Moamer Gadhafi.
On Friday night, protesters stormed the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk, looting its offices and setting part of the building on fire.
In both Tripoli and the main eastern city of Benghazi, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, thousands of people took to the streets shouting “We want the lights to work”.
Some waved the green flags of the former Gaddafi regime.
Kleptocracy and corruption United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for calm, but UN-brokered talks in Geneva last week to break the deadlock between rival Libyan institutions failed to resolve key differences.
Presidential and parliamentary elections, originally set for last December, were meant to culminate a UN-led peace process following the end of the last major round of violence in 2020.
But the vote never took place due to several contentious bids and deep disagreements over the legal basis for the ballot box between rival power centers in the East and West.
The crisis deepened this year when the parliament, elected in 2014 and backed by eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, appointed a new government to replace caretaker leader Abdelhamid Dbeibah.
He has refused to cede power except to an elected administration.
In addition to the political stalemate, Libyans' standard of living has been hit hard by rising food import prices due to the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, supporters of former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha's rival administration have shut down several oil facilities since April as leverage in their power struggle with Dbeibah.
Libya expert Jalel Harchaoui told AFP that "kleptocracy and systematic corruption" were rife in both eastern and western Libya.
For normal Libyans, however, the year "has been extremely painful" because the country "imports almost all of its food and the war in Ukraine has affected consumer prices," Harchaoui said.
When large herds of cattle and their semi-nomadic owners move in search of new pastures, tensions sometimes arise with the owning farmers. To maintain friendly relations during the migration season, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan recently co-hosted a two-day conference in Maban County, on the border with Sudan.
“All of us, herders and farmers alike, need our respective resources to support our families. If you don't destroy our crops, we won't harm your livestock and we will all be better off,” said Mansour Mustafa, a paramount chief of the county, stressing that everyone will benefit from peace and social cohesion.
The pastoralists of Sudan, mainly the Fallas of that country's Blue Nile state, have a long history of seasonal migration to South Sudan. It usually takes place between October and June, when ranchers return north of the border to escape heavy rains in Upper Nile state.
“During these two days we have discussed the situation and agreed on solutions to the obstacles that we sometimes encounter when our animals come to graze. Together, we have managed to form a cross-border peace committee tasked with addressing any tensions that may still arise,” said Issa Ali Barakah, chief of the Sudanese cattle herders.
The conference, organized in collaboration with Maban County authorities and the state Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, brought together 50 participants. For the first time, the Sudanese delegation included a female leader, an initiative that was praised by Charles Boum, Civil Affairs Officer of the UN peacekeeping mission.
“This is a very nice gesture. The participation of women when peace and security issues are discussed is critical,” she said, strongly encouraging both sides to further increase their female representation and urging participants to disseminate the results of the forum as widely as possible.
“Let this agreement serve as a standard that will guide every step you take,” Mr. Boum added.
In addition to clearly marking and respecting migratory routes, attendees also pledged to establish a common market to boost trade and a joint court mandated to resolve disputes related to cattle movements in the area.
Malam Isa Ibrahim, a Social Protection Officer with UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF),
says Sokoto State Government has obtained a roadmap for successful implemention of social pretection activities.
Ibrahim stated this during the Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Social Protection (SP) Project close-out
meeting with high level organs of Sokoto State Government on Monday in Sokoto.
He said that with successful achievements recorded at the end of the project, the state government was able to obtain
clear guide and policy direction of social pretection activities with clear targets of vulnerable persons in the state.
He added that “with complete framework on ground and competent government personnel empowered with right skills
during the closed project, we are confident that even without developmental partners, Sokoto can implement successful
social protection programme.
“We secured government commitment to develop social protection policy, commitment in improved budgetary allocation
to social protection.
“Before the closed project, various social interventions were implemented in Sokoto State, however, this programme
was able to coordinate and gather key ministries and departments with critical actors in a single platform.
“Mechanisms have also been formulated with empowered manpower for successful cash transfer, health supports and
other social protection aspects with correct sustainability plans,” Ibrahim said.
According to him, United Nations considers Sokoto State to pilot social protection scheme in recognition of the poverty
index from authorities which rated the state among high prevalence areas.
Ibrahim added that the programmes comprised cash transfer to education, especially for the girl-child, enrollment of
vulnerable individuals into the healthcare contributory scheme and other state social assistance initiatives.
Dr Akeem Olusola, the Programme Policy Officer of World Food Programme (WFP), said the efforts served as driver to standardised
National Social Protection Policy in Nigeria, as well as improved collation in the National Safety Nets register.
Olusola said the cash disbursement procedures, beneficiaries’ identification and other implementation strategies
were on the best standard practices that ensured minimum hitches.
He noted that the two-year programme aimed at strengthening social protection in Nigeria with good implementations
in Sokoto State was expected to serve as blueprint for other states to generate impacts through combination of institutional approach.
“The social protection system focused on innovative financing mechanisms as the joint programme would contribute to expanding
articulated cash transfer and universal health insurance schemes for greater impact,” he said.
He further explained that capacity building workshops during the exercise were expected to increase technical knowledge and
effectiveness in the mechanisms for targeting and identification of beneficiaries.
Earlier ,Alhaji Arzika Bodinga, the acting Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planing, expressed
appreciation over the successes recorded in the programme, saying it had broaden the state’s potential to implement the right
social protection activities.
Participants were drawn from Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Ministry of Health and
the Sokoto State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (SOCHEMA).
Others were Sokoto State Primary Heath Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Sokoto State Zakkat and Endowment Commission (SOZECOM), Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and SUBEB.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the joint project which commenced in January 2020, was scheduled to end in December 2021
in three selected local government areas of Sokoto, anchored by UNICEF, International Labour Organisation, UN Development Programme
and World Food Programme.