The Abundance of Hope Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Monday in Abuja, stressed the need for farmers to engage in organic farming crucial in ensuring food safety in the country.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Taiye Sasona, said this at an advocacy programme to commemorate the 2021 World Food Safety Day and sensitise youths to understand the importance of food safety.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Food Safety Day celebrated every June 7, aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks.
The 2021 edition is with the theme `Safe Food Today for a Healthy Tomorrow’.
Sasona stressed that production and consumption of safe food had immediate and long term benefits for people, the planet and the economy.
According to him, recognising the systematic connections between the health of people, animals, planets, the environment and the economy will help us meet the needs of the future.
“Before now, most youths don’t understand what we mean by food safety, so we are now saying that the food that we consume starts from how you produce it to how it gets to the table.
“This is because organic commodities are of less chemical components.
“This tries to recognise the global burden of foodborne diseases, which affect individuals of all ages, in particular children under five and persons living in low-income countries,’’ Sasona said.
He emphasised that food safety was a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers.
“Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy,’’ Sasona said.
He said “One of the most common illnesses that result from the consumption of contaminated food is the diarrhoeal disease which result to 550 million illnesses and causes 230,000 deaths every year according to Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Keynote speaker at the event, Mr Opialu Opialu, said that the problem of food safety started from the generation of fertilizers and other chemicals `which we thought was a faster means of getting good agricultural yields’.
According to him, the chemical residues that enhance crop growth gave rise to food poison which is not good for the body.
“The way to achieve food safety is to go back to the kind of agriculture which the people of old practiced that is without the use of chemical fertilizers.
“The essence of food safety day is to ensure that we are protected by what we eat and this is everyone’s business because we all are involved in the process that leads to the safety and unsafety of food.
“The reason why we insist on organic agriculture is because the application of non-chemicals enhance the soil unlike chemicals that can cause degradation in the soil.
Mrs Agnes Olorunmotito, an agric expert, expressed worry that most of the foods consumed in Nigeria were chemically produced.
While giving examples of people ripening fruits such as bananas, mangos, plantains with chemicals, she cautioned that the practice was destructive to human health.
Olorunmotito pointed out that some of the benefits of organic farming included building the organic system, natural and better taste which stems from the well balanced and nourished soil.
She added that organic farming prioritises quality over quantity, conserves agricultural diversities and improves vitamins and nutrient of the body.
On her part, Patience Braimoh, also an expert, said that collaboration was needed globally, regionally and locally across sectors within the government and across borders to combat outbreaks of foodborne diseases and ensure safe foods globally.
“Safe food is critical not only to better health and food security, but also for livelihoods, economic development, trade and the international reputation of every country,’’ Braimoh said.
She emphasised that foodborne disease impedes socio-economic development by straining healthcare systems.
“A zero hunger world can only be achieved if the food consumed is safe.
“This world food safety day and everyday, let’s all decide and act to make sure food safety is everyone’s business,’’ she said. (NAN)
Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means
The Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as accountability in the Ways and Means loans by the Apex Bank.
The Red Chamber said the move was to plug loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.
The Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the details of the Ways and Means, including the various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, monies given to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, amongst others which raised the current debt profile of the country.
This was part of resolutions of the Senate after a debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on the state of the economy.
On the compliance and transparency of economic actions, the Senate equally resolved that the CBN ensured compliance with the provisions of the Act in respect of Ways and Means and accountability through timely submission of its budget, financial statements and report of its activities to the President and National Assembly as stipulated in the Act.
In an extensive debate, Senator Adamu Aliero argued that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, were beneficiaries of N18bn as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015.
Some lawmakers suggested that a special committee be set up to scrutinize the N30trn intervention disbursements (some of which were grants) and ways to mop them up.
Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin also explained that the intervention monies were expended outside appropriation without the knowledge of the parliament and noted that lawmakers have a right to interrogate the expenditure.
Senator Victor Umeh, however, deferred, as he enquired to know how the money was spent before approval by the Senate. The issue of whether or not to investigate the matter raised another furore in the Red Chamber.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio thereafter maintained that owing to the current economic situation, it has become expedient to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.
Oil marketers get approval to sell Dangote fuel
The seven major oil marketers in Nigeria have registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.
Dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed on Sunday that with the registration, they would commence the distribution of fuel produced from the facility once the commercial terms are sorted.
This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also revealed that they would meet with the management of the Dangote refinery this week to discuss terms of product loading.
Similarly, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria stated that PETROAN had been engaging the management of the multi-billion dollar refinery for the supply of products from the facility.
As IPMAN and PETROAN engage the refinery, major marketers who are members of MOMAN have already registered with the plant and are set to start buying products.
The seven major marketers include 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc and NNPC Retail.
Last Friday, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery announced the commencement of production of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, and JetA1 or aviation fuel.
The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had in a statement issued by the firm, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.
He also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project.
“We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals. This is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.
“This is an important achievement for our country as it demonstrates our ability to develop and deliver large capital projects. This is a game changer for our country, and I am very fulfilled with the actualisation of this project,” Dangote stated.
The refinery, located in Lagos, has so far received six million barrels of crude oil at its two SPMs located 25km from the shore. The first crude delivery was done on December 12, 2023, and the 6th cargo was delivered on January 8, 2024.
The refinery can load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries. The products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications, according to the firm.
“The refinery design complies with the World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources emission/effluent norms, employing state-of-the-art technology,” the company stated.
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Project, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, is a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery, located in Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is an industrial plant that transforms crude oil into various usable petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene.
Dangote Petroleum Refinery with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day covers an area of approximately 2,635 hectares in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.
When contacted and asked whether major oil marketers would be involved in the lifting of refined products from the Dangote refinery, or whether the facility would distribute the fuel itself, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, MOMAN, Clement Isong, replied, “I confirm that we (major marketers) have met with him (Dangote).
According to Isong, all MOMAN members have registered with Dangote Petroleum Refinery to become marketers of its products
Senate Gives Kyari, NUPRC Boss 24 Hours To Appear For Budget Defense
The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, on Wednesday, directed the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to appear before the committee in 24 hours.
Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.
They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government.
The NNPCL, had earlier shunned for a second time, summons by the Senate to appear before its committee probing over N11trn expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.
The absence of Kyari, whose entity is at the centre of the investigation, stalled efforts by the Senate panel to make progress on the matter.
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