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FG unveils national biosecurity policy on health, environmental safety



National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) logo

The Federal Government on Tuesday unveiled a National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan, 2022 to 2026, to secure the health of Nigerians and their immediate environments from biological threats.

Chief Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Environment, who unveiled the policy in Abuja, said that the policy would help to sustain socio-economic development across the country.

The Unveiling and Public Presentation of the National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan (NBP&AP), 2022-2026, was organised by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).

Ikeazor said that biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks.

She said that the framework includes instruments and activities that analyse and manage risks in the sectors of food safety, animal life and health, plant life and health which associated environmental risk.

“It focuses on preventing the loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release of pathogens, toxins, and other related assets against humans, animals, plants and the environment.

“It also focuses on putting measures in place to mitigate naturally occurring and emerging infectious diseases.

“Biosecurity is more important today than ever before due to the increasing threats of climate change which is altering the range, habitats and spreads of pests and diseases.

“It is estimated that zoonotic infections, transmitted from animal hosts to humans, account for approximately 60 per cent of total infectious diseases in humans, and 75 per cent of all new and emerging infectious diseases.

“The threats posed by pathogens jumping from animals to humans as well as the destruction of the environment cannot be effectively addressed by one sector alone,’’ she said.

Ikeazor said that the development of the policy recognised that a collaborative, multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach is key to the mitigation of bio-threats and the success of any national biosecurity intervention.

She noted that the policy is strategically designed as a five-year plan with the intent to identify other several evolving actions that may have not been captured in the document when commencing the implementation.

“Therefore, all implementing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are tasked to put all hands on deck to ensure that we effectively implement the policy.

“The MDAs should also help support the ministry through the NBMA in evaluating how well we have done in the biosecurity sector, as well proffer critical way forward for the next review of the policy.

“The obligation in the implementation of this policy is that we play our specific roles and synergistically work with each other in line with our respective mandates.

“The mandates are guaranteeing a strong aggregation and unified efforts that will strengthen Nigeria’s National Biosecurity System.

“We must also aggregate our efforts at managerial level in ensuring an improved budgeting and funding mechanism in achieving our strategic plans considering the fact that biosecurity is now a national priority.

“We at the ministry as focal point will as much as we can, consistently advocate for adequate budgetary provisions for different implementing MDAs to help achieve their specific biosecurity roles in line with their mandates,’’ the minister said.

Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director-General of NBMA, said that the draft biosecurity policy and action plan, developed by the agency, institutionalised a harmonised and workable biosecurity system.

Ebegba said that the policy is a fundamental approach to minimising the risks of biological threats to the environment, human health, animal and plants.

He said that the agency`s activity was delivered through a one-health-approach agriculture, environment and human health with full knowledge that bio-threat prevention and control require effective collaboration between relevant stakeholders.

He, however, thanked the minister and other stakeholders for making the policy a reality.

The director-general said that the agency, with collaboration of other relevant stakeholders, would as well ensure that the policy is effectively implemented.

Mr Kevin Tokar, Acting High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria, said that his country would continue to partner with Nigeria to strengthen the national and regional biosecurity capabilities.

Tokar said that the Canadian government had contributed more than US$ 8 million to strengthen Nigeria`s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats.

According to him, “our support includes the construction, operation and maintenance of bio-containment laboratories in Lagos and at the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau State.

“Our government will continued its commitment to strengthening biosecurity and health security capacities in Nigeria as well as Africa,” he said.


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Akpabio’s Comment On N30bn To Govs Misconstrued – Eyiboh




Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s statement that Governors recently received N30billion from the federal government to cushion the effects of hardship was misconstrued, his spokesman, Hon Eseme Eyiboh has said.

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) denied receiving such amounts.

Eyiboh, in a statement in Abuja, said the Senate President holds Governors in high esteem.

He said Akpabio urged the “sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.”

The statement reads: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

“During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30billion to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted.

“In considering the well-intended motive of urging State Governments to collaborate with the Federal Government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

“He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Hardship: Afenifere Begs Yoruba Race Not To Join Protest Against Tinubu



Afenifere logo

The leader of the Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has appealed to Nigerians, especially from the South West states, against the planned nationwide protest against President Bola Tinubu-led federal government amid the hardship Nigerians are currently experiencing.

Fasoranti who made this appeal, in a statement personally signed by him, lamented over the current economic crisis in the country, describing it as unfortunate, and urging Nigerians to endure the hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity.

The Afenifere leader said, “As the National Leader of Afenifere, and leader of the Yoruba, I address all and sundry today with a deep understanding of the challenges our dear country is going through at this critical time. The outcry over the hardship, hunger, and price hikes is not unexpected.

“However, we must come to terms with the realities of our national challenges, which the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is striving to resolve.

“While acknowledging the hardships faced by our people, it is important to recognize that these economic measures, although difficult, are part of a larger strategy aimed at restoring economic prosperity and stability to Nigeria.

“The government’s commitment to implementing these measures is a testament to its dedication to addressing the root causes of our economic challenges, inherited from the ills of the previous years”

He said “As a responsible leader, I appeal to every Yoruba man and woman, young and old, and our fellow citizens across the nationalities, to exercise patience and refrain from engaging in protests or actions that may escalate tensions.

“Understandably, the immediate impact of Tinubu’s economic reforms is challenging to everyone, but it is crucial to give the government the necessary time to realize the intended benefits”

Attributing the current economic hardship to the removal of fuel subsidy and has done great damage to the nation’s economy, saying “It is important to note that the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the Naira is not undertaken lightly, as we all know the great damage done to our national prosperity through the nefarious activities of the agents of darkness within the oil and financial sectors.

“These measures by the Federal Government, though painful in the short term, are designed to create a more sustainable economic environment that will benefit us all in the long run. It requires collective understanding and resilience from every citizen as we navigate through these challenging times.

“We cannot afford a preference for the euthanasic approach of painless death of our nation, where we are propped up with loans and subsidies until a total collapse into a failed nation, while we have the opportunity of painful healing through treatment with multiple surgeries that will guarantee not just our survival, but restored health, vigor, and thriving life. We must endure today’s hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity”

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to give Tinubu more time and engage in constructive criticism that can contribute towards the development of the country.

“I implore you to trust in the government’s commitment to the welfare of our nation. Let us engage in constructive dialogue and contribute positively to the ongoing economic reforms.

“Join me in appealing for unity and understanding among our people. Together, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger as a nation.

“I want to assure you as the Leader of Afenifere, that we are actively engaging with the government at different levels to address the concerns of our people. Let us remain steadfast, patient, and united in the face of these challenges, confident that our collective resilience will pave the way for a more prosperous future”
Recall that last Thursday, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the president-general of Ohanaeze, similarly appealed to the Igbo groups not to protest against the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

The Ohanaeze in a communique issued after an emergency meeting asked the people of the southeast to “invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness and hard work” during the period of economic hardship.

The group urged south-east governors and traditional rulers to take “advantage of the upcoming farming season to catalyze massive agricultural production for sustainable food security” in the zone.

Ohanaeze added that since the apex court in the country has ruled on the 2023 presidential election, the group has decided to support the administration of Tinubu.

“We reviewed with intense passion, the level of unemployment, poverty, hardships, especially the rising cost of goods and services in Nigeria, the rate of depreciation of Nigerian currency, and the excruciating effect on the masses; and reminded Ndigbo that they should quickly readjust themselves to the reality of the times and that the Igbo have passed through the worst of conditions in the past,” the communique reads.

“There is no better time than now to invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness, hard work, ingenuity, wisdom, resilience, inventiveness, perseverance, and capacity to turn adversities into diverse opportunities

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FG To Implement Oronsaye Report



President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu

..To Scrap Many Agencies, Merge Others

In a landmark decision, President Bola Tinubu has approved the implementation of the age-long Oronsanye report.

This is one of the decisions taken at this Monday’s meeting of the federal executive council, at the state house.

The report submitted by the Oronsanye committee under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2012 has endured successive administrations without implementation.

By Implication, some federal agencies would either be scrapped, merged or relocated.

A committee to be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the federation is to work out the modalities for implementation.


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