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Experts harp on organic farming to promote food safety

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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)

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President Buhari transmits Business Facilitation bill to N’Assembly

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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The Senate has received the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022, forwarded to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, for consideration and passage.

The bill was accompanied by a letter dated 17th June, 2022.

The letter, addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was read during plenary on Tuesday.

President Buhari, in the letter, explained that the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill would promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

It reads, “Pursuant to Sections 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.

“Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 seeks to promote the war of doing business in Nigeria by amending relevant legislation.

“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

 

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N5 trillion urgently needed to cushion effects double digits increase on ordinary Nigerians – World Bank

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The World Bank has warned that Nigeria could lose about N5trillion in 2022 from gasoline subsidies.

The bank also said that N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities.

The World Bank said in it Nigeria Development Update (NDU) released on Tuesday in Abuja.

The report said: “When we launched our previous Nigeria Development Update in November 2021, we estimated that Nigeria could stand to lose more than N3 trillion in revenues in 2022 because the proceeds from crude oil sales, instead of going to the federation account, would be used to cover the rising cost of gasoline subsidies that mostly benefit the rich”.

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri, however noted: “Sadly, that projection turned out to be optimistic. With oil prices going up significantly, and with it, the price of imported gasoline, we now estimate that the foregone revenues as a result of gasoline subsidies will be closer to 5 trillion Naira in 2022.

“N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities, to invest in Nigeria’s children and youth, and in the infrastructure needed for private businesses small and large to flourish, grow and create jobs.”

The report noted: “Nigeria is in a paradoxical situation: growth prospects have improved compared to six months ago but inflationary and fiscal pressures have increased considerably, leaving the economy much more vulnerable”.

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Nigeria’s banking sector now immune to economic shock – NDIC

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Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that the banking sector is now immunized to withstand shocks that may impact the economy and the financial system.

Mr Bello Hassan, Managing Director of NDIC said this at a retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the NDIC, in Lagos.

Any change in fundamental macroeconomic variables or relationships that has a significant impact on macroeconomic outcomes and measures of economic performance, such as unemployment, consumption, and inflation, is referred to as an economic shock.

Mustapha Ibrahim, Executive Director (Operations), who represented the NDIC boss, said Nigerian banking industry was currently resilient to most of these difficulties, particularly external shocks over which the Corporation had no control.

He said: “We have tried to immunise the system to withstand shocks that may be impacting on the economy and the financial system”.

Hassan, further said that effective risk-based management remained critical to a safe and sound financial system.

“The NDIC and the Central Bank of Nigeria have a very robust supervisory framework under the risk-based supervisory format the risk-based approach is actually proactive. For the most part, we try to anticipate all these risks – Macro, micro, domestically and globally – to address them continuously.

“So, it is so dynamic that we also are constantly on a real-time basis, monitoring the industry continuously and fine-tuning our supervisory tools, both onsite and offsite, to mitigate some of the challenges the banks may be facing,” he said.

On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, said the retreat demonstrated progress in creating lasting and workable relationships in the national interest.

Sani, who was represented by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi, was optimistic that the outcome will aid in the strengthening of the financial and banking sectors, particularly the corporation’s supervisory and regulatory role.

“The National Assembly and NDIC are key institutions critical to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. While we provide the legal and institutional frameworks, NDIC carries out its regulatory or supervisory responsibilities in order to safeguard the banking sector.

“Engagement of this nature gives us the platform to deeply look into our activities and responsibilities and also examine how far we have gone in carrying out our mandate as required. It helps in injecting fresh ideas into our operations which will materialise into an improved, effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians,” he said.

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