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Agric experts say Tinubu’s broadcast raises hope, requires proper



Bola Tinubu

Some agricultural experts say President Bola Tinubu national broadcast is full of hope and many fruitful expectations but requires proper implementation.

They charged the President to set up mechanisms for proper planning and smooth implementation of his administration’s agricultural policies.

The experts disclosed this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday while reacting to the President’s national broadcast.

Prof. Ayo Olalusi, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology Akure, said the president broadcast, particularly his plan on agriculture, was a welcome development.

Olalusi said the implementation of the food security plan should be strictly supervised and monitored by the presidency.


“It is full of hope and many fruitful expectations.

“However, it should be noted that this is not the first time the nation will be listening a well-articulated speech and good proposals from our leaders.

“Most of the time, the implementation is usually the major challenge,”Olalusi said.

He said the implementation of the state of emergency declared on food production should be strictly supervised and monitored by the presidency.

Olalusi stressed that the implementation should not be hijacked by the political parties.


“Another challenge that hinders implementation is the problem of the ‘deceptive data base ‘ of farmers.

“The presidency should find a way of purging those who are not true farmers from the data base being paraded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Most of the time, the inputs go to the hand of those who will resell it to the farmers at high cost.

“The government should map out innovative ways of reaching the real farmers without passing through the middle men,” he said.

On his own part, Prof. Femi Ajayi, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Extension, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, urged the president not to make the food security plan another white elephant project.


Ajayi who doubted the workability of all the president’s proposal said there were many questions begging for answers in the broadcast.

He called on the government to work with committed people that would think through the process to make the proposals achievable.

Ajayi urged the Federal Government to desist from dealing with political associations or farmers in order not to truncate the process.

“Honestly, we need eggheads that will be able to think through with the government and make these proposals achievable.

“I am only saying as a professor of agriculture how are all these proposals workable?


“In agriculture, there’s something we call planning, implementation and evaluation. The president’s plan is suppose to go in that circle but does not appear so.

“We want to bring down the price of food but it is not only grain that we consume in Nigeria, government need to focus on all agricultural produce, grains, tubers , vegetables, fruits and others.

“Don’t focus only on rice, maize and wheat.

“How will the grains be distributed among the 36 states and FCT? Are we sure the process will not be hijacked by political or party faithful?

“There are many questions that are begging answers.


“If we solve our immediate problems what will happen in the long run. The strategy will not address the present food security confronting the nation because many people will hoard it.

“The distribution of grains may not amount to food on the table of average Nigerians,” he said.

Ajayi said the president broadcast had not really changed the situation on ground.

He the government need to give all these strategies a thought and see how they are going to lay it out and bring out a very strong strategic planning and break it down to cycles.

“Let me say that I don’t know of anybody that is jubilating over the broadcast, everything is like putting or postponing something.


“Don’t let it be another type of talk to hail agriculture because of the problem we have at hand.

“Where is the land to cultivate all these crops? Have they acquired the land? Have they allocated the land to people that will manage them? Or is it going to be another white elephant project?, Ajayi asked.

He urged the government to work with universities of agriculture and research institutes to find lasting solutions to mirage of problem confronting the nation’s food security.

“We have universities of agriculture, but it is as if they are not useful. We have faculty of agriculture and colleges of agriculture but it is as if they are not useful.

“Poultry farmers are crying and government has not been able to find a lasting solution to the sector.


“We cannot do it at a shot like this, the government is just two months old in office.

“By so doing, maybe we will get some where.

He urged the Federal Government to address the nation’s food security, make farms safe and attract young people to agriculture.

“I believe that the government can still do better with time,” he said.



Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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