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Nigerians consume 1.6bn litres of milk, products annually – FG

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Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi says Nigerians consumed estimated 1.6 billion litres of milk and its products a annually.

Abdullahi, who stated this at news conference on Saturday in Abuja, to mark the 2024 World Milk Day, said that 60 per cent of the products are imported.

June 1 is the official day set aside globally to celebrate World Milk Day.

The theme of this year’s global celebration is: “Let’s celebrate Nutritious and Sustainable Dairy”.

Abdullahi said that the theme for Nigeria’s celebration of the World Milk Day is: “Harnessing the Nutrition and Investment opportunities in the Dairy Value Chain”.

He said that both themes focused on celebrating the vital role dairy played in delivering quality nutrition to nourish Nigeria’s citizens especially, women and children.

The minister said that it also aimed to improving the livelihoods of dairy farmers and other value chain actors, creating employment and increasing the economic growth of the country.

He said that according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria spends 1.5 billion dollars per annum to import dairy products.

“This is because of our production deficit which stood at nearly 60 per cent as Nigerians consumed an average of 1.6 billion litres of milk and its products.

“The passionate dream of President Bola Tinubu is for us to attain national production security to even lead to export of dairy products to African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“It is in pursuance of this priority plan that speedy actions to transform the Livestock Sector especially the dairy value chain towards attaining food and nutrition security becomes not only imperative but an urgent national duty,” he said.

The minister said that the Federal Government was mindful of the key issues and challenges of the diary sector.

He assured that President Tinubu is sincerely concerned and urgently want a reversal of the negative state of the dairy industry.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is ready for the challenges ahead as we work hard to renew the hope of dairy value chain actors,” he said.

Abdullahi said the ministry in collaboration with national and international partners would in the next few years work assiduously and strategically within the approved National Dairy Policy.

He said that the new Dairy policy would guaranty projects and interventions to ensure improved dairy farming practices and enhance the capacity of small holder dairy farmers through training and extension services.

Abdullahi said some of the projects would focus on best practices in animal husbandry, feed management, milk production, handling and collection among others.

In a Goodwill message, the President, Commercial Diary Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN), Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar, expressed satisfaction at the global and national attention milk, a nutritious animal food was getting.

He reiterated CODARAN’s commitment to the production, processing, marketing and consumption of quality and nutritious dairy products across Africa.

Also, the Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting Ltd; Mr Temi Adegoroyo, appreciated the collaboration between the firm and ministry in trying to develop the local diary sector in Nigeria.

“We are ensuring that we are linking many more private companies to small-holders farmers and building a responsive fresh milk supply chains in Nigeria.

“The agenda is to increase the productivity of fresh milk in Nigeria,” Adegoroyo said.

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Minimum wage: Archbishop urges compromise

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Archbishop Joseph Ojo, General Overseer of the Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos State, on Saturday urged labour leaders and the Federal Government to reach a compromise as regards a new minimum wage.

Ojo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The archbishop described wage negotiation as a social contract that should be approached with empathy by parties.

According to him compromise is needed in the matter to save the country from anxiety.

“They should consider the fact that the unemployed are much more than the few that are in government employment.

“The federal, states and local governments only employed some workers.

“Others are in firms owned and operated by individuals that might not be able to pay higher wage.

“The higher they push it, the higher the inability of the unemployed to survive, because firms, which struggle to pay staff, may not talk of hiring new ones,” he said.

The cleric said that lack of employment might result in increase in crimes.

“There are private sector employers, who cannot cope with what the federal or states will offer,” he added.

The cleric said that high wage bill might compel private schools to increase school bills to meet up with overhead costs.

“Some parents will not meet up, and their children would be forced to drop out of school,” he said.

He also advised governments to consider subsisting social-economic variables, such as cost of food items, transport and medical bills, and offer a sustainable minimum wage.

“The parties ought to put all these into consideration to achieve progress in their negotiation,” the cleric said.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are now demanding N250, 000 as a new minimum wage.

The Federal Government has offered to pay N62,000.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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Over 200 intending pilgrims protest in Ilorin over faulty aircraft

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Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Fellow Press

No fewer than 200 intending pilgrims from Kwara on Friday protested at llorin international Airport over the inability of an aircraft to transport them to Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrims, officials of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board and the 2024 state Amirul Hajj had boarded the aircraft since Thursday.

The aircraft was, however, said to have developed a technical fault.

Some engineers with the Federal Airport Authority had been making frantic efforts to repair the faulty aircraft since Thursday without success.

Consequently, some of the intending pilgrims staged a protest over the development.

The intending pilgrims, alongside their relations, took the protest to the highway linking the airport with other communities to express their displeasure over the situation.

Some of the protesters were seen singing solidarity songs condemning the situation, especially since they are the tenth and last batch from the state.

Sen. lbrahim Oloriegbe, the state’s 2024 Amirul Hajj, while speaking with NAN, attributed the failure to transport the last batch of the pilgrims to faulty aircraft.

Oloriegbe said the intending pilgrims had boarded the aircraft since Thursday but were unable to be transported following the development.

The Amirul hajj said that they are expecting another aircraft from Medinnah to transport the intending pilgrims and the officials.

He appealed to them to exercise patience, as the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria was on top of the situation.

He said that the board would continue to cater for the feeding of the intending pilgrims pending when they would be transported to the holy land.

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