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Edo 2020: Kebbi contingent begins receiving COVID-19 jab — Official

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National Sports Festival

Kebbi State contingent to the 2020/2021 National Sports Festival, on Tuesday, began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, ahead of their departure for the competition on April 2.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the festival, tagged “Edo 2020” has been scheduled to hold between April 2 and 14, with all the 36 states and Abuja participating.

Speaking after receiving his dose, the Kebbi state Director of Sports, Alhaji Usman Umar-Ladan, who led the delegation, said the state was fully prepared for the festival.

Also read: Kaduna govt advises civil servants against strike

“As you are aware, it is mandatory for all participating states to be vaccinated, you can see, today, all the athletes that will represent Kebbi have taken their vaccine and we are ready for the competition.

“The festival will be taking place in Benin, Edo State, and Kebbi contingent is set to compete favourably in different events and by the grace of God Almighty we will leave for Edo by Friday,” Umar-Ladan said.

NAN reports that 73 athletes, including officials, comprising the state’s contingent, would be representing the State at the fiesta.

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25,000 liters of urine from over 5,000 rabbits to serve as organic fertilizer — NALDA

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To boost rice, maize production

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, weekend, disclosed harvest of 25, 000 liters of urine from over 5000 rabbits will serve as organic fertilizer.

The disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Prince Paul Ikonne, in Owerri, Imo State, while unveiling ‘Rabbit Waste Organic Fertilizer’ from four pilot States under the programme.

Ikonne also explained that 2,142,000 liters of rabbit urine will be harvested within  a year as it is expected to reproduce about 1,360, 000 rabbits in a year from the already distributed 17, 000 rabbits to farmers, as the programme will be extended to other five States.

READ ALSO: We’re on mission to increase capacity in wheat production — Nanono

Speaking on the prospects of rabbit farming as a lucrative business venture he said with a total of five rabbits given to farmers on five per farmers bases under three months, 85,000 rabbits will be distributed, while 10 rabbits kits per rabbits per gestation period, 20 rabbits will be reproduced in each farm within the same period amounting to 340,000 rabbits in three months, then 680,000 in six months and 1360,000 in a year.

On the quantity of rabbits’ urine to be produced under the same period, he (Ikonne) explained that 357,000 rabbits will produce 535,500 liters of urine fertilizer in three months, while in six months period 714, 000 rabbits will produce 1,071, 000 liters of urine fertilizer,  and 1,428,000 rabbits will produced 2142000 liters of urine fertilizer which will serve as organic fertilizer to support NALDA young farmers’ in their various farms at zero cost.

He also maintained that the Federal Government has resolved and it is making efforts to engage more youths in the agricultural value chain, which rabbit farming was launched in November 2020 with four pilot States including Imo, Abia, Cross River and Oyo take-off of the programme.

He also added that rabbits subsequently distributed to beneficiaries of project to among other things harvested urine from the rabbits, which the urine serves as rich sources of organic fertilizer for rice and maize farming.

He promised that the organic fertilizer would be distributed to farmers alongside spraying machines to increase their yield.

He said: “The rabbit rearing programme kicked off about three months ago after Mr President flagged off National Young Farmers Scheme, NYFS, in November 2020. The pilot States for the programme are Imo, Abia, Oyo and Cross River.

“As at today (Saturday), NALDA has been able to harvest over 25, 000 liters of urine from over 5,000 rabbits which is to serve as organic fertilizer to support NALDA young farmers’ in their various farms at zero cost.

“All the NALDA farmers who do submit their urine to various collection centers are being paid to encourage them on the viability of rabbit farm business.”

According to the NALDA boss the result analysis from the laboratory, the rabbit urine contains Nitrogen: 13.3 g/l; Chloride (Cl-): 5.87 g/l; Sodium (Na+): 3.17 g/l; Potassium (k+): 1.750 g/l; Inorganic sulfur (S):  0.163 g/l; Phosphate (P): 0.95 g/l;  pH: 5:6.

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Tanzania’s Magufuli: ‘Bulldozer’ who flattened freedoms

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President of Tanzania, John Magufuli

Tanzanian President John Magufuli came to power as a no-nonsense man of the people nicknamed The Bulldozer, but along with popular efforts to clean up graft, he has been accused of crushing dissent and stifling democracy.

The 61-year-old on Friday won a second term in office with a resounding 84 percent of the vote, after an election which the opposition said was riddled with irregularities.

Magufuli was first elected in 2015 on a fiery anti-corruption stance which endeared him to a population weary of graft scandals under his predecessor Jakaya Kikwete.

He quickly took wildly popular decisions, such as scrapping lavish independence day celebrations in favour of a street clean-up and banning unnecessary foreign trips for officials.

Several headline-grabbing incidents saw him showing up in person to demand why civil servants were not at their desks, while in one case officials were briefly jailed for lateness.

Dozens of officials implicated in corruption were suspended and the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo spread like wildfire on social media.

However his tendency to flout due process and act on a whim alarmed foreign allies over the squeezing of democracy in one of East Africa’s most stable nations.

“I think he is actually bulldozing everything, laws, human rights, everything,” said Aikande Kwayu, a Tanzanian political analyst.

At the start of his first term, Magufuli banned political rallies — saying it was time for work, and not politics — and cut live coverage of parliament sessions.

ALSO READ: We will reconvene plenary to address youth bills ― Gbajabiamila

A series of tough media laws were passed while arrests of journalists, activists and opposition members soared, and several opposition figures were killed.

Magufuli called for teenage mothers to be kicked out of schools, while rights groups slammed an unprecedented crackdown on the LGBT community under his rule.

Ringisai Chikohomero, a researcher with the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said that to Magufuli, “the end justifies the means”.

“He is a person who believes in what we call guided democracy. For Magufuli, the state and the president have the last say and he treats the citizens like children… there is no room for participatory consultation,” he said.

– ‘There is no Covid-19’ –

For many observers, Magufuli’s handling of the coronavirus crisis cast his leadership style into sharp relief.

He championed prayer instead of face masks, before stopping the publication of statistics in April when the country had recorded 509 cases and 16 deaths.

In May he revealed he had submitted a variety of fruit and animals to be tested for the virus and that a papaya, quail and goat tested positive, revealing “sabotage” at the national laboratory.

He has since claimed prayer saved the country from Covid-19.

“That’s why we are all not wearing face masks here. You think we don’t fear dying? It’s because there is no Covid-19,” he said.

In July, the country’s already tough online content laws were amended to ban publication “on deadly or contagious diseases” without official permission.

– ‘The leader we needed’ –

Magufuli’s supporters praise his crackdown on corruption, an energetic infrastructure drive as well as a shake-up in the mining industry which has seen him renegotiating contracts with foreign companies to improve the country’s share in its own resources.

“He is the kind of leader we needed at this time when corruption was rampant,” said 32-year-old restaurant owner Agnes Thomas.

“He created discipline among the civil servants.”

READ ALSO: Lagos community where potable water, good toilet, school, hospital don’t exist

Magufuli expanded free education, increased rural electrification and embarked on the construction of a key railway and a massive hydropower dam set to double electricity output in the country.

However aggressive taxation has squeezed the private sector, and worsened the environment for doing business.

“For a trader like me, Magufuli is not a good person because things are not easily moving. Tax officials are even more strict while businesses are not growing at all,” said Musa Hemed, who owns a shop selling building materials.

– Humble beginnings –

Magufuli was born in Tanzania’s northwestern Chato district, on the shores of Lake Victoria, where he grew up in a grass-thatched home, herding cattle and selling milk and fish to support his family.

“I know what it means to be poor,” he has often said.

He was awarded a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Dar es Salaam and also spent some time studying at Britain’s University of Salford.

Magufuli is a member of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, which has been in power since independence from Britain in the early 1960s.

A member of parliament since 1995 and a devout Roman Catholic, he held various cabinet portfolios, including livestock, fisheries and public works, where he earned the “Bulldozer” moniker.

Magufuli is married with five children.

[AFP]

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Fears Raised In Iran Of ‘Fresh Outbreak’ Of Coronavirus

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Iran’s health officials Saturday raised fears of a “fresh outbreak” of coronavirus cases in their country, which has paid the deadliest price in the Middle East from the pandemic.

As the predominantly Shiite country marked the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a day later than much of the Muslim world, another 76 fatalities were declared, raising Iran’s official death toll to 5,650.

Iran has in phases since April 11 allowed the reopening of a number of businesses that were closed as part of measures to curb coronavirus (COVID-19).

The spread of the disease has slowed since the start of April, but Alireza Zali, the anti-coronavirus coordinator for the capital, on Saturday criticised “hasty reopenings”.

They could “create new waves of sickness in Tehran and complicate efforts to bring the epidemic under control”, he said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said Iran has now recorded 89,328 cases of COVID-19, including 1,134 over the past 24 hours, since its first case in February.

The number of Iranian casualties is widely thought to be much higher, however.

Jahanpour reiterated that social distancing and hygiene measures to guard against the novel coronavirus needed to remain in place.

The ministry’s infectious diseases department head, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, warned of “signs of a fresh outbreak” in provinces such as Gilan and Mazandaran in the north and Qom in central Iran “where we made great efforts to control the epidemic”.

Iran, already weakened by tough US sanctions, has struggled to contain the virus outbreak since reporting its first cases on February 19 — two deaths in the Shiite holy city of Qom.

 

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Nigerian inflation rises to 11.85% in November

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By Emmanuel Elebeke

The consumer price index, which measures inflation increased by 11.85 per cent in November 2019. The figure is 0.24 per cent points higher than (11.61) per cent, the rate recorded in October 2019.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics report published on its website on Tuesday, increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index.

According to the report, the Headline index increased by 1.02 per cent in November 2019, On a month-on-month basis, indicating 0.05 per cent rate lower than the rate recorded in October 2019 (1.07) per cent.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending November 2019 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 11.35 per cent, representing a 0.05 per cent point from 11.30 per cent recorded in October 2019.

Also, the urban inflation rate increased within the month under review by 12.47 per cent (year-on-year) in November 2019 from 12.20 per cent recorded in October 2019, while the rural inflation rate increased by 11.30 per cent in November 2019 from 11.07 per cent in October 2019.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.07 per cent in November 2019, down by 0.08 from 1.15 per cent recorded in October 2019, while the rural index also rose by 0.98 0 per cent in November 2019, down by 0.01 from the rate recorded in October 2019 (0.99) per cent.

The bureau noted that the corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 11.75 per cent in November 2019. This is higher than 11.68 per cent reported in October 2019, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in November 2019 is 10.98 per cent compared to 10.95 per cent recorded in October 2019.

The composite food index rose by 14.48 per cent in November 2019 compared to 14.09 per cent in October 2019. This rise in the food index, NBS said was caused by increases in prices of Bread, Cereals, Oils and fats, Meat, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, and Fish.

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.25 per cent in November 2019, down by 0.08 per cent points from 1.33 per cent recorded in October 2019. However, the average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending November 2019 over the previous twelve-month average was 13.65 per cent, 0.11 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in October 2019 (13.54) per cent.

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