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Makinde expresses readiness to partner with agribusiness investors



Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday declared his administration’s  readiness  to partner with and encourage investors in the agriculture sector in order to expand the economy of the state as well as surmount challenges facing their operations.

The governor made this known during a visit to inspect the abandoned 10,000 metric-tons silo project embarked upon by the immediate past administration and the Ajila Value Adding Ventures Limited in Aawe, in Oyo town.

In the governor’s entourage were the Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka; the Head of Service, Alhaja Amidat Agboola; and the Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, among others.

Contained in a statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa,  Makinde while speaking at the Ajila Value Adding Farms, Aawe, where he was conducted round the poultry, hatchery, egg powder processing plant and palm trees plantation of the farms, described the facility as world-class.

The Governor, who was received by the Alaawe of Aawe, Oba  Cornelius Abiola Taiwo; Chairman of Ajila Farms, Mr Philip Olutayo; Managing Director of the farm, Mr Dotun Odekeye; president of Bond Group of Companies, Chief Debo Omotoso, and a foremost poultry farmer, Chief Lai Amoje, expressed his joy at the developments he witnessed at the Ajila Farms.

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Governor Makinde  maintained that it was the intention of his government to encourage Ajila Farms and other investors in the agriculture sector by addressing their challenges and, where necessary, providing incentives to help them expand their operations so that they could provide employment for the teeming youths of the state.

“Just as we have said in our manifesto, we want to drive our economy through agriculture and agriculture value chain. Most of the things I have seen and heard here are music to my ears: they want to process eggshells into egg powder and export it; they want to generate foreign exchange for the state and that is consistent with our idea of expanding the economy.

“We will encourage them. Some of them may have challenges; security challenges, some of them may have challenges with access to the market. We will look at their challenges and make sure that we solve them. And we may even give incentives to some of them to expand their operations and employ our youths,” he  said.

The governor, while speaking at the site of the abandoned silo project, expressed displeasure at the pace of work, which he noted should have been completed within 10 months, making it clear that his government was ready to explore all options to make sure the project is delivered so that farmers and the state could derive value from it.

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“We have had court cases over the project, so we intend to solve all these challenges because the state has expended so much money on that project and we have not been able to get any value from it. So, if we will need to spend a little more to make sure that we derive value from it, we will do it.

“The case is in arbitration right now, but I will encourage the contractor to come to sit down with us so that we can explore options of out of court settlement. We are not arrogant about this thing. This is a project that should bring value to our farmers and to the economy of the state and that is what we set out to achieve”, he stressed.

Earlier, Phillips, chairman of the company, stated that the farm was focused on agriculture value chain and backward integration to provide direct and indirect employment for youths and other business concerns.

He maintained that the company was ready to partner with the Oyo State Government to boost agricultural development in the state, explaining that “our business is focused on agricultural value chain and backward integration, providing direct and indirect employment for youths, growing numerous other business concerns as the hub to ensure sustainable development and other indirect employment for our youths, vendors, suppliers, and contractors”.

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Nigerian physician, Funsho named one of TIME’s most influential people in the world




TIME named Nigerian physician, Dr. Tunji Funsho to the 2020 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

Dr. Funsho, a cardiologist based in Lagos, Nigeria, is the first Rotary member to receive this honor for the organization’s work to eradicate polio, having played an essential role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August of 2020.

“I’m honored to be recognized by TIME for my part in ensuring that no child in Africa will ever again be paralyzed by wild polio, a disease that once disabled 75,000 African children every single year,” said Dr. Funsho. “Eradicating the wild poliovirus in Africa was a team effort that required the cooperation and dedication of governments, partners, Rotary members, hundreds of thousands of health workers, and countless parents who chose to have their children vaccinated against polio.”

As the leader of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Funsho has worked alongside Rotary members throughout the country to raise awareness about the importance of polio immunization, encouraged governments and public figures to support polio eradication, and served as a vocal leader and advocate for Rotary’s fight to end polio in Africa.

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Dr. Funsho works closely with Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI): the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As a member of Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force on Polio, he has coordinated immunization and advocacy campaigns with the Minister of State for Health and the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee for Polio Eradication. He has also worked closely with the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, the Traditional Leaders Council and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria.

In August 2019, Nigeria reached three years without a case of wild poliovirus. Nigeria’s progress, led by Rotary, its GPEI partners and local and national governments, was the result of decades of sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of hundreds of thousands of health workers, and innovative strategies to immunize children who previously couldn’t be reached due to insecurity in the country’s northern states.

On 25 August, the African region was certified wild polio-free. This historic announcement means that five of the WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the wild poliovirus. The virus is now endemic in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Rotary’s nearly 32,000 members in Africa have played a critical role in helping the region achieve its wild polio-free status by holding events to raise funds and awareness for polio, and working with world governments and national and local leaders to secure funding and support for polio eradication.

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Lagos govt. approves full reopening of churches, mosques





The Lagos state government on Saturday approved the full reopening of worship centres in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who announced this during a briefing in the state said churches are now allowed to observe their mid-week services, while the mosques are also allowed to carry out their five times a day prayer routine, with strict compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must, therefore, strive to prioritize the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society,” the governor said.

Before now, the state had allowed for a gradual re-opening of places of worship as lockdowns eased.

With the full re-opening now, the governor has urged Lagosians to continue to act responsibly and maintain the required levels of hygiene.

Some other parts of the world have witnessed a resurgence of COVID-19 infections and rising possibilities of “hard lockdowns”, which according to Governor Sanwo-Olu may become inevitable for Nigerians if caution is not applied.

“Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable,” he warned.

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“The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitizers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times”.

The total infections in the country have now risen to 56,956, with 48,305 patients recovered and 1,094 deaths recorded.

At the onset of the virus in Nigeria, Lagos became the epicenter, gapping other states with its case load despite frantic efforts to curb the spread.

However, in recent times, other states such as Plateau have started to witness a surge with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 stating that it might become the new epicenter in the country.

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Photos: Oyo deputy gov. donates patrol motorcycles to security operatives



The deputy governor of Oyo state, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan on Friday made a personal donation of patrol motorcycles to security operatives in Oke Ogun area of the state to boost their role of ensuring the safety of lives and properties.

Speaking at the event, Olaniyan noted  that Security is one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration headed by Governor Seyi Makinde, adding that the government has invested massively to provide facilities and equipment for security operatives in the state to perform their roles.

Speaking further, the deputy governor remarked that ” In the light of the security challenges in the country, it is imperative that we support the government in tackling this malady. It was therefore a delight for me to donate patrol motorcycles, from my purse, to the various security outfits operating in the Oke Ogun area of our state.”

He stressed that security matters should be the responsibility of all and not the government alone.

Olaniyan, however , urged well meaning individuals and lovers of peace to support the government in creating a safe and conducive environment for growth.

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