Atiku Chairs African Agric Experts’ Meeting

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar will chair the first ever African Veterinary Association (AVA) congress to be hosted by Nigeria in November this year.

The Guardian gathered that the congress, which the association is co-hosting with the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) was part of efforts to proffer solutions to the country’s economic situation as well as suggestions for sustainable growth.

Dr Kelvin Ugwuomarima, who is the Enugu State chairman of the NVMA, who dropped the hint at the weekend, stated that the five day event which would hold in Enugu, would also deliberate on the need to diversify the economy against the frequent collapse in oil prices.

He stated that the country’s situation was a wakeup call on other sectors of her national life.According to him, other areas the congress would look into include agro-business operators such as poultry, pig, fish, cattle, pharmaceutical industries, hospitality industries as well as public health practitioners.

He stated that the Small Medium Entreprenurs would use the opportunity of the congress to meet with the major players in the live stock sub sector in Africa and showcase their businesses and services during the period.

“The AVA/NVMA congress is programmed to be a tourism harvest for the state and an opportunity to meet with and attract investors to the state and Nigeria in general”, he stated.

He stated that Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Animal Resources, Sudan, Prof Musa Tibin Musa, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ghana, Dr Hanna Louisa Bisiw and ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tchambakau Ayassor, would grace the occasion among others.

Expert warns against eating, drinking rusted canned foods

A medical expert, Dr Owolabi Adebayo, of the Forties Hospital, Ilorin, has warned Nigerians against eating and drinking rusted canned foods.

Adebayo, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Monday, said that eating from rusted containers could cause some lower forms of tetanus in the body.

He said rusted cans could have tiny holes which allowed bacteria to enter the food or drink, adding that any case as such could be disastrous to the health.

The medical expert condemned the habits of some Nigerians who consumed foods and drinks from rusted containers, stressing that this could also cause cancer.

“There are some things people do not take serious, and one of them is drinking and eating from rusted containers because they may not be aware of the health implications.

“Rusted cans have tiny holes which allowed bacteria to penetrate the foods or drinks consumed by many Nigerians.

“Nigerians should stop consuming food from rusted containers because that is serious food poisoning,” he said.

He also advised dealers not to store foods and drinks in cans under the sun or rain for too long to avoid rusting before they were distributed.

Adebayo called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to take adequate measures to ensure that manufacturers and dealers do not circulate rusted canned foods and drinks in the country.

What Experts Say About Kaduna Tremor

There is no gain saying the fact that the people of Kaduna state have been living in fear following the recent earth tremor that occurred in Qei and Jaba area of Jaba Local Government Area of the state. It also happened in in Kwoi and surrounding villages of Nok, Sanbah and Chori in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday 11th and Monday 12th September, 2016.

In a swift reaction to the incident on Wednesday, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) attributed the cause of the recent tremor in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State to Passive sources. NARSDA, which spoke through its head of media and corporate communications, Dr, Felix Ale said that the nature of the source will soon be determined after the completion of yet another on-going thorough and further investigation of the incident by experts in the Space Agency.

The current findings, according to NARSDA was the outcome of a preliminary report by the team of experts immediately deployed to the affected communities from one of the activity centres of the Space Agency: The Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics for on the spot assessment and to carry out a survey and investigation on the incident.

The team which was led by the Head of Seismology division of the Space Agency, Dr. Ofonime Akpan, established that the Seismological Station of NASRDA located at Kujama in Kaduna State accurately recorded the unfortunate incident which made it easy for collation of data and early release of preliminary reports on the incident.

The analysis showed that the first event occurred at 12:28:16.50 seconds GMT on Sunday 11th September, 2016 and the event had an epicentre located Latitude 9.825N and Longitude 7.885 E while Local Magnitude was 2.6 and Moment Magnitude was 3.0 and Focal Depth was 10km. The report further revealed that the second event occurred on Monday 12th September, 2016 at 03:10:48.80 seconds (GMT) with Local Magnitude of 2.6 and Moment Magnitude of 2.9 with Focal Depth of 10km while the epicentre was Latitude 10.879N and Longitude 7.188E.

This was followed immediately by another event at 03:11:20.00 seconds (GMT) located at an epicentre of Latitude 9.927N and Longitude 7.297E, Local Magnitude 2.9 and Moment Magnitude 3.0. The reports revealed that the time of occurrence of these events and intensities of the locations as reported by inhabitants of the communities which included cracks on walls of buildings, falling off of ceiling fans and other items corresponded with the results of analysis carried out by the team of experts from NASRDA’s Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics.

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What Buhari told his ministers, experts at economic retreat

I am delighted to be here with you at this Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget. The theme of the Retreat which is “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, especially as we are in the process of developing the 2017 Budget.

Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes at the National and sectorial levels. The Federal MDAs have not also benefited significantly from working together and building consensus around common national objectives. This has impeded growth and development of the country.

It is in this context that this Retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the State of the Economy and build consensus amongst Cabinet Members and top Government officials. The Retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.

This Retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors. It is with regard to the importance of this Retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.

This is in line with our Administration’s determination to lay a solid foundation for growth and development as outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of our Change Agenda.

Given that this Retreat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of the these sessions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and Departments for the effective formulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.

I also trust that the breakout sessions will enable you to discuss extensively amongst yourselves, the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritized projects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.

In this regard, let me inform you that because of the need to focus on our key priorities, some Ministries may get significantly less capital allocation than they received in 2016, while others may get significantly more.

You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are participants at this Retreat.

This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this Administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other arrangements, in order to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.

Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.

We are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria by the reforms we are introducing under the auspices of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business.

Let me reiterate that this Government will continue to strategize on how we can turn the current challenges into opportunities for our nation and especially for our vibrant youth on whose shoulders lies the future of this nation. This is why we have embarked on measures and actions that will open up the opportunities we have seen in the Power, Housing, Agriculture, Mining, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sectors, Tourism, Transport and other sectors.

I wish to reassure its teeming youth that this Government would remain steadfast in its effort to ensure greater progress and prosperity for you.

While Government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves. We will need, and we ask for the support and cooperation of the private sector’s domestic and foreign investors, the States and Local Governments, the National Assembly and the Judiciary as well as all well-meaning Nigerians in this important task. We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.

Finally, I trust that the cabinet members will learn from the experiences of the Resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.

I therefore urge the Honourable Ministers and other senior government officials here present, to actively participate in the Second Technical Session, which I believe will provide you with deeper insight into the complex issues that will open opportunities for you to identify critical priority projects and programmes for the 2017 Budget.

At this juncture, may I formally recognize and acknowledge the presence of the array of experts invited to serve as resource persons and facilitators at this Retreat. I am confident that Ministers and Senior Government officials will benefit immensely from your expertise and wealth of experience.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and look forward to receiving the report of the Retreat.

Thank you.

Forget iPhone 7, Why iPhone 8 Is Worth Waiting For- Experts

Since 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone , experts have predicted that Apple has been holding back some of its most groundbreaking features for next year’s model – which many expect to be called the iPhone 8 .

As a result, many are suggesting that users hold off on buying the iPhone 7, and wait another year before splashing out on a Apple handset, when updates are more revolutionary.

Analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research thinks the limited changes in design will allow bigger changes in a future announcement.

“It looks like part of the reason they are keeping the design the same this year is there are bigger changes they are working on for next year,” Dawson said.

Speaking to The Ringer , Chetan Sharma, a mobile analyst and CEO of Chetan Sharma Consulting, said: “If it’s just more memory and a slightly better camera, then there’s less motivation [to upgrade].

“This year might just be a small bump in terms of the upgrade cycle. That’s why a number of consumer technology sites are advising users to hold off on upgrading until the next year’s version, the iPhone 8.”

We’ve rounded up all the latest rumours and leak in our iPhone 8 rumours article , so if the iPhone 7 turns out to be a damp squib, you’ll know what the next year’s update has in store.

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Pump In Cash To Save Economy, Experts Advise Buhari

The Federal Government should pump money into infrastructure development, which will create more jobs and boost liquidity, economists and private sector players said yesterday.

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Second Quarter Report released on Wednesday, said the economy contracted by 2.06 per cent to record its lowest growth rate in three decades.

The report said the economy shrank by 0.36 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to hit its lowest point in 25 years. Unemployment grew from 12.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to a record high of 13.3 percent in the second.

Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun  said:  “It’s the worst time possible for us”. She, however, assured all that things will get better.

President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that Nigeria will be prosperous again. He spoke in Osogbo the Osun State capital, at the inauguration of a mega school built by the Rauf Aregbesola administration.

A development economist and financial Expert, Odilim Enwegbara, who is the Chairman/CEO at Pan Africa Development Corporate Company (PADCC), said the government should leverage on its expansive revenue base and spend its way out of the recession.

He said: ”To help our economy, the government needs to pump trillions of naira into infrastructure projects and trillions of naira into social intervention policies so as to make more money available to the citizens to boost their purchasing power, which will make these cash-strapped citizens start consuming, not imported goods and services, but mostly locally made goods.”

By consuming locally made goods, Enwegbara said, more money will get into the hands of local people and artisans. This, he said, will kick-start the once excluded grassroots economy.

In his view, President Buhari needs to inject a minimum of N3 trillion annually into the economy.

 ”Buhari’s social interventionist policies too should, besides making the school feeding programme a priority, monthly stipends of not less than N10,000 (instead of N5,000) should be given to millions of our poor families, widows, elderly, mentally and physically- challenged Nigerians. This should be promoted with the rigour it requires.

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Director-General Muda Yusuf spoke of an urgent need to inspire investor confidence by ensuring that policies are not only credible and sustainable, but also consistent.

He described this measure as critical in building the confidence of investors, adding that there is the need for the injection of private capital by domestic and foreign investors to turn things around.

Yusuf called for government’s stimulus spending to fast-track the growth of the economy, including the speedy implementation of the 2016 budget.

He said this could have very clear positive impact in pulling the economy out of the woods.

According to the LCCI chief, the energy issue has remained a sore point as a result of the poor supply and the high cost of gas, which in most cases is not available.

He said: “Economic empowerment of majority of our citizens by increasing the purchasing power of the economically excluded is the magic wand which increasing their consumer power should increase production and new jobs. In other words, if by empowering the marginalised and excluded millions deep-seated economic malaise will finally be resolved.”

The Vice President (North West Zone), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ibrahim Usman, said to move away from recession, the government must embark on infrastructure development to attract money into the system.

He said in other climes, the government drives the economy, giving it direction, but he admitted that there is no quick fix to get out of the recession.

Usman, who is also the Executive Chairman, Powerseal Nigeria Limited, called on the government to quickly end the Niger Delta militancy issue.

The economic think tank of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, led by Bismark Rewane, expressed optimism that “the lower-than-expected figures for July signal a possible tapering in the rate of increase in consumer prices which might improve market sentiment.”

Usman added that market players “are expected to react accordingly”.


Experts to Buhari: pump in cash to save economy

Processed Meat & Cancer: Should I Stop Eating Meat? Read What Experts Say

The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) warned Monday that processed meats like sausages and ham cause bowel cancer, and red meat “probably” does too.

Does this mean we should stop eating meat?

By the IARC’s own account, meat has “known health benefits”.

And the agency says it does not know what a safe meat quota would be — or even if there is one.

Other specialists insist the report is no reason to drop steak from the menu, though it is probably wise for big eaters of it to cut back.

Meat is a good source of key nutrients like zinc, protein and vitamin B12, they point out, as well as iron, which humans absorb more easily from meat than from plants.

“This decision doesn’t mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat,” said Tim Key, an epidemiologist at Cancer Research UK.

“But if you eat lots of it, you may want to think about cutting down. You could try having fish for your dinner rather than sausages, or choosing to have a bean salad for lunch over a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich).”

Nutritionist Elizabeth Lund from Norfolk in England said obesity and lack of exercise were a far bigger cancer risks.

“Overall, I feel that eating meat once a day combined with plenty of fruit, vegetable and cereal fibre plus exercise and weight control, will allow for a low risk of CRC,” she said, referring to colo-rectal cancer.

“It should also be noted that some studies have shown that if meat is consumed with vegetables or a high-fibre diet, the risk of CRC is reduced.”

Ian Johnson of the UK-based Institute of Food Research, said meat consumption was “probably one of many” factors contributing to relatively high rates of bowel cancer in the United States, Western Europe and Australia — parts of the developed world where more meat has traditionally been eaten.

However, “there is little or no evidence that vegetarians in the UK have lower risk of bowel cancer than meat-eaters,” he said.

The specialists point out that the cancer risk posed by a meaty diet was statistically much lower than other factors like tobacco smoking and air pollution.

The IARC report “does not mean… that eating bacon is as bad as smoking,” said University of Reading nutrition expert Gunter Kuhnle.

“Processed meat can be part of a healthy lifestyle — smoking can’t”.

According to the World Health Organization, bowel cancer is the third most common type, with some 900,000 new cases every year, and 500,000 deaths.

Generally, dietary advice is to limit red-meat intake to once or twice a week, said nutrition professor Tom Sanders of King’s College London — the equivalent of about two steaks or three hamburgers.

“The problem with this issue is that food is not like tobacco — we have to eat something.”

Credit: AFP

Nigeria May Slide Into Recession, Experts Warn

Experts yesterday warned that if urgent and strategic steps are not taken to revive the current economic slowdown, Nigeria may slide into recession.

Speakers painted a gloomy picture of the economy at the 21st Nigerian Economic Summit, NES, warning that if the country is allowed to slide into recession, it might be very difficult to come out of the situation as a developing nation.

In his country scenario presentation at the summit with the theme: ‘Tough Choices: Achieving Competitive, Inclusive Growth and Sustainability’, Partner/Head, Advisory Services, KPMG, Kunle Elebute, stated that if not careful, Nigeria might slide into recession, a position he said is difficult to come out of, especially for developing countries.

He stressed the need for government to, as a matter of urgency, begin to make inputs that drive revenue such as providing credit guarantee on long term to investors on infrastructure, increase power generation as well as education and investing in research.

He also emphasised on the need to reform the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and other revenue collecting agencies, improve collection administration and expand the tax base, total reform of petroleum subsidy scheme, reduction of Joint Venture, JV, funding by 50 per cent and seek alternative financing.

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