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JUST IN: Food Prices To Crash Soon, FG Assures

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As Nigerians hit the streets to protest hunger, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen Abubakar Kyari, Wednesday, disclosed that in 180 days food prices will crash.

Kyari stated this on his X (formerly Twitter) handle, where he unveiled measures that will be implemented over the next 180 days.

He said: “Our administration has unveiled a series of strategic measures aimed at addressing the high food prices currently affecting our nation. These measures will be implemented over the next 180 days;

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“150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities

•Suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities through land and sea borders. These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas.

“Imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP). We understand concerns about the quality of these imports, especially regarding their genetic composition. The government assures that all standards will be maintained to ensure the safety and quality of food items for consumption.

READ ALSO: Conflicting Court Orders: CJN Vows To Deal With Errant Judges

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“The Federal Government will import 250,000 metric tons of wheat and 250,000 metric tons of maize. These semi-processed commodities will be supplied to small-scale processors and millers across the country.

“Engagement with relevant stakeholders to set a GMP and purchase surplus food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve.

“Ramp-Up of Production for the 2024/2025 Farming Cycle

•Continued support to smallholder farmers during the ongoing wet season farming through existing government initiatives; Strengthening and accelerating dry season farming nationwide;

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“Embarking on aggressive agricultural mechanization to reduce drudgery, lower production costs, and boost productivity.

READ ALSO: Why Tinubu Created Ministry Of Livestock Development

; Collaborating with sub-national entities to identify irrigable lands and increase land under cultivation; Working closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to rehabilitate and maintain irrigation facilities under river basin authorities across the federation.

“Developing strategic engagement for youth and women for immediate greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes and pepper to increase production volume, stabilize prices, and address food shortages; Fast-tracking ongoing engagements with the Nigerian Military to rapidly cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme and encouraging other para-military establishments to utilize available arable lands for cultivation.

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“Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee; This committee has been inaugurated on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, to develop and implement policies prioritizing livestock development in alignment with the National Livestock Transformation Plan, and a ministry of Livestock Development has been created.

READ ALSO: 10 Safest Countries In The World In 2024

“Enhancement of Nutrition Security

•Promoting the production of fortified food commodities.

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•Supporting the scale-up of the Home Garden Initiative by the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, he also explained that, “Over the next 14 days, in close collaboration with the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT), we will convene with respective agencies to finalize the implementation frameworks. We will ensure that information is publicly available to facilitate the participation of all relevant stakeholders across the country.”

However he said, “The success of these measures hinges on the cooperation and collaboration of all relevant MDAs and stakeholders.

“As our nation confronts this critical food security challenge, I reiterate President Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to achieving food security and ensuring that no Nigerian goes to bed hungry.

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“My team and I will work swiftly and diligently to actualize these crucial policies, ensuring food security for everyone in the immediate term while continuing our strategies for long-term interventions to address underlying causes and ensure sustainable and resilient food systems in Nigeria.”

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[JUST IN] US Elections 2024: Biden Drops Out Of Presidential Race Amid Pressure

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United States President Joe Biden has heeded calls to withdraw his re-election bid, thrusting this year’s already high-wire race for the White House into an uncertain territory.

The announcement on Sunday by the oldest sitting president in US history came amid mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats, with more than 30 Congress members publicly pushing for his exit.

In a post on X, Biden, 81, said he will remain in his role as president and commander-in-chief until his term ends in January 2025 and will address the nation this week.

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READ ALSO: Biden Speaks Of Quitting Presidential Race If…

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your President. And while it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote.

His initial statement did not include an endorsement of Vice President Kamala Harris, but he followed up a few minutes later with an expression of support.

Harris, 59, would become the first Black woman to run at the top of a major party ticket in the country’s history.

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The Democratic backlash against Biden came after he delivered an unsteady performance at the first presidential debate of the 2024 election season as he lost his train of thought and struggled to articulate basic talking points.

READ ALSO: Heated Rhetoric As Republicans Blame Biden For Trump Shooting

The 46th US president’s departure from the race leaves the Democratic Party in an unprecedented situation, with only a month until the Democratic National Convention and less than four months until the November 5 election.

It was unclear whether other senior Democrats would challenge Harris for the party’s nomination – she was widely seen as the pick for many party officials – or whether the party itself would choose to open the field for nominations.

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Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, said Biden had been under a lot of pressure recently.

“It is very difficult to say what made him make the decision now,” he said. “What we do know is that he has been repeatedly insistent that he would not step down … So it comes as a bit of a surprise and a bit of a shock that Biden is saying he will step down after weeks of saying he won’t.”

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Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

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A court in Mississippi, United States of America has sentenced three Nigerians to 235 years in prison.

The jury found all the three personguilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property.

Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, was sentenced to 95 years in prison, while Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, got 115 years jail term.

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READ ALSO: Applicants Decry N640,000 UAE Visa Fee Hike

Also, Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, received 25 years in jail.

They were convicted for running online scams.

They were said to have duped people of tens of millions of dollars.

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Deadly Blaze Kills Even In France

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An apartment building blaze early Thursday killed seven people in the southern French city of Nice and police were investigating the fire as a possible arson, authorities said.

The dead include three children – 5, 7 and 10 years old – and a 17-year-old teenager who tried to escape by jumping from a window, they said.

The apartment was occupied by a family believed to have Comoran origins, the regional prefect Hugues Moutouh said, referring to the southern African island nature.

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Ten people were inside when the fire broke out.

Rescuers were alerted at around 2:30 am (0030 GMT) to the blaze on the seventh floor of the building in the low-income neighbourhood of Les Moulins, known for being a drug-dealing hub, in the west of the city.

READ ALSO: 100-year-old WWII Veteran Returns To Normandy Beach In France To Marry 96-year-old Bride[PHOTOS]

In spite of the substantial resources deployed, “unfortunately seven people died during this fire”, firefighters said.

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Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on social media that the quick arrival of firefighters “probably prevented more deaths”.

Nice prosecutor Damien Martinelli said investigators were looking into a “criminal” cause for the fire.

“In light of the initial evidence, I have opened an investigation into acts of arson leading to death,” he told reporters at the scene.

The authorities said the blaze probably broke out on the building’s second floor and spread to higher floors.

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READ ALSO: Seven Sentenced To Life Imprisonment In S’Africa For B*rning Two Sisters To D@ath Over Alleged Witchcraft

Rescuers said that three people were taken to hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries.

They said firefighters were confronted by a “raging apartment fire” on the seventh floor of the building. They carried out three aerial ladder rescues and evacuated dozens.

In total, 25 fire engines and 72 firefighters tackled the fire.

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Twenty people were evacuated to a temporary shelter, with Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi saying a crisis unit to help anyone affected by the fire.

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