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Nigeria’s Food Shortage Reaches 5.7 Million Metric Tonnes – AFEX

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As food prices continue to soar unabatedly and harrowing hunger frustrating Nigerians, AFEX, weekend, reported that Nigeria’s food shortage reaches 5.7 million metric tonnes.

AFEX being one of Africa’s leading commodities made this known during the unveil of its 2023 Crop Production Report in an hybrid event.

The report highlighted major factors as causes of food shortage in Nigeria, which had pushed the country to 109th out of 125 countries as indicated on Global Hunger Index, and described it as alarmingly high, indicating a severe food security crisis.

The report highlighted food insecurity and food inflation as a major challenge for Nigeria, with a 5.7 million metric ton shortage across human consumption and agro processing, and a historic high food inflation rate of 30.64%.

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The report noted that as food prices continue to surge, as witnessed in the 2023 season, food security challenges will continue to persist, further reducing the continent’s capacity to achieve Zero hunger by 2030.

The report highlights a critical improvement in access to farmland for cultivation in crucial areas.

According to the report, there is an increase in the usage of improved inputs, such as high-yielding seeds and fertilizers, compared to last season, which contributed to Maize and Paddy rice being forecasted to have a significantly higher production this season.

However, input lending remains a major challenge today, with agriculture making only 6.16% of bank lending in 2022.

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The President/CEO of AFEX Nigeria, Akinyinka Akintunde, speaking during the launch of the report said: “This year, we nearly doubled our sample size from 20,677 to 39,091 to get an accurate reflection of the current state of Agriculture production, and we found that we must take extra care to prioritize improvement in agricultural productivity for these farmers, and this is hinged on investing in the sector, and solving for infrastructure, logistics, and technology gaps.

“This transformation will substantially enhance food self-sufficiency and increase our ability to meet the nutritional and food security needs of a growing population while also bolstering the economy through foreign exchange earnings.”

“A recurring limitation for agriculture on the continent is a shortage of reliable data, which affects the availability of transparent pricing and limits, on one hand, participation from the side of capital market operators and largely financial market players and on the other hand, farmers’ ability to negotiate equitable contracts for themselves.

“This report attempts to build that gap by building a reliable data bank to promote market education and facilitate accurate trading decisions.”

However, the report forecasts higher prices for Paddy rice, Soybean, Sorghum, Cocoa, and Sesame.

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On pricing, the report forecasts an increase in prices for all commodities on the basis of a general decline in production coupled with increasing demand for across processing and exports.

Paddy Rice which faced the most notable upswing in 2022/2023, partly due to increased flooding and the India rice ban that contributed to an increase of 34% and a baseline pricing of NGN353,000/mt, which is expected to rise to NGN400,000/mt and projected to stabilize at NGN480,GN500,000/mt by Q3 2023.

Meanwhile, the six key commodities (Maize, Paddy rice, Soybean, Sorghum, Cocoa, and Sesame), which leveraged on farmer surveys and measurement of transaction-level data to track vital information across crop production, price performance, and market dynamics.

The report will aid the understanding of the current food system while providing stakeholders’ in the commodities market with intel to make data-driven trading decisions in the coming season.

AFEX is a platform business that enables efficient trade for commodities in Africa. Solutions start at the producer level, ensuring improvement in productivity and livelihoods while building up commodity volumes in the right quality and quantity for local and regional trade.
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World Anti-Corruption Day: Group Decries DSS Impunity, Govt’s Borrowing Habit

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The Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy, and Development, FENRAD, has raised concerns about the impunity of the Department of State Security, DSS, and its disregard for the rule of law in the last eight years.

FENRAD’s executive director, Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, made the observation in Umuahia on Monday on the occasion of the 2023 World Anti-Corruption Day.

According to him, how DSS personnel go about re-arresting people freed by the court has been worrisome.

“Most lamentable is that in the last eight years, the state security service has become an agent of lawlessness. We have witnessed attempts to rearrest someone the court had freed right there inside the courtroom or also instances of inter-agency rivalry,” he said.

READ ALSO: 144, 910 Cases Pending Before Federal High Court In New Legal Year

The group also condemned the purchase of N160 million worth of vehicles for 469 lawmakers and the purchase of a yacht by the Federal Government. It also decried the nation’s habit of borrowing money to fund its budget and turning around to mismanage such funds on frivolities, to the detriment of poor Nigerians.

The group further cited contradictory judgements from courts in post-election cases as another worrying trend in the country.

FENRAD noted that for corruption to be defeated in Nigeria, the federal and state governments must be genuinely resolved to fight the monster.

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NECO Awards Scholarships To Best Performing Candidates In 2022, 2023 Exams

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The National Examinations Council, NECO, has awarded scholarships to a total of 14 best performing candidates in the 2022 and 2023 examinations at all levels across the country.

The Registrar/ CEO of NECO, Prof Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi made the disclosure during the Council’s Productivity Award ceremony held in Minna, Niger State.

According to him, the best performing male and female candidates in SSCE 2022 are Asiru Ahmed Opeyemi from Crescent International High School, Sango-Ota, Ogun State, and Obidibo Chioma Blessing.

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Okafor Chima Christian from Saint Paul Academy, Jos, and Benson Ifebube Chelsea, from Renaissance Garden Secondary School, Ago-Okota, Lagos, are the best performing students for the 2023.

In the Basic Education Certificate Examination category, for 2022, Akintola Samuel Oluwadaresimi of Apostolic Church College, Sango, Ibadan, and Onochie Chiamada Francis of Igbenedion Educational Centre, Benin, topped the chart as the best performing students while Ekwueme Ikechukwu Excellent from Kimota Science College, Gboko, and Owuye Faheeza Oluwakemi of Maryland Comprehensive School (Junior), Lagos, emerged the best in 2023.

Similarly, the best performing candidates for the National Common Entrance Examination are Bokare Lemuel Ogheneyobre of Kingskidies Nursery and Primary School, Warri, and Chika Ugu Anastasia from Nana Primary School, Warri.

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Winners in the gifted children category include Njoku Obinna Adrian of Rosai Kid Montessori School, New Owerri, and Anikwu Princess Kamsiyochukwu from Springfield Academy, Awka.

Also, some staff of the Council, who distinguished themselves in their various areas of duty, were also honoured and given awards by the organization.

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144, 910 Cases Pending Before Federal High Court In New Legal Year

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho has revealed that a total of 144, 910 cases are pending before the court in new legal year.

The Court in the last legal year had 15, 025 cases filed before it by litigants out of which 12, 870 were effectively disposed off leaving a balance of 2, 155 suits.

At the opening of the legal year of the Court in Abuja on Monday, the Chief Judge explained that the court carried over 142, 755 cases from 2021 to the 2022 legal year, adding that in the 2023 legal year, 15, 025 fresh cases were filed by various categories of litigants.

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He noted that the Court would be going into the new legal year with the 144, 910 suits but expressed optimism that judges would rise up to the challenge of disposing the cases as quickly as possible.

The breakdown of the carried over cases showed that 42, 784 are civil cases, 36, 061 criminal matters, 41, 447 are motions while 24, 618 are fundamental rights enforcement suits.

Justice Tsoho who put the current number of judges on the bench of the Court at 95, thanked them for the speedy manner pre-election cases of the 2023 general elections were handled within the time allowed by law.

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We must dispense justice with integrity and without bias, we must display utmost competence and courage as well as dispose cases speedily.

“The Federal High Court will surely rise to the challenges of the future with the same tenacity and commitment that have defined its path thus far,” he said.

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