- Sniper-preserved Beans: We’re in Real Crisis, Says Ogbeh
The Federal Government on Monday declared that Nigeria is in a real crisis as a result of the use of harmful chemicals for the preservation of agricultural produce by farmers and dealers in the sector.
It disclosed this following the recent discovery where a trader who sells beans was seen using a poisonous chemical, Sniper, to preserve the commodity.
To address the development, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, met with heads of agencies from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as those from other ministries at the headquarters of the FMARD in Abuja on Monday.
Speaking to his guests, Ogbeh said, “You’ve heard the whole detail, it is now Sniper. But there are other problems we have. There are food sellers in Nigeria who use calcium carbide to ripen bananas, mangoes and avocado pears and this is not good for our health.
“What we see now is the use of Sniper and they say it damages the lungs if it is put in your food. We also have weevil control in beans and people use aluminium phosphate. We have other challenges like the preservation of chicken with formaldehyde, particularly smuggled chicken from across the borders.”
He added, “So we are really in a crisis, but the big problem is how do we get people to know that this is bad? We here will understand very easily. Downstream where the farmers and small buyers are, they just don’t know.
“No human being is safe in an environment like this because when they cook the beans you don’t know where it came from, you don’t know how much Sniper is in it.”
The minister told officials from the various agencies that they must work together to educate Nigerians on why some chemicals must not be used for the preservation of agricultural produce.
“At the end of this meeting, we have to develop a very strong strategy and committee for reaching farmers, fabricators, buyers and so on, everywhere,” he said.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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