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Ekiti To Embark On Rice Pyramid Project

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Ekiti State Government on Sunday said it intends to produce of over one million metrics tonnes of rice within the next couple of years.

Mr Olabode Adetoyi, Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, made this known in Ado Ekiti at a news conference ahead of the official launch of the ” Ekiti Rice Pyramid Project” and flag-off of the 2021 Wet Season Rice Cultivation, scheduled for Tuesday.

According to him, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, would perform the inauguration of the rice pyramid project while Gov. Kayode Fayemi, would be the chief host.

The commissioner said the state was embarking on massive production of rice so as to be able to meet both local demands and for export.

He explained that the state government had brought in investors, who were ready to invest in planting and processing of rice, adding that the product would be of high standards and stone free.

Adetoyi added that the state government was working assiduously towards ensuring that youths ventured into farming by making it more attractive and lucrative, through various agricultural incentives

He assured farmers in the state that the government would not fail in providing adequate security for them to enable them to go to their farms anytime without entertaining fears

Adetoyi disclosed that 23 new investors had already been allocated lands to plant rice, cocoa and palm oil, among others, as the government was doing all to attract investors through provision of enabling environment.

“ Top notch rice processing plant like Stallion, Dangote and Jumlar rice have been allocated land in a premium location in Ekiti Knowledge Zone for quality rice production.

“ Land clearing and development of over 5,000 hectares of land for commercial agriculture is also on, out of which 1,000 is cleared for swampy rice along the river banks and valleys in the state. Over 40,000 hectares is to be made available as time goes on,” he said.

The commissioner said that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari had conceived the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide easy access to credit for farmers and processors at a low-interest rate, among others.

He added that the government of Japan had also brought in some equipment such as harvesters to provide high-quality rice production in the state.

Adetoyi warned people in the habit of setting fire to bushes while hunting game to desist from such acts to avoid causing damage to peoples’ farms.

According to him, some farms had been destroyed in the process.

The commissioner said that the government had approved money to buy seedlings that would be distributed to those farmers who lost their farms in such preventable fire incidences.

(NAN

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Threat Of COVID-19 Third Wave Real And Imminent In Africa – WHO

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Representative of the World Health Organisation in Nigeria (WHO) Walter Kazadi has said that the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was real and imminent in most African countries including Nigeria.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Kazadi stated that adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures such as social distancing, regular washing of hands and coughing into bent elbows should be intensified.

He stressed the need for rapid distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and adherence to the Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, recommended by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Also speaking at the press briefing, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib said Nigeria is set to receive 3.92 million additional doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX.

“We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca by the end of July or early August, 2021.

“As we receive additional information on the exact dates, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details,” Shuaib said.

Shuaib also urged Nigerians who had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to get the second dose on or before the close of its administration by June 25.

“Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on May 24, 2021. Since then, we have been inundated with requests by Nigerians to be vaccinated. In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today.

“This means anyone 18 years and above who has not been vaccinated should visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“For such persons, their second dose will be due in 12 weeks and by then we would have received the next consignment of vaccines.”

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COVID-19: 680,345 Have Received Second Dose Of Vaccine – NPHCDA

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The Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has said at least 680,345 have received the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while 1,978,808 have received the first doses as of June 15.

Updating Nigerians Tuesday in Abuja during a press conference on the status of COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, Shuaib said the federal government has put facilities in place to ensure that all Nigerians are vaccinated within two years, urging Nigerians, who have received their first dose at least six weeks ago, to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose.

He said: “Our dedicated teams continue to make strides in the vaccine rollout, working hand in hand with the local communities all across Nigeria. As of today, we have administered 1,978,808 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 680,345 second doses.

“We are advising that all Nigerians who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose and ensure that they receive the second dose between 6 – 12 weeks after their 1st dose to gain full protection against COVID-19. Please note that in some cases the location of your second dose may be different from your first dose, so please be sure to confirm this.

“We have held town hall meetings in North Central and North East zones across our country. While efforts to ensure supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria are ongoing, the Presidential Steering Committee this week will be having our planned South-South Zonal Town Hall Meeting with stakeholders and the larger communities on COVID-19 vaccination in Benin, Edo State.

“We are fully committed to going to communities to discuss directly our vaccine effort, the importance of staying safe and protected against COVID-19 and answering questions people have. We have been really grateful for the high levels of participation and interest in these events. We are confident that through continued awareness raising, we will be able to keep communities safe and healthy.

“I therefore urge all Nigerians who have received their first dose at least six weeks ago to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose, for full protection against COVID-19 on or before 25th June when we shall close the administration of the second dose. Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on 24th May 2021. Since then, we have been inundated with request by Nigerians to be vaccinated.

“In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today. This means anyone 18 years and above who has not been vaccinated should visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. For such persons, their second dose will be due in 12 weeks and by then we would have received the next consignment of vaccines.

“We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92m doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca by end of July or early August. As we receive.

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Lagos: 107,283 Persons Receive 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, says 107,283 persons have received the second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the state as at June 10, 2021.

Mr Abayomi made this known through his Instagram account @ProfAkinAbayomi, on Sunday while giving the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination update for June 10.

He said that 8,929 persons received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on the reported date.

According to him, 210, 633 persons who received the first jab of the vaccine were yet to get the second dose of the vaccine.

According to newsmen, the commissioner had earlier disclosed that 317,916 persons were vaccinated with the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Mr Abayomi said that administration of the second dose of the vaccine which began on May 28 would end on July 9, 2021.

He advised citizens who had received their first dose to proceed to the health facilities where they got their first dose on their scheduled appointment dates.

The commissioner also advised residents to stagger their arrival at the vaccination site from between 8.00 a.m to 1.oo p.m to avoid overcrowding and overwhelming the health workers.

NAN

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