With the purchase of 10 million sachets of micro-nutrient powder (MNP) known as Enrich, Benue State Government has begun tackling the scourge of malnutrition by distributing the food fortifying MNP to 86, 000 children in the state.
According to the state government, the micro-nutrients food powder which is manufactured in Nigeria by Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited, will reach thousands of children in Benue State between December last year to May 2014, thereby fortifying them against malnutrition and diseases associated with micro-nutrients deficiency.
Speaking at the launch of Enrich Micro-nutrient food powder in Benue State recently, Mrs. Dooshima Suswam, first lady of the State, said there was need to address the problem of malnutrition in Benue with the MNP because the lack of nutritious food, poor feeding practices and children not getting enough nutritious food lead to malnutrition – which is the underlying cause of about half of deaths recorded in children under age of five years and severe acute malnutrition affecting millions of Nigerian children.
She also expressed delight with the innovation strategy aimed at reducing infant mortality in the state saying, “Benue State Government has procured 10 million sachet of MNP for distribution to 86, 000 children between age of 6 months and 59 months during the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Weeks (MNCHWs) of December 2013 and May 2014.
A sachet of MNP contains 15 micronutrients that are supposed to be added to the food of a child at the point of consumption.
“The overall strategy is to adopt a state-driven approach that is built upon existing routine and outreach health services delivery system with increased mobilisation of communities during the specified months of MNCHWs,” Arc Suswam stated.
Enrich micro-nutrient powder, a single-serve free-flowing blend of 15 vitamins and minerals, is targeted at meeting the daily recommended nutrient intake of children above 6 months of age. It does not change the taste, smell or colour of food and is easy to use.
Speaking at the launch of Enrich micronutrient food powder in Benue State, Dr. Kenny Acholonu, chief executive officer, Bio-Organics Nutrients Systems Limited, noted that “most complementary and staple foods lack sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals required for optimal growth and development of children, especially in the first 1000 days of life. But, with the use of Enrich as part of their food, these essential micronutrients will be supplied in sufficient quantities.
“We, therefore, want to use this opportunity to urge mothers to adopt MNP as part of their children’s feeding routine and use them according to the instructions of the health workers. Doing this diligently, will enhance the health, growth and development of the children, which will favourably complement the efforts of the state and all the stakeholders involved,” he said.
Dr Acholonu also commended Benue State for being the first state in Nigeria to combat malnutrition in Nigeria with the indigenous micro-nutrient food supplement.
He said, “We hereby congratulate the government of Benue State on this laudable initiative of being the first state in Nigeria to adopt MNP as a preventive health intervention for the children and mothers of this great state. Benue State has set a commendable platform for other states to emulate and we are very pleased to be associated with this achievement which is in line with the Millennium Development Goal and the 7 point agenda of His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”
He also thanked Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) for its invaluable support in the delivery of this project.
Dr Orduen Abunku, Benue State Commissioner of Health, said that the state government had to provide micro-nutrients powder for the fortification of food for children in the state because of they are prone to malnutrition. He also thanked Bio-Organics Limited and its partner, GAIN adding that the partnership will benefit children who are the future of the state.
It would be recalled that a delegation from Benue Sate Government paid an official visit to Bio-Organics Limited last year where the Commissioner of Health, had made known the intention of the state to purchase the micronutrient food powder to combat malnutrition.
Bio-Organics Limited has strategically positioned itself to deliver Micro nutrient powders (MNPs) of the best global standards by acquiring new machineries with production capacity of over 2 million MNP sachets per month.
This is as a testament of its intentions to deliver the best and most cost effective solutions to tackle the scourge of malnutrition in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Report by World Health Organisation (WHO) said about 140 -250 million children under five years of age are affected by Vitamin A deficiency globally, while the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that malnutrition is the underlying cause of morbidity and mortality of a large proportion of children under 5 in Nigeria. It accounts for more than 50 per cent of deaths of children in this age bracket.
Adoption and distribution of the indigenously produced Enrich micro-nutrients food powder by Benue state government will significantly reduce the level of malnutrition in the state.
CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns
By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.
The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.
Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.
Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.
On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
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