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The recently concluded Global Nutrition Summit 2017, held in Milan, Italy, convened governments, international agencies, foundations, civil society organisations and businesses to accelerate the global response to malnutrition, an underlying cause of nearly half of all global child deaths.

A major highlight of the Summit was the pledge by the Aliko Dangote Foundation to invest US$100 Million over five years to tackle malnutrition in the worst-affected parts of Nigeria. The Aliko Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic organization of Aliko Dangote, founder and Executive Chairman of the Dangote Group, Africa’s largest homegrown conglomerate.

The Global Nutrition Summit is the global forum of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2026).  This year’s edition was held in close partnership with a number of international stakeholders including the U.K.’s Department for International Development, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International Coalition on Advocacy for Nutrition. The governments of Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Zambia all made commitments to expand their nutrition programmes and the Summit succeeded in galvanizing US3.4 billion according to the organisers.

Malnutrition affects every country in the world in various forms, however Africa is particularly hard hit and Nigeria is home to the highest numbers of malnourished children. Almost half of the one million children who die before the age of five every year in Nigeria, die of malnutrition as the underlying cause. Without the proper nutrients during the first 1,000 days of life starting from conception up to their second birthday, children are less likely to survive childhood diseases such as malaria and pneumonia, and are less likely to escape poverty as adults. They become physically and cognitively stunted, a fate that has befallen 11 million of Nigeria’s children under five.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation’s Managing Director and CEO Zouera Youssoufou said: “Nigeria’s high malnutrition rate is undermining progress towards improving child health and survival and putting the brakes on economic development.  By investing in nutrition, we aim to directly improve the lives of Nigerian families and to empower our citizens to reach their full potential.”

The Global Nutrition Report 2017, launched at the Summit, showed that, in spite of progress, 155 million children globally are still stunted and the world is off track on meeting internationally agreed nutrition targets. Financing to tackle malnutrition has been alarmingly low. Donors spend about 0.5 percent of overseas aid on nutrition, and countries allocate between one and two percent of their health budgets to the issue.

“The global malnutrition crisis endangers the physical and mental wellbeing of present and future generations” said Kofi Annan, speaking at the summit in his capacity as Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. “Progress in tackling both undernutrition and obesity is possible with targeted commitments, like those made here today. We need further urgent investments so that people, communities and nations can reach their full potential.”

Through his Foundation, since 1993, Aliko Dangote has made significant social investments in health, education, economic empowerment and disaster relief.

He is now becoming the strongest voice for nutritional leadership nationally and on the continent of Africa.

By making this unprecedented US$100 Million commitment, the Aliko Dangote Foundation is on a mission to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition by 60 percent in the most needy areas of Nigeria, specifically the North East and North West, where malnutrition has affected millions of lives and crippled the local economy.

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NASCON Launches New Dangote Classic Seasoning Cubes

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Management of the NASCON Allied Industries Plc, a subsidiary of the Dangote Industries Limited has pledged its commitment towards a healthy living by the people by producing products that meet the physical and mental needs of the people.

Executive Director, Commercial NASCON Allied Plc, Fatima Aliko Dangote gave this pledge in Kano during the unveiling of new Classic Seasoning Cube in addition to its array of food seasonings already in the market.

The new product which the NASCON boss described as a product of thorough and painstaking research into the preference of the people in the seasoning sub sector of the food industry came in the wake of a similar launch recently, of new Curry Powder and Stew Mix from the stable of NASCON.

Fatima Aliko Dangote said she had no doubt in her mind that the new product would be an instant hit given its unique taste, flavor and aroma noting that the new classic seasoning cubes and stew mix were created with a special blend of herbs and spices to give meals that unique taste and great aroma.

She described the new classic seasoning as a new innovation birthed after years of consumer led research and development, and urged distributors, marketers, eateries and consumers to immediately key into it.

Lacing her remarks with the Hausa local dialet, while explaining the strengths of the product, she described the seasoning as Karshen Magana meaning the real deal and that it is second to none in the market throughout the country.

According to her, the management of NASCON decided to go into the research for the new product bearing in mind that wellbeing is reduced by poor diet yet it is expensive to be unhealthy.

Good nutrition, she stated maintained immune system and delays the effect of aging because it reduces the risk of chronic disease while poor diet reduces physical and mental health. She therefore urged women to try the new seasoning cubes, stew mix and curry powder, as they would ensure meal moments are great moments.

Fatima Aliko Dangote assured that the products would be launched in other parts of the country very soon, adding that despite the high innovative quality, they are affordable and available with various promotional items to be given out to the distributors and consumers.

In his remark, the Group Managing Director of NASCON Allied Plc Mr. Paul Farrer assured that the new product is a high margin product that would help ensure distributors and customers remain profitable, describing the new product as premium but affordable to the consumers.

The Company used the occasion to introduce its Brand Ambassador to the customers, in the person of renowned Kannywood multi-talented actress Hadiza Gabon, who described the Dangote Seasoning cubes as a seasoning with great flavor, and good taste while recommending it to all women in Nigeria.

Speaking to media men in an interview at the event, NASCON key distributor, Alhaji Hamisu Rabiu of Hamis Investment in Kano described NASCON products as fast moving and of good quality. He urged other distributors and retailers across the country to immediately key into the new classic cube, Dangote stew mix and Dangote curry powder.

At the launch Wednesday about 300 distributors, wholesalers and retailers were excited and most express optimism that it will up the market of NASCON.

Head of Marketing of NASCON Allied Industries Plc, Mr. Olusegun Ajala expressed optimism that the “innovative brand will up the company’s market share exponentially because of its unique taste and aroma.

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Jimi Agbaje’s Campaign Lacks Ingenuity, Slave Story Angle Is Senseless — Victor Ganzallo

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Top media personality and cryptocurrency expert, Mr. Victor Ganzallo has thrown jibes at PDP Lagos Governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, over his campaign strategy.

Ganzallo faults Agbaje’s claim that Lagosians are in bondage and needs freedom, the digital currency trader describes the campaign strategy as weak and senseless.

Recall that Mr Agbaje had kickstart a #FreeLagos campaign where he declared readiness to set Lagosians free from bondage.

Below is Victor Ganzallo’s opinion:

Mr. Jimi Agbaje’s choice of campaign thrust is not just lacking in ingenuity and direction but also very unfortunate for a man who is a Lagosian and who should embody what we Lagosians stands for.

You are calling Lagos a slave enclave and all known indices used in determining such points directly to the opposite.

JK is in the pharmaceutical business and today his business can not compare to those of our brothers from the other side of the Niger, who now run some of the biggest pharmaceutical businesses in Lagos, are they all in this slave business with the man he has termed the slave master? It’s December again and many of them will travel to the east and return with one relative or the other, new apprentice and even wives, to the city called the center of excellence, the land of opportunities. Where people from diverse race and ethnicity daily throng to turn their fortunes around.

Jimi Agbaje wouldn’t mind giving his state of birth a bad name, that can be stamped on it forever just so he can achieve his perennial governorship ambition.

Lagos is the pride of Nigeria, whether JK and his band of co-travelers like it or not and will continue to be so, for a very long time to come. It is in Lagos that we have an Igbo man in the state House of assembly, if there is a Yoruba man in any of the state assembly in any other region of Nigeria, I honestly would like to know.

JK as now fallen from being perceived as a gentleman who wasn’t after power by all means to a desperate politician, who wouldn’t mind to sow a seed of discord and divisiveness in his state of birth, as long as it serves his political purpose. He took on this particular trend during the last general elections, in line with what was the narrow minded approach of the PDP back then, which fell flat on their faces and now he has returned to that inglorious path.

The facts ain’t so difficult to discern, it will take more than a campaign of divisiveness for the PDP to win Lagos, it will take a proper, well articulated and outlined plan and a candidate that is well above board, I cannot see that happening anytime soon.

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Ex-Skye Banker, Tunde Ayeni Not Detained By EFCC, Only Invited For Questioning Over Alleged Fraud

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Following recent reports published by a national daily, The Punch Newspapers that the anti-graft body, Economic and Financial Crimes CommissionEFCC, has detained a former Chairman of Skye Bank Plc., (now Polaris Bank,) Mr. Tunde Ayeni, for alleged fraud, it has been reliably discovered that Tunde Ayeni was only invited for questioning at the Abuja office of the commission hours ago.

Confirming the development, the acting spokesman for the EFCC, Mr.Tony Orilade, said Ayeni was only being grilled by detectives over some issues related to fraud and embezzlement allegedly committed by Ayeni when he was Chairman of the bank few years ago. “I can confirm that he is in our custody on an invitation, for questioning and interrogation. More information will be released tomorrow,” he said.

It would be recalled that the anti-graft agency had entered into an agreement with the Asset Management Corporation of NigeriaAMCON, to check out some banks and its officials, who facilitated the huge non-performing loans in AMCON’s portfolio.

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