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The Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, has denied as false and misleading, insinuations linking him and the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, with the suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin, the state capital, and transferred by the Nigeria Police to Abuja.

Ahmed, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said neither him nor Saraki or any of their aides have links with the suspected cultists or their alleged activities.

He also denied any knowledge of or any intention to harm any individual as the political leadership in the state has never used violence as a political tool.

The statement referred the general public to the parade of the suspects by the state Commissioner of Police, Aminu Pai Saleh, on May 10, 2018 in Ilorin, during which he announced that the suspects were arrested for alleged murder and membership of cult groups, but made no mention of any confessional statement linking their activities to any sponsors.

Ahmed described the alleged killings as the outcome of clashes between rival cults in the state as most victims have been identified by security agencies as members of cult groups.

Governor Ahmed emphasised that the growing problem of cultism and cult-related criminalities formed the basis of his charge to Saleh, who assumed duties in the state last month, to focus on ending the menace.

According to him, the state government sees cultism as a serious security issue requiring urgent attention and has accordingly amended the State Cultism Law to prescribe stiffer penalties for convicts and those who aid and abet them, besides providing operational support to all security agencies in the state in their fight against all forms of criminalities, including cultism.

Governor Ahmed warned that cultism is a serious security challenge, which should neither be trivialised and turned into a political tool nor be treated with levity.

He therefore urged well-meaning Nigerians to disregard any attempt to politicise the menace of cultism but focus instead on joining hands with the government and security agencies to bring the menace to an end in the interest of public safety while allowing the rule of law and justice to prevail in the matter.

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Mouka Provides Comfort To Nigerians During Crisis, Donates 700 Mattresses [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Mouka, Nigeria’s leading manufacturer of mattresses and bedding products, has brought relief to victims of the Abule Ado gas pipeline fire explosion in Lagos with the donation of 200 mattresses.

In the same vein, 500 mattresses were donated to Lagos State towards equipping its isolation centres used for the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The socially responsible organisation has risen to the occasion by providing comfort to victims as the well-being of Nigerians is at the core of its mission.
Commenting on the donation of 700 mattresses, the Chief Executive Officer of Mouka, Raymond Murphy, said “The well-being of the Nigerian people is the reason why we are in business. Mouka exists to provide comfort to Nigerians and we stay true to our mission even at this period of national crisis”.

The donation to Abule Ado victims was made through the Lagos State Government to affected families who are in dire need of assistance due to havoc wrecked by the pipeline explosion.

The 500 mattresses for the isolation centres were presented to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Taiwo Olufemi Salaam, who represented the Commissioner of the Ministry, Dr. Wale Ahmed, at the State Secretariat Complex, Alausa.

Present to receive the 200 mattresses for Abule Ado victims, was the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Dr. Damilola Oke-Osanyitolu; at LASEMA office. Both donations were made on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Murphy affirmed that as a responsible organisation, the management of Mouka deemed it necessary to assist the government in bringing succour to victims of the Abule Ado pipeline explosion that led to the loss of lives and property, as well as Nigerians infected with the COVID-19 virus, who are currently being treated at the various isolation centres in Lagos.

“Mouka sees itself as a partner of the government during this crisis. We need to play our part in providing the necessary support required by victims of the gas pipeline explosion. We commend the effort of the Lagos State Government in rehabilitating the victims of the fire. We pray for the departed souls, may they rest in peace. We also pray for those who were injured, may God perfect their healing, and for those who have lost their property, may God replace in many folds”.

The company’s CEO mentioned that the donation of mattresses to isolation centres for COVID-19 was aimed at enhancing government’s effort in providing appropriate treatment for infected persons and also at curtailing the pandemic which has been at the front burner of world leaders.

While receiving the products, Salaam, who was elated at the enormous support, said the intervention was timely, as assistance from private organisations is needed at this crucial time to boost the state’s healthcare facilities.

Also, Oke-Osanyitolu commended Mouka’s effort towards reducing the anguish of victims of Abule Ado fire disaster which has rendered many homeless and in severe health conditions, stating that the donation would be distributed effectively.

Mouka has also joined the Federal and State Governments in appealing to citizens in the country to adhere to measures at combating the spread of COVID-19.

As far back as early February 2020, Mouka had begun raising awareness for Corona Virus prevention on its social media platforms. The company advises citizens to wash their hands regularly, stay at home, and keep to social distancing guidelines when in public, among others.

Mouka manufactures quality brands such as Wellbeing orthopaedic mattresses, Dreamtime water-resistant mattress and Mondeo Spring mattress.

Other products on its stables include Mouka Mozzi, an innovative brand of insect repellent products and wide range of pillows for a comfortable sleep.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Disburses First Tranche of $5m Partnership Commitment from African Development Bank

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has congratulated the African Development Bank (AfDB), and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, on their commitment to African entrepreneurship, with the disbursement of $2.5million seed capital to the AfDB-sponsored beneficiaries of the 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. $2.5m was released today, with the remainder expected to be disbursed to the entrepreneurs in Q12020.

The AfDB commitment follows the recent $8.5 million disbursements from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 2,648 entrepreneurs in the Sahel region and Africa more broadly and further accelerates the economic empowerment generated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation significantly increased the scale and reach of it impact, with the number of beneficiarieof its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme rising from its annual commitment of 1,000 to 5,150, in collaboration with global and African partners.

 With its commitment to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and develop young entrepreneurs, AfDB joined the growing list of global development institutions benefiting from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique model of identifying, training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa. The partnership demonstrates the implementation of the AfDB’s ten-year “Jobs for Youth in Africa” strategy, launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million meaningful jobs across the continent.

The partnership illustrates TEF’s willingness to share its infrastructure and know-how, with others who share the mission to empower young African entrepreneurs and TEF’s goal of creating millions of jobs, as well as generating

 billions in revenue, to catalyse economic growth across the continent.

The Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2020 cohort of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on TEFConnect.com, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs.

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Dangote Farms Commissions Tomatoes Nursery To Provide Seedlings For Farmers

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In a bid to make Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production, Dangote Tomatoes Processing Limited, owned by the younger brother of Africa’s richest man, Sani Dangote, has unveiled a N2.8 billion greenhouse nursery in Kano to supply the best quality tomato seedlings to Nigerian farmers.

Speaking on the project, Sani Dangote said the nursery is designed to use the automated Pat Moose planting technology, the first of its kind in Nigeria and has the capacity to process 350 million tonnes of hybrid tomato seedlings per season enabling the planting of 12,000 hectares of tomato farm. The pat moose process takes three weeks before proceeding to the next stage reducing the whole process of growing tomatoes to just 3 months.

He stated that Nigeria consumes about 2.3 million tonnes of tomatoes annually and with the establishment of the nursery, “we have created a capacity to triple tomato production, attaining self-sufficiency in tomato production as well as a potentially exporting surplus to neighboring countries.

“Furthermore, this nursery will produce the highest quality tomato seedling available meaning that the farmers can grow the highest yield tomatoes. Currently, the yields produced by Nigerian farmers are less than the global standard. As a result, farmers will be able to earn more income from selling higher volumes of harvests each season.

“Nigeria is on a trajectory to becoming self-sufficient in rice, tomatoes and poultry production. This means that millions of jobs will be created for her citizens.”, Sani Dangote explained.

The African continent imports $40 billion of food annually despite having 65% of the world’s arable land. The public-private model on-going in Nigeria could be adopted by other African countries to also attain self-sufficiency in food production.

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