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Residents Raise Concerns as Beans Price Soars in Lagos 

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Lagos residents are raising concerns about continued increase in the price of beans, their major source of protein.

They said that consistent rise in the price of beans since 2024 had become unbearable, urging governments to intervene.

The residents spoke in interviews on Sunday in Lagos.

Reports says that a 40kg bag of beans, which sold for N26,000 in January, now sells for N115,000, while a 100kg bag which sold for N55,000 at the beginning of the year, now sells for N230,000.

This made the staple food beyond the reach of many of the residents.

Mrs Uloma Chigozirim, a housewife and mother of four on Santos Estate, Akowonjo, expressed worry that children might be malnourished following the high increase in the price of beans.

“Beans used to be the cheapest food; now, we do not even understand what is going on.

“Every other week, the price keeps going up; even  traders cannot tell us the reason for the hike.

“Beans used to be the cheapest source of protein for the average resident, but the produce is now too expensive to afford.

“We really need government intervention, else a lot of us will be malnourished,” Chigozirim said.

Hinting on the possible reason for the hike in the price of the produce, Mr Uche Ikenga, a beans farmer at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, noted that the produce was not an all-season crop.

“It has the time it is cultivated.

“The peak period for beans harvest is usually at the end of the year. Then we have enough supply for the growing demand of the produce.

“However,  harvest time is the time some cattle are foraging everywhere for food.

“Last year, a lot of farmers lost their harvest because their beans farms were consumed by the foraging cows.

“The produce is scarce and expensive this year because the harvest of last year was low,” Ikenga said.

A beans trader at the Dry Foodstuff Section of Ile-Epo Market, Agege, Mr Ahmed Yusuf, said that beans might not be unavailable in the coming months.

“We sold a small bucket of beans for N6,500 last two weeks but now the same quantity sells for N 8,000.

“The price just keeps soaring everyday, and we sell as we buy. We no longer keep because of the price unpredictability.

“We are not even sure if we will have beans to sell by this time next month because the produce is unavailable,” he said.

Yusuf said that demand for beans had been high but farmers did not have enough because so many of them could not cultivate crops this year.

“There is nothing we can do about the price hike, it has gone beyond our control,” Yusuf said.

A seller of jewellery, Mrs Bunmi Arowolo, called for intervention of the federal and Lagos State governments in the situation.

“Early in May, I bought a paint (small) bucket of beans for N7 500 as against N3,000 previously.

“As common form of protein, I now manage the little quantity for my family.

“I want to appeal to the governments to tackle insecurity so that farmers can go to their farms again and make the produce available and affordable,” Arowolo said.

Emphasising the importance of beans in Nigerians’ diets, Ms Adaeze Oparaku, a nutritionist at the Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said: “The produce is an important source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre for both adults and children.

“It contains micronutrients such as the Vitamin Bs, good source of minerals such as phosphorus, copper, manganese, iron.

“Beans should be a regular staple in children’s diet, if they like it.

“However,  given the  rise in the price of the produce, it can be substituted with other protein sources in children’s meals.”

Mrs Eugenia Uloma, a trader at the popular Kotangora Market in Abule-Egba area, said that beans had been a major part of the Nigerian diet and important to every Nigerian.

“The produce is so expensive, but we still buy the quantity we can afford because it is our major source of protein.

“Other protein sources are even more expensive.

“We do not need so much from the government, if it can address this growing food inflation, we will be grateful.

“Let us just have food to eat, that is what most of us are asking. We need to feed our families to live, especially the children,” Uloma said.

A vegetable farmer, Mrs Barinedum Legbara, called for adequate planning for increased local production of beans.

“We buy beans as a basic necessity in our diet. Government should do something about the beans issue.

“We need adequate planning for strategic cultivation of beans so as to avoid this scarcity and hike.

“We have everything in this country to feed ourselves. Farmers should be empowered to cultivate crops for food security.

“Nigeria is fertile, we just need to be more strategic in our crop cultivation to give us sizeable yields and good prices,” Legbara said. (NAN)

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NDLEA seized 761,000 Tonnes of Illicit Drugs in 3 Years, Says Marwa

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Retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, the  Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says the agency seized 761,000 tonnes of  illicit drugs and substances between January 2021 and March 2024.

Marwa said this during a special Juma’at service as part of  activities to mark the 2024 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday.

Reports says that June 26 every year is set aside to commemorate the day and the theme of the 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) is: “Evidence is Clear, Let Us Invest in Prevention”.

The NDLEA boss said that the 2018 drug use survey showed that 15 million Nigerians abused drugs, saying that it was three times the global average.

Marwa, who described the report as unacceptable said that the aim of the year 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) Campaign was Prevention.

“Money-making is the major reason drug barons are persistent inspite of the efforts of the agency to curb to the barest minimum drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

“When you look at the population of Nigeria and you take out 15 million, it means the rest are not.

We don’t want even a single Nigerian to enter that basket of users.

“We have made seizures in three years of 761,000 tons but they still keep coming and we have to look at the other side.

“Now, assuming we didn’t seize it, were will it be? it will be on the streets and the money would have been used for very negative purposes or it would have gone to the criminals.

“We are doing our level best, supported by the government to make sure the supply reduction is very effective,” he said.

Speaking further, Marwa said that prevention was very important in dealing with drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, adding that the agency had recommended a two track approach.

He said that the first and most important track was global which was the entire society, all fragments, beginning with the family, parenting, adding that the children should be taught as they grow up why drug use was bad.

“We have children killing their parents. So in anyway, parentage and parenting is also important.

“Most important is the community level, the traditional institution, religious bodies, both christian and Muslim should include in their sermons and the advocacy in the school system and the curriculum.

“There should be  random drug tests. For instance, we have promoted drug tests for students, tertiary institutions and drug tests before marriage.

“When you go for the wedding, bring the HIV, the genotype and bring drug tests that are negative.

“These are some of the steps on this side. On the other side is to deny availability of drugs and access. You have to have drugs first to abuse it.

“And it’s our job as NDLEA to launch operations to seize drugs, arrest the offenders, take them to court, and seize their assets as well, “he said.(NAN)

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E-border Solution’ll Help Check Transborder-related Crimes, Says Immigration Chief 

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Kemi Nandap, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGIS), said the e-border solution deployed across the country’s border posts would help check transborder and other related crimes.

Nandap stated this on Friday in Kongolam, Mai’aduwa Local Government Area of Katsina State while addressing immigration officers, during her assessment tour to the border post in the area.

“I know the government has deployed an e-border solution and I am here to see how it is.

“The essence of e-border solution is to improve border management by ensuring that the way we manage our borders is intelligence-based.

“It will help us have accurate information in terms of monitoring who goes out and who comes in, thereby helping us in tackling transborder crimes such as smuggling of immigrants and other forms of insecurity,” she said.

She, therefore, charged the immigration officers to understand why they were posted there and what their mandate was.

“And you must do the job professionally. The era of leaving your job to others is over,” she observed.

The comptroller-general further stressed the need for effective synergy with other agencies operating at various border posts.

“Synergy with other agencies is compulsory because security is a collective effort.

“But your core mandate must be observed strictly and diligently by you.

“The mandate is to secure the country’s borders and the President has mandated us to ensure that our borders are secure.

“And I am determined to deliver. That is why I’m here,” she said.

Nandap explained that although every agency has its mandate, “all agencies can work collectively to achieve the same goal.”

She said the tour would enable her to focus on the challenges observed to tackle them and ensure effective border management.

She reiterated the service’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of the personnel is given the required attention while providing them with the modern facilities and logistics they require to enhance their operations. (NAN)

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Alia To Constructs 10 Rural Roads In Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency  

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi 

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, on Thursday, declared that he will construct ten(10) solid rural roads in Gboko and Tarka Federal Constituency within the next few months in additional to the ongoing construction of flyover in Gboko, the traditional headquarters of Tiv nation.

 

Alia stated this, when he was addressing the people of Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency at the Gboko township stadium in continuation of his one year thank you tour to the area.

The governor stated that he made no mistake in his decision to construct flyover in Gboko and Makurdi, saying that both the proposed 10 new roads in Gboko and Tarka with the underpasses Gboko and Makurdi, will undergo construction simultaneously and shall be deliver on time.

 

He promised to remain committed to the delivery of projects for Benue people, stressing that the opportunity that Benue people gave him to serve them is a privilege, which he took so seriously and vowed never to disappoint them.

Governor Alia explained that upon assumption of offiice one year ago, he has deliberately embarked on delivery of people oriented policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives and wellbeing of Benue citizens.

He said in the last one year, his administration has carried out massive construction of roads, renovation of offices and prompt payment of salary and pension to civil servants and pensioners.

The governor disclosed that he has directed that salary of workers should no longer be paid on 25th of every month but now as from 22nd of every month to enhance their standard of living.

“I have initiated policies that restore peace and public order in the State. I have also initiated programs for youths of the State, to engage them in acts that could make themselves reliant.

Governor however appealed to the people of the area to shun acts that is capable of thwarting development and remain supportive of his administration for more dividends of democracy.

He particularly thanked the people Gboko and Tarka local government areas for the show of love, care and support given to him in the last one year and promised to bring more development to their areas.

Earlier in his remarks, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Chief Barnabas Gemade, said governor Alia has lived up to people’s expectations, hence his developmental strides and good governance. 

The State Acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Benjamin Omakolo, thanked the people of Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency for chosen Alia as their governor.

He stated that Governor Hyacinth Alia has so far lead Benue people very well as evident in the execution of numerous projects and timing payments of workers and pensioners entitlement.

Mr. Omakolo noted that Governor Alia has never borrow or taking loan from any bank or organisation to execute projects and pay salary of workers, rather, he was prudently using the monies from federation allocations and internally generated revenues to do what he had done so far.

He described Father Alia as a committed and dedicated servant whose passion for development and wellbeing of people made him to leave his priestly assignment to come and develop Benue State.

He announced that over 4,000 members of various political parties in Gboko and Tarka Federal Constituency defected into the APC and that he had received them with thanks.

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