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Flood: Nigeria may experience shortage of rice in 2019 – Ogbeh warns

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…As lightning strike kills 3 children, injures 72 in Uganda***

Contrary to general expectation of bumper harvest, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Thursday notified Nigerians rice shortage in 2019, stressing that except appropriate measures were taken to replant after the recent flood, the country would be in serious trouble with lean rice production.

Ogbeh who did not disclosed who would take the urgent measures, indicated this in Abuja, at the inauguration of National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) Molecular Facility and the 2018 seed fair and Farmer’s field day.

He blamed the flood, noting that flood had seriously affected some major rice producing states, adding that the country was likely to experience scarcity of rice, if not addressed. The theme of the yearly event was: “Enhancing Improved Seed Adoption towards achieving Food Security and Wealth Creation”.

“We have to find out a way to assist farmers, who were affected by the flood; places like Jigawa, Kebbi, Anambra and Kogi were majorly affected. Farmers lost everything they planted.

“There are different varieties of rice that are being produced at NASC like faro 66 and 67 which are flood tolerant.

“We hope to get them into the field in large quantity for farmers to plant in the near future.

“We are also hoping that as soon as the rain seized, we are encouraging farmers to replant so that the residual moisture on the soil plus irrigation can give us another crop by the end of December or early January.

“Otherwise, we will be in serious trouble for rice, millet, sorghum and maize next year,” he said, expressing pleasure to inaugurate the NASC Molecular Laboratory.

“It is quite heartwarming to note that NASC has over the years kept faith in its drive to ensure the availability of quality seeds to farmers.

Also peaking, Dr Philip Ojo, the Director-General, NASC, said that the 2018 event was opened with a Road Walk from the Federal Secretariat to the Minister of Agriculture.

“This was followed by a Symposium. All the events were geared towards creating improved seeds awareness among our great farmers and the farming communities, especially in the Federal Capital Territory.

“I wish to state categorically that improved seed use is the most cost effective means of enhancing agricultural productivity.

“It is important to inform you all that between the 2017 and 2018, a lot of successes have been achieved in the Nigerian Seed industry.

“NASC collaborations with other stakeholders have started yielded positive results such as the NASC Molecular Facility that will soon be inaugurated.

“The facility which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the BASICS Programme will help in the development of the Cassava Seed System in the country and enhance productivity,” he said, appealing for more support from the state governors in order to step up the agency’s regulatory activities to rid the market of fake and adulterated seeds.

Meanwhile, three children died instantly and dozens of others were hospitalised when lightning struck a primary school in North-western Uganda, officials indicated on Thursday.

“The information I have is that three children died on the spot in a lightning strike on Mungoyo primary school,’’ West Nile regional police spokeswoman, Josephine Anguzu, told dpa.

Some 72 others were injured in the incident on Wednesday, 25 of them critically, according to the Uganda Red Cross.

Uganda has more lightning fatalities than anywhere else in the world, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

 

Accidents

Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

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Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

 Pandemonium engulfed Ekololu, a community in the Surulere area of Lagos, on Monday night when the back tyres of a tanker transporting fuel to a Conoil filling station burst into flames near the station.

The News Correspondent who resides in the area reports that the explosion of the tyres and the ensuing billows of smoke made residents living near the filling station flee for safety.

Observations by the newsmen revealed that staff from the filling station hurried out with fire extinguishers to combat the fire, which erupted around 9:00 p.m., just a few meters from the station’s entrance.

Emergency responders, including Federal and State Fire Services, as well as the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), swiftly arrived at the scene following distress calls from the community.

The ill-fated tanker that caused the pandemonium

Upon arrival, the emergency teams assessed the unregistered truck carrying the petrol and raised concerns about safety measures while questioning the driver and filling station management.

They provided guidance and oversaw the safe discharge of the fuel using a long hose to transfer the petroleum product from the stranded tanker into the filling station’s reservoirs.

The Station Manager of the Conoil filling station, Mr Kunle Oniya, informed the emergency responders that the station possessed 20 fire extinguishers, which were promptly utilised to contain the fire and prevent its spread.

The incident led to a traffic gridlock, with vehicles unable to move in the area for nearly an hour.

Some residents shared their experiences of the ordeal with the newsmen.

A resident, Malam Shehu, recounted abandoning his dinner upon witnessing the fiery explosion.

He expressed gratitude that the fire was contained before causing further damage.

Another resident, known as Iya Abigail, described hearing people shouting while she was playing games, prompting her to flee in confusion wearing her nightclothes.

She prayed for continued safety in the community.

An elderly resident, who preferred anonymity, urged filling stations in the area to prioritise safety and the welfare of residents.

She noted that filling stations typically had insurance against fire and other disasters and suggested extending such coverage to vulnerable buildings in their host communities.

Recalling the chaotic events, she said that she heard the sound of an emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood before hastily evacuating her home.

“I was watching TV and when the incident occurred, I had to blow the emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood but I quickly dressed up before running out of the house,” she said. 

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

…As 15 people sustain varying degrees of injuries

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of seven persons in a road accident that occurred on Ibadan-Iseyin road on Thursday.

The Public Relations Officer, FRSC, Oyo Sector Command, Mr Mayowa Odewo, said in a statement that the deceased were five male adults, one female adult and one female child.

Odewo said that 15 people also sustained varying degrees of injuries out of the 22 people involved in the crash.

He attributed the accident, involving a Nissan Urvan commercial bus, with registration number: SEY 254 ZY and a Mazda commercial bus, with registration number LGB 343 XA, to speed violations and fatigue.

Odewo stated that the 13 injured victims, including three male adults, nine female adults and one female child, had been taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

He said that four of the seven corpses of the victims had been claimed by their families, while the remaining three had been deposited at a morgue.

“The police from Motor Traffic Division (MTD) Police Division, Moniya, Ibadan, have taken possession of the two crashed vehicles, including bags and other valuables recovered from the scene,” he said.

The FRSC spokesperson noted that no victim was saved by the seat belt or other defensive gadgets.

He urged motorists to always obey traffic rules and regulations as well as adhere to all traffic cautions on the road to prevent avoidable crashes. 

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

Australian police had found a man’s body off Sydney’s coast while searching for a cruise ship passenger who went overboard on Monday.
The man fell overboard before dawn near Sydney Heads, about 18 kilometers from the shore, with police and other emergency services launching a search, New South Wales police said.

At about 10.30 a.m. (0030 GMT), officers located the body and retrieved it, police said.

Police would now prepare a report for the Coroner and have launched an investigation into how the incident unfolded.

P&O Cruises’ ship Pacific Adventure was due to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Monday.

“We thank guests for their care, understanding, and patience on what’s been a distressing day for guests and crew,’’
a statement from the company said, as quoted by local media.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the guest at this difficult time.’’

The ship was returning to Sydney from a three-day trip to Queensland’s Morton Island.

– dpa

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