Education Cannot Wait (ECW) has announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis in northeast Nigeria.
According to ECW, this is in reaction to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria, that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support.
Three-year education programme for the protracted crisis in northeast Nigeria aims to reach 2.9 million children and youth in response to armed conflict and ongoing humanitarian needs.
According to the organisation, the initial programme will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$98.7 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations, to reach over 2.9 million children and youth.
The number of children and youth with chronic needs in education remains high across the three states targeted through the Education Cannot Wait investment.
Implementing in partnership with the Government of Nigeria by UNICEF, Save the Children, and a consortium between the Norwegian Refugee Council and Street Child:
- The overall multi-year resilience programme targets 2.9 million children and adolescents from 2021 to 2023.
- Half of the targeted beneficiaries are displaced children and youth, while the other half live in host communities that are affected by conflict.
The programme builds on the success of the Education Cannot Wait funded ‘first emergency response’ in northeast Nigeria that reached 290,000 children. Education Cannot Wait seed funding will initiate the implementation of the programme by focusing on reaching:
- Girls and boys in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. In total, over 482,000 girls and boys will access learning opportunities, of whom over 60% are girls and adolescent girls.
- The programme also targets 48,000 girls and boys in early learning programmes, 380,000 at primary level and some 50,000 at the secondary level, in both formal and non-formal educational settings.
Among its various outputs, the programme will build and renovate classrooms and learning spaces, support stipends for teachers and increase continuity by working with local partners to keep children and youth in school.
It will also ensure educators have the training and tools they need to build gender-responsive learning plans, and safe and protective learning environments that respond to the specific needs of girls, children with disabilities and crisis-affected children in need of psychosocial support.
What they are saying
Dr. Shettima Bukar Kullima, Executive Chairman, Borno State Universal Basic Education Board Nigeria, stated that:
- “Education Cannot Wait has been supporting the education in emergencies response in Nigeria since 2018 through the First Emergency Response intervention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW was the first donor to offer support to conflict-affected North East Nigeria. Once more, ECW is supporting Nigeria in the advancement of education in emergencies through the multi-year resilience programme. This is highly commendable, and a much-appreciated endeavour.”
Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait said:
- “Children and teachers are being targeted in violent attacks. Killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction and child recruitment are putting girls and boys at extreme risk. Education is not only every child’s right, but the protection it provides is also all too often lifesaving. This new education in emergency response, which delivers across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, helps sow the seeds of peace and tolerance, while also ensuring girls and boys have access to safe and protective learning environments.”
- “Nigeria is making progress in addressing the protracted crisis in the northeast of the country, but with limited resources and continued violence, progress has been uneven. There are still approximately 1 million children, including 583,000 girls, and 18,000 education personnel that are in rapid need of support to either resume or sustain education in northeast Nigeria. I call on public and private sector donors to urgently help close the $98.7 million funding gap for this crucial programme. There is no time to lose.”
What you should know
The programme objectives are:
- Continued delivery of strong education in emergencies programming.
- Mainstreaming of learners into formal education.
- Addressing key cross-cutting issues, with a special focus on gender, disability and mental health and psychosocial support.
- Strengthening educator and school leader capacities and motivation.
- Strengthening local leadership to take full ownership of delivery and transitions to formal education.
- Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. ECW was established during the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to help reposition education as a priority on the humanitarian agenda, usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground and foster additional funding to ensure that every crisis-affected child and young person is in school and learning.
Lagos says Lake rice will soon be back in the market
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture blamed flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic for the disappearance of Lake rice from the market.
The Lagos State Government has said that Lake rice, which is a collaboration between the Lagos State and Kebbi State Governments, is still in existence and will soon be back in the market on a big scale.
This follows the sudden disappearance of the Lake rice due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s devastating flooding, which wreaked havoc on rice plantations in Kebbi and other northern states.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, during a ministerial briefing to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, admitting that 3 years of seamless record of providing the rice for Lagosians was broken last year, as the brand disappeared from the market.
What the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture is saying
Olusanya in her statement said, “It is not that Lake rice is missing to the extent that it will not surface again. Lake rice is still in existence. I think we need to go back to a lot of things that happened last year. Lake rice was available last year in January and February, COVID-19 hit us in March and subsequently, we had issues around flooding, particularly in Kebbi.
The impact of the flooding was grave on rice farms in the state. So, it is not so much about why it is not available, it is a function of why in the producing state there were so much issues of production and supply, for them to process and send to us,” she said.
The commissioner further stated, “Kebbi is the number one producer of rice in Nigeria, so it only makes sense for Lagos to partner with the state to get processed rice.
But part of the agreement also is that if Lagos State is setting up its own rice mill, the agreement is going to shift from receiving processed rice to receiving paddy rice for us to process in our mill. So, it’s not that the partnership has been terminated.”
She announced that once the state mill in Imota, Ikorodu is completed, the state would have its own brand adding that the 32 Metric tonnes per hour capacity integrated rice mill under construction is the biggest in Nigeria and in West Africa and at full capacity is capable of producing approximately 2.4 million (50kg) bags of rice for the over 22 million people in the state and for Nigerians as a whole.
Olusanya said that the mill will further create employment of approximately 267,580 jobs in the state at different stages of the value chain, reduce the cost of rice locally, enhance food self-sufficiency and revenue generation in the state and the country at large, as well as, ensure a sustainable supply of wholesome rice at an affordable price to the people in Lagos and its environs.
What you should know
The Lagos-Kebbi Rice christened Lake rice stemmed from the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi State Governments and was launched at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Lagos on December 21, 2016, by the former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his Kebbi State counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.
The partnership which culminated in the launch was not only designed to ensure food security but also to showcase Nigeria’s ability to become a rice-producing nation. The partnership was also part of initiatives aimed at helping Lagos State succeed in its goal of achieving 40% food security and self-sufficiency status by the year 2023 in addition to being less dependent on other states for food production.
CBN, others move to stop rejection of Nigerian crops by other countries
CBN, government agencies and private firms have moved to stop the rejection of crops produced in Nigeria by other nations.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), government agencies and private firms have moved to stop the rejection of crops produced in Nigeria by other nations.
This follows the adoption of appropriate technologies for the reduction of aflatoxin in our crops, food, feeds and livestock which is expected to help achieve zero rejection of commodities exported from Nigeria.
This disclosure is contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day workshop organised in Abuja by Harvest Field Industries Limited and IITA, aimed at sharing results of aflatoxin levels in maize sampled nationwide under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme 2020 Wet Season Project.
The workshop’s theme was ‘Scaling Solutions to Control Aflatoxin in Nigeria’s Crop Value Chain: The test results under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme 2020 Wet Season Project.’
What the CBN, IITA, Others are saying
The communique partly reads, “Also, it (the workshop) is to prompt concerted efforts towards the adoption of appropriate technologies for the reduction of aflatoxin in our crops, food, feeds and livestock as required by global food quality standards.
“Reduced aflatoxin prevalence will contribute tremendously towards achieving zero rejection of our export commodities and ensure food safety in Nigeria.”
Other participants at the workshop apart from CBN, IITA and Harvest Field, included the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
The list of participants in the workshop also includes the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Federal Ministry of Health, Value Seeds Limited, Maize Association of Nigeria, National Groundnut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, among others.
During the technical session, participants at the workshop recommended that the inter-ministerial committee on aflatoxin regulation and enforcement of food safety laws in Nigeria should be revived in addition to calls for the enactment of technical policy regulating the testing and enforcement of allowable aflatoxin limits in food and feed processing and distribution industries, among others.
What you should know
Aflatoxins are harmful toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn), peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts. Their presence on some grains grown in Nigeria has prompted the rejection of these agro-products in the international market.
In a bid to diversify the economy and ensure food security in the country, the federal government through the CBN and other government agencies and ministries have introduced various policies and measures to increase productivity in the agricultural sector, which is arguably the largest employer of labour in the country.
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