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Goldberg Fuji t’o Bam: 40 artistes qualify for quarter final

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In its continued determination to raise the bar for Fuji music, Goldberg Lager Beer, a product from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc has through its Fuji t’o Bam talent hunt competition screened over 400 aspiring Fuji artistes out of which 40 have scaled the preliminary hurdles in the ongoing competition.

The lucky contestants emerged from the auditions and selection parties held in the eight selected cities in the western part of Nigeria. The cities are: Sango-Ota, Egbeda, Oyo, Ilesha, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Ibadan, and Sagamu. Twenty contestants were picked at the audition held in each of those cities; the figure was eventually reduced to five at the selection party for each zone. The budding artistes are now qualified for the quarter final of the competition, which holds at Durbar Stadium in Oyo town next month.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager & Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries, expressed satisfaction with the quality of renditions by all participants in this year’s competition.  He said all the contenders showed “very high level of determination to proceed to the next stage of the contest.” According to him, it is impossible that all participants will qualify in competitions like this. Agu therefore advised those who did not qualify for the quarter final to go back and improve on the areas identified by the judges.

Mr Agu also disclosed that of the 40 contenders, 20 would be eliminated in the quarter final in Oyo; another 14 would be eliminated in the semifinal in Ado-Ekiti while the last 6 would proceed to the final in Ibadan in July.

Corroborating him, Patrick Olowookere, Corporate Communications/Brand PR Manager, NB Plc, disclosed that as part of the activities lined up for the quarter final of the competition, the Goldberg team would visit the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III. He said the team would also pay a visit to the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II during the semifinal, while a courtesy visit would be made to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji as part of activities for the final.

At Nigerian Breweries Plc, he stated, “respect is one of our core values and as a reflection of that, Goldberg, in 2012 inaugurated Fuji t’o Bam competition, to promote the cultural values of the Yorubas. This initiative is therefore a testament to our resolute determination to contribute to the socio-cultural development of the people of South-west Nigeria.

He further said “four years down the line, the initiative, Fuji t’o Bam, has continued to grow from strength to strength, with notable Fuji artistes now part and parcel of the project. It is our belief that as the music activation continues, Fuji ’o Bam will continue to discover more Fuji talents that will fit into the shoes of icons like KWAM1, Pasuma, Saheed Osupa and others.”

The highlight of this year’s contest so far was the appearance of the reigning WURA 1 of Fuji t’o Bam, Akeem Okiki at the venue of the 2016 Goldberg Fuji talent hunt selection party held in Ilesa, Osun State.  Okiki, an Osun State-based Fuji artiste, who won the grand prize for the Season 3 of the annual contest at the Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan, advised the participating artistes to be focused and disciplined on stage to win the crown.

According to him, anybody who would triumph in the contest must be ready to satisfy the judges; whom he said are veterans in Fuji music. “The judges have their standards that any successful contestant must meet; otherwise such artistes would be shown the exit door of the competition”.  Okiki thereafter performed to the delight of guests and fans who thronged the Waterside Centre, Ayeso Area in Ilesa, venue of the selection party.

The overall winner of this year’s edition will wear the crown, The WURA 1 of Fuji t’o Bam, which comes with a cash reward of N1 million.

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Olabode Olawuyi:s Dedication, Passion Will Forever Serve As An Inspiration To Us All-NBCA

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The Nigeria Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (NBCA) has stated that the dedication and passion of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, the late veterinary technologist killed by a lion at the Zoological Garden of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), would forever serve as an inspiration.

 

NBCA stated this in a statement released on Wednesday, February 21, adding that Olawuyi’s dedication to his chosen field shone for all to see.

 

In the statement signed by Mr. Dipo Bali, NBCA said that it was deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Olawuyi, who was the former Public Relations Officer for the National Zoological Agency (NAZAP).

 

“In memory of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, we pledge to redouble our efforts towards promoting responsible wildlife management practices and fostering a robust safety culture within the zoological and animal care fields. His dedication and passion will forever serve as an inspiration to us all.”

 

The group which described the deceased as a pillar of the Nigerian zoological community, also noted that he was lauded for his unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation and exceptional service.

 

“He had dedicated years to the OAU Zoological Garden, providing exemplary care to its resident lion, whom he had nurtured since its birth. NBCA acknowledges the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Olawuyi’s passing.

 

“We extend our deepest condolences to his grieving family, friends, and colleagues at OAU during this difficult time. Our unwavering support stands with them as they navigate this profound loss.

 

“As an organization dedicated to wildlife protection and preservation in Nigeria, we recognize the inherent risks associated with working with wild animals. We remain steadfast in advocating for the strictest adherence to safety protocols and established guidelines to ensure the well-being of both wildlife caretakers and the animals under their care.*

 

Also, NBCA said that it remains committed to closely monitoring the situation and collaborating with relevant authorities to prevent similar tragedies from unfolding in the future, while also extending its unwavering support to the OAU Zoological Garden and its staff during this period of immense loss.

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NASRE Advises FG On Food Crisis, Forex Shortage Amid Calls To Suspend Import Ban

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As Nigeria finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with simultaneous challenges of a food crisis and a foreign exchange (forex) shortage.

 

This is even as the nation seeks solutions to mitigate these pressing issues, the debate over whether to open its borders for importation has intensified.

 

The food crisis gripping Nigeria has raised concerns about food security and access to essential nutrition for millions of citizens.

 

Adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, and other factors have contributed to dwindling food supplies and soaring prices, placing a significant strain on households and exacerbating the vulnerability of already marginalized communities.

 

Meanwhile, the forex shortage has hampered Nigeria’s ability to import essential goods and raw materials, further exacerbating supply chain disruptions and exacerbating inflationary pressures.

 

Industries reliant on imported inputs, including agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, have been particularly hard hit, impeding economic growth and development.

 

In response to these challenges, some stakeholders advocate for opening Nigeria’s borders to facilitate the importation of food and other essential commodities.

 

Proponents argue that increased importation could help alleviate immediate food shortages, stabilize prices, and provide relief to vulnerable populations facing hunger and malnutrition.

 

However, others caution against the potential risks of opening borders amid a forex shortage. Critics raise concerns about the impact on domestic production and self-sufficiency, as well as the long-term consequences of relying heavily on imported goods. They emphasize the need to prioritize investments in domestic agriculture and infrastructure to build resilience against future crises.

 

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the government faces the daunting task of balancing short-term relief efforts with long-term strategies for sustainable development and economic resilience.

 

Proffering suggestion on how the government can address the unending inflationary pressures, Forex shortages, food prices hike and revitalise the nation’s economy, the Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), has advised the Nigerian government to adopt collaborative efforts involving policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to identify holistic solutions that address both immediate needs and underlying structural challenges.

 

On the debate over whether Nigeria should open its borders for importation amid the food crisis and forex shortage, the President of the advocacy group, Mr Femi Oyewale, underscores the urgency of coordinated action and innovative thinking.

 

According to him, now more than ever, solidarity, cooperation, and forward-thinking policies are needed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.

 

“The question of whether Nigerian borders should be opened for food importation in the face of a food crisis is complex and multifaceted. However, there are factors to consider, which basically, Domestic Agricultural Capacity. Because opening borders for food importation could undermine domestic agricultural production by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.

 

“However, if domestic production is insufficient to meet demand, importing food may be necessary to avoid shortages,” he said.

 

On the economic implications of borders opening, the President of NASRE, Oyewale, said: “Importing food can have economic ramifications, both positive and negative. On one hand, it can provide access to a wider variety of foods and potentially lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, it may negatively impact local farmers and exacerbate trade imbalances.”

 

The resourceful editors, while commenting on Food Security, pointed out that relying heavily on imported food leaves a country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations in the global market. Therefore, it urged the federal government to develop a robust domestic agricultural sector, which is crucial for long-term food security.

 

According to Oyewale, the Nigerian government must consider its broader economic and agricultural policies when making decisions about food importation. This includes evaluating subsidies, tariffs, and investment in agricultural infrastructure.

 

“Importing food often involves long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Promoting local production can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food consumption.

 

“Food is not just a commodity; it is essential for human well-being. Government policies should prioritize ensuring access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all citizens, particularly those most vulnerable to food insecurity,” he added.

 

The Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors, NASRE, therefore, noted that the decision to open Nigerian borders for food importation during a food crisis should be approached cautiously, taking into account the country’s domestic agricultural capacity, economic implications, food security goals, environmental concerns, and social welfare considerations.

 

“A balanced approach that supports both domestic production and responsible trade practices may be necessary to address immediate food shortages while also promoting long-term food security and sustainability,” the Association stated.

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Lagos State Government to prosecute 11 suspects for extortion

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The Lagos State Government said 11 suspects arrested at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state will be prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others extorting residents and motorists in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

He added that the suspects parade themselves as enforcement officers to extort unsuspecting motorists and residents in the state.

Musa said, “Lagos State Government has declared zero tolerance for extortion of unsuspecting residents, especially motorists, by miscreants parading themselves as enforcement officers at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state.

“We have announced severally that nobody is allowed to collect money for the local government on the street of Lagos, and the government has set up a team to ensure that anybody that does that is picked up and from that Lekki axis.

“They will be charged to court to explain themselves, and I want to sound a note of warning to others that do the same thing that we will not relent; the government is all out for them.”

He noted that it is unlawful for any local government area within the state to place personnel to conduct such operations on the highways.

“If you have any issues, you call us, and we will come and address them, but when you have people coming on the road on the guise that you want to have revenue at this hard time, collecting money from motorists on the road is not fair, and it is illegal in Lagos State to resist it.

“It is illegal for any local government area in the state to deploy people on the roads as it negates the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Section 18, 2018, which empowers only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to carry out such operations on the roads,” he added.

In March 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Government arrested four suspected hoodlums in some parts of the state over extortion.

The suspects were arrested in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state while attempting to extort motorists.

 

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