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FAO: 9.8 million people in FCT, 16 northern states battling hunger

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An agency of the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organisation says at least 9. 8 million people living in 15 northern Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are suffering from food insecurity.

It said the findings were the outcome of a food analysis made available on Thursday.

It specifically stated that Abuja, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Benue, Gombe, Taraba, Katsina, Jigawa states were struggling with food insecurity and malnutrition.

Others are “Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger and the FCT,” it stated.

Speaking at the presentation of the analysis, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero, said the results of the analysis had exposed the need for urgent intervention by the government.

“The presentation of the results of the October/November 2020 Cadre Harmonise (CH) analysis for the 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria is such an important stage in determining our next actions and effective response In ensuring food security and nutrition in the country.

“The Cadre Harmonlse or CH (as is popularly called) is a regional framework for the consensual analysis of acute food and nutrition insecurity situations across West African countries through these framework areas of risk of mal-and undernourishment and the food insecure populations are identified.”

He said, “The exercise, which has now been adopted by the Nigeria Food Security stakeholders since 2015 aims at applying the outcome of the analysis in preventing food crisis by identifying the areas affected and the populations as well as proffering appropriate measures towards improved food and nutrition security and livelihoods.

“Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to inform you that the CH analysis results in Nigeria have become the major yardstick for estimating the areas and population of vulnerable people in need of humanitarian assistance as presented in the annual Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNOs) and the Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) especially in the three BAY states of NE.

“This October/November 2020 CH analysis happens to be different from the previous years, as it took Into consideration the unprecedented impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on the various outcomes of FNS and the inference of the various FNS contributing factors.

“Despite the relaxation of the COVlD-19 lockdown measures, several households are still currently experiencing difficulties in accessing their basic food and nonfood needs due to disrupted livelihoods. This has resulted in reduced HHs opportunities for income and food and nutrition security.”

The result of the analysis also projects that 13.9 million people may suffer from food insecurity from the affected states in 2021.

Kafeero explained further that “in this context, FAO and partners have adapted their programme to respond to the Increased need. For the 2020 rainy season In NE, FAO reached 63,300 HH with quality seeds and fertilizers distribution.

“Another 12,000 HH have been reached with livestock support. We are planning to reach about 19,000 HH for the upcoming dry season in collaboration with the FMARD, WFP and IFAD.

“The exercise, which has now been adopted by the Nigeria Food Security stakeholders since 2015 aims at applying the outcome of the analysis in preventing food crisis by identifying the areas affected and the populations as well as proffering appropriate measures towards improved food and nutrition security and livelihoods.”

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Railway

As Abuja-Kaduna train resumes, NRC gives passengers Nov 6 for unused tickets

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Train operations on the Abuja-Kaduna route resumed on Saturday, after they were suspended on Thursday following an attack that damaged the rail track.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation has given passengers with unused tickets two weekends ending on November to make use of the tickets or forfeit them.

Two reported attacks on Wednesday night and Thursday morning said to have been executed with the use of explosives led to damage on the rail track.

In one of the attacks, the window of the driver compartment of the train was reportedly shattered. This prompted the corporation to suspend the train ride along the route.

But the NRC restored the train services on Saturday after carrying out adequate repairs on the damaged track and beefing up security along the route.

On Saturday when train services resumed along the route, there was a report of low turnout of passengers.

Some of the passengers, who acknowledged improved armed security presence on the train and along the track said they could not use their pre-purchased tickets as the railway officials claimed they had no order to accept them.

A statement issued by the NRC later said customers would have two weeks (ending November 06) to use tickets for rides scheduled during the period operations were cancelled.

The corporation also asked affected customers to give 48-hour notice before their scheduled trips with the unused tickets.

The statement read in part, “Dear esteemed customers, service has been restored on the Abuja-Kaduna service.

“Customers with unused tickets for the 21st and 22nd of October should kindly contact the customer care unit (customercare@tps.ng and 01 888 7741) for rescheduling.

“Kindly give 48-hour notice ahead of new travel date. This offer is open for the next 2 weeks and will expire on the 6th of November, 2021. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”

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Railway

Abuja-Kaduna train resumes operation Saturday – NRC

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Barely 24 hours after suspending the Abuja-Kaduna trains for safety reasons, the Nigerian Railway Corporation says the services will resume Saturday October 23.

The suspension followed an explosion attack by hoodlums on the Abuja-Kaduna rail track Wednesday evening, which the corporation said affected the locomotive tank of a Kaduna-bound train.

Although there have been conflicting accounts of the attack with some attributing it to bandit or terrorist attack, the Managing Director of the corporation said in an interview on Friday night that the NRC team of engineers and technicians had fixed the problem and was certified that the train service could resume on the route after carrying out extensive an inspection of the line.

The NRC also said in a statement issued Friday evening that the Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) would “resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am.”

The statement read in part, “The board and management of the Nigerian railway corporation (NRC) hereby inform the general public, particularly our valued passengers that Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am. Subsequent train services continue.

“The NRC once again sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.”

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Motorists, travellers stranded as Delta bridge collapses

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There was confusion in part of Delta State on Friday following the collapse of the Umutu Bridge in the Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state, leaving several motorists and travellers on the Agbor-Abraka-Eku road stranded.

The incident reportedly occurred in the early hours of the day, adding that the aged long bridge gave way as a Trailer conveying heavy duty construction bulldozer was passing through it towards the Agbor axis of the state.

The deplorable condition of federal road has been on the news, with report of the road project already awarded for reconstruction by the federal government.

The road link many communities in the state and connect the people with other parts of the country, particularly Northern and South-East states.

Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Ochor Christopher Ochor who hails from the area, regretted that the federal government had not given such an important road the desired attention.

Ochor who spoke to our Correspondent, described the collapsed of the bridge as unfortunate and sympathized with stranded motorists and travelers for the pains it may have caused them.

He said he had already contacted the Commissioner for Work in charge of Urban and Highways roads in the State, Mr Neol Omodion, who has promised to take necessary steps to address the ugly situation.

Ochor however stressed the need to beef up security in the area to protect the lives and properties of the stranded travelers, calling on the federal government to reconstruct the road due to its strategic position  to the socio economic development of the area.

 

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