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Palestine Envoy Alleges Israel is Using Starvation as a Weapon of War in Gaza

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Palestine Envoy Alleges Israel is Using Starvation as a Weapon of War in Gaza

By: Michael Mike

Palestine Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Shawesh has alleged that Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war in the ongoing siege on Gaza, insisting that the Israeli force is flagrantly provoking famine in the trouble Palestinian city.

Shawesh in his weekly briefing of the ongoing siege on Gaza by Israeli force at the weekend in Abuja, said this war strategy by Israel is unacceptable and must be sanctioned.

He said it had been reported that 100% of the population in Gaza is at severe levels of acute food insecurity, which is the first time an entire population has been so classified.

He drew the attention of the world to the words of UN Secretary General António Guterres, who said that: “Palestinians in Gaza are enduring horrifying levels of hunger and suffering … This is the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded …anywhere, anytime”

Shawesh also recalled the words of the UN human rights chief Volker Türk that “hunger, starvation and famine” were the result of Israel’s “extensive restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid and commercial goods”

He noted that as last Wednesday, March 20, the record of casualties from the Israeli siege on Gaza showed that the death toll reached 31,819 Palestinian martyrs, with 73,934 injured and nearly 8,500 missing. There are 700,000 internally displaced persons taking refuge in only 20% of the Gaza Strip. In the Occupied West Bank, there have been 436 martyrs and more than 4,670 injured.

He decried that the Israeli war took many forms, one of which is preventing the entry of necessary medical supplies, especially for chronic diseases, noting that the health condition of 1000 to 1500 kidney failure patients in the Gaza Strip is rapidly worsening due to the lack of medical services, medication, and other necessities.

He raided the alarm that Palestinian unemployment rate is set to soar to 57% during first quarter of 2024, adding that:
“Another life-threatening issue for Gazans today is the presence of remaining explosive materials hidden under the rubble, on the streets, and everywhere else. Mine action partners are currently conducting assessments of the explosive threat and educating Gazans on how to avoid it.”

He said according to OCHA “Larger-scale assessments are urgently required, but response efforts have been hampered by restrictions on the import of humanitarian mine action supplies and authorization requirements for the deployment of specialized personnel.”

Shawesh noted that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at the opening of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza in Brussels, that: “In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine, we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,”….”This is unacceptable. Starvation is used as a weapon of war. Israel is provoking famine.”

He added that: “Malnutrition is a devastating threat to lives across Gaza, as evidenced by the UN published report on March 15, 2024. Where “one in three children under two in the Northern Gaza Strip suffer from acute malnutrition.

“Malnutrition among the children is spreading fast and reaching devastating and unprecedented levels…… at least 23 children in Northern Gaza Strip have reportedly died from malnutrition and dehydration in recent weeks, adding to a mounting toll of children killed in the strip in this current conflict- about 13450.

“Nutrition screening conducted by UNICEF and partners in the north in February found that 4.5 per cent of the children in shelters and health centers suffer from severe wasting, the most life threatening from the malnutrition.”

Palestine Envoy Alleges Israel is Using Starvation as a Weapon of War in Gaza

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Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

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Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

By: Zagazola Makama

Nigerian Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji in collaboration with the Zamfara State Community Protection Guards on Wednesday, April 24, eliminated scores of terrorists in Zamfara including a top Bandits kingpin, Shuaibu Danlukutu.

It was gathered that the terrorists met their gruesome end after they were ambushed by the troops at Gengene village located along Magami Road in Gusau.

The renewed onslaught against bandits in the general area has continued to be in the upswing as scores of bandits are daily neutralized and their enclaves busted by troops of the Nigerian Army in conjunction with other security forces.

Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

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NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

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NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

*We must reposition BOA to drive Nigeria’s food security- VP Shettima

By: Our Reporter

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has received key recommendations from its committee on the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), including a proposed merger with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s NIRSAL Microfinance Ltd and a fresh capital injection to revitalize the bank.

Addressing the second NCP meeting of 2024 at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to repositioning and reforming BOA to drive the administration’s food security agenda.

“Let’s get very sound professionals with integrity to manage the bank. If we use it well, it’s going to be a tool for the transformation of our economy because agriculture is the key,” the Vice President said.

Presenting the committee’s report, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, who doubles as NCP Vice-Chairman, said the Council’s decision was informed by the challenges identified and the need for urgent resolution of the issues confronting the Bank.

Edun outlined the major recommendations, including “the immediate reconstitution of the Board of Directors of the Bank to enhance corporate governance” and “a merger of BOA with the CBN’s NIRSAL Microfinance Ltd.”

He also highlighted the proposal to “cede National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) land titles to BOA so that it reflects in its Balance Sheet, thus increasing its capital adequacy for the purpose of raising funds from institutional investors.”

Acknowledging the need for financial reinforcement, the Minister identified “adequate capital injection into the Bank by the shareholders” as a crucial step forward.

The committee’s report comes after the NCP empanelled an 8-member inter-ministerial body in December 2023 to review the state of affairs at BOA, given agriculture’s critical role in the economy and the Tinubu administration’s commitment to food security under the Renewed Hope Agenda.

In 2016, the NCP had approved the collaboration between the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the then Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Federal Ministry of Finance to restructure and recapitalize BOA.

A consultant, Lead Capital Consortium, was engaged in 2019 to review the bank’s operations and advise on strategies for rebirth and growth. The consultant’s core recommendation was for the government to recapitalize the bank, implement reforms, provide technical assistance, and transform BOA into a sustainable agricultural development bank.

Edun further outlined additional recommendations, including “Provision and upgrade of the Bank’s ICT infrastructure to automate processes, reduce costs and enhance the Bank’s outreach to the grassroots” and “Enhance governance and risk management by appointing qualified Board members and senior management with relevant expertise.”

In a move to bring transparency and efficiency to the nation’s energy sector, the NCP also noted the proposal seeking approval for the establishment of an independent system operator from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

NCP Chairman, Vice President Shettima, set up a committee to liaise with the Special Adviser to the President on Energy and the Federal Ministry of Power to provide a roadmap and reach out to stakeholders.

The committee is chaired by Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, Technical Committee Chairman of NCP.

On a Strategy Paper for the Optimisation of Oil and Gas Assets, the Council also formed a committee to look into issues concerning oil and gas infrastructure, stressing the strategic importance of investors in the sector.

The committee chaired by the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning includes the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the NCP Secretariat, the Ministers of Power, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas),

The committee was given three weeks to come up with its report on optimizing the nation’s oil and gas assets.
End

NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

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USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

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USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

… Gov says we would focus more on medium, long term solutions to our problems

By: Our Reporter

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has commended Borno State Governor, Banagana Umara Zulum, for his passion for enhancing the livelihood of Borno citizens.

The Mission Director of USAID, Melisa Jones, made the commendation in Maiduguri on Wednesday while speaking to journalists at the Government House.

She said, “The governor (Zulum) is very passionate about ensuring the livelihood and well-being of his citizens. That is what we as USAID would continue to do.”

She added, “Our partnership is with this government, and our partnership would be strengthened by this visit and by the leadership of this Governor (Zulum). We are very appreciative of his thinking, thought leadership and direction and we will continue with this partnership.”

Earlier the USAID Mission Director to Nigeria, Melisa Jones, held a meeting with the governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, which was concluded behind closed doors.

… Gov says we would focus more on medium, long term solutions to our problems

Meanwhile, Governor Babagana Unara Zulum said that Borno State Government would shift its focus from a short-term humanitarian solution to a medium and long-term development-driven approach.

Zulum made this known on Wednesday when he received the Mission Director of USAID, Melisa Jones, at his office in Maiduguri.

The governor said, “We are not objecting to the continuous provision of humanitarian support, but gradually, we want to shift our focus to the medium and longer-term sustainable solution.

He added, “However, we still need humanitarian support; all the concerns of the humanitarian partners will be addressed, and we shall work to see how areas in need continue to receive humanitarian support from our partners.”

The governor also extended gratitude to the government of the United States of America and the US International Development Agency (USAID) for their support to the government of Borno State.

“I convey our deep appreciation to the government of the United States, particularly USAID, for all the support they have been rendering to the government of Borno, the people of Borno State and indeed the entire northeast,” Zulum said.

USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

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