The Federal Government has promised to encourage and support apiculture with special emphasis to honey production in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said this at the official flag-off of ApiExpo Africa 2018 in Abuja on Thursday.
Ogbeh said that the federal government would collaborate with the Afe Babalola University to support bee farmers and keepers in the purchase of special types of woods for the production of bee hives.
“It is a bit embarrassing that Nigeria is listed very low among the nations participating in this industry. Embarrassing to a place not too difficult to explain, once we found oil and gas, we lost our memory for agriculture.
“Bees help us pollinate our crops, people rent bees across the continents now; bees are dying in large numbers in many countries like Western Europe and the United States.
“Scientists are trying to find out what is wrong, is transmission by telephones, is it chemicals in the farms, or is it climate change issues.
“Will the same thing happen in Africa? If it does, how do we pollinate 75 per cent of our crops, how do we increase yield?
“I think that we need to show more services to the animals so they can give services to us.
“Don’t lose hope, together, we are coming back. We will support the bee farmers,’’ Ogbe said.
Mr Flilippo Amato, the Head of the Trade and Economic Section of European Union (EU), said no fewer than 10 countries in Africa were eligible to export honey to the EU.
He listed the countries to include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Amato urged Nigeria to join the list to boost the country’s economy.
“Being listed is not an easy process, it requires the effort, willingness and cooperation of several stakeholders both from the private and public sectors,’’ he explained.
Mr Ernest Aubee, the Head of Agriculture Division, ECOWAS Commission, said the commission would partner with the federal government to ensure that the api-expo, to be held in Nigeria in September, was a success.
Aubee commended the agricultural transformation of the federal government, adding that the commission will ensure the replication in ECOWAS member countries.
Mr Bosco Okeilo, the Chief Executive Officer, Apitrade Africa, said the objective of the exposition was to foster economic drive, social mobilisation and political (policies) influence to move apiculture industry forward.
He said that bee-keeping would ensure pollination for food security in the country.
The Chairman, Nigeria Apiculture Platform, Mr Ademola Adesina, said that many bee-keepers and representatives from Europe, Asia and America would be attending the Api-Expo in September 2018.
The Api-Expo launch attracted bee stakeholders from different states of the country.
The UN says for the fifth straight year, 1,500 migrants perished in the Mediterranean, with the route between Libya and Italy being the deadliest.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Friday, Spain, which has overtaken
Italy as the preferred destination, registered nearly 21,000 migrants so far this year.
The IOM said, this is more than all of 2017.
In all, the IOM said, about 55,000 migrants have reached European shores so far this year, against more than double that number at this time last year, 111,753.
Italy, whose new government has closed its ports to rescue vessels, has had about 18,130 migrants arriving by sea from Libya this year, with the rest going to Greece, Malta and Cyprus.
“It’s important to note two things: one is that despite incredibly low numbers arriving to Italy, the
per capita death or the rate of death per 1,000 people may be at its highest point since the emergency began,” IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva news conference.
Referring to the 1,500 death toll, he said: “It’s only once in the previous four years (that) this mark has been reached later than this date in July and that was in 2014 when the emergency was really
More than 600 African migrants forced their way through the heavily fortified border fence separating the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco on Thursday, using circular saws, shears and mallets to cut through the wire.
“What we can say is that the first indications that we are getting from the Spanish authorities is that it is the West African migrants that were most prominent crossing into Libya in the past couple of years who seem to be choosing Spain as their route now,” Millman said.
He said the death rate on the western Mediterranean route to Spain is about one in 70 migrants.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia said on Friday BRICS leaders were not ruling out the possibility of increasing the number of the bloc’s member states, but the decision on accepting more countries to the organisation should not be taken in a rush.
BRICS is the acronym coined by British Economist Jim O’Neill meant for an association of five
major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“The candidates have not backed out, on the contrary, they have demonstrated readiness and to work within BRICS as full-fledged members, but at today’s meeting in a small format all my colleagues approached accepting new members to BRICS with caution.
“However, they certainly do wish to work with other states and do not exclude the possibility of BRICS expansion,” Putin said at a news conference after the BRICS summit in South Africa.
Putin said that the expansion issue needs further discussions, as such a serious question could not be solved “in one fell swoop.”
He also said that all decisions are being taken on the basis of consensus.
“There is really no some kind of formal leadership. All issues are resolved, decisions are being taken on the basis of consensus, with full respect for the interests of all participants in this
The federal government has increased the duration of international passport from five to 10 years.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede during the inauguration of the Guaranty Trust Bank POS Passport Fee Terminal at the Ikoyi Passport Office, Lagos.
Babandede explained that the 10 years duration would be for adults, while that of minors would remain five years.
He said the increase in the duration of passport has been endorsed by the National Assembly and also approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
According to him, the 10 years’ extension would take effect from next year, adding that the current backlog of requests for passports waiting for issuance would still be five years.
The Comptroller General also said to end the enduring scarcity of passport, which has lasted over two years, the document would now be printed in Nigeria with indication that it would no more be given out as concession.
Nigerian passport for years, has been printed overseas and given out to concessionaires.
Thisday also learnt that immediately the new passport duration takes effect from next year, renewal of passport would automatically be 10 years.
A senior official of NIS said it has become the trend all over the world, adding that it is a service the government must offer to its citizens.
The official said this would reduce the pressure on passport holders who throng passport offices all over the country to renew their passports.
According to him, it would also ease the pressure on Immigration officials who attend to thousands of applicants every working day.
He also noted that the increase in the duration of passport would in no way reduce the revenue generated by Immigration to the federal government.