9 November 2017

Nigeria: FEC Approves N5.57b for Soil Erosion Control

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N5.567 billion as payment for accelerated intervention for soil erosion control in different parts of the country.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who disclosed this yesterday, said the amount is for Kano, Sokoto, Ondo, Osun, Enugu and Bayelsa states.

Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, who also briefed State House Correspondents, said FEC ‎had also approved N155 million grants for the development of foundation seeds at the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

The minister, who said that Nigeria lacked the right variety of seeds, said that the improved seeds would be given to companies to multiply from 30 to 230 tonnes.

Also, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the Council had approved bilateral air services agreement between Nigeria and the state of Canada to facilitate trade and commerce for both countries.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government said it had commenced investigation into the death of 26 females suspected to be Nigerians in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement yesterday to that effect, confirmed the incident.

The ministry had on Tuesday informed the public that it was in constant touch with Nigerian Mission in Rome to ascertain the veracity of the report.

However, in a latest statement signed by the spokesperson, Dr. Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, the ministry said it had received a reliable report from its Mission in Rome that the dead bodies of 26 suspected Nigerians, all of whom were female between the ages of 14 and 18, were discovered on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The report indicates that a Spanish Warship, Cantabria, brought the remains of the migrants to Southern Italian Port of Salerno.

"The Italian security officials who made this discovery are yet to confirm if they were murdered and why all who died were female.

"Meanwhile, the Italian Police Chief in Salerno, who noted that it appears they drowned, has launched an investigation into the cause of their death to ascertain if they were either tortured or sexually assaulted," the statement read in part.

The Federal Government, has, however, described the incident as a monumental loss to the nation, stressing that the deaths were being investigated.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described the deaths most unfortunate.

She, however, decried that such tragic incident was avoidable and preventable.


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