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News Roundup: Nigeria launches council to eliminate malaria, Lagos Rail, Mile 2 – Marina test run to start December…

News Roundup: Super Eagles drops on FIFA ranking after Algeria defeat, Victims of Kaduna-train attack gains freedom…

Nigeria launches council to eliminate malaria by 2030

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a council to eradicate malaria and named Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, as its leader. Dangote runs a non-profit that has been mobilizing private sector support for malaria control in Africa. The continent accounts for the vast majority of deaths from the mosquito-borne disease, with nearly a third of victims in Nigeria. The launch of Nigeria’s End Malaria Council (EMC) took place Tuesday at the presidential banquet hall in Abuja. President Buhari inaugurated the 16-member committee, which will oversee an effort to eliminate malaria in Nigeria within the next eight years. Buhari said the council will advocate for more funding to sustain anti-malaria projects in the country. The World Health Organization says Nigeria alone accounts for about 27 percent of all malaria cases and 32 percent of malaria deaths globally.

Lagos Rail, Mile 2 – Marina test run to start December

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor, Lagos State on Wednesday said the test run of the Blue Rail Line train service project will commence December 2022. According to Sanwo-Olu, with the launch of the last T-beam, the blue line rail project would be formally complete before December, after which the test run would start. Also, the achievement in the area of the setting of the last T-beam is in line with his administration’s commitment to bringing succour to residents and giving them choices in mass transportation. “Today’s final T-beam launch indicates that we are gradually itching to the completion of the civil infrastructure for the first phase of the Blue Line traversing from Mile 2 to Marina. The engineering work today completes a total of 1,967 piles foundation, while we have also completed three 306 platforms, 310 piers, 267 cover beams and erection of 984 T-beams,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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Conflict, major driver of Nigeria’s food insecurity

According to the World Bank, conflict is one of the major drivers of food insecurity in West Africa, especially in the north-western part of Nigeria and the Liptako Gourma region, which borders Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic. In its latest ‘Food Security Update’, it noted that the number of conflicts and fatalities reported between January and June 2022 had already surpassed what was recorded in the first half of 2021. Also, conflict and fatalities were expected to reach a record high in 2022, increasing food insecurity in the West African region. The World Bank observed that the ongoing war in Ukraine, which had increased global food, energy, and agricultural input prices, has exacerbated atypical price trends for local and imported foods. The report further stated that West Africa is highly dependent on fertiliser imports from Russia and Ukraine. With the ongoing war causing significant fertiliser shortages and price increases, a deficit of fertiliser of 1.2 million to 1.5 million tons is projected.

French troops withdraw from Mali after 9 years stay

France has ended its military presence in Mali, handing over the affairs of the country to Malian forces thereby ending its nine years of deployment of French forces to fight the Islamist extremist from taking power. The handover took place at Operation Desert Platform in Gao. French troops had maintained a presence in Mali since 2013 when they ousted the Islamist extremist group from power. The insurgent however regrouped in the desert and has been attacking the Malian army and its allies. The withdrawal of France from Mali comes after the Malian junta hired the Russian Wagner group in order to train its local forces and provide security to the West African country’s officials. The statement by the French Joint Staff said the ‘heart’ of the operation will be moved to Niger, especially in the area bordering Burkina Faso.

Afolayan cements family legacy as daughter debuts in ‘Anikulapo’ movie

Netflix on Monday released the official trailer of Kunle Afolayan’s much-anticipated movie ‘Anikulapo’ with a sizzling cast including the filmmaker’s young daughter Eyiyemi Afolayan in what will be her feature film debut movie in Nollywood. The Afolayan dynasty has had its fair share of success in the movie industry from first-generation star Adeyemi “Adelove” Afolayan, her grandfather, to Kunle Afolayan, her father, Gabriel Afolayan, her uncle, Moji Afolayan, her aunt, and now herself to carry on as the third generation actor from the movie dynasty. The movie which is set to be released on the streaming platform Netflix on September 30 is an epic movie that captures the richness of Yoruba culture. Shot in KAP Film Village Studios and Resort Igbojaye, Kumo in Oyo State the movie depicts a fictional legend Saro an Ordinary craftsman who finds himself in another village with the powers to raise the dead back to life.