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45% Kano children stunted due to lack of proper breastfeeding techniques — Official



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim





No fewer than 45 per cent of under-five-age children in Kano State are said to be stunted due to a lack of proper breastfeeding techniques and observing the right nutrition.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Deputy Director, Family Health and Nutrition, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Murtala Inuwa, stated this while addressing newsmen at an annual dialogue on giving voice and visibility to Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition on Wednesday in Kano.

The media dialogue was organised in collaboration with the Alive and Thrive Initiative.

A cross section of participants at the event

He stressed the need for Kano State to rise to the challenges of stunting due to undernutrition and lack of proper breastfeeding saying, Kano is a populous state with 810,000 children aged 6–23 months.

“Kano is the most populous state in Nigeria with 810,000 children aged 6–23 months. Stunting affects 46 per cent of under-five children in Kano state.

“Only 30 percent of children 6–23 months in Kano consume food from 5 varieties of foods daily and only 40.5 percent consume a meal at an ideal number of times daily.

A Cross section of the participants at the event

“Only 14.6 percent consume Minimum Acceptable Diet, only 28.7 percent consume meat, 12.3 percent consume dairy and 2 percent consume eggs,” he said.

However, he gave a window of opportunity that will resolve the growing problem, saying that the first 1000 days of life starting from the mother’s pregnancy to the child’s second birthday can be used to prevent undernutrition and its consequences.

“The first 1,000 days of life, from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday offer an extraordinary window of opportunity for preventing undernutrition and its consequences. From conception to 2 years represents a ‘critical window of opportunity’ for the promotion of optimal growth, health and development.

A Cross section of the participants at the event

“Actions targeted at this critical period, such as widely accepted and evidence-based interventions, including Exclusive Breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life beginning with Early Initiation, discouraging prelacteal feeds and bottle feeding.

“Appropriate complementary foods from 6 months with continued Breastfeeding for up to 2 years, micronutrient supplementation for women and children to address deficiencies.

“These investments in nutrition, particularly in the earliest years of life, can yield dramatic results for children, their families, and communities.

“Most instances of stunting occur during the first thousand days when complementary feeding plays a major role. Poor Dietary Diversity is a risk factor for stunting among children aged 6 – 23 months.

“Children 6-23 months who consumed fewer food groups were 34% more likely to be stunted compared to those who consumed 5 or more food groups.

“Children who did not consume any animal source foods (ASF) were 44 % more likely to be stunted compared to children who consumed all three types of ASF (egg, meat, and dairy)” he said.

He explained further that maternal and newborn health and nutrition are inextricably connected, adding that Nigeria accounts for over 34 percent of global maternal deaths.

“The risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, or after an abortion for a Nigerian woman is 1 in 22 compared to 1 in 49,000 in developed countries. 95% of these deaths are preventable.

“Nigeria loses about 2,313 children daily, translating to 844,321 under-five children deaths annually, close to half of which are due to malnutrition,” he added.

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Dangote Refinery imports additional 11m barrels of US crude oil due to domestic supply shortage



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim



Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals has issued a tender for an additional 11 million barrels of US crude oil over the next six months due to Nigerian crude oil producers’ inability to meet its feedstock requirements.

KANO FOCUS reports that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery has already received 9 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude from the US since the beginning of 2024 to offset unreliable domestic supplies. The new tender, closing on July 21, aims to procure two million barrels per month of WTI Midland crude for the world’s largest single-train facility located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, for the next six months starting in August.

In a tender reported by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery in the upcoming months of August and September. Additionally, the company initiated a tender process to acquire an additional six million barrels of American crude for September.

This reliance on US crude highlights Nigeria’s challenges in meeting its own refining needs, attributed to issues such as crude theft, aging infrastructure, and underinvestment, which have led to a decline in production. In April, Nigeria’s daily output was only 1.45 million barrels, well below its capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. The country recorded an estimated 30 million barrels underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Dangote Refinery, crucial to Nigeria’s goal of becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, has found it necessary to import crude to sustain operations amidst insufficient domestic supply.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, stated during the Africa CEO Forum 2024 that the refinery will need to continue importing crude as production scales up and alternative supply contracts are sought.

“It also makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” said Dangote.

Commenting on the challenge with sourcing crude locally, Dangote added, “there is a bit of a problem for us to source the entire volume of crude that we’re looking for domestically because we need different types and mixes. Unless crude production improves – which we pray and hope for – we need to go elsewhere.”

The refinery took in more than 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year as it completed test runs and gradually increased processing rates, tanker-tracking data show. Of that, about a quarter has been American supply.

According to CAS, the refinery took delivery of 11 WTI cargoes, or 9 million barrels, between February and May, contrasting with around 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude deliveries.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), NNPC has struggled to meet its 300,000 barrels per day obligation to the refinery due to operational constraints.

International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, recently described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the refinery as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the refinery would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, recently disclosed that the refinery would scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery which also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene & Aviation Jet) and have surplus of each of these products for export.


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UNICEF Commends Governor Yusuf for Education Prioritization in Kano State



Mukhtar Yahya Usman

In a gesture of appreciation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State for his steadfast commitment to enhancing the education sector within Kano.

During a cordial meeting at the Kano Government House on Thursday, the Country Director, Mrs. Christain Munduate, extolled the enduring partnership between UNICEF and Kano State, advocating for its reinforcement to yield greater mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa and made available to journalists in Kano.

Mrs. Munduate reiterated UNICEF’s unwavering support for the state in both the Health and Education sectors, emphasizing the imperative for Kano State to fulfill its counterpart funding obligations for the Malnutrition project.

In response, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf called for increased support and goodwill from UNICEF and other donor agencies, highlighting Education and Health as pivotal realms necessitating additional assistance due to their fundamental importance in societal progress.

Governor Yusuf pinpointed Malnutrition and poliomyelitis as pressing health concerns, particularly affecting children and other vulnerable demographics.

Detailing the notable achievements in the education sector under his administration, Governor Yusuf underscored his government’s dedication to providing essential infrastructure, educational resources, modern classrooms, teacher training programs, and fostering an enriching environment conducive to learning.

Furthermore, in the realm of healthcare, Governor Yusuf emphasized the state’s endeavors to ensure complimentary medical services for women and children, overhauling of hospitals, and furnishing healthcare facilities with requisite equipment.

Assuring the visiting delegation, Governor Yusuf expressed the State’s commitment to doubling the counterpart funding contribution compared to Jigawa State for combating the pressing issue of Malnutrition.

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NiMet predicts morning thunderstorms in Kano on Friday



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted morning thunderstorms on Friday over parts of Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi States on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precautions as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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