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FOODIE UPDATE (Ethiopia denies emergency food aid will run out within weeks)

Ethiopia has denied suggestions by UN officials that it will run out of emergency food aid for millions of people by the end of this month.

The UN’s World Food Programme said 7.8 million people affected by drought would be left without food assistance.

But Ethiopian officials put the number of those affected at 1.7 million and said they would receive new help either from donors or the government.

Ethiopia has been struggling following successive failed rains.

Famine has been declared in South Sudan, and there have been warnings of famine in north-east Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia.

Ethiopia’s commissioner for disaster risk management Mitiku Kassa said: “It’s true that in some areas food will run out by the end of the month but this will only affect around 1.7 million people.

“We expect the donor community to step in to fill that gap and we are hopeful. But if they fail to do that, we will have to use some of our development budget to provide emergency assistance to our people.”

  • Can Ethiopia cope with worst drought in decades?

Earlier reports suggested that the Ethiopian government did not have the funds to cope by itself, although analysts have acknowledged it has got better at coping with droughts than in previous years.

The government allocated $381m (£300m) extra over the last two years, but aid experts have questioned whether this can be sustained for a third year.

Ethiopia is in a “dire situation”, according to John Aylieff of the World Food Programme.

“We’ve got food running out nationally at the end of June,” he told reporters on Friday.

“That means the 7.8 million people who are in need of humanitarian food assistance in Ethiopia will see that distribution cut abruptly at the end of June.”

His words were echoed by John Graham, of Save the Children

He told AFP news agency: “After [the food runs out], we don’t know what is going to happen. And without that basic food then you will have problem falling into severe malnutrition because people are not getting any food.

“These children become severely malnourished and that’s where you have a very dangerous situation.

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Fanta And Sprite: – How Fit For Consumption?

Relevant Facts:

  1. By an amended Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim sealed out of the High Court of Lagos State, Nigeria Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited and its alter ego, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo (“Claimants”) filed the suit against Nigerian Bottling Company Plc and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (“1st and 2nd Defendants”) and sought for declarative as well as monetary reliefs. The principal relief of the Plaintiffs was for a declaration by the Court that the 1st Defendant was negligent and breached the duty of care owed to their valued customers and consumers which includes the Claimants in the production of contaminated Fanta and Sprite soft drinks with excessive benzoic and sunset yellow addictives. The crux of the Claimants case upon their pleadings was that sometime in 2007, the 1st Claimant purchased from the 1st Defendant, large quantities of its products; Coca Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta pineapple and Soda Water for export to the United Kingdom for retail purposes and supply to their valued customers in the United Kingdom. The Claimants further asserted that when the first consignment of the soft drinks from the 1st Defendant arrived in the United Kingdom, they were subjected to laboratory test by the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard Department of Environment and Economy Directorate and the products were found to have excessive levels of Sunset Yellow and Benzoic Acid which are unsafe for human consumption as the addictives are probable cause for cancer. Consequently, premised on the findings of the United Kingdom food control agency and collaborated by the Coca Cola European Union, the consignments were destroyed and as a result the Claimants lost huge sums of money.
  2. The Claimants further contended that the 1st Defendant knew that the products were for export and that the 1st Defendant by making Fanta and Sprite products which were unfit for human consumption, especially as the Benzoic acid and Sunset Yellow contents were far above the recommended level for safe human consumption, the 1st Defendant was negligent and by extension of same material facts, the 2nd Defendant was negligent in carrying out its duties of proper and diligent administration and control of food and drugs in Nigeria. The Claimants urged the Court to find and hold that the Defendants were negligent and hence liable to them in damages. It is important to mention that the main evidence relied upon by the Claimants in urging the Court to find and hold that the Defendants, particularly the 1st Defendant was negligent, hence liable in damages, was the laboratory test result issued by the United Kingdom food control agency. A poring of the said report will reveal that it recognized that although the level of the chemical addictives in the 1st Defendant’s soft drinks exported to the United Kingdom by the Claimant was in excess of the United Kingdom approved limit, the benzoic acid and sunset yellow addictives levels in soft drinks are country specific; hence different countries have different limits for the addictives.
  3. It is also pertinent to state at this point that the 2nd Defendant did not file any defence, however its personnel (Head of its Laboratory) was subpoenaed by the 1st Defendant as a witness. In its testimony while analyzing the result of its laboratory examination of the 1st Defendant’s products as ordered by the Court, the witness stated unequivocally that the chemical component particularly the benzoic acid in the 1st Defendant’s soft drinks is satisfactory and within prescribed national limit for human consumption. The witness went on to state that the sunset yellow addictive has no limit in Nigeria and that the percentage of the sunset yellow found in the 1st Defendant’s soft drinks was accordingly safe for consumption in Nigeria.

The Decision:

Upon considering the totality of the pleadings and evidence adduced in the case, particularly as it relates to the Claimants’ onus to prove that the 1st Defendant was negligent and liable to them in damages, the Honourable Court in its very well considered judgment of 15 February, 2017 per Honourable Justice (Mrs.) A.A Oyebanji, held that there was no breach of the duty of care by the 1st Defendant and consequently the 1st Defendant was not liable to the Claimants in damages. The Honourable Court pronounced this at pages 18 -20 of its judgment as follows:

“Considering the totality of the pleadings and evidence led in this case particularly Exhibits C, C1 and C2, the certificates issued by the 2nd Defendant to the 1st Defendant certifying the 1st Defendant’s soft drinks, Exhibit D1 issued by the 2nd Defendant pursuant to orders of the Court and the testimony of DW2 before this Court, all of which are to the effect that all soft drinks manufactured by the 1st Defendant were certified by the 2ndDefendant (the regulatory body charged with the responsibility of setting standards for the manufacture of consumable products in Nigeria) as being fit for human consumption, the chemical component of same being within acceptable limits, the Court has therefore come to the inevitable conclusion that there was no breach of duty of care on the part of the 1st Defendant in this case.”

In other words, based on pleadings and evidence led in this case, the 2nd Defendant having certified all soft drinks manufactured by the 1st Defendant as being fit for human consumption, the 1st Defendant cannot in the circumstance be held to have breached its duty of care to the Claimants because of the chemical component of the said products. The Court would have arrived at a totally different conclusion if Exhibits C, C1 and C2 were not issued by the 2nd Defendant in favour of the 1st Defendant.

May I add that from the pleadings and evidence led in this case, it is manifest that the regulation governing the chemical component of Coca Cola products in Nigeria is different from that which is applicable in the United Kingdom. Whilst it was the Claimants’ case that the product bought from the 1st Defendant was exported to the United Kingdom with the knowledge of the 1st Defendant, the 1st Defendant has vehemently denied being aware of such export stating that its products are meant for consumption in Nigeria and that there was a different Coca Cola franchise holder in the United Kingdom. The position of the law remains that he who asserts must prove.

In the instant case, the Claimants have not led any evidence or exhibited any document to substantiate the allegation that the 1st Defendant was aware that the products bought were for export.

Foodie Naija Updates


Recently, experts said that there’s no time in recent years is the
novel Desert-to-Food project, an agro-based programme, which aims to
convert the menace of desertification in the northern fringes of the country and the affected areas
into food basket become more relevant than now that the country is
witnessing a slump in the price of crude
oil with its attendant effect to the economy.

For the administration of
President Muhammadu Buhari to diversify the
country’s economy from one dependent on oil to agriculture, it cannot ignore the novel idea of Desert-
to-Food project that has been in incubation for awhile now.

An initiative of FramanAgridev West
Africa Limited, a Nigeria-Israeli private sector concern (in consortium with
201 Israeli, European and American companies), Desert-to-
Food project was designed to transform the Nigerian economy in a manner capable of
surpassing oil earnings through
revolutionary agricultural techniques.

The venture is also expected to
significantly take care of the country’s food needs and provide enormous opportunity for foreign exchange earnings through

With the unstable oil prices and the resultant measures by government
to be less dependent on the revenue from the sector, experts
are of the opinion that Desert-to-Food
and its subsets have the potential
to displace the ‘black gold’ as the
economy’s number one foreign exchange

This thought was corroborated by the Group Project Co-
ordinator, Mr
Emeka F. Mba, who while giving
progress report on the project recently, said that upon
conception in 2006, the programme was well received by the federal government sequel to its articulation of a
continental initiative christened the Green Wall Sahara Programme adopted by the African Union
(AU) in Libya, as a continental approach
to the battle against the Sahara desert.

An integrated response to the
ravages of desertification in
Africa, the Green Wall Sahara as adapted
by Nigeria, is aimed at not just saving the arid and semi-arid
lands in the affected states, it is also using
the Desert-to-Food project as an economic engine that will ensure the conversion of the
affected areas into fertile farmlands and
give a boost to the economy, in addition to ensuring the
sustainability of livelihood the Desert-to-Food project as an
economic engine that will ensure the conversion of the
affected areas into fertile farmlands and
give a boost to the economy, in addition to ensuring the
sustainability of livelihood.

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Foodie Naija Updates


A coalition of 14 civil societies under the auspicies of African
Arise for Change has condemn in strong terms false allegations against the Director General of the Nigerian
Agency For Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul
Orhii alleging acts of corruption and financial mismanagement.

The group said their decision to support the anti corruption
fight of the present administration has
thus spurred them to raise the alarm
over fifth columnists who are already positioning to truncate the gains of change.

Speaking for the coalition the
Secretary General Mr. Samson Bellolamented that unfortunately, the plan of such groups are couched to mislead Nigerians into thinking such individuals behind
them are against corruption while the
reverse is the case.

“Chief, among their strategy is to use disgruntled elements within government offices, agencies
and parastatals to pose as whistle
blowers to media house and consequently send operatives of
anti-corruption agencies on wild
goose chase.

The anticipated end
result of this scheme is to overwhelm the EFCC, ICPC and Police FIU with frivolous petitions whose
investigation would spread operatives
thin thereby rendering them
ineffective”. He exposed further.

According to Bello the saboteurs have scored their first hit with their
sponsored group of protesters that on Tuesday staged a march towards
the EFCC headquarters to demand the resignation of the Chairman of the
Commission simply for doing his statutory job and declining to be
engaged for witch hunting.

The group further revealed that the target of the protest was the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr.
Paul Orhii, whom he said despite the
standard to which he has globally raised NAFDAC to as a
reliable regulator of food and drug administration, which has helped
to boost the economyas many now see reasons to rely on made in
Nigeriagoods and

The anti corruption crusaders said their investigation into the
matter revealed that the petitioners’
plank rests on the petition by a whistle blower who only started his crusade of righteousness after
an internal re-organisation moved
him from his erstwhile “juicy”
position in the agency.

The re-organisation was in turn the product of when staffrealized that the celebrated whistleblower has an agenda to a mass
wealth for himself while the DG was been busy working round the clock to improve on the high standard he met at NAFDAC.

“Our greater worry is however about the impact that such
frivolous petition would have on the ability of Nigerians firms to export their
produce at a time the nation is looking to diversifying its
revenue base.
The stories online about the petition have been dispersed
in cyberspace and any search about made in Nigeriagoods will return results that will suggest that the
regulatory framework is corrupt
contrary to the reality on ground.

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