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INEC: We’re most improved public service institution in Nigeria



INEC: We’re most improved public service institution in Nigeria

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it remains the most improved public institution in Nigeria despite the controversy trailing the conduct of the 2019 general election.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mamhood Yakubu, at second post-election review session for electoral officers (EOs) in Abuja, yesterday, noted that the commission is rated high when compared with its counterparts in other West Africa countries.
“Whenever I compare what we have done with what my colleagues elsewhere have done, I sometimes say we are many countries in West Africa rolled into one.
“Given the size of our voter registration, our population, if you look at what happened in our elections taking from period of 1999 to date, I have no doubt in my mind that INEC is the most improved public service institution in Nigeria today,” Yakubu stated.
According to him, the commission has offices in every local government areas of the country, but said INEC would not rest on its oars in ensuring improved electoral system.
He added that the meeting was to explore ways and means to improve in the conduct of elections, and advised the electoral officers to share their experiences on the field.
“This is our meeting, we should open up better where we need to work even harder to make the electoral process what it should be,” he added.
Electoral management expert with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Seray Jah, expressed the hope that if Nigeria gets its electoral system right, “the sub-region would be robbed off of the positive.
“Therefore, we hope this meeting will lead to actionable recommendations that will further enhance credible elections in Nigeria.”
The Programme Coordinator, European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria, Maria Mauro, agreed with INEC that there is no perfect election in the world.

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Full list of Buhari’s ministerial nominees




Full list of Buhari’s ministerial nominees

President Mohammadu Buhari on Tuesday sent a list of 43 ministerial nominees to the Senate.

At 11:12am, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan read the list at the plenary of the Senate, revealing that screening commences on Wednesday. Here is the full list of the ministerial nominees:

1. Abia – Uchechukwu Samson Ogah

2. Adamawa – Mohammed musa Bello

3. Akwa Ibom – God’swill Akpabio

4. Anambra – Dr Chris Ngige

5. Anambra – sharon Ikeazu

6. Bauchi – Adamu Adamu

7. Bauchi – Ambassador Mariam Kategu

8. Bayelsa – Timipre Sylvia

9. Benue – George Akume

10. Borno – Mustapha Baba Shehuri

11. Cross River – Goddi Jeddi Agba

12. Delta – Festus Keyamo

13. Enugu – Ogbonnaya Onu

14. Edo – Osagie Ehanire

15. Edo – Clement Agba

16. Ekiti – Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo

17. Enugu – Geoffrey Onyema

18. Gombe – Isa Ibrahim Patami

19. Imo – Emeka Nwajiuba

20. Jigawa – Sulieman Adamu

21. Kaduna – Zainab Ahmed

22. Kaduna – Mohammed Mahmud

23. Kano – Sabo Nanono

24. Kano – Major Bashir Sani

25. Katsina – Hadi Serika

26. Kebbi – Abubakar Malami

27. Kogi – Ramatu Tijani

28. Kwara – Lai Mohammed

29. Kwara – Gbemisola Saraki

30. Lagos – Babatunde Raji Fashola

31. Lagos – Adeleke Mamora

32. Nasarawa – Mohammed Abdullahi

33. Niger – Zubairu Dada

34. Ogun – Olamilekun Adegbite

35. Ondo – Tayo Alaosuadura

36. Osun – Rauf Aregbesola

37. Oyo – Sunday Dare

38. Plateau – Pauline Talin

39. Rivers – Rotimi Amaechi

40. Sokoto – Mohammed Dangidi

41. Taraba – Sale Mamman

42. Yobe – Abubakar Aliyu

43. Zamfara – Sadiya Umar Farouk.

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Akpabio, Keyamo, Saraki 39 others make Buhari’s ministerial list




Akpabio, Keyamo, Saraki 39 others make Buhari’s ministerial list

More facts have emerged on the ministerial list President Muhammadu Buhari has sent to the Senate, with a number of surprise names.

Some of the names on the list include former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, former Benue State governor, George Akume, Buhari campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo (SAN).

Others on the list were former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Senator Olutayo Alasoadura, immediate past governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, Senator Adeleke Mamora, and former transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi.

There are 42 names on the list.

More details as we receive them.

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Nigeria, Siemens target 25,000mw in five years



Nigeria, Siemens target 25,000mw in five years

           …sign power agreement

  • Buhari: We’ll deliver electricity to Nigerians




The Federal Government of Nigeria and German-based Siemens yesterday signed an Electricity Road Map agreement that would increase power supply in the country to 25,000 megawatts by 2025.

The Letter of Agreement was signed on behalf of the Federal Government by the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, and the Global Chief Executive Officer of Siemens, Joe Kaeser at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Speaking during the signing of the agreement with the company, President Buhari said the increase would be achieved in a three-phase programme. Buhari challenged Siemens, electricity distribution and transmission companies in Nigeria to hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts by 2021, additional 11,000 megawatts by 2023 and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.

The power generation in Nigeria currently is around 4,029 megawatts. The arrangement between the Federal Government and Siemens is a fallout of a meeting between President Buhari and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on August 31, 2018. According to Buhari, government is also committed to development of the Mambilla hydroelectric and various solar projects in order to boost general power infrastructure.

Buhari said: “Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the Distribution Companies (DISCOs), the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the electricity regulator, is to work hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023 – in phases one and two respectively.

“After these transmission and distribution system bottlenecks have been fixed, we will seek – in the third and final phase – to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.

“With our strong commitment to the development of Mambilla Hydroelectric and the various solar projects under development across the country, the long-term power generation capacity will ensure adequate energy mix and sustainability in the appropriate balance between urban and rural electrification.

“Our intention is to ensure that our cooperation is structured under a government-to-government framework. No middlemen will be involved, so that we can achieve value for money for Nigerians. “We also insist that all products be manufactured to high quality German and European standards and competitively priced.

“This project will not be the solution to all our problems in the power sector. However, I am confident that it has the potential to address a significant amount of the challenges we have faced for decades.

“It is our hope that as the power situation improves; we will improve investor confidence, create jobs, reduce the cost of doing business and encourage more economic growth in Nigeria.” The President, who explained that fixing the power sector, was a key priority of his administration, said: “We all know how critical electricity is to the development of any community or indeed any nation.

“In Nigeria, whilst we are blessed to have significant natural gas, hydro and solar resources for power generation, we are still on the journey to achieving reliable, affordable and quality electricity supply necessary for economic growth, industrialization and poverty alleviation.”

Buhari said that there have been many attempts at solving the electricity problem in Nigeria by previous governments through the ill-prepared National Independent Power Projects (NIPP). According to him, despite Nigeria’s over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches consumers.

He added: “Now, we have an excellent opportunity to address this challenge. This government’s priority was to stabilise the power generation and gas supply sector through the Payment Assurance Facility, which led to a peak power supply of 5,222 MW. Nonetheless, the constraints remained at the transmission and distribution systems.

“This is why I directed my team to ask Siemens and our Nigerian stakeholders to first focus on fixing the transmission and distribution infrastructure, especially around economic centres where jobs are created.

“Whilst it was evident that more needed to be done to upgrade the sub-transmission and distribution system, our government was initially reluctant to intervene as the distribution sector is already privatised. “I am, therefore, very pleased with the positive feedback from private sector owners of the distribution companies, who have all endorsed government’s intervention to engage Siemens on this end-to-end plan to modernise the electricity grid.”

In his remarks, the Global Chief Executive Officer of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said the roadmap will enable Nigeria deliver on power in the first phase of 7,000, second phase up to 11,000 and third phase 25,000 megawatts. Kaeser said: “That will significantly enhance the country’s power supply and gets the country to the next industrial phase. We believe we will all very much benefit together, the people of Nigeria and, of course, Siemen as a company.

“I’m very honoured that we were able to sign this roadmap today (yesterday) in the presence of the President and our partners. I will personally make sure that this will be the big success of Nigeria, Siemen and our partners in the country.” Kaeser also revealed that Egypt mega project was handled by Siemens, adding that the company had successfully managed to boost Egypt’s power generation capacity by more than 40 per cent by connecting 14.4 Gigawatts to the Egyptian national grid.

He expressed optimism that the power agreement would aid the activities of the TCN and the 11 DISCOs within the country, including software maintenance and support for four years. Director General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, described the partnership as credible. He said what has been done so far is the technical evaluation from both the transmission and distribution to know essentially what the gaps are in terms of the technical infrastructure to improve the transmission and distribution capacity. Okoh said the next phase is to do the detailed commercials and see costing of what the Siemen intervention will entail before they will agree on the financial frameworks to domicile the financial commitment within the books of the DISCOs.

“If you look at the amount of losses that is being experienced in the entire power sector, they are huge. We are talking about double digit losses between 30 per cent and, in some DISCOs, almost 70 per cent ATC and C losses. So that is a strong signal that the way the market is currently structured is not sustainable and if we don’t improve the critical infrastructure in terms of the winning capacity of TCN and also the distribution capacity of the DISCOs, then this kind of situation will persist for a long time.

“That is why we welcome this intervention and we believe that within the timelines that have been directed by Mr. President, we will be able to significantly improve power supply in the country,” the BPE DG noted.

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Supreme Court dashes APC’s hope on Zamfara



Supreme Court dashes APC’s hope on Zamfara
  • PDP, govs commend apex court’s refusal to reverse self


The Supreme Court, yesterday, rejected an application marked: SC/377/2019 filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking the review of its May 24 judgement in which it nullified the victory of all the party’s candidates at the 2019 general election held in Zamfara State.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour unanimously struck out the application on the grounds that the application was incompetent, time barred and the court has no jurisdiction in the matter.

The panel held that the complete judgements of the apex court comprising all the judgements of the five members of the panel being contested by the party were not attached to the application. Justice Rhodes-Vivour, who read the ruling, said the applicant only attached the lead judgement and failed to exhibit the consenting judgements of the four other members of the panel which gave the May 24, 2019 verdict. “If all the necessary documents that are supposed to have been brought are not brought, then the application is incompetent. “The appellant only filed an appeal on only the lead judgement, leaving the judgement by other members of the panel.

“The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over the matter because anything that has to do with pre-election matter must be brought within 60 days after a decision had been delivered,” he said. Justice Rhodes-Vivour further held that the consequential orders made were part and parcel of the preelection matter and it was an abuse asking the apex court to review its judgement or orders. “We don’t seat on appeal over our own decision.

We have no jurisdiction over this matter. By our rules, the application is incompetent, and it is hereby struck out,” he ruled. However, counsel to APC, Robert Clarke (SAN), has vowed to re-file the application. Clarke said that the purpose of the appeal was for the apex court to take a second look at its decision and the consequential order.

He contended that the orders were made out of jurisdiction and had denied his client fair hearing. New Telegraph recalls that the apex court had, in a unanimous judgement of the five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, on May 24, declared that APC never conducted primary elections, thus had no valid candidates for the general election. The court had further held then that all the votes credited to the party and its candidates in the elections were wasted.

The apex court then declared the first runners-up in the 2019 general election in the state as the winners of all the offices earlier declared to have been won by the APC and its candidates. A five-member panel of the court held that “a party that has no valid candidates cannot be said to have emerged winner of the general election.

“The runner-ups are expected to be declared winners by the electoral body, INEC.” The APC had been declared the winner of the governorship election, as well as the three senato-rial seats, seven House of Representatives seats and the 24 House of Assembly seats, contested in the February 23 and March 11, 2019 general election in the state. Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governors have commended the Supreme Court justices for refusing to succumb to the pressure by the APC to reverse its judgement, voiding the participation of the APC and its candidates in Zamfara State in the 2019 general election.

PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the apex court has, once again, saved the nation from constitutional crisis. The party described the APC’s application to the Supreme Court as “blasphemous, a blackmail as well as a measured landmine set by APC leaders in their desperation to ambush and destroy the integrity of the apex court.” It added that the motive was to foist a totalitarian order on the polity.

“It is also instructive to note that by asking the Supreme Court to embark on a journey to nowhere, the APC clearly sought to subvert our democratic system and surreptitiously force on Nigerians, a system that is completely alien to our constitutional democracy and outside the confines and dictates of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”APC’s demand is a direct threat to our democracy, peace and stability of our nation and shows its unwillingness, as a party, to abide by the rule of law.

“It also exposes APC’s penchant for sowing crisis in our nation; a situation that should be condemned by all,” PDP stated. Also the PDP Governors’ Forum said the judgement has stopped the sinister plan of the APC against people of Zamfara State. Chairman of the forum, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, in a statement, said the verdict was a stamp of approval on the achievements in the state by Governor Bello Matawalle since he was sworn in on May 29.

“God stopped their sinister plan to thwart the people- oriented human, social, economic, environmental and structural development blueprint that Matawalle and his team have already rolled out for the state.

“We, in the PDP and majority of the good people of Zamfara, will welcome any errant, but repentant APC politician, who sheds negativity and joins hands with us to implement policies that will further this state,” Dickson added. He commended the fiveman panel of justices, led by Justice Rhodes-Vavour for unanimously rejecting the APC’s application for incompetency and lacking in merit.

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Controversy over Miyetti Allah’s vigilante group in Ondo



Controversy over Miyetti Allah’s vigilante group in Ondo

Controversy yesterday broke out over the involvement of the Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria known as Miyetti Allah in a joint patrol with men of the State Police Command on the Federal Highways in Ondo State.

A human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo, who met the Fulani Vigilante Group on his way to Abuja on Sunday, alleged that the group armed with guns and cutlasses were on joint patrol with the police.

But the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Femi Joseph, said the Police Command was not aware of any Vigilante Group that is patrolling the highways in the state Joseph said there are some local vigilantes working with the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in different divisions in the state in order to stamp out criminal activities in the state. Ajulo, who spoke about his encounter with gun wielding men said his encounter with the Vigilante Group should not be politicized.

Ajulo, who spoke with New Telegraph on the telephone yesterday said: “If it comes to issue of security, we must secure our lives and properties. When it comes to politics, it is something else. We should not mix security with politics.

“I was in Ondo State on Friday till Sunday because my mother was given chieftaincy title as Iya Ijo of Anglican Church in Akoko. On our way back, we got to Erusu, Igashi and around Akoko Southeast.

That is where we saw these Fulani men carrying gun and cutlass. And I remember when we had Aare Ona Kakanfo meeting; I happen to be the Mayegun Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland and we said anybody we see with gun must be accosted to know what they are doing with gun. “I accosted and I challenged them what they were doing with gun. Those people told me they were not armed robbers or kidnappers; they said they are Miyetti Allah Vigilante Group. The next question I asked them is what are you doing on the main road? They said they are in joint patrol with the Police.

I asked where those Policemen who you are in joint patrol with are. They said the policemen were not around and that they were still coming. “I was really mad. By the time I made some calls, some policemen later joined us. From my understanding, they have been there for long. But my worry is that if there is Fulani Vigilante Group, where are the locals? Like I tell people, killing has been taking place everywhere. It should not lead to politics.”

However, the state government, through its Information Commissioner, Mr Donald Ojogo, said it was not aware of armed Vigilante Group and has not issued any identity cards to ethnic group in the state. Ojogo said the government, having been unaware of any such identity card carrying persons in the name of a vigilante group, has directed security agencies to get to the root of the matter and apprehend any such person or group of persons operating in that manner.

Ojogo in a statement said: “The Ondo State Government observes with concern trending pictures of identity card carrying men identified as Fulani vigilante in the Akoko area of the state. Various claims have been as regards the activities, duties as well as supposed mandate of these men in question.

“It is pertinent to recall that at the height of the incessant kidnap cases, the Ondo State Government took some far reaching drastic measure which included a marching order to the law abiding Hausa Fulani leadership in the area to fish out criminal elements among them, who took advantage of the rosy relationship between the indigenes and their law-abiding guests.

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High blood sugar damages blood vessels



High blood sugar damages blood vessels

Researchers in the United States (US) said they have found a link between diabetes and vascular disease, one of its major complications. These are the findings of a new study, which also shows the cellular connection between dia-betes and blood vessel narrowing. The study is published in ‘The Journal of Clinical Investigation’. Vascular disease is any abnormal condition of the blood vessels (arteries and veins).

The body uses blood vessels to circulate blood through itself. Problems along this vast network can cause severe disability and death. Vascular disease, which includes blood vessel narrowing can also occur outside the heart and can “present” themselves anywhere. The vascular disease also boosts one’s risk of chronic and potentially fatal health conditions, including stroke and heart disease.

The researchers hope that the findings of the study could help formulate new treatments for diabetes, beyond just controlling and monitoring blood sugar levels. The research team said cellular level connection may help new treatments target the molecular source of high blood sugar’s damaging effects on the blood vessels. Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar. Without ongoing, careful management, diabetes can lead to a buildup of sugars in the blood, which can increase the risk of dangerous complications, including stroke.

In the past, the team conducted a similar study, analysing hyperglycemia or high blood glucose and how it triggers an enzyme known as protein kinase A (PKA), which in turn, boosts calcium channel action, resulting in blood vessel constriction. “This was a surprise since PKA is typically associated with blood vessel widening and wasn’t really on our radar. We wanted to understand the molecular processes that created this opposite reaction,” said Manuel Navedo, Professor of Pharmacology at University of California – Davis Health.

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Kogi receives fresh N30.8bn bailout fund



Kogi receives fresh N30.8bn bailout fund

Kogi State has received a fresh N30.8 billion bailout fund from the Federal Government. Governor Yahaya Bello made the disclosure yesterday in Lokoja while performing the ground breaking ceremony of a chapel in the Government House.

He said that the money was the balance of the N50 billion bailout fund which his administration had earlier requested for. This brings to N50 billion the total amount received by the state as bailout fund on behalf of the state and local government councils. Bello said that the money would be used to clear the four months of salary arrears being owed workers and pensioners in the state. “I want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving our latest request for bailout.

“I also thank the Attah of Igala for leading our traditional leaders to the president to strongly make our case. I thank the CBN Governor and everyone else in the value chain who helped to facilitate the money,” Bello said. The governor, who highlighted his administration’s efforts to improve the security, health and education sectors in the state, promised to deliver more dividends of democracy to the people. According to him, the decision to build a chapel was to ensure fairness to all the adherents of Islam and Christianity.

“Today, we are gathered here to flag off the construction of a building which will not just be a house of worship for Christians but also a symbol of access, welcome and inclusion,” he stated. Meanwhile, Bello has approved N10 million for the treatment of a civil servant, Mrs. Stella Oluyole, who needed a kidney transplant. Mr. Abdulkareem Suleiman, the Special Adviser to the governor on Multilateral, Donor Agencies and Special Projects, said “Oluyole was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease on January 18, 2019. She is currently in dire need of a kidney transplant for her survival.”

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Witness to Tribunal: Declare HDP candidate winner of presidential poll



Witness to Tribunal: Declare HDP candidate winner of presidential poll
  • Panel adjourns till August 5 for final address


A witness of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Yusuf Ibrahim, yesterday told the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, to declare candidate of the HDP, Chief Albert Ambrose Owuru, the winner of the 2019 presidential election and that he should be so inaugurated.

The witness, who appeared before the tribunal to give evidence, predicated his call for declaration of Owuru as president on a referendum conducted in the country on February 16, the day the presidential election was initially slated. Ibrahim, who was led in evidence by HDP’s counsel, Eze Nnayelugo, told the tribunal that a referendum conducted on February 16 placed Owuru winner by over 50 million Nigerians.

The witness condemned the shift of the presidential election from February 16 to February 23 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and described the election of February 23 as illegal,unconstitutional and a nullity because conditions predicated for shifting election were not met by INEC. Ibrahim further informed the tribunal that ‘Citizens Observers Referendum Election Rights Protection of Nigeria’ conducted the referendum across the country and that Owuru of the HDP won and emerged as Nigeria’s president.

The witness insisted that the referendum was held physically and not in the spiritual realms as claimed by President Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC. Ibrahim tendered some documents, among which are; Citizens Observers Referendum Election Rights Protection of Nigeria, Final List of Presidential Candidate and copies of major newspapers to buttress his claim on the referendum.

Besides, the witness also alleged unlawful exclusion of the HDP in the February 23 poll by INEC’s refusal to put its original logo on the ballot papers as done to other parties by INEC. Under cross examination by INEC’s counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), the witness admitted that INEC has sole responsibility of conducting election for the country but, however, said that the electoral body lacked powers to shift the election the way it did on February 16, which he said prompted Nigerians to opt for a referendum.

However, when asked to produce the results of the referendum before the panel, Ibrahim said it was not with him at the tribunal, and that he has submitted it to his lawyer. Also when cross examined by APC’s counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN), the witness said that the referendum of February 16 was not celestial exercise or through the Internet, adding that it was a physical exercise. Attempt by the HDP to call another witness, who was subpoenaed, was unsuccessful because the witness has no deposition on oath. Meanwhile, the party has closed its case while the tribunal has fixed August 5 for parties to adopt their final address.

This followed the decision of INEC, Buhari and APC not to call any witness to debunk claims of the HDP, but to rely on the party’s sole witness for their defence in the petition. Owuru and the HDP had, in their petition filed on March 7, 2019, canvassed nullification of the election of President Buhari on three grounds: That they were unlawfully excluded in the poll, that the February 23 poll was illegal, unconstitutional and a nullity because INEC has no power to shift the poll and that a referendum conducted on February 16 produced him as winner.

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EU, UNICEF target 1,050 MNCH 2019 outreach programme in Kebbi



EU, UNICEF target 1,050 MNCH 2019 outreach programme in Kebbi

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have targeted 1,050 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) 2019 outreach programme across the 21 local government areas of Kebbi State.

Briefing newsmen shortly after EU officials visited Jadadi settlement in Arewa Local Government Area of Cluster B; Coordinator in charge of the local government, Jabbi Mohammed, said the EU had covered the first and second quarters from January to June, adding that they had commenced the process of the third quarter.

He said further that the aim of the programme was to reduce maternal and child mortality cases as well as assist pregnant women in the area.

He explained that every quarter they usually visit 50 communities and ensured free treatments on the children and mothers.

Also speaking to our correspondent, the Team Leader of the group, Ibrahim Hauwa Tahir, said the aim of the programme was to reduce maternal and child mortality and bring sanity to healthcare delivery in the state.

“We use to treat cases like ante-natal care, RT service, treatment of minor aliment, malnutrition screening, Vitamin A and deworming, health talk on key household practices, data collection and birth registration,” she added.

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Osinbajo receives report on Lake Chad



Osinbajo receives report on Lake Chad

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday received a report on new initiative for addressing water management issues in the country. The report titled: “Water Resource Management and Regional Security: Lake Chad in perspective” was produced by participants of Course 27 of the National Defence College (NDC). While receiving the report, Osinbajo said the idea of recharging the Lake Chad has been a priority to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said President Buhari was greatly concerned about ensuring the recharging and revitalization of the Lake Chad Basin so as to effectively tackle the issues of security, livelihood and development of the region. Osinbajo stated this when he received a delegation from the National Defence College, NDC, comprising Course 27 participants. While commending the participants of NDC Course 27 for the clarity of its presentation and recommendations in tackling the issues, the Vice President noted that their research work has introduced some fresh ideas and fresh thinking into what the Federal Government hopes to be focusing on in the Lake Chad Basin. According to him: “I’m particularly struck by the research that you’ve done on the Lake Chad Basin.

I want to say that the quality and clarity of the research work, and the recommendations made, demonstrate that there is a lot of resource that we can tap in. “We look for best practices everywhere. So, it’s a pleasure to see presentations done with much clarity and understanding. Being something of great concern to Mr. President, I think that he will be very excited to hear that we, at least, have a number of options.

“You know how much time and attention Mr. President has paid to this issue, not just locally, but also in the Lake Chad Basin Commission. He has spent a lot of time trying to advocate for recharging the Lake Chad, so as to settle the matter once and for all.”

The Vice President said Nigeria would have further consultations with foreign partners and friends to tackle the issues in the region that would benefit all. “I’m also struck by the fact that you have a comparative analysis; this appears to be an advantage.

I’m glad we have something here that is workable, at least it is worth the time investigating further,” he added. The Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries include Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Member countries are collaborating to proffer solutions to security, environmental and socio-economic challenges as a result of the shrinking of the Lake Chad.

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