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Communications Expert, Prof Opubor, Is Dead

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Nigeria’s foremost communications teacher, Prof. Alfred Opubor, is dead.

The communications expert died in Benin Republic on December 2 during a brief illness. He was aged 75 years.

Prof. Opubor, the first African to get a doctoral degree (Ph.D) in communications, was the pioneer chairman of the board of directors of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He taught veteran journalists like Mrs. Oluremi Oyo, the Managing Director of NAN and her husband Mr. Vincent Oyo, the art of mass communications at the University of Lagos in the 1970s.

He was one of the first generation of specialists in the field of communications as a behavioural science, having graduated from the Michigan State University, in the U.S. with a PhD degree in 1969.

His expertise was in communication theories and message systems and their applications in development.

A former Head of the Department of Mass Communications at the University of Lagos, Professor Okpubor was also a researcher, government policy adviser and senior communications specialist in the United Nations system. He was also an international consultant in strategic communications and media development.

For nearly a decade (1990-1998), he served as Senior Technical Adviser in Information, Education and Communications for Reproductive Health with the UNFPA, first in Abidjan, before moving to the Country Support Team (CST) in Harare, covering more than 20 countries in East, Central and West Africa.

Between 2008 and 2009, he designed the institutional communications strategy for ECOWAS, entitled “From a Community of States to a Community of People”.

In 2009 he undertook missions on behalf of UNESCO to prepare analytical studies on the integration of communication for development in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, within the context of the UN system’s “Delivering As One” reforms.

He also provided capacity development for members of the UN Communication Group in these countries and was appointed a member of the Experts’ Group on Media Data and Indicators of the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Montreal, Canada, undertaking missions in 2009 to India, France and Costa Rica.

From 2003 until his death, Prof. Opubor was Secretary-General of the West African Newsmedia and Development (WANAD) Centre in Cotonou.

He was also Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Panos Institute (West Africa), and Member of the Africa Board of Inter-Press Service (IPS), the Rome-based international news agency with regional headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Prof. Opubor is survived by his spouse, Antoinette, children and grand children.

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ITF Rates EEDC High On Human Resources Dev

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has adjudged the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) “Best in Human Resource Development for 2020.”
Presenting the award of EEDC headquarters in Enugu, the Area Manager, ITF Enugu, Mrs Uzoamaka Yahaya, said the award was in recognition of EEDC’s efforts in the area of human capital development.
Yahaya said that the company did tremendously well in staff capacity building within the South-Eastern part of the company.
“The EEDC, which is a South-East franchise power firm, clinched the coveted award for the first time by meeting and exceeding all the necessary training requirements and financial obligations,” she said.
Responding after receiving the award, the Head Human Resources, EEDC, Mrs Nkiru Chukwuma, appreciated ITF for acknowledging all that the company had been doing in empowering its personnel.
Chukwuma also reiterated EEDC’s continued commitment to the training and retraining of staff, bearing in mind that they remained its critical asset.

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Body Tasks S’East On Climate Change

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A United Nations (UN) affiliated Climate Organisation, Protect Our Planet (POP) Movement, has urged people of the South East geopolitical zone to key into climate protection movements and practical messages to stem the tide of climate change.
The group made the call during its South-East “Climate Strike and Green Walk”, which was sub-themed; “Clean-up Enugu” held last Saturday in major roads and streets in Enugu metropolis.
The members of POP, who evacuated refuse on the roads, carried placards with the following inscriptions: “There is No Planet B”, “Climate Justice Now,” “Recycle Don’t Waste” among others.
The Country representative of POP, Mr Samuel Okorie, said that the essence of the walk and sanitation was to educate the residents of South-East that “climate change is real” and to imbibe good climate habits.
According to him, “we are raising the consciousness of people in the South-East on climate issues, which is already affecting them through numerous erosion sites, extinction of some native crops and excessive heat.”
Okorie also called on Nigerians to jettison a practice that injures the climate and environment.
“Nigerians must stop indiscriminate felling of tress, bush burning, dumping of refuse on drains/waterways, dumping of industrial chemicals on water-ways and streams and building on waterways.”
The country representative challenged residents of the South-East on taking practical actions to support good climate and environmental practices.
Continuing, he further said, “We just need one person to take just one positive action to protect our environment and such deed we add to efforts to revise the current climate change.”
Speaking, Executive Director, Town Crier Initiative Africa, Mr Ogene Ogbodo, said that it was time for Nigerians to rise and reverse all negative habits that had brought climate change development to the country.

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Magashi, Aregbesola, Others Meet Over Insecurity In S’East

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Defence Minister, Retired Maj Gen Bashir Magashi, his Interior Ministry counterpart, H.E. Raul Adesoji Aregbesola and Service Chiefs, over the weekend held a closed-door meeting on security challenges with all the Governors of the South East geo-political zone and other leaders of the political, religious and traditional institutions in the zone, at the Government House, Enugu.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in his welcome address, described the Town Hall meeting as timely and apt, expressing optimism that the outcome of the meeting will engender the watershed to the security challenges in the South East zone.
The Governor who stressed the need for all government structures to uphold the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government (enshrined in the 1999 Constitution), said that the consultation with the Service Chiefs and critical stakeholders of the South East zone, on the current security challenges, “underscores the centrality of this security responsibility in our consideration”. 
He, therefore thanked President Muhammadu Buhari over what he described as “desirable and laudable development”.

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