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THE STATES

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Adamawa

The Adamawa chapter of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged its members to use the period of Easter to pray for peace and unity in the state and country at large.

The call was contained in a statement signed by the state Chairman, Rev. Fr Moses Taparki, and Secretary, Rev. Habila Kakaba.

“All christians are called upon to make the maximum use of the passion period of Easter to pray and intercede for Adamawa and Nigeria, for return of peace in our country.

“Pray for our leaders at all levels, government, traditional and religious leaders. Pray for the oneness and unity of the land and the people of Nigeria,” the statement said.

It urged Christians to continue to be security conscious and cooperate with government and security agents in ensuring a crime-free state.

CAN lauded the state government’s commitment to peace and security, particularly its promotion of inter-religious activities through the state chapter of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council [NIRE).

 

Bauchi

The State Security Service (SSS) operatives in Bauchi on Sunday repelled an attack by gunmen on their training school, killing two of the attackers.

Confirming the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Ladan, said that one of the attackers had been apprehended.

“I am just coming from the scene. Two of the assailants were killed while one of them was arrested alive.

“The arrested person told us that they were four in number. It means that one of them has escaped.”

According to him, a rod and wire cutter, pair of pliers, ropes, spanner and cell phones were recovered at the scene.

He, however, said apart from the two people killed, no other lives were lost, adding that no damage was done to property at the Senior Staff Training School of the SSS.

An Assistant Director of the SSS, Mr Olu Justine, said that intelligence report on an impending attack on the school had earlier been gathered while the operatives were placed on alert.

 

FCT

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in Abuja, has urged the National Assembly to pass a bill banning public office holders from going abroad for medical treatment.

This was contained in a statement issued by Prof. Is-haq Akintola, Director in Abuja.

According to the statement, the group also demanded that all public office holders withdraw their children and wards studying in foreign institutions and enrol them in Nigerian schools.

“We charge the National Assembly to initiate and pass a bill prohibiting people whose children and wards attend overseas institutions from holding public office.

“This is the only way to compel government to pay attention to our decaying education sector. Who feels it knows.’’

The group said this was the only way Nigerian schools and hospitals could become effective as the public office holders would strive to bring them to international standards.

On the Easter celebration, the group urged Nigerian leaders to emulate the austere and selfless life of Jesus Christ.

Jigawa

A team from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the Commercial Agriculture and Development Project on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to Gov Sule Lamido of Jigawa.

The team leader, Alhaji Muhammad Umar, said in Dutse, that the purpose of the visit was to explore areas of possible partnership with the state government.

Umar disclosed that the ministry was already working with five states on the project and identified them as Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu and Cross River.

He also identified the 15 areas of collaboration on the project with the states to include poultry management, sorghum, cassava, tomatoes, cotton, oil palm, cocoa, rice and fruit trees cultivation, among others.

 

Lagos

Nigerian Army chaplain directors of the Catholic and protestant denominations have called for genuine transformation during the Easter in the face of Nigeria’s current challenges.

The Director (Catholic), Rev. Fr. Charles Iroegbu, told newsmen in Lagos that the spirit of Easter should bring laughter to the sad and disappointed in the society.

 

 

Kaduna

A farmer, Muhammad Baban-Iro of Rigasa Area in Kaduna on Thursday appeared before a Kaduna Sharia Court for refusing to refund N32,000 being the bride price and other expenses allegedly paid on his daughter.

The demand was made by the suitor following the discovery that she had tested positive to HIV.

One Ibrahim Bala of the same area had gone to the court to complain against Baban-Iro for allegedly collecting the money as bride price and other expenses incurred on his daughter for marriage.

Bala said he decided to discontinue with the marriage following the outcome of a hospital test which showed that his fiancee was HIV-positive.

The complainant said although he could have kept quiet if the lady’s father had allowed him to swap with the younger sister of his bride-to-be, but the man refused, saying he would rather refund.

 

Katsina

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has expressed concern over the failure of Katsina State Government to implement the N18,000-minimum wage for its members.

In a statement, signed by the state NULGE Chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Haruna, on Friday in Katsina, the union called on the government to promptly implement the wage policy for its members.

“We are appealing to the state government to expedite action on the issue to ensure that the implementation takes effect from this April, along with the payment of arrears,’’ the statement said.

 

Kwara

An Ophthalmologist, Prof Abdulraheem Mahmoud says 75 percent of the one million Nigerians with blindness should not have been blind.

Mahmoud, said the causes of the blindness were either preventable or curable, and noted that majority of the blind people were poor.

He made the observation in Ilorin at the inaugural lecture of the Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Clinical Science of the University of Ilorin.

ateau

As Christians mark Easter, Chief Whip, Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Tim Golu, on Saturday warned the country’s leaders against playing politics with the lives of citizens.

“Nigerian leaders must refrain from hypocrisy and love the governed sincerely and from their hearts.

“Leaders must avoid the temptation to play politics with the lives of Nigerians and the existence of the nation.

“The country belongs to all of us and must be placed above every other consideration,’’ Golu said in Jos in an Easter message.

 

Taraba

David Sabo Kente Foundation has donated N10 million for the revival of Ajikwen Education Trust Fund to enable it to render financial assistance to students of Jukun descent.

The Chairman of the foundation, Chief David Kente, announced the donation in Wukari, Taraba, on Saturday during the Jukun Youth Cultural Day celebration.

Kente, who was the chairman of the occasion, said education was the “live wire” of every modern society and needed to be supported by all well-meaning citizens.

He advised other Jukun people to “give up fighting wars” in order to attract foreign investments to enhance economic development in the area.

“The Kwararafa kingdom cannot continue military campaigns and capturing of kingdoms to pay tribute to it as our forefathers did.

“We have to change our priorities in order to cope with the challenges of the current world which is a global village,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Wunuken Ali, the President of Jukun Youth Cultural and Development Association, said it was time to intensify contact with Jukun descendants “spread across 26 states’’ of the country to ensure unity of purpose.

 

Koto Sokoto

Sokoto State Government has introduced “vibrant policies” to develop the agriculture sector in the state.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Jabbi Kilgore, said this in Sokoto on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said “the ministry is working toward taping available human and mineral resources in the state to move the sector forward”.

Kilgore added that the measure was to ensure massive food production for local consumption and export.

The commissioner said the ministry had already taken measures to provide modern farming inputs at government-subsidised price for sale to farmers.

He said 150 tractors had been distributed to medium and large-scale farmers on loan basis while fertilisers were provided for both rainy and dry season farming.

“The state government wants to modernise farming methods and attract participation of people in the sector.

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Foundation Donates N6m To Children With Cancer

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Okapi Children Cancer Foundation yesterday donated N6 million to children fighting cancer disease in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Ms Kemi Adekanye, Chief Volunteer and Founder of the Foundation, Ms Kemi Adekanye said the gesture was part of its annual events to support children fighting cancer at the National Hospital Abuja (NHA) and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital(UATH) in Abuja.
Adekanye, while decrying the high cost of treatment and management of childhood cancer, stressed the need for the government and other philanthropists to support the patients and families, which will increase chances of survival for them.
According to her, the organisation, since its inception in 2017, had donated over N14.8 million to support the children.
“We have been able to render support to these children to reduce the cost of treatment, as well as provide emotional support and job opportunities for some of their parents.
“A lot of these children commence treatment and abandon it midway because of the high cost of treatment and other care,”she said.
She, therefore, stressed the need for more awareness and enlightenment on childhood cancer, which will garner more support and initiation of policies to help manage the disease.
Consultant Paedetric Oncologist, UATH, Dr Uduak Offiong, while commending the foundation, said the donation would support parents, whose children were fighting cancer, especially in accessing blood platelets.
According to her, many children abandon cancer treatment due to financial constraints.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to subsidise cost of treating childhood cancer as well as include it in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for less privileged families to access treatment.
Similarly, Head of Unit, Paedetric Oncology, NHA, Dr Oyesakin Adewunmi, represented by Dr Patricia Igoche of the same unit, stressed the need for more support and attention to be given to childhood cancer.
On his part, President, Nigeria Cancer Society, Dr Adamu Umar, while decrying lack of awareness and neglect of childhood cancer in the called on the Federal Governments to include it in the NHIS and funds should be allocated for its management.
Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Dr Margaret Olokpo, called for more emotional supports to both the children suffering from cancer and their parents.
One of the recipients’ parents, Mrs Titilayo Adewunmi, commended the organisation for their unwavering support to them in caring, managing and treating their children fighting cancer.
The organisation recently held a walk and zoom meeting to educate the public on signs, symptoms and appropriate treatment for childhood cancer in the FCT.

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Minister Seeks More Funding For Agriculture

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The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, has solicited for more financial support to upscale investments in the agricultural sector.
A statement issued by Chief Information Officer in the ministry of Agriculture, in Abuja, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, quoted  the minister as saying this at a virtual high-level panel discussion last Friday, to round off activities to celebrate the 2021 World Food Day.
He said that being the focus of government’s diversification agenda, agriculture deserved better funding, to provide credit facilities that would support the sector’s value chain activities.
Shehuri said that the ministry was strongly committed to meeting domestic food requirements, exporting at qualitative levels and creating a favorable business environment that would make agribusiness thrive.
“ There is a deliberate strategic approach to job creation, conserving foreign exchange and attaining national food security,” he said.
The minister pointed out that the seed sub-sector supply chain was being repositioned to ensure that farmers had access to quality seeds to improve yields.
“The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), under my watch, has been directed to interface with key seed industry stakeholders to ensure that Early Generation Seeds (EGS) are structured, to ensure uninterrupted supply of certified seeds.
“ There is also an on-going awareness campaign by the Council on the importance of using improved seeds to boost production,” he said.
The minister added that the administrative bottlenecks that had previously hindered farmers’ easy access to fertiliser had been addressed, while the partnership with the Government of Brazil to pilot the establishment of 117 mechanisation centres across the country was on- going.
“ When these centres are completed and made operational, farmers will be able to buy mechanisation services for a fee, with relative ease, and without the need to own expensive equipment for farm operations,” he said.
‘’ Nigeria’s agriculture has done well under this administration in areas such as, being the world leading producer of yams with 18.3 million MT, world leader in the production of Cassava that has steadily risen to 70 million MT”, he said.

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#EndSARS: LCCI Seeks Strict Adherence To Democratic Ideals

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged leaders in sub-Saharan Africa to embrace the rule of law and democratic ideals to forestall political unrests.
Director-General, LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, made the call in an interview with The Tide news yester in Lagos.
She spoke against the backdrop of the one-year anniversary of #EndSARS protests which impacted negatively on businesses across the country.
Almona added that bad governance, forceful takeover of government and extended stay in office may continue to instigate violent protests that disrupt business operations.
She noted that the economic impact of violent protests on the business community globally in 2020 was 14.96 trillion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity terms.
This figure, Almona said, was equivalent to 11.6 per cent of the world’s economic activity or 1,942 dollars per person.
She said that the economic impact of violence increased by 0.2 per cent in 2020.
Almona disclosed that the LCCI estimated the immediate loss from the EndSARS to be above N700 billion in October 2020, with discoveries of more losses after weeks of investigations by the government across the country.
“The 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) released by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked Nigeria 146 among 163 independent nations and territories, according to its level of peacefulness in 2020.
“Nigeria moved one step from 147 in 2020 (from 2019 rank), though it still ranked eighth among the least peaceful countries in Africa after South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan and Mali.
“In 2020, the world witnessed almost 15,000 violent protests and riots.
“The damage it caused came with a hefty price of about 15 trillion dollars or 11.6 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Among those, more than 5,000 were pandemic-related and were recorded between January 2020 and April 2020,” she said.
Almona advised that businesses should consider taking various insurance policies to protect their premises and facilities against unforeseen destruction.
She called for enhanced programmes that would address youth unemployment and reduce social vices.

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