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Women with disabilities in Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja called for inclusiveness in government programmes and policies to reduce stigmatisation and ensure adequate protection of their interests.
The women made the call during a chat with newsmen  organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters.
The event, which has as its theme, ‘Be Bold for Change’, was organised to commemorate the 2017 International Women Day Celebration.
The women blamed the challenges facing women with disabilities in the country on government’s failure to include them in the planning of its programmes and policies.
Mrs Helen Baba, who has hearing disability, lamented the challenges faced by the deaf and dumb in accessing healthcare.

Kano
The Wife of Kano State Governor Hajiya  Hafsat Abdullahi Ganduje, has called on parents to ensure proper upbringing of their children.
She made the call at the International Women’s Day Celebration held at the Coronation Hall, Government House in Kano on Wednesday.
She said the call was necessary to enable children become useful members of the society and contribute their quotas toward the development of the state and the country at large.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to commemorate the day which was set aside by the United Nations.
According to her, the call was also necessary in view of the fact that parents played significant roles in shaping the future for their children.

Kogi
ActionAid Nigeria said plans are on-going to provide support for about 47,000 women and youths in Kogi as part of its Livelihood Support Project to reduce radicalisation and extreme violence among the youth.
Human Security in Conflict and Emergency Manager for ActionAid, Mr Gbenro Olajuyigbe, said this at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the “System Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism” in Lokoja.
The forum was organised by Kogi-based Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) with support from ActionAid Nigeria.
Olajuyigbe said the 47,000 beneficiaries drawn from Adavi and Igalamela-Odolu local government areas of Kogi were women and youths. In another developemnt, the Director-General, Kogi Bureau of Public Private Partnership (BPPP), Mr Robert Achanya,  said the Bureau will partner with Crest-Agro Products to clear 5,000 hectares of land for allocation to cassava farmers.
Achanya said this in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja on Wednesday.
He said that the collaboration was part of the state government’s plan to assist cassava out-growers in its efforts to promote agriculture as a business initiative.

Kaduna
Security has been beefed up on the Abuja-Kaduna highway following the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for the repair of its runway.
The Federal Government had announced the closure of the airport from March 8 for six weeks to allow for repairs of the runway.  It would be reported that following the closure of the airport, security has been beefed up with increased number of security out-posts along the road.
A correspondent who traveled along the route on Wednesday reports that Police highway patrol vehicles  were deployed at strategic points.

Kebbi
The Kebbi State  Commissioner for Higher Education, Alhaji Abduallahi Maigari, said on Wednesday that science and technical colleges had been increased from five to 16, to strengthen science studies in tertiary institutions in the state.
Maigari disclosed this at a ministerial press briefing organised by the state NUJ in Birnin Kebbi.
He said four additional science colleges would be established soon.
“In spite of the economic situation and the paucity of funds, we have been able to increase the number of our technical colleges from five to 16.

Kwara
The wife of  Kwara State Governor, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, last Wednesday, commissioned the Life Empowers Hope (LEAH) children reception centre in Ilorin.
Ahmed also pledged to build a children’s reception village for the abused, disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the society.
She declared her passion for dedicating a part of her life to reaching out to the homeless children in the streets.
“I call on well-meaning people to reach-out to these little children. An extra penny can add value to the lives of these children,” she said.

Lagos
A renowned Nollywood Actress, Stephaine Linus-Okereke, was on Wednesday unveiled as the Regional Ambassador for Maternal Health in West and Central Africa Region by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole in Lagos. Adewole was represented by Mr Greg Izuwa, the Deputy Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health at the unveiling ceremony organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Lagos.
According to him, she has been found worthy in character and in learning. We take that to what she is going to do as the ambassador.
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Niger
The National Union of Road Transport Workers ( NURTW) Suleija branch B, Niger, has appealed to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to reduce the price of the Speed Limiting Device to enable its members to install it on their vehicles. The Chairman of the union, Mr John Acha, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Suleja on Wednesday. Acha said if the price of the device was reduced the union would compel its members to install it on their vehicles.
“We are ready to purchase the device but due to the present economic recession, we are not financially sound to go for it.

Nasarawa
Members of staff of Olugbemi Unique School,  Angwan Makama, Masaka, in Nasarawa State, last Wednesday, dragged their proprietor, Jimmy Lagundaye, to a Masaka Chief Magistrate’s Court over alleged non-payment of three months salaries.
The complainants – Eze Susan, Kemi Soje, Amina Obor, Ojo Jumoke, Abonyi Amalis, Patience Ogede, Abdurazak Isah, Uver Charles, Amos Ebhohen, James Tor, Noel Blessing and Pauline Opeh  were all present in court.
They averred that they were on monthly salary at the school and they worked for three months, but the proprietor refused to pay them their salaries.

Ogun
A 51-year-old man, Taoreed Olayiwola, who allegedly defrauded one Aliu Olori of N140, 000, was on Wednesday arraigned at an Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court, Ogun.
Olayiwola, whose address was not given, is charged with fraud.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Famous Edigbue, told the court that the accused committed the offence in April, 2016, in Ita-Oshin area of Abeokuta.
Edigbue alleged that the accused falsely presented self as a car dealer and obtained N140, 000 from the complainant that he would sell a Nissan Sunny car to him but failed to do so.

Plateau
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau has called on banks operating in the state to revert to the 4 p.m. closing time, instead of the 3 p.m. they adopted when the state was in crises.
Lalong made the call on Wednesday in Jos, when the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Prof. Segun Ajibola, paid him a courtesy call.
“Peace has returned to Plateau; there is no need for banks to hold unto the 3 p.m. closing time.
“Please appeal to your members to start closing by 4, instead of 3, because closing by 3 gives an impression that we are still crises-ridden,” he said.
He appreciated the institute’s contribution to the Plateau economy, and promised to engage more chartered bankers as senior government officials and civil servants.

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NUT Tasks NASS On Teachers’ 65 Years Retirement Age Bill Passage

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The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has urged the national assembly to expedite action on passage of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2021.
The Secretary-General of NUT, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, made the appeal in an interview with The Tide yesterday in Abuja.
He said the passage of the bill and its eventual signing into law by the President would go a long way in giving teachers the hope that their profession was being given the needed attention.
Ike-Ene said the hope of passage of the bill on June 30, having been mentioned on the Order Paper, was dashed because of the controversy that followed the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill, now an Act.
“We are expecting that as the national assembly has resumed, the bill will be one of the first few bills to be passed.
“We expected the bill to be passed on June 30 concurrently by the two houses having been mentioned on the Order Paper but the debate of the Petroleum Industry Act and debate of the Electoral Reform Bill took the day.’’
The Secretary-General commended the National Assembly for its commitment to ensuring conclusion of work on the bill.
He expressed optimism that when passed, President Buhari would not hesitate in signing it into law.
He thanked the President for the effort to reposition the teaching profession, saying the union had been in the forefront in the struggle for elongation of tenure for teachers, among other things.
According to him, we have actually been fighting for some of the things the President promised to do for teachers, for instance, the elongation of years.
“We have been agitating for 65 years retirement age or 40 years by service and one of the reasons for the agitation is that we discovered that about 26 states did not recruit a single teacher for over 20 years.
“Yet teachers were retiring in their dozens, in hundreds and more deaths were being recorded as a result of the growing insecurity, particularly in schools.
“Some died naturally, others were resigning, yet teachers were not being employed.”
He further said, “We have also been agitating for Teachers Special Salary Structure (TSS) but hazard allowance was granted instead.
“The hazard allowance accumulated to 27.5 per cent of the basic of teachers’ salaries which were not what we were agitating for.
“We thank God that the Buhari’s administration has promised to implement the TSS and since that pronouncement, NUT, government and other stakeholders have been working to ensure implementation.’’
Ike-Ene disclosed that the promise made to teachers by the president would be implemented at different levels, stressing that while some would be passed into law, others would be implemented as policies.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in June, transmitted a letter on a Bill to increase the retirement age for teachers from 60 years to 65 years.
The Bill also seeks to extend the years of service for teachers from 35years to 40 years.
Meanwhile, the president at the commemoration of the World Teachers Day on October 5, 2020, approved a special salary scale for teachers and special pension scheme.
He also said the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) will begin to fund teaching practice in universities and colleges of education.
He further promised to ensure provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.
The president also promised sponsorship of at least one refresher training, construction of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas and reintroduction of bursary award.
Other promises are, expansion of the annual Presidential Teachers and Schools Awards and payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students and automatic employment after graduation.

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Traffic Congestion: FG Builds Three Flyovers, Interchange

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The Federal Government is collaborating with Ogun State Government to secure the Right of Way (RoW) for the construction of three bridges and an interchange on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said this during an inspection of the highway last Wednesday.
Fashola, who was joined by Gov. Dapo Abiodun at the Lotto Bridge under construction, said the highway accommodated over 40,000 vehicles daily, hence the urgent need for additional flyovers and interchanges for decongestion.
The bridges are under construction at Makun, MFM and Lotto (Mowe) areas on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“We are trying to execute an interchange that will separate the main carriageway and give commuters choice, especially those going to religious places to worship, those going to universities and so on and so forth.
“So that what used to cause the congestion is limited to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated when the road is finished.
“So, we now require additional land to build the interchange, that is why I called the governor (Dapo Abiodun),” he said.
He said that the Buhari administration inherited several stalled projects which he was committed to completing by adequately funding the projects
Fashola expressed satisfaction with progress of work on the ongoing reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
On his part, Gov. Abiodun assured that the state government would give all the land and support needed.
Earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, gave the measurements and dimensions needed for the bridges and interchange.
Popoola also gave details on the number of buildings and services on the Right of Way of the bridges which, without paying compensations, would stall the project.
He said that section one of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, which spans from Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu Interchange, “has achieved 56 per cent completion”.
Also, during inspection of section two of the project, which spans from the Sagamu Interchange to Ojoo in Ibadan, the Federal Controller of Works in Ogun, Mr Umar Bakare, said that the section was 63 per cent completed.

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NEDC Flags Off Construction Of 500 Housing Units In Bauchi

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North-East Development Commission (NEDC) in collaboration with the Bauchi State Government has commenced the construction of 500 mass housing units in Bauchi, to address housing deficit in the state.
NEDC’s Managing Director, Alhaji Mohammed Goni-Alkali, stated this at the ground breaking ceremony of the project yesterday in Bauchi.
Goni-Alkali said that 300 houses would be built in Bauchi metropolis while 200 others would be spread across the 20 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the project is to ease the accommodation problems as well as fast track the rapid social and economic development of the state, to mitigate the devastation caused by the insurgency.
Goni-Alkali said that the commission had so far constructed 1,000 housing units in Marte LGA of Borno, adding that the houses had been handed over to the state government.
He said that the commission would also construct one primary school in each of the senatorial districts across the six states in the region, to promote educational development.
The managing director said that the commission had presented food and non-food items to the Bauchi State Government for distribution to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He listed the items to include 10,000 bags of rice; 2,000 bags of sugar; 10,000 gallons of palm oil; 3,000 cartons of pasta; 2,000 blankets; 2,000 plastic mats and 1,000 mosquito nets.
In his remarks, Gov. Bala Mohammed, lauded the impact of the commission in the North-East with regard to the construction of schools and roads.
Mohammed also commended NEDC for the provision of other essential services since inception in 2019.
He said that the commission had constructed one block of six classrooms each across the 20 local government areas of the state.
“We have recieved the intervention of the commission in health and agriculture,” he said.
Mohammed promised to distribute the donated items judiciously to the deserving families.
The Goni-Alkali and other officials of the commission would inspect road projects in Alkaleri and Kirfi, and  Visco Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Centre in Ningi

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