In its bid to eradicate the illegal orphanages, the Imo State Government uncovered 157 social homes which serves baby factories across the state and recovered a number of children.
This was just as the government has urged churches to establish more motherless babies’ homes to stem the tide of illegal baby factories in the state.
Special Assistant to the Imo State governor on Non-Governmental Organisations and Allied Matters, Rev. Simeon Nwulu, disclosed this when he played host to the leadership of Correspondents Chapel in the state, yesterday.
He said that only 15 of the 272 social homes in the state were legal.
Although the governor’s aide, who did not mention the actual numbers of children already recovered from such illegal homes, said that his office had discovered the illegal homes during its assessment visitation of social homes spread across the 27 council areas of the state.
According to him, “We’re doing our best to ensure such a thing does not exist in our society anymore. We’ve revoked so many fake homes.
“Out of 272 homes across the state, only 15 were genuine others were fake. Some of them are registered with the government but their activities are not genuine and we’ve revoked their licenses. Very soon we will be charging some of them to court over their nefarious activities.
“At the same time, this office has moved to ensure we stop illegal sales of children because the rate at which children are being marketed and sold like ordinary articles of trade is very alarming.
“At a peanut, the destiny of a child is destroyed and most of these adopters are not well-to-do to take care of these children”.
Meanwhile, Rev. Nwulu has advised churches within the state to get deeply involved in building motherless babies homes and old people’s homes and encourage well-to-do individuals in the society to adopt such children.
“If somebody becomes motherless, it does not mean that such a child cannot be somebody in the future.
“I’m glad some churches have shown interest to partner with government on that. Some of them have picked the forms to establish social homes.
“But we’re asking them to make the environment very conducive for the children and not to use it and make money because we know that nobody can take care of the children more than the church.
“We’re going house-to house appealing to people to adopt these children because we have over 2000 motherless children in different homes whose future seem very bleak without hope.
“As someone God has blessed, even if you have 10 children, please try and give these one’s life and hope”, he appealed.
He also disclosed that his office was working hard to ensure NGOs such as churches start fulfilling their mandate such as building institutions to help the needy and the poor.
“The bedrock of every NGO is the church. Unfortunately, the present day churches are not like the old churches. The present day churches are no longer involved in humanitarian or spiritual activities, but materialism and flamboyance.
“Before now, churches built schools and it was free of charge for people. Churches used to take care of the welfare of the needy, but today schools owned by churches are the most expensive in the country, the same as their hospitals. In fact, everything that belongs to the church is for the rich and not the poor and needy.
“We want to ensure that churches start building hospitals. If you look around, churches are no longer building hospitals. They are only building schools that will get them quick money.
“So, we’re asking churches to start building hospitals to complement the effort of the state government. The government is ready to assist them to equip the hospitals so that they will be for the benefit of our people. That is what churches used to do in the past”.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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