Isu and Abakan communities in Nwangele Local Government area of Imo have called on the state government to rehabilitate their health centres and provide them with personnel with good conduct.
The communities made the appeal at a one-day sensitisation programme on Thursday with the theme: “Improve the Knowledge of Mothers, Parents and Care givers on Essential Family Practices as stated by UNICEF”.
While Abajah community said its health centre should be refurbished, Isu community decried lack of necessary equipment, security and friendly health personnel, which it said, had hindered members of the community from meeting their health needs.
They also called for the establishment of World Development Committee (WDC) in the two communities which comprised 16 villages.
The Chairman of Eze’s Cabinet in Isu Community and Nze Charles Njoku, Eze-in-Council of Abajah community, Chief Donatus Dikeukwu, said their health centres had long been neglected and called for urgent government’s attention to the area.
They also appealed for security personnel to be posted to the health centres and regular visitation to the community by the sanitary inspectors.
The communities promised to cooperate with the health officers.
The State Director of National Orientation Agency, Mr Vitus Ekeocha, throwing more light on the WDC, said that there was growing concern by stakeholders on the decline of Routine Immunization (RI) services occasioned by misinformation, rumour and panic following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
He said the situation was worse in the rural communities with limited access to new information and mass media platforms.
Ekeocha said the lack of awareness on what the outbreaks were all about, the basic facts about each of the diseases, the effects of the diseases, how the behaviour and practices of the people are contributing to the outbreaks, among others, had contributed towards worsening the disease burden in these communities.
He said the re-activation of WDCs became necessary as the most effective communication tools for creating awareness, debunking rumours and clarifying misinformation in respect to diseases, various antigens, what they protect and what age they should be administered, importance and benefits of prevention and care.
The NOA official said the WDCs would also to provide some form of orientation to women groups and social networks on key messages for promoting and tracking the uptake of RI and COVID-19 prevention in selected five communities in each of the three pilot local government areas.
An Immunisation Officer in Nwangele Local Government area, Mr Donatus Ohaka, highlighted the importance of immunising children from the six killer diseases.
He said that over the years, many of diseases that attacked, killed and maimed children had been completely prevented or eradicated in the communities as a result of immunisation.
Ohaka urged women, especially breast feeding mothers, to ensure their children and wards completed the immunisation doses as well as keep their immunisation cards safe.
He also advised the people of the communities to always check their health status and access available drugs to live a healthy life, adding that most deaths in the community were preventable.
Ohaka said that 570 children were immunized out of a total of 991 children expected to have been immunised in Isu and Abajah communities and frowned at the development.
The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator in Nwangele Local Government area, Mrs Mary-Stella Ofoegbu, harped on the essence of proper hygiene keeping in homes and the surroundings to avoid contracting communicable diseases.
She urged the people to guide against open defecation, imbibe regular hand washing, as well as cut down over grown trees.
A UNICEF consultant, Mrs Ngozi Dike, said that the programme was a UNICEF programme facilitated by NOA and advised members of the two communities to make use of the opportunity to access drugs for their health needs.
FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil
In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.
FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.
Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m
The Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects in 2021 approved budget.
This approval followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in the assembly, had moved a motion asking the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing a number of developmental projects.
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