As part of efforts to redue infant and matenal mortality rate among residents of Ondo State, the government has concluded arrangement with the World Bank for the execution of a N1 billion special healthcare programme in which pregnant women would get personalised care from trained health workers across the state.
Under the arrangement, to which the global body would be contributing counterpart funding of $3.4 million, each pregnant women registered with the project would be assigned specific healthcare worker and be provided with telephone line to reach the assigned officer in case of emergency or distress.
Already, 5,000 such lines that would charge no cost, if it was made to specified health workers who would also be issued with same, have been provided by a GSM telecom Company. The lines will be made available to pregnant beneficiaries in collaboration with the state government.
Part of the initiative is also the establishment of Health Rangers Scheme to be equipped with communication gadgets and mobility machines and who are to maintain constant contacts with pregnant women assigned to them individually to monitor their health and other immediate assistance when needed. The novel idea, which the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, had said would assist the government to monitor the health of the citizens, also included provision of more health facilities at each political unites of the state to make such facilities available within the people.
Gombe State Commissioner for Education, Aishawu Ahmad Bose, has accused teachers in the state of aiding and abetting examination malpractice in the last Senior Secondary certificate Examinations (SSCE) and the National Examinations council (NECO).
Ahmad made this known while addressing teachers at the Education Resoruces Centre in Gombe explaining that despite the ugly trend, only about five percent of those who sat for the last SSCE got qualifying results for admission into tertiary institutions.
She told the teachers that they were perpetrating the dirty act to cover up their shortcomings since they could not give their best to their studies preparatory to the examinations.
According to Ahmad, the state government will not tolerate such ugly practice anymore and will deal ruthlessly with anyone caught aiding students to cheat in exams.
She further directed the teachers to ensure they did their jobs diligently rather than involving in fraud.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has given the state government 90 days ultimatum to pay the teachers’ 2009 annual increment, else the union would embark on strike. NUT state Chairman, Ahmed Maisakala, said some teachers had spent up to 10 years without promotion while 1,000 others under the Federal Teachers Service Scheme had spent eight months without any pay.
Maisakala called on the authorities concerned to hasten up and ensure that the eight months salary arrears was paid and the backlog of promotion cleared in order to motivate the affected teachers.
The current suspected cholera outbreak in Jalingo, the Taraba State Capital, has reportedly claimed 35 lives as at the last count. But state health officials have disputed the figure, saying that only six people have so far died in the epidemic.
A visit to some health centres in the town showed the children within the ages of five and 12 constitute the bulk of the victims on admission in the wards.
However, state health officials could not confirm if the deaths were actually from cholera, as results of laboratory tests carried out some victims were still being expected.
According to a list made available to The Tide at Turaki Model Primary Health Care Centre, Jalingo, by the Health Officer, Lawal Illiyasu Matindi, force persons out of the 23 cases reported in the centre died.
A number of deaths has also been recorded at the Sabon-Gari and Matindi Health Centre in the state.
“We cannot actually claim that it is cholera. For now, we believe it is gastro-enteritis,” Matindi explained.
Traditional rulers from Osun State have stormed the National Assembly in furtherance of their agitation for the creation of Oduduwa state from the present Osun State.
They were received by the president of the senate, Chief David Mark at the Senate Committee hearing room one, where they presented a handbook articulating their demand to Chief Mark.
Leaders of the delegation, Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, Oba Oladele Olashore, who stood in for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okumade Sijuade, delivered an address on behalf of the people of Osun State.
In his address, Olashore stated that the agitation for the creation of Oduduwa state as a response to the yearning and aspiration of the people of the state with the active support of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
According to him, “In the last seven months, we have engaged in serious consultation to ensure that every section of the present Osun State is involved in the agitation and demand.”
The monarch added that 13 out of the 30 local governments in Osun state are involved in the proposed state which covers a land area of 1.7 million people. They said the population and land mass of the proposed state are large enough when compared with some existing states in the country.
“We assure you that the proposed Oduduwa state with the proposed capital in Ile-Ife, has enough human and material resources to maintain itself without becoming a parasite and to contribute meaningfully to the overall development of the country,” he said.
Responding, Mark described the agitation as a legitimate one and urged all agitators to go about their demand by peaceful means.
He charged the Osun State House of Assembly to lobby other state assemblies for necessary support for the actualization of the demand.
Governors of Ogun, Edo and Ekiti states have paid tribute to the late nationalist, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye.
Governor Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State described late Dr. Otegbeye as an icon of democracy, a true nationalist and one of the pillars of the Nation.
Daniel, in the statement signed by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Adegbemi Onakoya, said the elder statesman was a great politician, who contributed immensely to the making of modern Nigeria “and was a worthy example of a detribalized Nigerian whom the present and coming generation should emulate.”
Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, expressed shock over the death of Otegbeye.
Oshiomohole in a statement by the state’s Commissioner of Information, Hon. Abdul Oroh, said “he was critical to organising the Nigeria students movement as a formidable platform for combating colonial rule.
His contribution to the struggle for Independence was most marked in the pioneering roles he played in the Nigeria Socialist Movement and the Labour Movement.”
In the same vein, Ekiti State governor, Engr. Segun Oni, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre in Ado-Ekiti described Otegbeye as “a patriot, who devoted his entire life to the emancipation of the down-trodden while he also worked tirelessly with other leaders for the pre and post colonial development of Nigeria.”
Also two frontline politicians, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Dr. Olapade Agoro have eulogised the late elder statesman.
Babatope described him as “a fervent nationalist and Pan Africanist who actively participated in the independence struggles of many African countries.”
Agoro said the death of Otegbeye was painful and inevitable. “He was a great believer in the cause of the Yorubas in oneness of Nigeria and one of the few remaining political loyalists of the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo ideological school of thought.”
Amidst speculations of an impending plan by the Federal Government to hike prices of petroleum products, an Islamic Cleric in Kano, Sheik Aminu Adam has cautioned President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to shelve the idea in line with his divine covenant with the citizen.
Sheik Aminu Adam, Deputy chief Imam of Al Furqan Juma’at Mosque who made the plea during a Friday sermon to hundreds of thousands of Muslims worshipers in Kano said that Nigerians already have enough dose of hardship, pointing out that under the existing harsh economic scenario ‘any further attempt to muscle Nigerians further is man inhumanity to man’.
The cleric reminded Nigerian rulers of their divine responsibility to the masses, maintaining that they should jealously guard against their interest all the time.
Sheik Aminu Adam specifically called on the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the 36 states Governors to intervene on behalf of the hapless masses.
Security Agencies operating at the Seme border- Badagry have ordered a stop to the indiscriminate crossing of the border by commercial motorcyclists, okada in local parlance.
A source told our correspondent in Seme Border that the government agencies took the decision at its monthly meeting because of the ‘adverse security implication’ of the motorcyclists.
The source added that there had been incessant complaints by security operators over the manner in which the commercial motorcyclists took passengers across the border without undergoing security screening.
The source alleged that in the past, officers on patrol had been knocked down by the commercial motorcyclists who speed recklessly across the borders in an attempt to foil the screening of their passengers by security operators, adding that the Seme border is an escaping route for wanted politicians and bank chief into neighboring country.
He said that the initial decision was to stop the operation of okada at the border but this was revived because of the likely hardship innocent travellers who patronized them might suffer.
The source also revealed that to sanitize the border area, the agencies outlined a measure that required the commercial motorcyclists to drop their passengers in the baggage area of the ECOWAS building where they would undergo screening.
The commercial okada are expected to push their bikes across the border and wait for their passengers to go through arrival and departure procedures a situation that has yield so many results.
The source also revealed that the latest development resulted to the arrest of over ten suspects by the National drug law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on various crime ranging from, illegal possession of 160 pieces of Thomas cook Travelers cheques in 100 Euro bill and 49 pieces of America Express Travelers’ cheques also in 100 Euro bill, 9,000 fake dollars and large quantity of weed suspected to be cannabis imported from Ghana and many other criminal cases recorded by various government agencies.
Nigeria – A Nigerian official says at least 80 people died when a petroleum tanker truck exploded and set nine other vehicles alight on a road in southeastern Nigeria.
Nigeria Road Safety Commission spokesman Ben Ekenna says 12 bodies were badly burned and five people were injured in the blast in Anambra state on Friday. He says the petrol-carrying truck leaked into a deep pothole which then attracted heat from the exhaust pipes of nearby cars and set off the explosion.
Fatal traffic accidents are common in Nigeria, where decades-old roads are normally pitted with potholes and drivers frequently fail to observe traffic-safety regulations.
Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest oil producers.
EFCC Re-Arrests Fani-Kayode
A former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has been re-invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following investigations into alleged document falsification
Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, is standing trial on alleged N4.6billion money laundering, before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
Other defendants are Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
They are facing a 17-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the anti-graft agency.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
The trial had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence until Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was consequently, re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 27.
Meanwhile, at the last adjourned date, FaniKayode was absent from court and the defence counsel who appeared on his behalf, Mr Fred Ajudua informed the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General Hospital in Abuja.
He had prayed for an adjournment on that ground on behalf of the second defendant
But, the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs BilikisuBuhari, informed the court that the same tactics had always been adopted by the defendant whenever he does not want to attend court.
After going through the court’s records, Justice Osiagor noted that it was clear that the defendant had issued a similar letter of excuse five times.
Abiodun Presents N350.74bn 2022 Budget To Ogun Assembly
Governor Dapo Abiodun has presented the 2022 appropriation bill of N350.74 billion to the Ogun State House of Assembly.
Abiodun, yesterday, presented the bill, tagged ‘Budget of Restoration’ to the lawmakers at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Addressing the assembly members at a ceremony presided over by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, Abiodun reiterated his determination to give priority attention to the completion of existing projects, projects with revenue potential and projects that can enhance employment generation.
According to the governor, the total state funding is estimated at N350.74 billion in 2022.
This, Abiodun said, “includes Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) estimates of N56.30 billion and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) estimated at N96.87 billion totaling N153.17 billion. Statutory allocation (i.e. FAAC and VAT) is expected to be N73.01 billion while the capital receipt is estimated at N124.56 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans including Grants and Aids etc).”
On planned expenditure, Abiodun explained that “the aggregate expenditure of N350.74 billion is proposed for the State Government in 2022.”
Under recurrent expenditure, a total of N75B is to be expended in paying salaries and allowances in MDAs; N28b on debt service obligations and N51b on total overhead costs of MDAs and government-owned enterprises.
For capital expenditure, Abiodun said N170 billion is budgeted, being an increase of N10 billion over the 2021 approval of N160 billion.
He added that a total sum of N7.7billion is provided for transfers to the Stabilization Fund to insulate and position the State towards unprecedented activities or economic shocks.
Of the entire budget, Education gulps N56,071.21b, representing 16 percent; while Health takes N35,073.51b, being 10 percent.
Infrastructure takes the largest share of N77,775.77, which is 22 percent of the budget.
The Assembly is expected to legislate on the appropriation bill and return a clean copy to the governor for his assent.
The Speaker assured Abiodun of a speedy and thorough legislative process on the proposed budget with a view to sustaining the tradition of its passage on record time to comply with the January to December cycle in line with the international financial standards.
ICPC Uncovers N20bn Project Duplication, Personnel Budget Fraud In MDAs
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered gross abuse of personnel budget as well as duplication of projects by some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amounting to over N20.138 billion.
The duplication and padding occurred in the implementation of the 2021 budget and involved about 257 projects, the anti-corruption agency said its review shows.
The anti-graft agency said it is investigating the Ministry of Labour and the University College Hospital Ibadan as well as corrupt staff members in other MDAs suspected of massive illegal recruitment.
ICPC chairperson, Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his welcome address at the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service and Presentation of Public Service Integrity Award on Tuesday.
Themed, ‘Corruption and the Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency’, the event was held at the State House Conference Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Many dignitaries including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were in attendance.
In his address, Owasanoye said ICPC, through its projects tracking, found out that skyrocketing personnel in many MDAs was attributable to massive budgetary scam, including illegal recruitment, unilateral increase in wages, indiscriminate travels, among others.
“The high cost of governance and rising personnel budget in Nigeria is as a result of illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, indiscriminate local and international travels, unreasonable demands by some political appointee board members of MDAs without regard for extant circulars on cost management; procurement fraud, budget padding, etc,” he said.
“This has continued to reflect in the huge wage bill on personnel and operational cost standing at about 70 per cent of annual budget”.
According to Mr Owasanoye, the “malfeasance” the anti-graft agency uncovered in the recruitment process by some MDAs including the labour ministry is perpetrated with the connivance of some staff members of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He noted the cases and officials involved were under investigation.
“At another level, a syndicate of corrupt individuals within the service corruptly employ unsuspecting Nigerians, issue them fake letters of employment, fraudulently enrolling them on IPPIS and post them to equally unsuspecting MDAs to commence work”.
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