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Mrs Amaechi Flags-Off World AIDS Day ’Morrow

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The wife of the Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi will tomorrow flag-off the World AIDS Day celebration at the Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers State.

Speaking with The Tide yesterday, the HIV/AIDS programme co-ordinator, Rivers State Ministry of Health (RSMOH), Dr Naaziga Francis said December 1 every year has been designated by the international community to commemorate the entry into the list of dreaded disease of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) worldwide.

“Rivers State is joining the rest of the country and the world to celebrate World AIDS Day. WE are using the day’s occasion to reappraise the HIV/AIDS situation in the state and our efforts so far in prevention of further spread of the diseases and mitigating of the impact of the virus.

The theme of this year celebration which is “Universal Access and Human Rights” is a clarion call on government, corporate bodies, individuals and communities to confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic, provide essential services as well as save the citizenry from the menace of the disease.

Dr Francis who stated that Nigeria’s area of emphasis in 2009 World AIDS Day Celebration is “Closing Gap for the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission,” said between 2005 and 2008, survey activities in the state indicate that while infection rate is stabilizing in urban and semi-urban areas, rapid transmission is going on in the rural areas.

“We have indeed recorded between two to threefold increase in HIV prevalence in some rural areas. This is indeed disheartening and calls for very drastic rural intervention, that is why the celebration is community based,” he said.

The Programme Manager, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Dr Chimazi Okeh told The Tide that in a bid to check the spread of the virus in the communities, the RIVSACA has set up Local Government Action Committee on AIDS (LACA) in the 23 local government areas.

According to him, “we are empowering the LACAs to engage in massive rural interventions.”

“We have also provided the sum of N54 million to 38 NGOs and Community Based Organisation (CBOs) to carry out HIV activities in the rural communities.

He further stated that the National Women Coalition on AIDS (NAWOLA) would be inaugurated soon by the wife of the Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi.

The essence of the formation of NAWOCA according to him is to address the disproportionate vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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Don Advocates Diversity for Economic Growth

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A university Don, Professor Anthony U. Nnodim, has called on companies to diversify in other to be economically relevant to society.
Prof Nnodim, who made the call, Thursday, at the first National Conference of the Association for Encouraging Qualitative Functional Education in Nigeria, in collaboration with Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Women Association, Port Harcourt, said any company that does not diversify will easily ‘die’.
According to him, the phrase, “diversify of die”, amounts to a warning to corporate organisations of the danger of staying the same place for too long.
He said it is “a reminder that to avoid stagnation, companies must innovate. In today’s global environment, diversity is the bedrock of innovation.
“Diverse and inclusive team is the engine room within which innovations develop through the combination of desperate ideas and desciplines in ways that look weird in the first instance, but culminate into emergence of real innovation”, he said.
Nnodim, who made the call in his Keynote address tittled, “Innovation and Diversification: Issues and Prospects in a Global Environment “, said diversification has numerous prospects.
One of the key prospects, he said, is that diversification improves critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
This, he explained, “would provoke critical thinking that provides alternative approaches to finding solutions to identified problems”.
Other prospects, he continued, include enhanced employees growth and development, unification of diversified strength, and encouragement of innovations.
In her Keynote address, Prof. Margaret E. Akpomi harped on the need for Nigeria to emulate what she called “the Australian Model of Education” christened “Technical And Functional Education (TAFE).
“What it (TAFE) does is that they first of all identify the needs of the society, and then they build-in the needs of the society into the curriculum, and it is with that they bring up their citizens to fill in various manpower positions in the society. We can borrow a leaf from here”, she said.
In her welcome address, the President, Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Women Association (CEAPOWA), Dr. Victoria O. Sam-Kalagbo, explained that the conference, with the theme, “Innovation and Diversities: Issues and Prospects in a Global Environment “, is in line with the CEAPOWA’s objective of contributing to societal growth.
“The aims and objectives of CEAPOWA are, among others, to organize conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia aimed at impacting positively on Members of the association, the entire polytechnic community, and society at large.
“This conference provides a rare platform for scholars in various disciplines to examine and prescribe practical innovative and diversified strategies, approaches, and mechanisms to contain the multifarious global threats and challenges in education, economy, politics, business, technology, Entrepreneurship, etc.”, She said.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
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NECA Wants Forex Allocation Prioritisation To Manufacturers 

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The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to give priority of allocation of available forex to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy as forex scarcity persists.
Director-General, NECA, Mr Wale Oyerinde, while speaking on the state of the economy in Lagos, called for a holistic and multi-pronged approach towards resolving the challenges faced by the nation.
He urged the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to  encourage the development of modular refineries as a precursor to total subsidy removal.
Oyerinde said, “In the medium term, the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, fix the four national refineries and encourage the development of modular ones as a precursor to total removal of fuel subsidy.
“With over N5tn budgeted for subsidy payment in 2022, an amount larger than the budget for education and agriculture, this is unrealistic and unsustainable.
“Economic interventions aimed at improving living standards (to stimulate consumption) and enterprise sustainability (to promote job creation) should be implemented.
“While forex scarcity persists, allocation of the available forex to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy should be given priority.”
According to him, this was better time for the government to deepen its engagement with the Organised Private Sector, adding that the government’s efforts to salvage the economy was commendable.
He said “the nation is currently faced with multiple challenges, with dire combination of spiraling inflation, rising energy cost (aviation fuel, diesel, etc.), scarcity of forex, dwindling value of the naira, an almost comatose aviation sector, stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting foreign reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others, which threatens to lay bare the country’s economy.
“There is no better time for government to reappraise current economic policies and deepen its engagement with the Organized Private Sector. While Government’s effort to salvage the economy is commendable, there is, however, need for a More holistic approach to resuscitate the stuttering economy”, he said.

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Agency Puts Nigeria’s Gas Flaring Losses At N891bn

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The Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor, a sub of the Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), has put the losses in gas flaring in Nigerian at N891 billion.
The oil spill agency in a release on Sunday said Nigeria lost N891 billion to gas flaring in 18 months.
It revealed that the country lost a total of N707 billion in 2021 and N184 billion in the first half of 2022, totaling N891 billion.
According to the NOSDRA report, oil and gas companies operating in the country flared a total of 126 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas in the first half of 2022, leading to a loss of $441.2million (about N183.54 bn) in the six-month period.
On the other hand, in 2021, about 23,862.271 barrels of oil (3,770,238.864 litres/119 tanker trucks) were spilled.
Brent International was sold for an average of $71 per barrel in 2021, bringing total revenue loss in that year to $1.7million
The estimation put the equivalent of the volume of gas flared in the first half of 2022 to carbon dioxide, CO2 emission of 6.7 million tonnes in the oil producing areas, which was 4.56 per cent higher than the 120.5 billion SCF of gas flared in the second half of 2021, and capable of generating 12,600 gigawatts hours of electricity.
Also, the quantity of gas flared in the first six months of 2021 was capable of generating 14,000 gigawatt-hour of electricity, and an equivalent of 7.4 million tonnes of CO2 emission.
Giving a breakdown of the gas flared in the country in the first six months of 2022, the agency disclosed that while companies operating in the offshore oilfields flared 62.2 billion SCF of gas, companies operating onshore flared 63.9 billion SCF of gas, valued at $223.6 million.
In 2021, there were around 382 publicly available oil spill records. Out of the 382 occurrences, a total of 33 of these oil spill sites were not visited by a joint investigation team, and 122 of these had no estimated quantity of oil spilled provided by the companies involved.
Two major oil spills were recorded in 2021, with over 250 barrels spilled into inland waters, or over 2,500 barrels spilled on land, swamp, shoreline and open sea, the report said.

By: Corlins Walter

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