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Abuja

The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) says it will build 20 public toilets in some strategic places in the FCT to stop the practice of open defecation.

Mr. Tony Efechiyi, the board’s Deputy Director, Liquid Waste Management Department, disclosed this in an interview on Saturday in Abuja during the Longest Toilet Queue Campaign organised to mark the 2010 World Water Day.

The UN World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22.

Efechiyi said two toilets would be built in strategic places such as markets, hospitals, filling stations and motor parks to promote good sanitation practice.

“We have already included the project in the 2010 budget; latest by June, we would have completed the project and we are targeting those places because those are the areas where we have the highest level of waste disposal.

“This will be the first phase of the project. As soon as we finish in June we may still build more depending on our budget . We intend to make it a yearly thing to increase access to toilet facilities.

“AEPB is committed to the provision of sanitation facilities until we achieve our target of building 10 public toilets in each district in the FCT city,” he said.

Efechiyi said the board would partner with civil society organistations to have a prototype of the type of toilet that would take care of the needs of special people such as the physically challenged, the elderly as well as sick people who may be too weak to use the ordinary toilets.

Adamawa

 Memebers of vigilance group in Mubi town, Adamawa have called for the settlement of their outstanding four months allowance by the Mubi North local government.

The leader of the group, Mallam Usman Banga , who made the call in an interview with newsmen in Mubi, lamented that the N2000 monthly allowance being paid to each member had not been forthcoming.

“I want to appeal to Mubi North local government to pay us our outstanding allowance for four months so that we will continue to contribute to security in the area.

“It is unfortunate that in spite of our contribution to fighting crime in the area we have to be subjected to this long neglect,” Usman lamented.

He said there were 50 members of the group in the area but only 35 of them were entitled to the N2000 monthly allowance.

“We, however, have to share it among all of us so that everyone would benefit,” Usman said.

When contacted, an official of Mubi North council, who preferred anonymity, said the council was aware and would do something “very soon about it”.

Bauchi

A member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Mustafa Chali (ANPP-Bauchi), has donated drugs worth more than N5 million to Tashan-Babiye Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centre in Bauchi metropolis.

He said at the presentation of the items that the gesture was part of the constituency projects he initiated to enhance healthcare delivery to the people of the area.

Chali, represented by Alhaji Yakubu Yerima, said additional drugs would be soon distributed to all primary healthcare facilities in the area .

He announced that he had also established a skill acquisition centre at Liman-Katagum to train youths in various trades to reduce poverty, create job opportunities and enhance wealth creation.

He said he had also executed various school and other community development projects in the last two years to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the electorate.

Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government has offered its shares in the Unity Bank for sale to interested citizens of the state.

The government on Saturday announced the divestment of 867,668,759 units of the shares in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to Gov. Namadi Sambo on Media, Malam Umar Sani.

The statement stated that the offer would be through the Kaduna Investment and Finance Company (KIFC) Limited.

“The decision of the government is as a result of current regulation which does not allow for ownership of banks by government beyond 10 per cent.

“The current structure of the bank gives 70 per cent ownership to government,’’ it explained.

It recalled that commissioners of finance of owner states and the management of the bank had met and reviewed the report of the CBN and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

The government added that stakeholders also agreed that the states should renounce their rights to subscribe to the shares of the bank in favour of citizens of the respective states.

“However, Unity Bank is to wisely publicise the renunciation of the rights of the state governments to the citizens and request the citizens to take up those rights through their state investment companies.’’

Katsina

The North-West Zone of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has embarked on an enlightenment campaign to educate consumers on their rights to quality products, and safety of goods and services.

The zonal coordinator of the council, Alhaji Mohammed Yahaya, disclosed this to participants at a one-day interactive forum in Katsina on Thursday to mark the World Consumer Rights Day 2010.

He explained that the campaign became necessary because many people in the zone were not aware of their rights as consumers.

“Some consumers do not even know that an organisation like the CPC exists to protect their rights, hence, we resolved to embark on this aggressive campaign,” he said.

He said that the CPC would undertake visits to various stakeholders, while young consumer clubs in schools would be formed and encouraged in the zone.

Yahaya appealed to consumers in the zone who felt unsatisfied with any products to always lodge their complaints to the CPC. 

Kebbi

The Arewa Local Government Area of Kebbi said it had spent about N1.1 billion on rehabilitation of road and health facilities within the last two years.

The Sole Administrator of the council, Alhaji Nura Usman, made this known in Kangiwa in Kebbi on Thursday in an interview with newsmen.

He said that N840 million was spent on construction of rural roads covering 32 kilometres, saying that “the roads will be completed in three months”.

He said N200 million was provided by the state government for the construction of all township roads and drainage in Kangiwa town.

“We were able to provide eight Primary Health Care Centres, 26 boreholes and five earth dams within the period and we intend to surpass past efforts,” he said.

He said N109 million was spent on the provision of the rural health care centres.

According to him, the sum of N850,000 has been set aside for each round of immunisation, in addition to accommodation, transport and welfare of personnel.

Gombe

Alhaji Mohammad Doho, Gombe State Commissioner for Water Resources, Town Planning and Environment, has called for the harnessing of the abundant solar energy in the country for cooking purposes.

In an interview with newsmen in Gombe on Thursday, the commissioner said that if properly harnessed, solar energy could serve as an alternative to firewood.

He added that solar would also help in reducing the rampant felling of trees, thereby curtailing deforestation and preserving the environment.

“Converting solar energy as alternative to firewood will contribute immensely by reducing the felling of trees, especially in the northern part of the country,” he said.

Doho said that apart from the solar energy, wind in the northern part of the country could also be easily tapped to provide energy that could be used for cooking.

He added that the problem of desert encroachment had been an issue of concern in the north and therefore needed to be addressed squarely.

 “Forest reserves are being tampered with, resulting in deforestation and overgrazing of farm lands,” he added.

The commissioner said that the state government had been taking measures to arrest the situation, adding that one of such measures was the seizure of firewood generated through illegal felling of trees.

Lagos

The National Coordinator, National Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Chief Babs Animashaun, has hinged improved performance of students in national examinations on funding.

In an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Saturday, Animashaun said the poor performance of secondary school students in the last West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations was due under-funding of education.

“The under funding has resulted in the poor quality output in the nation’s educational sector.

“At no time had government invested 26 per cent of its annual budget on education as stipulated by the United Nations Education, Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

“The cumulative effect of this is the poor quality of education we give our children and the quality of leadership at all strata of life in the country,’’ he said.

Animashaun called for increased budgetary allocations by the Federal and State Governments to shore up the standard of education.

Mr. Olusoji Adams, the Chairman, Parents Forum Association (PFA), Lagos Mainland Local Government Chapter, also said that urgent steps should be taken to reverse the trend.

He said government should partner with the stakeholders in a bid to restore the country’s lost glory and standard of education.

 Oyo

No woman lost her life in childbearing in 2009 in Igboora community of Oyo State, reputed for multiple births.

Statistics from Ibarapa Community and Primary Health Care Programme showed that a total of 601 live births were recorded in the community in 2009, out of which 18 were twins.

The statistics also showed that three still births were recorded in the community that year.

It showed further that no woman was lost to childbearing in the community in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

According to the statistics, Igboora community has 713 live births in 2006, 534 in 2007 and 617 in 2008.

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NPC Warns Against Interfering With Pre Test Exercise

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The National Population Commission, NPC, in Kwara State has cautioned stakeholders to refrain from undue interference in the second pre-test census exercise in the state.
The second pre-test census exercise is part of the preparations for the main census exercise billed to take place in May 2022.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training of supervisors and enumerators for the exercise in Ilorin yesterday, the NPC Federal Commissioner for the state, Malam Abdulrazaq Gidado, also charged stakeholders to allow field functionaries to carry out their duties professionally for a good outcome.
The Federal Commissioner appealed to state and local governments concerned, traditional institutions, and communities to support the commission in carrying out the second pre-test census exercise by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to be enumerated.
He said the pre-test exercise will be carried out in four local government areas of the state, namely, Kaiama, Ilorin South, Offa and Oke-Ero.
The Federal Commissioner explained that pre-test census exercise is usually conducted before the actual census and primarily aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires, data collection methods, and manual for fieldwork among others.
He assured Nigerians that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the commission’s field functionaries are properly kitted and trained to observe all Covid-19 protocols throughout the period of the exercise as prescribed by the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on Covid-19.

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Man Jailed 15 Years For Stealing 16 Phones, Other Items In Adamawa

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A man in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for breaking into houses and stealing 16 phones and other items.
Abdulazeez Adamu, 22, from Nasarawo, Jimeta, was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Court 1, Jimeta, which established that he, along with two cohorts now at large, committed the offence at Bekaji, another residential community within the Jimeta axis of Yola.
The court established that Abdulazeez and the others, while armed with weapons, stole a TV set, an HP laptop, and 16 handsets valued at N734, 000 from a number of residents in their houses, namely Rebeccah Samuel, Rhoda Chiroma, Wedelo Pwamboki, Walia Hamman and Mary Zaro, all residents of Bekaji who jointly reported the thefts to the police on 11th November 2021.
The accused was said to have run out of luck during one of the operations with his cohorts in Karewa extension when they hit a security guard with a cutlass and injured him.
The guard, Muhammad Umar, raised alarm which attracted the occupants and his colleague who was on duty in a neighbouring house and who rushed to the scene, but by which time the convict and his accomplices had fled.
He was later trailed and arrested by vigilantes who were mobilised for the purpose.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Seargent Galeon Nimrod of the Karewa Police Division, called Umar as a witness.
The witness narrated his encounter with Abdulazeez who, under cross-examination, said the witness told the truth.
Consequently, Adamu was jailed for 15 years with the option of N150,000 fine for the offence of theft in a dwelling house and was sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine for being in possession of dangerous weapons.
He is also to pay N500,000 as a compensation fee.
Reading out the verdict, Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Mohammed Digil said, “This court has sentenced you, Abdulazeez Adamu, to 15 years or you pay an alternative fine of N150, 000, for theft and also sentenced you to six months imprisonment for being in possession of dangerous weapons without an option of fine.”

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JAMB Tasks Tertiary Institutions On CAPS

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned against offering of admissions to applicants by higher institutions outside the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).
JAMB said apart from distorting the statistics of enrollment into the nation’s tertiary institutions which it noted is required for national planning and development strategies, the conduct is also “a violation of ministerial directive on education policy.”
The JAMB registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, who said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, noted that in spite of the constant warning against such conduct, Nigerian tertiary institutions offered a total of 706,189 ‘illegal’ admissions across universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics between 2017 and 2020.
According to Oloyede, a total of 114 degree-awarding institutions including universities and colleges of education that are affiliated with them conducted 67,795 ‘illegal’ admissions within the period.
He added that a total of 137 National Diploma (ND) certificates awarding institutions such as polytechnics and school of health technologies offered a total of 142,818 ‘illegal’ admissions within the three-year period, while 37 institutions that are categorised as monotechnics offered 5,678 ‘illegal’ admissions.
The JAMB registrar said; “In 2017, the Board introduced the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) as a flowchart to ensure quality control, transparency and credibility of admissions. Among other reasons, it was also meant to completely eliminate human interference, which invariably led to abuse, in the processing of admissions into the nation’s tertiary institutions. The system allows institutions to only admit candidates that meet the requirements as prescribed by individual institutional proprietors and academic Boards/ Senates. The process entails: initiation of the admission of a candidate by the institutional admissions officer after having confirmed the satisfaction of the set criteria; recommendation of the candidate by the head of the institution; approval of the admission by JAMB; acceptance of the admission by the candidate; and printing of the admission letter by the candidate.
“All these are done without hassles or encumbrances. Any process outside this scheme is illegitimate and it renders the admission process null, void and ultra vires. It is rather disappointing that some institutions continue to defy this decision of the National Policy Meeting, ably chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education, that CAPS is the only platform for processing admissions to the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
According Mr Oloyede’s presentation, the top five universities with the highest number of ‘illegal’ admissions offered within the period are the Universities of Jos, Plateau State with 7,600 cases; Benue State University, Makurdi with 6,161 cases; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, with 5,669 cases; Kwara State University, Malete with 4,281 cases and Novena University, Delta State with 3,432 cases.
Among the ND certificate awarding institutions, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, topped the chart with a total of 45,471 cases within three years, and it is closely followed by Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, with 37,828 cases and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with 30,856 cases within the same period.
Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State with 24,335 and 24,335 respectively.
Oloyede said apart from distorting the national statistics, candidates admitted through the irregular admission processes are made to go through difficult times in their efforts to climb the next rung of either their career or academic ladders.
“Sadly, this practice by our institutions has damaged the image of the country as statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and similar agencies are rendered inaccurate by as high as 900 per cent in some cases. This distorts the statistics of the number of students in our tertiary institutions. JAMB is then made to supply radically different figures of entrants for the same year. In addition, misplaced pressure is annually mounted on JAMB to condone (or regularise) such illegal and improper admissions made three or four years earlier by the heads of institutions who in almost all the cases are not the incumbent ones.
“Another absurdity is that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for tertiary education which JAMB provides for the Federal Ministry of Education is fed into the global databank of tertiary institutions and Nigeria continues to publish a low GER record which is far from the reality on ground. Also, one of the unsavoury effects of the undisclosed admissions by tertiary institutions is that it makes planning difficult. As we all know, failure to plan is planning to fail and we cannot overemphasise the importance of proper planning.”
According to Oloyede, beneficiaries of such ‘illegal’ admissions upon graduation are made “victims of deprivations.”
“When the graduates of the illegitimate process need JAMB admission letters to pursue post-graduation endeavours like housemanship, scholarship, enrolment into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, they realise that they are out of sync. Some candidates had been forced in the past to seek Direct Entry into other universities after graduation just because their degrees were not recognised as a result of lack of admission letters at critical stages. The physical, psychological and mental strain on such candidates is better imagined than experienced. This could have been avoided if everyone played the game according to the rules,” Mr Oloyede added.
The JAMB registrar also expressed disappointment over what he described as massive fraud in the conduct of the two A Level entrance examinations in the country- Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) and the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE).
“It is quite disappointing that some of our colleagues were arrested while conniving with various examination syndicates to compromise the noble objectives of these two examinations. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) conducted a sting operation the result of which is monumentally embarrassing,” he said.
As a way of finding a lasting solution to the challenge, JAMB said it has already proposed to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, the desire to establish both A-Level task team and A-Level Qualification Verification Databank, which he noted will serve as repository for verified A-level qualifications in the country.
Meanwhile, the examination body said it has approved the introduction of two more subjects in its examination to be added to the existing 23 subjects for possible combinations by candidates.
The addition of the two subjects- Computer Studies and Physical and Health Education, will “enhance the career prospects of students transiting to tertiary institutions.”
Oloyede said the subjects will be available for candidates taking the UTME examination in 2022.
JAMB said as part of efforts towards curbing some identified “unethical practices” by operators of the accredited computer based testing (CBT) centres, it has resolved to embed the centres’ approved N700 charges for registration purposes in its application form fees.
“These centres are allowed to collect only Seven Hundred Naira (N700.00) as registration charges but they use the opportunity to engage in conduct unbecoming, including extortion, during the exercise. In order to put a stop to such extortion, we propose to make UTME registration henceforth cashless. In other words, JAMB will now be collecting the approved N700.00 registration fee on behalf of the CBT Centres along with its UTME registration fees and then remit what is due to each registration centre to its bank account on a weekly basis or any time frame acceptable to the centre owners. This intervention will block all loopholes through which hapless candidates are extorted by unscrupulous service providers,” the JAMB registrar said.

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