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THE STATES

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Adamawa

Suspected armed robbers on Sunday killed two students of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, a statement from the university stated.

The statement, issued by the Deputy Director of Information of AUN, Mr Innocent Okorie, named the students as Mr Levi Nyat and Mr Abaagu Charles.

The statement said the incident occurred at a barbecue (suya) spot, near Jimeta main market, where the suspected robbers snatched a car belonging to one of the victims.

The President of AUN, Dr Margee Ensign said she was deeply saddened by the incident, which led to “the untimely death of the two students in the prime of their lives”.

Benue

Four traditional rulers in Guma Local Government Area of Benue on Monday appeared at a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court for complicity in the violence in Agasha village in May.

The rulers, Chiefs Joseph Chekwu, Simon Agah, Ikyowe Adebur and Gideon Tiev are charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, inciting disturbance and causing death by fire.

The prosecutor, Mr Godwin Ebonyi, said that the actions of the suspects contravened sections 97, 221, 114 and 337 of the Penal Code.

Ebonyi told the court that Mr Stephen Kpev, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of Tarka Local Government Council, reported at the State CID Department that the accused conspired with youths to set Agasha community ablaze.FCT

FCT

The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, said on Monday that the Federal Government would take concrete steps to address the deplorable state of education and the problem of mass failure in Secondary School Certificate Examinations.

Speaking with State House correspondents shortly after briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on the plans of her ministry for the next four years, Rufai said that the issue of improving the quality of education and easy access to education would be the areas of priority for the ministry.

“We have just mentioned to the President that the ministry is going to focus on two main areas — the issue of access and equity and the issue of standard and quality assurance.

Jigawa

Alhaji Hanati Yakubu, the Jigawa Commissioner for Water Resources, said on Monday in Dutse that the state needed N6.2 billion to boost water supply in the state capital.

Yakubu told newsmen that the figure was arrived at after a survey carried out by the government.

He explained that due to the low water level in Dutse, the water would be sourced from Cintirimawa River, a distance of 50 km from Dutse.

The commissioner said that because of the huge capital outlay, the state would seek financial assistance from the Federal Government to finance the project.

Kebbi

The National Teachers Institute (NTI) in Kebbi has commenced a capacity building workshop for 2,491 teachers on new teaching methodologies under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The state NTI Coordinator, Alhaji Abdullahi Maiwada, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, said that the training programme was organised jointly by the MDGs Office and the NTI.

He said that 50 resource persons had been deployed to the training centres located in Birnin Kebbi, Argungu, Bunza, Yauri and Zuru, adding that the programme recorded nearly 96 per cent attendance.

He said 1,753 participants were primary school teachers while the remaining 738 teachers were JSS teachers who would receive training on four subjects, including English language, Social studies, Integrated Science and Mathematics.

Kogi

Work on the Neem-based organic fertiliser plant established by the Kogi government has been completed and ready for inauguration, an official said.

Dr Abdulkarim Abubakar, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, made the statement in Agbeji-Anyingba, Dekina Local Government Area, on Monday during an inspection tour of the plant site.

He said the plant had undergone a test-run within the last three months after its completion and was ready for inauguration.

He said the construction of a road network within the plant site was the only constraint to the inauguration.

Kwara

A university lecturer, Prof. Wole Ogundele, has expressed worry on the possibility of some local languages, including Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, going into extinction in about 50 years time.

Ogundele who is the Director of the Black Culture and International Studies Centre at Osogbo in Osun, gave the warning in Ilonn on Monday at the inauguration of the Black Culture and Arts Foundation.

Bemoaning the inability of government to develop the nation’s languages, Ogundele advised the Federal, State and Local Governments to explore ways oftransfonning the nation’s arts and culture to create wealth and employment opportunities.

According to him, government at all levels in Nigeria have failed to tap the abundant resources in arts and culture but have instead, succeeded in making Nigerian culture look fake and second­hand.

Lagos

The National President, Ijaw Youth Development Association (IYDA), Mr. Amassoma Daniel, in Lagos has called for the review of the scheme for the training of Niger Delta ex-militants.

At an event organised by the Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG) to celebrate President Goodluck Jonathan’s 100 days in office, Daniel said that the amnesty programme was being poorly implemented.

In an interview with newsmen, he said that “we have discovered that those undergoing the various trainings are not well equipped for self-sufficiency.

He said that there was the need to review the training module of the amnesty programme.

Niger

The World Bank has earmarked N120 million for the execution of community development projects in Niger, the General Manager of Community and Social Development Projects, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar, has disclosed.

Addressing the maiden meeting of the board of the organisation in Minna last Monday, Abubakar said that only N38.7 million of the sum had been accessed by communities benefitting from 62 approved micro-projects.

He blamed the inability of communities to access the funds to non-adherence to the bank’s guidelines and slow execution of projects.

Osun

A political scientist, Prof. John Ayoade, has said that the way salaries of public servants were fixed violated the principle of true federalism.

Ayoade stated this in a lecture he delivered  last Monday as part of the activities lined up for the 20th anniversary of the creation of Osun State.

He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure the practise of true federalism and argued that the Federal Government should allow every state to fix its workers’ salaries on the basis of productivity and ability to pay.

He observed that the failure of the country to address the problem of structural imbalance had been the bane of the Nigerian federalism.

The don argued that fixing a uniform salary might result to the problem of overpaying some workers while underpaying others within the same country.

Taraba

Mrs Josephine Zirder, the President, Tailor Made Tours Limited (TMT) Israel, a company that facilitates the movement of Christian pilgrims in the Holy land, has pledged to sponsor five members of Taraba cultural troupe to pilgrimage.

Zirder made the pledge on Tuesday in Jalingo at a meeting with the board members of the state Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board (CPWB).

Zirder and other management staff the company were visibly thrilled at the performance of the troupe during the meeting.

“We thank God for making it possible for us to be in Nigeria. We are excited at the warm reception accorded us, especially in Taraba.

“The performance of the cultural troupe has particularly been wonderful. TMT will sponsor five members of the troupe to perform during the 2011 Christian Pilgrimage in the Holy land.”

Zirder said their visit was to build a strong relationship between Nigeria and Israel as well as to commend Nigerian Pilgrims for always being peaceful and loving while on pilgrimage.

Sokoto

Alhaji Lawal Zayyana , the Speaker of Sokoto State House of Assembly, says the Assembly has embarked on the review of the state’s dormant and obsolete laws .

“The review is to make the laws to be in tune with the contemporary time and improve on the internally-generated revenue base of the state,’’ Zayyana told newsmen in Sokoto last Monday.

He said some of the affected laws had been in use for two to three decades.

“The exercise is going on smoothly and it will be completed soon. This action is intended to improve the provision of the needed services to the people,’’ he stated.

According to him, the review of the laws will directly bolster the revenue base of the state and rather than the state depending solely on the monthly allocation from the federation account.

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Cost Of Living: Lagos Civil Servants To Work Three Days A Week …As Sanwo-Olu Announces 25% Discount On Public Transportation 

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, announced a reduction of working days for State public servants as part of plans to cushion the cost of living crisis in the country.

Sanwo-Olu made the announcement in Lagos during the ongoing media parley on economic hardship in the country

“We want to start with our public servants, immediately from next week, Civil servants from the lower level will be working like three times a week and level 15-17 can work four times in a week,” he said.

On the rising cost of food, he said that his administration would open more markets where Lagosians can buy food items at discounted rates.

“We will open Sunday markets in at least 42 identified markets across Lagos State. You will be able to buy food items at a discounted price. You will only be able to buy items worth up to N25,000,” the governor said.

He said his administration was also constructing four food hubs to ensure food distribution in tackling rising food prices.

“Coupled with the one at Idi-Oro in Mushin, four more food hubs are under construction and seven other locations in other local governments have also been identified for more food hubs to be developed,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has said that the state will resume a 25% reduction on public transportation in the state.

“Almost immediately from this weekend, we’re throwing back a 25% reduction on all public transportation.

“We’re working with the various unions to ensure that we also can support them. But on our BRT, our trains, our ferry services, we’re going to begin to enjoy that almost immediately from this weekend.

“I’ve given an instruction, so they are working on the logistics for that.”

Recall that the Lagos State Government, in a bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, slashed the costs of transportation of all state-owned transport systems by 50 per cent in August 2023. It was, however stopped in November, 2023.

Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu announced a free delivery for pregnant residents across all government-owned hospitals in Lagos.

“There is an arrangement for free delivery including cesarean session at government hospitals,” he said.

On rising cost of drugs and other pharmaceutical products, the governor promised that his administration “will also give rebate on some particular drugs at our state government hospitals”.

The governor noted that his administration was also in discussions with various transport unions to reduce their fares.

“First is to express empathy with our citizens, We are not unmindful of the situation, as leaders, we must be able to solve socioeconomic problems,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He also challenged the private sector to look into what they can do for the citizens by replicating their role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

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Police To Lift Ban On Tinted Glass Permits

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The Nigeria Police Force said it has conducted a comprehensive review of the issuance of tinted glass permits and is set to lift the ban on it for vehicles.

Previously banned in June 2022, the NPF said the ban then was a proactive move to bolster national security and tackle criminal activities linked to the misuse of tinted glasses.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement yesterday.

He said that ICT analysts and Eenforcement officers nationwide would undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.

It read, “In a bid to enhance national security and curb criminal activities facilitated by the misuse of tinted glass, the Nigeria Police Force has concluded its review of the issuance of tinted glass permits, previously banned in June 2022.

“The ban was initiated due to widespread concerns regarding the role of tinted glass in aiding heinous crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, the illegal transportation of firearms, human trafficking, etc.

“With the proposed lifting of the ban, stringent measures are being implemented to prevent abuse and ensure strict compliance with guidelines governing the issuance and use of tinted glass permits.

“ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers nationwide will undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.”

The statement also noted that the training will equip ICT analysts and enforcement officers with skills to regulate tinted glass permit registration, address public complaints, and enforce compliance.

It further stated, “The training will equip ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to regulate the registration process, guide registrants on the use of the portal where required, attend to complaints from members of the public, and enforce compliance effectively.

“It will focus on the intricacies of the new guidelines, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between public safety and individual freedoms while safeguarding national security.”

Highlighting the details in the to-be-newly issued permit, the statement explained, “The proposed tinted glass permit will incorporate distinctive features aimed at enhancing enforcement efficiency and security.

“These include a QR code linked to a central database for real-time verification, unique serial numbers correlated with vehicle and owner details, as well as a digital hologram ensuring authenticity and integrity, among other measures.

“It is crucial to highlight that the guidelines for the issuance of tinted permits and the use of tinted glass will strictly adhere to the provisions of the MOTOR VEHICLES (PROHIBITION OF TINTED GLASS) ACT 1991 and other relevant extant laws.”

Adejobi said this strategic approach underscores the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to prioritise public safety while upholding individual rights and national security interests.

Earlier in 2023, the police said they would soon reintroduce permits for vehicles with tinted glass across the country.

“The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to providing updates to the general public on the implementation of the reviewed process of tinted glass permit issuance, ensuring transparency and accountability in its efforts to maintain internal security,” the statement concluded.

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NOSL Launches “you are not Alone” initiative to promote mental health

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Maintaining optimal mental health is vital for thriving in society. To survive daily stress effectively, it is essential to cultivate positive coping mechanisms and embrace mindful living. Giving sufficient time to prioritise a healthy lifestyle becomes necessary in this quest.

To this end, On January 31, 2024, Natural Oilfield Services Limited (NOSL) organised a program ‘You Are Not Alone’ mental health awareness driven in partnership with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) at the University of Lagos to create an awareness about the significance of mental well-being. This event was a proactive endeavour to initiate open dialogues and provide substantial resources for mental health care.

Mental health challenges have no boundaries. This mental health advocacy had a unique approach by inviting both mental health professionals and students from the University of Lagos to share their expertise and personal stories. This collaborative effort cultivated an environment of truthfulness that promotes acceptance and understanding.

Speaking during the event Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola expressed, ‘Navigating the landscape of mental health stigma requires collective effort and NOSL’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ is a positive initiative in mental health support. This will help to encourage dialogues and welcome different perspectives, which can reduce discrimination.’

“By unlearning misconceptions, fostering awareness, collaborating, and sharing insights, engaging in the community, every small step can contribute to a more caring world, and amplify its impact to bring a positive change. ”

Also speaking, Dr. G.A Akinbode said, ‘In a world where mental health challenges persist, NOSL’s initiative will act as a guiding force and illuminate the avenues towards a benevolent future. We appreciate NOSL for inviting the students who play an integral part in shaping societal attitudes towards mental health, where mental well-being is prioritised and identified.’

According to him Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) is Nigeria’s largest youth run and youth-focused mental health organization championing the fight against mental health related stigma and creating an environment that makes it possible for people to seek care for their mental health without fear of discrimination.

“NOSL believes that mental health conversation is fundamental. The company is poised to make an ever-lasting impression, an unwavering commitment to long-term sustainability to value psychological well-being and support mental health challenges.”

Dignitaries present at the event were Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola, Director Special Education and Guidance and Counselling, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Umar Adisa, Sub-Dean of Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Dr. G.A Akinbode, Head of Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, Dr. U.N Israel, Staff Adviser, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos,
Mr. Abiodun Oguntola, Executive Director, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative and Ms. Oluwatomilayo Awodoyin, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative.

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