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Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State says his
administration has worked out modalities to reduce poverty in the state to the
barest minimum.

He said this in Makurdi while inaugurating 42 units of buses
acquired by Benue Links Transport Company Limited.

The governor said he intended to achieve poverty reduction
through collaborative efforts with relevant agencies such as National Poverty
Eradication Programme (NAPEP) among others, pointing out that the acquisition
of the buses was also a move toward poverty reduction as they would ply all the
routes in the state and beyond at very reduced cost.

He urged the management of the company to handle the buses
with care in order to continue to serve the people for years.



Gombe State Government will introduce a new method to screen
out pregnant intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj, Dr Ya’u Kashere, Head of
the state Hajj Medical Team, has said.

Kashere said this during a sensitisation tour to Balanga and
Deba Local Government areas of the state by the state Amirul Hajj, Alhaji Usman

He said the method would help to detect pregnant pilgrims
through scanning to void any more problems for the state during Hajj operations.

According to him, the Saudi Arabian Government had reduced
10 Hajj seats for the state this year as penalty for allowing a pregnant
pilgrim, who delivered in the Holy land, to travel for the Hajj last year.



The Jigawa Agricultural and Rural Development Authority
(JARDA) has introduced new farming techniques to farmers in the state, Alhaji
Rabiu Taura, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has said.

Taura told The Tide on Friday in Dutse that the development
would boost crop yields during the next farming season adding that the measure
was aimed at transforming farming from subsistence to commercial venture for
economic growth and sustainability.

The commissioner pledged that the government would continue
to support agriculture in line with the Federal Government’s Agricultural
Transformation Agenda.

‘’It is in view of this that the state government has
provided tractors, fertiliser and other farm inputs toward boosting agriculture
not only in the state, but also in the country in general, ‘’ he said.



An Environmentalist, Mr Godwin Ategwasi, has commended the
Federal Government for setting up the Presidential Committee on Flooding to
ascertain the level of devastation and proffer solution.

Ategwasi, the Deputy Director, Land Resources and Watershed
Monitoring in the Federal Ministry of Environment, gave the commendation in an
interview with our correspondent in Lagos.

He said that the committee, chaired by the Minister of
Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia, would carry out vulnerability study on flood
test and proffer solutions to the perennial disasters

“The Federal Government is doing everything possible to
address flooding but Nigerians too must put up a good attitude towards the
environment,’’ he said.



The National Assembly has received 10 requests for creation
of new states from various communities in the North-West geo-political zone, a
member of the assembly has said.

Rep. Kawu Sumaila (ANPP-Kano) said in Kano while answering
questions from newsmen that two of the requests were from Kano State.

“There are a number of parameters to be considered before
creating a state such as landmass, population and Federal Constituencies.

“And in addition to that, 24 state assemblies must back or
support the requests,’’ he said, and advised the communities agitating for new
states to come up with reasonable demands in order to realise their dream.

On the issue of state police, the legislator who represents
Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency, said he did not support the move in view of
the complex nature of the country.



The Kebbi State Government has invested N1.6 billion in the
IFAD-assisted Community-Based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme
(CBARDP) in the last three years, an official said.

The programme is being financed by the International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD), with the federal, states and local
governments providing counterpart contribution.

The seven benefitting states in the northern part of the
country are Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

Alhaji Garuba Hassan, the Kebbi State Project Officer told
The Tide in Katsina that the government had also disbursed N1 million to each
political ward to execute projects of their choices.



The Fityanul Islam of Nigeria group has pledged to sustain
the forum to foster peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non Muslims as
part of efforts to ensure national development.

Dr Muhammadu Abdulfathi, the group’s National President made
the pledge recently at the 2012 annual executive meeting of the group in Birnin

He said that the forum was aimed at ensuring that youths
were united as bedrock of society and leaders of tomorrow.

“Our organisation is an advocate of peace and progress
through maximum support for the youth to imbibe global trends and contribute
towards rapid development and tolerance for one another devoid of tribal,
religious and ethnic sentiments.



Governor Idris Wada of Kogi has reiterated the commitment of
the state government to render essential support to people displaced by flood
in the state.

Wada made the pledge on Saturday in Lokoja when he received
a 21-member presidential committee on flooding, who were in the state to assess
the level of damage caused by the disaster.

Represented by his Deputy, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, the governor
said he had taken the issue of the disaster very personal, adding:  “the government is on top the situation.’’

He said several measures aimed at granting relief to the
victims had been taken by the government while efforts were ongoing to relocate
and rehabilitate them.



Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara State, has described the
death of Ahaji Kehinde Abdulrahaman, who died in a flood disaster last Thursday
in Akerebiata, Ilorin as a great loss.

The governor stated this in a condolence message to the
family of the deceased on Saturday.

Represented by his Special Adviser, Relief and Emergency,
Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, the governor said he was deeply touched by the death of
the deceased, describing death as a necessary end that every human being would
taste and urged the family of the deceased to see it as the wish of God.

Ahmed donated the sum of N200, 000 to the family of the
deceased to provide immediate succour to them.



The Nasarawa State government on Saturday in Rinze, near
Akwanga promised to release more funds for the development of the 13 local
governments in the state.

Mr Dameshi Luka, the state’s Deputy Governor, made the
promise at the ceremony accompanying the distribution of materials for development
projects in the Akwanga West Local Government Area.

“The state government is ready to release more funds to
local governments and development areas which show commitment to quality
service delivery,’’ Luka, represented by Mr Samuel Meshi, the Commissioner for
Science and Technology, said.

He said the distribution of materials was to make life more
meaningful as well as bring development to the people at the grass roots.

The Tide reports that materials distributed included
transformers, an ambulance, a car, zinc and beds among others.



The Niger State Government is discussing with United Nations
Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Bank of Industry to
establish a Shea butter factory, an official has said.

Alhaji Ahmed Kontagora, Director General, Niger State Export
Promotion Council, said at a press briefing on Saturday in Minna that the
discussions had reached advanced stage.

“Niger State Government is talking with UNIDO and Bank of
Industry with a view to establishing a Shea butter refinery in the state; this
is because in the whole of Africa there is no Shea refinery.

The Director General did not say when and where the refinery
would be sited in the state but said that discussions with UNIDO and the bank
was on.

He said that the world market value of Shea nuts stands at
$3.8 billion, adding that one tone of Shea nut in the state now sells for
between 250, 000 and N300, 000.



Ondo State Government spent N2.5 billion on rural
electrification projects in the last three and a half years, Mr. Sola
Akinsanmi, Chairman, Ondo State Electricity Board, said.

Akinsanmi told The Tide in Akure that the current state
administration completed 110 electrification projects in the 18 Local
Government areas during the period.

He said the administration inherited 43 uncompleted
electrification projects from its predecessor but had completed them, adding
that the board was currently executing 16 projects out of which eight would be
connected to the national grid in one week.

He, however, said that inadequate funding was a major
challenge to the activities of the board, in addition to acts of vandalism on
equipment by miscreants, which had slowed the pace of work by the agency.



Fish farmers in Plateau State will access facilities offered
by the National Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (NACS) only if they
organise themselves into groups.

Mr. Badmus Olanrewaju, the Deputy National Secretary of the
Fishery Society of Nigeria (FISON) and spokesman of the body in Jos, told The
Tide that all necessary steps had been taken to ease access to such facilities.

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NACETEM, NITT Target Technology-Driven Transport Sector



The National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) and the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology(NITT), are set to revolutionalise the transport sector with cutting-edge knowledge in  Science, Technology and Innovation.
This is contained in a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja by NACETEM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO),  Isaac Oluyi.
Oluyi said when Dr John Omimakinde visited NITT, Zaria on March 28th, with his management team, the two institutions rolled out training programmes in diverse areas of transport and STI management.
He said this was with a view to achieving sustainable development in Nigeria’s transportation sector.
“The Heads of both agencies unanimously agreed that the transport sector driven by STI would not only help achieve sustainable and inclusive development, but also make life easier in all sectors of the economy”, Oluyi said.
The NACETEM’s Overseeing Director-General was quoted as saying that no nation can achieve sustainable development without appropriate deployment of STI to all sectors of the economy.
According to the statement, Dr Bayero Farah, Director-General of  NITT,  the transport sector was at the centre of any meaningful development in any nation.
Oluyi listed programmes to be rolled out after the review of the technical committee and approval of the Governing Council to include: National Innovation System Management and Transport Sector.
Others are: Technological Entrepreneurship in Transport Sector, Fourth Industrial Revolution, Emerging Technologies in the Transport Sector, STI indicators in the Transport Sector and Strategic Digital Communication in Transport Sector.

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Galaxy Backbone Provides Internet For E-health Services At FTH, ATBU



Galaxy Backbone has provided internet connectivity for e-health services at Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH) in Gombe and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Teaching Hospital in Bauchi, an official has said.
The company’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Aliyu Musa, disclosed this at the 101st regular meeting of Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Managing Directors (MDs) of Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals in Yola.
The Tide’s source reports that Galaxy Backbone is an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services provider under the supervision of Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Musa said Galaxy Backbone’s intervention helps to provide efficiency in service delivery for easy payment and data security for healthcare.
“This service makes patients to spend less time at the hospitals, provides easy access to patients record during emergencies from any location and virtual consultation, among others”, he said.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of ATBU Teaching Hospital, confirmed that their services have now changed from manual to automatic through the usage of internet services for effective service delivery.
“The coming of Galaxy Backbone to our hospital has changed the way we see our patients in terms of accessing service, making appointments, and payment is very fast, especially in terms of securing our data for confidentiality.
“Now, we do not have network challenges like before”, he said, assuring of continuous provision of effective service for the patients with Galaxy Vsat.
On their part, the CMD of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Dr Pokop Bupwatda, and  his counterpart in David Umahi University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Uzoma Agwualso, expressed the need to key into the services of Galaxy Backbone in their respective hospitals.
“I have testimony of Galaxy Backbone services, especially in terms of internet and getting data secured.
“The technology now is making life easy and making things easy for patients and staff themselves, as well as an ease of doing business”, he said, adding that the new development would also improve internally-generated revenue for the hospital”.

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NAFDAC Seeks Collaboration With Journalists, Entertainers Against Bleaching Cream Use



The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged journalists and entertainers within the South-East to join hands with the agency in its current war against use of bleaching cream.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, made the call recently in Enugu during the South-East Media Sensitisation Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Controls.
Adeyeye, who was represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr Leonard Omokpariola, noted that there was an imperative to warn people of South-East and Nigerians in general to the harmful effects of bleaching creams which give rise to cancer and damage to organs.
According to her, other dangers are skin irritation and allergy, skin burn and rashes, wrinkles, premature skin ageing and prolonged healing of wounds.
“Last year, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, acting on the resolutions of the Senate, wrote to NAFDAC, stressing the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of rampant and pervasive cases of Nigerians using bleaching creams.
“We immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitisation of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in trade fair complexes that have resulted in large seizures and destruction of violative products.
“One of such sensitisation actions was the flag-off of Media Sensitization Workshops organised for journalists in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt and today in Enugu.
“Today’s sensitisation workshop is therefore a fulfillment of my promise to cascade it to the six geo-political zones in the country.
“This is a deliberate strategy of mobilising, educating, sensitising, and challenging Nigerian Health Journalists to play a frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams and needless waste of scarce resources in Nigeria”, she said.
Adeyeye noted that the sensitization workshop is a training the trainers’ programme with the great expectation that participants would assume the role of champions in the vanguard of the campaign against use of bleaching creams.
She disclosed that a World Health Organization (WHO), 2018, study revealed that use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77 per cent of Nigerian women, which was highest in Africa compared to 59 per cent in Togo, 35 per cent in South Africa, and 27 per cent women in Senegal.

“This scary statistic has shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi-faced regulatory approach.

“Part of the multi-pronged approach is consultative/sensitisation meetings such as this and heightened raids on distribution outlets of bleaching creams”, she added.

In a goodwill message, the Enugu State Commissioner for Health, Dr Ikechukwu Obi, said the State Government and her institutions would continue to collaborate with NAFDAC in its mandate to safeguard the health of the nation.

Obi, who was represented by the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Mr Monday Obetta, said “We want our people to join hands with NAFDAC to protect the skin, which is an important organ, protecting other organs in the body”.

Speaking, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Public Affair in NAFDAC, said NAFDAC wants to use human face to tackle the menace of bleaching cream by engaging media practitioners in order to get Nigerians rightly informed against bleaching cream.

Jimoh noted that the agency wanted individual Nigerians, who are in the demand side of bleaching cream, to know the serious danger and negative consequences of using bleaching cream.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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