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The Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO),  said it would distribute 37,000 safe kits to schools across the country to promote security consciousness. Mr Ike Oneyechere, the chairman of the organisation, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. Oneyechere said the project would empower stakeholders to tackle insecurity in schools.
“Safe school is a project started in 2014 to address insecurity and safety challenges in schools. It is the only well researched, tested and acclaimed programme in Nigeria for building capacity of education stakeholders on safe school best practices.
“Our target is to distribute at least 37,000 kits to schools across the country; we plan to start in the first week of April.”

Gombe

The Gombe State Government has awarded contract for the construction of three cottage hospitals in Billiri, Shongom and Balanga local government areas at a combined cost of N600 million.
Dr Kennedy Ishaya, the state’s Commissioner for Health, told newsmen  in Gombe on Thursday that the hospitals would be constructed in Dezari, Bore and Nyuwar villages, respectively.
He said the decision to construct the hospitals was informed by the immediate need of the community.
The commissioner said that each of the hospital would gulp N200 million and they would be completed within five months.
She  said the hospitals would be fully equipped with modern facilities on completion.
Kennedy said that “there is enough manpower that will work in the hospitals.
“In the last three years, we were having problem of manpower; we had only 127 nurses and midwives, but now we have 500 of them,” he said.

Jigawa

Malam Abdullahi Muhammad, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Malammadori, Jigawa, has called for greater involvement of livestock farmers in polio immunisation exercise.
Muhammad made the call at the polio task force committee meeting in Malammadori.
He also urged the local council to provide adequate logistics and allowances to immunisation personnel to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise.
He said that the forum was created to mobilise herdsmen to present their children for immunisation against the disease.
“Miyetti-Allah Fulani organisation should engage its people in the communities to enhance participation in polio immunisation,” he said.
The WHO representative noted that effective participation by communities would ensure total eradication of the disease.

Kano

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Thursday stated that it issued 12,242 forms to members of the public in Kano State in the past 12 months.
The state Director of the CCB, Malam Umar Saulawa, disclosed this when he spoke with  newsmen in Kano.
He said that the primary aim of the bureau was to maintain public morality and accountability.
The Director reaffirmed that “it is mandatory to all public officers to fill the forms, in order to scrap fraud and corruption in the society.” Mati said that 90 per cent of the forms issued had been completed by public officers and returned to the bureau.
“We receive assets declaration, examine the assets declaration and ensure that they comply with the requirements.
Kaduna

The Kaduna State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it would raid all the black spots in the state before the February elections. The commandant of the agency, Mr Samuel Azige, said this in an interview with newsmen  in Kaduna.
According to Azige, the aim of the exercise is to rid the state of political thugs who usually perpetrate unscrupulous acts after taking illicit drugs. He said the agency was disturbed by the negative attitude of youths at political rallies.
He called on parents and communities to support the agency in the efforts to deter the youths from indulging in drug abuse and trafficking.
“We want to ensure a peaceful election by raiding all black spots which the youths mostly use as avenues for hawking and using illicit drugs.

Kebbi

Maj.-Gen. Sarkin-Yaki Bello (rtd), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kebbi state, has pledged to transform the state, if voted into office.
Speaking at a rally in Zuru, headquarters of Zuru Local Government Area, Bello said that he would focus on economy, education, health, power, and agriculture sectors.
He appealed to the people to vote for him, promising to improve their social and economic lives.
The PDP candidate also said that he would provide equal opportunities to all communities, irrespective of tribal, religious and political affiliations.
He added that improvement in the economic status of households and provision of infrastructure would be enhanced under his administration.
He pledged to uphold equity in the provision of amenities, especially in the agriculture and education sectors.

Katsina

The Police in Katsina State have arrested 24 persons in connection with the attack on the convoy of PDP Presidential campaign in Katsina last Tuesday.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Bala Zamasenchi, told newsmen in Katsina that knives, daggers, and machetes were recovered from the suspects.
He said the suspects would be prosecuted after investigation, stressing that “anybody behind the act will face the wrath of the law.’’
Zamasenchi advised politicians to stop over- heating the polity and play politics in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Lagos

Some graduates of the National Open University (NOUN) on  have appealed to the Federal Government to allow them to enroll in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Speaking with newsmen  in Lagos, Mrs Chioma Emmanuel, a 29-year-old graduate of Mass Communication, said participating in the scheme would enable graduates to get jobs faster. “They told us that we are not going for the National Youth Service. I just want them to do something very fast, because I believe going for service is an opportunity for one to get a job fast.
“Also, it will give us an opportunity to go to the different fields or those places where we are supposed to work at least to get enlightened.“

Oyo

The Country Manager, HarvestPlus Nigeria, Dr Paul Ilona, says the organisation has trained 300 National Youth Corps (NYSC) members on the benefits of vitamin A cassava production. Ilona told newsmen  in Ibadan that the corps members were serving in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan. HarvestPlus is an international organisation that collaborates with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
The organisation is currently leading a global effort to breed and disseminate micronutrient rich staple food crops to reduce hunger in rural areas.
The country manager said the corps members were sensitised on the opportunities that could be derived in vitamin A cassava production, its value and marketing.
He said this would help to make them self-employed rather than waiting for white collar jobs.

Plateau

The Plateau office of the Public Complaints Commission has said that it resolved a total of 313 cases in 2014.
The Director of Investigation, Mr Marcellinus Suwa, told newsmen  in Jos on Thursday that the cases were among the 638 complaints the commission investigated in the period under review, adding that 325 complaints were still under investigation. Suwa said that majority of the complaints arose from non-payment of pension and gratuity.
He urged concerned authorities to stop frustrating pensioners over their entitlements.
He also called for prompt response by public and private organisations in Plateau to the commission’s inquiries or be prepared to face the wrath of the law.

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Ademorin Kuye; Governor Babatunde Fashola and Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos, at a meeting of traditional rulers with Governor Fashola in Lagos recently.

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Ademorin Kuye; Governor Babatunde Fashola and Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos, at a meeting of traditional rulers with Governor Fashola in Lagos recently.

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Banditry Displaces 151, 380 People In Two Years In Niger

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At least over 151, 380 people, mostly peasant farmers, were displaced by the activities of bandits in the last two years in Niger State, the state government has said.
The Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Matane, who addressed a press conference in Minna said the state’s emergency agency compiled the figure.
However, Mr Matane said the figure could be higher as many displaced persons who took refuge with their relatives could not be captured in the displaced persons register.
He said although the state has two official permanent internally displaced persons camps, most of those registered were at temporary camps opened following incidents of attacks.
Matane said the displaced persons were registered in 13 local government areas of the state, with Rafi council area neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna topping the chart with 28,987 displaced persons.
In Shiroro Local Government Area, 27,678 persons were displaced in the last two years, while in Munya 19, 712 persons were displaced.
There were 11,678 in Paikoro, 22,754 in Mariga and were displaced 8,913 in Kontagora.
Matane said the state has spent over N300 million on the displaced persons within the period, while individual donors and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs also expended millions of naira in support.

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Subsidy: ‘N5,000 Palliative Huge Disgrace’

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The Archbishop of the Enugu ecclesiastical province, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma has asked the Federal Government to jettison the idea of paying N5,000 palliative to 40 million Nigerians.
The Federal Government had said the decision was to cushion the effect of the planned removal of fuel subsidy.
But Archbishop Chukwuma, who rejected the removal of subsidy, described the proposed N5,000 palliative “as a huge disgrace.”
He said this during a press conference on the activities lined up for the 50th Anniversary of the Enugu Diocese, Anglican Communion.
While noting that the Enugu Diocese was concerned about the level of governance of Nigeria, he added that “we are also concerned about peace and the unity of Nigeria, as well as infrastructural development.”
He called on the government “to be sensitive about the situation of Nigeria; we frown against the killings, the banditry, the kidnappings, inequality, injustice and all the evils.
“Of late, we can see how ‘Mkpurummiri’ is destroying our youths, it is highly condemnable. We are calling on our youths to please avoid this so that they don’t get their heads out of order. This is not how they will become future leaders.
“Right now, I want to say that the government of Nigeria has not treated the South-East fairly; particularly now that we are getting into the yuletide, Enugu-Onitsha Expressway is a total disaster, Enugu-Port Harcourt they are putting it to use but it is not yet complete.
“We are calling on the minister of works to stop playing pranks and politics with the roads in the South-East. Rail transport should also be extended to the South-East; we see no reason the minister of transport should neglect his own zone.
“It is important for our government to know that most youths are angry; they are angry because they are hungry. I just heard about giving N5,000 to 50 million Nigerians, it is a disgrace. It will not bring any positives on our people. We are also frowning at galloping inflation.
“Our naira is becoming useless and something must be done about it. E-naira or whatever is not the solution at all.”
He also called on the residents of South-East not to toy with the on-going voter’s registration exercise, stressing that “these things count; South-East should stop shortchanging themselves; that’s the only way they will have a say in 2023.”
On the Church’s anniversary, Archbishop Chukwuma disclosed that, “It became a Diocese in August 1970; exactly last year August, Enugu became 50 years of its inauguration with the first Bishop, Rt, Rev. Gideon Nweke Otubelu. By the grace of God, he championed the course of Enugu Diocese for 27 years.
“Last year, when it became 50 years of Enugu’s inauguration as a Diocese, we could not celebrate because of COVID; we had to shift it to this year.

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UNICEF Alerts On 152,243 Stunted Children In Enugu

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said on Friday that 152,243 children below five years of age are stunted in Enugu State, Nigeria’s South-east.
Its Planning and Monitoring Specialist, Enugu Field Office, Maureen Zubie-Okolo, disclosed this at a policy dialogue with Enugu State executive and legislative councils on investment in nutrition.
Zubie-Okolo attributed the situation to poor nutrition arising from poor maternal, infant and young child feeding practices during the first 1,000 days of birth.
“In Enugu State, only 7.8 per cent of children below five years of age receive the minimum acceptable diet, while less than one-fifth of children 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed.
“This is a call for both the executive and legislative arms to come together to ensure that nutrition is placed on the government’s agenda,” she said.
She said malnutrition had become a silent emergency with “too little attention”.
She said that the meeting was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals agenda of ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
Zubie-Okolo said the goals also included achieving the internationally-agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children below five years of age by 2025.
UNICEF was committed to working with its partners, including the state government to achieve the agenda, she said.
Nutrition, according to her, gets low attention in Nigeria and in Enugu State and, therefore, contributes to the high global malnutrition rates.
She said that investment in scaling-up nutrition would yield immediate returns, save lives, and enable children and their mothers to have a better future.
In her contribution, a nutrition specialist, Chizoba Steve-Edemba, said the nutrition indices in Enugu State were so low and needed to be addressed.
Steve-Edemba appealed to the state government to extend maternity leave of nursing mothers to six months.

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