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Bauchi
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator, Dass Local Government Area, Bauchi State, Mr Abubakar Ibrahim, said 351 communities will soon introduce group monetary contribution to construct modern laterines.
Ibrahim disclosed this on Wednesday in an interview with newsmen in Dass.
According to him, 90 people have been trained so far by UNICEF on the monetary contribution for the project.
The measure would go a long way to allow each household to have access to modern laterine within a short time frame, Ibrahim said.
He said that the programme, which was aimed at improving on hygiene and sanitation, would reduce diseases and bad odours emanating from toilets and drains, especially during rainy season.

Borno
The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has donated fortified foods and baby kits to 600 nursing mothers in Borno.
Mrs Buhari, who was represented by the Director of Borno Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development,  Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, said the gesture was in  line with the International Women’s Day celebration.
She said “I am happy to join other global leaders to call attention and recognize the importance of this very wonderful day.
“International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8, to recognize the great roles and contributions of women in economic development.
“Here in Borno, we want to use the special day to identify with our nursing mothers who are victims of violence”.

FCT
The Nigerian Army has warned that it is a grievous criminal offence for any individual or community to continue to shield or harbour any known Boko Haram terrorist in their midsts.
The army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, gave the warning in a statement last Thursday, in Abuja, after troops thwarted attempt by the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists to invade and attack Magumeri town.
Usman said the terrorists made the attempt on Wednesday evening to attack the town in Magumeri local government area of Borno, but that the timely invention of troops thwarted the attempt.
Operation Lafiya Dole on clearance operations in the North-East has been raiding suspected hideouts of terrorists, destroying their camps and neutralising them.
“Consequently, we are constrained to state that it is high time for the people to take up the fight and help the Nigerian military and other security agencies to protect them.

Kaduna
Save the Children, an International NGO, has advised mothers to adopt exclusive breast feeding to improve the nutritional needs of under-five children.
The Nutrition Advocacy Coordinator of the organization, Mr Ekene Ifedilichukwu,  gave the advice at media training on nutrition reporting and budgeting on Wednesday in Kaduna.
He attributed the rejection of breastfeeding by children at birth on lack of proper positioning of the child by some mothers to the nipples of the breast.
Ifedilichukwu explained that some children immediately after birth are very eager to suck breast, adding that some mothers out of ignorance do not know how exactly to position such children  to gain access to the nipple of the breast.
According to him, when the child realised that in spite of all his struggles he could not access the breast on several occasions he had tried, the brain signals him that the breast was not meant for him, hence the rejection.

Katsina
The National Association of Cassava Growers has appointed the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk, as its grand patron.
The President of the association, Pastor Segun Adewunmi, who presented the letter of appointment to the Emir in Daura last Thursday,  said the appointment took immediate effect.
He said the association appointed the emir to such office because of his contributions to agriculture and wise counsel to the association.
According to Adewunmi, cassava production is one of the lucrative ventures capable of generating revenue for the nation, especially if the crop is promoted the same way as other cash crops.

Kogi State House of Assembly was again forced to adjourn sitting last Wednesday due to the excessive heat and faulty generating set to power the air conditioners at the chamber.
Our  correspondent who covered that  the proceedings at the Assembly reports that the problem was compounded by lack of regular powered supply in the area.
The Assembly could not sit on Tuesday due to the same challenges.
The Majority Leader of the House, Matthew Kolawole (PDP-Kabba-Bunu), moved a motion for the adjournment of sitting.
He urged that the three items on the Order Paper for the day be stepped down for deliberation another day.

Lagos
The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army last Wednesday, said it had set up a Board of Inquiry (BOI), and  detained six soldiers over the brutality of a woman in Lagos state.
The incident on 12 March, according to the Division’s spokesperson, Lt.-Col. Olaolu Daudu, happened in Odoguyan, Ikorodu area of Lagos.
It involved soldiers of 174 Battalion and the woman attacked has been identified in various reports as Ruth Orji.
According to reports, the Joint Legal Action Aids, which is representing her has already sued the military authorities, asking for N250million in damages.
In their reaction to the incident, the military authorities failed to disclose the names of the victim and her attackers.

Nasarawa
The Education Secretary, Lafia Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa, Mr Mohammed Haliru, has threatened to sanction teachers abandoning their duty posts without official permissions.
Haliru, who gave the warning on Thursday in Lafia at a meeting with head teachers of public primary schools, said that such an action amounted to dereliction of duty.
He said that the decision was to enhance the performance of teachers in the area and be fully committed to what they were employed and being paid to do.
Haliru said that truancy, lack of punctuality, among other negative attitudes demonstrated by some teachers, were factors responsible for the fallen standard of education in the area.

Niger
The Niger State Government said it has made provisions in the 2017 budget to provide free learning materials to pupils in public schools to encourage more enrolments.
The State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Minna, recently.
Madugu said children in public schools would be provided free school uniforms and other instructional materials to attract more enrolments.
She noted that the state free education programme had increased girl-child enrolment in schools drastically unlike in the past.
She noted that the provision of free learning materials would totally take children off the streets and reduce child labour.

Osun
To improve the quality of education in the country, government at all levels must invest in teachers’ education.
The Permanent Secretary, Osun Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Kolawole Fatai,  said this in an interview with newsmen in Osogbo last Wednesday.
Fatai said it was imperative for government to ensure that teachers were trained to become better qualified in their profession.
“There is urgent need for government to invest more in teachers’ education, because it is not possible to teach what you don’t know.
“Our teachers need to be exposed to training from time to time for them to meet international standards”, he said.
The SUBEB boss also called on government to adequately motivate teachers, saying lack of motivation would surely kill teachers’ morale.

Oyo
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has urged journalists to place children’s well-being at the centre of child right abuses’ reportage in accordance with best global practices.
The UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos Office, Mrs Blessing Ejiofor, made the call  last Wednesday in Ibadan at the opening of a two-day media workshop on ethical reporting on children.
Ejiofor revealed that reportage given to incidents of child rights  abuses in the country, if not in accordance with ethical journalism, often  end up doing more harm than good.
“We all know that reporting on children and young people has its special challenges. In some instances, the act of reporting on children places them or other children at risk of retribution or stigmatisation.
“Hence,  the aim of  this workshop is to share with journalists some developed guidelines and principles that would assist them cover children in an age appropriate and sensitive manner,’’  she said.

Plateau
The Plateau Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it is poised to curb drug addiction among youths in the state through sensitisation.
The Commandant of the corps in the state, Mrs Ngozi Madubuike, said this in an interview with  newsmen last Thursday in Jos.
Madubuike said that the command had embarked on intensive drug abuse awareness and sensitisation campaign targeted at different groups with emphasis on the youth population.
She said the command would achieve the goal by ensuring that the demand and supply of both psychotropic substances, cocaine and cannabis sativa were reduced to the barest minimum.
According to her, once people, especially the youths, are well informed about the dangers of drug abuse the demand will drastically reduce and this will affect the supply.

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NPC Assures Accurate Tech-Driven 2023 Census

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The Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, has said there is no going back on the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
Kwarra assured that everything has been put in place to ensure the success of the exercise and called for the support of all stakeholders including the civil society organisations, development partners and governments at all levels for its success.
Speaking at the Benue State Stakeholders Summit on the Population and Housing  Census organised by the NPC in collaboration with Benue State Government, Kwarra reiterated that the Commission would conduct an exercise that would be technology driven to achieve the best outcome.
He stated that, “preparation for the conduct of the 2023 census has reached a point of no return; we have reach a point where we cannot jettison the exercise.
“We have done the digital mapping and we have done the census pre-test and everything was successful. We therefore want to assure Nigerians that the figures that will come out at the end of the exercise will be the exact figures.
The Chairman commended President Muhammadu Buhari who despite the challenges facing the country was committed to having the country conduct a successful population census.
He also commended Governor Samuel Ortom for supporting the exercise stating that the commitment showed the Governor’s understanding of the importance of demographic data to the development of the state
“That is why I urge Benue people to present themselves to be counted”, he said.
Declaring the Summit open, Governor Ortom said the meeting availed traditional rulers and stakeholders necessary information that would help them support the exercise better.
While urging the people of the state to deemphasize politics and support the conduct of the exercise to ensure its success, Ortom said.”

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Rising Insecurity In S’West Bothers Traditional Rulers, Experts

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Security experts, traditional rulers and other professionals have raised alarm over the rising wave of insurgence in the South West region, attributing it to the non-commitment of the Federal Government and its agencies to the protection of lives and property of the citizenry.
The experts made the assertion at a workshop organized by “The Yoruba Leadership Peace and Initiatives” with the theme “Safety and Security in Yorubaland”,  in Ibadan.
The Chairman, Western Security Network, Oyo State, Brigadier General Kunle Togun, (rtd), Rear Admiral Leye Jayeola, Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin and other speakers noted with dismay the rising waves of insecurity, its economic impact and threat to the lives of the people.
General Togun submitted that the government has failed in its constitutional responsibility of protecting the lives and property of its citizenry as there are daily reported cases of kidnapping, killings and other heinous acts nationwide
He said, “the way we are practising the adopted presidential system of government is not the same way it is being practised in the United States of America.
“Each state in America”, according to him, “operates under separate laws, which enable the establishment of state police. But in Nigeria, the reverse is the case”.
The former top military brass, who advocated for the establishment of State Police for effective policing, blamed the Federal Government for frustrating the efforts of the Western Security Networks, code-named Amotekun, to arm its men with sophisticated weapons to combat bandits, kidnappers and perpetrators of other heinous acts.
“Amotekun can only arrest and investigate but cannot prosecute offenders. But the sad aspect of it is that after arrest and investigation, the police authorities will release the suspect under the excuse that it is a bailable offence.
“Also, while local vigilantes and Neighbourhood watch from other regions are allowed to carry Ak-47, Amotekun is only licenced to carry Dane guns to combat criminals with sophisticated weapons.
“If truly, we are practising a presidential system of government, what is obtainable in the US should be obtainable in Nigeria as well”, he emphasized.
Speaking in the same vein, Rear Admiral Leye Jaiyeola (rtd) stated that Nigeria Police has the capability to curtail the activities of the kidnappers and bandits, if trained, equipped and motivated.
He added that the military is not trained to handle civil cases except in extreme situations but the police are trained in this aspect.
In her presentation, a University don, Dr Modupe Albert, called for synergy among the various security agencies.
According to her, we need synergy among the various security agencies to combat kidnapping, banditry and other vices in the region.
On his part, the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Osun State, Oba Adedokun Abolarinwa, blamed insurgence on poverty and unemployment.
He said insecurity would continue to persist once youth across the nation are not productive and engaged to contribute to the development of the country.

He, therefore, urged stakeholders in Yorubaland not to see the security of the region as the sole duty of the government, but as the duty of all, adding that democracy and stability cannot thrive without security.

According to him, Yoruba people should put aside their personal interests and differences and support the call for the security of the lives and property of people in the region.

In his words, “poverty in the land is caused by unemployment. Let’s attack the issue of poverty in the rural areas, let’s be our brother’s keepers and chart a pathway to unite and tackle insecurity in this region.

“Let us all get involved, we cannot afford to leave everything to the government, we traditional rulers have our role to play in the safety of Yorubaland and everybody also has to contribute their quota towards the security of our region.

“There can’t be development without security, all hands must be on deck.

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FG Moves To Protect Children In Digital Environment

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In a bid to protect children in today’s varied digital world, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Malam Isah Pantami, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at the end of the Cabinet Meeting in Abuja last Wednesday.
Pantami said the policy was in line with the International Telecommunication Union’s policy document for all its member countries and aimed at protecting children from the harmful side of the digital environment.
“There are many benefits of going online; the world population reached 10 billion on November 15, 2022.
“Today, we have around 6.3 billion people online and by implication, among this number, you will discover many children.
“They will not be able to differentiate what is beneficial and what is harmful.
“According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, more than one billion children were online during COVID-19 lockdowns for their studies because schools were shut.
“Today, without any solicitation, you will discover that many things are coming into your device on-line and unsolicited,’’ the Minister said.
Pantami said children would not beable to avoid such unsolicited items online which would definitely affect their innocence  morally and otherwise.
“The document has been titled: `keeping children safe in the digital environment’.
“All member countries have been urged to ensure they come up with a policy where children will be protected.
“It is because of this that we organised stakeholder engagement, where we invited around 37 institutions of government since it is multi-sector issue.
“The Ministry of Information and Culture, the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Orientation Agency, among others, have roles to play.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser and other security agencies have roles to play; the Ministry of Justice has a role to play to differentiate what is legal and what is illegal,’’ Pantami added.
He said the cabinet also approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of data being submitted to government and to other institutions.
The Minister said FEC also approved the National Duct One Policy aimed at institutionalising the provision of ducts during construction at federal, state a local government levels.
“This is the global best practice today.
“Before construction and even during the conceptualisation and design, there should be provision for ducts for road construction, bridges, rail lines, sea ports, and any important building,’’ Pantami said.

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