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Group Decries Govt’s Response To Kogi Flood

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A group, the Initiative for Grassroots Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), has lamented government’s poor response to the flood disaster in the country, particularly in Kogi State, which it observed as worst hit.
Executive Director of INGRA, Hamza Aliyu, in a statement, said nothing concrete was being done by government at all levels to cushion the effect of the devastating flood, which has ravaged homes, displaced hundreds and washed away farmlands.
He said there is need for the State Government to immediately declare a state of emergency on flooding to free up resources for managing the disaster and getting Federal assistance.
Aliyu also stressed the need for immediate audit of the preparedness of state agencies responsible for disaster management.
According to him, Local Councils must be assisted to provide immediate assistance to citizens affected by the disaster, saying that the chairmen and their councils must be responsive to the specific needs of their citizens based on their peculiarities.
“Citizens must be assisted to relocate to government coordinated camps for displaced persons. These camps must meet basic minimum human conditions for protection, safety and habitation.
“There is need for immediate mobilisation of resources by community-based organisations and citizen groups to assist displaced persons
“Kogi State is one of the states that were forewarned to experience flood this year by the Nigerian Metrological Agency, including Benue, Kebbi, Niger and Anambra states.
“The Federal agency had warned both governments and citizens in these states to take proactive measures to prevent loss of property and humans during the rainy season when it was predicted that floods would ravage the states.
“Some states and citizens heeded these warnings and began preparations for these situations. However, the scope and scale of these floods have surpassed the levels of the 2012 episode, which was the worst experienced in recent memories”, he said.
This current situation has surpassed those levels and currently threatening even high evel areas.
“Kogi State is now one of the worst hit states and towns, such as Lokoja, Onyedega, Idaho, Ajaokuta, Koton Karfe, etc are recording unprecedented levels of flooding with loss of life and property.
“It is unfortunate that the state and local councils showed little or no strategic planning towards mitigating the impacts of the predictions. This has shown in the reaction of government towards the disaster.
“Many areas of the capital have been submerged in water for two weeks with little or no response by the government. Ganaja, Gadumo, Adankolo, Old Market and Sarkin noma are now lakes and rivers where previously land and people existed.
“The rivers of the confluence have overshot it’s banks and there are reports of massive loss of properties and persons.
“This is not mentioning the attendant economic losses to the area and the state, taking into consideration the position of Lokoja, as a transit location and the state been bounded by nine other states.”

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Agriculture: NDE Earmarks N4.2m For Unemployed Youths 

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The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has concluded plans to disburse N4.2 million loan to 42 unemployed youths in Adamawa State to boost agriculture production in the State.
The NDE Director-General, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, made this known at the orientation course for beneficiaries of agricultural empowerment scheme in Yola on Wednesday.
Fikpo, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Adamawa State, Malam Ibrahim Jimada, said each beneficiary would access N100,000 as start up capital.
He said the beneficiaries were trained under the Department of Rural Empowerment scheme (REP) on sustainable agricultural development.
“They were trained on Agricultural Enhancement Scheme, Sustainable Agricultural Development Scheme, Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment and Graduation Agricultural Empowerment scheme,” he said.
The NDE boss advised beneficiaries to take advantage of the training to earn a living.
Head of Department, REP, Mr Edam Duke, commended NDE for the programme and urged the beneficiaries to be committed as they would appreciate the gesture at the end.
“Those who are serious will soon be self-employed and employers of labour. The Federal Government is committed to creating employment opportunities for youths,’’ he said.
In her remarks, Head of Department, REP scheme in Adamawa State, Zainab Audu, said farming was a lucrative business and urged beneficiaries to pay attention to the orientation for successful implementation in the field.
“With this skills you will become millionaires and employers of labour within a short time if you put it into practice,” Audu said.
She called on the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of their respective communities by ensuring peace and unity for sustainable development.
Also, Miss Deborah Gisilanbe, who spoke on behalf of the participants thanked the Federal Government and NDE for the training and gave assurance that they would utilise the opportunity toward achieving the objectives of the programme.

 

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UNICEF Commends Niger On Penta3 Vaccination Coverage

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Niger State Government for its progress in the administration of Pentavalent (Penta3) vaccine for children in the State.
Chief of Office, UNICEF, Kaduna, Mr Donald Burgess, gave the commendation at the sensitisation of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021.
It is organised by the Niger State Planning Commission in collaboration with UNICEF.
The Tide’s source reports that MICS 2021 report shows that more than 40 per cent of residents of Niger were practicing open defecation.
Burgess, who spoke through the Health Specialist, UNICEF, Kaduna Field Office, Mr Idris Baba, said Niger did well as the Penta3 vaccination rose from 20 per cent in 2016 to 39.4 per cent in 2021.
He said maternal and child mortality had reduced considerably and was far below the national average child mortality at 18 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the national was at 42 per cent.
Burgess added that the neo-natal mortality in the state was 20 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the nation was at 34 per cent.
He, however, urged the State Government to put more effort in the enrollment of out of school children especially the girl-child education which had drastically declined in the state.
He noted that educating the girl-child would help reduce maternal and child health issues as more women would be educated on their rights.
Earlier, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, expressed concerns that the State was lacking on enrollment of out-of-school children, especially the girl-child education as well as on practices of open defecation among residents.
Bello, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come up with policies and programmes to achieve better results, pledging government’s full support.
Niger State Commissioner and Deputy Chairman of Ministry for Planning Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Zakari, in his address, said the event was to brief Government on data regarding the situation of women and children in the state.
According to him, data is key to planning and policy development.

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Gov Inaugurates Skill Acquisition Centre In Enugu

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated a Skills Acquisition Centre, Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy, in the State.
The centre, which provides a veritable platform for participants, especially the youths, to acquire skills in fashion and design, makeup artistry, baking and pastry production, photography and ICT, is located in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who inspected the academy shortly after the inauguration, expressed delight at the facilities in it, and the initiative, lauding the proprietor.
Welcoming Governor Ugwuanyi and other dignitaries to the academy, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lady Princess Akunna Ubosi, disclosed that her decision to establish the facility was borne out of her burning desire to create a platform where individuals, especially youths, can easily acquire lifelong entrepreneurial skills that will reduce the high rate of unemployment in the society and also ensure a productive future for young ones.
Lady Ubosi, who is the wife of the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, added that she was also inspired by Governor Ugwuanyi’s “enormous strides in building capacity amongst our youths through various skill acquisition programmes anchored by the Enugu SMEs Centre.”
She informed the Governor that Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy is positioned and available to partner the State Government in building capacity among the people.
“The academy is willing to train verified indigent students free of charge”, she said.
She continued that, “The academy incorporates a bakery and clothing production factory through which our finished products are sold to the general public; and we are proud to note that our products are made in Enugu State to international standards.
“The world is currently in a knowledge-based economy in which ‘knowledge’ is the only meaningful factor of production.
“Therefore, creating a learning society will not be possible without building a platform where this knowledge can be transferred from one person to another”.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

 

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