Wild Africa Fund unveils Nigeria’s first wildlife show for kids

Wild Africa Fund has launched a new wildlife-focused television series, Dr Mark Animal TV Show, for kids between ages seven and 14.

This is contained in a statement by Wild Africa Fund Nigeria’s Representative, Mr Festus Iyorah, on Saturday in Lagos.

“The kiddies show premieres this Saturday and every other Saturday at 8.45 a.m. on Silverbird TV DSTV channel 252, StarTimes Channel 109, and GOTV channel 92/192.

“The show will educate children between ages seven and 14 on Nigeria’s amazing wildlife and the need to protect them,” the statement said.

It said that Nigeria had become a transit hub for the illegal wildlife trade of pangolin scales and ivory in the last few years.

The statement noted that the Nigeria Customs Service had made four major seizures of pangolin scales, ivory, and other wildlife parts in the last 13 months.

It added that there was a growing appetite for bushmeat consumption, especially among urban dwellers in Nigeria.

“Conservationists say illegal wildlife trade and a demand for bushmeat have sharply declined Nigeria’s wildlife and biodiversity.

“They estimate that Nigeria has fewer than 50 lions, 100 gorillas, 500 elephants, and 2,300 chimpanzees left in the wild.

“Generally, ignorance and low awareness about Nigeria’s amazing biodiversity and the importance wild animals play in the environment have contributed to the continuous destruction of Nigeria’s wildlife.

“These existential challenges have inspired the need for public awareness and educational materials that educate the general public, especially young people who are best equipped to save our environment for future generations,” it said.

The statement quoted Mr Peter Knights, Founder of Wild Africa Fund and the Executive producer of the new TV show as saying that kids would enjoy the show.

“We hope that kids will be excited to learn about these animals and how we must protect them for their futures,” Knights said.

The statement added that Mark’s Animal TV show would enlighten children on the human and ecological importance of wild animals such as pangolins, lions and African grey parrots, among others.

It said that the children would also learn fun facts about these animals including domestic animals like dogs.

The statement said that a quiz competition had been scheduled to inspire retentive knowledge in kids at the end of the show.

It said that the animal show comes at a time local content for children, especially on the environment, is nonexistent.

The statement also quoted Iyorah as saying that Wild African Fund would continue to invest in educational wildlife content.

“We plan to invest in educational wildlife content that will empower children as the next generation of wildlife ambassadors.

“We expect children to impact their cycle of influence with what they learnt from watching the show,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Senate President: Group canvasses support for Sen. Akpabio

A socio-political group, Us4Us Movement, has canvassed the support of the national leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for Sen. Godswill Akpabio to be become the 10th Senate President.

Convener of the group, Mr Richard Romanus, made the call during an interaction with newsmen after an extraordinary meeting of the group held on Sunday in Calabar.

Romanus said that Akpabio had made huge political sacrifices for the party; hence he should be rewarded and supported for the position of the 10th President of the Senate.

He explained that the Us4Us Movement is made up of young political enthusiasts across all political parties in Nigeria.

According to him, the group exist with the sole aim of advancing the socio-political wellbeing of young people and advocating for good governance in Nigeria.

“Bearing in mind the huge sacrifices Sen. Akpabio made in the interest of the party and for stepping down his presidential ambition unconditionally for Sen. Bola Tinubu, he should be compensated.

“His stepping down overwhelmingly helped in midwifing a seamless victory for Sen. Tinubu during the national convention of the APC.

“Also, we are aware that Sen. Akpabio worked assiduously to deliver more than the constitutionally required 25 per cent vote to the APC in a Peoples Democratic Party controlled state like Akwa Ibom.

“The leadership of Us4Us Movement hereby resolve to support and appeal for Sen. Akpabio to be elected as the Senate President of the incoming 10th Assembly.

“We call on the vast majority of elected Senators to galvanize their support for the Senate Presidential ambition of Akpabio,” he said.

Romanus added that in the interest of fairness and expanding the party in the South South geopolitical zone, the leadership of the APC should zone the office of the Senate President to the South-South region.

He noted that the Us4Us Movement was of strong opinion that the interest of young people, especially within the South-South geopolitical zone, would be best protected by Akpabio as Senate President.

“We the members of Us4Us Movement hereby unanimously adopt and endorse Akpabio for Senate President, on the strength of his unrivalled track record of performance and commitment to the party and the people of Nigeria.

“We urge other elected members of the incoming 10th Senate and the leadership of the APC to overwhelmingly support Akpabio in the spirit of fairness, credibility and competence,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Development expert advises in-coming govt. to leverage on women

A development expert and researcher, Dr Nkemdilim Ene, has advised the in-coming administration to leverage on women to take development faster to grassroots communities in Nigeria.

Ene gave the advice in Abuja on Sunday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the expectations of Nigerian women as the country gets set to inaugurate a new government on May 29.

On Feb. 25, Nigeria held a landmark presidential election, to keep democracy going in Africa’s most populous nation, which returned to elective governance in 1999 after years of military rule.

“Research has shown that the inclusion of women in leadership has contributed significantly to socio-economic growth.

“This shows that sustainable national development requires the contributions of women,’’ said Ene, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Preston Associates International Development Ltd., an Abuja-based think-thank.

She described womenfolk as the magic wand that could be used by the government to engender development and make Nigeria to rise above its current challenges.

“I appeal to government to be deliberate in encouraging women and girls to partake in digital opportunities available to them because this can change lives of women and that of their immediate communities.’’

The researcher said that government should also find ways to utilise the opportunities offered by technology as a tool in promoting gender equality in Nigeria.

“It can be as simple as increasing access to smart phones, cash transfers and digital financial literacy skills that can strengthen women’s decision-making abilities and enhance bargaining power in their homes,’’ Ene advised.

Commenting on the just-concluded International Women’s Day, Ene said that the lot of women in Nigeria was getting brighter, “although a lot still has to be done.

“The theme for this year’s celebration – `DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ underscores the need to equip our women with technological know-how,’’ she stated.

The youthful Ene, who holds a bachelor of medicine and surgery degree also has expansive experience in public health and gender issues.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FG confirms May 3 for commencement of 2023 Census

The 2023 National Population and Housing Census is to commence on May 3, the Federal Government has confirmed.

Dr Garba Abari, a member of the Publicity and Advocacy Committee on 2023 National Population and Housing Census, confirmed this on Sunday in Abuja when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum.

He said that the three-day exercise would commence May 3 and end on May 5 across the country.

Abari, who is the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), explained that the census exercise would capture every person, household and structure for national planning and project execution purposes.

According to him, the change in the date was due to the postponement of the 2023 gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“That change by INEC made it mandatory for us to also adjust the date for the conduct of the exercise,” he said.

He described the census and the 2023 elections as major national events with significant importance which had earlier been planned to hold not too far away from each other.

“ The census had to be put forward from the initial date of March 29 to April 2nd, now to May 3rd to 5th.

“ There are two things that informed the shift in date. First, in the course of our planning by the National Population Commission, it was so factored that INEC will also tinker with its own electoral timetable.

“The gubernatorial election, as you are aware, had to be shifted by one week. This had a telling effect on the date of

commencement of the census.

“Just like election, the Census is also a very long process, from the training, the sub-trainings, retraining leading uptill the very day of the actual house listing and numbering.

“These will then be followed by the actual capture of the population.”

On the level of preparedness, the NOA boss assured the nation that the National Population Commission was ready to embark on the exercise.

He described the exercise as a significant event that would aid national planning and execution of developmental projects.

He said: “Most of the information that have gone out to the public about the census like the awareness creation, sensitisation, enlightenment, advocacy around the census have all been taking place.

“Perhaps, not on a scale that will make us feel comfortable to say every Nigerian is now census conscious, census aware, in spite of the very significant role that it has to play in our national life.

“But, clearly, the census is absolutely important because it is for development, planning, security, infrastructure development, educational, health and other demographic considerations all encapsulating in one.’’

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

2023 census will be digital- NOA

The 2023 National Population and Housing Census will be conducted digitally to ensure credibility and efficiency, Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), says.

He made this known when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday.

Abari, who is a member of the National Publicity and Advocacy Committee on Census, said the exercise would be facilitated by the use of digital technology, contrary to previous census conducted in the country.

He said ‘’this is one census that is going to be different from previous ones. To enhance the credibility of the exercise, this census is going to be digital.

‘’In the house listing and numbering, the National Population Commission (NPC) has perfected the space and got the point much beyond what google has done in the mapping.

‘’In terms of specificity and the correctness of the capture of every house and hamlet in Nigeria, NPC has gone far beyond what google had done.

‘’We may not say that we are absolutely 100 per cent correct, but 99 per cent of all houses, structures within the enclave of Nigeria’s territory had been captured digitally, far beyond what google can provide in terms of specificity.’’

The NOA boss explained that the digitalisation of the exercise would enhance credibility, ensure accurate data and respond to modern technology, in line with global practice.

He said ‘’digitalisation will enhance the credibility because there is a common template for

the exercise and that is all will be sent to the cloud.

‘’In our previous census exercises, we allowed perhaps owning to lack of sufficient knowledge about what the entire exercise is about.

‘’It was looked at from the prism of one region is larger than the other; one state is bigger than another, one local government is bigger than another, one senatorial district is bigger than another.

‘’And in the process, you miss out the most important element of the programme, which is getting sufficient data for planning.

“But the 2023 census is going to be a scientific census; a digital census that responds to the reality of today, responds to the information and technological revolution; it is a census that is aimed at bringing in credible, acceptable, open and transparent force,’’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Census: NOA begins nationwide sensitisation, advocacy

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has started nationwide sensitisation and advocacy to educate Nigerians about the forthcoming National Population and Housing Census.

Director-General of the agency, Garba Abari, said this when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday.

He said that the sensitisation is to enlighten the public about the importance of census toward national planning and development.

Abari, who is a member of the National Publicity and Advocacy Committee for the census said ‘’the National Population Commission (NPC) has an elaborate publicity in the media advocacy workplan that will definitely saturate the airwaves in the next few weeks starting from today.

‘’The NPC is not unaware of the role of advocacy, enlightenment and sensitisation in creating necessary awareness around the census issue.

‘’Now that we have put the general elections behind us, the next important national event ahead of us is the national census,” he said.

He, therefore, appealed to the media, Civil Society Organisations, religious and traditional leaders, as well as other stakeholders to sensitise the public about the exercise and encourage them to participate fully.

‘’The media, community leadership, community ombudsmen, religious leaders, professional groups, everybody will be brought on board through conscious, extensive and expansive process and programmes to ensure necessary knowledge, awareness among Nigerians.

‘’It is not as if Nigerians are not aware of the census, perhaps what they need to see is continuous and consistency in awareness.

‘’There will be consistent messages every minute through the media, radio, social media, town criers, newspaper, television and discussions,’’ he said.

He reiterated the commitment of NOA in carrying out sensitisation programmes across every local government, especially rural areas, on the need to be captured in the exercise.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NOA D-G cautions politicians against inciting statements

Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), has cautioned politicians against inciting comments capable of threatening the peace and unity of the country.

Abari spoke on Sunday in Abuja when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“Some politicians are fanning the embers of disunity through hate speech and derogative comments over the 2023 general elections.

“This trend is dangerous and highly inimical to the peace and unity of the country.

“The elections are over, but the language of politicians still remain toxic and intemperate. This is escalating the social tension.

“It is providing room for those who do not believe in the unity of the country to go about pulling from centrifugal perspectives in order to pull down the roof,’’ he said.

The NOA boss, however, commended those embracing constitutional means to seek redress instead of trying to push for social strife and violence.

Abari particularly urged politicians and their supporters to desist from using denigrating, offensive, hateful or inflammatory remarks.

“The elections have come and gone, the elections have been lost and they have been won; there are those who are happy and there are those who are aggrieved.

“Our country has provided constitutional processes to seek redress from such incidences; the laws of the land have given us opportunity to seek redress.

“Politicians must realise that there is life after elections and I want the media, in its reportage, to be very sensitive to the sensibility of Nigerians,’’ he said.

According to Abari, Nigeria must survive for anybody to actualise whatever political ambition he or she has.

He said, “When we have no country, we will have no government, we will have no National Assembly members, we will have no President nor Vice President and no governor.

“So, whatever it is that we are going to do, without prejudice to the right of everybody to feel the way he or she feels, please allow peace to reign.

“It is a right to feel angry and also a right to feel happy but talk in such a way that the country remains peaceful, stable and secure,’’ Abari said.

He further urged politicians not to create a situation that would lead to a breakdown of law and order through actions that are intemperate and wholesome.

“We are better together; if Nigeria breaks, which country in Africa can take 200 million refugees from Nigeria?

“God, in his infinite mercy, brought the Kanuri, Efik, Ijaw, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Tiv, Nupe, Igala, Benin and all other tribes we have in Nigeria together.

“We didn’t bargain to be here, God put us here, so we must be conscious of this.

“God has blessed Nigeria abundantly in terms of population, expansive land mass, resources, talents. So, we must be thankful to Him through actions that will bring out these bounties for the benefit of all.

“The path to greatness depends on how much we are able to respect and tolerate one another and contribute our quota to national development.

“It is easy to destroy but absolutely difficult to rebuild,’’ Abari warned.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Stakeholders harp on collaboration for industrial revolution

Stakeholders have called for collaboration among the governments, academia and industry for revolution in the Nigeria’s industrialisation through research and development of commercialisation of raw materials and local production.

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the Executive Secretary, of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr Bello Gusau; Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Kayode Adebowale and Chief Executive Officer, Jola Global Industry Ltd. and Dr Moses Omojola, were among the stakeholders who spoke in Ibadan.

They made the call at the Knowledge Sharing Workshop, organised by the University of Ibadan, in collaboration with PTDF.

The theme was: “Nigerian Petroleum Industry and Energy Transition: Opportunities for Research, Innovation and Development.”

Gusau, represented by Mr Olayinka Agboola of Strategic Planning and Documentation (SP&D) Department, PTDF, said that the fund, as agent of government for building capacity in the oil and gas industry, used avenues like human capacity building, institutional support and funding research and development.

He said the organisation has eight endowment funding in various institutions in Nigeria, adding that in UI, PTDF has endowed chairs funded to conduct research in topical areas in Oil and Gas Industry.

According to him, the event is one of the outcomes of all the researches that the chair of the fund had conducted over the years.

We tried to expand the frontiers of knowledge based on the outcome of research and developmental efforts, which we have funded.

“You don’t do research in isolation; you have to work with stakeholders because at the end of the day researches are supposed to translate into products in the market.

“So, you need to have an industry, the institution and the government and the triple elites need to be applied to ensure that the researches are effective and you will be able to generate value.

“We don’t want to be funding theoretical researches that would just end up on the shelf in the laboratories in the institutions.

“We have to make sure that researches are adopted and applied in the industry, you have to collaborate with all the relevant stakeholders.”

Adebowale, in his remarks as Chairman of the occasion, said that knowledge sharing had been the direction of building the triple-elite model, desirable in the university, which would strengthen the link between academia and the industry.

He lamented that there were so many researches lacking impact, saying that they were just research for theoretical purposes or advancement in the career ladder.

Adebowale underscored researches that focussed on solving challenges in the industry and sourcing local raw materials that would replace the expensive ones being imported.

“This would solve so many of our problems and halt wasting of our meagre foreign exchange.

“The Oil and Gas Industry needs considerable research and we know that if town and gown do not collaborate, it will be difficult for us to solve specific challenges,” he said.

According to him, this is to prevent all our research and development centres from just relocating outside the country.

“Because, only when we have an effective handshake between the academia and industry, that we can develop our research and development to compete favourably and then industries would not relocate their research and development centres outside the country,” Adebowale said.

One of the lead presenters, Omojola, identified industrialisation as the way out from the present economic challenges facing the country.

He urged the Federal Government to encourage industrialisation by addressing the nation’s energy challenge.

“So much money is spent on energy and if it is not addressed, there is no way our products can compete with the imported goods. We can produce so many SMEs, but they cannot survive without energy,” Omojola said.

Also, a Professor of Petroleum Engineering in UI, Sunday Isehunwa, said Nigeria could address its carbon targets, if it could look inward through research, innovation and development.

Isehunwa, also one of the speakers at the event, said that energy demand would keep rising, saying this was because “energy is linked to development” .

Earlier, Prof Olugbenga Falode, Head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering in UI, said there were various challenges bedeviling the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry based on environmental issues and the rising cost of operations.

Falode said that optimising the “golden egg” was critical for the industry to survive.

“So, there are big chances for oil and gas in navigating the energy transition as it responds to the challenges it is currently confronted with, it must address the issue of human capital development,” he said.

Falode however, highlighted the roles of PTDF in developing indigenous manpower and technology transfer in the petroleum industry as well as to make the country “a no-man-resource-centre for the West African sub-region”.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Stakeholders lament absence of GBV court in Ebonyi

The Ebonyi Gender-based Violence (GBV) Taskforce has decried the non-availability of a special court for GBV cases saying it poses challenges to efforts in giving quick justice to victims.

Mrs Faithvin Nwanchor, Ebonyi Coordinator, GBV Task force, made this known on Sunday during a quarterly GBV stakeholders coordinators meeting in Abakaliki.

The meeting was organised and funded by the USAID-Integrated Health Programme (USAID-IHP), in collaboration with the state’s GBV Taskforce.

Nwanchor, also a Focal Person on Gender in the Ministry of Justice, Ebonyi, stated that there is a need to install the court as provided in the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law .

According to her, since inception, effective awareness on the dangers of GBV as well as the encouragement for survivors to speak out, had improved.

She also identified the lack of mobility as challenges limiting prompt responses to the matters.

“Our greatest challenge is lack of speedy dispensation of justice. We hope that the GBV court, when set up, will deal with gender-based issues,” Nwanchor said.

Mr Augustine Onwe, the Gender Social Inclusion and Community Engagement Advisor IHP-USAID, said that the programme provides technical supports aimed at addressing all issues of GBV in the state.

Onwe added that the IHP programme is also geared towards eliminating maternal new born, child mortality and mobility in the state.

“We have been providing technical support to the ministry of health in the state and intervening in different areas such as maternal health, nutrition, immunisation and implementation of gender social inclusion.

“The idea of the meeting with the critical stakeholders was to find an avenue to continue to make our work better for the society” Onwe said.

Mrs Florence Egwu, Focal Personal at One-stop Centre, National Obstetrics Fistula Centre, said physical, economic, emotional and sexual violence were major challenges facing the people.

She urged the stakeholders to always enlighten people on the danger and consequences associated with the trend.

She encouraged the stakeholders to show more commitment in reducing GBV to the barest minimum in the state.

Mrs Bertha Offor, the Head, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) in Ebonyi, recommended empowerment and building skills of survivors to improve their livelihoods.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Pilgrims express hope of better Nigeria

Nigerians on pilgrimage in Israel on Sunday urged their compatriots to remain positive in their hope for a better nation.

A cross-section of the 9th batch of the 2022 pilgrims gave the advice in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while touring the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.

The Pool of Bethesda is the place where Jesus Christ miraculously healed a paralyzed, according to Christian tradition.

The Nigerians prayed at the pool — where Jesus healed the 38-year-old paralytic man, who never saw his miracle coming — asking God to intervene in Nigeria’s economic woes.

They also committed the challenges faced by their fatherland to God for a turnaround, believing that with God all things are possible.

Mrs Caroline Adepoju, Deputy Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, said she believed strongly that Nigeria’s glory would be restored.

“Faith, hope and love abide. I believe Nigeria will be better. Nigeria will overcome its challenges. Nigeria is a developing country and we will get there someday.

“Let’s be patient and stop the comparison with developed nations, they did not get there in one day.

“The paralytic was patiently waiting for his turn. It even came in a way he did not expect. So let us be patient in our prayers for our country.

According to Adepoju, through prayers and proper guide, children with various exposures will also contribute their quota in Nigeria’s sustainable development.

Also speaking, a cleric, Rev. Simeon Aderibigbe, admonished Nigerians to stop their constant fears of failure.

According to him, people should drop their failure where they failed and move on: “dare to forget about yesterday’s failure.

“Cultivate the habit of praying every morning and night, cultivate the habit of thanking God for everything.

Aderibigbe advised Nigerians to show mercy to people in distress, saying that Nigerians needed to appreciate God for everything.

“Do not be lazy. God will bless the work of your hand. Do not put the horse before the cart, find something doing. Take steps and move on.”

The clergyman also expressed his optimism that Nigeria would encounter breakthroughs and make impacts on the global arena.

The highpoint of the tour was prayers at the home of Mary, the Mother of Christ, who hailed from Bethesda, according to biblical records.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

I’m not contesting governorship under LP- Sen. Araraume

Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume says he is not contesting the Imo governorship election under the Labour Party (LP) as he still remains a bona fide All Progressive Party (APC) member.

In a statement by Uche Anyanwu, his

SA Legal and Public Affairs, Araraume described the rumour about such moves as fake and unfounded.

“The attention of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has been drawn to the mischievous and fake list of Labour Party governorship aspirants, making rounds in Sections of the Media wherein his name was published as having picked the expression of interest form to run for the office of governor in Imo state, under the Labour Party (LP).

“Senator Arararaume hereby reiterates unequivocally that he is still a bonafide member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Director of Trade and Economic Affairs (South) of the APC presidential campaign council (PCC).” he said.

Araraume reiterated that he is not a member of LP and has not picked or paid for any the party’s nomination form.

He said that he does not intend to pick the nomination form of the LP now or later in this dispensation.

“Senator Araraume is a responsible member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and does not even have the faintest idea who the Labour Party ward chairmam is in his immediate ward.”

Araraume said he is not a man to shy away from what he believes in and will not approach the Governoship contest in Imo state through the back door.

He added that his intentions about the would be without ambiguity whenever he decides to throw his hat into the ring for a contest which he has the requisite qualifications and capacity.

“The fake aspirants list under the Imo state Labour Party is a fabrication and the work of mischief makers, who are bent on using his name to score cheap political victory.”

The 2023 Imo State governorship election will take place on Nov. 11 due to the late inauguration of incumbent Gov. Hope Uzodinma of the APC.

Uzodinma is eligible to run for re-election, but has not yet stated whether he will do so.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

2023 Census: Ensure you are counted, NOA tells Nigerians

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged Nigerians to make themselves available for counting during the conduct of the 2023 National Population and Housing Census.

The Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, made the call during the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday.

NAN reports that the country is getting set for national population and housing census in May.

Abari, who is a member of the National Publicity and Advocacy Committee on census, said that the exercise is due to begin on May 3.

He, therefore, appealed to the media to help in educating Nigerians about the importance of presenting themselves for the headcount when it begins.

He said ‘’I urge Nigerians to participate fully in the exercise so as to avail the country of the benefits that can be derived from the population and housing census.

‘’Nigerians, please remember you count, so come out and be counted. Census is for all of us and census is for development and development is all we need.’’

While highlighting the importance of census to national planning and development, he emphasised the need for accurate figures that would be credible and acceptable, saying ‘’in this day and era, we cannot be planning on the basis of conjectures.’’

The NOA boss said that the technology to be deployed for the exercise would facilitate its credibility and acceptability.

“The technology to be deployed will make it difficult for anyone to manipulate the process.

“No doubt, the exercise will be different from previous ones because we are advancing through the use of modern technologies,’’ he said.

He added that so far, every building in the country had been coded for the purpose, assuring Nigerians not to expect manipulations in the forthcoming census.

He expressed the commitment of NOA to mobilise Nigerians for the exercise through robust sensitisation.

He said that the Federal Government’s consideration of the 2023 census as a priority programme in spite of challenges confronting the country underscored why Nigerians should participate in the process.

He added that ”we will ensure that all Nigerians are well informed to be properly counted.

‘’We need to sensitise the population to know the importance of the national population census.

‘’This is for the purpose of planning, legislative representation and insecurity that will reflect the peculiarity of our national demography— men, women, youths and children per local government, state and geo political zone.

‘’Be assured of the commitment to conduct a credible digital census in the country,’’ Abari said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Stakeholders okay new standard curriculum for training of caregivers to elderly

Stakeholders in the healthcare sector have agreed to the full implementation of new formulated standard curriculum for training of caregivers to the elderly in the country.

The stakeholders made this known to newsmen on Saturday the end of a 3-day “Stakeholders engagement on the development of national benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training caregivers to older persons” in Abuja.

The stakeholders’ engagement was organised by the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), UNFPA and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

The stakeholders expressed the need for relevant agencies, states and local governments to get involved in the project.

The Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) Dr. Emem Omokaro said the meeting was geared towards building a concensus on the need to develop a national benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training different levels of caregivers.

Omokaro said some of the stakeholders and agencies that have statutory mandate in social and healthcare had issued their commitment towards supporting and certifying the project.

”We have NBTE for certification of skills, we have NPHCDA, Nursing and Midwifery Council, WHO, Federal Ministry of Health, UNFPA and other existing care agencies; so for the past three-days we have brain stormed on the challenges of ageing and care provision in Nigeria.

”We build concensus and that’s the communique that all the agencies signed that there’s need to develop a national benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training different levels of caregivers.

”And for standardisation of care agencies and even certification of care agencies operators in Nigeria, So, what we are coming-out here with is a draft benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training this different levels of caregivers and also certifying care agency operators.

“What these means is that we have to now move here to validation after having harmonised the zero draft.

“It means we have to now move to states because if we say it is national, then states have make inputs, so what we have here is a zero draft.”

Omokaro, therefore, assured the stakeholders that the process of validating the draft document would commence in earnest.

”Now, we are going to embark on validation exercise to ensure that we capture even the voices of stakeholders consultative forum on ageing, voices of older persons and then we have input from state departments and agencies in charge of older persons, social welfare departments because these concerns everybody.

”So, it is really an excitement for us in the NSCC to initiated these programmes and to have been able to strategically bring all the actors.

”We are hoping that by August 2023, we will finish the validation exercise and by then we will have a guideline document for administering care to older persons in Nigeria.

”We are calling on all the experts and some more because we now want to develop a standard guidelines and regulations as a policy document,” she said.

The Special Assistant to the President on Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Musa Bungudu said the project was critical and important to the welfare of older persons in Nigeria.

Bumgudu commended the centre for initiating the programme aimed at providing psycho-social and health support to the senior citizens in the country.

”I really commend the experts for coming together to develop a training framework that we never had, infact up till, yesterday I couldn’t believe the modules for the training that was developed we don’t have it in Nigeria,” he said.

Mrs Lilian Sule-Jiringho, the Founder of the Centre for Happy Elderly People (CHEP) said the engagement afforded her the opportunity to understand a new dynamics in caring for the elderly.

Sule-Jiringho promised to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in administering care for the elderly in her centre.

”My expectations is to see that I have been able to formalised all the training I acquired here and now with the existence of NSCC, who initiated the stakeholders meeting for developing a standard curriculum for training caregivers for the past three-days; we will continue to improve our services.

”When I go back, I am going use the knowledge acquired to improve on my work. So I am very happy to be part of this programme,” she said.

Dr Emmanuel Osundu, the Administrator of Tender Loving Care, an NGO expressed confidence on the ability of the centre to achieve its target of formulating a unique standard procedure for managing the health and wellbeing of older persons in Nigeria.

”We are here as stakeholders to develop policies and procedures on how to manage the health of the elderly. What I am going home with today is that we have achieved the purpose that is designed for us to come here.

”In terms of developing policies, procedures, benchmarks on how to manage the health of the elderly in Nigeria, that’s our theme and that’s what we accomplished here today.” he said

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Lt.-Gen. Diya was pioneer in many endeavours – Aide

Mr Olawale Adekoya, Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to deceased Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya, on Sunday described him as a pioneering leader in many endeavours.

Born at Odogbolu, Ogun, on April 3, 1944, Diya died on March 26 at a Lagos Hospital at the age of 79.

He was one of the pioneer students of Odogbolu Grammar School in 1957.

Diya was also among the pioneer students of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) that graduated as Regular Course One cadets on March 18, 1967.

One of his peers at the NDA is retired Gen. Aliyu Gusau, defence minister from 2014 to 2015.

Another one is Gen. Ishola Williams who walked out on the army and on Gen. Sani Abacha in 1993 on the premise that his and the army’s takeover of government were immoral.

Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya

The same Gen. Abacha appointed Diya as his Chief of General Staff when he took over government from the Interim National Government (ING).

The ING was put in place by military president, retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida when he “stepped aside’’ following strident measures by Nigerians to end military rule.

Before his appointment as Abacha’s deputy, Diya was the pioneer Commandant of the Nigeria War College between 1991 and 1993.

Earlier than these, deceased Gen. Diya was Commander 31, Airborne Brigade of the Nigerian Army.

He was appointed Military Governor of Ogun from January 1984 to August 1985, the period during which he banned night parties and closure of roads by revellers in a state widely known for “owambe’’ all-night parties.

He became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985.

Diya’s passing on was first announced on Sunday in a terse statement issued by his first son, Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, a lawyer on behalf of the family.

His media aide, Adekoya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the deceased’s residence in Lagos that: “incidentally, Oyesinmilola along with his late father made history when they were both called to the bar on the same day some years back.’’

Diya was survived by Josephine, his wife; many children and grandchildren spread across the world.

“A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Wole Diya is his younger brother; Kehinde Diya, a Barrister, is also his younger brother.

“We also have a General in the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Olusola Diya, who was recently promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General,’’ Adekoya said.

Diya authored a book entitled: “Destiny Anchored on Faith’’ which encompassed the life he lived and elucidated on the role he played during Nigeria’s civil war of 1968 to 1970.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Indian envoy urges Nigerians to embrace Yoga for well-being

The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Gangandharan Balasubramanian, has called on Nigerians to embrace Yoga practice as a way of improving their physical and mental well-being.

The High Commissioner told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that Yoga should be seen as another form of exercise that helps condition the body and mind for optimum benefit.

“Yoga is a form of exercise that is very good for physical and mental well-being, it can also help enhance vitality, focus and productivity,” Balasubramanian said.

He said in view of the enormous benefits of Yoga, the High Commission in Abuja had opened free Yoga classes for members of the public, which would also help to deepen relations between both countries.

“I am happy to announce to the Nigerian public that we have opened our free yoga classes at the High Commission of India, Abuja, so our Nigerian friends should avail themselves of this opportunity.

“We have an excellent facilitator (Mr Dipitiranjan Mohanty), who has a PhD in Yoga and has been sent by the government of India to the mission.

“The classes are of course free from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on week days (after registration) and we believe this will help improve our health; also deepen relations between both countries, ” he said.

The High Commissioner assured that plans were underway to further strengthen the cordial bilateral relations between both countries.

NAN reports that Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originates from India.

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit, meaning to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness.

As part of the growing appeal for Yoga, the United Nations on Dec. 11, 2014, proclaimed June 21, as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria