Malaria: Do MDAs contribute to transmission through their activities?

Malaria is endemic in Nigeria and a leading cause of death in many countries. Children and pregnant women are the most affected groups.

To achieve more significant progress in the fight against malaria in Nigeria, analysts believe that there should be changes in approach.

According to Dr Akpaka Kalu, there is also the need to adopt technologies to look at how best to maximise investment efficiency and impact.

Kalu is the Team Lead, Strategic Planning and Policy, Communicable and Non Communicable Cluster (UHC/CND), World Health Organisation (WHO), African Region.

Kalu argues that activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) contribute to malaria transmission.

‘To make more impact in the war against malaria, there is need to have rethink of our model and adopt technologies to look at how best to maximise investment efficiency and impact.

‘We need to do more and achieve more with available resources, and it is possible because technology is available, resources are limited.

‘We have the motivation to maximise technology to also maximise efficiency of our investment.

‘We also need to leverage resources from the private sector and non-health sector,” he advises.

Kalu argues that some MDAs, in carrying out their activities, contribute to transmission of malaria.

‘For instance, ministries of works are involved in road constructions. When they are doing those road constructions, the earthworks they do, create breeding sites.

‘Ministries of works may not know that they are aiding in transmission of malaria through their very good initiatives, ‘ he argues.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Publisher says Gov Uba Sani’s leadership rewriting narrative in Kaduna

Gov. Uba Sani’s leadership is changing the narrative in Kaduna State, Mr Victor Bobai, publisher of Privilege Magazine, has said.

‘Gov Sani’s leadership carries everyone along. He is running an inclusive governance that makes everyone feels he has a stake,’ Bobai told newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna.

He said that Sani’s new narrative was bringing hope, progress, and positive change.

‘Privilege Magazine has created a platform that provides a unique opportunity to engage, converse, discuss, negotiate, propose, evaluate, ask questions, and seek solutions.

‘This platform goes beyond any individual, but Gov. Sani is focused on good policies. He is doing well, and we must say so,’ he said.

He declared that Sani’s administration ‘has good intention for the state’.

Bobai expressed joy that Kaduna now has a leader that treats everyone as an important stakeholder.

Bobai emphasised that Sani has the opportunity to rewrite history in the minds of Kaduna citizens and unite them to build a strong cohesive team.

‘The atmosphere in Kaduna has become refreshing and the stories being told have changed for the better.

‘The previous administration was marked by daily cries for justice. There was poverty, unemployment, insecurity, and neglect.

‘But, under Sani’s leadership, the situation has significantly improved.’

Bobai urged the people of Kaduna to rally behind Sani by offering their support and prayers for his continued success.

He praised Sani’s readiness to go the extra mile to bring meaningful change.

‘The people’s prayers and support are essential in ensuring that the positive momentum continues, and the state of Kaduna flourishes under Sani’s visionary leadership,’ he added. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NAF@60: We are now force to reckon with – Air Chief

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, says the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has become a force to reckon with among comity of nations in its 60 years of existence.

Abubakar communicated this at the Interdenominational Church Service as part of activities lineup for the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the NAF on Sunday in Abuja.

He was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (NAF) AVM Sayo Olatunde.

He said the NAF, which started from a very humble beginning, had become one of the top air forces on the African continent.

Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the service towards addressing the myriads of security challenges confronting the nation.

‘We are doing everything possible to make sure that we resolve the insecurity challenges confronting the country as soon as possible and we are making great successes, remarkable achievements in that aspect.

‘We are actually making progress just for some few things that prevented the impact of our successes for being seen and being felt
by the country.

‘I am sure those things should be resolved and then we begin to have peace in this country.

‘In the area of operation, we are making remarkable successes and we are also making sure that we are doing a lot of things to enhance our operational efficiencies.

‘Recently, we have this capability assessment that review what we need holistically to fight current official warfare so that we can make the best use of the resources available, the resources graciously given by the federal government.”

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The CAS said the NAF continued to make frantic efforts to improve on welfare of its personnel and the families of fallen heroes through several projects and initiatives.

He listed some of the welfare programmes to payment of monthly relief package for personnel on flight lieutenant and below to cushion the impact of the current economic situation in the country.

According to him, he has instituted an insura
nce that will cater for illness and accidents, in addition to what is obtainable from the Ministry of Defense level as part of efforts to cater for the welfare of personnel.

The air chief said the recruitment process had been sanitised to ensure that only the best were taken.

‘We have made serious effort to make sure we enhance the process so that the people will recruit into the Nigerian air force will be people who are truly interested in job.

‘And one of the steps we took was to train our recruitment officers to be able to determine those people, who are with drugs; who have ulterior motive for wanting to come to the service.

‘From the process of screening we just started that 100 per cent of the efforts are just betrayed at Kaduna airport based communities.

‘Another step we take to enhance the quality of personnel coming into the air force is to make sure we do screening, a computer screening test even before we call them for interview.

‘When you apply, you do the screening; so that we know them in
terms of quality of people.

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‘All these things we put in place to make sure that the process is fair, firm, and qualitative and we expect quality outputs,’ he said.

The Chairman organising Committee, AVM Michael Ekwueme, called on Nigerians to pray for the service in its operational engagement and the success of the occasion.

‘Let us continue to thank God and pray for the success of the event; foreign participants have started arriving; let us pray for the safety of those on their way’ he said.

The Director, Chaplaincy (Protestant), NAF, Air Commodore Dogo Gani, said the church service was organised to thank God for protection and commit the future of NAF into God’s hand .

Gani said the NAF also solicited for prayers of the men of God to continue to pray for the service and charged all members of the armed forces to always look up to God in all their dealings.

According to him, his sermon is centered on the need
for strategic partnership with God for greater success.

‘First and foremost, we must know who we are in partnership with and above all look unto the Lord who is the author and finisher as well as the greater person that can give us victory over every human aid,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NSCDC urges personnel to protect road, rail facilities in FCT

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), FCT Command, has charged its personnel to ensure the protection of road reflective studs, railings, street lights and manhole covers.

Dr Olusola Odumosu, FCT Commandant of the corps, gave the charge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja, on Sunday.

Odumosu also charged the personnel to ensure adequate protection of facilities of all ongoing and completed projects in the territory as well a national critical infrastructure.

According to him, it is of paramount importance that street lights, amenities of the newly constructed roads and bridges, Abuja metro line rail tracks and other critical infrastructure are protected.

‘Also road reflective studs, railings, manhole covers and other facilities must be properly secured from persons with criminal intentions.’

He clarified that the directive does not exempt the coverage of already existing roads and projects in the territory.

According to him, the yet to be inaugurated projects sho
uld be given priority attention because of its new components.

‘We have activated surveillance patrol in the FCT especially in the city center and we will not take it lightly with anyone caught vandalising public properties.

‘Most of the manholes and street lights in the territory have been vandalised and these new ones might be the next target for these criminals.

‘The corps have put in place several measures to tackle this menace and has succeeded in the arrest and prosecutions of some suspected vandals and we are not stopping or slowing-down now,’ he said.

See also NAF airstrikes knock out terrorists’ enclaves, illegal oil refining sites

Odumosu called on well-meaning Nigerians to serve as the eyes and ears of security agencies, urging residents to ‘say something when they see something’.

He reiterated that the corps, being the lead agency in the protection of critical national asset, would not relent in ensuring that the efforts of the present government ate not wasted.

According to him, it is high
time the FCT regain its lost glory of infrastructural development.

NAN reports that the FCT Minister had said the various new projects in the territory would be inaugurated by Mr President between May 27 and June 6.(NAN) (

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Germany, Nigeria trade relations hits pound 3bn – Envoy

The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Annett Gunther, says trade relations between Federal Republic of Nigeria and Federal Republic Germany currently stands at about three billion euros.

Gunther, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, said that the trade relations between both countries had grown over the years.

Specifically, she said the trade relations grew from two billion euros in 2022 to the current figure of three billion euros with balance of trade in favour of Nigeria because of crude oil export

She said there was the potential for improvement on trade relations, which both countries were currently working on, especially in the area of agriculture.

‘I think agriculture is a very good area for cooperation, not only because we can help in the area of food security, which is important to Nigeria, but also in improvement of export of processed products.

‘Instead of selling more raw products, we will have more value creation within the country to
creates more jobs .

‘As part of our development cooperation , we have a programme in agriculture that also focuses on exactly that value chain, which supports small and medium size enterprises in the sector,’ she said.

The envoy said that many German delegations had attended Trade fairs in Lagos, like the agri food festival with German companies participating and having one of the biggest pavilions.

She further explained that the German Chamber of Trade and Commerce in Lagos represented German companies in the country.

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According to her , Germany has about 90 companies with its representative offices in Nigeria adding that while some engaged trading, some others have production facilities.

‘Nivea is one of the German companies that has a real huge modern production facility in Nigeria. Nivea products such as the lotions and creams are German products that are produced in Lagos .

‘They have production facilities in Germany and these products produced in Nigeria
are almost 100 per cent identical because it is the same quality and standard as the one in Germany .

‘This is because the products raw materials such as oils, and fragrances are imported, the standard , quality and the smell has to be the same like others from the production facilities in Germany ,’ she added.

Gunther commended steps taken by president Bola Tinubu to reform the country’s economy.

‘ For production facility, you need investment, and of course, foreign direct investment, which is also very much needed in order to boost the economy which depends on the investment conditions.

‘We have seen improvements under the new administration. Very important economic reform steps have been taken.

‘But, as I said, this depends on the investment climate, which is improving already.

‘ As you know, we have the forex issue, and also I must say, the environment must be conducive,’ she reiterated. ( NAN) (

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Nigeria’s Adekeye emerges chairperson, oil and gas training institute’s Directors

Nigeria’s Folashade Adekeye has emerged Chairperson, Forum of the Directors of Oil and Gas Training and Vocational Education Institutes of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).

Adekeye, who is the Director, NNPC Academy, took over from the former chairperson, Mr Abdelkader Guenone, the Managing Director of the Algerian Petroleum Institute (API), during the second meeting of the Forum in Abuja.

This was made known in a statement issued by Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd. on Sunday.

Adekeye, who heads the NNPC’s oil and gas training arm, brings to bear more than 30 years of experience and is expected to work with her colleagues from APPO Member countries.

According to Soneye, this is in order to foster more collaboration towards addressing the challenges of competences, skills gaps, infrastructure and poor funding in the organisation’s training institutions.

In his keynote address at the opening of the meeting, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Lt
d., Mele Kyari, emphasised the importance of a standardised educational and training approach.

Kyari, represented by Inuwa Danladi, the Executive Vice President (Business Services), said standardised education would help to meet the changing demands of the oil and gas industry.

Also in his keynote address, APPO’s Secretary-General, Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, charged the Member Countries to work towards enhancing further collaborative efforts to establish Oil and Gas Centres of Excellence across the African continent.

Ibrahim, also from Nigeria, said having good knowledge of the Forum’s challenges would enable APPO Member Countries to make recommendations.

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He said it would also enable them to provide solutions in areas such as Oil and Gas project funding, technology adoption, and the formation of Africa Energy Bank.

He said that such collaboration by all member countries would guarantee Africa’s energy accessibility, affordability and sust
ainability, which overall, would strengthen her economies and bring prosperity to its citizens. (NAN)(

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Germany committed to strengthening bilateral relations with Nigeria – Ambassador

The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Annett Gunther, has reiterated her country’s commitment to further concretising and deepening bilateral relations between both countries.

Gunther expressed the commitment in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

She said Germany and Nigeria ‘have enjoyed more than 60 years of diplomatic relations’, adding that the German government considers Nigeria as an important political, economic, and cultural partner.

‘As part of our cultural relations with Nigeria, the foreign minister in December 2022 brought back some of the Benin artifacts that had been taken to German museums.

‘There was a political agreement that Germany will return to Nigeria all the artifacts that are in our possession.

‘So her visit in 2022 was basically the first symbolic handover of those pieces of art,’ she said.

According to her, Germany and Nigeria have enjoyed a broad partnership since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, and it has grown over the years.

She observed that ther
e is the need to intensify diplomatic relations between both countries with especial focus on trade relations.

‘This was why during the German chancellor’s visit to Nigeria in October 2023, he came with a huge business delegation from Germany.

‘There are plans in place to deepen the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Germany.

‘Also, the recent high level visits of some German officials such as the chancellor and Minister for development cooperation indicate a broad area of cooperation between both countries.

‘Some weeks ago, our state secretary and Special Envoy for Climate actions visited and we had intensive talks about renewable energy and climate change.

‘There were discussions on what could be done, how we could cooperate to move to a more sustainable greener environment for future of our societies.

‘The visits were symbolic of the desire to intensify Nigeria-German relations, especially under this new administration in Nigeria, led by President Bola.

‘We have seen great potential for furthe
r economic and trade cooperation with Nigeria,’ she said. (NAN) (

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

ALGON lauds Senate’s call for National Dialogue on Local Government Autonomy

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has commended the Senate for urging President Bola Tinubu to convene a National Dialogue on Local Government Autonomy.

In a statement released in Abuja on Sunday, ALGON’s Director-General, Sir Itiako Ikpokpo, described the Senate’s call as a welcome development.

Ikpokpo noted the importance of this initiative, suggesting that it could significantly advance the cause of local government autonomy in Nigeria.

Ikpokpo said, ‘The National leadership of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON) has hailed as most welcoming, the call by the Senate on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to convene a National Dialogue on Local Government Autonomy.

‘ALGON notes that the myriad of constitutional barriers, structural, and administrative challenges plaguing the nation has made a National Dialogue on Local Government Administration not only desirable, but urgently imperative in setting a sustainable and systemic agenda for even development of the nation.’

The director-general said the association requested the commitment of the Federal Government, National Assembly, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and other stakeholders toward sincere resolutions on issues of local government autonomy and community policing.

He highlighted additional issues such as security, primary education and healthcare, national integration, the role of traditional institutions, agricultural facilities, and other fundamental obstacles to the nation’s political, economic, and socio-political development.

He expressed confidence in the potential of the conference to reposition the nation on the path of rapid progress and development.

According to him, ALGON appeals against the dangers of reducing the event to a mere talk-shop, with its resolutions left unimplemented.

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Ikpokpo reiterated the association’s readiness to partner with the Federal and State Governments, the National Assembly, and other institutions to ensure the
successful convocation of the national dialogue. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Tinubu approves InfraCorp for Green Zone, Ngelale chairs steering c’ttee

President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCorp) as the Lead Arranger and Developer of Evergreen City, Nigeria’s green industrial zone.

Tinubu also approved the appointment of Chief Ajuri Ngelale as Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Action and Chairman Project Evergreen, the supervisory technical working group, to oversee the pioneering endeavour.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Sunday in Abuja.

Ngelale said that this was in line with the President’s commitment to ensure industrial development that meets the demands of the present and the future.

He said that the terms of reference of the InfraCorp are selection of partners/consultants to undertake critical development activities, including project design, environmental impact assessments, feasibility studies, financial modelling, and market engagement.

It will be raising private funding for the development o
f the city and constituent projects; coordinating with partners, development institutions, and other providers of capital and technical assistance.

It will also be reporting to the Supervisory Presidential Steering Committee on Project Evergreen.

Dr Lazarus Angbazo, who is also a member of the Presidential Steering Committee, is the CEO of InfraCorp and holds a first-class Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.

Angbazo has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Iowa, and a Doctorate degree in Corporate Finance from the New York University.

He was President and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric in Nigeria, where he doubled GE’s revenue.

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He was also the CEO of General Electric Grid Solutions Africa and led GE’s regional operations between 2008 and 2012 as President and CEO, West, East and Central Africa.

Ngelale said that the president also approved the establishment of a 15-member Presid
ential Steering Committee on Project Evergreen, the supervisory technical working group, to oversee the pioneering endeavour.

He said that the committee is composed of the following members: Chief Ajuri Ngelale- Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Action – Chairman; Lolade Abiola (UN SE4ALL) – Secretary.

The members are Lazarus Angbazo (CEO, InfraCorp), Salisu Dahiru (CEO, NCCC); Aminu Umar-Sadiq (CEO, NSIA), and Khalil Halilu (CEO, NASENI).

Other members are Abba Abubabkar Aliyu (CEO, REA); Fatima Shinkafi (CEO, SMDF); Uzoma Nwagba (CEO, CrediCorp); Bala Bello (Deputy Governor, CBN) and Teni Majekodunmi (NCCC).

The rest of the members are Nana Maidugu (NSIA); Michael Ivenso (NCCC); Suleiman Yusuf (Blue Camel Energy); and Chidi Ajaere (Jet EV).

The presidential spokesman said that Tinubu expected absolute dedication and professionalism to drive this critical project.

He said the members were given the clear objective of making Nigeria the leading manufacturing hub in Africa for renewable energy techno
logies, green solutions, and climate-adaptation technologies.(NAN) (

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NBA identifies challenges hindering administration of justice

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Bwari Branch, Abuja has identified challenges inhibiting administration of justice in the country.

The Chairman of the branch, Paul Daudu, enumerated the challenges on Friday while addressing newsmen to announce the branch’s law week in Abuja.

Daudu listed the challenges to include prolonged pre-trial detention, delayed trials, lack of access to legal representation and poor case management.

He said the problem also include conflicting and perverse judgments for superior courts of record, unethical practices by some legal practitioners and law enforcement agents, amongst others.

‘There is indeed the perception by ordinary citizens that what presently operates in Nigeria is the ‘administration of law’ and not ”administration of justice.’

‘The former being a system riddled by hybrid technicalities, legal jargon, cumbersome adjudicatory procedure and rhetoric.

‘As a branch, we identify the challenges facing the administration of justice in Nigeria,’ he said.

The chairm
an called on the legal practitioners, as guardians of the law, to reaffirm their commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring access to justice for all.

‘Our theme for this year’s Law Week, ‘Strengthening the Foundation of Justice,’ resonates deeply with the core values of our profession and the principles upon which our legal system is built,’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the programmes at the weeklong event include a Jumat Service, a novelty football match between the senior members of the Bar and the Young Lawyers Forum, lectures, Christian thanksgiving service, among others.(NAN)(

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Students, youths’ bodies beg Tinubu to appoint competent CEO for PTI

The leadership of students and youths unions have called on President Bola Tinubu to appoint the acting Principal of Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Dr Samuel Onoji, as the substantive Principal of the institute.

The unions’ appeal was conveyed in a letter addressed to the president and co-signed by the leadership of the different student/youth bodies, a copy of which was made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

The unions are the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), National Association of University Students (NAUS) and the National Association of Colleges of Education Students (NACES).

Others are the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU) and the African Students Education Support Initiative (ASESI).

The signatories are Comrades Chinonso Obasi, National President, NYU; Lucky Emonefe, National President, NANS; Marshal Obaji, National President, NAUS; Bassey Eka, Nigerian Country-Rep, ASESI; Egunjobi Samuel, National President, NACES and Ridwa
n Opeyemi National President, NAPS.

According to the groups, the unprecedented peace and joy in the institute since the announcement of Onoji as the acting principal is one borne out of acceptance by all and sundry.

‘It also shows Onoji’s capacity to deliver on goals, integrity, ingenuity, unquestionable leadership and charisma.

‘Our interest is primarily in Nigerian students’ welfare and a peaceful academic environment.

‘The testimonials from PTI students about Onoji affirm that he is the square peg in the square hole.

‘As former Director of PTI services, an officer in charge of the day-to-day maintenance and repair of the infrastructure of the institute, he is described and addressed by students as a cat with nine lives.

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‘This is because of his availability to call to duty even at odd hours.’

The groups further highlighted student’s appraisals of Onoji’s competence.

‘Under Onoji as chairman board of examiners, we have experienced seamless
examinations; under his admission committee, PTI’s admissions have always been on merit.

‘As chairman institute curriculum development committee, we have enjoyed rich curricula that place us ahead of other scholars in sister institutions.

‘As a sound academia, he has published several papers in international reputable high-impact Elsevier journals, among others, which can be verified online.’

The groups said that the standard of PTI was falling drastically because of the rising competing training institutes created by multinational companies.

According to them, the situation creates the urgent need for a seasoned and experienced Onoji who is the chairman of the PTI strategic team.

They said confirming Onoji as the Chief Executive Officer of the PTI would make significant impact on visibility of the Institute in the oil and gas industry.

‘His appointment, we believe, will rekindle the lost glory of the Nigerian-only petroleum training institute and the institute, will in turn, contribute meaningfully to
Nigeria’s GDP by upscaling its established mandate.

‘It is always said that ‘when preparation meets opportunity, success is abound; Onoji’s preparedness for the task ahead is unquestionable.

‘In April, he completed a 2-week mandatory training for heads of Federal Government Agencies/Parastatals at Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo-Badagry to further equip him with administrative skills to manage the institute.

‘For the mandate of PTI which is to train competent technical manpower required for the sustainability of the Nigeria oil and gas industry to be achieved awesomely, we passionately recommend the appointment of Onoji as the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of PTI.

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‘This is because in acting capacity, much cannot be achieved considering the government bureaucracy associated with it,” the groups said. (NAN)(

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Invictus Centre: Demonstration of CDS’ commitment to troops’ welfare – CSO

Citizens Awareness Initiative (CAI), a civil society group, has lauded the Defence Headquarters’ plans to construct a state-of-the-art Invictus Centre to facilitate complete recovery and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers and veterans.

The Secretary of CAI, Mr Adams Igonor, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, had shown commitment to the welfare of troops with the initiative.

According to Igonor, the plan was unveiled recently in Abuja, at a reception in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, who were on private visit to Nigeria on the invitation of the CDS.

He said the centre was expected to be equipped with world class facilities that would aid recovery of the wounded soldiers and offer them post traumatic stress remedies as a result of trauma they might had experienced during operations.

‘We commend Gen. Musa for his avowed commitment to personnel welfare.

‘Nigeria is privileged to become the first African countr
y to join the Invictus community.

‘According to Prince Harry ‘when person’s trauma affects those around them, the healing of that one person can affect and improve the entire community.

‘We have been following the CDS since his days in the North-East and he has continued to show genuine concern for his troops.’

The secretary noted that there was no doubt, that the centre would spur them to intensify their fight against enemies of the state.

‘We use this opportunity to congratulate troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, on the proposed centre because it is a big relief, especially for wounded troops,’ he added. (NAN) (

See also Why Nigerians must take ownership of fight against insecurity – Group

Edited by Stanley Nwanosike/Isaac Aregbesola

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Stakeholders advocate inclusion, women empowerment for sustainable growth

Stakeholders have called for more support and opportunities to promote inclusion and women empowerment for sustainable growth and development in the country.

They made the call at the International Women’s Day celebration organised by the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneur (NASME) with a theme,’ Empowering Women for Sustainable Success’ on Saturday in Abuja.

Dr Tope Fasua, Special Assistant to the President on Economic Affairs office of the Vice President, said women contributes to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and managing resources at the family and national level.

‘Women are central to any development of any economy, traditionally and historically, women are central to development of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

‘We have seen instances where our women have saved many families and it is fantastic that we have been able to co-opt this into the women wing of NASME and also recognition from the NANO aspect of the market.

‘Our people are not waiting for government; they are b
eing creative rather than getting into crime.

‘So it is something we must continue to support and I will also advise in my capacity for government to give more support,’ he said.

Also, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, trade and Investment, represented by Mrs Popola Abimbola, Chief Industrial Officer, noted that limited access to finance market and support services are barriers affecting women entrepreneurs.

‘Women entrepreneurs still demonstrate resilience, creativity, and determination in establishing and growing their businesses.

‘We are committed to creating an enabling environment that facilitates the growth and success of women- owned SMEs.

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‘We recognise the importance of providing women entrepreneurs with access to affordable financing, business development services, and market opportunities to unleash their full potential,’ she said.

Also, Mr Charles Odii, Director General, Small and Medium Enterprise Development
Agency (SMEDAN) said empowering women was strategic for advancing economic development, social progress and inclusive prosperity.

Odii, represented by Regina Bamaiyi, Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘let us reaffirm our commitment to championing the rights and aspirations of women entrepreneurs.

‘Let us work tirelessly and create a future where every woman has the opportunity to thrive, succeed and lead with dignity and determination.’

Dr Abdurashid Yerima, President and Chairman, NASME said the event was to recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of women to the growth and development of Nigeria’s economy and SMEs.

Yerima, underscored the importance of fostering an inclusive business environment, where women can achieve long-term success.

‘This means addressing the challenges women entrepreneurs face such as access to finance, mentorship and market opportunities,’ he said.

According to him, NASME has trained, organised networking events and partnered with financial institutions to access cr
edit and enable women-owned businesses to thrive.

On his part, Malam Ali Muhammad Ali, Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) noted the immense contributions of women to the growth and development of the country.

Ali also emphasised on media’s role in inspiring inclusion and driving Nigeria’s economic growth and innovation.

‘Virtually all media have specific airtime and pages devoted to gender issues, health, empowerment and others that will inspire growth.

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‘African is a very masculine, patriarchal society, where men dominate and in some cultures, women are seen as second class citizens.

‘But with the help of the media, some of these narratives, where women are subjected to the background are being gradually affected and changed for the better,’ he said.

Ms. Olapeju Ibekwe, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, said’ ’empowering women is not just an activity; it is directly linked to improvements in commun
ity health and education, which are fundamental to sustainable development.

‘Women often reinvest a higher percentage of their income back into their families and communities.

‘This reinvestment leads to better-educated and healthier future generations, creating a positive cycle of development.’

Other highlights of the day were panel discussions and conferment of awards to notable personalities for their immense contributions to women empowerment. (NAN)(

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Why NAF developed indigenous capacity to support its operations – CAS

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), says it has reinvigorated the development of indigenous capacity for innovation and development of products to effectively support its operations through Research and Development (RandD).

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, stated this at the NAF Inter-Command RandD competition in commemoration of its 60th Anniversary Celebration, on Saturday in Abuja.

Abubakar said that RandD played critical role in enhancing NAF operational effectiveness, adding that it was the fourth key enabler of his command philosophy.

According to him, it is a common knowledge that NAF utilises sophisticated platforms, weapons and equipment to achieve its operational mandate.

He said that major repairs and overhaul of those platforms, weapons and equipment were mostly carried out overseas by the Original Equipment Manufacturers at a very exorbitant cost.

The CAS said most spares and equipment were non-off the shelf items, adding that there was no guarantee of obtaining them w
hen required.

‘Meanwhile, the enemy does not wait for us to be ready since our difficulty is to his advantage.

‘The highlighted situation underscores the need to develop indigenous capacity for innovation and development of products that can effectively support NAF operations if we must fulfil our mandate,’ he said.

Abubakar recalled how NAF acquired 18 Jaguar aircraft fleet in 1984 and were retired from service with some of the aircraft having as low as 150hrs as total flown hours by 1991, adding that the same challenge trailed the operation of the MiG 21 aircraft.

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He said that a total of 31 aircrafts were acquired by 1975 and retired in the late 1980s with total flown hours ranging between 43hrs – 469hrs.

‘This early retirement of the platforms indicates the inability of the NAF to sustain their operations due to lack of technical capacity.

‘Similar challenges are also experienced in maintaining aircraft weapons and other critical equipment in the NAF.

It is only by developing indigenous capacity to maintain our platforms by ourselves or produce them that we can overcome the challenges posed by the present restrictions.

‘This again emphasizes the critical place of RandD in NAF operations,’ he said.

The CAS said NAF had prided itself as pace setter in RandD among the services with development of Tsai Gumi UAV, rocket launchers, heat shields, weaponisation of Alpha Jet aircraft, retrofitting of U/S rockets, production of blank firing adapters for CAK-103, among others.

These feats, he said, ensured that NAF platforms and equipment were serviceable and deployed at the various theatres of operation.

‘In recognition of the vital place of RandD, I approved the installation of 8 assorted CNC machines at the AFRDC Osogbo.

‘Furthermore, the contract for the operationalisation of Tsai Gumi UAV with UA Vision of Portugal was recently signed.

‘The activation of the contract will see the resumption of partnership on the Tsai UAV project up to operational stage.

On the aspect of aircraft armament, the NAF is at the verge of signing technology transfer agreement with Messrs Zenith Prom of Serbia on technology transfer of 57mm rocket.

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‘These efforts are geared toward prioritising RandD, leveraging cutting edge technology, strategic partnership and lessons learnt in line with my command philosophy,’ he added.

Earlier, the Chief of Standard and Evaluation (NAF), AVM Michael Onyebashi, said that the NAF being a technology driven organisation had placed high premium on RandD.

Onyebashi said the air force introduced annual RandD competition at the command and unit levels to further promote the noble idea and ensure its actualisation.

He said the objective of the competition was to showcase each command’s innovative idea towards finding solution to operational, maintenance and other service related problems in the NAF.

According to him, it has become necessary for the NAF to provide some
of her defence equipment and system needs through innovative knowledge and skills aimed at sustaining its operations across the country.

He said that six commands would be participating in the competition represented by three units each with the best RandD projects. (NAN) (

Source: News Agency of Nigeria