Quantexa Debuts Q Assist, New Context Aware Generative AI Technology Suite

New AI advancements are helping industry leaders get data ready for AI and make impact

Q Assist, New Context Aware Generative AI Technology Suite from Quantexa
Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of front-line and information workers
  • HSBC is among several industry leaders participating in Quantexa’s Lighthouse Program for early adopters
  • HSBC anticipates that streamlining of analysis and acceleration of processes could lead to significant productivity gains within the first year of deployment
  • Q Assist combines Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform and Generative AI to augment decisions for sales, customer service, and compliance teams in financial services, TMT, and government agencies

LONDON, June 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This Monday, on the Centre Stage at London Tech Week 2024Quantexa, the global leader in Decision Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors debuted Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of frontline and information workers. The announcement demonstrates progress against the company’s platform innovation roadmap and comes nearly a year after Quantexa detailed a significant investment in the global artificial intelligence (AI) industry and previewed Q Assist as a stand-alone LLM agnostic copilot.

With the new Q Assist Technology Suite, Quantexa customers will be able to operationalize generative AI for transformational gains without significant investment in infrastructure, tooling, and additional skilled resources.

Frontline and information workers can leverage the power of copilots, linked data, Quantexa’s knowledge graph capability, and other Decision Intelligence Platform features to enhance the accuracy and reliability of generative AI models that interact with all data (structured and unstructured), context, and insight across their organization. Combining LLMs with the rich context within Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform enables a better understanding of data, safely grounds responses, increases performance and trust, and ensures teams have the most accurate, up-to-date information in a single place.

Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of front-line and information workersFind out what Q Assist is and how it works with Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform.
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Helping Customers Succeed in the Era of AI
HSBC is one of the organizations currently participating in the Lighthouse Program for early adopters. Each organization in the program envisions using Q Assist in several ways, including:

  • Streamlining analysis, investigation, and reporting tasks for information and knowledge workers to achieve greater efficiency.
  • Reducing the reliance on data science and operations teams for ad-hoc data requests, giving them time to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Empowering customer facing teams with access to enriched data and insights they need to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences.
  • Enabling teams across an organization to consistently make trusted decisions that are traceable and accelerate operational process improvement.

BNY Mellon is currently evaluating joining HSBC in Lighthouse effort. Quantexa worked with Lighthouse Program participants to project one-, three-, and five-year benefits from deploying Q Assist within their customer facing, data science, and investigative teams. It found an almost immediate productivity gain across three core areas: time saving and efficiency, new opportunity identification, and increased conversion rates.

HSBC anticipates that democratizing analytics and accelerating processes across these areas could lead to productivity gains within the first year of deployment. The company also expects to free up employee’s time, allowing them to refocus on other strategic tasks.

David Rice, Global Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Banking at HSBC, said: “This new solution has the potential to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of complex tasks such as anti-money laundering investigations and sales strategies by providing trusted data and contextual analytics. The introduction of contextual analytics and innovation will enable HSBC to concentrate our resources more productively and ultimately help our customers.”

Quantexa estimates that a tier one global financial institution with three levels of defense in financial crime and fraud compliance efforts, generating approximately 15k alerts a month, could realize significant efficiencies and cost savings by deploying the Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite:

  • Over £17M in savings enabled annually by enhancing and automating investigating and reporting processes across financial crime and fraud.

Quantexa’s CTO, Jamie Hutton, said: “Quantexa’s engineering principle of shaping solutions to deliver maximum customer value has allowed our clients to play an integral role in helping to shape the product requirements for Q Assist. Through the company’s Lighthouse Program for early adopters, we have the benefit of working with industry leaders that provide valuable feedback throughout our roadmap process.”

Eric Hirschhorn, Chief Data Officer, BNY Mellon, said: “We are excited to see this continued innovation from Quantexa. Our multi-year collaboration has helped us to break down data silos and unify our data with unprecedented accuracy. The next phase in our innovation efforts will see us exploring the potential of enabling frontline workers across the bank to use Gen AI to act on the data insights confidently and reach new levels of efficiency in the process.”

How the New Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite Works
Quantexa’s new generative AI technology suite will combine Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform and Generative AI through a new data integration layer, prompt builder, and copilot that accelerates the ability of teams to make critical business decisions.

Q Assist delivers trusted, extensible AI anchored by Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform. This lets non-technical teams benefit from Quantexa’s critical platform capabilities including a connected data foundation, graph analytics, modeling, and scoring to augment and automate decision making. The Q Assist Technology Suite is comprised of three components:

  • Q Assist Integration Layer: the nerve center of Q Assist. It is a framework of tools, connectors, and APIs designed to securely link Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform with LLMs and conversational AI systems right out-of-the-box.
  • Q Assist Prompt Builder: an extensible prompt management and sharing capability that easily integrates with external prompt engineering tools and frameworks, such as Microsoft’s Azure Prompt Flow, Semantic Kernel or AutoGen, to put the power in the hands of administrators to define and control prompts and responses that are grounded in contextual data generated by Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform.
  • Q Assist Copilot: allows users to query large and disparate data via a natural language interface, understand and summarize data, insights, and findings in real-time, and automate research, investigation, and reporting tasks.

Today, the company is making Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite capabilities available to a limited set of customers, with wider public availability planned for early 2025.

To learn more about how Quantexa is helping organizations get their data ready for AI, or to download the Total Economic Impact™ of Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform by Forrester and start measuring the ROI of Decision Intelligence investments, please visit https://www.quantexa.com/discover/ai/.

About Quantexa
Quantexa is a global AI, data and analytics software company pioneering Decision Intelligence to empower organizations to make trusted operational decisions with data in context. Using the latest advancements in AI, Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence platform helps organizations uncover hidden risk and new opportunities by unifying siloed data and turning it into the most trusted, reusable resource. It solves major challenges across data management, customer intelligence, KYC, financial crime, risk, fraud, and security, throughout the customer lifecycle.

The Quantexa Decision Intelligence Platform enhances operational performance with over 90% more accuracy and 60 times faster analytical model resolution than traditional approaches. An independently commissioned Forrester TEI study on Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform found that customers saw a three-year 228% ROI. Founded in 2016, Quantexa now has more than 700 employees and thousands of platform users working with billions of transactions and data points across the world.

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e& lidera como a melhor marca empregadora no setor de telecomunicações no Employer Brand Index 2024

  • e& EAU é a principal marca empregadora no setor de telecomunicações no ranking de Brand Finance
  • e& ficou em 16º lugar entre as 20 principais marcas empregadoras em todas as categorias em 16 países
  • A realização reflete a reputação mais ampla dos Emirados Árabes Unidos como um centro global de talentos

LONDRES, June 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, o grupo global de tecnologia, alcançou a posição mais alta no primeiro Employer Brand Report 2024 da Brand Finance, com sua unidade dos Emirados Árabes Unidos classificada como a maior empregadora global do setor de telecomunicações.

O grupo também garantiu o 16º lugar entre as 20 principais marcas empregadoras entre as que foram avaliadas nos setores de serviços financeiros, telecomunicações, mídia e tecnologia (TMT), petróleo, gás e energia, serviços profissionais, varejo, automotivo e bens de consumo rápido (FMCG) na África, Ásia, Europa e Estados Unidos.

Ali Al Mansoori, Diretor de Pessoal do Grupo, e&, disse: “Esse reconhecimento como empregador preferencial reflete a incrível dedicação e paixão de nosso pessoal, que é nosso maior patrimônio. Ele também reafirma nosso compromisso de cultivar uma cultura empresarial unificada, na qual todos os colaboradores têm autonomia para pensar de forma diferente, experimentar sem medo e inovar continuamente. No atual cenário em rápida evolução, é mais importante do que nunca contar com uma força de trabalho talentosa.”

David Haigh, CEO da Brand Finance, disse: “As marcas de telecomunicações do Oriente Médio vêm ultrapassando cada vez mais a concorrência europeia e americana como lugares desejáveis para se trabalhar. Isso se deve às oportunidades de carreira e aos empolgantes desenvolvimentos tecnológicos criados pelos investimentos consistentes e de alta qualidade no Oriente Médio.”

Na vanguarda em termos de marca empregadora e desenvolvimento de talentos nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, o grupo alcançou uma pontuação alta em vários quesitos, inclusive como “marca de prestígio”, “visão inspiradora”, “trabalho agradável e gratificante” e “empresa bem administrada e dirigida”. A conquista da e& reflete a reputação geral dos Emirados Árabes Unidos como um centro global de talentos e o destino preferido para pessoas que buscam construir um futuro próspero.

“Na e&, temos o compromisso de equipar nosso pessoal com as habilidades necessárias para transitar e prosperar na era digital. Nossa visão não consiste apenas em acompanhar o ritmo das mudanças, mas em liderá-las. Estamos constituindo uma força de trabalho resiliente e com visão de futuro, capaz de levar nossa empresa e nossa comunidade a patamares mais elevados. Nossa estratégia inclui programas de treinamento completos, parcerias com instituições de ensino e um ambiente que premia a criatividade e o pensamento arrojado. Estamos comprometidos com a criação de oportunidades de crescimento profissional e com o apoio à nossa equipe enquanto ela desenvolve as habilidades tecnológicas e a mentalidade essenciais para o futuro”, acrescentou Al Mansoori.

O primeiro relatório do “Employer Brand Index” apresenta as principais marcas do mundo com tabelas de classificação globais e regionais. O estudo baseado em pesquisa é o primeiro do gênero, medindo as percepções internas e externas das marcas empregadoras de 16 países. O Índice é calculado com base nas respostas de uma pesquisa anônima com o público de vários setores, realizada por meio de painéis on-line independentes.

O Employer Brand Index 2024 da Brand Finance ocorre após a divulgação, em janeiro, da classificação global de marcas, na qual a e& EAU foi classificada como a marca de telecomunicações mais forte do mundo (classificação AAA) e a marca mais forte do Oriente Médio e da África (MEA) em todas as categorias.

A Brand Finance é a principal consultoria mundial de avaliação de marcas. Há mais de 25 anos, a empresa vem preenchendo a lacuna entre marketing e finanças, avaliando a força das marcas e mensurando seu valor financeiro para ajudar empresas de todos os tipos a tomar decisões estratégicas. Todos os anos, a Brand Finance realiza mais de 5.000 avaliações de marcas, respaldadas por pesquisas de mercado originais, e publica mais de 100 relatórios que classificam as marcas em todos os setores e países.

Uma foto que acompanha este anúncio está disponível em http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5ab3f4e1-ad68-4a1f-b513-0f6dd6ce45d1

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e& se classe au premier rang des meilleures marques employeurs dans le secteur des télécommunications dans l’Employer Brand Index 2024

  • L’entité e& des Émirats arabes unis, élue meilleure marque employeur dans le secteur des télécommunications selon le classement Brand Finance
  • e& classée 16e dans le Top 20 des marques employeurs toutes catégories confondues dans 16 pays
  • Cette réussite reflète la réputation plus large des Émirats arabes unis en tant que pôle mondial de talents

LONDRES, 10 juin 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, le groupe technologique mondial, s’est hissé à la première place du tout premier rapport Employer Brand 2024 de Brand Finance grâce à son entité des Émirats arabes unis qui se classe au premier rang mondial des employeurs dans le secteur des télécommunications.

Le groupe a également obtenu la 16e place parmi le Top 20 Employer Brands lors d’une évaluation effectuée au sein des marques employeurs dans les secteurs des services financiers, des télécommunications, des médias et des technologies (TMT), du pétrole, du gaz et de l’énergie, des services professionnels, de la vente au détail, de l’automobile et des produits et biens de grande consommation (PGC) en Afrique, en Asie, en Europe et aux États-Unis.

Ali Al Mansoori, Directeur des Ressources humaines du groupe e&, a déclaré : « Cette reconnaissance en tant qu’employeur de choix reflète l’incroyable dévouement et la passion de nos collaborateurs, qui sont nos meilleurs atouts. Cela réaffirme également notre engagement à favoriser une culture d’entreprise unifiée où chaque employé est encouragé à penser différemment, à expérimenter sans crainte et à innover en continu. Dans le contexte actuel en évolution rapide, il est plus crucial que jamais de disposer d’une main-d’œuvre talentueuse. »

David Haigh, PDG de Brand Finance, a confié : « Les marques de télécommunications du Moyen-Orient dépassent chaque jour un peu plus leurs homologues européennes et américaines si l’on se place du point de vue de l’entreprise où il fait bon travailler. Cela reflète les opportunités de carrière et les développements technologiques passionnants rendus possibles par des investissements constants et de haute qualité réalisés au Moyen-Orient. »

En chef de file des marques employeurs et du développement des talents aux Émirats arabes unis, le groupe a obtenu d’excellents résultats dans plusieurs domaines, notamment en tant que « marque prestigieuse », porteuse d’une « vision inspirante », où le « travail est agréable et gratifiant » et une « entreprise bien gérée et gouvernée ». La réussite de e& reflète la réputation plus large des Émirats arabes unis qui s’affirment en tant que pôle mondial des talents et destination privilégiée pour les personnes qui cherchent à façonner un avenir prospère.

« Chez e&, nous nous engageons à doter notre équipe des compétences nécessaires pour s’adapter et prospérer à l’ère numérique. Notre vision n’est pas seulement de suivre le rythme du changement, mais de l’initier. Nous construisons une main-d’œuvre résiliente et visionnaire, capable de propulser notre entreprise et notre communauté vers les plus hauts sommets. Notre stratégie englobe des programmes de formation complets, des partenariats avec des établissements d’enseignement et un environnement qui récompense la créativité et l’audace intellectuelle. Nous sommes déterminés à créer des opportunités de croissance professionnelle et à soutenir notre équipe dans l’acquisition de compétences technologiques et d’un état d’esprit indispensables pour l’avenir, » a ajouté Al Mansoori.

Le tout premier rapport « Employer Brand Index » met en avant les meilleures marques au monde avec des classements réalisés à l’échelle mondiale et régionale. Cette étude axée sur la recherche, est la première du genre, mesurant les perceptions internes et externes des marques d’employeurs dans 16 pays. L’indice est établi à partir des réponses à une enquête anonyme menée auprès du public dans divers secteurs d’activité au moyen de panels en ligne indépendants.

L’indice Employer Brand 2024 de Brand Finance fait suite à la publication, en janvier dernier, du classement mondial des marques, dans lequel e& UAE a été classée comme la marque de télécommunications la plus forte au niveau mondial (note AAA) et la marque la plus forte au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique (MEA), toutes catégories confondues.

Brand Finance est le premier cabinet de conseil en évaluation de marques au monde. Depuis plus de 25 ans, son objectif est de combler le fossé entre le marketing et la finance en évaluant la force des marques et en quantifiant leur valeur financière afin d’aider les organisations de toutes sortes à prendre des décisions stratégiques. Chaque année, Brand Finance réalise plus de 5 000 évaluations de marques, étayées par des études de marché uniques, et publie plus de 100 rapports classant les marques dans tous les secteurs et tous les pays.

Une photo accompagnant ce communiqué est disponible à l’adresse suivante : http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5ab3f4e1-ad68-4a1f-b513-0f6dd6ce45d1

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Senior advocate wants Nigerian Law Reform Commission properly funded


A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr Mohammed Ndarani, says the Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC) should be properly funded to deliver on its mandate.

Ndarani said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the commission should be enabled to deliver on its mandate by constantly researching, reviewing, and reforming laws in the land.

The NLRC has the responsibility to conduct research, take and keep under review, all federal laws, with a view to their systematic and progressive development and reform.

It is mandated to do so in consonance with the prevailing norms of Nigerian society, to codify such laws, eliminate anomalies, repeal obsolete, spent, and unnecessary enactments, reform procedural laws in consonance with changes within the machinery of administration of justice.

The Commission can also, among other means, perform its functions based on proposals for law reform made or referred to it by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) or the
National Assembly.

It can also, by its own initiative, propose a programme for examination of different branches of law for reform, and submit same to the Attorney-General and the National Assembly.

Ndarani said that the NLRC needed to be more proactive in addressing obsolete and outdated laws in the country.

He noted that the presence of obsolete sections and aspects of the nation’s laws was one of the major problems bedevilling its economic progress and development.

The senior advocate said that such laws do not have any practical relevance to the realities of today’s Nigeria but were still being relied upon as binding.

See also Human rights commission moves to end workplace bullying

‘The presence of laws which are not in alignment with the laws in operation in the countries with which we do business would defeat the intendment of such operations as it would erode the basis for such activity,’ he added.

According to him, such laws also erode and retard administration of justice based on the nature of
their prescriptions and fines imposed, when considered against present day realities.

‘Examples include Sections 210 (Witchcraft) and 370 (Bigamy) of the criminal Code Acts and criminal Code Laws of States.

‘Witchcraft Act stipulates that anyone caught practicing magic and witchcraft has committed an offence. The problem is how do you ascertain what is magic and witchcraft? No one has been tried and convicted of this offence till date.

‘Bigamy refers to the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another.

‘It applies to both men and women, especially under the Matrimonial Causes Act. No one has been successfully prosecuted on this offence since the law was made.

‘The legality and validity of this law is put to serious question in the light of cultural and Islamic values which support marriage to more than one wife at the same time”.

He, however, noted that only Lagos State had decriminalised bigamy, which meant that it was no longer a crime in Lagos State to marry
another woman/man, where there was an already existing valid statutory marriage.

He said although NLRC was established in 1979 to reform in consonance with changes within the machinery of administration of justice, it had not been able to achieve much in relation to the mandate.

See also Appeal Court has 39,526 Pending Cases, says Justice Dongben-Mensem

Ndarani said that dependence on obsolete and outdated laws limited development of the country.

‘The exclusivity of the rights vested on the federal government is what has made several states lazy as they just wait to receive and share monies accruing to them from the federal allocation every month.

‘These laws make us bound to misguided policies of exploitation, frustrate import – export substitution, and diversification drives,’ he said.

According to him, obsolete maritime laws in the country also result in huge losses.

He said that any law that does not reflect the realities of the present day, in science, technological development, cultural advanceme
nt should not be lavishly deployed.

‘This is one sure path to a better Nigeria and also a good path to pulling this country out of the woods,” the senior advocate said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Committee urges NLC to consider realistic, sustainable minimum wage


The Committee of Youths on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to align its minimum wage demand with governments’ ability to pay sustainably.

Its Director-General, Mr Obinna Nwaka, made the call during a thanksgiving service to mark the end of the 2024 Youths’ Week at the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Nyanya, Abuja on Sunday.

The theme of the thanksgiving service was, ‘Promotion of Peaceful Coexistence and Religious Co-creation in our Nation’.

Nwaka said that considering the current economic challenges in the country, ‘the federal and state governments may struggle to pay, if the amount is unrealistic.’

According to him, the N250,000 demand as minimum wage by the NLC for workers is not sustainable, considering the country’s current financial situation.

He pointed out that Nigeria is still recovering from the economic difficulties of the past administration and warned against making promises that could destabilise the nation.

He also argued tha
t a substantial salary increase would be insufficient if critical infrastructure and public services remain inadequate.

He advised labour to also pay attention to addressing broader systemic issues rather than focusing solely on wage increase.

‘We are in the same shoes. There are other areas; labour for example can advocate for good governance; it’s not just all about minimum wage,’ he added.

He called on the NLC to channel their efforts towards advocating for improved healthcare and education services, including the provisions of critical infrastructure.

This, he believes, could have a more significant impact on the quality of life of the Nigerian workers.

See also NBC to demarcate Delta boundaries to avert clashes – DG

‘Even if they are paying you 500,000 Naira as a salary, it will not be enough, if a healthcare facility is not there; if infrastructure is not there; and if we cannot even send our children to a public school.

‘The NLC should focus on motivating the government to invest in these essent
ial sectors,’ he said.

Earlier, the minister in charge, Rev. Samuel Labuja, said that the conversations, throughout the youths’ week, reflected the nation’s quest for unity and development.

Labuja advised the youths to maximise their potential and invest in self-reliance ventures, as against depending on white-collar jobs.

‘The youths should understand that we can’t live together without peace, and the best we can do to make the nation move forward is to live in peace.

‘Youths should learn not to depend on salary alone. They should make use of their God-given talent to earn more resources.

‘Whatever you are doing, do it well to the glory of God to earn a living,’ he said.

On his part, the Church’s Youths President, Mr Bobby Odia, described the week-long youths’ conference as impactful.

Odia particularly said that the youths, as leaders of tomorrow, have understood the need to contribute their resources towards the development of the country.

‘We just celebrated the 2024 Youths’ Week with the theme, ‘S
tand Firm and Take Charge’, and for us to be the future of tomorrow, we have to utilise our energy for the good of our nation,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

ECOWAS Court dismisses Dasuki’s enforcement suit against FG


The ECOWAS Court has dismissed an application filed by former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, praying the court to compel Nigeria to enforce its judgment delivered in his favour on Oct. 4, 2016.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had in the judgment declared Dasuki’s arrest and detention by the Nigerian government unlawful and a violation of his rights.

Justice Sengu Koroma, the Judge Rapporteur, while delivering judgment in Abuja on Dasuki’s application for enforcement, dismissed it on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain or enforce the earlier judgment.

Koroma said the court was guided by laid down procedures regarding the enforcement of its judgments as enshrined in the Community Law, and the proper party to institute an enforcement failure claim.

‘Having thoroughly assessed the claims and constitutive texts of the Court, it lacks the competence to adjudicate the present claim,’ the court said.

NAN reports that in the suit marked: ECW/CC
J/JUD/23/16, Justice Friday Nwoke had declared the government’s action against Dasuki as ‘arbitrary, unlawful, a mockery of democracy and the rule of law, and a violation of local and international rights to liberty.’

The court had further held that the government’s action violated Dasuki’s rights under the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

It, therefore, ordered the release of all the seized properties of the applicant, as well as the payment of N15, 000,000 damages to him.

See also Resolving Mali, B/Faso, Niger ECOWAS exit imbroglio

Following the federal government’s failure to comply with and enforce the said judgment, the applicant, therefore, filed the application before the court for its enforcement.

Earlier at the hearing of the matter, the federal government denied the applicant’s allegations, stressing that the properties being claimed by Dasuki were subjects of ongoing criminal proceedings, which he did n
ot disclose in the suit.

The respondent’s counsel had argued that the government had already fulfilled its obligations, adding that the court’s Chief Registrar had issued a Writ of Execution, making the relief prayed for by the applicant unnecessary.

The panel, which comprised Justice Edward Asante (presiding), Justice Sengu Koroma (Judge Rapporteur), and Justice Ricardo Claúdio Gonçalves (member), awarded no costs to parties in the suit.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NGO calls for collaboration to address menstrual hygiene management


A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Wonder Woman, has called for increased collaboration by stakeholders to address menstrual hygiene issues among secondary school students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The group’s Vice President, Anne Dirkling, made the call during sensitisation workshop at the Federal Government Girls’ College Bwari, FCT, on Monday.

She said it is normal to sensitise young girls to understand menstrual health hygiene and to normalise as a natural growth pattern for the female.

She acknowledged the struggles of girls and women in Nigeria who faced period stigma in society, which is why the NGO came up with the sensitisation workshop.

She added that the project in support of the French Embassy in Nigeria provided a platform for girls to learn about puberty and adolescence in a safe, open environment.

‘We have containers across the town for people to drop plastic waste, and in exchange, we distribute reusable sanitary pads and soaps,’ she said.

According to her, plastic is n
ot used to make pads but to gather, sell to bottle recycling companies, and use the funds to purchase menstrual hygiene kits for vulnerable girls and women in society.

‘The Plastic Pads Project is conducted in partnership with other parts and Bwari Area Council by placing containers around town to collect recyclable waste.

‘The proceeds are used to provide sanitary hygiene kits, reusable pads, and soap to girls in the community,’ Dirkling said.

She emphasised the importance of normalising menstruation where girls could openly discuss and understand menstrual health, noting that ‘this would be possible by encouraging conversations and providing necessary products.

See also No COVID-19 vaccines for under-18 – PTF

‘The initiative aims to empower girls, reduce school absenteeism, and ensure they remain confident and focused on their education.’

The NGO Programme manager, Mr Kumbet Longdi, said the aim of the workshop is

to inspire girls to take action for a period-friendly environment, thereby encouraging
them to gather plastic waste in exchange for sanitary pads.

One of the students, Blessing Efeoghene, who came overall best in the questions and answers session, commended the NGO for the initiative, saying ‘we will ensure that more plastic waste are gathered

and deposited in the container given to us by the NGO.’

Thr News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the programme, a container was launched at the school, and 170 menstrual hygiene kits were distributed to the students.

The group explored various aspects of menstruation, societal perceptions, and the importance of menstrual health and hygiene through educative sessions and games with the students.

NAN reports that menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle, indicating the absence of pregnancy.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NNPC Ltd disowns report on alleged inflated subsidy claims


The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) on Monday disowned reports in some sections of the media alleging that it inflated subsidy claims by N3.3trillion.

A statement issued by Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd., stated that the company had always conducted its businesses accountably and transparently, with international best practices.

Soneye said NNPC Ltd. had at no time inflated its subsidy claims with the Federal Government, noting that all previous subsidy claims by the company were verifiable, as relevant records and documents had been sent to relevant authorities and agencies.

He said that NNPC Ltd. was neither aware of any audit of its subsidy claims nor probe, noting that the ridiculous reports were the products of the imagination of the reporters and their respective media houses.

‘NNPC Ltd. will resist any attempt to drag the company into the apparent politics of fuel subsidy as it currently operates on commercial basis and on the express provi
sions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

‘It is on record that in line with its Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) mantra, NNPC Ltd. has, on several occasions, independently invited external auditors to review its books.

‘NNPC Ltd. calls on media practitioners and media houses to exercise restraint and verify information before publication in keeping with the ethics of the noble profession of journalism to avoid misleading the public,’ Soneye added.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Alleged extra-judicial killings: lawyer files leave to appeal against judgment


An Abuja-based human rights and constitutional lawyer, Emmanuel Ekpenyong, has filed a motion for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court, the judgment of Court of Appeal, Abuja delivered on March 27, which dismissed his case against the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal had, on March 27, dismissed Ekpenyong’s appeal on the alleged prevalence of extra-judicial killings in the country and affirmed the decision of the trial court.

The appellate court upheld a Federal High Court (FHC) Abuja judgment delivered by Justice Nkeonye Maha, on May 6, 2022, that dismissed his suit seeking to address the alleged increasing cases of extra-judicial killings by the law enforcement agencies and non-state actors in Nigeria.

The three-member Justices, chaired by Justice Joseph Oyewole, unanimously held that the appellant, Ekpenyong of the law firm of Fred-Young and Evans LP, lacked requisite locus standi (legal right) to institute the suit.

Justice Oyewole-led panel also awarded a N250, 000 c
osts against the lawyer.

However, in a notice of notion for leave to appeal marked: CA/ABJ/PRE/ROA/CU/582mi/2024 between Emmanuel Ekpenyong Esq. Vs. President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, the lawyer sought two orders.

The motion, dated and filed June 5, was made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

He sought an order granting him leave to appeal against the decision of the Appeal Court in appeal number: CA/ABJ/CV/1200/2022, on grounds of mixed law and facts as set out in his proposed notice of appeal annexed as ‘Exhibit JO3.’

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He also sought an order granting leave to him to appeal against the concurrent findings of the FHC in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/755/2020; and the judgment of the Appeal Court in appeal no. CA/ABJ/CV/1200/2022; on the extent of his right to life guaranteed under Section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

In the proposed notice of appeal, Ekpenyong
contended that the Appeal Court justices misdirected themselves and erred in law when they held that reasonable cause of action vest him with the requisite locus standi to institute the suit.

He said the judges also erred in law when they failed to consider the provisions of Article 3 (e) of the Fundamental Right Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009 which confirmed his locus standi in the suit.

He said instead, they relied on the general principle of law on reasonable cause to arrive at the conclusion that he had no locus standi to institute his fundamental human right suit.

He argued that the appellate court erred in law when they held that his suit for interpretation of the extent of his constitutional right to life enshrined in Section 33 (1) of the Constitution did not disclose a reasonable cause of action and is mere academic and hypothetical.

According to him, the Court of Appeal did not state why the surviving paragraphs of the affidavit in support of the originating summons did not constitute a reaso
nable cause of action.

Ekpenyong equally argued that the court erred in law when it affirmed the trial court’s award of N100, 000 costs against him and awarded an additional cost of N250, 000 against him, even where the trial court did not state its reason for the fine.

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Besides, he said that no valid reason could be seen from the Court of Appeal’s sanction as well against him for prosecuting a suit for interpretation of his constitutional right to life enshrined in Section 33 (1) of the Constitution’

Against these backgrounds, he argued that ‘the findings of both the trial court and Court of Appeal is perverse and was reached as a result of a wrong approach to the evidence before them and a wrong application of principle of substantive law and procedure.’

He said there was a need for him to appeal their decision to the Supreme Court for the court to interfere with the findings of both courts.

‘This constitutes an exceptional circu
mstance for this Honourable Court to grant this application,’ Ekpenyong said.

He equally said that being dissatisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal, he is desirous of appealing against the concurrent findings in the judgment of both the lower and upper courts on questions of mixed law and facts.

The lawyer said the application is made in the interest of justice.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FCTA to unveil renewed hope agenda’s medical outreach in Kuje


The FCT Administration (FCTA) says it has concluded plans to provide free healthcare services under its ‘Renewed Hope Medical Outreach’ programme, in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, FCTA Mandate Secretary, Health Services and Environment Secretariat, stated this when she visited the traditional leader of Kuje, and the Chairman of the Kuje Area Council, in Kuje on Monday.

Fasawe explained that the medical outreach was part of activities to celebrate President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office.

‘We will be offering general healthcare services, eye care with free glasses and surgery when necessary, dental care, and free blood, HIV, hepatitis test.

‘We also have nutritional desk where we will teach women on how to make cheap, affordable and quality food for their children, she said.

Fasawe added: ‘Not only that, we will also have a health education department to teach people how to prevent diseases.

‘We will also go further to talk about clean cooking for people to be conscious of the envi
ronment and the air we breathe.

‘We will be demonstrating and giving out gas cookers to show people the effectiveness and advantage of cooking without smoke.

‘This is because the smoke we inhaled is bad for our lungs and our children’s development,’ she said.

The mandate secretary said that the outreach would be open to residents of the area but with particular attention to women and children.

She said that every woman that showed up would be registered to access free health services for one year.

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Fasawe explained that the gesture was in line with the one year health insurance for pregnant women approved by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike.

‘This is because we have zero tolerance to maternal mortality. It is unacceptable for any woman to die of pregnancy or childbirth complications,’ she said.

Mandate Secretary, Health Services and Environment Secretariat, FCT Administration, Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, addressing offic
ials of Kuje Area Council on planned free medical outreach for residents of Kuje on Monday.

Fasawe urged pregnant women to visit nearest primary health centres for antenatal care and to deliver their baby with a skilled birth attendant

On the target residents, she said: ‘We intend to reach as much as we can; as much that comes in here; and as much as time allows.

‘For those that we cannot see, there is provision for further care at the nearest Primary Healthcare Centres and the General Hospitals.

‘Basically, the target is, come one; come all, but on a first come first serve basis. There won’t be favouritism; just come, get a number and you get adequate healthcare,’ she said.

She explained that the outreach, which would begin on June 12, was the first of many, adding that after covering the six Area Councils, it would be extended to communities based on needs.

She said that the choice of locations was scientific, adding, ‘we look at the hospital records; and we look at health seeking habits.

‘We have re
alised that the people of Kuje are actually needing much more than our general hospital can give right now,’ she said.

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Also, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Babagana Adam, urged the traditional leaders and council’s officials to mobilise residents in Churches and Mosques to take advantage of the opportunity to access free medical services.

In his remarks, the Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Haruna Jibrin, thanked the Secretariat for the medical outreach which he described as good news.

‘I thank President Tinubu, FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike and FCT Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud for considering Kuje for the initiative,’ he said.

Also, the Kuje Area Council Chairman, Mr Abdullahi Sabo, assured Fasawe of the council’s full support.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, who bears the same name, Sabo said he had directed all the 10 Counselors in the council to mobilise their people for the exercise.

‘We will continue to support Wike as
agents of Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

How has journalism fared after 25 years of civil rule


The Nigeria’s media are among the institutions whose role in the struggle for the return of the country’s democracy in May 29, 1999 stand out.

In fact, the media remained unbowed in the heat of onslaught unleashed by the regime of Gen. Sani Abacha, now late and other military junta.

Many activists were involved in the struggle that ousted the military junta that hijacked political power through coups and counter coups for cumulative 29 out of 39 years of Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

Many human rights infractions were committed by the junta as democracy and rights activists such as Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka Ken-Saro Wiwa, Lola Omolol, Dan Suleiman, Ebitu Ukiwe and now President Bola Tinubu battled the military.

They found partners in a fearless media some of whom witnessed proscriptions and other forms of attacks as they rose stoutly in challenge of the Khaki junta.

Some journalists lost their lives in the struggle while others suffered other forms of deprivations, including ‘routine’ detentio
n in security agencies’ dungeons.

But in spite of the contributions made by the fourth estate of the realm, not much respect and recognition seem to have come their way 25 years after the unbroken democratic governance.

Most journalists, especially those in the private media organisations, are either poorly paid or not placed on salaries.

The problem of all important training and re-training of newsmen cut across both private and public media organisations.

Dr Chris Isiguzo, President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said it was unfortunate that in spite of their unquantifiable contribution to the return to democracy the media remain under appreciated by the society and politicians.

‘Journalists and media houses took immense risks, often facing persecution, imprisonment, and even death, to ensure that the voices of the oppressed were heard and for the calls on democratic governance to be amplified.

‘The press served as a beacon of hope and a rallying point for pro-democracy activists and groups, r
elentlessly exposing the injustices and human rights abuses perpetrated by the military regimes.

‘Their courage and tenacity played a critical role in mobilising public opinions and international support for the cause of democracy,’ he said.

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Isiguzo says in the 25 years since the restoration of democratic governance, the media has continued to play a crucial role in consolidating and deepening democracy in Nigeria.

‘It has been instrumental in holding government and public officials accountable, advocating transparency, and promoting good governance.

‘Through investigative journalism, the media has uncovered numerous instances of corruption and abuse of power, thereby contributing to the fight against corruption and enhancing public trust in democratic institutions,’ he said.

He said the implementation of restrictive laws; especially the Cybercrimes Prohibition Act of 2015 and the occasional hostility from certain government q
uarters underscore the ongoing struggle for true press freedom more than two decades after return to democracy.

Isiguzo insists that for democracy to thrive, it is imperative that the government not only respects but actively protects the rights of journalists to report freely.

‘Many Nigerians rely on the media to stay informed and hold leaders accountable. However, the relationship is sometimes strained due to issues of trust and credibility.

‘The proliferation of misinformation platforms and sensationalism in some segments of the media has led to skepticism among the public,’ he said.

Malam Ali Baba Inuwa, the immediate past Head, Politics Desk, News Agency of Nigeria believes that poor welfare and lack of common front among media professionals are top on the problems affecting the profession.

‘When the struggle for media salary structure was being pursued it was some journalists and proprietors of media organisations that scuttled it.

‘Yet it was the media that aided the struggle for enhanced salarie
s for medical doctors, nurses, legal officials and other groups,’ he said.

Inuwa, a retired veteran journalist also said that the albatross of media practice in Nigeria are both the society and government.

‘I began my media practice in the 1990s and the respect for the media then was better than what we are seeing now.

‘In spite the position of the media in the fight for the return of civil rule, the military had good respect and the people held journalists in higher esteem than now.

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‘I recalled with nostalgia, in NAN quarters then, it was only two persons that had Volkswagen cars, the salary wasn’t too fantastic and yet people respected us when they noticed we are journalists in social gatherings’ he said.

Inuwa, who recently retired from the services of NAN, said Nigerians, especially politicians, no longer regard the media and their contributions in restoration of civil rule.

‘I was driving an SUV vehicle recently and at a ch
eckpoint, security personnel stopped me, when I introduced myself as a journalist, he said ‘hmm,’ does journalist also drive jeep,’ he said.

Inuwa, however, urged Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to sanitise the profession by flushing out quacks, even as he urged the federal government to revisit the media salary structure demand.

This, he said, was important for Nigeria’s media to effectively operate as catalyst for social change.

For Emmanuel Ifesinachi, the Vice-President NUJ, South East Zone, it is unfortunate that the media was at the front burner in the struggle for the return of democracy but today treated as the goose that lays the golden egg.

‘Some journalists such as late Dele Giwa were manhandled, brutalised, jailed and even killed in the course of the struggle to restore democracy.

‘It is painful and unbelievable that the Media which served as the oxygen for democracy after its members’ paid high prize for the enthronement of democracy are now seen as misfit, unwanted, irrelevant and liabil
ity in the Society.

‘The political class now perceived the media as their enemies either that they don’t understand the function of journalism or they don’t want the society to properly assess information to enable the citizens enjoy full dividends of democracy’, he said.

Ifesinachi blamed quackery in the profession on poor welfare scheme because authentic newsmen were moving to more lucrative disciplines.

‘The media has been acting as a voice for the oppressed and a platform for pro-democracy movements.

‘During the military regime, journalists faced harassment, imprisonment, and censorship but persisted in exposing abuses and advocating for democratic values.

‘In the 25 years of unbroken democracy, the media has been instrumental in promoting transparency, accountability and civic engagement therefore should be recognised and given its place of honour,’ said Grace Ike, of ADBN Television Media Organisation and chairperson, House of Representatives Press Corps.

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, Wike

Ike said challenges such as press freedom limitations, harassment, and the spread of misinformation still persist, requiring efforts to safeguard journalistic independence and integrity.

According to her, the media should be a cornerstone in Nigeria’s quest for better governance, serving as a watchdog that holds leaders accountable, informs the public, and fosters transparency.

She observed that those basking in the euphoria of the silver jubilee of the nation’s return to democracy should be made to remember how democracy was won.

Igwe Nomeh, former state chairman of People Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi, shares the same sentiment as Ike.

He said as Nigeria celebrates democracy rule, the media should be respected for its role in the struggle that gave rise to the celebration.

‘In the dark days of military regime, journalists fearlessly put their lives on the line to expose various human rights violations which attracted both regional and international interests resulting to the return of civilian
administration in 1999,’ he said.

Nomeh added even the political class who today is the highest beneficiary of democracy was not too visible during the struggle.

‘I treasure the contributions of the media because without them, the military would have continued to hold everyone hostage,’ he said.

Nomeh observed with regrets that in spite the contributions of the media, not much attention is being given to the sector by the government.

He recommended a good welfare package and development of the profession through training and re-training as done in other climes.

It is evident that the media professionals in Nigeria have not been appreciated enough as evident in the poor welfare, working tools and environment in which they operate.

It is therefore incumbent on media operators, both private and public to re-evaluate what they provide for their media employees.

That is one of the best ways to ensure newsmen also enjoy the dividends of democracy which they worked for.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Hunters’ body begs Tinubu to give assent to NHFSS bill


The Nigeria Hunter and Forest Security Service (NHFSS) has called on President Bola Tinubu to consider the Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Bill before him for assent to give it legal backing.

The Commander General (CG) of NHFSS, Dr Joshua Osatimehin, made the call during the training of over 375 officers of the service by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in Abuja.

Osatimehin said the signing of the bill would boost and empower the service to do more and contribute to the fight against criminality in Nigeria.

According to him, in the South-South, men of NHFSS are doing fantastically well in the fight against oil bunkering, oil theft and saving money for the Federal Government.

He called for the financing of the activities of hunters and forest security services, adding that the personnel had been working voluntarily.

‘We are attacking the bandits because nobody knows the forest more than the hunters.

‘We have been saying this over and over, that Nigerian hunters and forest secur
ity is the missing link in Nigeria’s security architecture,” he said.

Osatimehin, said the training workshop was designed to enhance the capacity of its operatives in their quest to actively fight criminals in the forests.

He added that the training would go a long way in enhancing the productivity of NHFSS personnel towards strengthening the security of lives and property in forests across the country.

The CG said that the capacity workshop was also to enable the hunters to contribute to the realisation of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda in the area of security.

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He thanked the Commandant-General of the NSCDC for giving them the platform to have well trained personnel and to boost their capacity to deliver on their mandates.

‘NSCDC has over the years being rendering necessary security training to NHFSS to enable the service be abreast with current strategies on intelligence gathering, security tips, code of conduct among othe
rs in line with the best international security standard.

‘This is geared towards safeguarding the country from crimes and criminality, especially in the ungoverned space which is the forests nationwide.

‘The training has been impactful and we have learnt a lot in the last couple of days and it is a good effort in the right direction.

‘This is one way to boost the confidence of the citizens that the Nigerian hunters and forest security personnel are well trained and are ready to take up the assignment of protecting the forest,” he said.

The NHFSS CG commended Tinubu for the successes so far recorded in the fight against insecurity in the last one year.

The Deputy Commander General (DCG), Technical Services, Dr John Metchie, said the training was a train the trainer initiative to enable the senior officers passes same down to the local level.

Metchie said the organisation was determined to bring everybody up to standard, to the same level as the NSCDC, Police, Army and other security services.

He said
the organisation had over the years, been collaborating with all the security agencies to get its personnel adequately trained.

‘We have also collaborated with the Police Department of Training and Development on managing security and security challenges within the forested region.

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‘We have also effectively collaborated with the Department of State Security Service on intelligent gathering within forested region.

‘And now with the NSCDC being one of the lead agencies in Nigeria in terms of internal security awareness campaign and the mandate of securing the critical infrastructure.

‘So, part of their job is what we are also doing within the forest because pipelines pass through the forest and mineral resources are also embedded within the forest.

‘So we are here to learn from them being one of the parenting bodies of security,” he said.

Metchie further said that the NHFSS had been clamouring for presidential assent to its bill to be able to pr
ove to the public and the federal government that they were up to the task.

‘We want Mr President to give official assent to empower our officers the command structures to work with the constituted authority to curb crimes and criminality within the forest.

‘You will agree with me that forest is the treasure base of any country, and 80 per cent of our mineral resources are located within the forested region and bandits and other criminal elements have taken over this forest’, he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Nigeria Youth League will expose budding talents, CEO says


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigeria Youth League (N-Youth League), Robinson Adakosa, says the League will expose budding and skillful players to limelight.

Adakosa stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the management of the league would ensure that its objective of getting the best legs from the grassroots was actualised.

He thanked the Ministry of Sports Development for endorsing the upcoming N-Youth League.

Adakosa also expressed gratitude to the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) and the Federal Capital Territory Football Association (FCT-FA), for their support.

He said the endorsement by the football bodies was a proof that the sports administrators want the best for the country’s football from the grassroots level.

The administrator said that their actions also showed that they believe in the youths to be the projectors of Nigerian football to the outside world.

He pro
mised not to let Nigeria down, adding that management will give its best in ensuring that the objective of the competition was strictly adhered to.

‘Our target is to expose budding, skillful and talented players to the national and international limelight.

‘Our target is equally to promote Nigerian football on the global stage. So, with the endorsement of the League, we promise not to let Nigeria down.’

‘We will make sure that the League is in line with the best global practices and regulations governing football worldwide,’ Adakosa stated.

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While noting that registration for participating clubs has commenced since June 1, he urged that the rules and guidelines should be strictly followed.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2024 Nigeria Youth League will commence in September.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Flood: NDDC begins construction of emergency shelter


The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said it has begun construction of a Multipurpose Emergency Shelter designed to serve as a refuge during flood emergencies in the Niger delta region.

Managing Director of NDDC, Samuel Ogbuku, made this known on Monday in Abuja, while defending the commission’s 2024 budget estimate of N1.911 trillion before the Senate Committee on NDDC.

In his presentation, Ogbuku said that from the proposed 2024 budget, N38.5 billion was for personnel, while N29.2 billion was for overhead and N1 trillion earmarked for legacy projects.

He said that the Multipurpose Emergency Shelter, which was a flagship of NDDC’s present administration with a capacity of over 1,000 accommodations, was designed to serve as a refuge during flood emergencies.

‘In response to the frequent flooding challenges faced by Niger Deltans, we have commenced construction of a Multipurpose Emergency Shelter with a capacity of over 1,000 accommodations, designed to serve as a refuge during flood emergencies.

‘The facility includes essential amenities such as a school, hospital, cafeteria, police post, and recreation centre, aimed at providing comprehensive support to the community,’ he said.

He said that once completed, the multipurpose emergency shelter would play a vital role in offering temporary accommodation and necessary services to the population in the event of emergencies in the region.

‘The NDDC’s proactive approach in addressing the needs of the affected communities through such initiatives underscores the Commission’s commitment to enhancing emergency response and resilience in the Niger Delta region,’ he added.

Ogbuku further said that in the area of infrastructure, the commission came up with ‘Operation Light Up Niger Delta Region’.

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‘This has seen a reasonable number of the communities being lit up using solar powered street lights, which have boosted the economic activities of communities at night.

‘In education,
we have awarded foreign scholarships to 750 individuals between 2023-2024 (for 2022, 2023 and 2024 years) and provided educational grants to 84 individuals.

‘Additionally, we are distributing 45, 000 Ulesson tablets preloaded with Nigerian and WAEC syllabus to schools in the nine states in the Niger Delta region.’

He said that the commission had commissioned a programme, to enable enrolment of poor and vulnerable people into the various Social Health Insurance Schemes of the nine NDDC states.

This, he said, was in view of the prevailing poor health indices of the country and particularly the region.

‘This is to also facilitate easy access to essential health and social services towards Universal Health Coverage.’

Ogbuku said that the commission was working toward completion of some ongoing projects, in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive.

The MD also said that his administration was committed to payment of legacy debts because, ‘we are committed to the welfare of our people in the Niger Delta’.

H
e said that N100 billion was earmarked to begin payment of legacy debts, adding that in 10 years’ time the commission would have offset the legacy debts.

Chairman of the Senate Committee, Sen. Asuquo Ekpenyong, while noting that although the budget was brought late, said NDDC had recorded salient achievements like ‘light up Niger Delta’.

‘I hope that the 2024 budget will consolidate on already existing projects. I commend the NDDC’s scholarship programme,’he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NGO urges collaboration to improve menstrual hygiene management


A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Wonder Woman has called for increased collaboration by stakeholders to address

menstrual hygiene issues among secondary school students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The group’s Vice President, Anne Dirkling, made the call during sensitisation workshop at the Federal Government Girls’ Collage Bwari, FCT, on Friday.

She said it is normal to sensitise young girls to understand menstrual health hygiene and to normalise as a natural growth pattern for the female.

She acknowledged the struggles of girls and women in Nigeria who faced period stigma in society, which is why the NGO came up with the sensitisation workshop.

She added that the project in support of the French Embassy in Nigeria provided a platform for girls to learn about puberty and adolescence in a safe, open environment.

‘We have containers across the town for people to drop plastic waste, and in exchange, we distribute reusable sanitary pads and soaps,’ she said.

According to her, plastic is n
ot used to make pads but to gather, sell to bottle recycling companies, and use the funds to purchase menstrual hygiene kits for vulnerable girls and women in society.

‘The Plastic Pads Project is conducted in partnership with other parts and Bwari Area Council by placing containers around town to collect recyclable waste.

‘The proceeds are used to provide sanitary hygiene kits, reusable pads, and soap to girls in the community,’ Dirkling said.

She emphasised the importance of normalising menstruation where girls could openly discuss and understand menstrual health, noting that ‘this would be possible by encouraging conversations and providing necessary products.

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‘The initiative aims to empower girls, reduce school absenteeism, and ensure they remain confident and focused on their education.’

The NGO Programme manager, Mr Kumbet Longdi, said the aim of the workshop is to inspire girls to take action for a period-friendly environment, thereby encou
raging them to gather plastic waste in exchange for sanitary pads.

One of the students, Blessing Efeoghene, who came overall best in the questions and answers session, commended the NGO for the initiative, saying ‘we will ensure that more plastic waste are gathered and deposited in the container given to us by the NGO.’

Thr News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the programme, a container was launched at the school, and 170 menstrual hygiene kits were distributed to the students.

The group explored various aspects of menstruation, societal perceptions, and the importance of menstrual health and hygiene through educative sessions and games with the students.

NAN reports that menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle, indicating the absence of pregnancy.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria