Nigerian executives need strategic leadership to thrive–TEXEM faculty


Prof. John Peters, a faculty of the United Kingdom leadership development organisation, TEXEM, says CEOs and directors know that in the present turbulent times, organizations face multiple global and local challenges.

Answering questions on TEXEM’s website, www.texem.co.uk, on the coming programme of the organization billed for Manchester, Peters says the million dollar question is, how can they win in these turbulent times?

The TEXEM faculty asserts that Nigerian executives need strategic leadership and paradigm shift to thrive in such uncertain glocal business landscape.

He said the programme, ‘Strategic Leadership Unleashed: Thriving In An Uncertain GLOCAL World’ will equip Nigerian and global leaders with the agility and foresight to navigate complexity successfully.

‘Through this framework, leaders can anticipate market shifts, harness global opportunities, and address local nuances adeptly.

‘For instance, adept strategic leaders can leverage cross-cultural insights to expand operations internationa
lly while remaining rooted in local values, thus fostering sustainable growth.

‘A prime example of a company embodying these principles is Dangote Group, which, under the strategic leadership of Aliko Dangote, has successfully expanded its footprint continent-wide while maintaining its Nigerian roots,’ Peters said.

According to him, these topics and more will be covered during the forthcoming TEXEM programme, which will be held in Manchester between May 26 and May 30.

John Peters, former Chair of the Association of MBAs (an organisation that accredits Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and IMD), is a top world leadership speaker and survivor par excellence. He was a Prisoner of War during the Gulf War 1.

He will be among the three faculty members delivering the TEXEM programme titled ‘Strategic Leadership Unleashed: Thriving In An Uncertain GLOCAL World’, which is billed for Manchester.

Other faculty members include Prof. Rodria Laline (the inventor of the IP being used on all ATMs globally, Former SVP for Oracl
e in Asia Pacific and Harvard, INSEAD and IMD Professor)

Prof. Paul Griffith (the World’s first Professor of Management to lead a team to launch a rocket into space) is also a faculty on this programme.

Peters says understanding the changing roles of strategic leaders in these increasingly disruptive global and local times enables leaders to adopt a more holistic approach to decision-making to win.

He added that it enables balancing short-term objectives with long-term considerations, creating value for all stakeholders, and ensuring the resilience and longevity of their organisations.

Peters further explained how pressure can be utilised as a catalyst for innovation in problem-solving within an organisation.

‘Pressure can be a powerful catalyst for innovation in problem-solving within an organisation by fostering urgency, resourcefulness, adaptive thinking, risk-taking, collaboration, learning, adaptation, and motivation among individuals and teams.

‘When harnessed effectively, pressure can fuel creati
vity and drive positive change, leading to breakthrough solutions that propel the organisation forward,’ he said.

Peters said leaders can employ several strategies to recognise a crisis as an opportunity for transformation and organisational excellence.

According to the faculty, one of the strategies

is to embrace a growth mindset, by reframing challenges as opportunities and building the organisation’s core competence to respond to external threats.

Peters says in this way, leaders can inspire a culture of resilience and creativity within the organisation.

He said another strategy is to stay agile and adaptive explaining that by staying nimble and open to new possibilities, leaders can identify opportunities for transformation and guide the organisation towards excellence.

Peters also prescribed encouragement of innovation saying by fostering a culture of innovation, leaders can harness the collective intelligence of their workforce to overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

Focusing on purpose a
nd values is another strategy prescribed by the TEXEM faculty.

According to Peters, by anchoring decision-making and actions in core principles, leaders can ensure alignment and coherence across the organisation.

He said they can also guide efforts towards transformative outcomes that uphold the organisation’s mission and vision.

Peters suggested communicating transparently, explaining that transparent communication fosters trust, builds resilience, and encourages collective problem-solving, laying the foundation for organisational excellence.

He urged leaders and executives to empower and support employees saying by investing in employee well-being and development, leaders can foster a motivated and resilient workforce capable of driving transformation.

Peters advised them to learn from adversity asserting that by embracing a mindset of continuous learning and improvement, leaders can leverage crises as catalysts for organisational excellence.

‘For example renowned organisations such as Disney, Microso
ft, Uber and Airbnb were all founded during economic crises.

‘If they can thrive despite the challenging external environment so can Nigerian organisations,’ the faculty said.

Another strategy he prescribed for the leaders is to lead by example saying by embodying the values and behaviours they wish to see in others, leaders can inspire confidence, foster trust, and galvanise collective action towards transformative outcomes.

‘By attending the forthcoming TEXEM programme you will be able to glean fresh insights into how to win in these volatile times,’ Peters said.

He offered some insights from Nigerian organisations and how their experiences can offer some lessons applicable to other contexts.

Referring to the Dangote Group again, he said that one key strategy that has contributed to the group’s resilience is diversification.

‘The lesson here is the importance of diversification in building resilience and sustaining growth, particularly in volatile environments.

‘Another is Guaranty Trust Bank: GTBank
has leveraged technology to expand its reach and offer customers innovative financial products and services.

‘The lesson here is the importance of embracing digital transformation and innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and meet customers’ evolving needs,’ Peters said.

He also mentioned the Lagos State Government as another Nigerian entity with commendable core competence.

‘The Lagos State Government has implemented various initiatives to ameliorate challenges such as traffic congestion, infrastructure deficits, and environmental degradation.

‘The lesson here is the importance of proactive governance, strategic planning, and public-private partnerships in addressing complex challenges and driving sustainable development.

‘Overall, many Nigerian organisations have demonstrated resilience, innovation, and adaptability in navigating crises, uncertainties and challenges,’ Peters said.

He said the key lessons from their experiences include the importance of diversification, digital transformati
on, innovation, collaboration, and proactive governance in building resilience and sustaining growth in uncertain environments.

‘While these lessons can be applied to challenges of the past, there is an urgent need to glean new insights on how to address present and future challenges such as how does geopolitics affect organisation’s particularly in emerging markets and how can leaders turn these headwinds to tailwinds,’ Peters said.

Peters, Laline and Griffith will leverage TEXEM’s tested and proven methodology that makes learning engaging, experiential, actionable and beneficial at the programme.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Commission urges NASS to establish Disability Trust Fund


The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) has appealed to the National Assembly to pass the Bill for the establishment of Disability Trust Fund before it.

The Executive Secretary, Dr James Lalu, made the appeal at a two-day sensitisation of stakeholders on Disability Accessibility Regulations, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The event was organised by the NCPWD, in collaboration with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme.

Lalu explained that the fund, if established, would enable the commission to implement disability-inclusive programmes and interventions to leave no one behind.

He added that the fund would also enable the commission to support states that were yet to domesticate the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (prohibition) Act, 2018, to do so.

He also said that the Act, if domesticated across the states, would also make provisions for the Disability Trust Fund at the state level.

This, according to him, will encourage the states to implement their peculiar disabi
lity inclusive programmes, especially the enforcement of disability accessibility regulations.

‘Most of the states have domesticated the disability law. Some even established agencies for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), but ensuring disability inclusion and accessibility for PwDs is capital intensive.

‘In fact, some states have established disability institutions, but our interest in the disability trust fund is to raise funds to support states that are yet to domesticate the Act to do so,’ he said.

In her remarks, Ms Brisca Aaron, the Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Agency for the Disabled Persons, pointed out that the state had already domesticated the disability prohibition act.

Aaron added that the state government had equally implemented the five percent employment quota for PwDs and commenced enforcement of the accessibility law.

According to her, the law was designed to ensures PwDs’ access to public infrastructure in the state.

Also speaking, Mr Monu El-Dad, Chairman, Abia State Commission f
or the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, reiterated the state government’s commitment to strengthen partnerships with stakeholders to advance the course of PwDs in the state.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NSE confers fellowship on 63 engineers


The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has conferred its fellowship on 63 engineers across various sectors in Nigeria.

Its President, Margaret Oguntala, conferred the fellowship on them at the Society’s Special Dinner on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oguntala, in a remark, said that the conferees had made exceptional contributions to the field of engineering, and urged them to continue to adhere to the codes and ethics of the profession.

She said they had been at the forefront in the drive for progress and development across various sectors including infrastructure, energy, healthcare, information technology, among others.

She also said they had overcome challenges and pioneered solutions with their unwavering commitment to excellence, tireless pursuit of knowledge and dedication to the advancement of the profession.

‘Each fellow being conferred represents the epitome of engineering excellence and serves as an inspiration to us all.

‘As we celebrate, we must acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead. The world
is evolving at an unprecedented pace driven by technological advancements and societal changes.

‘As engineers, it is our responsibility to adapt to these changes, to embrace innovation and to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible.’

Oguntala called on the conferees to remain steadfast in NSE’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the profession.

According to her, engineering is a collaborative endeavour that thrives on the contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

‘By fostering an environment that values and respects diversity, we not only enrich our profession, but also ensure that our solutions are equitable and sustainable.

‘Undoubtedly, the expectations of NSE and the larger society from our honourable conferees are high, with regards to the strict adherence to professional codes and ethics.’

Oguntala said the NSE reserved the right to revoke and withdraw the Fellowship certificate of any member enmeshed in breaches, if such breaches ar
e brought to the notice of the NSE.

She added that the conferment of fellowship was an opportunity to be of greater service to NSE by supporting its projects and programmes and providing mentorship to our young engineers.

She charged them to continue to prove themselves as worthy ambassadors of the NSE.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Board of Fellows, Kamila Maliki, congratulated the conferees for their exceptional and extraordinary prowess in the engineering field.

Maliki said that the conferment of the fellowship by NSE represented the pinnacle of achievement for any engineer, and urged them to use their ideas to contribute to the infrastructure and economic development of Nigeria.

Responding on behalf of the conferees, James Arukhe commended the NSE for counting them worthy of the fellowship.

Arukhe said that engineers held the keys to driving the society forward through innovative solutions.

He pledged the commitment of the conferees towards upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity of
the profession.

‘There will be no need to withdraw the fellowship from any of us; no form of wrong doing shall be found among us,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FG assures better life for senior citizens


The Federal Government has promised to provide effective social care system to about 16.8 million aged population in the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr Abel Enitan, made the promise on Wednesday during the unveiling of the Older Persons’ Social Care in Nigeria.

The event with the theme: ‘Geriatric Social Care and Value Chain: A Case for Social Investment in Abuja’ was organised by the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event featured the inauguration and certification of 20 healthcare institutions across some states which will serve as older persons care centres in the country.

Represented by Mrs Agnes Aneke, the Director, Special Duties in the Ministry, Enitan said that the aged population was estimated to be more than 16.8 million by the year 2025.

Enitan explained that government was working towards developing effective policy guidelines on ageing, to address some of the challe
nges associated with the population in the country.

He said, the growing number of ageing population in the country remained a source of concern to government.

‘It is essential to note that older persons population in Nigeria is estimated to reach more than 16.8 million by the year 2025 with an increasing incidence and prevalence of multiple and chronic health conditions.

”These conditions, indeed, require new ways to address them’ he said.

On her part, the Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) Dr Emem Omokaro, said, the national action plan on ageing had developed a well-paid skilled workforce for geriatric social care sector.

‘We are gathered here today to witness the foundation laying of what would be a journey to building an expansive Older Persons Social Care Quality Assurance System which is the bedrock of a very multi-dimensional care industry.

‘This development aims to ensure that the care workforce has the knowledge, skills and competencies to enable the workers to practice
older-person centered care.

‘It is also to build a paid quality social care workforce to ensure reduction of negative stereotypes about care giving to older people.

‘This is in line with the job creation, improved productivity and inclusion in line with the deliverables of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda’ she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Effective regulation needed for CNG conversion workshops- automotive council


The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), says there is a need for proper regulation of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion to provide safe CNG vehicles.

Joseph Osanipin, the Director-General, NADDC, said this at a Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on Accreditation of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Powered Vehicle Conversion Workshops in Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

Osanipin, represented by Dr Fidelis Achiv, the Director, Research, Design and Development, NADDC, said according to Autogas Africa, there are over 120 CNG conversion centres with 466 skilled technicians operating across the country.

He said these workshops had a capacity to convert a minimum of two petrol vehicles to CNG per day, indicating that CNG conversion was increasingly gaining acceptance and the market was expanding in the country.

‘These CNG conversion centres are unregulated, which raises safety concerns on the standards and code of practice used in the conversion.

‘ The market expansion, safety concerns and
unregulated conversion centres have necessitated the council to roll out programmes to standardise CNG conversion centres.

‘Also to upgrade skills development through training of auto technicians on conversion, repair and maintenance of CNG vehicles.

‘The workshop aims to enlighten stakeholders on the developed council’s guidelines and requirements for the accreditation and certification of all workshops that are interested in undertaking CNG conversion.’

Osanipin said the accreditation and certification would ensure that workshops operated in compliance with workplace best practices and standards.

‘The guidelines and expression of interest form will be available online through the council’s website, therefore, it is required that all CNG workshops should apply for the accreditation and certification,’ he said.

Achiv, who spoke on the sidelines, said the council was ensuring compliance by the CNG conversion workshops.

‘We are going to go round the workshops to ensure the minimum requirements are met and
for those who do not meet the requirement we will not accredit their workshop for conversion.

‘If on their own they go ahead to do any conversion, the conversion will not be reckoned with and when they go to get CNG gas in any station they will not be served.

‘After the conversion, they are going to be given a QR code which will go with every vehicle they have converted. It is that QR code that will be used to serve them gas in the gas stations.

‘So if they do not meet the minimum requirement, they will not be served at the stations.’

He said a workshop was expected to have four personnel which include a mechanic, welder, auto electrician and an ICT personnel before it could be accredited.

Achiv said the council proposed a registration fee of N250,000 to be paid by the CNG converters, saying this would wade off converters who would want to circumvent the conversion process.

Zayganu Tobo, the Programme Coordinator, Regulatory Compliance and Facilitation, Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGI) said the initi
ative was a bold and decisive programme that was strategic and realisable

‘By 2027, we anticipate one million vehicles running on CNG. We hope in four to five years, we will have 11,000 different CNG platforms and infrastructure.

‘We anticipate 25,000 technicians and allied professionals will be trained and three billion dollars of investment with multiple effects on our economy will be realised in four to five years.’

Tobo said a CNG app would be inaugurated to help people identify CNG infrastructure, and conversion centres closest to them.

Chukwunonso Okeke, the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said SON had 82 standards that guide the standards of CNG conversion in Nigeria.

Okeke, represented by Ega Ijachi, the Group Head, Mechanical and LPG, said the standards had been achieved by working with different stakeholders.

‘Out of the 82 standards, 28 are strictly on the conversion kits and these standards state the safety requirements of these kits. For example, the cylinders hav
e to go through 18 tests before they can be used.

‘CNG is safe for use, and SON is poised to ensure quality assurance of the kits used for the conversion, he said.

Ramalan Yerima, the Assistant Corps Marshal, Corps Safety Engineering Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said the corps’ role was to enforce the standards and enforce the usage of CNG when the time comes.

Yerima said the FRSC would continue to work with SON to ensure standards of CNG conversion were met.

Mr Simon Agenyi, the Director, Procurement, Federal Ministry of Finance, encouraged all participants to support NADDC in ensuring the CNG conversion becomes a reality.

Agenyi, Represented by Adigwe Ebube, Chief Procurement Officer, said the conversion to CNG would improve the welfare and lives of Nigerians as he pledged the ministry’s support to the mission.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

2024 World Hypertension Day: NGO raises awareness on HIV-hypertension link


APIN Public Health Initiatives, an NGO, says there is need to create awareness on the link between HIV and hypertension.

Dr Abiodun Isah, Technical Officer, Clinical Services, APIN, spoke with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja in commemoration of the World 2024 World Hypertension Day.

Isah highlighted the increased risk of non-communicable disease complications associated with HIV.

He said there was need to integrate HIV and non-communicable disease services to improve care for those living with HIV.

According to him, early detection and proactive management will mitigate the adverse health outcomes of hypertension and HIV/AIDS.

‘Regular blood pressure monitoring is a critical component of HIV management because of the impact of factors like diet and lifestyle on blood pressure levels.”

Isah said that as Nigeria battled with the dual burden of HIV/AIDS and hypertension, the integration of care for both conditions emerged as a pressing need.

He highlighted the importance of expanding access to healthcare se
rvices for the effective management of chronic diseases, acknowledging the limitations of a healthcare system primarily structured for acute infections.

‘With a significant number of people living with HIV in APIN’s care experiencing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as hypertension, diabetes, renal diseases, cervical cancer, and mental health issues, we are strengthening the HIV-NCD service integration programme.

‘Currently supporting 308,497 active people living with HIV across 423 health facilities in Nigeria, APIN aims to address the interconnected health challenges faced by this population.”

Isah said the impact of HIV infection on the cardiovascular system underscored its potential to heighten susceptibility to hypertension-induced end-organ damage, including cerebrovascular accidents (stroke), nephropathy (kidney damage) and myocardial infarction.

He said there was significant risk factor associated with hypertension among people living with HIV and how it could contribute to challenges in HIV
drug therapy, adherence, morbidity and mortality.

‘Despite advancements in HIV treatment, disparities persist in monitoring and managing cardiovascular risk factors among individuals with HIV.

‘Challenges to adequate care include fragmented healthcare systems, limited awareness of cardiovascular risks, and prevailing socio-economic factors.”

He said that APIN was committed to continuously monitoring and evaluating the integration of HIV and NCD services to ensure the delivery of high-quality care.

‘As APIN expands its HIV-NCD integration programme across supported health facilities and states in Nigeria, individuals living with HIV can expect improved access to comprehensive care that prioritises their overall well-being.

‘This initiative demonstrates APIN’s dedication to promoting health equity and enhancing the quality of life for people living with HIV in Nigeria and beyond,’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Hypertension Day is observed on May 17 annually.

The theme
for this year’s commemoration is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Northern Governors’ wives partner NGO to fight drug abuse


The Forum of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Wives has endorsed the Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Care strategy of the Re-Orientation Advocacy of Nigeria (RAN).

Mr Charles Folayan, Executive Director of RAN, announced this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

He stated that the partnership followed the Northern Governors Wives Forum stakeholders’ meeting on Substance Abuse, held in Gombe on May 14 at the Government House.

Folayan mentioned that RAN presented on the successes and aspirations of the organisation in their efforts to prevent drug abuse, particularly in the 19 Northern states.

Folayan said that the Chairperson of the Forum, Hajia Asmau Inuwa-Yahaya called on all stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to support their efforts on rehabilitation and reintegration of people with drug use disorder.

Folayan called for treatment and care of victims of drugs, adding that RAN focuses on the wives of the Governor in the region to end drug abuse.

He said RAN is currently working with
two of the governor’s wives in the region.

The director said that RAN is seeking the involvement of others in the establishment of modern social and rehabilitation centres in their various states.

According to him, some of the Governor’s wives who responded to the partnership proposal of RAN, agreed on the need to step up prevention and treatment programmes in Nigeria.

‘They expressed their acceptance to work with RAN and their partners on the project.

‘RAN earlier in the year entered into partnership with Annmom Foundation USA, and formed a joint task with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on drug prevention

He said the organisation is also in partnership with the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant government agencies, on drug prevention, treatment and care programmes.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Administrator urges proper upbringing of male children


Mr Larry Odeh, a school administrator, has underscored the need for proper upbringing of male children to ensure moral uprightness in society.

Odeh, Head of Administration, VineCare Schools, gave the advice during the commemoration of the International Day of the Boy Child, organised by the school on Thursday in Abuja.

The Day often celebrated on May 16 yearly was founded by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a university lecturer from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in 2018.

The celebration seeks to focus on the promotion of the well-being of the male child, particularly their need to feel happy, healthy and valued within family, and community.

He explained that the proper upbringing of male children was crucial to ensuring a healthy and functional society in the future.

‘Today is a day where you need to remind boys of how special they are and how useful they are to society.

‘This is because without proper mentoring of boys to ensure moral uprightness, we will have a dysfunctional society.

‘The more reason
we need to remind them of their potential and worth, have a sense of belonging so they can grow up to be more humane and imbibe good morals, as well as ensure a better society in future.’

Odeh reiterated the day was not intended to relegate or neglect the girl child, but to celebrate the boy child as the girl child was also celebrated globally.

Mr Raphael Odanaogun, Head of School (Academics), said the school decided to celebrate the boy child because the management recognised the importance of children.

‘It is our responsibility to celebrate the boy child today, because internationally today is boy child day and we value them so much, and we want them to know they are valued.

‘It is also to let them know they need to be responsible and accountable to have a better brighter future.

‘We want them to understand how valuable they are and the need for them to grow with a sense of value.

‘This is to help them become responsible and grow up to become what is morally expected of them in the society.’

Mr Chib
uzor Akubuike, a parent, emphasised the need for boys to be God-fearing, disciplined, and respectful, saying male children should be taught to express themselves.

Akubuike restated that boys should be taught to study hard to improve their grades in school, live healthily, and imbibe gratitude as a lifestyle.

Mr Bishop Adamu-Chitumu, a parent, told the boys to imbibe the qualities of their superheroes.

‘The essence of the celebration is to encourage proper upbringing of male children to enable them to become superheroes, imbibe good morals, and become professional as doctors, nurses, teachers, pilots, policemen and engineers.

‘To build the character of the male child to be kind, strong, brave and disciplined,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

5 Rivers commissioners give reasons for resigning


The unending political rift in Rivers has taken a fresh twist with five Commissioners resigning.

Their resignations were contained in separate letters addressed to the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the mass resignation is the second since Gov. Siminalayi Fubara became governor on May 29, 2023.

The first of such mass resignations led to the peace accord initiated by President Bola Tinubu which later led to the recall of the commissioners.

The crises in the state had since defied all interventions, climaxing in the fresh round of resignations.

While the Commissioner for Social welfare, Mrs Inime Aguma, gave ‘absence of work place progression’ as reason for her resignation, her Transportation counterpart, Dr Jacobson Nbina, cited ‘prolonged political crises’.

The Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gift Worlu, accused Fubara of ‘promoting toxic working relationship and attempting to fuse the legislative and executive arm thereby breaching the l
aw of separation of powers’.

Also, Mr Austen Ben, Commissioner for Environment, in his letter, said that he decided to tender his resignation ‘because of the political crises in the state’.

As for the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Chinedu Mmon, the ‘absence of trust, animosity and division amongst colleagues’ forced out of Fubara’s cabinet.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Experts seek increased investment, digitisation of primary healthcare centres


Health experts have called for increased investment and digitisation of Primary Healthcare Centres(PHC) for quality service delivery.

Dr Chidjoke Kaduru, Public Health Physician at Corona Management Systems (CNS), made the call at a Stakeholders’ Validation Meeting on Assessing Primary Healthcare in Nigeria through a State Scoring System in Abuja.

The meeting organised in collaboration with Save the Children International (SCI)., is aimed at looking at the quality of PHCs in Nigeria and to seek ways for possible improvement.

Kaduru said the ‘One Campaign’ group and other stakeholders came together to do the scorecard assessment around primary health care systems and their capacity to deliver services.

According to him, the objective of the assessment is to bring to limelight issues around PHC for the new administration that has shown keen interest in delivering an improved PHC system to navigate the system.

‘The focus then for us, is to generate intelligence that can support that process as much as possi
ble.

‘That way we can also come back a year or two from now to say well we did provide some intelligence to support the process but how well have we fared ?.’

Kaduru said that the key things that were realised at the course of the assessment was that the primary health facilities did not have the capability at the moment to receive and manage funding well enough.

‘We have to find ways of supporting them better around that and also find ways to hold them accountable for it.’

Kaduru said there was a need to improve the involvement of communities with the primary health care system for accountability

because at the moment it is lacking.

He said that at the moment , primary healthcare facilities do not show any capabilities to take on technology and use it well.

‘So we have to build from the ground up not just do on the surface things to say we are using technology.

‘ Otherwise we will not reap the benefits of the technology age you know for our health system. We also have to find ways of improving the co
mmunity health worker landscape.

‘The reality is that no matter how beautiful the infrastructure and the structures are, if the workers are not there to give people the services we will still be missing you know a lot. ‘

Kaduru said that there was a need to improve infrastructure , like potable water, sleeping quarters, electricity in the health facility, those things are bare minimum and putting in a refrigerator to store some of the drugs in the cold chain.

He called for better investment from state governments as well to improve health and a deliberate digital health plan.

Also speaking, Nigeria Country Director of One Campaign, Stanley Achonu said members of the campaign visited three facilities in each Senatorial district of the country on assessment.

Achonu said the next step is to finalise the report and share the findings with government .

He said the findings would be made public adding that objective is to set the baseline for the government and to influence policies.

Source: News Agency of
Nigeria

NGO urges adequate guidance for students choosing career paths


An NGO, Hacey Health Initiative, says students require proper guidance and counselling in their choice of career paths to achieve fulfillment and contribute positively to socio-economic growth.

Ms Mercy Kalu, Programme Officer, HACEY’s PAVE Project Officer, said this during a Career Day Programme at Saint Francis School, Iwaya, Lagos, on Wednesday.

According to her, the event aims to assist students understand the process of effective career choice, clarify their future objectives, and appropriate action to implement these objectives.

She noted that an opinion sampling conducted showed that many of the students lacked clarity about their future career paths, while some were pushed to a career choice by their parents.

‘It is important for a child to make this decision themselves as it encourages confidence and self-reliance in future plans,’ she said.

Kalu said that the programme was also to deconstruct gender bias that it was safer to invest in educating a boy-child and marry off the girl-child.

‘We als
o engage parents and community leaders in our discussions so that they understand and align with what we are doing with the girl-child, so that we can build a safer society for them,’ she said.

She noted that the event was done under its PAVE Project, a girl-centred, community-based safe space programme, aimed at supporting teenage girls by providing them with essential health, financial, and life skills information, services, and tools.

‘The project establishes safe spaces where girls can access knowledge and resources related to sexual health, mental health, and career development.

‘They receive mentoring and are referred for additional support services as needed,’ she said.

Similarly, Mrs Oluwanifemi Sowole, a psychologist, said that passion, skills, personality, values were some factors that influence career choice.

Sowole emphasised the vital role played by parents and teachers in identifying and nurturing gifts of children to enable them excel in their chosen career.

Also, Mr Samuel Facon, Princi
pal of the school, commended the organisers for their interest in the future of the students.

Facon advised the students to utilise the opportunity properly, saying ‘ whatever career you choose, make sure you have the passion and capability for it.

‘Don’t go to science class because your friends are there. Stay in your area of strengths and you will excel in your chosen career,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

UN, Foundation offers GBV toll free helpline


The UN Trust Fund in collaboration with the Tabitha Cumi Foundation (TCF), have partnered to offer toll free helpline to report Gender Based Violence (GBV) and improve virtual management of cases in Nigeria.

Mrs Tayo Erinle, Executive Director, TCF during the project dissemination and closeout event of the Flashlight Actions on Girls Safety (FLAGS) project on Tuesday in Abuja said the GBV helpline would assist in ending GBV and ensure justice for survivors.

‘The GBV free toll helpline that were disseminated today keeps FLAGS project flying because even though FLAGS is closing out GBV has not ended.

‘So to keep it flying, we have got this toll free line supported by the UNTrust Fund for people to reach us, flag up cases, set up virtual management and increase stakeholders that we have been working with.

‘This will help us manage cases at one sitting to avoid re-traumatisation of the survivor and be able to proffer next steps to take,’ she said.

According to her, in the past three years of the project has
supported 750 girls in 10 communities within Nasarawa, Niger and the FCT.

‘We have been able to build the capacity of 750 girls in 30 safe spaces in Nasarawa, Niger and FCT to prevent, respond and refer GBV cases.

‘The girls are more aware, they are confident and know that anyone can be a perpetrator and know what to do and where to go if they are violated or know someone who has been violated.’

See also IWD: First Lady urges women to support, inspire one another

According to her, the major outcome of the project was the virtual case management, which is a girl centered multi sectoral approach to GBV.

‘We have been able to meet and handle 162 cases, two are in courts, two are in shelter, some are going through psychosocial support,’ she said.

Ms Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria, commended TCF for the successes recorded in implementing the FLAGS project and reducing GBV in the country.

Eyong, represented by Patience Ekechukwu, Programme Officer for Women’s Economic Empowerment,
noted that in spite of existing legal frameworks and policies, GBV and harmful traditional practices against women and girls still exist.

‘Ending violence against women and girls that is why we are gathered here to look at issues and solutions and what we can do to ensure that women and girls in Nigeria live free from violence.

‘UN Women is committed to working with government agencies, CSOs, traditional and religious organisations to prevent the violence that affects millions of women around the world.

‘We all have critical role to play in ending violence against women and girls. We must speak out against harassment, violence in our work places, various religious platforms, through the media.

‘We need to lend our voices to be heard to ensure that the world is free from violence against women and girls,’ she said.

Other highlights of the event were the presentation of excellence awards to notable persons and communities for their supports in ensuring the success of the FLAGS project.

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Tinubu assures youths of better future

Others include: fireside chats with project beneficiaries and stakeholders, as well as the launch of the TCF GBV Helpline, 0800 0040 404.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

BOI launches RAPID initiative to empower rural businesses


The Bank of Industry (BOI) has introduced the Rural Area Programme on Investment and Development (RAPID), which aims to empower youth and women-led businesses in underserved regions.

RAPID is to provide capital and opportunities to rural communities, in addressing challenges like rural-urban migration.

The Managing Director of BOI, Dr Olasupo Olusi, during the launch in Lagos on Tuesday, said that RAPID was designed to foster economic inclusion by providing rural dwellers with equitable access to capital.

Olusi stated that this access to capital was crucial to enhance commercial and economic activities as well as address the inadequacies in existing intervention programmes, primarily favoured urban areas.

He said that the initiative offered substantial financial support, with potential funding of up to 10 million naira per project.

He added that RAPID targeted existing small businesses seeking expansion capacity and new startups with a focus on youth and women-owned businesses.

According to him, the ter
ms include a three-year repayment plan with a six-month moratorium at a concessionary interest rate of five per cent.

‘As a pilot launch, it is limited to 10 beneficiaries per state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) totalling 370 beneficiaries.

‘The grant component is developed to incentivise good repayment and businesses with significant social impact in employment generation for women and youth.

‘To ensure the programme’s accessibility, applications can be submitted via a dedicated online portal or physically at any BOI district office nationwide starting May 15,’ he said.

The Executive Director of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, BOI, Mr Omar Shekarau, said that RAPID, covers all 36 states and the FCT.

See also Loan recovery: SMEDAN to reward top performing MFBs

According to him, it will focus on sectors like agriculture, textiles, garment manufacturing, leather goods, and food processing and preservation.

He said this comprehensive coverage would ensure that the benefits of economic
growth were felt across the country, transforming rural areas into burgeoning economic hubs.

Shekarau added that beyond financial support, capacity building was a critical component of the initiative.

He said by empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and skills, RAPID aimed to ensure sustainable development and long-term self-sufficiency for rural businesses.

‘As RAPID rolls out, the BOI anticipates significant improvements in job creation, financial inclusion, and economic diversification, which are expected to contribute to national prosperity and stem the tide of migration from rural areas to cities.

‘The programme not only represents a significant investment in Nigeria’s rural economies but also serves as a model for future initiatives.

This aims to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development across West Africa,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FCTA begins demolition of 500 illegal structures in Karmo market


The Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has begun demolition of over 500 illegal structures at the popular Karmo market, Abuja.

The director of the department, Mr Mukhtar Galadima, explained during the exercise on Wednesday, that the demolition followed the expiration of the 24-hour demolition notices issued to the traders.

The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) recalls that the department had on Monday, served 24-hour demolition notices to operators of the illegal markets and shanties marked for demolition along Karmo – Dei-Dei road corridor.

Galadima, who was represented by Mr Garba Jibril, an Assistant Director and the Sector Monitor in charge of Karmo and other districts, said that the demolition exercise followed due process.

He added that the operators of the illegal markets and owners of the illegal structures and shanties have been duly notified and given enough time to evacuate their valuables.

He explained that demolition was necessary considering the h
uge traffic gridlock being experienced along the road corridor, especially during market days.

‘It is a known fact that people spend hours just to pass through the road, particularly during market days.

‘To address the challenge, the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike had directed that all illegal structures, shanties, and informal markets along the road corridor should be demolished and removed.

‘This will allow free flow of traffic on the road corridor and make life easy for the road users,’ he said.

He advised the affected traders to relocate to the fully built and equipped market in the area.

See also FHA partners Nigerian Army to provide quality, affordable houses

He added that the market operators have agreed to allow the affected traders to occupy a shop free for one year before paying any rent at a subsidised rate, including other incentives.

On his part, Dr Peter Olumuji, Secretary, Command and Control Centre, Department of Security Services, FCTA, said that the clearance would equally improve se
curity in the area.

‘There are a lot of shanties and unplanned settlements that people occupy in the area and some of the people commit various types of crime, particularly in the night.

‘The demolition will ensure a serene environment that will not be too comfortable for criminals to operate,’ Olumuji said.

On the possibility of the traders returning to the road, the secretary said that arrangements have been concluded with the Divisional Police Officer in the area to arrest any trader that operates along the road.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

BOI launches RAPID initiative to empower rural businesses


The Bank of Industry (BOI) has introduced the Rural Area Programme on Investment and Development (RAPID), which aims to empower youth and women-led businesses in underserved regions.

RAPID is to provide capital and opportunities to rural communities, in addressing challenges like rural-urban migration.

The Managing Director of BOI, Dr Olasupo Olusi, during the launch in Lagos on Tuesday, said that RAPID was designed to foster economic inclusion by providing rural dwellers with equitable access to capital.

Olusi stated that this access to capital was crucial to enhance commercial and economic activities as well as address the inadequacies in existing intervention programmes, primarily favoured urban areas.

He said that the initiative offered substantial financial support, with potential funding of up to 10 million naira per project.

He added that RAPID targeted existing small businesses seeking expansion capacity and new startups with a focus on youth and women-owned businesses.

According to him, the ter
ms include a three-year repayment plan with a six-month moratorium at a concessionary interest rate of five per cent.

‘As a pilot launch, it is limited to 10 beneficiaries per state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) totalling 370 beneficiaries.

‘The grant component is developed to incentivise good repayment and businesses with significant social impact in employment generation for women and youth.

‘To ensure the programme’s accessibility, applications can be submitted via a dedicated online portal or physically at any BOI district office nationwide starting May 15,’ he said.

The Executive Director of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, BOI, Mr Omar Shekarau, said that RAPID, covers all 36 states and the FCT.

See also Loan recovery: SMEDAN to reward top performing MFBs

According to him, it will focus on sectors like agriculture, textiles, garment manufacturing, leather goods, and food processing and preservation.

He said this comprehensive coverage would ensure that the benefits of economic
growth were felt across the country, transforming rural areas into burgeoning economic hubs.

Shekarau added that beyond financial support, capacity building was a critical component of the initiative.

He said by empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and skills, RAPID aimed to ensure sustainable development and long-term self-sufficiency for rural businesses.

‘As RAPID rolls out, the BOI anticipates significant improvements in job creation, financial inclusion, and economic diversification, which are expected to contribute to national prosperity and stem the tide of migration from rural areas to cities.

‘The programme not only represents a significant investment in Nigeria’s rural economies but also serves as a model for future initiatives.

This aims to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development across West Africa,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria