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Agriculture

96 farmers benefit from Plateau Govt.’s tractor ownership scheme – AFAN

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The Plateau chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) says 96 farmers in the state have so far benefitted from the tractor ownership scheme of the state government.

Mr John Wuyep, Chairman of the association, disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Jos.

The state government had earlier announced the procurement of 400 tractors to be distributed to farmers in the state.

Under the scheme, government pays 60 per cent of total cost of the tractors while the beneficiaries pay 40 per cent.

NAN recalls that President Mohammadu Buhari inaugurated the tractor ownership sheme when he visited the state in March 2018.

“So far, 96 farmers have benefitted from the tractor ownership scheme of the state government.

“It is supposed to be 400 tractors, but we are expecting additional 200 from the vendors,’’ he said.

The AFAN chairman said those who had so far benefitted from the scheme were putting the facility to proper use, adding that the gesture would boost farming in the state.

He called on the beneficiaries to be prompt in paying back the loan to enable government to do more for other farmers in the state.

Judiciary

COVID-19: 50 awaiting trial inmates released in Plateau

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The Chief Judge of Plateau , Justice Yakubu Dakwak, on Monday discharged 50 awaiting trial inmates who had been in custody at the Jos Correctional Centre over different minor offences.

 

Dakwak said that the release of the suspects was in line with the decision of the Federal Government to decongest the custodial centres in the country, as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Chief Judge, however, said  that those standing trial over alleged violent offences like murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape did not benefit from the reprieve.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those discharged committed minor offences such as: theft, breach of trust and inciting public disturbance.

NAN reports that the suspects had been on remand for many months with some spending over a year in jail without going on trial.

The Chief Judge while discharging the suspects, however, said they were discharged of the offences but not acquitted.

“I want to tell all of you that you have been discharged but not acquitted.

“If you go out there and commit another crime, you will come back here and we will reopen this case and still try you for the new one you committed.

“We expect you to be of good behaviour and take this as a chance to turn a new leaf and shun crime,” he said.

Dakwak said  that the exercise would continue quarterly in all the correctional centres in the state to help decongest the facilities and also promised to ensure speedy trials for accused persons.

The Controller of Corrections, Plateau  Command, Mr Samuel Aguda, said that the Command had 1,441 inmates in the state, with the Jos Custodial Centre alone accounting for 888 inmates out of the number.

Aguda said that there were 652 awaiting trial, 572 convicts and 228 condemned convicts.

He lauded the decongestion initiative stating that it would give room for social and physical distancing in the facilities in view of the rampaging effect of the Coronavirus disease.

The Controller, however, said that the permanent solution to custodial congestion was for stakeholders to look inwards and start the full implementation of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2018 of Plateau state.

Aguda also appealed to lower court judges to start sentencing minor offenders to community service instead of sending them to custodial sentences.


Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Plateau NANNM calls off ‘sit-at-home’ protest for members in JUTH Isolation center

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The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives(NANNM), Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) chapter, has called off its sit-at-home protest for its members working in its isolation center with effect from May 30.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that JUTH chapter of the union had on May 25 ordered its members to embark on a sit-at-home protest for its members working in its isolation center over what it called negligence of their welfare.

The Chairman of the union , Mrs Mercy Lenka, in an interview with NAN said the call-off followed  progress in negotiations with the State Government on the provision of accommodation for the nurses working at the centre.

Lenka said that provision of accomodation was stipulated in the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for health personnel working in isolation centers.

She said provision of accommodation was critical even if other negotiations would be done later, adding that the protest was necessary as returning home after work was risking the lives of family members of the health workers.

” Seeing this progress report, at least even if not all our demands are met, we are mindful and determined to help the government to tackle the Coronavirus diseaese.

“We decided that we cannot sit at home and say everything should be given for we are human beings and have our profession, humanity and patients at heart,” she said.

The chairman said the state council of NANNM and other critical stakeholders in the health sector had initially rejected an accomodation provided for them, saying the environment was not conducive.

“We want to appreciate the Intervention of elders in the health sector especially and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for their input to get a good accommodation for our nurses working in JUTH isolation center.

“We were called this morning to come and inspect the place and we are satisfied with it. We have negotiated and arranged everything on their feeding and transportation and those on duty have returned since afternoon,”she said

According to the NANNM official, it was neccassary for a designated vehicle to convey the nurses working at the centre to reduce contacts and exposure of them to other members of the public.

She expressed delight that the safety of members and their families was now guranteed by the action, saying they were patient on other demands such as hazard allowance and incentives.

She said findings indicated that modalities were being processed for all health workers working in the isolation centres in Plateau for such allowances.

Lenka said arrangements had been made for nurses working at the center to be tested of COVID-19, adding that it was part of the conditions the union gave before the nurses returned to their duty posts.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Excited Plateau rural community celebrates first borehole

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Residents of Nghar, a rural community in Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau, on Friday trooped to the village square to celebrate the first borehole ever sunk in the community.

The villagers, who said they had shared their only source of water – a stream – with animals over the years, expressed disbelief as water gushed from the borehole donated by one Bayo Balogun and his friend, Chisom Ezeocha.

The duo, from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had donated the facility after learning that the community was loosing members to waterborne diseases.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the village, which was displaced by violent attacks in June 2018, was resettled in December 2019 after internally displaced persons camps were closed down.

A visibly elated Chief Mabitin Mallo, the Village Head, told NAN that security challenges had reduced, but regretted that the lack of clean water had constituted a major threat to the lives of his subjects.

“The shallowest water well in the village is 25 feet deep, an unusual depth for a hand-dug well, but in spite of that depth, the wells dry up before December, forcing villagers to source for water from a stream several miles away.

“The stream is shared with animals, miners, open launderers and bathers.

“To avoid infections, the villagers sometimes dig craters in sand near the flowing stream, and fetch from it,” he said.

Mrs Sarah Joshua, a mother of six, told NAN that the borehole was ”a gift from God”.

“Apart from the long distance, the road to the stream is terrible.

“We suffer a lot to get to the stream, but the water from there is not good for human consumption, unfortunately for us, it is the only source of water. We thank God for this intervention,” she said.

She prayed God to continue to bless the donors for the gesture which she described as “life saving”.

The donors, who spoke with NAN, said that they were moved to action by a report indicating that a boy from the community died of typhoid believed to have been contracted through the water.

“When the news of the boy’s death was published, we were deeply touched.

“Even though we did not know the village or its people, we felt, as Christians, that we must assist the people of Nghar since they were our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“We have a common humanity and are compelled by God’s words to help brethren in need,” the donors said, shortly after inaugurating the project.

Plateau water resources and energy commissioner Saad Bello, in a remark at the project’s inauguration ceremony, regretted the lack of clean water in many rural communities in the state.

He said that the lack of access to clean water had often affected productivity as much time is sunk into seeking water and attending to health challenges caused by the water is usually bad.

The commissioner, who was represented by Mr Peter Kassam, General Manager, Plateau Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (PRUWASSA), announced that the state government had sunk 600 boreholes in rural communities across the state.

He said that government had relied mostly on public-private partnership to achieve the feat due to scarce resources.

The President of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev. Dr. Dacholom Datiri, who also spoke at the ceremony, urged Nigerians to emulate the Christlike gesture of the donors.

Datiri, represented by COCIN Director of Information Communication Technology, Rev. Davou Jakawa, said that the donors were both private sector workers with no links to politics.

“Their sole goal is to save lives. This is commendable,” he said.

Mr Ezekiel Mandyau, Chairman, Barkin-Ladi Local Government, in a remark, said that plans were underway to provide roads, bridges and clinics in the community and other surrounding villages.

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Covid-19: Catholic Bishop donates food items to 500 people in Plateau

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Most Rev Michael Gokum, the Catholic Bishop of Pankshin Diocese, has donated food items to 500 vulnerable families in Plateau to cushion the hardships occasioned by the advent of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

 

Presenting the items on Friday in Pankshin, Gokum said the gesture aimed at supporting the poor within his diocese to make a living as the world grapples with the pandemic.

 

He explained that the gesture was championed by the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), the social arm of the diocese

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Pankshin Catholic Diocese houses all the local government areas in the Central Senatorial Zone of Plateau.

 

 

The Bishop said the donation is one of the social functions of the church, adding that meeting the needs of the poor and less privileged ones in hard times is one of the cardinal duties of the Catholic Church.

 

Audu noted that the items would be distributed to identify poor people, devoid of religious or ethnic affiliations.

 

He further lamented that the advent of covid-19 has thrown the world into serious confusion and inflicted hardships on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable ones.

 

“The whole world is in difficult times because of the novel coronavirus; the economic hardships occasioned by the advent of disease is biting, particularly on the poor.

 

“This is why the diocese, through its social arm, the JDPC, decided to support 500 vulnerable households in Plateau with some food items.

 

“We cannot give to all, and we don’t have everything to give, this is why we are giving the little we have in order to help these poor ones with something to earn a living.

 

“These items are not just for Catholics or Christians alone, but everybody deviod of religious beliefs and ethnicity. We don’t segregate in Catholic Church,” Gokum said.

 

 

The bishop called on spirited individuals and groups to compliment government’s efforts in providing succour to the poor in these difficult times.

 

He called on the people to pray for the end of the pandemic and advised Nigerians to obey government’s safety directives aimed at containing the spread of the dreaded disease.

 

Gokum thanked the management of JDPC for the initiative and urged them to do more for humanity’s sake

 

 

Earlier, Rev. Fr. Basil Kassam, Coordinator of JDPC in the diocese, said the gesture was supported by Mission 21, a Switzerland based NGO.

 

He explained that the beneficiaries were drawn from Bokkos, Mangu, Kanke, Kanam and Pankshin local government areas

 

NAN also reports that items distributed include bags of rice and beans.

Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

 

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Old students donate N1m to Plateau COVID-19 fund

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The Gindiri Old Students’ Association (GOSA) has donated N1 million to the Plateau government’s COVID-19 Trust Fund, as part of its contributions to combat the pandemic in the state.
The National President of the association, Prof. Rotgak Gofwen, while presenting the cheque to Gov. Simon Lalong on Thursday at the Government House, Jos, said that the gesture was to complement government’s efforts.
Gofwen, who led other members of the association, commended Lalong for his efforts so far at combating COVID-19 in the state.
He particularly acknowledged the governor’s efforts in such areas as fumigation of the state, installation of CCTVs at inter-state boundaries and inauguration of a research team for the disease, among others.
Gofwen also appreciated the governor for supporting GOSA to improve its Information Communications Technology (ICT) and other educational projects, saying that the gesture had resulted in the school becoming a United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) centre.
“With your support to us and other stakeholders, we have a library and an ICT centre, which has been approved as a UTME centre. Indeed, JAMB sent 4,000 candidates to write the 2019 UTME in the ICT centre,” he said.
Responding, Lalong commended the association for promoting quality education, saying that the institution had produced many personalities, who had made marks in various sectors, both nationally and internationally.
“You have done a lot in making us reshape the Plateau State University, Bokkos.
“One of you was the first governor in Plateau, who left indelible footprints in the sands of time, and your Alma Mater has equally done a lot in the education sector in Nigeria and beyond,” the governor said.
Lalong thanked the association for the donation, assuring that it would be put to good use.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19: Catholic JDPC donates food items to 1,500 vulnerable households in Plateau.

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Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), an NGO of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, has donated food items to 1,500 vulnerable households in Plateau as palliative.

Presenting the items to some of the beneficiaries on Thursday in Jos,  Most Rev. Mathew Audu, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese, said the gesture aimed at cushioning the hardship occasioned by the advent of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Represented by Monsignor Cletus Gotan, the Vicar-General of the archdiocese, Audu said 500 households each in the three senatorial zones of the state benefitted from the gesture.

The prelate said the donation is one of the social functions of the church, adding that meeting the needs of the poor and less privileged ones in hard times is one cardinal role of the church.

Audu noted that tbe items would be distributed to identified poor people, deviod of religious or ethnic affiliations.

He lamented that the advent of COVID-19 has thrown the world into serious confusion and inflicted hardships on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable ones.

“It is not longer secret that the whole world is in difficult times because of the novel coronavirus. The economic hardship occasioned by the advent of disease is bitting, particularly on the poor.

“This is why the archdiocese, through its social arm, the JDPC, decided to support 1,500 vulnerable households in Plateau with some food items.

“We cannot give to everybody, and we cannot give everything. This is why we are giving the little we have in order to help these poor ones with something to eat.

“These items are not just for Catholics or Christians alone, but everybody deviod of religious beliefs and ethnicity,” Audu said.

The archbishop called on spirited individuals and groups to complement government’s efforts in providing succour to the poor in this difficult times.

Audu called on the people to pray for the end of the pandemic and advised Nigerians to obey government’s safety directives aimed at containing the spread of the dreaded disease.

He commended the management of JDPC for the initiativenand and urged them to do more for the sake of humanity.

Earlier, Rev. Fr. Stephen Akpe, Assistant Coordinator of JDPC, said the donation was supported by Mission 21, a Switzerland based NGO.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that  beneficiaries of the gesture for the Northern Senatorial zone of the state where drawn from 18 communties.

Some of these communties include, Fudawa, Utan, Dong, Angwan Rogo, Jenta Adamu, Doruwa, Nasarawa Gwong, Turu, Za’ang, Farin Gada, some camps of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), among others.

NAN also reports the items donated include bags of rice and beans.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Economy

 Plateau generated N7.2bn internal revenue in first quarter of 2020- Official

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Mr Dashe Arlat, the Chairman of the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service (PSIRS), has said that  the service generated over N7.2 billion from January to March 2020.

Arlat told newsmen on Wednesday in Jos, that the state’s  Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the first quarter of 2020 surpassed that of first quarter 2019 which was N3.3 billion.

He attributed the feat achieved in revenue generation to various strategies deployed by the service.

He listed the stategies to include enhanced data collection, aggressive enforcement of tax laws against defaulters and enforcement in the transport sector in the state.

According to him, the service also recorded 54 and 60 per cent  increase in tax assessment compliance in the formal and informal sectors respectively.

He added that these were those who remitted their taxes as at when due.

The chairman said the service also embarked on aggressive tax payers’ education and sensitisation to boost its IGR.

Arlat noted that with the decline in the price of crude oil due to outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, taxation became the major means of revenue generation.

He said, despite the effect of the pandemic, the service had devised new means of generating revenue from various sectors currently working, such as telecommunication, agriculture, transportation and the health.

The chairman said that the service would not rest on its oars in revenue generation in spite of the global pandemic.

He also revealed that the service had procured hand sanitiser and face masks for distribution to its customers and  indigents people.

Edited By: Angela Okisor and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

 

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Gov. Lalong assures Plateau children of protection from abuse

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, has assured children in the state of protection from all forms of abuse as well as improved health care services.
Lalong gave the assurance in a message by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham on Wednesday to mark the annual Children’s Day.
He said his administration was committed to providing a better environment for children by improving the quality of education in the state.
According to him, to sustain the already established tempo, the government has organised online radio and television lessons for children as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said the gesture was to help the children keep abreast with learning in spite the closure of schools due to COVID-19.
He described children as the hope of Nigeria, who deserved all the love and care available, to prepare them for the future as they grow to take over the responsibility of leadership.
“Though this year’s children’s day is being marked in a low key manner owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the significance of the day cannot be lost because they remained the heartbeat of our society and hold the key to our future.
“We must therefore continue to invest in their education, health and psychological development so as to prepare them for the task ahead,” he said.
Lalong also assured Nigerians that the decision to remove all Qur’anic students (Almajiri) from the streets and return them to their parents, was borne out of the need to safeguard their future.
He said the action was aimed at integrating them back into the society where they can access education and proper care.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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NGO donates nose masks, books to children in Plateau

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An NGO, International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), has donated nose masks, exercise books and other writing materials to 250 vulnerable children of Miango in Iregwe Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau.

Presenting the items to the children on Wednesday in Miango, Mr Xphyongo Nebanat, National Correspondent of the Organisation in Nigeria, said the gesture was part of its activities marking the 2020 Children’s Day celebrations.

The national correspondent explained that the beneficiaries, who were living in abject poverty, were drawn from eight communities in the area.

According to Nebanat, the gesture is also aimed at stemming down the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly among children in rural communities.

He noted that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is a collective one, hence the need for all and sundry to support government’s efforts in curbing the spread through aggressive sensitisation.

“We have gathered over 250 vulnerable children here from  eight communities in Iregwe chiefdom, first to sensitise them on preventive measures against COVID-19 and to also distribute nose masks to them.

“We chose today because we are marking children’s day and it’s also our way of celebrating with these kids and giving them hope, because these are kids whose parents were killed in many of the crises that engulfed the chiefdom in recent times.

“Aside the nose masks, we have also distributed exercise books and other writing materials to the children, to enable them learn at home, pending when schools will open,” he said.

Nebanat called on government at all levels to ensure aggressive and robust sensitisation against the dreaded disease at the rural areas.

He said that community transmission would be more deadly if nothing was done.

 The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the beneficiaries were drawn from Rotsu, Ancha, Nkiedoworo, Hukke, Jiri, chinye, Miango central and Hausa communities of Iregwe chiefdom.

NAN also reports that the chiefdom had in the past years faced the challenge of insecurity, a situation that led to loss of lives and property.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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