The Nigerian Army has distributed food items and fertiliser to 1,000 households in two communities in Kaduna State, to mark the 2020 Army Day Celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items were distributed at Rigachikun and Kankomi communities in Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas of the state, respectively.
In his message to the event, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen Tukur Buratai, said that the gesture was to ameliorate the hardship being faced by less privileged people with a view to enhancing civil-military relations for effective service delivery.
Buratai was represented by Garrison Commander, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen Olusegun Abai.
“The Army has the responsibility of reaching out to the populace, to whom it provides security, and one of such ways is the distribution of items to the less privileged people in the society,” he said.
Buratai stressed that the Army would continue to discharge its constitutional responsibilities in securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria and assisting civil authority in providing internal security.
He called on the civil populace to support security agencies with useful information that would help to degrade criminals and ensure peace and stability in the country.
Receiving the items on behalf of the beneficiaries, the District Head of Rigachikun, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Sani expressed gratitude to the Army for the gesture.
He said that the items would greatly assist the beneficiaries to overcome some of their challenges.
In Kankomi, some of the beneficiaries told NAN that the presence of troops in the locality had greatly improved the security situation in the area and boosted farming activities.
They also expressed delight to the Army for reaching out to them in their hours of need.
NAN reports that this year’s Army Day Celebration is holding in Katsina State and has as its theme: Nigeria’s Territorial Defence And Sovereignty: Imperatives for Nigerian Army sustained Training And Operations.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Robogarden set to empower education stakeholders on coding technology
A digitised educational platform, Robogarden, has urged the Federal Government to imbibe personalised learning on coding, robotics, artificial intelligence and skills in the Nigeria’s educational system.
Its President, Dr Mohamed Elhabiby, made the plea at a webinar on Tuesday, in Lagos, saying this would ensure future of the new economy was dependent on successful and sustainable digital transformation processes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar focussed on Personalised Learning, AI and Education Technology, Digital Transformation Skills, Challenges, Today and in the Future.
Its theme was: “Rights and Voices of Youth: Teach Coding for the Youth.”
Elhabiby said there was the need to prepare children from an early age for the new reality of professions and mastery of digital technology to address shortage of skill and enhance competitiveness in the future of jobs.
He said that Robogarden was created to engage and provide code execution support for persons of different races and culture, irrespective of language.
The founder of the garden also urged the government to stimulate plans to provide tools to enable individuals, communities and companies to become active innovators.
“The job market was already undergoing profound digital transformation, and so required professionals with an increasing knowledge of technology.
“Such qualifications would result in better income distribution, reduction of social inequality, unemployment and crime rates.
“Skills for the future in 2030 include: digital literacy and computational thinking, creative and innovative thinking, and cognitive flexibility.
“We are highly relying on technology and skills should be matching to them.
“It is important to be digitally literate to the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and data science.
“Today’s job vacancies may not be the same as tomorrow, and that is why humans should be able to adapt to the changes happening around them in the digital space.
“Currently, every country has issues with shortage of skills and high unemployment rates globally.
“Skills plus education is the new future, while the new literacy is coding,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Ngozi Ogoke, Chief Executive Officer, Ovana E-learning Limited, said her organisation, in collaboration with Robogarden, focussed on bringing transformation to the Nigerian digital economy and Africa as a whole.
According to her, the webinar serves to offer scholastically unique technology driven solutions that would lead to critical thinking and achievement of excellence in higher learning outcomes.
“We aim to create bright new opportunities for individuals and the entire community as we are in a new world of technology and
digitalisation,” Ogoke said.
Responding, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the country had opened its doors to technological training with regards to robotics.
Adamu, represented by Mrs Muna Onuzo-Iyanam, Special Adviser, Technical Planning, Research and Development, Ministry of Education, said he was committed to upscaling training of teachers and students toward achieving digital transformation in the education space.
“Our schools will become more compliant at introducing AI, robotics, coding and technological learning to prepare our children for the future and advance the future of jobs,” he said.
Also at the webinar, Dr Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, the President, National Association of Proprietors of Private School, pledged her support and commitment to ensuring public schools’ participation in technological personalised learning.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Opposition lawmakers leading anti-corruption investigations says Elumelu
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) says opposition lawmakers in the house have been at the center of unearthing and exposing acts of corruption in the country.
Elumelu made this known in a statement by his Special Assistant on Legal Matters, Mr Oyomira Idahosa, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Elumelu was reacting to a statement credited to the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timi Frank, accusing the opposition of being indifferent and silent over the ongoing anti-corruption investigations in the house.
“Such accusation is unfortunate, misleading, undeserving and uncharitable to the minority caucus in our manifest forceful efforts in exposing corruption and holding this administration accountable.
“Opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly have never and will never compromise or shy away from its legislative duties at any time, even at the risk of their lives.
“While we appreciate his concerns, the accusation by Comrade Timi Frank against opposition lawmakers is incorrect and misleading miscomprehension of our processes in the uncompromising efforts in exposing corruption.
“The accusation is apparently borne out inadvertent misunderstanding of the processes and procedures of the legislature, including those related to listing and presentation of motions, bills and other activities at plenary and committee levels in the National Assembly,” he said.
Elumelu said that the minority caucus in the house Minority had not dropped any motion for corruption investigation on any individual as wrongly alleged by Mr Timi Frank.
According to him, it is also misinforming to allege that a motion was officially slated to be read before the Eid-el-Kabir festivities and that no action was taken.
The rep described the alleged inaction as another mis-comprehension of the procedures, processes and scheduling of legislative activities.
“Our efforts contributed to various corruption investigations both within and outside the National Assembly, and we will never relent in this onerous task.
“The minority caucus has been extensively vocal on the floor in the fight against corruption as well as in holding government accountable in all sectors of our national life.
“The roles of opposition members in the National Assembly in unearthing corruption as well as investigating of indicted persons are in the public domain.
“However, it is imperative to state that in this task, guiding legislative procedures and processes, which reinforce the achieving of expected results, are followed.
“The opposition lawmakers are indeed aware of the confidence reposed on it by Nigerians at this critical time in our national history and we will never relent in holding government accountable in the interest of Nigerians,” he added.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Edo 2020: Nothing unusual about lawmakers backing candidates of their choice – Edo speaker
The Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, on Tuesday said there was nothing unusual about the lawmakers backing the candidates of their choice for the Sept. 19 governorship poll in the state.
Okiye was reacting to the Monday endorsement of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Osgie Ize-Iyamu, by the Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye, and two other members of the house.
The speaker in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Benin said: “It is imperative to state the actual position of things in Edo House of Assembly right now.
“It is not unusual for legislators and indeed politicians to engage in political re-alignments in this part of democracy like in Nigeria.
“That the Deputy Speaker and 2 other lawmakers chose to support the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is within their constitutional right,” he said.
Okiye stated that the three lawmakers still remained members and part of the 10 lawmakers in the Edo house of assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the house had declared vacant, the seats of the 14 members of the house who were not sworn in, following the crisis that had bedeviled the house for years.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Kaduna State maternity, paternity leave bill to be ready by end of 2020- El’Rufai’s wife
Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Aisha El’Rufai, on Tuesday said the bill for Maternity and Paternity Leave for workers in the state would be ready by the end of 2020.
El’Rufai made this known at the Save the Children Nigeria World Breastfeeding Week Webinar on Innovative Strategies for Improving Breastfeeding and Nutrition in Nigeria.
She said that the bill was to be enacted to among other things encourage breastfeeding among working women and also make provisions for paternity leave so men could support their wives for exclusive feeding.
“The bill will get a legal backing soon for effective implementation; the zero draft will be presented to stakeholders for their input and hopefully by the first quarter of 2021 the bill should be ready for ascent.
“Breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants so supporting the practice of feeding babies only milk for the first six months of their lives will go a long way to make them grow healthy.
“ Kaduna state knows the importance of breast milk that is why it is introducing various policies and strategic documents developed to promote exclusive breastfeeding and improve nutrition of women and children in the state.’’
El’Rufai urged governors’ and local governments chairmen’ wives to encourage exclusive breastfeeding among mothers to enhance infant’s development.
She also urged the government to enact laws to support breastfeeding and promote breastfeeding campaign to achieve nutritional balance.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Health, Secondary and Tertiary Committee, said that the six months’ maternity bill at the Federal level had reached the third reading.
Oloriegbe said that the National Assembly was amending and introducing bills to enhance maternal and child health.
The lawmaker, who encouraged stakeholders to promote breastfeeding and invest in it, said it was also a way of human capital development.
Mr Innocent Ifedilichukwu, Advocacy, Campaign and Policy Manager, Survive Programme, Save the Children, called on governments at all levels to increase funding for various nutrition programmes.
Ifedilichukwu said that nutrition was key to human development thus the need for government to build and equip crèches in all offices so working mothers could be close to their babies for effective breastfeeding.
Ms Karina Lopez, Nutrition Adviser, Save the Children Nigeria, said that mothers should be discouraged from feeding their babies with any form of liquid or solid except breast milk within the first months of their existence.
This Lopez said this would lead to good nutrition for healthy development of babies.
She said that the webinar was organised as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week with the theme “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet.’’
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)