General news

Budget well,spend effectively on public health, expert advises Nigerian Govt.



Dr Frieden, a former director of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gave the advice on Wednesday in Abuja at a media roundtable with some journalists on Nigeria’s epidemic preparedness.

Frieden said budgeting was crucial if Nigeria was to become better prepared to handle epidemics.

He pointed out that the NCDC had made good strides in the area of laboratory diagnostics and response, but that more needed to be done.

“We need steady investment and support to States and Local Governments  as well as effective expenditure of national and international resources available,” he said, adding,“Show me your budget and I will tell you what your priorities are.”

Frieden further said that disease tracking systems were fundamentally important because they helped the government to measure the state of its epidemic preparedness.

The physician stated that one problem the organisation was looking at in Nigeria and globally was tracking the time frame for response.

“The time it takes between emergence of the disease, finding the disease, and studying the control measures is very important in tackling outbreaks.

“This is important because disease outbreaks spread exponentially if not controlled in time,” he said.

He advised states and local government public office holders to prioritise epidemic preparedness as a key factor that would help keep their populations safe.

According to him, having tracking and surveillance systems for key diseases in addition to good laboratories as well as rapid response are essential in saving lives.

Frieden further advised states to engage the right people and keep adequate data so that they could use that data to improve their performance.

He lauded the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for its commitment in handling disease outbreaks.

He encouraged the NCDC to continue with the culture of keeping and growing data and development of laboratories and surveillance.

“The support of state and local departments is crucially important, because an institution like NCDC is only important when the states and local governments have the capacity to perform,” he said.

Dr Elsie Ilori, NCDC Deputy Director Surveillance, said that many preparedness gaps were identified by the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) led by World Health Organization (WHO) in spite of some considerable progress.

Ilori said that NCDC was working in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives to address the gaps.

The deputy director further said that Nigeria’s National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) was developed to serve as roadmap to fill the preparedness gaps identified by JEE.

Dr Ifeanyi Nsofor, Director Policy and Advocacy at Nigeria Health Watch, stated that prevention of epidemics was cost effective and cheaper no matter how much was spent.

Nsofor encouraged the media to continue to harp on the need to fund epidemic preparedness initiatives by government.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that three prevent epidemics media fellows of Nigeria Health Watch presented reports of the stories they had worked on under the fellowship.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

General news

Group tasks leaders, Nigerians on time consciousness



An NGO, Value Projects Initiative, has urged leaders to embark on re-orienting Nigerians on the need for them to always be time conscious.

The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, gave the advice while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Saturday.

Okenwa spoke on the sidelines of the current high level of embarrassing lack of punctuality in programmes and activities being witnessed across the country.

According to him, it is a well-known axiom that punctuality is the soul of every business or activity in life.

“The way and manner that Nigerians abuse time, including time schedule, is becoming highly embarrassing to everyone; and it is becoming a sources of worry to well-meaning Nigerians.

“You hardly attend a function where 8 a.m. is 8 a.m. or 12 noon is 12 noon; and this negative orientation is making expatriate in the county not taking us serious.

“However, it is left for leaders to lead by example and ensure that they keep to timing of minutes and other schedules.

“When leaders lead by example; the followers will naturally follow their leaders and do the right thing as they see the leader do,’’ he said.

Okenwa, who mentors youths within Enugu metropolis, noted that Nigerians especially youths crave to see leaders work or act out their talk and show exemplary leadership.

He said: “If we must get it right; those in authorities and respected individuals must live by positive examples.

“With exemplary leadership; the job of mentoring becomes easy since the youths will naturally follow their leaders and directly follow their foot-steps and line of thoughts‘’.

Edited by: Felix Ajide




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Institute calls on govts. to allow INEC conduct local govt. elections



cThe Chartered Institute Of Local Government and Public Administration Of Nigeria has called on both the Federal and state governments to allow  INEC  take over  the conduct of local government elections across the country. 


It said that this would help to achieve democracy at the grassroots levels.

The Registrar of the Institute ,Dr Uche Okereke,  said this at the investiture of fellows, and the induction of members and associates by the institute on Saturday in Lagos.

The News Agency reports that 108 fellows,368 members and 400 associates were inducted as chartered public administrators.

NAN also  reports that the institute exclusively regulates and plays  a vital role in the training,development and practice of local government and public administration in Nigeria.

Okereke  said that  the major problem at the local government level was lack of autonomy because state governments  were controlling local government elections  due to political power.

“Autonomy is a constitutional issue,at the last conference of the institute we proposed constitutional amendment that will legalise  local government autonomy  on which we had sent  our communique to the National Assembly.

“An expert in public administration and local government should be in local government affairs not just anybody due to influence,” Okereke said.

He also said that the induction ceremony was a time when  they certified  the fellows, members and associates that had been undergoing  training for a year across the country.

“This is our second induction ceremony since we started  implementing fully the  professional examination syllabus.

“This  set is the first to write the examination which means they are truly chartered administrators.

“My advice  to the inductees is that they should go out and show the world  the difference between administrators and non- administrators,” Okereke said.

Also speaking, the President of the Council, Prof. Adekinke Awotokun,  said that the aim of the institute  was to play a vital role in the development and training of high qualified manpower for local governments  and the  public sector in the areas of administrations.
Awotokun said that the institute had over 8,000 members and 7,000 students thst had registered  as at Sept. 30, 2017.

One of the inductees, Mrs Sunmbo Oyeleke,  said that she was trained to contribute her quota to the development and growth of public administration in Nigeria.

Oyeleke said that she gained a lot of new knowledge on how to work perfectly as an expert in public   administration  in a unique way.

“I have been looking forward to becoming  a chartered public administrator and today I have realised that  dream,” she said.

Edited by: Peter Dada


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Presidential aide criticises work done on Calabar-Itu highway by contractor



Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Development Commission, has expressed his displeasure over the shoddy work done on Calabar – Itu highway by the contractor.

Enang, who paid unschedule visit to the site on Saturday, said that the Construction Company, Julius Berger has disappointed the Federal Government.

He said that the Federal Government two weeks ago directed the construction company to undertake palliative work on some failed portions to enable motorists enjoy free flow of traffic during the Yuletide season.

According to him, Julius Berger had informed him that the palliative work on the failed portions were completed.

He expressed surprise that the contractor did not do good job in view of the volume of traffic that was passing through the highway.

“We came to look at the road, the Calabar – Itu highway.

“We were here two weeks ago and they agreed that since this area is under their contract, we cannot bring in FERMA or NDDC or any other invention agency to come and work on it, that they will come and rectify it.

“I see now that they have brought in just laterite to pour on this place, without anything that can stabilise the ground, and so the road has gotten bad, and worse than it was.

“I will be going back to the Federal Ministry of Works, so that the Controller of Work will come with Julius Berger, who is the contractor, to at least agree with them that this is not good.

“They gave the impression that there has been a remedial measure, that people are passing on this road.

“Yes, people are passing, it is better than before, but right now what I am seeing here is not what it is supposed to be.

“The laterite they pour last week is all gone, and there is no rain now, but it is washed off, so it is not satisfactory.

“Since this area is under their contract and being under their contract, not much can be done, by way of intervention, because they will be interfering in some other person’s contracts,” Enang said.

The presidential aide said that the Federal Government was committed to providing good infrastructure to the benefit of all its citizens across the country.

He said that everything possible would be done on the highway to ensuring motorists plying the road do not suffer untold hardship.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Federal Government had promised to put remedial measures on the Calabar – Itu highway to relieve the burden being experienced by motorists plying the road.

Edited by: Felix Ajide


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Osinbajo tasks clergy on writing to provide guidance, direction



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says there is need for the clergy to put their reflections in writing in order to provide guidance and direction.

Osinbajo gave this advice on Saturday while presenting a book–“Musings of a Parson’’ by Rev. Konyin Ajayi, at the Christmas Carol Concert of the Emmanuel Chapel, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Banana Island, Lagos

The theme of the Carol is “Christmas Made in Naija: My Christmas Story.’’

The vice president, whose remark was titled, “Why the Parson Muse,’’  said that the title– Musings of a Parson– downplayed the profundity of the collection.

“But these are not the mere musings a parson these are his deep reflections on scripture and the Christian race.

“So as not to delay needlessly on form let us move on to the question which is the subject of my own musing this evening, why should the parson muse?

“It is an important question today as we are reminded in Proverbs 29:18; where there is no vision, the people perish;  but he that keepeth  the law, happy is he;  without a vision the people perish .

“Without the propagation of the word, the revealed word, the spirit and not the letter…there is no guidance, no direction;  Romans 10:13-14; for whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

“It is the propagation of the word with integrity that transformed Europe and America;  the promise of  gospel is that it will transform the mind and that men, women and nations will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,’’ he said.

In a welcome message, Abiola Otufale, Chair, Christmas Concert Committee, said that the platform looked towards creating awareness of the goodness of God, contentment with the blessings of all good things, Naija—looking to stories of new birth.

According to him,  “Musings of a Parson’’ will be the third in a series of divinely inspired writings which breathes peace and joy into the nation, laments its woes and charts a path for its youth—so that they can truly be part of the global digital economy.

Edited by: Felix Ajide


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Group advocates women empowerment to check gender-based violence



Miss Onyinyechi Nwosu, the Executive Director of Vivacious Development Initiative, a non governmental organisation, says women empowerment is an essential intervention against gender-based violence.

Nwosu said this on Saturday in Aba during the 2019 Vivacious Ladies’ Conference, with the theme, “Unlock your feminine power for positive impact”.

She said that it was important to initiate more programmes to help the womenfolk to understand the concept of good health, personal care, rights and responsibilities as they concerned them.

Nwosu said that women had innate ability to influence society, adding that empowerment would enable them to harness their potential and contribute to nation’s socio-economic development.

According to her, equipping women and girls to understand and seek gender equity instead of equality would help to eliminate gender-based violence.

Nwosu said: “The desire to achieve gender equality has created a vacuum that has encouraged gender abuse because masculinity corrupts true feminine nature which disrupts the balance needed in society.

“There is no better way to end violence against women and girls than getting them wholesomely empowered.”

A resource person, Mrs Amaka Biachi, said that the role of women in nation building underscored the need for them to harness their natural ability.

Biachi urged women to harness their potential by equipping themselves with the right skills and education in order to be positive transformers and change agents in society.

In a speech, Mrs Eunice Nwigwe, the Chairman of National Council of Women Societies in Abia, described the theme of the event as apt.

Nwigwe, who was represented by Mrs Ihuoma Nwankwo, commended the organisers of the event for providing an avenue for women and girls to interface and evolve ideas for the betterment of society.

The event featured lectures and presentation of awards to deserving campaigners in the advocacy for gender empowerment initiative.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)





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