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DG appeals for effective coordination to enhance C ‘River AIDS, STIs programme



DG appeals for effective coordination to enhance C ‘River AIDS, STIs programme

Dr Janet Ekpenyong, Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), has appealed for effective coordination among partners to enhance the state’s AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Control Programme (SASCP).

Ekpenyong made the appeal during a health sector review meeting with partners in the fight against and other STIs in Calabar.

Admonishing the partners, the DG said the meeting was important to help them ascertain whether they were making progress in the fight against HIV and STI.

He said the meeting would also enable them to know if there were other aspects of the programme that should  be rejigged, removed or added.

“I want to appeal to SASCP to see how we can strengthen our coordination of HIV response because one way or the other, we are beginning to identify all the gaps that we have.

“We at the CRSPHCDA also have some concerns like the issue of partners concentrating their interventions on a particular health facility.

”I hope that after this meeting, we will be able to see how interventions are taken to other areas that need help rather than focusing on a particular area.

“The CRSPHCDA will continue to provide a conducive environment; we hope to always have that collaboration so that at the end of the day, we can improve HIV response in the state,” she said.

In his remark, Dr Asuquo Etuk said the review meeting was for all the partners to see how well they responded in accordance to the plans they set at the beginning of the year.

Etuk represented Excellent Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS).

He highlighted some of the challenges involved in HIV response in the state to include poor structures, finance, infrastructure and coordination.

“We the implementing partners – government and non government facilities – need to coordinate ourselves to achieve more in the remaining six months of 2020.

“We may not have carried out much of our plans in the last two quarters. It means that in the next two quarters, we will have loads of activities. So, for us to achieve, we have to work together,” he said.

Etuk added that all partners in the HIV response should support SASCP to enable it to carry out its coordinating role.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other partners involved in the review meeting included FHI 360, AHF, Heartland Alliance and Ascopany, among others.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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C/River warns house owners against harbouring cult members, kidnappers



The Cross River Government has warned house owners in Calabar to desist from harbouring suspected cult members and kidnappers in their houses or face the wrath of the law.

Mr Ani Esin, the State Security Adviser to Gov. Ben Ayade in charge of Southern Senatorial District, gave the advice on Tuesday in Calabar.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Esin gave the advice during an operation in Calabar metropolis to chase out some suspects who had been declared wanted for various crimes.

He said that as patriotic citizens, it was the duty of all house owners to know the occupation of their tenants and report those with suspicious moves and criminal activities to security agencies.

Esin, in company of personnel from the state Anti-Robbery Squad, visited the houses of some of the suspects on the state government wanted list.

They team burnt down some of the suspects items including clothes, mattresses and cooking utensils.

He explained that the move was to send a signal to the suspects that the state government and security agencies had launched a manhunt to arrest them.

NAN recalls that on May 28, three houses and a brothel owned by a suspected kidnapper and a suspected cult member who were linked with various deaths and kidnapped cases in Calabar, were demolished by security agencies.

“The exercise to make sure that Calabar is safe is still ongoing and we are combing the entire hideout of criminals and hoodlums; though some of them are still on the run, we will definitely catch them.

“We are on course to ensure that we return the city of Calabar to what it used to be and to make it better for the future.

“We had already declared over 30 persons wanted and we are not stopping until we get them arrested and prosecuted.

“We have achieved a lot because some of the high calibre suspects on our wanted list are in our net as we speak. We will stop at nothing to ensure that the rest are brought to book,” he said.

The governor’s aide frowned at the high level of youth involvement in various crimes, adding that cultism, kidnapping and robbery do not pay.

He also told NAN that they had arrested a suspected murderer, Effiong Okon-Bassey, who was recently granted amnesty from the Correctional Centre, for his alleged involvement in the murder of a legal practitioner in Calabar.

“We are using this medium to inform landlords in Calabar to check who their tenants or occupants of their houses are and report those with suspicious moves to security agencies in the state.

“We are calling on people with useful and timely information to come up and help us to fight criminality to a standstill in the state,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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C’River water board takes delivery of pipes to recommence full distribution



Cross River Water Board on Monday took delivery of pipes worth N52 million to help facilitate full recommencement of water distribution in the state.


The pipes, which will be distributed to all the eight sub stations in the state, will be used for maintenance to enable free flow of water in affected parts of the state.


The Managing Director of the board, Mr Victor Ekpo, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar that  the board placed an order for high quality pipes that could not be found, adding that a batch just arrived from Port Harcourt.


“We are still expecting the delivery of two more trucks of pipes before the week runs out to make sure that the materials are enough to go round.


“I appeal to residents of Cross River to give the board little time to enable it fix the broken pipes to enhance full distribution of water to all corners of the state.


“We just created a WhatsApp platform to make it easy for residents to report broken pipes and activities of pipeline vandals.


“Honestly, I am very impressed with the prompt response of the team and they are working very well,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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C’ River begins transplant of 10m improved cocoa seedlings in govt.’s estates



The Cross River Government has begun transplant of 10 million cocoa seedlings in the government-owned cocoa estates across the state.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Ivara Esu, flagged off the exercise at Abia in Bendeghe community of Etung Local Government Area of the state on Monday.

Esu said the transplant was part of efforts by the state government to revamp the moribund cocoa estates across the state for optimum utilisation.

He said government had taken giant strides aimed at boosting cocoa production in the state.

He maintained that the state government placed priority on cocoa production, adding that the state would soon begin to export it.

“It is our hope that revamping of the estates will increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state,” Esu said.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development and Control, Dr Oscar Ofuka, disclosed that government’s target was to produce 500,000 tonnes of cocoa per annum.

Ofuka said the plan had become imperative so as to feed the ultra-modern cocoa processing factory at Ikom, which would soon be inaugurated.

He revealed that the state was the second largest producer of cocoa in Nigeria, adding that the it was poised to overtaking Ondo State as the leading cocoa producing state in the country.

“We have the potential and the capacity to becoming the cocoa hub of Africa by surpassing Cote D’voire, which is the leading cocoa exporting country in Africa,” he said.

Oscar said that the transplant of improved cocoa seedlings was long overdue since the present cocoa plantations were established by late Dr Micheal Okpara’s administration in the 1960s.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Eteng Jonah, commended government for taking the state to a higher level in cocoa production.

He promised that the lawmakers would always support the efforts of government to recreate the economy of the state, especially in view of the dwindling allocation from the federation account.

The deputy governor, the speaker as well as other dignitaries later planted cocoa seedlings as a mark of solidarity for the project.

Edited By: Mustapha Lamdi/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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COVID-19: Medical women association warns C’ River Govt. against reopening of schools 



The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Cross River branch, has called on the state government to shelve its planned trial resumption of three public schools in the state on Tuesday.

The association made the call in a statement jointly signed by its state President, Dr Bassey Nakanda and the Secretary, Dr Angella Imoke, on Monday in Calabar

It described as “untimely,” the decision of the state government to reopen schools on Tuesday, in the face of the ongoing community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

“This concern is borne out of the desire to ensure the safety of the lives of our children, with the lack of evidence to support the actual disease burden in the state due to low testing rates.

“We have noticed also the increase in the number of patients presenting flu-like symptoms and loss of smell/taste in various hospitals in the state.

“This may indicate a possibility of community transmission of the disease and we call for caution in order to forestall disease outbreak in the state.

“MWAN in Cross River has observed that with the zero COVID-19 status of the state, adherence to preventive/protective measures has been relaxed by most residents.

“It is exposing us to the risk of recording cases in the state, as there has been ongoing subtle inter-state movement,” the association said.

It noted that the COVCID-19 infection curve was still on the rise and had yet to peak, saying the possibility of transmission was still very high.

MWAN stated that the possibility of testing the students in the selected schools in the event of occurrence of symptoms was not feasible, due to the absence of a testing laboratory in the state.

“We deeply appreciate all efforts of the state government in the fight against the disease but advocate for up-scaling of the testing and reinforcement of the preventive strategies.

“We suggest the option of daily educational programmes on radio and television for the pupils and students across the state until the country is able to contend the pandemic.

“As mothers and care givers, we are concerned about the educational pursuits of our wards but are even more concerned about their health and wellbeing.

“We therefore appeal to the state government to review her decision on reopening of public schools in the state at this critical period, for the interest of our children who are the future leaders of Cross River and the nation at large,” it said.


Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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