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Education

ENSG approves multi-campus structure for ESUT as each zone gets campus

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The Enugu State Government (ENSG) has approved a multi-campus structure for Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).

A statement on Friday in Enugu by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Ogbuagu Anikwe, said the approval was in line with the visions of the founders of the institution.

Anikwe said that the institution which was hitherto situated in the state capital was originally meant to have specialist learning centres in each of the three senatorial zones.

The commissioner said Faculties of Science, Engineering and Technology at Agbani were in Enugu East Zone, while Education and Medical Sciences, Social Sciences and Agriculture would be relocated to Enugu West and Enugu North Zones.

“The Enugu State Executive Council has voted to return ESUT to its original multi-campus structure as established by the Chief Jim Nwobodo administration in 1980.

“Accordingly, three schools originally proposed for Enugu North Senatorial Zone – faculties of Medical Sciences, Agriculture, and Social Sciences – will be returned to the zone.

“The Faculty of Education will relocate to Enugu West and to be domiciled at the proposed University of Education, Ihe in Awgu Local Government Area,” he said.

He said that the Faculty of Medical Sciences would take advantage of the 400-bed specialist hospital currently under constructed at Igboano in Enugu North Zone.

He aid that the hospital when completed would serve as teaching facility for medical students.Council noted that relocating the school of medical sciences will decongest and take the pressure off the Enugu Park Lane Hospital which has been struggling for expansion since its conversion to a teaching hospital.

“The government, however, voted to increase the budget to N2billion, following the decision on multi-campus structure for ESUT and additional facilities.

“These specialist centres will not only bring tertiary education closer to the grassroots but will facilitate rapid socio-economic development of all zones in Enugu State,” Anikwe said.

General news

ENSG confirms 4th case of Lassa fever, starts step-down awareness in communities

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The Enugu State Government has confirmed the fourth case of Lassa fever in the state.

Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi, Permanent Secretary, Enugu State Ministry of Health, confirmed the incidence in a telephone interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Tuesday.

Agujiobi however, said that the patient was undergoing intensive medical care in an undisclosed  health facility in the state.

“Yes, we have officially confirmed the fourth case of suspected Lassa fever in the state.

“However, the patient is going through thorough and intensive care in a medical facility,’’ he said.

The permanent secretary, who declined further questions on the recent case, said there would be a press briefing or official statement issued on the matter.

NAN recalls that the two of the four suspected cases of Lassa fever in the state had died.

One of the suspected Lassa fever patients died at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, (ESUTH) Parklane, and the other at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla near Enugu within a space of one week.

In a related development, the state government had commenced sensitisation and information step-down on the outbreak of Lassa fever in 17 council areas as well as communities in the state.

Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Healthcare Centre Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), told newsmen during a train the trainers’ workshop that PHC officials needed to take the right message to the rural people.

Ugwu said that the workshop was organised for PHC Coordinators, Disease Surveillance Officers and Disease Information Educators in the 17 council areas, adding that the agency would further step-down the training in each council area in the state.

“We want to further deepen information and awareness on Lassa fever as well as risk factors and life-style, which our people at the rural communities must avoid to keep them and everyone safe; since prevention is better than cure.

“The training covers symptoms, case definition and appropriate way of sharing Lassa fever message without causing panic since the government through the state ministry of health and the agency is on top of the situation and doing all possible to contain it.

“We are also advising our PHC workers, who are the first health responders at the communities, to be suspicious of all feverish symptom; take all personal preventive measures; ensure regular hand washing and disinfecting their PHC facilities always,’’ he said.

Ugwu however, urged residents, especially rural dwellers to stop eating any form of rat; maintain constant hand washing and general environmental cleanliness.

He called on elderly people to stop children from playing, touching or catching rats in any form.

“Our people should stop drying garri, abacha and other food items in open fields; cover all food and food handling containers/plates and ensure that they do not eat leftover food, which is uncovered,’’ he said.

NAN reports that so far the state had done 307 contacts tracing for those exposed to the various confirmed Lassa fever cases in the state.

About 251 contact tracing done for health workers in health facilities within the state and 56 contact tracing for family members and relatives of patients confirmed already.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maureen Atuonwu

 

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Education

ENSG reiterates commitment to create conducive learning environment

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The Enugu State Government, on Wednesday, reiterated its resolve to create conducive and safe learning environment for pupils and students to enhance their academic pursuits.

The Commissioner for Education in the State, Prof. Uchenna Eze, said this during the inauguration of “My Safe Space Project’’ in Enugu.

The project is being run by an NGO, Yes We Can (YWC).

Eze, who was represented by a Director in the Ministry of Education, Chief Laz Udeh, noted that the state was working relentlessly to put in place enabling atmosphere for young people to realise their full potential.

The commissioner, however, commended the “My Safe Space Project’’ initiative.

“The ministry is ready to support the My Safe Space Project in the state through advocacy to various schools,’’ he said.

The Project Coordinator of the NGO, Amanda Okolie, said that the strategic plan of the project would focus on discussing and addressing challenges of unemployment, violence and youth participation in politics.

“The project will engage with the youth through three thematic areas of dancing, reading/storytelling and advocacy.

“It is hoped that every member of the platform can identify one thematic area to belong to and use it to express himself or herself.

“The project targets 100 youths in Enugu State, particularly the most vulnerable youth – unemployed, poor, slum dwellers, uneducated, physically-challenged, youth in conflict and others. It will run for 12 months.

“One of the key outputs expected at the end of the project is a book documentary that captures conversations and ideas coming out of the platform.

“This will hopefully be a guide on how to address issues affecting young people in Enugu State and Nigeria in general,’’ Okolie said.

She expressed optimism about new opportunities of building on the successes of the project and assuring that the project team would be committed to fulfilling the group’s responsibilities.

Edited & Vetted By: Cecilia Odey/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

Yuletide: ENSG assures freeflow of traffic, safety on roads

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The Enugu State Government has assured motorists and other road users of free flow of traffic before, during and after the forthcoming Yuletide.

Chief Ogbonna Idike, Permanent Secretary of Enugu State Ministry of Transport, gave the assurance on Monday at an Ember month sensitisation rally in Enugu.

Idike said the sensitisation was meant to carry stakeholders along on the state government plan on “Zero Delay on Roads’’ for the yuletide.

He said the sensitisation was also to warn motorists to desist from wrong parking and from other acts capable of obstructing traffic.

According to him, the campaign team also passed through major markets along roadsides, warning that there will be serious enforcement against those trading along the roads.

He said: “Within few days, we are expecting thousands of people coming into Enugu state to celebrate the Yuletide and these people are coming from South-East and some states in the South-South.

“So, we are already working ahead of time, sensitising and starting enforcement action on anything that impedes free flow of traffic; and we seek the cooperation of road stakeholders to achieve this.

“For the ministry, there will be more enforcement actions against traffic offenders. We will work longer hours, even at night, to keep traffic flowing as well as moving all vehicles or objects impeding traffic flow.’’

He assured that the ministry would be working with other traffic and law enforcement agencies, not only to keep traffic flowing, but to ensure the safety of motorists and travelers.

“We must thank Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that gave the ministry all the support to ensure that motorists and travelers have pleasant experience within roads in the state.

“We want everybody, especially those residing in the state, to key into the vision of the governor to make movement seamless this Yuletide,’’ he said.

The ministry, he said, would continue to use local radio and television houses in the state to sensitise the residents on the governor’s `Zero Delay on Roads’ vision.

Edited & Vetted By: Moses Solanke/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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General news

ENSG sets up 10-member committee on minimum wage

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The Commissioner for Information in Enugu state, Mr Chidi Aroh, said on Friday that government had set up a committee to negotiate the implementation of the minimum wage with the organised labour in the state.

Aroh disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Enugu on the outcome of the State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting.

He said that the government representatives in the committee would be headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya.

He described the constitution of the committee as a fallout of a meeting between government and the leadership of the organised labour.

He said that it had become imperative to deal with the issues arising from the consequential adjustment in the new minimum wage in the state.

The commissioner said that the state government and organised labour had five representatives apiece in the committee.

“The committee is charged to immediately consider all issues arising from the new minimum wage and agree on consequential adjustment to the salaries and wages of workers,” he said.

Aroh said that in reaching an agreement, the committee would need to consider the realities of implementing the consequential adjustment.

On agriculture, the commissioner said that EXCO approved N100 million for the Ministry of Agriculture for the branding and marketing of Coal City Rice.

He said that the rice would be purchased from registered local farmers in the state at a standardised price and sold to the public at an affordable price.

The commissioner, however, said that the intervention would be done especially during the festive period.

He said that government decided to act as an off-taker for the rice produced in the state in order to encourage and protect the interest of farmers in the state.

Aroh said that government had a long-term plan for massive rice milling and processing in the state.

(Edited & Vetted By: Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

 

 

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Health

ENSG releases N100m counterpart for Basic Health Care Provision Fund

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The Enugu State Government has paid its N100 million counterpart fund for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to enable the state benefit from the initiative.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the BHCPF, is one per cent of the Federal Government Consolidated Revenue and contributions from donor grants.

The Fund, which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Jan. 8, had been set aside to fund the basic health needs of Nigerians.

Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this to NAN on Saturday in Enugu.

According to him, the Enugu State has passed into Law the State Health Sector Reform Law, 2017, No. 7, which established ENS-PHCDA.

“The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has in addition released N100 million Government Counterpart Contribution required as part of the conditions for Enugu State to benefit from the BHCPF Fund.

“This is a demonstration of Ugwuanyi’s passion and commitment toward providing health democracy dividend to the people of the state and in fulfillment of part of his campaign promises,’’ he said.

Ugwu said that the government had upgraded and renovated three Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), one in each of the three senatorial zones of the state, as a model of public PHC under the Ward Health System.

He said that the state had selected one PHC facility in each of the 291 wards in the state for renovation and upgrading in line with new order and to enable them provide quality and affordable healthcare to the people.

The executive secretary said: “the Federal Ministry of Health, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, is being awaited for an assessment of the selected PHCs.

“This is in order to ascertain their gaps in Human and institutional capacity, including but not limited to Human Resources for Health (HRH), medical equipment, drugs and other medical supplies, Health Management Information System and physical infrastructure which will pave way for a comprehensive intervention and overhaul.’’

NAN reports that BHCPF is the fundamental funding provision under the National Health Act and was appropriated for the first time in the 2018 budget since the Act was signed in 2014.

The Federal Government earmarked N55.1 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to the basket fund of the BHCPF, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed two million dollars, out of which  1.5 million dollars have been released.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) has also committed 20 million dollars to the fund, while the Department for International Development (DFID) is also putting 50 million pounds sterling over the next five years.

The fund is expected to help revive the health sector, especially PHC centres many of which have been abandoned across the country.

Edited By: Ese E. Ekama
(NAN)             

 

 

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Health

ENSG targets 1m children in immunisation plus days

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The Enugu State Government has targeted about 1 million children under the ages of 0 and five years during the National November Immunization Plus Days.

Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), made this known at a news conference on Friday in Enugu.

Ugwu said that the immunization, which is for five days, would be held between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2.

He said that the ENS-PHCDA in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency, UNICEF and other partners had trained 495 health personnel comprising four persons per team, for the conduct of the exercise.

“Why this immunsation plus day is special is because we are adding second dose of measles vaccines for children between 15 and 25 months as well as meningitis vaccines for all children between one year and five years.

“We are going to be using 600 health immunization health facilities centres, owned majorly by government, some by missions and few by individuals, as a base to penetrate all nooks and crannies of the state apart from known public places.

“The mission and individual health facilities are those we known that have efficient and functional cool chain facilities to keep these vaccines at normal temperature.

“We are also setting up special outreach centres in hard to reach areas with difficult terrain or remoteness; so that we can catch them and ensure no child is left out in the statewide exercise,’’ he said.

Ugwu noted that the state agency had before now embarked on massive sensitization on the immunization programme and had mobilized all hands on deck to ensure huge success.

“We are targeting 100 per cent coverage to surpass the 97 coverage we had in the last statewide immunisation we did earlier in the year.

“We have continued to use local language in radios and televisions jingles to herald the exercise.

“The agency has met with traditional rulers, President-Generals of various communities as well as religious and political leaders at various churches and political wards for them to mobilise mothers/ caregivers ahead of time.

“We are also using native town criers in some vast and hard to reach communities to herald the message of the exercise,’’ he said.

Edited By: Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

Insecurity: ENSG to enact anti-kidnapping law

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Enugu State Government is to make an anti-kidnapping law as part of efforts to check insecurity in communities, an official has said.

In a statement in Enugu on Monday, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, said the instrument for the law would be sent as an executive bill to the state legislature.

Ortuanya said that the decision was reached after a thorough review of recent security breaches in the state.

He said that the  government also resolved to overhaul the Vigilance Group structure for greater efficiency

Ortuanya said that the process would lead to the overhaul of the Enugu State Neigbourhood Watch Law 2016.

He said that about 1,700 forest guards would be employed in the state with each of the 17 local government areas having 100 forest guards, within the next 30 days.

He requested interested applicants to submit their applications to the office of the Security Chief of the Department of State Services (DSS) in their respective councils.

“The state government also approved the payment of a monthly stipend of N5,200 to members of the vigilance group,” he said.

Ortuanya reiterated the commitment of the government to the peace and security of lives and property of residents of the state.

Following the killing of a priest by suspected cult members, Catholic priests in the state led the faithful in a protest march against the high level of insecurity in Enugu on Friday.  

EOA/ JCE

Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie

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Economy

NYSC seeks land from ENSG to expand skill programme in South-East

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says it is seeking to expand its skill acquisition programme by building an ultra-modern skill acquisition facility within Enugu metropolis.

The new coordinator of NYSC in Enugu State, Mr Stephen Dewan, made this disclosure while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Wednesday.

Dewan noted that the land being sought from the Enugu State Government would be about two hectares to contain the massive skill acquisition centre that would serve the five states in the zone.

“We want a centre that will have boarding facilities for both the trainers and trainees, who are the corps members, as well as house the numerous equipment and instructional materials for the training.

“We have written; and recently re-written a reminder to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for this land, and we want it within and very close to the metropolis for accessibility,’’ he said.

The coordinator noted that NYSC had met with Access Bank that had graciously agreed to build and furnish the centre as well as hand it over to the scheme to use as part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). .

“When the centre comes on stream, due to the number of corps members for post skill acquisition training; it will take them from each state by turns; on a month or two months intensive skill and crafts training.

“It will even serve the youth from the immediate host communities and state to have where they can learn a skill and get trade certification as well,’’ he said.

Dewan said the scheme was partnering with the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Credit Direct and NYSC Foundation to get interest-free loans for the corps members, who had passed through the programme.

“Presently, we have interest-free soft-loans with free-collateral given to Corps members that have passed through the scheme’s skill acquisition programme,” he said.

“All the corps members need to collect the soft-loan which might be between N50,000 and N500,000 as given by Credit Direct; while depositing his or her NYSC Discharge Certificate until he or she would pay back’’.

The coordinator said free-interest loan in the programme had been going on smoothly in the state, adding that it was only recently that the programme had 61 past corps members who defaulted.

“However, we are optimistic that they will still pay, given that their NYSC Discharge Certificates are still with the credit facility providers and even the NYSC, has been monitoring them,’’ he added.

 

 

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Education

Association urges ENSG to provide boarding facilities at National Grammar School, Nike

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The Old Boys Association of National Grammar School, Nike in Enugu State has urged the state government to provide boarding facilities in the school to fully restore its lost glory.

The President-General of the Association, Mr Leonard Ugwu, made the appeal while speaking to newsmen on Sunday in Enugu on the need to return academic excellence to the school.

Ugwu noted that the government needed to assist the school and its old boys in restoring public water supply, electricity as well as refurbishing some staff quarters and hostel facilities.

“We are also having some security issues especially where unscrupulous elements use the school as a thoroughfare while engaging in all sorts of unholy acts in the premises of the school,’’ he said.

He noted that the association had recently  rehabilitated two hostels in the school, lamenting that “”during my days in the school it was fully boarding, but today there is no single boarding student.”

Ugwu said the association, which had  illustrious men in sub-sets and branches in major cities in the country and abroad, had decided to pay-back to the society by seeing that their alma mater returned to its former glory.

“”Since February 2017, when my executive of the association took over, we have been able to mobilise our old boys within and outside the country to reposition the school for greatness once more.

“”We have built a perimeter fence, rehabilitated administrative and laboratory blocks, some dilapidated classrooms and built new toilets and renovated old toilets while doing extensive plumbing work to reticulate waters in these toilet facilities.

“”Presently, we are building a modern institution gate and its facilities such as CCTV, conveniences attached to it to ensure we secure the school properly,’’ he said.

He said the 1991 set of the association for three years running had been holding educational and mentorship workshops for students, teachers and parents.

“These workshops had led to “tremendous reawakening in academic performance.

“”We must thank the Post-Primary School Management Board (PPSMB) for assisting in bringing up the academic standard of the state and for the first time in decades, the school came first in a statewide essay competition in 2018.

“”Before 2017 only about 20 students took their terminal WAEC and NECO exams in the school.

“But presently, we have over 150 students doing their WAEC exams. This shows restoration of confidence in the school,’’ he said.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the school, established in 1958 and had its first graduates in 1964, had produced notable national names in sports such as C.O.C. Chiedozie, Christian Chukwu, Jay-jay Okocha, Innocent Egbunike etc.

Other illustrious sons of the school included: King Jaja of Opobo and Chairman of Rivers State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Dandison Jaja; Chief Chinedu Ani, proprietor of Coal City University, Enugu.

Others are Messrs Ben and Emeka Etiaba and other great professionals within and outside the country.

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

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