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NDE commences training of 1000 unemployed youths, women in Nasarawa



The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Nasarawa State says the training of 1,000 unemployed youths and women in various vocational skills is part of the agency’s continuous efforts to tackle unemployment.

The Nasarawa State Coordinator of NDE, Alh. Dauda Wase, made this known on Thursday at a one-day orientation organised for the beneficiaries at the NDE Skills Centre in Lafia.

He said that at the end of the training, unemployed youths and women would be equipped with skills that would enable them to become not only self-reliant, but major contributors to the development of the society as well.

He added that the trainees were exposed to the basic rudiments of vocation.

“These include rules, regulations, code of conduct and conditions governing the different vocations,” he said

According to him, 550 beneficiaries are under the Basic National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS) training in the three NDE Skill Centres located in each of the senatorial districts in the state.

“And some informal sector artisans across the state.

“Another 400 women will be trained in cosmetology skills such as making of pomades soaps, insecticide, hair creams, and perfumes, among others across the State.

“Another set of 50 youths are doing their training under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Scheme, making a total of 1,000 youths and women to be trained in different skills,” he said.

According to the coordinator, the duration of the training for all the acquisition of the skills is three months, except for cosmetology, which will take two weeks.

The state coordinator commended the Federal Government for the efforts it is making to address unemployment in the country.

Also speaking, Alh. Suleiman Ajanah, an Assistant Director at NDE Headquaters, Abuja called on the participants to see the training as an opportunity to be self-employed and an employer of labour.

He said that it was better to teach one how to catch fish than to give his or her fish to eat.

Earlier, Mr. Rotgak Go’ar, Head of Vocational Training of the NDE in the state, urged the participants to take their training seriously in order to move out of the labour market.


Ethiopia to plant millions of trees in spite COVID-19 pandemic



The global coronavirus pandemic will not deter Ethiopia on its mission to plant five billion trees by the end of July, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday, World Environment Day.

“Despite #COVID19, we are determined to plant the intended five billion trees,” he tweeted on his official Twitter account, adding that planning was under way on how each household would “plant their print in a physically distanced manner.”

Abiy said on Facebook that the target is part of the east African nation’s larger goal of planting 20 billion trees over a four-year period.

Last year the country launched its annual Green Legacy challenge, which saw 354 million seedlings being planted in a 12-hour period. According to the Agriculture Ministry, about 84 per cent of those plants have grown.

More than 20 million people were mobilized throughout the country in our first-ever mass planting engagement,” Abiy said on Friday, adding that four billion seedlings had been planted last year.

He then dug into this year’s attempt by planting trees near Tabor Mountain, just outside the central city of Hawassa.

Officials said both government institutions and private businesses had prepared enough seedlings to be planted in the latest round.

Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and lack of arable land pose a problem for the impoverished nation.

According to the UN, environment has become a key issue in Ethiopia in recent years.

“The main environmental problems in the country include land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, recurrent drought, flood and water and air pollution,” the UN stated. dpa/NAN)


Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)


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Delta Govt. appoints state index, Austin Eruotor, as COVID-19 ambassador



The Delta Government on Friday in Asaba named and appointed 50-year-old Chief Austin Eruotor, the state index case of Coronavirus (COVID-19), as COVID-19 Ambassador in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, who made the disclosure to newsmen, said that the youngest victim of COVID-19 in the state was a two-month-old baby whose mother was also positive.

Ononye addressed the media in company of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie, and the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu.

He said, however, that the baby and her mother were currently being managed at the Asaba Specialist Hospital Isolation Center, adding that they were stable.

The health commissioner disclosed that the state had 116 confirmed COVID-19 cases as at Thursday.

He stressed that being COVID-19 positive was not a death sentence but that people should report cases to the relevant authority for quick intervention.

“The challenge we are facing has been that of stigmatisation and we want the media to speak against this and we must understand that COVID-19 is real and we must observe all the rules,” he said.

The SSG, while decorating the ambassador, charged the people to obey laid down rules regarding the pandemic as government would not need to pursue people about, to save them from it.

According to him, the pandemic is real and government has put some measures in place, including border closure and curfew, to contain the disease.

On his part, the commissioner for information said that the state government was determined to deepen sensitisation to ensure that the people stayed safe.

“The more people we are able to win through sensitisation, the better for us; though it’s a personal responsibility to stay safe, you have to protect the life of others by observing all rules,” Aniagwu said.

In his testimony, the COVID-19 ambassador said, “I hail from Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state.

“I am popularly known as Austin Koko in Abraka town, where I fell sick before being taken to the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, after testing positive to COVID-19 on April 7, 2020.

COVID-19 is real; I want to thank God for healing me, and I want to thank Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa for his intervention and for making me an ambassador for COVID-19 in the state.

“Many people say that COVID-19 is malaria and all sort of claims, but this is not true.

“I live in this country and I know what malaria is like. The trauma and pains associated with COVID-19 is different from those of malaria.

“At first when I had the symptoms of cold and coughing, I thought it was malaria and I was treated for malaria for six days to no avail. In the process I spent about N110, 000 for treatment and testing which yielded no result.

But I was diagnosed and I tested positive to COVID-19 and was taken to Oghara Teaching Hospital Isolation Center, by the team led by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye.

“I was at the isolation centre for 36 days before being discharged; my lung was traumatised. I had cough and difficulty in breathing and was under oxygen for 5 days,” he said.

Eruotor expressed surprise that some people still doubted the existence or reality of the pandemic.

“I was born and brought up in Nigeria and can tell the difference between malaria and COVID-19 disease.

“I am appealing to everybody to observe the rules and I am ready to go through the length and breadth of the state and even to any part of the country to sensitise the people on the danger of COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Also, Mr Jerry Azinge, a lawyer who tested positive to COVID-19 and was admitted in the treatment centre in Asaba Specialists Hospital, said he spent 18 days in the isolation center where he was treated.

“I was fatigued and had sleeping difficulty at night. I had no cough but I tested positive to coronavirus and had to be in the facility for 18 days before being discharged.

“The treatment was free and I had free meals three times a day in a well-furnished and air conditioned center; I was traumatised by the disease and was lonely.

“The disease is real, though it presents in different ways but I will suggest that anyone with running fever in any hospital for more than seven days should be tested for COVID-19,” he said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Kenya’s tourism stakeholders mull safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic




Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector players vowed on Friday to adhere to all safety and hygiene protocols against COVID-19 pandemic to instill confidence to both domestic and international travelers.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), a government marketing body, said hospitality has been among the first sectors in the country to be reopened with eateries and restaurants gradually reopening within set out guidelines of safety.

Betty Radier, KTB CEO, said safety measures against COVID-19 new normal operating environment is a priority which will be only achieved through well-defined industry protocols.

“The opening of travel will begin with domestic, here we should begin to show our preparedness and that we are ready to make sure that they are safe within our facilities,” Radier said during a tourism sector roundtable webinar hosted by the KTB.

The meeting brought together industry players to deliberate on the sector’s preparedness for resumption.

She pointed out that already facilities were picking and embracing hygiene and preparedness protocols.

“We have been able to see that with Nairobi National Park showing clarity in protocols and this has seen an increase in visitor uptake to the facility,” Radier said.

Kenya tourism is the third-largest source of foreign exchange, supporting about 1.5 million jobs especially in rural areas and dominates the service sector.

Mike Macharia, CEO of Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) said that he was confident that the industry is able to ensure that there is a set of protocols that are strictly adhered to by all to ensure that clients are confident with the services provided.

“As an industry, we have come up with a set of protocols. We believe that we can win this fight, we just need to focus. What is required is communication on behavioral change especially in other subsectors like transport to ensure that the numbers don’t continue to increase,” Macharia.

Alex Gitari, acting managing director of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), said that the organization is aligned to the measures that have been provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“I want to confirm that all the measures that we have come up with are in line with what ICAO provided. Some of them to mention a few are sanitization from the screening yard to the terminal building. We are also disinfecting the equipment within the airport as well as physical distancing within the premises of the airports,” Gitati said.


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General news

Foundation seeks declaration of state of emergency on sexual, gender-based violence



The Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation (GLOHWOC) has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the country.
The foundation also called for effective enforcement of penal laws in the country to punish rapists.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the call came on the heels of the increasing number of rape cases across the country.
The foundation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, in a statement made available to NAN on Friday at Omu-Aran, decried the recent upsurge in rape cases, especially against minors.
She also urged the police to facilitate effective and prompt investigation of rape and rape-related cases.
Abayomi-Oluwole also advocated for an urgent domestication and enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act.
Quoting Sections 282 and 283
of the Penal Code, she said that the penalty for rape was life imprisonment.
“The penalty, under the criminal code, is life imprisonment for rape and 14 years imprisonment for attempted rape (Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Criminal Code).
, this felonious offence has become one of the major prevailing offences in Nigeria today.
“Recently reported cases include the rape and murder of a 22-year-old Uwaila Omozuwa of the University of Benin and 18-year-old Barakat Bello of the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology, Ibadan, who was stabbed to death for her refusal to be raped.
“There was also the disheartening case of a four-year-old girl in Cross River State,” she said.
According to her, the need for declaration of a state of emergency on SGBV in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.
“We call on government to ensure an urgent domestication and enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act.
should also ensure the establishment of functional sexual assault referral centers (SARC) at the state level.
The Nigerian Police Force should facilitate effective and prompt investigation of all reported rape/SGBV cases, while government should ensure criminalisation and prompt prosecution of those cases and domesticate sex offenders’ registers,’’ she said.

Edited By: Kabir Muhammad and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Ogun FRSC gets new sector commander



Mr Umar Galadunci has been appointed the Ogun Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Umar will take over from  Mr Clement Oladele, who has been transferred to Enugu as the Commander of the FRSC Academy in the state.

Oladele made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ota, Ogun.

NAN reports that  the Board of the FRSC recently promoted 119 senior officers to various ranks nationwide.

Oladele and his successor benefitted from the promotion.

Oladele described his successor, who was transferred from Kaduna State, as experienced.

“I want to thank all the staff  of the command for cooperation with me during my stay in Ogun.

“I urge them to extend the hands of cooperation to the new sector commander,” he said.

 Oladele will resume in Enugu on June 12.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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Japanese key index of business conditions drops to lowest on record in April




The Japanese government on Friday maintained its assessment that the economy in April had “worsened,” with its index of business conditions dropping to the lowest level since record keeping began.

According to the Cabinet Office, the coincident index of business conditions for the recording month dropped 7.3 points from March to 81.5 against the 2015 base of 100.

The decline marked the sharpest drop since comparable data became available in January 1985, the government’s figures showed.

The figure retreated for a third straight month, the office’s data showed, and came on the heels of a 4.9-percent decline logged in March.

Using terminology to describe its lowest evaluation of the assessment of the economy for the ninth consecutive month, the Cabinet Office maintained that the world‘s third-largest economy is “worsening.”

The index in the reporting period was adversely affected by a sharp fall in shipments of durable consumer goods, these includes goods such as cars and motorbikes, a government official explained.

The official said slumping demand for steel products also weighed heavily on the index in the recording period.

“I believe manufacturers lagged in procuring parts to be used for their products as supply chains were disrupted due to the pandemic, and factories were forced to suspend their operations, which caused the negative effects,” the official was quoted as saying.

The leading index of business conditions, which forecasts the nation’s economic situation in the coming months, also marked a record decline for the second straight month, the Cabinet Office said.

It tumbled 8.9 points to 76.2 in the reporting month, the office said.


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Campaigners say biodiversity conservation key to boost climate resilience, avert pandemics




Robust investments in biodiversity conservation should be prioritized by national governments, industry and foundations in order to strengthen the resilience of local communities amid climatic shocks and disease outbreaks, campaigners said on Friday during the World Environment Day.

Elizabeth Mwiyeria, Kenya County Manager at international conservation agency, Vi Agroforestry, said that protecting biodiversity will ensure that communities are food secure, healthy and prosperous in a rapidly warming planet.

“Biodiversity conservation is the cornerstone of resilience to climate change. In a biologically diverse ecosystem, every being will find its space for existence at balance with nature,” Mwiyeria said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

This year’s World Environment Day whose theme is “Time for Nature” aims to rally the community of nations towards support for biodiversity conservation as a means to achieve sustainable development.

Mwiyeria said that protecting natural habitats is more urgent as local communities increasingly rely on them to provide food, clean water, medicine and building materials.

She said that unsustainable exploitation of vital ecosystems like forests and watersheds will undermine efforts to tackle hunger, disease and climate-related disasters.

“As humans rely more on nature for food and livelihoods, wildlife and ecosystems are put at risk, further increasing our vulnerabilities. It is time to reflect on the role of human beings in creating a balance between species and the environment upon which their lives are dependent on,” said Mwiyeria.

She noted that human activities are fuelling loss of iconic species and degradation of ecosystems, adding that home-grown innovations like agroforestry could provide some respite.

“Agroforestry can play a major role in conserving and even enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services from farms to the landscape levels. It has the potential to mitigate climate change and boost resilience of small-holder farmers,” said Mwiyeria.

She said that governments should enact policies that promote sustainable land management practices to ensure that nature-based assets are protected from harm amid rapid urbanization.


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Romanian doctor gets suspended jail sentence over Cameroonian player’s death



A Romanian court has handed a one-and-a-half-year suspended jail sentence to an emergency doctor for negligence before the death of Dinamo Bucharest’s Cameroonian midfielder Patrick Ekeng in May 2016.

Ekeng collapsed on the field after suffering a heart attack, shortly after coming on as a second half substitute during a domestic league match, and was pronounced dead two hours later.

Elena Duta, the medical specialist in the ambulance which took Ekeng to hospital, was charged in June 2016 with unjustified inaction.

Prosecutors said she made no attempt to resuscitate the player.

Duta was also ordered to pay 200,000 euros (227,000 dollars) in damages and sentenced to 60 days of community service, the court said in a statement late on Thursday.

Duta was not immediately available for comment.

Following the death of Ekeng, the world football players’ union FIFPro raised concerns about the level of first aid treatment for footballers in Romania.

Eighteen-times Romanian champions Dinamo Bucharest retired the number 14 shirt as a mark of respect to Ekeng, who also played for clubs in Cameroon, France, Switzerland and Spain.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)

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Coronavirus epidemic “under control” in France: gov’t advisor




The coronavirus epidemic is now “under control” in France, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, an immunologist and head of the scientific council that advises the French government on COVID-19, said on Friday.

“We can reasonably declare that the virus is under control. The virus is still circulating in certain regions notably in Ile-de-France and eastern France, but it’s circulating slowly,” Delfraissy told France Inter radio.

The immunologist noted that compared with the new single-day cases reported in March, it now shows “a significant decrease” in the virus circulation.

“Most importantly, we have all the tools to detect these new cases. We have the tests, … and a whole system of isolation to be able to trace the positive cases and to avoid the virus to spread again,” he added.

On Thursday, the council published a report in which it detailed four scenarios of future epidemic situation, with recommendation of measures to be activated in response.

The first scenario describes an “epidemic under control” as a result of nearly two-month lockdown.

“We think the first scenario, a controlled epidemic, is the most likely,” Delfraissy said.

Meanwhile, he warned that French people should not relax “too much” their efforts, recommending continued distancing measures, wearing mask in public transport and frequently wash their hands.

The other scenarios are based in terms of acceleration of virus spread and increasing of tension in hospitals. The second is “the appearance of critical clusters” in which the government should reinforce testing, quickly isolate cases and trace suspect ones.

The third scenario consists in a “progressive, quiet restart of the epidemic, which would be more difficult to control” and the fourth — the most severe — a “critical degradation” in the situation leading to a “loss of control on the epidemic,” which likely will force authorities to re-impose restrictive rules on people movement.

As of Thursday, France had registered 44 new daily deaths from COVID-19, bringing the toll to 29,065, while confirmed cases increased by 767 in one day. The number of hospitalized patients decreased by 413 to 13,101, including 1,163 in intensive care, down by 47.


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