According to her, the loan is a great develooment as Nigeria currently has a high number of out-of-school children, many of whom are girls.
“The loan will go a long way in responding to the situation and seeing that the education inequality gap is bridged.
“The inclusion of provision of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools in the agenda is also exciting, as poverty and lack of easy access to water and hygiene sources are one of the major but less-spoken-about factors keeping girls away from school in Nigeria.
“The inclusion of information and communication technology education is also well-thought-out, relevant and commendable,” she said.
Abah, who noted that many girls out of school were concentrated in northern Northern, however, advocated that more of non northern states be included as beneficiaries of the grant.
She noted that poverty, the leading factor of girls staying out of school, was widespread.
She said that Ebonyi in the South East for instance, was one of the poorest states.
According to her, Ebonyi is one of the states from which girls are being trafficked.
NAN reports that World Bank Directors had on July 29 approved $500 million credit from the International Development Association for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment and to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in target areas.
That World Bank said the project would support access to secondary education and empowerment for adolescent girls in seven states – Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti.
Abah hoped that every kobo from the fund would be accounted for, to make maximum impacts.
“What mechanisms has the World Bank Office in Nigeria put on ground to ensure that the projects are well monitored, carried out in transparent ways and that the money indeed works for the intended targets?
“Will part of the fund be used to fund direct school materials for girls outside erecting facilities in schools?” she asked.
Abah said that she had discovered in her line of work that millions of children even in states where education was free, could not go to school or stay in school due to their parents’ or guardians’ inability to buy exercise books, school uniforms and other school materials.
She urged that the fund be used for maximum impacts and not for seminars and activities which would not have impacts on the intended beneficiaries.
“Also, due to the widespread patriarchal tendencies, girls are the sacrificial lambs when it comes to families’ choices/priorities in term of school sponsorship and empowerment programme,” she said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma (NAN)
Ebonyi govt pledges to promote breastfeeding, provides crèches, jingles
The Ebonyi Government has pledged to do everything possible to encourage breastfeeding among young mothers in the state to improve child and maternal survival.
The Commissioner for Health in Ebonyi, Dr Daniel Umezurike disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing to mark 2020 World Breastfeeding Week in Abakaliki.
Umezurike revealed that the state government considered the feeding critical by creating public awareness campaigns and jingles with support from partners to advocate breastfeeding in the state.
The commissioner also disclosed that civil servants who were nursing mothers in the state had been observing four months paid maternity leave to encourage breastfeeding.
He said that wife of the Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi had established creches in the women development centre and strategic locations to enhance appropriate feeding.
“This is for mother to get close to their children, even at work so that they can breastfeed intermittently.
He added that they were also allowed after the leave resumption to close at mid-day to enable them return home to their babies to feed them appropriately.
“Breastfeeding is most important way of improving child and maternal survival. We take this very seriously.
“We do all these to encourage, protect and support breastfeeding in the state,” Umezurike said.
According to him, malnutrition is a challenge that reduces production of breast milk, when nursing mother are not properly fed.
Umezurike added that such families to include the downtrodden and widows were supported by Mrs Umahi to ensure family health were protected in the state.
He further stated that COVID-19 pandemic had affected activities, food production, consumption practices degrading land and ecosystems among others, thus every steps taken across life cycle to mitigate environmental degradation and climate crisis.
He stated that the pandemic had demonstrated that the global world interdepend and dependent on same planet, thus needs a healthy planet with support of breastfeeding.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner disclosed current situation report of COVID-19 in the state, saying that total confirmed cases is 871, deaths 25, discharged 804 and active cases is 36.
“We have three isolation centers and some on home isolation,” Umezurike said.
The Baby Friendly Initiative Coordinator in the ministry of Health, Mrs Beatrice Ojinkama described breastfeeding as foundation of live.
Ojinkama gave advantages of initiating breastfeeding to include serving as first immunization for a child to survive, help remove reserved placenta, help in family planning among others processes.
She called on the media to assist partners and the ministry in achieving the scheme.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Police nab 3 over alleged culpable homicide, 2 for kidnapping in Niger
The Police Command in Niger has arrested three suspects over alleged culpable homicide in Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state.
The police also announced the arrest 2 suspects over alleged kidnapping in Shiroro Local Government Area.
Abiodun, said that based on information received at about 10:30 hours on July 26, that two teenagers were found lying dead behind M.I Wushishi Housing Estate.
On receipt of the information, police detectives attached to Chanchaga division, swung into action and arrested three suspects in connection with the case, all of Kpapi village in Chanchaga, Minna.
“During interrogation, the suspects confessed to have conspired and fired a Dane gun at the deceased persons, who they claimed to have encroached and damaged their farmland through illegal mining.
“The suspects will be charge to court after investigation,” Abiodun said.
Similarly, the command has arrested two suspects over alleged kidnapping in Shiroro local government area of the state.
Abiodun said on July 28 at about 09:00 hours, information was received that unknown gunmen numbering about 14, invaded Nakudna village via Erena in Shiroro and kidnapped one Jambo Salihu of the same address to unknown destination.
On receipt of the information, Police detectives attached to Erena division swung into action and arrested two suspects, both of Nakudna and Kusasu villages in Shiroro local government area in connection with the case.
During interrogation, the suspects confessed to be indigenes of the community but conspired with their armed gang members now at large, and acted as pointers and informants to the bandits.
The victim was rescued unhurt while efforts to arrest the fleeing suspects was ongoing.
He said that the case was under investigation and the suspects would be charged to court after investigations.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
FG to resume Digital Switch Over roll out – Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government says it will “very soon’ resume the roll out of Digital Switch Over (DSO) – a transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting – across the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Tuesday in Lagos at a ceremony to unveil the new amendment to the 6th Edition of the Broadcasting Code.
Fielding questions from stakeholders at the ceremony, the minister said the DSO suffered some set back which led to a hold after it was launched in six states.
He reiterated the commitment of the government to spread the massive benefits of digital television to the people, stressing that it was the fastest way to create jobs.
The minister assured the stakeholders that they would hear from the government on the resumption of the DSO roll out in the coming weeks.
Mohammed also told the stakeholders that government had been implementing policies and programmes to reposition the creative industry.
He said one of the major recommendations of the Post COVID-19 Initiative Committee on the Creative Industry chaired by ace comedian, Ali Baba was a restructure of the industry.
The minister reassured that the government would soon set up a committee on the implementation of the recommendations to move the industry forward.
The Minister also reiterated government’s commitment to assist the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria in securing the N10 billion Nigeria Media Intervention Fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
3 men in court over alleged stealing of phones worth N43,000
Three men, who allegedly stole cell phones worth N43,000 from a woman under cutlass-point, were, on Tuesday, brought before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
The defendants: Sodiq Alamin, 26; Ruya Yakubu, 23 and Yusuf Adamu, 22, all residents of Ilaje Ajah, are standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy, theft and armed robbery.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the police.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Chinedu Uwadiole, had told the court that the defendants committed the offences on July 7, at 8:30 pm. at Ilaje, Ajah, Lagos.
He said that the defendants threatened one Ms Shade Oyeleke with a cutlass and stole a Nokia phone, worth N3, 000 and one VTE phone, worth N40,000 from her.
According to Uwadiole, the offences contravene Sections 287, 297(2)(a) and 299 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The Magistrate, Mrs O. S. Ominy, granted them bail in the sum of N500, 000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.
According to the magistrate, the sureties must be gainfully employed and show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State government.
She, thereafter, adjourned the case till Sept. 16, for mention.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq