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Education

Nigerian twin children dropping out of schools — Society

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The Nigerian branch of the International Women Society (IWS) has said that it was becoming increasingly difficult for many Nigerian parents of twin children to send them to schools.

The IWS 62nd President in Nigeria, Mrs Nkoli Ogbolu, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday night in Lagos on the sidelines of a Twins Festival.

Ogbolu said that the festival organised by the Society and the Embassy of Hungary’s Trade Office was to seek public’s support for more twins to be encouraged to acquire education.

“We have observed with worry the increasing number of mothers of twin children in our communities who are daily begging to feed their children.

“We have also observed, especially with fraternal twins, that it is only the boy that is sent to school while the girl is made to assist the

mother in menial jobs.

“And this is simply because of the present economic downturn, which is making parents to be unable to send their twin children to

school,” she said.

Ogbolu noted that the parents’ inability to send their twin children to school was affecting them emotionally and psychologically, adding that they were in dire need of support to educate the children.

The president, who expressed the society’s commitment to improving the lives of twins, added that N55,000 would be needed yearly for a twin to be educated in a public school.

Ogbolu said that the society had within the last 20 years only been able to provide scholarships for many single children.

She called on the public, private organisations and good-spirited Nigerians to come all-out and support the society’s efforts at getting

more twins to the classrooms.

Mrs Agota Horváth, the Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of Hungary’s, who commended the IWS president for the initiative, described the birth of twin children as God’s miracle.

Horváth said that the festival had afforded Nigerians and Hungarians the opportunity to know about the culture of both nations, adding that it had further strengthened successful networks in different areas.

“Let me say that to be a twin is a miracle. They grow up together, having the same feeling, knowing each other better than anybody else is a unique gift of God.

“This festival supports us to further build a strong and successful network in various areas of our lives,” she said.

Horváth, also the Embassy’s First Secretary, commended the Honorary Consul of Hungary to Nigeria, Dr Billy Aigbe for his continued support in building a successful connection  for Hungary in Nigeria. .

Entertainment

Ali Baba seeks commercialisation of Nigerian festivals

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Nigerian Comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as “Ali Baba,” on Saturday called for the commercialisation of Nigerian festivals to boost nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and woo local and international tourists.

Akpobome made the call during an online zoom meeting of the five tourism sub-sectors with the theme: “Post COVID-19: A Fresh Start for Tourism in Nigeria”, organised by the Nigeria Travel Week.

He said that the Nigerian festivals were still at their rudimentary stage and the potential for commercialisation must be developed.

According to him, each time these festivals are celebrated, tourists should be made to pay a token, which would boost the states internally generated revenue and the nation’s GDP.

He said that the content of these festivals must also be developed.

“To revive our festivals in Nigeria, we need to look at the commercial angle, we need to identify the potential of each tourism asset and go all out to create commercial value around them.

“We need to build content from our tourism potential; Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states are known for mountainous regions but we have not created awareness and activities around these mountains.

“We should have T-Shirts on which Zuma rock is drawn on, to create awareness; Lagos State is called the aquatic state where deep sea diving can be done but what have we made of it.

“The biggest problem we have is that we do not know how to add value to what we have,” he said.

The comedian said that until every state of the federation was mandated to generate enough revenue for themselves, the nation would continue to abandoned its bountiful potential.

“Our problem is we believe that money made from oil should cater for everyone and every state but we forget that virtually all state have their potential to groom for revenue generation.

“Sokoto has desert which is the major tourism potential in Dubai, used to create beautiful structures we long to visit now but the state is not bothered to develop it.

The Nigerian tourism master plan was not properly defined right from time, we have not seen tourism as a serious business, we only allow it flow,” he said.

Earlier, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, National President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), assured of the association’s willingness to collaborate with other tourism stakeholders.

She said this was the way to go considering the effect of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Environment

World Environment Day: Society urges Nigerians to protect planet earth

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The President, Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Dr Dorothy Bassey, on Saturday called on Nigerians to take ownership of the environment and protect planet earth.

Bassey made the call in Lagos, in the course of a  virtual celebration of the 2020 World Environment Day (WED) with the theme: “Celebrating Biodivesity’’.

According to her, every June 5, people worldwide are reminded of their individual rights to rise and become agents of transformation.

“This year’s theme is Biodiversity. Biodiversity and habitat loss have reached cataclysmic levels that today is the day, not tomorrow to focus on its effects and dangers if not stemmed.

“Human activities such as deforestation, intensified agriculture for food security, and industrialisation have pushed nature and the planet beyond its carrying capacity.

“The continued loss of millions of species going into extinction will lead to consequences humans are not yet focusing on.

“May the consequences of extinction not catch mankind unawares as COVID-19 did.

“We are ob the precipice of environmental collapse and crisis,’’ Bassey said.

The NES president said that the future generation expected “us to Think, Act and Sustain the environment”, adding, “we should not fail them”.

According to Bassey,  the world environment day is the largest global celebration for pragmatic environmental actions, where countries are brought together to commit to their responsibilities toward the earth.


Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

 

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Environment

World Environment Day: Nigerians must recognise interdependence of all lives on earth – CSOs

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Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet), a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs), has called on Nigerians to collectively recognise the interdependence of all lives on earth.

Dr Ibrahim Choji, Chairman, Board of Trustees of CSDevNet, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday.

Choji spoke in commemoration of the 2020 World Environment Day (WED).

NAN reports that the WED is celebrated annually on June 5 and the theme for 2020 is “Celebrate Biodiversity”.

Choji said that biodiversity was the foundation that supports all lives on land and below the water.

“It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance and climate change mitigation.

“Changing, or removing one element of this web, affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences.

“Human actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture and acceleration of climate change have pushed nature beyond its limit,’’ he said.

According to him,  the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life.

CSDevNet believes this year’s WED represents a call upon our collective conscience as Nigerians to be guided by the shared misery caused by the recent global pandemic.

“It also recognises the fragile linkages that human health and existence have with nature.

“The naked realities of the economic and social insecurity we are faced with has never been more obvious.

“If we still fail to see the connection between human health, human rights, human progress with nature now, then we open ourselves to an even more ominous future.’’

He added that Nigeria was blessed with natural elements, but that in its drive to industrialise and develop, a pathway was adopted which had led the country to where it is today.

“That is the rapidly changing climate laced with extreme indicators of poverty.”

According to him, to find our way back to the days of our flourishing flora, fauna and wide vegetation types, we must all continue to find ways to co-exist with nature.

He said that federal, state and local governments must ensure all remaining wild spaces are protected; implement efficient systems of waste management and adopt a circular economy.

Choji added that Nigerian government must ensure the observance of strong environmental impact assessments, implementation of all environmental guidelines and norms across sectors, especially extractive activities in coal, oil and gas.

“We must begin to build green infrastructure and support green enterprises as a pathway to a cleaner, healthier future,’’ he said.

The activist told NAN that the private sector needed to account for the environment in supply chains and financing, and adopt green measures.

“As civil societies and individuals, we need to rethink what we buy and use, and manage our consumption of all resources responsibly.

“Our youths must become committed gatekeepers of a green future.

“The quality of our lives and the survival of our population is dependent on these actions.

“As we work to build back our economy, let us not forget the cost of losing our fragile ecosystems that provide us good health, clean air, water and food,’’ he said.

He told NAN that economic growth could no longer be achieved at the cost of ecological imbalance.

“Well-balanced ecosystems, rich in biodiversity is fundamental to human existence, health, peace and progress.

“It is time to for us to wake up; this world environment day is time for nature,’’ he added.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Economy

Nigerian electricity supply industry recorded ₦119.46bn deficit in Q4 2019, says NERC

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), on Saturday said the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) recorded N119.46 billion deficit in the fourth quarter of 2019.

NERC said the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) only remitted a total of ₦74.20 billion out of the ₦193.66 billion invoice issued to them for energy received and administrative charges during the period.

The Fourth Quarter Report was obtained by News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos from the website of NERC, which is the regulator of the industry.

NERC said liquidity challenge was still a major issue in NESI in spite of the recent improvement in Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses by the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“This is evidenced in the DisCos’ international and special customers’ remittances to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) and Market Operators (MO) during the fourth quarter of 2019.

“During the fourth quarter, DisCos were issued a total invoice of ₦193.66 billion for energy received from NBET and for administrative services by MO.

“However, only a total of ₦74.20 billion (38.32 per cent) of the invoice was settled as and  when due, creating a total deficit of ₦119.46 billion including tariff shortfall, ” the regulatory agency said.

NERC said Eko DisCo recorded the highest remittance rate (51.50 per cent) in the fourth quarter of 2019 followed by Abuja with 51.27 per cent remittance rate.

It added that although Jos DisCo’ settlement rate improved during the fourth quarter, its remittance rate of 19.57 per cent was the lowest in the fourth quarter of 2019.

NERC also disclosed that total market invoices were issued to the special customer (Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd) and the international customers (Societe Nigerienne d’electricite (NIGELEC)and Communaute Electrique du Benin (CEB) during the same period.

According to NERC, N29.50 million was issued to Ajaokuta Steel Company while N2.07 billion was issued to NIGELEC and CEB respectively.

The commission, however, said neither NBET nor MO received payments from these customers during this period.

“Although there has been a significant improvement, the challenge of low remittance to the market is still a concern to the commission as it is one of the main causes of the

liquidity crisis facing NESI.

” Low remittance adversely affects the ability of NBET to honour its financial obligations to Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos).

 “Also, service providers struggle with the paucity of funds impacting their capacity to perform their statutory obligations,” NERC said.

It therefore urged the DisCos to rapidly improve on their revenue collection from customers in order to fulfill their remittance obligations and mitigate financial distress in NESI.

NERC said to enforce payment discipline and compliance with minimum remittance, it had during the fourth quarter, began enforcement action against  DisCos that defaulted in the third quarter billing cycle.

Following the commencement of the enforcement by the Commission, all DisCos except Enugu DisCo have met their expected Minimum Remittance Threshold for the third quarter.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Nigerian troops intensify fight against Boko Haram militants

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The Nigerian troops had achieved encouraging results in recent operations against extremist group Boko Haram and other gunmen groups across the restive northern region, a military spokesperson said.

John Enenche, Nigeria‘s defense spokesperson, said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos on Friday that dozens of militants had been killed while many others surrendered in operations by the troops between Monday and Wednesday.

One soldier was killed and another wounded in one operation, Enenche added.

He said in continuation of the clearance operations across the northeast, troops of Army Super Camp 6 on Wednesday in conjunction with Borno state Civilian Joint Task Force, conducted a deliberate ambush operation against Boko Haram militants at Lawanti River line in Konduga of Borno state, killing six of them while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

Relatedly, the military spokesperson said the troops had on Tuesday an encounter with some Boko Haram militants at Daban Magaji in Borno, killing 9 of them and destroying one Boko Haram gun truck as well as capturing one anti-aircraft gun, two rifles and a large cache of anti-aircraft ammunition.

He said troops of 144 Battalion deployed in Madagali of Adamawa state on Monday briskly cleared Boko Haram camps at several villages in the area. During the encounter at Gajinji village, troops killed one militant and arrested 2 adult females identified to be the local Boko Haram commander’s wives.

Furthermore, resulting from sustained artillery bombardments and ground assaults against Boko Haram hideouts in the northeast, more militants are surrendering to the troops in recent days, according to Enenche.

Speaking on the fight against bandits in the northwest, Enenche said troops of Operation Whirl Punch acting on credible information raided on Wednesday a bandits’ camp in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state, killing two of them while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

He said the troops will continue to be steadfast and focused as they sustain the onslaught against Boko Haram and other militant groups.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

Online competition will help Nigerian players prepare for future scrabble events, Jighere says

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Wellington Jighere, the 2015 world scrabble champion, on Friday in Abuja said an online scrabble competition against Team Pakistan will prepare Nigerian players for future events.

Jighere told the News Agency of Nigeria the competition was needed in the face of a gradual return of sports activities after a halt few months ago due to COVID-19.

Nigeria is scheduled to take on their Asian rivals on Sunday in the competition tagged “Online Bilateral Scrabble Showdown’’.

“We (players) decided we need to do something to get busy and we reached out to our colleagues in Pakistan and they accepted the challenge.

“It is a one-day event with 10 games in a round-robin form. We are grouped into Team A and Team B. The same thing applies to our counterparts in Pakistan.

“Each team will comprise 10 players. So, we will have 20 players in all representing Nigeria, with one of them being female,” Jighere said.

The two-time African champion also said efforts were being made to engage other countries to participate in the competition.

South Africa has accepted the challenge and hopefully next week, we will be competing against them,” he said.

(
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Olawale Alabi (NAN)
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Defence/Security

Nigerian troops sustain massive assault on terrorists in N/East – DHQ

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The Nigerian military has sustained massive assault against  Boko Haram/Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in continuation of its operations across the Northeast, Defence Headquarters has said.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Friday, said that more terrorists have been killed while many others surrendered.

Enenche disclosed that the troops of Army Super Camp 6, Konduga in Borno with the Civilian Joint Task Force, killed six terrorists in an ambush operation at Lawanti River line on June 3.

He added that others escaped with gunshot wounds.

Enenche also said that more terrorists had continued to surrender to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) as a result of sustained artillery bombardments and ground assaults on their hideouts.

According to him, three of the terrorists, namely: Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Pulka in Gwoza Local Government Area on June 2.

He disclosed that the trio confessed to have escaped from their camp in Dabulari Village, Bama Local Government Area after a heavy artillery bombardment that led to the death of many of their erstwhile colleagues.

The coordinator further disclosed that the combined troops of 19 Brigade and 401 Special Forces Brigade conducted a robust clearance operation at Doron Naira and Magaji on June 2.

He explained that the troops recovered one 120mm Mortar base plate, one religious book, metal links for-Aircraft ammunition and a roll of copper wire abandoned by the terrorists in Doran Naira.

Enenche said  the troops, through superior fire,  killed nine terrorists at Daban Magaji encounter.

He added that the troops destroyed one Boko Haram Gun Truck as well as captured one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, and a large cache of Anti-Aircraft ammunition.

“However, one officer paid the supreme price while one soldier was wounded in action.

“The soldier wounded in action is currently receiving treatment in our military medical facility.

Similarly, on June 1, troops of 144 Battalion deployed in Madagali, Adamawa State briskly cleared BHT Staging Area and Crossing Points at Lemu, Gajinji and Tsakiraku.

“During the encounter at Gajinji, troops neutralised one terrorist and arrested 2 adult females namely: Aishatu Manye and Kelune Mate identified to be the local BHT commander’s wives,” he said.

In the North West, Enenche disclosed that troops of Operation Whirl Punch had on June 3, raided a bandits’ Camp at Kurmin Dande in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State acting on credible information.

He explained that troops made contact and neutralised two of the bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds during the operation.

According to him, troops recovered two Dane guns, two motorcycles, one locally fabricated short gun, four cutlasses, three cell phones, two small solar panels and some clothing items before destroying their camp.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, congratulates  the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending our fatherland.

“The high command of the armed forces of Nigeria also encourages the troops to continue to be steadfast and focused as they sustain the onslaught against the enemies of our nation,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Nigerian military kills 392 gunmen in major operation

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The Nigerian military said Thursday that it has killed up to 392 gunmen across the northwest and north-central regions in a major operation that has lasted multiple days since last month.

The spokesman for the military, John Enenche, told the media in Abuja that the joint operation, which started in the northwestern state of Katsina on May 14, is aimed at ending the menace of banditry and other crimes in the northern region.

Through that operation, troops successfully degraded the gunmen in the two regions and a follow-up operation was launched on June 1 to further degrade the gunmen who fled and later attacked civilian targets, according to Enenche.

“It is a concomitant operation by all the theaters of operations in the northwest and north-central regions of the country targeted at tackling banditry and other criminal activities. In this regard, all identified hideouts and hibernations of the enemies will be decisively cleared through land and air combat actions,” the military spokesman added.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Nigerian Army donates vehicle to NIPR

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The Nigerian Army on Thursday, donated an Innoson G-Wagon 80 SUV to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in continuation of its civil-military relations activities.

The vehicle was presented to the President of NIPR on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Hamza Bature.

Buratai said that the army and NIPR had been partnering in the promotion of public relations, adding that the presentation of the vehicle was in fulfilment of his pledge to the institute.

He said the donation was part of efforts to maintain a healthy information cooperation with the institute and to also reinforce the recognition of Nigerian army of the essence and importance of information management.

“The aim of our being here today is to present on behalf of the Chief of Army staff, officers and soldiers of Nigerian army, Innoson vehicle G-Wagon 80 SUV as Buratai’s pledge to this institution.

“You are all aware that we are in an era where the menace of fake news or fake news syndrome poses a great danger to the corporate image of organisation,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the Chairman of Council, NIPR, Mr Muktar Surajo, the Vice President, ACG Wale Adeniyi, commended the Nigerian army for the gesture.

Adeniyi said that the institute recognised the effort of Nigerian army in the fight against insurgency and other forms of insecurity in the country as well as performing its primary responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

He said the institute has watched how the military has done this commendably to the admiration of all and to ensure that Nigeria remains one indivisible entity.

“In the process of doing this, we have also seen that they have realised the importance of maintaining effective communication and synergy with stakeholders not only in the areas of operations but also the wider Nigerian society.

“We have also seen the new trend of establishing the civil-military affairs office and also what we see as a step forward in the area of public relations to ensure that the civilian populace is on the same page with the vision and mission of Nigerian Army,” he said.

Adeniyi also commended the Nigerian army for the choice of the vehicle being a made in Nigeria product, saying it was a bold statement in believing in Nigerian products and the reputation of what Nigeria represents.

He pledged the readiness of the institute to support the vision of the Nigerian army to fight fake news.

“We have seen the havoc that fake news could constitute in major parts of lives; first, the situation of insurgency in the North East and of course the general defence of Nigeria and secondly the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have discovered that while efforts are ongoing to address these two major crisis, the incidence of fake news has constituted a major setback for us.

“We, as a professional institute, join the military and all the appropriate authorities to fight this scourge,” he said.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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