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SON tasks industry owners on proper environment management



The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has called for proper pollution control and improved management of hazardous products and environmental waste in all work places and industries.

The Director-General of the organisation, Mr Osita Aboloma, made the call at a sensitisation workshop in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.

Aboloma, who was represented by the SON Regional Coordinator for South West, Mrs Akosile Tosan, said that the call was necessary so as to reduce the menace of environmental pollution and avoidable deaths among the populace.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that sensitisation workshop had the theme: “The Relevance of Environmental Management for Sustainable and Efficient Ecosystem’’.

The director-general decried the careless manner in which many organisations handled critical issues relating to the environment.

According to him, one major problem that keeps rearing its ugly head is the menace of environmental pollution.

“As industrial action increases, cases of water poisoning, air pollution, land pollution and many others have geometrically increased.

“Unfortunately, these hazards in turn affect the entire ecological system negatively, and such negative effects include food poisoning, desert encroachment, flooding and global warming among others,’’ Aboloma said.

He said that the SON, being the apex standardisation body in the country, was saddled with the technical responsibility of preparing standards relating to products, materials as well as environment.

The SON director-general said that the organisation would not fold its arms and watch the environment being destroyed.

“We have, as part of our mandate, to ensure that our living habitat and existence is not terminated suddenly,’’ he said.

Aboloma explained that it was in pursuant of these objectives that the sensitisation was organised to further enlighten stakeholders on proper management of their environment to guarantee safety of lives and property.

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Ijaw Elders Forum, others call for credible, violence-free elections in Bayelsa



The Ijaw Elders Forum, Lagos, in collaboration with Ijaw Professionals Association, Ijaw Nations Forum, Ijaw Women Connect and Embassara Foundation, have called on the people of Bayelsa to exercise their civic responsibility by voting the next governor of the state through a peaceful and credible process on Saturday.

The groups in a joint statement by Mr Efiye Bribena, and made available to the Nigeria News Agency expressed alarm at the turn of event in Bayelsa.

“We are alarmed at the recent turn of events on Wednesday Nov. 13 at Ogbolomabiri, in spite of the numerous workshops we organised on Peaceful and Credible Elections and affirmations by major political stakeholders.

“We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend elections in any ward where political violence occur in the days leading to the elections or threatens the peace during elections.

“We condemn in very strong terms the violence and loss of lives experienced in Ogbolomabiri on Nov. 13, 2019.

“We wish to also call on INEC to reject results from any ward or local government areas with reported cases of violence, ballot box snatching or riggin,” Bribena said.

“Accepting results and declaring same from wards where violence or other election malpractices are perpetuated will be tantamount to incentivising violence and malpractices during elections.

“We will like to use this opportunity to draw the attention of The Nigerian Human Rights Commission and other relevant institutions of the state to the violence that occurred in Ogbolomabiri.

“The incident should be investigated and the perpetrators and their sponsors brought to book.

“We call on INEC and all relevant institutions of the state to maintain neutrality during the elections and ensure peaceful and credible elections as the people of Bayelsa troop out on Saturday to elect their Governor.

(Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Peter Ejiofor)

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Seek God’s intervention to overcome challenges, Cleric urges Nigerians



The Spiritual Leader, Sacred Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Nigeria, Solomon Alao, has urged Nigerians to always seek God’s intervention to overcome the nation’s challenges.

Alao, who is also the Supreme Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church Worldwide, made the plea on Friday in Lagos.

He spoke on the ordination of his son, Solomon Alao (Junior), as the new Minister-in-Charge of The Holy Mount of Salvation (Model Parish) of the same church.

According to him, his (son) choice came through divine inspiration and people’s choice.

Solomon Alao (Junior) is the third person to head the parish and would take over leadership of the church from the late Apostle Emmanuel Adegoke.

“When we seek God’s face, there will be an end to emptiness economically and the many challenges facing the country will be a thing of the past.

“God will answer Nigerians when they reach out to Him in term of sincerity.

“The problems pervading Nigeria are as a result of sins and unrighteousness of its citizens,” he said.

The cleric also urged Nigerian leaders and citizens alike to pray for wisdom, divine visitation and help from God.

“We are not just talking about the problems now, we are talking about viable solutions.

“Solution is possible; we should not relent in praying for the country because God will visit us.

“I have high hope that Nigeria can be changed.

“I have hope that if we pray, God will give wisdom to our leaders to boost their efforts,” Alao said.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Border closure, a bold step to revive economy — Oyo APC chieftain



An All Progressives’ Congress (APC) Chieftain in Oyo State, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan, has described the recent border closure as a bold step by Muhammadu Buhari’s government to revive the nation’s economy.

The APC chieftain told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Lagos that the border closure would bring about “a real turn around for the nation’s economy, if the opportunity was well utilised”.

“For instance, it has shown that most of our neighbours are virtually living on us; they make huge money, earn humongous foreign exchange for their countries out of our large population and size.

“A situation where all manners of finished and unfinished products, farm produce are thoughtlessly brought into the country can only lead us to total ruination.

“Wisdom dictates that for the borders to be reopened, we need to come up with strong home-suited policies that would make us achieve more from our association with other countries in terms of revenue generation and employment for our people.

“What we require as a nation is to strive for self sufficiency, and the first step toward that is the protection of local producers,” he said.

Olaosebikan, a former Chairman of Oluyole Local Government in Oyo State, urged Nigerians to give full support to President Muhammadu Buhari in the implementation of home-suited policies in his renewed bid to revamp the economy at this critical moment.

On local content development, the APC chieftain said that the National Assembly had a key role to play in enacting strong and workable laws needed for functionality and sustainability of local content development in the country.

“There should be a robust synergy with all the branches of government on this important goal of enhancing the Nigerian content in all aspects.

“Emphasis should be on concrete and accelerated development of local content in all spheres.

“Our economy would grow and the nation progress, if we have less to spend our foreign earnings on,” Olaosebikan said.

He urged the government to pursue only policies and programs patently capable of deepening the Nigeria content, local production and processing of farm produce.

“It is time to think Nigeria, eat Nigeria, drink Nigeria and act Nigeria in all circumstances.

“Time to individually and collectively support President Muhammadu Buhari on home-suited policies for our economy.

“Our ministers and governors should not wait for a presidential directive to patronize local industries such as INNOSOM, Dangote and others. They should make patronage of local industries, a necessity,” he said.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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Kano elders to meet Fashola over deteriorating state of Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi Road



Worried by the deteriorating state of Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi road which links Kano to four states, communities in the area have resolved to send a special delegation to meet with the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, to elicit government action.

“We are formally going to lodge a complainant on the deplorable condition of the Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi road, which has become a death trap,” Alhaji Yunusa Haruna-Kauyu, the member representing Gwarzo constituency told the Nigeria News Agency in Kano on Friday.

He said the delegation will comprise the Kano State Commissioner of Works, Alhaji Muazu Magaji, the Senator representing Kano North senatorial zone, Sen. Barau Jibrin-Maliya and members of the House of representatives from the zone among others.

“It is necessary to meet the minister in order to express the concerns of our people on the deteriorating condition of the road.

“It is a very important road which links Kano with four other states and Niger Republic.

“The potholes along the road had witnessed a number of patches, but even the potholes that were patched last year have already gone off.

“What this road requires now is total rehabilitation not patching of potholes.

“So we want the Federal Government to look at the possibility of awarding contract for the total rehabilitation of the road,” Haruna-Kauyu said.

NAN reports that the Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi road is a major link to Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states, as well as parts of Niger Republic.

The road was constructed during the administration of military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and had never witnessed any major rehabilitation since then.

The lawmaker said that the total rehabilitation of the road would boost social and economic activities across the four states and beyond.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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FG spends over N1bn on conditional cash transfer beneficiaries in Niger



The Federal Government says it has spent about N1 billion on the National Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in Niger in three years.

Hajiya Hadiza Shiru, Head of the State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU) in Niger, disclosed this during a training session on savings and group mobilisation (SGM) in Minna on Friday.

The training was for facilitators and desk officers from six Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the National Conditional Cash Transfer (CTF) is one of the component of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme towards tackling poverty and hunger.

The programme focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable population including children, youths and women with a monthly stipends of N5,000.

Shiru disclosed that no fewer than 18,888 vulnerable persons in 802 communities had benefited from the programme in the state.

She said that the training was for facilitators selected from each ward and one desk officer from the six LGAs.

“The facilitators are 71 in number; they are being train on how to form groups and keep records. They are expected to go back and teach the people how to form groups and cooperatives in order to enable them save the monthly stipend given to them,” she said.

Shiru said that the facilitators were selected from Chanchaga, Lapai, Paikoro, Edati, Mashegu and Kontagora, adding that the facilitators were expected to go back and step down what they had learnt to the beneficiaries.

Also, Mr Kola Solomon, the National Training Officer of the Cash Transfer Programme, called on the facilitators to pay attention to the training to acquire knowledge that would enable them step down what they have learnt.

“Giving the beneficiaries money is not enough to pull them out of poverty, they also need to learn about behavioural changes by saving part of these monies.

“So, we have adopted a strategy to encourage them form groups and let them know the importance of saving; this is the only way to be able to lift them out of poverty,” he said.

One of the facilitators, Asm’u Kawu from Mashegu Local Government, said that the training had improved her capacity on how to play her role as facilitator effectively.

“We have been taught how to help the beneficiaries in our communities form groups and cooperatives to save their monies and how to resolve conflicts among them,” she said.

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Imo to set up research unit for diabetes management



Imo State Government said it had concluded plans to establish a research centre that would monitor and manage diabetic patients in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Udokwu, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Owerri on Friday.

He said the centre, when in place, would help the state conduct free screening and manage diabetic cases in the state and its environs.

He said with the centre, the government, through the ministry of health, would be able to have  statistics of people suffering from the disease after the screening that would take place in different zones of the state.

Udokwu said that diabetes had a hereditary component and affected people that are overweight, take excess sugar, smoke and drink a lot.

He said as part of the activities marking this year’s World Diabetes Day, the ministry had embarked on awareness creation and sensitisation of the people through news talk and ‘Walk for Life.’

He said the ministry, with collaborating agencies, would embark on a “Walk for Life” next week to drive home the issue and challenges associated with diabetes.

The commissioner described the World Diabetes Day as a day set aside by the World Health Organisation and other organisations to create awareness on diabetes and commemorate people living with diabetes globally.

He said research estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes, while in 2014 the number of people living with diabetes world wide rose to 422 million.

The commissioner said that over 500 million cases of type 2 diabetes existed worldwide.

He identified the two types of diabetes as Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, adding that the warning signs include,  frequent urination, unusual thirst, constant hunger, unusual weight loss, blurred vision and extreme fatigue aside others.

Udokwu said that the earlier a person is diagnosed, the earlier treatment could be initiated in order to reduce the risk of harmful and costly complications.

According to him, diabetes could be prevented by adopting a simple and healthy lifestyle which include maintaining a healthy body weight, indulging in physical fitness activities like brisk walks and jogging

”Others include, eating healthy diet with more of vegetables and fruits and less of sugars and saturated fats”

“Our Non-communicable Diseases Unit which oversees diabetes matters and other non-communicable diseases such as cancers, have been strenghtened by Gov. Emeka Ihedioha.

”This is to ensure that awareness creation and public enlightenment about the many silent diseases is continuously carried out,” he said.

The commissioner called on everyone to regularly undergo screening for diabetes through checking of the blood sugar levels called Fasting Blood Sugar Test and Glucose Tolerance Tests.

According to the commissioner, this is to avoid the complications that result from un-diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Tajudeen Atitebi

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