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Economy

Stakeholder wants FG to formulate policies to regulate mining sector

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Shehu Abui, the Danmasani of Marwa, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has urged the Federal Government to formulate policies to regulate the country’s solid minerals and mining sector.

He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, saying that mining contributed significantly to the country’s economy before the discovery of oil in commercial qualities.

“If you go to Plateau and some parts of Kaduna state, mining had started, even in Zamfara and Kastina, though not regulated, but they need to be regulated by the government just like the oil industry.

“The truth is that some 50, 60 years ago, Nigeria was very dependent on mining, for example in Plateau, we had tin mining and in the East we had coal mining.

“It was very important for the economy in addition to cocoa production in the West and groundnut and cotton in the North and palm oil in the East.

“If you go to Plateau now, you will see where tin was excavated,” Abui, a former Editor-in-Chief of NAN said.

He said that though mining contributed a lot to the country`s economy in the past, it was ignored when the production of oil came.

Abui said it was however, heartwarming that people had started going back privately into mining, but needed to be regulated.

He maintained that there was huge mining potential in country that could boost its economy and development if effectively harnessed, saying that all that was needed was political will.

He expressed optimism that with people like the newly elected president of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Mr Obadiah Nkom, there was hope for the country’s solid mineral sector.

Abui who said he had known Nkom over the years as a man determined to explore the sector, said with him as NMGS president, results would be produced in the solid mineral sector.

He expressed happiness that with the election of Nkom as the 30th president of the NMGS, the country`s solid mineral potential would be effectively harnessed.

“He is not just an engineer with determination to make things happen, but a traditional title holder, he is the Ajia of Marwa in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“He had been identified a long time ago as somebody who is determined to serve the country and his immediate community,” Abui said.

NAN reports that Nkom, also the Director-General Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), was elected as the NMGS 30th president in March at its 55th Annual International Conference in Enugu.

Nkom at his investiture on Saturday recalled that mining was one of the main-stay of the country’s economy, leading to the establishment and development of cities such as Jos and Enugu where generations were raised.

He noted that the country prior to the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantity was known for its tin, columbite, and coal.

According to him, political will and a determined populace desirous of forgoing current short-time pleasure and comfort for a secured and sustainable future is required to achieve the full potential of the country’s solid mineral deposits.

“To achieve this, there is the need for the Federal Government to formulate a licensing policy to encourage oil companies to becoming petro-chemical producers rather than extractors and exporters of crude.’’

Edited Ese E. Ekama

 

Economy

Institute urges NPA to include stakeholders in review of concession agreement

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The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT Nigeria) on Saturday urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to include stakeholders in the review of the port concession agreement.

The President of the institute, Mr Ibrahim Jibril, made the appeal on an Instagram Live programme organised by Mrs Ezinne Azunnah of the MaritimeTvNews.

The programme was themed,” Supply Chain Management: Domesticating Best Models for Port Efficiency”.

According to him, for any port to be efficient, it must meet the expectations of its users and in that regard, that expectation must be competitive.

“It is obvious that in recent years, we have entered into some models which are expected to improve the efficiency of our ports as component of the supply chain. The activities at the ports must be in sequence with the life cycle of any cargo in transit.

“That model is the port concession arrangement we entered over a decade ago and the essence was to bring private hands in and take away cargo handling from the NPA.

“NPA is still in the process of reviewing that concession agreement; it has not been concluded.

“The only observation is that they have not taken on board other stakeholders who can bring in other ideas to have a near perfect agreement.

“This was the mistake they made at the initial agreement and as they are about reviewing the agreement, it is expected that they will include other stakeholders to draw up the agreement to forestall some of the challenges hindering efficiency at the ports,” he said.

He noted that unfortunately, the agreement did not take into consideration the social repercussion of the concession itself as it would have included port access in that agreement.

“If we had tinkered with it then, this problem would have been solved by now,’’ Jibril added.

The institute’s boss said that a certain radius within the two main ports would be designated port areas and there would be control of movement of vehicles and the terminal operators would be fully involved in that in conjunction with government.

“I think that the agreement was a little bit flawed in that direction and that is why we have seen that for several years after the concession.

“We keep paying severance benefits to port workers who at times became disenchanted and stopped work and this introduced inefficiency in the way we had handled cargo at the seaports,” he said.

Jibril noted that after a decade and evaluating the situation at the port, he could quite say that some of the ports had been quite efficient but that was not to say that we had achieved what we wanted at the port.

He said that there were certainly some fundamental constraints and the first issue was that most of the seaports were like river ports, saying that they could not attract large vessels because of their shallow channels.

He listed other challenges as piracy, saying that they were hoping that with the Deep Blue Project that government had embarked upon, it could see to the near end of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The CILT Nigeria boss said that NPA had introduced a few measures to improve the efficiency of port operations such as the Vessel Tracking System, which was supposed to give the country a port domain awareness of all vessels that were coming in to berth.

He pointed out that NPA was seriously working on a single window platform so that importers would have one portal to contend with and also creating holding bays to reduce congestion on the bridges and road access to the ports.

Jibril said that for ports operations efficiency, there was need to integrate all the four modes of transportation to the ports, noting that this could be achieved through the implementation of the National Transport Policy.

“The best thing that will happen to Nigeria is if we can achieve intermodal means of transportation. We need to have a plan which can be achieved from the National Transport Master Plan got from the National Transport Policy.

“Government decided to focus on the rail because this is the mode that moves the largest quantity of goods across the nation cheaper and safer.

“There is also the need for private sector involvement in the railway construction so as to open doors for more efficient railway transport mode in the country,” he said.

He also called for the regulation of pricing in the transportation industry and also for other services at the ports, saying that multiplicity of charges would not bring about efficiency in the system.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Foreign

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

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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.

(XINHUA)

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Health

COVID-19:Ondo Govt. partners stakeholders to tackle community transmission

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The Ondo State Government says it has resolved  to partner with relevant stakeholders to curb community transmission of COVID-19.

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu who was represented by the Chairman Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 and the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, made this known on Friday at a stakeholders’ meeting on COVID-19 in Akure.

Akeredolu said the uncooperative attitude of some residents toward observing stipulated precautionary guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and the consequent community transmission, nessecitated the meeting and the call for collaboration.

He told each group the  areas the government would want it to buckle up and assist  in steming the tide of the pandemic.

According to him, the country has recorded over 11,000 confirmed cases and hundreds of deaths, which is a very serious issue that calls for concerted efforts and cooperation.

“The case in the state is still a sucess story, as the state has successfully treated and discharged 21 patients and has recorded only four deaths.

“There is need for stakeholders to form a formidable force to tackle COVID-19 and stem the tide, as recent cases recorded are clear cases of community transmission,” he said.

He said  that the rate at which cases were being recorded and the increase in death toll called for drastic actions  and collaboration.

The state’s Epidemiologist and Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control of the Ministry of Health, Dr Stephen Fagbemi, said that serious control measures had to be taken as the country was gradually easing the lockdown.

He appealed to the state residents to cooperate with the government by obeying stipulated precautionary regulations  in the interest of all.

The Secretary of the Ondo State Bankers Committee, Mr Okafor Wallace, said at the meeting that congestion in and around banks  in recent times was unhealthy and uncalled for.

According to him, the world now operates cashless policy and people do not need to carry cash round but transact business online or use the Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.

Wallace praised the governor and his team for commitment to tackling COVID-19.

The Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, Mr Adebo Jacob, appealed to the government to cushion the effect of the pandemic on transporters through palliatives.

He also urged NURTW members to comply with all laid down guidelines  on the prevention of COVID-19.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was attended by representatives of the Ondo State Forum of Bankers, Market Women Association, NURTW and security agencies.


Edited By: Folasade Adeniran (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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Education

Unilag VC urges stakeholders to support project, programme or student

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The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has urged stakeholders and friends of the institution to key into his vision of ‘picking a project, programme or student’ in a bid to promote excellence.

Ogundipe made the appeal in an interview on Thursday in Lagos.

He spoke on the sidelines of the inauguration of the newly renovated Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC) building and meeting rooms donated to the University of Lagos Business School.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Dr Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital, carried out the renovation and made the donation to the institution.

Ogundipe said that with such vision, the institution would contribute more, not only to the nation but the world at large.

”Part of the vision that God gave me when I applied for the position of the vice chancellorship  is: Pick a Project, Pick a Programme and Pick a Person.

”And what we are doing here today is part of that pick a project which Dr Akintoye, through the Platform Capital, is doing now in the renovation of this building.

“We also have a similar one currently going on in the Faculty of Law, being carried out by Alhaji Femi Okunu and many others like that.

In the area of Pick a Programme, we are talking to the alumni and friends of the university to pick a department and try and support it, by buying equipment and many others, in a bid to enhance the teaching and learning in that department, especially now that we are talking about online teaching.

For Pick a Person, you can pick an indigent student and train such student from first year to when he or she is going to graduate.

“You can also pick someone in a department and sponsor such person to an international conference outside the country or even within.

“We are indeed grateful to all our donors so far and expect more of such, to take our university to where we truly want it to be,” he said.

Ogundipe expressed delight at the gesture by the Platform Capital, saying it was the way to go, as it would continuously boost the culture of  excellence of the university.

”Today’s commissioning is not just for the renovated classrooms by platform Capital, there is also the lecture theatres, the old building in itself, and they also brought in IT system into the space.

“There are other facilities that enhance someone to deliver lectures to any part of the world, that is virtual teaching platform in the classrooms, where a lecture will be recieved and even examination conducted online.

”This will also impact on students in terms of entrepreneurship. As you know, this is HRDC building and the facilities are renovated for the UNILAG Business School. The entrepreneurship centre is a part of this because there is an aspect of entrepreneurship teaching that goes on now.

”If you look at the recent ranking by Forbes, the UNILAG Entrepreneurship Centre has just been ranked as the best in Nigeria and the third best in Africa.

“So, this centre will further enhance our teaching in entrepreneurship too,” he assured.

The vice chancellor also gave an update on the institution’s position as it concerns academic activities in view of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said: “I want all our students to know that it may be a bit difficult for us to bring all our students back to campus now.

”This is because they are more vulnerable to COVID-19. So we are going to do the online teaching and we want to assure them that we will put them into consideration at a particular stage.

”Management has met on that. At a particular point, we are going to put them into consideration, in such a way that they will not need to buy the data .They will only buy the data when the lectures are going on.

”But when it is time for examination, management is looking at it, we are going to recommend it to council, whereby the university will pick part of the bill for the data that the students are going to use for their examinations.

Right now, I want to assure you that once we have a directive from our principal, we will migrate online. We are fully ready concerning what we are going to do in that regard,” he said.

On his part, Dr Akindele, of the Platform Capital, who is also a teacher at the University of Lagos Executive MBA programme, said education remained the key driver of growth.

According to him, there is need for individuals and corporate organisations to continue to find means of supporting the government in its quest to develop the sector, as it cannot do it alone.

”For us, education is a key part of growth and for us too, we spent enough time analysing and looking at government.

“We believe that it is almost wrong or almost hypocritical for everybody to believe that government must do everything.

”We also believe that the private sector and individuals can play a major role in the development of this nation and that if we all run our governments, in our own small governments, we will be the larger government.

”You run a government in your home being a parent, you run a government of your own being a Chief Executive Officer and if we all run our governments, optimally, we can build a community of government that is all network and all connected.

” And what are the key areas for that? For us, education is one, secondly, it is entrepreneurship, thirdly, is gender equality and finally health.

“These are the four key areas that we are passionate about and we are not just talking about it, but putting in place things that will drive them.

”So, looking at education, it includes adopting any primary school around, fix the classrooms, buy students uniform and pay the teachers and not just the universities alone,” he said.

According to him, Platform Capital feels UNILAG is already doing a lot that is great, hence the need to give it the support.

”You know if we rally round the best in class and make it world class, we will all benefit from it.

”So for us, doing this is furthering the dream and vision of the Prof. Ogundipe-led team, supporting the fantastic faculties that they have here, hoping that we can make them the number one in Africa.

”This will then attract not just grants, the best minds, but the best teachers and the best students will then stay back.

”So, with this, we expect that our best minds will get what they intend going to get abroad here,  because this is a world class facility.

”With this, we now have prize for the best students here, job opportunity given and internship,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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General news

Kaduna Govt consults stakeholders on steps to reopen economy

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Kaduna State Government has urged people to wait for the guidelines to ease the lockdown of different segments of the society and economy in the state.

The Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, made the plea in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna.

Balarabe said publication of the guidelines would soon be out, adding that it would be followed by ‘’a formal announcement on the re-opening of permitted sectors’’.

She recalled that the state government had last week extended the Quarantine Orders by additional two weeks during which stakeholders would be consulted on the conditions for a safe re-opening of the state.

“Further to that commitment, the state government has initiated consultations with traditional rulers, business community, market and transport unions, proprietors of private schools and religious leaders.

“This was aimed to discuss the protocols for re-opening more segments of the society and the economy.

“Clear protocols and guidelines for the reopening of approved sectors will be published before the current Quarantine Order expires on Tuesday, June 9, 2020,” the deputy governor said.

According to her, this will spell out what is required and the measures to be taken in the economic and social sectors that will be reopened.

“The markets, places of worship, schools and other facilities whose operations were prohibited under the Quarantine Orders, will remain shut until the approved protocols are announced next week.

“Citizens should note that congregational worship is not yet permitted.

“Religious leaders are aware of this fact, and we expect everyone to live up to their obligations and avoid needless, and illegal activity,’’ she added.

Balarabe, who is also the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19, said that government had consulted widely with stakeholders who have pledged to assist the state government’s efforts in reopening of the state.

Thank God we have responsible leaders who understand the dangers and challenges of COVID-19, and are prepared to help the state and society to achieve navigate safely,” she said.

According to her, the recommendations and suggestions that have emerged from the consultations will help to strengthen the re-opening strategy.

“The draft guidelines and discussion documents shared with the stakeholders will be improved with inputs received,’’ she said.

Balarabe said it was only prudent to allow the sacrifices that had been made to be followed, to achieve the desired results.

She commended the citizens for their perseverance through hardship occasioned by the enforcement of the lockdown period.

The deputy governor noted that the burning desires of the state government to save life against COVID-19 neccecitated the adoption of stringent preventive measures announced back in March 2020.

The chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19 recalled that the state government strategy to curb the spread of the virus was aimed at protecting lives and the economy.

“That is why the lockdown has from inception been partial to allow for essential services and the operation of some economic sectors.

In April, we also tasked a committee of senior officials to plan post-lockdown scenarios for the state.

“The report of this committee has since been discussed by the state task force on COVID-19 and published,’’ she added.


Edited By: Angela Okisor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Environment

LAWMA reaffirms collaboration with Environment Ministry, stakeholders for cleaner Lagos

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The Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has reaffirmed its collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and other stakeholders to achieve a cleaner Lagos.

Its Acting Managing Director, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, made the disclosure at a media parley in Lagos on Thursday.

Odumboni said the authority had been having continuous dialogue with the Private Sector Participation (PSP) to enable them to achieve the minimum standards.

According to him, they are engaging the PSP on capacity building programmes on agreeable minimum standards before informing Lagos residents.

He said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been working toward empowering PSP to ensure that there was sustainability in environmental management to avoid pandemic in the future.

“We are repositioning the Blue Box Initiative of Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s administration to have an in-depth spread of sorting waste from the source before getting to the recyclers.

“At the moment, we have 20 registered recyclers in 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LGDAs).

“Presently, PSP operation is known in 11 LCDAs, and to cover all the local governments, the authority has decentralised its operation into Central, East and West to move closer to people in the community.

Before the end of August, we should be able to have recycling presence, at least two each, in all the 57 LCDAs,” Odumboni said.

While urging residents to sort their wastes from homes, he pleaded with local government chairmen to create space for recyclable wastes in their communities to enable recyclers to pick them up for usage.

Odumboni said the authority would improve on its mandate to ensure cleaner environment as from 6.00a.m, adding that anyone who noticed any infraction, should contact the Customers Service on 0805990660 and 07080601020.

He said LAWMA would participate more in ensuring that regulation of PSP were done,.

The acting managing director said that the authority would partner with Kick Against Indiscipline, Health Sanitation and others to sanction environmental offenders.

Odumboni appealed to residents to stop patronising cart pushers and endeavour to pay their bills to sustain the operation of PSP.

He commended the state government for providing excellent rehabilitation of the three dump sites.

Odumboni said that the land field had improved from 11 to 20, and increased the turnaround time of truck.

According to him, a total of 500 trips are made daily by the PSP, while the authority is working toward increasing the trips to 850.

He said that the authority would also engage farmers and medical facilities to ensure they complied with the separation of their wastes to avoid epidemic outbreak.


Edited By: Moses Solanke/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Metro

UN Decade of Action: Stakeholders harp on enforcement, education to reduce road accidents

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Some stakeholders in transport on Thursday canvassed increased enforcement of traffic laws and education of road users to reduce road accidents and resultant deaths.

The stakeholders spoke during an online meeting organised by National Drivers’ Merit Awards (NDMA).

The meeting was monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

 

The two-day online meeting, which commenced on Wednesday, was organised to celebrate the end of the first UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020).

The decade ended in the midst of a global pandemic, making the Road Safety Week and other activities to be  overtaken by the health crisis.

The online meeting was tagged: ‘’An X-Ray of the Decade of Action on Road Safety in Nigeria’’.

The meeting, moderated by Mr Ike Okonkwo and Mrs Bola Edwards, featured talks on: ‘Appraising the Decade of Action (2011-2020)’, ‘Data Integrity: A panacea for Effective Road Safety Management in Nigeria’ and ‘Road Safety Enforcement and Road Safety Education on a Scale’.

Mr Hyginus Omeje, the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said at the meeting that enforcement and advocacies remained key in achieving the UN Action Plan of 50 per cent reduction in road accidents.

Omeje, who called on various state governments to institute viable traffic management agencies, said that road safety required strategic documents, training, right funding and personnel.

“How many state governments or local governments in Nigeria train their drivers annually?

UN Decade of Action on Road Safety needs the commitment of all; there is a need for private participation, also.

“We must engender safety right from the inside. Before fleet operators will operate, a lot of things must have been done (on drivers and vehicles).

“We need increased road safety education and culture,” he said.

The FRSC boss, who called for a national transport policy, said  that one of the reasons why motorists disregarded traffic laws was meagre penalties for offenders.

Another speaker, Dr Charles Asenime of the School of Transport, Lagos State University, attributed slow reduction in Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) to poor driving attitude and underfunding of road infrastructure, among other factors.

Asenime also listed the factors to include low enforcement and a depressed economy which forced motorists to patronise substandard spare parts for vehicle maintenance.

He decried lack of road safety education in primary to secondary schools, poor established driving schools and lack of modern teaching equipment such as traffic signal simulations in many driving schools.

The Executive Secretary of the Transportation Growth Initiative (TGI),  Dr Adeyemi Omidiji, said that driving culture in the country was dangerous.

He added that many road users could not interpret road signs.

“Enforcement and prosecution have impacted positively in changing behaviour pattern of motorists, thereby reducing the rate of RTC across the country,” he, however, said.

A discussant, Mr Hafis Toriola, Director, Transport Operations, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, said that enforcement and education were very key to road safety.

Toriola said that education would lead to voluntary compliance by motorists.

Another discussant, Dr Tolulope Olufunlayo, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, called for community engagement in road safety education and risk assessment.

NAN reports that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises that road safety is a prerequisite to ensuring healthy lives, promoting wellbeing and making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020, officially proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in March 2010, seeks to save millions of lives by building road safety management capacity.

It also seeks to improve the safety of road infrastructure, enhance the behaviour of road users and improve post-crash response.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Science & Technology

ICT expert urges stakeholders to exploit online platforms for virtual meetings

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The Founder, African ICT Alliance, Dr Jimson Olufuye, has urged stakeholders to leverage on online platforms as COVID-19 pandemic has increased dependence on virtual meetings and conferences.
Olufuye said this during the bi-weekly webinar of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Abuja chapter, on Thursday.
According
to him, virtual meetings and conferences will remove the usual cost of travels, accommodation and renting of halls.
“An advocacy push to encourage sustained virtual engagement will be highly beneficial, just as many businesses may not need to rent offices, as many staffers are able to do their work from home.
“It increases advocacy for a declaration by the government and the National Assembly that whatever law applies off-line also applies online,” he said.
Olufuye said that this had strengthened and upgraded ICT infrastructure and advocacy for the National Universities Commission (NUC), Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and the Ministry of Education for approval of e-learning education paradigm across all levels.
He said it had brought about implementation of segments of the cybercrime law, adding that more citizens were online through targeted policy application.
Olufuye also called for an increased engagement of key stakeholders in advance internet governance paradigm nationally, regionally and internationally.
NCS has done well nationally thus far, but the time is long overdue for it and many other nationally-focused organisations to advance their perspectives and be more involved at the national level in the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum,” he said.
Olufuye stressed the need for leveraging on the knowledge of how the internet worked with lots of inter-connectivity and interdependencies, resulting in harmony at the data production, manipulation, retrieval, storage and application levels.
He called on NCS to come together more and be good example.
According to the ICT expert, government, which is the key stakeholder, should be engaged with the goal of improving the living conditions of people, for the creation of wealth and jobs, and in the process, facilitating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The President of NCS, Abuja chapter, Mr Olusegun Alabi
, said that the biweekly Webinar Series (BWS) was one of the major initiatives of the chapter to create values for the society and enhance membership drive.
He said that the webinar was also aimed at increasing knowledge sharing and training on virtual platform resulting from the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NCS is the umbrella organisation of all information technology (IT) professionals, interest groups and stakeholders in Nigeria.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Health

Stakeholders urge FG to increase epidemic funding

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Health stakeholders on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to increase funding for epidemic preparedness to guard against being taken unawares by any outbreak in future.

They made the call during a virtual training organised for journalists and other stakeholders by Nigeria Health Watch (NHW), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

The training, which attracted 110 participants from across the country, was aimed at training participants on reporting the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related issues.

Speaking during the training, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, a Consultant Paediatrician, explained that allocation for epidemic preparedness at the States and Federal Government levels had been grossly inadequate over the years.

Dr Shinkafi-Bagudu, who is also the Wife of the Kebbi State governor and an Advocate for Women’s Health, said the country was taken unaware by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

She attributed the increasing confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country to inadequate allocation for epidemic preparedness in the nation’s budget despite the weak health system.

The first lady however commended the government, health personnel and other stakeholders for their commitment towards containing the virus.

She also commended NGOs for organising training for journalists and other stakeholders, adding that it will help in curtailing the spread of the virus.

Similarly, Dr Zouera Youssoufou, the Managing Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said the private sector would continue to support the government where necessary in its efforts to contain epidemic.

“All hands must be on deck because the budgetary allocation from the government alone will not be sufficient to tackle outbreaks.

Also, I urge the government to open up the economy gradually and safely to enable the people return to work as the virus has come to stay just like ,” Youssoufou said.

The managing director said that the government should only ensure adherence to safety measures in all business premises, organisations and offices against the virus.

Speaking on the training, Mr Ifeanyi Nsofor of Nigeria Health Watch, said it was done virtually in a bid to further contain the spread of the pandemic.

He explained that the training was aimed at supporting media professionals to disseminate the correct information to the public in order to dispel the increasing misinformation being peddled by non-professionals about the virus.

According to Nsofor, the training has exposed the participants to where and how to get information on the COVID-19 and to properly disseminate same to members of the public.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training featured paper presentations by resource persons on different topics as well as a question and answer session.


Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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

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