The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Zamfara State says it has extended the daily closing hour for its staff to capture more eligible registrants at the centres in Gusau.
Prof. Saidu Ahmed, Zamfara INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Thursday.
NAN reports that the daily official closing hour for the exercise was set at 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
“But we now close our gates at 2.p.m. but we make sure all those present at the premises of the centres get enrolled before we close for the day.”
The Commission said it had also deployed five additional data capturing machines to fast track the exercise in the state.
Ahmed said the development was part of INEC’s effort to ensure that it registered most if not all eligible registrants before the end of 60 days new deadline (August 30) set by the commission.
He said the commission had also increased logistics to transport its staff to hard to reach areas for the residents to take advantage of the work-free week (June 20 to June 24) declared by the state government.
“We have introduced the use of motor-bikes to cover the hard to reach areas within the headquarters of the 14 local government areas of the state for that purpose.
“You know, for now we cannot go beyond the LG’s headquarters due to security concern in parts of the state.
“But I can assure you, we are doing our best to get as many eligible registrants from such areas enrolled through the assistance of stakeholders who also transport their people to the centres,” he said.
Gusau residents and prospective registrants had earlier appealed to INEC to deploy additional officials to enable more people to enroll.
Some of the residents told NAN that they took advantage of the work-free week to enrol in the Voter Registration.
They, however, lamented the slow nature of the enrolment exercise due to the few number of INEC officials deployed at various centres.
Some of the eligible registrants said they had completed the registration since October 2021 but were asked to pick their PVCs in January 2022.
“We went back several times to collect the PVCs; the officials would say they were not ready.
“But we are determined to ensure we collected them before the general poll in 2023,” Abdul Suleiman a resident said.
Another registrant, Emmanuel Ikeme told NAN that the exercise was easy for him because he registered online but he came to INEC for physical capturing and thumb printing.
Ikeme, however, complained that the process was slow and urged the commission to deploy more personnel for faster enrolment of eligible voters.
The Commission’s head of Voter Education and Publicity, Bello Ibrahim, however, noted that INEC had deployed five additional data capturing machines to fast track the exercise in the state.
NAN also reports that residents, especially youth and women have been turning out in their large numbers to register at the four centres in Gusau.
The Minister of State of Works and Housing, Mu’azu Sambo, has urged the Management of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to set a timeline for the completion of the Mass Housing Estate in Zuba.Sambo said this when he paid a progress visit to FHA Mass Housing Estate site in Zuba, Abuja Federal Capital Territory.The Public Affairs Officer, FHA, Mr Kenneth Chigelu, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.According to Chigelu the visit was to ascertain the level of completion of the estate, in readiness for its commissioning.The minister was taken round the estate by the Managing Director FHA, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, in the company of the Authority’s Executive Director, Project Implementation, Mr Sam Omoke.He called on management to come up with the exact quantity of work remaining to be put in the estate, to determine the actual time for the final completion of the project.He inspected the nine remaining blocks of flats that were at various stages of completion.The breakdown of the blocks awaiting completion shows 1 Block of 2 Bedroom Flat at plastering and fixing of windows stage, 7 Blocks of 1 Bedroom, at fixing of doors, tilling and external works stage.Sambo, however, observed the need for adjustments in the external finishing in some blocks. He also observed that the trees planted in the estate were still at the nursery stages.He, therefore, advised that efforts should be made to plant trees at sites as soon as construction started, so that the trees could grow as the project progresses.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Zuba Mass Housing Estate is a Pilot project of Federal Housing Authority to be replicated across the nation.The project sits on 18 hectares of land, housing 764 units of various house types.The breakdown shows a total of 16 blocks of 3 Bedroom Flats in a block of 8 flats, 32 blocks of 2 Bedroom Flats in a block of 8 Flats, 14 blocks of 1 Bedroom Flats in a block of 16 Flats and 5 Blocks of Terrace duplexes in 4 rows.The estate is already serviced with 100 per cent completed standard infrastructure such as Roads and Drains, External Water Distribution Network, Electricity External Reticulation and Perimeter Fence.It also has three Water Stations, Injector Transformers, Civil Works and Servicing of blocks with underground cables.(www.nanews.ng)
The Federal Government says it has started the implementation of the N10 taxation per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) to reduce the incidences of Non-communicable Diseases.Mr Dennis Ituma, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, made this known in an interactive session at a Policy Breakfast Meeting in Abuja on Thursday.The meeting was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction to proffer ways to implement tax and other interventions to reduce SSBs consumption in the country.According to Ituma, customs has started the implementation of taxing all companies producing SSBs since June 1st, 2022, this he said started with the sensitisation of the companies on the need for the taxation.“The N10 per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account.“It should interest you that taxation on SSBs was a policy of the Federal Government in 1984 but was stopped in January 2009.“Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs was removed from taxable beverages.“Only alcoholic drinks and tobacco generates N414 billion, SSBs will further increase the revenue generated from drinks.”On how customs would ensure that the companies were properly taxed, Ituma said the service designates resident customs officers to all factories producing SSBs who take the measurements of all daily productions.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the taxation of N10 per litre tax on SSBs on Dec. 2021.A member of the coalition and CEO TalkHealth9ja a Public Health Physician, Dr Las Eze called for a well defined policy framework that would support direct transfer of any money that accrues from this tax to certain health interventions.“That is an advocacy to ensure that whatever additional revenue coming from this is channelled to diseases that may be caused by excessive consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages.“Such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, certain types of cancers, obesity and so many others.“Also there has to be accountability and efficient utilisation of these resources. At these monies will be part of the consolidated revenue fund of the Federal Government, which basic health care provision fund takes not less than one per cent every year.“There has to be further push, although the primary purpose for us in pushing this tax is not for government to make more money, it’s to discourage excessive consumption of SSBs,” Eze said.He, however, added that if there was money coming additionally from it, those resources should also go into controlling and helping to reduce the burden of health conditions that arises from SSBs,’ that is our goal as a coalition.’Also speaking at the meeting, Mr Jekeli Usman, Assistant Clark, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Federal House of Representatives, commended the coalition on the success of its advocacy.He assured the coalition that the National Assembly would all in its power to ensure that the funds when generated were judiciously used through its budget appropriation and oversight duties when the funds were finally released to healthcare agencies.Mr Musa Umar, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning on his part urged the coalition to engage policy makers in the implementation of the SSBs tax fund.Umar said it was important to get those at the high level of policy making involved in the advocacy to get their commitment to channel the funds from the tax to health issues that resulted out of the excessive consumption of SSBs.NAN reports that excessive consumption of SSBs is a risk factor for obesity, NCDs like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and tooth decay.The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 20 per cent excise tax on SSBs.The meeting had in attendance high-level stakeholders including the Ministry of Health,Finance, National Assembly, Nigeria Customs, World Bank and NASR Coalition.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has received $350,000 dollars from Coca-Cola Foundation to accelerate vaccination for Nigerians against COVID-19.
Mr Chima Nwankwo. Coordinator, Communications and Advocacy of the society, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
“The grant, awarded through the #StoptheSpread fund, administered by the foundation is valued at $350,000 dollars.
“It will focus on increasing vaccine uptake and logistic support in key states where there have been established vaccine hesitancy in Nigeria.
“IFRC will work with local Red Cross Society teams and volunteers to execute the programme.
“This donation will enable the cross access some of the hardest to reach communities in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Quoting Mr AbubakarKende, Secretary-General of the Society, Nwankwo said: “If we are to have any chance at stopping COVID-19 transmission, we must ensure that we make it possible for these communities to not just understand the danger this virus portends, but also through personal protection and access to vaccination.”
He said the mobilisation campaign would create public enlightenment messages about the benefits of taking the vaccine and also help interested persons find a vaccination site closest to them.
According to him, the society volunteers have already commenced risk communication and community engagement activities in communities in Bauchi, Bayelsa, Kogi, Ebonyi and Edo states.
He said that as part of the intervention and community advocacy, the cross volunteers would provide useful information to members of the communities about the benefits of the vaccine.
Nwankwo said that the volunteers would also address the quell rumors and myths associated with virus.
He said they would provide clear answers to questions relating to the pandemic as well as direct community members to medical facilities where they could get vaccinated safely.
According to him, the campaign will run until October. (
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has urged the private sector and education stakeholders to collaborate with his administration to give every student in the state a solid foundation for personal and professional success.
Sanwo-Olu said this at the Y2022 EQUAL Summit, organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (SDGI), on Thursday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that EQUAL, an acronym for EquaI, Quality, Ubiquity, Access And Learning, is a strategic initiative designed to bring together all key stakeholders that are zealous and passionate about improving education sector in the state.
The governor was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
Sanwo-Olu said that as policy makers and private sector professionals, it was their responsibility to ensure that emerging generations of young people were exposed to the same high-quality opportunities that they enjoyed and which had a great impact on their lives.
“We know that a comprehensive and well-rounded education involves the impartation of skills such as empathy, leadership, and self-confidence.
“It should also teach awareness of the world and of our place in it, and emphasise on inculcating values and ethics in our young people so that our society can benefit from their robust contributions,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, called on the private sector to collaborate with his administration in the areas of investment in the newly established comprehensive schools.
“Embrace the concept of adopting schools, equipping and upgrading the classroom, accommodation, as well as donating equipment and tools for technology; funding teacher training centres, donating to Lagos State Teacher Welfare Fund, sponsoring work experience schemes for students and teachers.
“Also, sponsoring local and international exchange programmes, investing in special needs education, providing consultancy services for monitoring and evaluation, capacity development, data gathering
and analysis,” he said.
The governor assured that whatever support given would go a long way in raising the performance bar and standards much higher.
He noted that the outcome from the resources and efforts invested in the past three years of his administration had been modest and very encouraging given the improved performances of students in national examinations, national and international competitions.
“Let me also emphasise that there will be several concession opportunities for private organisations who will participate in this collaboration through their corporate social responsibility and institutional resources, drive, knowledge and target-driven practices.
“We count on your support to provide a 21st century focus professionals in all spheres.
“I encourage all prospective private sector partners to reach out to us through the Ministry of Education or the SDGI for support and advice on the best ways to make your collaboration impactful, and in a manner we can fulfil our arduous joint responsibility of building the best workforce for tomorrow,” he said.
In her remarks, Miss Boluwatife Akinfenwa, a student of Alimosho Senior Grammar School, urged the state government to invest more money in the education sector.
Akinfenwa also appealed to the government and stakeholders to put in their best in improving infrastructural facilities to get the best results.
NAN reports that the highlight of the summit was the recognition and presentation of awards to various private partners for their tremendous support to the state government’s education transformation plan, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown of schools.
Among the awardees were Schneider Electronic Foundation, Siemens Energy, MTN Nigeria, First Bank, OPL Academy, British Council, Wazobia Max TV, and Rotary Club.
Others are; Mojek Electronic, Ikeja Electric, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, New Era Foundation and South Saharan Social Development Organisation among others.