The Commissioner for Health in Anambra, Dr Afam Obisike, has advised nursing mothers in the state not to relent in giving exclusive breastfeeding to their newborn because of its numerous health benefits.
Obidike gave the advice in Awka on Wednesday during a newsbriefing to herald the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week. He said that exclusive breastfeeding helps to protect the child from ovarian cancer, diarrhea, heart diseases and pneumonia, among other diseases.
According to him, the practice also helps to protect the nursing mothers from diseases and reduces infant morbidity and maternal mortality.
Obidike was represented at the briefing by Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, the Executive Secretary of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
He said that non-adherence to exclusive breastfeeding exposes children to sicknesses, which often result in infant mortality.
The commissioner said that the state had made significant improvement in the nutrition of children since 2018. “UNICEF reported that about 60 per cent of the world’s infants are missing in the recommended first six months of exclusive breastfeeding,” he said.
He further said that the World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated from August 1 to 7 every year to encourage breastfeeding, is intended to improve the children’s wellbeing.
Speaking on the activities of ASPHDA, Ezenyimulu said that the agency would also organise a programme for nursing mothers.
She said that commodities and bed nets would be distributed free of charge during the programme.
The ASPHDA boss said that the celebration would be devoted to informing people about their role in strengthening the bond between mother and child.
She expressed delight that the state had moved from 14 per cent to nine per cent in the number of children under five with stunted growth.
She said that the week-long event would be launched on Thursday, August 4 by Gov. Chukwuma Soludo.
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on Education has urged the state government to take over the payment of salary of the staff of the State University, Keffi.
Mr Daniel Ogazi, the Chairman of the Committee made the call when the management of the institution appeared before it on Wednesday in Lafia to explain its 2022 budget performance.
He assured the university management of the committee’s continued support to enable them succeed in tackling the challenges facing the institution.
” We will continue to do our best in ensuring improved standard of education.
” We are urging the state government to take over the salary of the staff of the university,” Ogazi said.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Suleiman Bala- Mohammed, commended the committee for its support to the institution over the years.
He, however, said that the institution’s revenue performance in the last six months was adversely affected by the national industrial action embarked upon by the university unions.
Bala-Mohammed also said that paucity of funds had affected personnel cost as management had to augment up to 57 per cent from its internally generated revenue for staff salary monthly.
The vice chancellor, therefore, appealed for the state government to fully take over the payment of staff salaries as a lasting solution to the university’s financial challenge.
” The Education Committee should intervene in the industrial crisis brewing on campus which is apparently suppressed by the national strike,” he said.
He appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule for his efforts in developing the education sector of the state and called for its sustenance.
( NAN) (
Absence of a prosecution witness on Wednesday stalled the trial of one Abiodun Amusa charged with N88.1 million fraud before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Amusa is standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting him.
EFCC counsel, Mr Samuel Daji, told the court on Wednesday that prosecution had planned to close its case but its last witness could not make it to the court.
Daji prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable it to present the witness for evidence.
Defence counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku, did not object to the submission.
NAN reports that the defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned on Nov. 1, 2021. EFCC alleges that the defendant had between Oct. 24, 2020 and Aug. 20, 2021 in Lagos, retained N88.1 million in his First Bank account which he knew to be proceeds of various internet and cyber crimes.
According to the commission, the alleged offences contravene Sections 1 (3)(d), 6 (8)(b) and 17 (a)(b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences, 2006. Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until Aug. 12 for further hearing.
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a committee to reconcile its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers.
Former lawmaker and member of the board, Sen. Abdul Ningi disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of the BoT meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ningi, who did not disclose the time frame for the committee, said it was expected to interface between warring factions so as to restore peace.
“We have set up a committee to interface between warring factions, particularly the acrimony brewing between the presidential candidate and Gov. Wike. “It is a committee of the whole; every other BoT member is a member of the committee.
I cannot tell you the grievances and the time frame,” he stated.
There have been reported internal crisis within PDP camp since the outcome of the party national convention that produced Abubakar as the party presidential candidate and the emergence of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta as his running mate.
Wike was considered alongside Okowa for the running mate slot.
On requests that National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, should step down, Ningi said that the matter was not discussed.
The Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, has enjoined corporate entities to embrace technology, to stay afloat in the increasingly competitive market place.
Delivering a keynote address at the unveiling of an app, known as “Cydene Express’’ in Lagos on Wednesday, Ogbonna said that corporate entities failing to keep pace with technology and innovations would go into extinction sooner than later.
Ogbonna said that technology had caused disruptions in markets across the globe, a development he said, had resulted to untimely deaths for many corporate entities.
“Globally, disruptions have become the order of the day and technology is at the heart of that disruption, therefore, any entity that fails to shape up will naturally ship out.
’’ He lauded Mr Skalid Obi, the software developer, who built the “Cydene Express’’ app for inventing a software that would help thousands of Nigerian homes to ensure efficient use of household utilities.
“Mr Obi and his team at Cydene Energy Services have thrown up a challenge to other Nigerian youths to bring change through the creation of innovative technologies and ideas.
The Access Bank chief described the new app as a value-added platform that would give easy access to utilities and services in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil Ltd., Mrs Nkechi Obi, praised the software developer for his tenacity and commitment to bridging the gap in delivering utility services to households.
She, however, told the Federal Government and corporate entities to find ways to encourage young Nigerians to embrace innovations and technologies that would contribute to nation growth.
Earlier, Skalid, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cydene Energy Services, said that the company developed “Cydene Express’’, to boost the adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) among Nigerian households.
He said that the company was prompted to develop the app, to bridge the gap in accessing and paying for household utilities from the comfort of homes.
“At Cydene Energy, we have built a socially inclusive app that can accommodate Nigerians.
With this app, Nigerians can now securely purchase utilities while maintaining comfort and maximizing productivity.
“We realised the need to own the management system in other to understand the logistics of delivering services from merchants to consumers.
” He said that with the introduction of the app, the Federal Government’s effort to boost LPG adoption as cooking fuel via the National LPG Expansion Plan would receive a boost.
A Director of Cydene Energy Services, Mr Sam Ochonma, said that the app was also handy in making payments for other utilities such as airtime, cable television and electricity bills.
He explained that users could send money to friends and families to pay for utilities, using the app.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that up to 10,000 Nigerian households have embraced the app for efficient use of household utilities.
A real estate firm in Lagos, REfin Homes, on Wednesday said it was stepping up its climate change advocacy with creation of green locations within its estates across Nigeria.
REfin Homes, during a tree planting exercise and ground breaking of a 10-floor apartment project, called the Begonia, in Ikoyi, Lagos said the firm offered Nigerians housing finance to bridge shelter gap.
A Managing Partner, Mr Kazeem Owolabi, said greening of estates was to bring fusion between nature and urban development, to enable people live healthy in their environment while mitigating climate change.
According to him, tree planting is an environmental-friendly initiative to advocate the importance of green environment in enhancing climate change and urban development.
Owolabi said trees were planted to combine smart and greening environment into their building development, adding that the method was proactive and futuristic.
He said the company, which was green certified, had another ongoing project at Omole and upon completion would be the first green estate in Lagos.
Addressing newsmen during the tree planting and ground breaking, he said Begonia has 18 months completion period and was one of the firm’s green building projects spurred by luxury demands in Ikoyi.
“All our building projects are in line with climate change to ensure that people live well and healthy in their environment,” he said.
Owolabi said the firm also gave intending home owners access to finance while building to clients’ specifications and capacity, so that issues of “overprice, underprice or building challenges would not surface” .
He said the company’s policies were geared towards addressing shelter gap while building according to people’s specifications.
He said the opportunities were available for all classes and income levels and expressed hope for increased partnership with governments towards addressing housing deficit.
“We are the first indigenous ISO certified real estate company in Nigeria.
“The whole idea is for us to match international standards from onset, in order to attract people from diaspora so that when they come in, there won’t be much of a difference in what is obtainable here and abroad,” he added.
Earlier, another Managing Partner, Mr Olatunde Macaulay, explained that the current estate was named after a plant called Begonia.
He said this was to show a significance between nature and urban development.
Macaulay noted that asides naming the estate after a plant, all estates built by the firm were well adorned with trees to promote greening environment.
He explained that the colours of the plants, yellow and black, symbolised the happiness clients would feel on getting home, as well as the boldness and uniqueness.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it is carrying out economic and financial audits of the remaining eight domestic airlines in the country.
Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, NCAA, during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, said that the aim was to determine the health conditions of the airlines.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the number of scheduled domestic operators went down last week, from eight from 10, following the suspension of two airlines Nuhu said that the regulatory body was already carrying out intensive financial and economic audits on three other indigenous airlines, while the remaining would be done in batches.
”While Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended its operations, NCAA grounded the services of Dana Air following its alleged failure to run safe operations.
”The remaining eight scheduled airlines are Air Peace, Arik Air, Max Air, Green Africa, United Nigeria, Overland, Azman Air and Ibom Air,” he said.
The NCAA boss decried the current difficult operating environment for operators which was further escalated by the scarcity of foreign exchange and high price of Jet A1. He, however, said that NCAA would not relegate safety to the background.
He said: “We are currently conducting financial and economic audits of airlines in the country.
We have done two or three and other airlines will be taken in batches.
I will discuss with the airline’s management on the way forward.
“Like I said, we have a financial crisis and we don’t want it to cross over into a safety crisis.
We need to manage the situation.
“For now, we remain focused while working to address the solution to the financial difficulties in the airlines.
This cannot go on forever.
So, we are working round-the-clock to find a solution.
“Yes, it is a very difficult situation, but we are just going to do what we are doing.
We are working together and collaborating with others to address the situation in the industry.
The director-general said that NCAA was doing its best to keep the industry safe.
”Safety is paramount to us.
Anything that affects safety will not be compromised whatsoever.
It is better for the airlines to be shut down than to have a major incident,” he said On Dana’s suspension of operations, Nuhu said that following the financial and economic audit of the airline, the NCAA discovered some “grave concerns” in the operations of the airline that could affect safety.
He, however, said that the audit of the airline was still ongoing, adding that the agency would give the airline a clear chance to resolve whatever issue it was having.
He added that what NCAA officials found out was of grave concern to them.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to join hands to grow the economy.
Mr Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN, gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank, Ecobank, FirstBank and Zenith Bank had: “Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector,’’ as the theme.
Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy; hence, the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty, attract investment and boost economic growth.
“The traditional industry-bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry, the bank and the economy, as a whole.
“ Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight.
“ Based on this information, it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all.
“ There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription,’’ he said.
He, therefore, recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy.
He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests, particularly in this period of acute shortage.
Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director, Corporate Services of MAN, also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality.
He recommended the creation of a process that would support equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry-bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business.
He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit.
Mr Ide Udeagbala, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye, urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector.
“They face weak infrastructure, especially in terms of power, transportation, and workspace.
They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation.
They have poor access to vital resources, especially finance,” Udeagbala said.
Also speaking, Mr Eboagwu Ezulu, Deputy Director, Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance.
“I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector.
“Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks?
“Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems; the commercial banks lend for credit purpose, they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors,’’ Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara, the CIBN President, noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation, job creation, provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation.
“Thus a well-functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product, employment generation, economic stability and poverty reduction.
“However, I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies.
“Given the interdependence of both sector, it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation’s economy,’’ Opara said.
Earlier, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, President ACAMB, said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy.
“Finance, the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector.
Capital, is probably the primary factor of production.
“On the other side, the private sector, as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy, is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector.
“So, I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors, banking is important to the private sector, just as the private sector is important to the banks.
That explains why this conference is taking place.
“So, it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector, the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Naira on Wednesday gained against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window, exchanging at N429.20. The figure represented an increase of 0.34 per cent compared with N430.67 it exchanged for the dollar on Tuesday.
The open indicative rate closed at N427.90 to the dollar on Wednesday.
An exchange rate of N444 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N429.20. The Naira sold for as low as N414 to the dollar within the day’s trading.
A total of 123.78 million dollars was traded in foreign exchange at the official Investors and Exporters’ window on Wednesday.
Dr Dumebi Kachikwu, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) 2023 presidential candidate, has pledged to create social support structures for the aged in the country, if elected.
He said in Abuja on Wednesday while speaking with newsmen that his administration would also give priority to payment of pensioners’ allowances.
Kachikwu spoke on the sidelines of a condolence visit by a delegation of the party’s National Working Committee to its Board of Trustee Chair, Sen. Patricia Akwashiki, on the death of her mother, Mama Maryama Abimiku, who died at the age of 96.The delegation was led by the ADC National Chairman, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, and Dr Peter Edeh, its National Zonal Chairman, North Central.
The ADC presidential flagbearer noted that though the aged and vulnerable persons were segment of the society that should be taken care of, they were presently always under-supported.
“My plan is to create social support structures for these people, our government is a government that will pride itself on making Nigeria work for everyone, so on that level they will be taken care of.
“If you look at what is going on across the world in terms of recession and inflation, the aged segment of the society are mostly affected.
“COVID-19 came and they suffered it the most, and most of them were left to be on their own.
“But as Nigerians, we need to start preaching love and tolerance and think of ways of helping such people so we can lift them up,” he said.
The presidential candidate said there was the need to build more homes in Nigeria to cater for the aged.
Kachikwu added that government at all levels should also start putting in place support structures to help the aged.
He said though it was the responsibility of the private sector to provide such homes, where the private sector was lacking, government could take up the initiative.
”If the government ventures into such enterprise, it will give direction for the private sector to follow.
“If we put things like this in place they will do better in society, my government will definitely thrive on that,” he stressed.
Kachikwu further said that even at retirement, the aged were not paid their pension allowances as at when due, adding that his administration will change the narrative, if given the mandate.
“A lot of these people live their productive years in service to the nation and eventually their pensions are not paid.
“We hear cases of retirees queuing outside government offices waiting for their pensions and some died on the queue not receiving it.
“These are all horror stories we hear from people suffering from failed policies, we need to address the situation,” he said.
Kachikwu added that the senior citizens should not be seen as if they are not part of the society, saying ”they are our parents, we need to support them and ensure they enjoy their old age”.