LVI Art Gallery and Cultural Nexus is to embark on a residency programme for some Nigerian young artists to further improve their level of creativity and expose them to the global space.
Julius Iyoghiojie, Chief Executive Officer of the art gallery, disclosed this during a news conference in Lagos on Friday.
Iyoghiojie said that the essence of the residency programme was also to ensure the young artists get the needed experience to compete favourably with their colleagues in other climes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that an art residency programme is such that allows guest artists to work in a new environment, often away from the restrictions and pressures of their everyday lives.
He said that the residency programme with the theme; “TR Residency” would have six artists participate in the maiden edition and would hold from Sept. 1 to Nov. 20, 2022.“We are trying to engage in arts promotion in Nigeria, we are passionate about this, the artists on residency would be painting on canvas for three months, we will be having three males and three females.
“Our criteria of picking them was that we ensured they are educated and are below age 30.” LVI Art Gallery and Cultural Nexus would be providing the technical support throughout the programme.
“The gallery will be promoting the artists while the artists are to supply the gallery with art works,” he said.
The art collector noted that the artists will be given one year insurance plan, monthly allowance, free medical care and would be exposed to mentorship programmes.
He said at the end of the residency programme, there would be a local exhibition when the works produced during the period of the residency would be exhibited for the public.
According to him, the artists would be able to fully evaluate and appreciate arts, adding that those virtues were very rare among Nigerian artists.
“We are investing in this because we believe that the growth of Nigerian artists is important,” he said.
Iyoghiojie, with over 27 years experience as an art collector, urged parents to allow their wards engage in arts early enough as this would go a long way in boosting their level of creativity.
He noted that his gallery was focused on the promotion of contemporary Nigerian culture, arts, dance and music to achieve strong global brands.
He said the gallery was working on connecting arts and tourism with the combination of an art gallery, photo studio, framing studio, games arena, printing and laminating zones.
According to him, the essence of the framing and photo studios was to ensure quality control, good customer service, speedily service delivery and reliability in delivery.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says it has generated N1.293 trillion in the first six months of 2022 into the Federation Account.
The NCS Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi said this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
He said the amount was an increase compared to N1.004 trillion generated for the corresponding period in 2021. According to him, the amount generated in 2022 surpassed the service’s achievements for 2021 by N48 billion accounting for 28.8 per cent.
He said the revenue generation was remarkable, given the fact that only 116, 691 Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports (PAARs) were issued against 129, 667 processed within same period of 2021. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service for unveiling of our half year score card.
“It comprehensively captures our activities for the period from January to June 2022. “The revenue target given to the Nigeria Customs Service for the year 2022 is N3.019 trillion, exceeding the target for 2021 by 80.78 per cent.
“As it has become customary, the service remains focused and steadfast in its commitment to meeting the challenges of the moment.
“It is fully confident in its ability to innovate and adapt to a dynamic socio-economic environment,” he said.
Bomodi said that the sum of N156 billion was also generated into the non-federation account as collections on behalf of other government agencies.
While giving a breakdown of the amount generated within the period under review, the PRO said it was generated from excise, free trade zones and industrial incentives, and anti-smuggling among others.
On excise, free trade zones and industrial incentives, Bomodi said excise duty was tax levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods under excise control.
He said it was collected through 22 commands of the Service.
The PRO said that a total of N68 billion was collected from manufacturers of alcoholic beverages as well as cigarettes and tobacco among other products “In the month of June, the service began collections from extant traders producing carbonated and sugary drinks newly added under schedule five of the CET.
“So far, the service has collected more than one billion Naira from carbonated and sugary drinks in the month of June. “Other revenues from telecommunication, like call and data and digital network services are yet to be collected.
“The service is expected to start collecting revenue on these products and services as soon as the modalities for collection are put in place.
“Duties from these revenue sources are expected to boost our collections in the current year,” he said.
Bomodi also said that out of the 42 free trade zones in Nigeria, only 25 were active, with 15 of them operating in Zone ‘A’, 4 in Zone ‘B’, 5 in Zone ‘C’ and 1 in Zone ‘D’.
He said that in addition to providing employment opportunities for Nigerians, the special economic zones were expected to engender transfer of technology, and building of local capacity among others.
On enforcement and anti-smuggling, Bomodi said in the period under review various goods with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N39 billion were seized due to policy infringements.
He said the top seven items seized were narcotics and other illicit drugs with a DPV of N8.8 billion, followed by foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N8.3 billion The PRO said that illegal import of dangerous pharmaceuticals with a DPV of N7.6 billion were seized, including used clothing with a DPV of four billion Naira and petroleum products with a DPV of Four billion Naira.
According to him, textiles and made up fabrics with a DPV of three billion Naira and motor vehicles with a DPV of two billion were seized.
Bomodi said the DPV value of seizures in the current year exceeded the ones made in 2021 by N34.8 billion.
On other efforts made by the service in the area of illegal wildlife trafficking and trade, Bomodi said the service had collaborated with the United States Embassy in Nigeria.
He said that the service also collaborated with the British and German governments in creating a Special Wildlife Office The PRO said the collaboration had seen to the arrest of 12 foreign and local suspects, confiscation of 1, 236.5 kilogramme of pangolin scales and 145 kg of ivory.
According to Bomodi, all suspects have been charged to court and are awaiting conviction.
On anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism, he said the service made seizures of 339,800 dollars, 12,000 Pounds, 3.013 million Ryad, 20,005 Ceifer and 133 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.
He said that seven persons were arrested in violation of the Anti-Money laundering Act and were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
On staff training and welfare, he said officers had continued to upgrade their skills through refresher courses at the various training colleges and at the Command and Staff College among others.
He said the trainings were designed to equip them with the knowledge and know-how to function efficiently in a 21st century Customs administration.
“As we approach an era of 100 per cent automation of all our services, we are mindful of the quality of training needed to manage both the transition and the sophisticated technological assets.
“The service has set out to improve on the living standards of its officers and men.
“To this effect, it has built new barracks and staff quarters across the four zones of the federation and provided bussing services,”nhe said.
Bomodi said that the service had acquired new and rugged vehicles capable of withstanding the rough terrain particularly in border areas.
“”The service has continued to improve on its business processes through the introduction of innovative services that have simplified, harmonised and automated its core functions.
“One of the successes recorded so far is the VIN-Valuation protocol which uses the vehicle Identity number as a guide for the payment of appropriate taxes,” he said.
He listed other areas of achievement to include stakeholder engagement, deployment of scanners and recruitment.
He assured Nigerians that the service would focus on fortifying risk management tools to minimise leakages and curtail activities of non compliant traders among other things.
“We understand the important role of technology in this endeavour, that is why our focus is on actualising full automation in the concession agreement.
“The agreement is vetted by Infrastructure Concession Regulation Commission (ICRC) and signed with Trade Modernisation Nigeria Limited and our technical partners Huawei Technologies Limited,” he said.
Bomodi said the agreement would transform operations of the service by taking it to the same level with leading customs administrations.
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has tasked local government authorities to improve on the current COVID-19 performance or face sanction.
Matawalle gave the warning while inaugurating the Scale 3.0 to Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccination on Friday in Gusau.
“Today’s coverage should be considered our baseline, and by the next 10 to 11 weeks, we shall be able to review our performance in local government areas.
“The first three best-performing Local Government Areas will receive an award of excellence.
“Similarly, the least performing Local Government Areas would be required to explain the reason for falling short of expectations,” he said.
The development followed a data of 44 per cent COVID-19 vaccine performance recorded across the 14 LGAs under the 2.0 Strategy campaign provided by the State Primary Health Care Development Board.
The governor said the Scale 3.0 Strategy aimed at increasing vaccination uptake for children and COVID-19 among people of the state.
According to him, the strategy is designed to expand public access to COVID-19 vaccine beyond conventional health facilities.
Matawalle explained that the exercise would further reduce the spread of the virus by boosting immunity response.
This, he said was part of his administration’s efforts to put in place measures and strategies to protect the populace from infectious diseases.
“You may recall the proactive measures we took immediately when COVID-19 was announced as a global health emergency.
“One of these measures was the construction of the Infectious Disease Centre, Damba at a total cost of N1,288,414,343.89.“The center is equipped to adequately respond to not just COVID-19 but also other infectious diseases,” he said.
He said the effort yielded positive results with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency ranking Zamfara among the high-performing states in terms of COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
The governor, however, reminded people of the state that taking the COVID-19 vaccine was both acts of self-protection and civic duty.
He said every citizen of the state had a critical role to play in stopping the spread of the virus.
“Therefore, I urge you to take the vaccine and ensure that every eligible person around you is vaccinated,” the governor said.
While commending members of the National and State Assemblies, government officials, community and religious leaders, organisations, youth and women groups, Matawalle urged them to continue to support government vaccination drive.
He expressed the hope that the state would be ranked first in the next round of assessment of COVID-19 vaccine to be conducted in October 2022.The governor further thanked royal fathers, government officials, development partners, political and religious leaders for supporting policies and programmes to provide the required quality healthcare services to the people of the state.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Aliyu Abubakar described the Scale 3.0 Strategy as an evidence-base aimed addressing the challenges identified in the 2.0 Scale.
He said so far, 44 per cent of eligible population had taken at least one dose of the vaccine in the state.
The ommissioner said that 18 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated while 26 per cent had taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The figures showed that 56 per cent of the eligible population had yet to be vaccinated.
Abubakar, however, commended the royal fathers and religious leaders for supporting the 2.0 exercise.
He also lauded Gov. Matawalle for providing the needed support for the success of the 2.0 exercise.
The commissioner expressed his ministry’s commitment to ensuring the 3.0 Strategy recorded success across the 14 LGAs of the state.
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has appointed the state Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, to head two state-owned institutions.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the institutions include the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki and Board of the David Umahi University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Uburu.
In a speech at the inauguration on Thursday in Abakaliki, Umahi said that people would be surprised over Nwali’s dual appointment.
He described Nwali, who has been his Special Adviser on Religious and Welfare Matters since 2015, as an astute administrator.
According to him, the clergyman has always delivered on tasks assigned him.
“I gave the vice chancellor of the state university the task of recommending someone to become the chairman of the governing council.
“He returned to tell me that Nwali was best suited for the job and when I called him (Nwali) over it, he accepted,” Umahi said.
He expressed optimism that Nwali would offer selfless service in making both institutions achieve their mandates and enhance overall efficiency.
“Nwali is not going to look for money to keep for his children or build houses.
“We offered him land and vehicles as an executive council member but he declined.
“Such is the type of man every society desires,” the governor said.
He also hoped that the management teams of both institutions would promote competence in the running of the institutions and check clannish tendencies.
“One cannot forgo people from his area in such situations but if an outsider can help us achieve our goal, we would support him.
“We would afterwards take accruing dividends to our people,” Umahi said.
He charged the appointees to maintain high standards in their various institutions.
He specifically admonished the university management to clamp down on cultism among students and lecturers.
Responding on behalf of others, Nwali thanked the governor for finding them suitable for the appointments.
He pledged that they would justify the confidence reposed in them.
“We would promote research in the institutions because the absence of research presents recycling of knowledge.
“We would also ensure that grants and subventions are not recycled into salaries and unproductivity but to enhance resourcefulness,” the cleric said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says a group of global experts has agreed on new names for monkeypox virus variants.
The organisation said in a report on Friday that it was part of ongoing efforts to align the names of monkeypox disease, virus and variants or clades with current best practices.
The report said that the experts agreed to name the clades using roman numerals.
“The monkeypox virus was named upon first discovery in 1958, before current best practices in naming diseases and viruses were adopted.
“Similarly for the name of the disease it causes.
Major variants were identified by the geographic regions where they were known to circulate,’’ it said.
According to it, current best practise is that newly-identified viruses, related disease, and virus variants should be given names with the aim to avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional.
It said others are professional, or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.
For disease, it said the assigning new names to existing diseases was the responsibility of WHO under the International Classification of Diseases and the WHO Family of International Health Related Classifications (WHO-FIC).
“ WHO is holding an open consultation for a new disease name for monkeypox.
Anyone wishing to propose new names can do so here.
” It said that for virus, the naming of virus species was the responsibility of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), which has a process underway for the name of the monkeypox virus.
According to it, for variants and clades, the naming of variants for existing pathogens is normally the result of debate amongst scientists.
“In order to expedite agreement in the context of the current outbreak, WHO convened an ad hoc meeting on August 8 to enable virologists and public health experts to reach consensus on new terminology.
“Experts in pox virology, evolutionary biology and representatives of research institutes from across the globe reviewed the phylogeny and nomenclature of known and new monkeypox virus variants or clades,’’ I said.
The report said thy discussed the characteristics and evolution of monkeypox virus variants, their apparent phylogenetic and clinical differences, and potential consequences for public health and future virological and evolutionary research.
It said the group reached consensus on new nomenclature for the virus clades that was in line with best practices.
The report said they agreed on how the virus clades should be recorded and classified on genome sequence repository sites.
“Consensus was reached to now refer to the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II).
“ Additionally, it was agreed that the Clade II consists of two subclades,’’ it said.
It said that the proper naming structure would be represented by a Roman numeral for the clade and a lower-case alphanumeric character for the subclades.
“ Thus, the new naming convention comprises Clade I, Clade IIa and Clade IIb, with the latter referring primarily to the group of variants largely circulating in the 2022 global outbreak.
“The naming of lineages will be as proposed by scientists as the outbreak evolves.
Experts will be reconvened as needed.
“The new names for the clades should go into effect immediately while work continues on the disease and virus names,’’ the report said.
The Police in Kogi have arrested a father suspected of kidnapping and killing his 15-year-old daughter in Kogi. Police Spokesman in the state, SP William Ovye-Aya, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lokoja, said a friend to the girl’s father was also arrested.
He added one other suspect has been declared wanted.
According to the police Spokesman the suspects work with the Federal Polytechnic Idah. “Miss Sherrifah was reportedly kidnapped on Aug. 4, at the family residence in Okenya along Itayi street, Local Government area of Kogi..
“The girl’s remains was only discovered few days later already mutilated and some parts missing,” he said.
Ovye-Aya said that investigation had commenced, including efforts to apprehend the third suspect, whose name was given as Adah. “The State Commissioner of Police (CP), Edward Egbuka has ordered for a thorough investigation into the case and manhunt for Adah, now at large.
“In compliance with the CP’s order, the matter has been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department in Lokoja,” he added.
Ovye-Aya assured that the command would conduct very thorough investigation into the matter to unravel the circumstances behind the girl’s death.
Bendel Insurance FC of Benin on Friday consolidated their promotion aspiration to the Nigerian Football Premier League (NFPL) with a home victory over Vandrezzer FC of Lagos.
Insurance pipped their visitors 1-0 in the week 22 match of the Nigerian National League (NNL) to end their campaign at the second tier league on a good note.
Benjamin Tanimu scored the only goal in the 45 minute of the play via a spot kick, after his teammate was brought down in the 18 yard box.
Several efforts to double the lead were denied by the resilient Lagos team.
Insurance amassed 49 points from the 22 matches with the victory,
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has opposed the planned privatisation of public healthcare facilities in the country.
The TUC President, Mr Festus Osifo, spoke while addressing newsmen at the end of union’s National Administrative Council (NAC), Central Working Committee (CWC) and National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the NEC in session strongly opposed the move by the Federal Government to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Federal hospitals.
He said that Nigerians hadnever benefitted from privatisations done in the past and as such, TUC strongly frowned at it.
“As TUC, we take a complete exception to this.
The NEC of TUC, frowns at this, because the privatisation that was done in the past, where has it led us to.
“Nothing meaningful has ever come out from the previous privatisation processes, especially the power sector,” he said.
The TUC president while speaking on the lingering strike in the university system, called on the Federal Government to place value on education in country.
“TUC as a body is here to protect our national interest.
We will do everything possible to ensure that we engage government, and also engage ASUU as well to find an amicable solution.
“You will agree with me that where there is will, there is always a way, ‘’ he said.
He condemned the N1.4 billion spent on the purchase of vehicles for the Government of Niger Republic.
“The value that is placed on our university system is the reason why we are here today, ’’he said.
The TUC president also said that there was no need for government to continue paying for fuel subsidy as the impact was clearly not felt by Nigerians.
The TUC President suggested that the money meant for fuel subsidy could be used to meet the demands of university-based unions.
He further called on governments to as a matter of urgency take steps to address the security challenges in the country.
An NGO ‘Center for Girls Education’ (CGE), has urged engaged Pair Group Educators in Sokoto state to redouble efforts on promoting awareness and community response against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The CGE State Team Lead, Mrs Ubaida Abdulnasir, made the call during the group’s review meeting on Friday in Sokoto.
Abdulnasir said that CGE, supported by Spotlight Initiative Project is implementing Ripple Project where 40 Pair Group Educators were engaged on community surveillance and education across the state.
She said that the groups were educating people especially their pairs on best way to handle GBV cases, support survivors and eliminate violence against women and girls.
The Team Lead called for increased efforts toward spotlighting prevalence of GBV, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Female Gentile Mutilation (FGM), Child Marriage (CM) and other Harmful Practices in the state.
She said the meeting was targeted at reviewing group activities, achievements, challenges and provides new modalities of implementation as well as possible areas of coverage.
” The educators were trained on ways to assist girls on protecting themselves against GBV and promoting engagements on economic skills.
” They underwent training on proper data collection and keeping techniques, information sharing among their pairs and strategy methods to facilitate quality work.
” We designed focus areas in order to prepare the Peer Group Educators to be more active in pursuing the goals in their communities.
” Topics comprised techniques on information sharing and advocacy, self esteem, goal setting and decision making, values clarification, assertiveness and public speaking among others, ” Abdulnasir said.
According to her, the project was important in recognition of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic which restricted people movements and girls were mostly at home.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event featured the presentation of an overview of activities, questions and answers on methods of approaches, mitigation measures and enhance modalities of data collection.
The Youth Orientation for Development (YOD), a UNESCO NGO, says it is fundamental to get youths involved in affairs of the nation in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Emmanuel Ejiogu, President of YOD, made the assertion at an event to mark the 2022 International Youth Day on Friday at the Adams College, Oshodi.
The event had as its theme: “Inter-Generational Solidarity: Creating a world for all ages”.
The programme which recorded no fewer than 500 youths from across Lagos State and had panel discussion sessions was organised by YOD (a UNESCO NGO) in collaboration with Adams College, Oshodi.
Ejiogu expressed that the leadership of youths should start today.
“Gone are the days when we used to say that youths are the leaders of tomorrow and that is why we must get them involved in everything today.
“The 17 SDGs will find the youths important in getting the goals achieved, we have the zero hunger, no poverty, gender equality, all of these affects the youths.