Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), lamented on Sunday that poor packaging was hampering acceptance of Nigeria’s arts and crafts internationally.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, Runsewe said that a lack of proper packaging had posed major challenge to patronage of arts and crafts made in Nigeria at the international market.
He said, however, that the NCAC had started working on helping arts and crafts makers to package their crafts to make them marketable and acceptable locally and internationally.
“This is part of the reason why we are empowering Nigerian women and youths in arts and crafts making.
So far we have trained over 750 youths and women across the country.
” Runsewe advised Nigerians not to despise any trade, particularly in the arts and culture sector.
He disclosed that people making their daily bread from arts and crafts had been living big, narrating how a make-up artist “drives one of the best cars in Nigeria today’’.
The NCAC chief argued that the notion among some people that non-university graduates were useless was wrong.
According to him, a lot of people in the arts and culture sector, who have not gone through the four walls of the university are smiling to the banks at present.
“There is this lady in Lagos, who does only makeup and gele (head gear), she drives one of the best cars in Nigeria today.
“There is this impression that once you do not have first or second degree you are useless but in the crafts sector everybody is useful.
“Even if someone made F9 in school, such a person is useful in the culture and tourism sector.
“You do not need a Ph.D to knit the best mat.
Some of the art works in our office as we speak run into millions of naira.
“So, this sector has the key to taking Nigerians out of poverty and unemployment,” he said.
Runsewe said that people with talents in arts and crafts ought to be encouraged, irrespective of their status and educational backgrounds.
He said that the NCAC was playing its part in helping talents in the crafts sector to actualise their potential.
Runsewe re-stated that skills acquisition was one of the six-point agenda of his administration as outlined in the mandate of the NCAC.
The PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, has commended the Nigerian authors, especially those from the northern part of the country, for their foresight in organising the summit of indigenous writers across the 19 northern states.
Ayu stated this during the Northern Nigerian Indegenous Literatures and Languages, Arewa Writers’ Summit, Awards and Annual Congress in Katsina.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Malam Yusuf Dingyadi, Ayu commended the writers for organising the programme to discuss how to use indigenous literature in addressing the country’s current security challenges.
He described writing as an art and skill through which positive issues could be discussed and developed to offer ways out of any challenges affecting the society.
“PDP as a party, has tremendous respect and recognition of literature and always adores talents for effective way of providing good governance, research and information dissemination for unity.
” “The party is making all the efforts for the take-off of its Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) set up to offer research, analytical discussions, data storage and knowledge sharing for good governance and political cohesion among Nigerians,” Ayu said.
As one-time member of the academics, he also pledged support and cooperation to northern writers towards building a formidable indigenous literature in the country and the African sub region.
According to him, PDP will continue to work together with relevant professional writers and groups in upholding the core values of literature, to promote national cohesion, confidence, trust, peace and unity among Nigeria’s ethic nationalities.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the Nigeria Northern Writers, Dr Abu Sabe, said members would continue to support government policies and programmes symbolically through literatures.
Sabe said that literature through languages, apart from promoting peace and unity in society, also promoted culture, history, geography and socio-economic well-being of the people.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that more than 150 participants from 19 northern states and representatives from the neighbouring Niger Republic, attended the Conference.
High points of the occasion included paper presentations by different scholars and way forward on how to improve more skills in literature writing and poetry.
Prof. Taiwo Obindo, President, Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), says that more than 60 million Nigerians are suffering from mental illnesses.
Obindo, who is also the Chairman, Faculty of Psychiatry, West African College of Physicians, Nigeria Chapter, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
“Mental healthcare is in a sorry state given that we have more than 60 million Nigerians suffering from various mental illnesses and the fact that only about 10 per cent of them were able to access appropriate care.
“We are left with more than 90 per cent who are unable to access care and this group is called the treatment gap for mental illnesses,’’ Obindo said.
He said the gap was as a result of various factors like the knowledge gap in which people do not have appropriate information about the causes and treatment for mental illnesses.
Obindo said some factors hindering the management of mental illness in Nigeria included myths and traditional beliefs; inadequate mental health facilities and number of mental health professionals.
According to him, the few available mental health facilities were located in the city centres.
“Knowing that 60 per cent of Nigerians live in the rural areas, they do not have access to appropriate care and have to travel long distances to access facilities,” Obindo said.
He also said that the number of mental health practitioners was low as it fell below the ratio recommended by the World Health Organization.
According to him, the few that were trained were often eager to leave the country.
“The environment in which we practice, the security situation and the remuneration that people were given in the country tend to push them out.
“And then of course, the pull factor from the developed countries where they tend to poach on the already trained medical practitioners in the country, particularly the psychiatrists,” he said.
Obindo said that the cost of hiring practitioners in low medium income countries was low; so ”it was easier for developed countries to poach the already made products rather than training such professional locally.
” He said there was the need for Nigeria to implement its Mental Health Policy on the practice of psychiatry.
Obindo added that although the document was last reviewed in 2013, it was not being implemented.
He said one major component of the policy was the integration of mental health into primary healthcare, which was yet to be achieved after nine years.
The psychiatrist added that the law operational in the country was the “lunacy act”, which was first enacted in 1916 and reviewed in 1958.”The Mental Health Bill by the mental health stakeholders led by the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), in conjunction with the National Assembly and the Ministry of Health was yet to be assented to by the President.
”This is the most recent effort in 30 years,” he said.
The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) said the 2022 International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo helped to showcase the nation’s arts and crafts to the world.
The Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Sunday in Abuja.
Runsewe said, “this year’s INAC, we had China, Bangladesh, Syria, and U.
S attending for the first time.
”We have been able to connect with more countries than it used to be.
“We had 54 countries in this year’s INAC, that was enough to tell us that more countries were coming together to celebrate our arts and crafts.
“There can’t be any better way to network our crafts to the world than platforms like this,” he said.
Runsewe recalled that before COVID-19, the arts and culture sector was generating about 3.5 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“But, if anybody will give you a correct estimate now, it will take some times because COVID is just flashing out.
“We needed to see what was the contribution particularly now that all the airlines come to Nigeria.
“They bring in a lot of people but we have not been able to tap into those customers’ networks.
“So, there is no amount of efforts we put, if you don’t get exposure to tell our story nobody will understand our next line of action,” NCAC chief said.
He said that although the NCAC had challenges but those challenges were considered as ”preparing one for the next level.
“From my own school of thought, I see challenges as preparing one for the next level, because people misunderstand the word challenge.
“Challenges are to prepare you for your future.
But, most times when challenge confronts us, we believe that it is going to be the end of the road.
“So, for me, we are very happy that all the challenges put together, we get them and send them across through the media.
“So, for us as children of God, all challenges have a purpose of preparing us for the future,” Runsewe said.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has graduated more than 200 kids trained at the STEM Bootcamp for Kids (SB4KIDS) in Lagos.
The Director General, NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, said that the event was aimed at bridging the existing gap in the educational sector.
Inuwa said that the Stem Bootcamp for Kids triggered NITDA’s interest and resonated deeply with the ongoing efforts towards implementing the National Digital economy policy for digital Nigeria.
Inuwa was represented by Mrs Jumoke Alaka, Manager, South West Zonal office, NITDA.
He said that NITDA’s mandate was to create a framework for the planning, research, development, and standardization application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.
According to him, NITDA remains committed to supporting campaigns to diversify the country’s economy from a resource-based to a knowledge-based one through Information Technology (IT).
‘’We are indeed proud to be part of this event.
‘’It is my pleasure to introduce to you National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), the arm of NITDA meant to drive Research and Development and Innovation in the areas of emerging technologies.
‘’NCAIR is one of NITDA’s special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of Nigeria’s national interest,’’ he said.
According to him, Kids across spectrums of the society were trained by NCAIR, a training organ of NITDA on Coding, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Drone.
Inuwa said that kids were also trained on Digital Communications, Embedded Systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality, and 3D requisite skill-set for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The DG said that as an NCAIR’s catch-them-young initiative, the SB4KIDS was a Bootcamp to inspire young Nigerians in STEM.
He said that through the SB4Kids, NCAIR engaged youngsters between the ages of 8 and 16 years in an immersive and well-articulated bootcamp.
According to him, the bootcamp is meant to coach and inspire youngsters to imbibe STEM passion and create an early interest in digital and emerging technolgies.
Inuwa said that the technologies would hopefully shape the children future careers in the fields.
NITDA SB4Kids is a yearly initiative conducted during the summer school holidays.
According to him, NITDA SB4KIDS has trained over 200 participants which will broaden the minds of children in critical thinking and high sense of curiosity in science and digital technology.
He said that the early involvement in technology and innovation would accelerate the development of the IT sector and create future leaders who would transform the Nigerian technology space and boost Nigerian Digital economy.
Soji Megbwun, co founder, Community Innovation hub, said it was where kids were picked from the street and trained on technology and training partners for NITDA.
Megbwun said that the enrolment was done by NITDA that placed the advert virtually on their website and social media platform.
He said the curriculum was designed by NITDA to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal and the training was for two weeks.
Mr Mayowa Ajiboye, Partner, TEF Community Innovation Hub, appreciated NITDA for bringing the training to Alimosho Local Government Area , a suburb of Lagos State.
He said that the kids had been impacted rather than taking the training in highbrow areas.
Oluwadamilola Davies, a native of the community Innovation hub, developed a smart walker which enables the virtually impaired people to detect danger and improvise their lives.
Ajibola Daniel, 11 years old, talked about his project, cartoon animator to project the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of no poverty.
Ajibola said that the animator would help to educate people on how to reduce wastefulness and promote the SDGs The News Agency of Nigeria reports that about 10 children with outstanding projects were awarded with laptops and the over 200 children certified.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, has commended Cardinal Okpaleke ,describing him as a “project in Progress.
” Okeke catechetised the congregation on the meaning of Cardinalate in the Catholic Church.
This is contained in a statement by Padre Umoh ,the Director of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said this during his homily at the Holy Mass which was held on the open ground of the St. Joseph Cathedral compound in Ekwulobia, in Imo. He said that the Cardinalate was one of the glorious heritages of the Church, which has existed from the late antiquity of the Church to the present time.
He advised, “always remember that you are still a project in progress being human, you are still vulnerable.
” Tracing the history and development of the Cardinalate from 6th century, the ex-Seminary Prof. and formator observed that initially, any baptised Catholic could be a Cardinal until the 1917 Canon set the minimum standard to be priestly ordination.
According to him, by the 11th century, the sacred college of Cardinals achieved institutional stability whereby, among other elements, creation of new Cardinals remained the duty of the Pope. The prelate stressed that the red colour for Cardinals represented martyrdom because, ” Cardinals are specially called to witness to the faith with their sweat and blood whenever and wherever it is required, ” They are to show uncommon love for God beyond anything else and courage in matters of faith and moral without fear or favour.
” Thus, being a call to heroic service, Cardinals wear red as an outward sign of their willingness to die for Christ and his Church,”he said.
Okeke explained that the Church in Nigeria finds reason to celebrate Cardinal Okpaleke, following the tradition of the early Christians.
He said, “in spite of the human pain, families celebrated and thanked God when a member of their family was publicly executed for the sake of Christ.
” He said that today, we rejoice that Nigeria has been found worthy of honour of another Cardinal in our time.
” The elevation of one of us is an elevation of the local Church and our country Nigeria.
” Today, the choice of our brother Peter Ebere Cardinal -Okpaleke invites us to a deeper faith and greater commitment to witnessing to the Gospel of Christ.
” Positions and privileges in the Church go with responsibilities and duties.
“We therefore, rejoice with him as we promise him our prayers and unflinching support.
” he said.
In his goodwill message, the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria,( CBCN), Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji congratulated the “newest and youngest Nigerian Cardinal” whom he commended for witnessing to the faith.
“In trying times, as the storm was raging, you fixed your gaze in silent tears on Christ, crucified and risen, and witnessed to His long-suffering on the cross through endurance,”he said.
Ugoji assured him of the prayer and support of all Bishops of the Conference.
The CBCN President and Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese called on the Cardinal to “say ‘no to retaliation and exhibit a forgiving and long-suffering attitude.
The Red Cross Society of Nigeria has advocated for Nigerians to invest in training on First Aid use and procedures to save lives during accidents and emergency situations.
“A lifelong commitment to learning and providing First Aid is what makes us more resilient in times of accident and natural emergencies,” Prof. Peter katchy, the Chairman of Red Cross in Anambra, said.
Katchy said this in a statement in Enugu to commemorate the World First Aid Day, celebrated globally every second Saturday in September.
He said that the First Aid Day, which its 2022 theme is “Lifelong: First Aid”, remained significant for every individual, regardless of background, to know how to use and perform First Aid operations to manage emergencies.
According to him, First Aid training provides more than the knowledge and skills for effective response, it also provides the confidence to act when needed in emergencies.
“First Aid is the first and immediate assistance given to anyone who suffers from either minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery.
“The purpose of First Aid is to minimise injury and future disability.
In serious cases, First Aid may be necessary to keep the victim alive before a doctor arrives to apply the more specialised treatment.
“Celebrating the World First Aid Day is very simple.
You should know how to use a First Aid kit which is vital during emergencies.
“First Aid training can now be easily learned through the means of the internet.
You should utilise this World First Aid Day in a positive way by learning and spreading the importance of First Aid,” he said.
Katchy also enumerated five aims of First Aid, mainly preservation of life; preventing the escalation of the illness or injury; promotion of recovery, pain relief and protecting the unconscious.
The don urged families to also invest on First Aid by simply having training on it and having First Aid boxes in their homes to effectively deal with health and domestic emergencies before calling a doctor or going to .
“The capacity building on First Aid is narrowed to homes and domestic levels which requires mainly advocacy and awareness campaign, to enable families prepare, prevent and respond to accidents or emergency situations at all times,” he said.
He also appealed to governments, organisations and philanthropists to support Red Cross to provide First Aid training and well-equipped boxes to schools, public gathering centres and local communities.
The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT), has warned against five malicious Google Chrome Extensions that surreptitiously track online browsers’ activities and steal their data.
NCC’s Director of Public Affairs (DPA), Mr Reuben Muoka, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Muoka said that the five malicious extensions were discovered by the McAfee Mobile Research Team. He said that they include Netflix Party with 800,000 downloads, Netflix Party 2 with 300,000 downloads, as well as Full Page Screenshot Capture Screenshotting with 200,000 downloads.
Others are FlipShope Price Tracker Extension with 80,000 downloads and AutoBuy Flash Sales with 20,000 downloads.
“The five google chrome extensions identified have a high probability, damage potential and have been downloaded more than 1.4 million times, while they serve as access to steal users’ data.
“The telecom sector-focused cybersecurity protection team alerted telecom consumers to be cautious when installing any browser extension.
“The users of these chrome extensions are unaware of their invasive functionality and privacy risk.
“Malicious extensions monitor victims’ visits to e-commerce websites and modify the visitor’s cookie to appear as if they came through a referrer link.
“Consequently, the extensions’ developers get an affiliate fee for any purchases at electronic shops,” he said.
The DPA stated that, although the google team removed several browser extensions from its Chrome Web Store, keeping malicious extensions out may be difficult.
He, however, said that the NCC-CSIRT, thus, recommended that telecom consumers observe caution when installing any browser extension.
Mouka said: “This include removing all listed extensions from their chrome browser manually.
“Internet users are to pay close attention to the promptings from their browser extensions, such as the permission to run on any website visited and the data requested before installing it.
“Although some extensions are seemingly legit due to the high number of user downloads, these hazardous add-ons make it imperative for users to ascertain the authenticity of extensions they access.
” Mouka stated that Google Chrome extensions were software programmes that can be installed into Chrome in order to change the browsers’ functionality.
“This includes adding new features to Chrome or modifying the existing behavior of the program itself to make it more convenient for the user.
“They serve purposes such as block ads, integration with password managers and sourcing coupons as items sent to a shopping cart,”he added.
The Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC.
It focuses on incidents in the telecom sector as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.
Dr Ibrahim Kabir, Director-General Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) has confirmed the death of 3 persons by flood which damaged 1,453 houses and several farmlands in Zaki and Gamawa local government areas.
Kabir stated this while briefing Governor Bala Mohammed when he paid a sympathy visit to the affected communities on Saturday in Zaki local government area.
He said after assessment of the damage caused by heavy downpour on Wednesday, it was found to have killed 3 persons, damaged 1,453 houses and unquantified farmlands in the two LGAs. He said the flood also cut off roads linking the two local government areas with communities and some parts of the state in 6 places on the highway.
“As palliative measures, the communities need 14 canoes as means of transportation to cross the cut off roads to continue their normal businesses,” he said.
Dr Kabir advised the communities to relocate to safer areas to guarantee their safety.
Gov. Mohammed commiserated with the communities over the deaths of three persons and the destruction of houses and farmlands in the two local government areas of Zaki and Gamawa.
He called for a collective efforts in addressing the devastating effects of incessant floodings affecting communities across the state.
Mohammed, while inspecting the level of damages caused by the flood, said the communities were exposed to the dangers of flooding He noted that annual losses of lives and property were being recorded in the state.
Mohammed lauded the Federal Government and World Bank for the interventions in other facets of development and infrastructure.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to assist the state in providing a permanent solution to the problem, and as well provide palliative to victims.
The Governor presented relief materials of two trucks of maize, drugs and medical consumables to Zaki and Gamawa local governments.
He also directed the SEMA to immediately procure 14 canoes to the affected communties and take inventory of the damage caused by the flood to enable the government to take further actions.
Sen. Tunde Ogbeha has underscored the need to revive reading culture, whether for pleasure or academic purposes, as an essential habit to form the bedrock of greatness in the nation.
The Senator who once represented Kogi West Constituency, gave the advice at the launch of books and inauguration of Missel Care Initiative Children’s Educational Club in Abuja.
According to him, good reading culture should be regardless of age, gender or status and is one of the most important ways of enhancing mental, emotional and psychological growth and development of societies.
“Our children need to embrace the habit of reading and, in so doing, they will all embrace writing.
“I am glad that some of them (the children) have made contributions in one of the five books being launched today.
“I am informed that there are pieces that have been written by the children we have here.
“I do believe that there is no amount of investment that will be regrettable.
“It is this investment that will mould the character of these children to shun vices amongst the youths and in the society.
He said the habit would make them to become very useful children to their parents and to the society.
Sen. Ogbeha, the Chairman and Chief Launcher at the occasion, commended the author’s efforts to reestablish reading and writing culture, saying “it is possible to revive the reading culture in Nigeria for a better country”.
Mrs Michelle Dajur, the Chief Executive Officer of Missel Care Initiative and author, initiator of the club, decried the dearth of reading culture in Nigeria.
Dajur said reading culture, which was common among Nigerian students, youths and adults in the past, had been significantly eroded.
According to her, reviving the culture of reading and writing and values in the society is a major reason she wrote the books and established the club.
“Reading culture in Nigeria, I don’t think I can say I am satisfied with that; I am not satisfied.
“One of the reasons of the club is the decadance in education sector; so much has contributed to the drop in education.
” She explained that the books comprised ethics, community service and story books to motivate kids to read and write and an inspirational book for adults.
The first two are story books.
I encourage the children and teach them skills on writing and the other two, compiled by them, are to learn how to start writing.
“The last one is an inspirational book for children, especially those of Christian faith,” Dajur said.
Her husband, Gershinen Dajur, a Priest and General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, said he would support her ambition and ensure it worked to enhance the Church’s growth and national development.
“I am 100 per cent behind this initiative and I will support her; I have been supporting her and I will keep supporting her.
“By the grace of God, we will encourage her to widen the school and ensure the work is done properly and as expected.
“God will be glorified and she will be fulfilled in her life under God,” Dajur said.