The Justice, Peace and Development Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Church, said it had intervened in over 200 cases of human rights violations since inception in 2014.Mr Josephat Abaagu, Vice Chairman of the Commission made this known on Wednesday in Abuja when the JDPC marked the World Peace Day.He said the commission also intervened in cases of unlawful dismissal from office, unlawful detention, domestic violence against women and children, and protection of orphans and vulnerable children.
“We acknowledge that government alone cannot bring about peace without the cooperation and support of the people.
“The Justice, Development and Peace Commission, is an institution of the Catholic Church, and amongst its mandate is the promotion of peace through advocacy, peace building.
“Also conflict resolution, using the Catholic Social Teachings as its guiding principles,” Abaagu said.
According to him, the JDPC has been a strong player in the areas of human rights protection and promotion of peace through enlightenment seminars on the fundamental rights of citizens.
“The over 130 JDPC committees across the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have been busy implementing numerous peace projects in their local communities since inception”, he said.
Abaagu believed that with love, Nigeria would overcome all its existential challenges.
“Racism is not only defined in colour but includes discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and religion amongst others.
If Nigeria is to be a nation state, policy makers must be intentional in this regard.
“To end racism in our country, structures that tend to promote discrimination must be pulled down.
“Fields like ‘State of Origin’, ‘Religion’, ‘Ethnic group’ in forms used by both government and non-governmental institutions must give way to ‘State of Residence’, ‘Competence’ amongst others.
“Performance must replace catchment area in the quest for admission into institutions of learning,” he added.
He commended the National Population Commission for not including religion and ethnicity in the list of questions on the national population and housing census scheduled for 2023.The vice chairman said, in building peace, structures of injustice in the country, must be demolished.
“Injustice to victims of violence must be addressed,” he added.
He urged government at all levels to rise up to their constitutional responsibility of protecting the lives of citizens.
On the forthcoming general election, Abaagu appealed for peaceful electoral process.
“Politicians must play the serious game of politics according to the rules and campaign based on issues.
“The Independent Electoral Commission must be fair to all and ensure that votes count.
“The youths must not allow themselves to be used as political thugs.
There must be justice for all”, he advised.
He encouraged Nigerians to be vigilant, interrogate every manifesto or developmental programmes of candidates in the course of campaigns.
“Eligible Nigerians should view the 2023 elections as an opportunity to choose leaders that will move the country towards nationhood and peace.
“We must view voting at elections not just as a civic responsibility, but also as a sacred duty”, he added.
In an opening remark, Chairman, Human Rights Committee of the Commission, Chizoba Okafor, said peace was all a nation needed to develop.
“More than ever before, it is critical and crucial of Nigeria to engender and imbibe all tenets of peace to come out victorious in our quest for nationhood,” he added.
In a goodwill message, the Imam of National Mosque, Prof. Muhammad Kabir-Adam, who was represented by his Secretary, Habeeb Ibrahim said “Islam is peace and never fails to practice peace”.
He described the theme as apt, saying, “if we are to end racism, we should have peace and righteousness in our lives, work for social justice, fight for the truth; without peace there can be no development and growth in any society.
The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday as it exchanged at N436.50. Wednesday’s rate represented a 0.06 per cent depreciation compared to the N436.25 for which the dollar exchanged on Tuesday.
The open indicative rate closed at N44. 75 to the dollar on Wednesday.
An exchange rate of N438 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N436.50. The Naira sold for as low as N425 to the dollar within the day’s trading.
A total of 133.97 million dollars was traded at the official Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Wednesday said the maritime industry required more support to enhance its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary, said this at the Maritime Anti-corruption Network (MACN) and the Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) Port Users conference held in Lagos.
The conference had the theme: ‘Retooling of the Maritime Sector for Stronger Economic Growth.
’ According to Jime, as an import dependent nation, it is critical for the government to support and pay more attention to the industry’s issues and needs to allow the industry realise its full potential.
“The way forward is investment in infrastructure, provision of rail linkages and development of other transportation modes for cargo evacuation in the Nigerian Ports.
“There should be synergy among government agencies involved in port operations to adequately address issues of overlapping functions.
sustenance of the implementation of Ease of Doing Business Action.
“Also needed is the speedy passage of proposed Port Reform Bills at the Presidency and National Assembly and Implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note,” he said.
Jime added that the Nigerian maritime industry had developed overtime, but there was still a compelling need for continuous development of the industry to attract potential investment to enhance the country’s economic performance.
He pointed out some of the interventions by NSC to reposition the industry as: removal of over 70 illegal check points along the lagos port corridors, improved the number of containers examined daily from average of 120 in the past to 230 containers.
Dr Evelyn Ngige, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, called on the need to bring out solutions that would make the nation’s port user friendly.
Ngige represented by Mr Abdullahi Usman from the ministry, stated that stakeholders when asked why they did not use Nigerian ports attributed it to high cost regulatory fees.
“There is need to dredge the ports, come out with trade hubs, address issues of security and these will chart a new way for the country,” she said.
She added that making the ports in the country operational was of essence as the country was preparing for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Earlier in his address, Mr Soji Apampa co-founded, CBI, said the purpose of the conference was to examine the policies, practices, opportunities, and next steps in addressing the lingering challenges in port operations.
He noted that these challenges affected all categories of stakeholders in the maritime sector.
“The conference will also evaluate the extent to which the strategies and tool, like the introduction of Standard Operating Procedures, Grievance Reporting Mechanisms and Learning Management System deployed through MACN Nigeria Project improve institutional compliance practices,” he said.
The Kaduna State Primary Health Care Board (SPHCB) on Wednesday urged journalists in the state to promote salient issues on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) in the state.
The Assistant Nutrition Officer of the state, Mr. Adams Ango, made the appeal at a media roundtable in Kaduna on promoting issues around MIYCN.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the media roundtable engagement was done in collaboration with Alive and Thrive project.
He said that according to Global Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index Report (2015), the poverty rate in Kaduna state stood at 56.5%, while about 1.6 million children risk malnutrition and Over 800,000 children (48%) were stunted.
He noted that public funding of nutrition was still inadequate and fragmented across sectors leading to delay in implementation of nutrition interventions, with consequent unacceptable indices.
Ango however said that the state had deployed strategies and interventions in curtailing malnutrition and its consequences in the state.
He said the World Bank Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project, provided funding for improving nutrition through MIYCN counselling services.
It also provided Basic Nutrition Package services across communities in the 23 local governments.
He added that the state was implementing Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in 87 health facilities in 17 LGAs across the state with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic food (RUTF).
Ango stressed that the media, if equipped with the knowledge on key issues in MIYCN, including code for marketing of breast milk substitute, would enhance reportage of the issues for public good.
He said the objective of this was to discuss the role of the radio and television producers and newspapers editors in promoting MIYCN.
Also, Serah Kwasu, A&T Programmes Manager in Kaduna, said maternal and newborn health and nutrition inextricably connected.
She said globally, 295,000 women died due to pregnancy-related causes and 2.5 million newborns died within the first month of life.
“Nigeria accounts for over 34 per cent of global maternal deaths.
Risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth, post partum, or after an abortion for a Nigerian woman is one in 22, compared to one in 49,000 in developed countries.
He said “95 per cent of these deaths were preventable nut Nigeria loses about 2,313 children daily translating to 844,321 under-five children deaths annually.
She added that mothers nutrition status and health, both before and during pregnancy, had significant effects on the outcome of her child.
“A baby’s birth weight, rate of postnatal growth and chances of survival are all influenced by the mother’s health and dietary intake.
“Good nutritional status before, during and after pregnancy optimises maternal health and reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, birth defects and chronic disease in her children in later adulthood,” she said.
Noting nutrition as a fundamental human right, she said good maternal nutrition status reduced the risk of anaemia and pregnancy complications, among other effects.
She said Lasting progress in global health and development was achievable through improving nutrition during the critical 1,000 days beginning with adequate maternal nutrition.
Also, Rahila Maishanu, the Breast Milk Substitute Desk Officer of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Kaduna, said the World Health Assembly (WHA), 1981 adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS).
She explained that the WHA adopted the code as a weapon to protect breastfeeding from the negative impact that aggressive advertising and marketing techniques by Infant Food Manufacturers (IFM) were having on breastfeeding rates and duration.
Maishanu further said that NAFDAC was empowered by law to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices and others.
“By the law, NAFDAC became the home of the code and the Agency mandated to implement, monitor and enforce the provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes,”she said.
She noted that the media needed to be familiar with laws and regulations on marketing breast milk substitutes in Nigeria by training staff to identify and report violations of the code or related National Regulations.
“The media must reject any advertisements promoting breast milk substitute products, NAFDAC does not issue advertisement permits for breast milk substitutes,”Maishanu said.
She called on media houses to endorse programs which promoted optimal feeding practices for infants and young children.
She also called for establishment of crèches in media houses for breastfeeding mothers.
“The role of the media cannot be overemphasised in the promotion and protection of breastfeeding.
“Every consequence of note starts and ends with information and education and the media is believed to be the best medium to both educate and inform the public,” she said.
NAN reports that various media houses in Kaduna, who attended the media roundtable engagement, made commitments on various ways and strategies in promoting MIYCN programmes.
The Kogi House of Assembly on Wednesday summoned three mining firms operating in the state to explain their financial contributions to the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) growth.
The firms, Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Ltd., Manga Energy Ltd. and Dangote Mining Company, appeared before a committee of the state legislature.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the House had two weeks ago, set up a committee to investigate why the state’s IGR was dismal, notwithstanding the big companies operating in Kogi. The lawmakers had frowned at the activities of mineral producing companies in the state, and ordered that they “must be investigated to determine what is there for the state.
” At Wednesday’s public hearing, Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Ltd., which provides a range of services to clients in the mining, solid mineral, energy and steel sectors, apologised for its shortcomings.
Malaki Ugwani, legal officer, Eta Zuma, which mines granite in Ankpa Local Government Area, said it was not in the character of the company to undermine the lawmakers’ integrity.
“To respond to some of your questions as regards to tax, I can boldly tell you here that Zuma as a mining company is not owing the state.
“Our approved fees were in good faith and we have no issue with the community with which we have a 5-year Community Development Agreement (CDA) running from 2018 to 2023. “It will interest you to know that since we began operating in Kogi, the licence we have is contiguous, yet in some places around Okobo, Ika and Ejambo, we are not allowed access due to activities of illegal miners.
“We are paying our revenues as at when due but there are issues as to the legality of dues for the the state and Federal Government,” he explained.
Also speaking, Dangote’s representative, Mr Haruna Adonoi, said he came to plead for more time to allow the company gather its documents and prepare properly before appearing before the committee.
Adonoi said, “We got a letter of oversight function from the committee, we then sent a response letter, which contains court cases between the state and our company.
” Manga Energy Ltd. also asked for more time to prepare properly before the committee at its next public hearing.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Matthew Kolawale, therefore, directed that all the firms invited should come before the House on Sept. 26 with all necessary documents for discussion.
Pastor Tinuola Babafemi, a Nigerian-Canadian cleric and business woman says all arrangements has been concluded to establish an initiative to feed the poor and help low income earners in Nigeria.
Babafemi, founder and Chief Executive Officer, House of Praise and Prayer Food Bank Initiative, Canada, South Africa and Pakistan, told newsmen, on Wednesday in Lagos, that she had come to provide food for the hungry.
The cleric, who operates a restaurant in Canada, decried that many Nigerians abroad kept complaining, but were not ready to take step to better the lot of the people in the country.
“I love my country.
This initiative will be helping to support families in low income or family that are struggling to meet their needs regularly on a daily basis.
We will be providing meals for them on regular basis.
“I have been somebody who has been very comfortable in the past and also had experienced hunger.
When I came out of hunger, I believe nobody deserves to be hungry.
“It is a passion inside me from what I have experienced and I started this in Canada running a successful food bank and we are still running it.
“We are doing it in South Africa and Pakistan currently.
I think it is a good time to come to my father’s land because I know we need this help more than any country now,” she said.
Babafemi said that the initiative, in August, reached out to over 80,000 people in Canada, South Africa and Pakistan and touched so many in September.
According to her, the initiative remains her life long project and will be ongoing to address the problem of hunger among the poor.
She said, “We must address the most crucial need which is hunger.
Nobody deserves to be hungry.
Many people go to bed without having a meal.
” Babafemi said that the initiative would start in Nigeria from Ibadan because she grew up in the city.
She said that from Ibadan, it would move to Ilesha, Osun, her state of origin, then Delta, state of origin of her husband, before coming to Lagos and other states of the federation.
According to her, the first step is registration of people who are genuinely in need of food to stay alive.
“Many people have said to me that nothing works in Nigeria, but I don’t want to believe that.
I don’t believe in negative.
We shall do due diligence by getting people’s identity before capturing them,” the founder said.
She said that from registration the initiative would get to know the family size of each of the beneficiaries.
“What we are going to be giving a family of 10 will be different from what we are going to be giving a family of two,” she said.
According to her, when people are hungry, it is not always their fault as some people found themselves in hunger because of divorce, loss of job, death of someone in the family and other circumstances.
On the number of the poor targeted in the initiative, she said that the initiative intended to reach out to as many as possible, particularly by providing food for them.
She said as a christian-based organisation, efforts would be made for counseling.
Babafemi said that the initiative was open to any public spirited individual and corporate organisation who might want to partner.
“Nobody can do it all, we need expertise of other people.
We need their advice, encouragement and experience.
We are open-minded to anybody who will like to work with us.
“Many things will come into this country through this project that I cannot promise now.
It may be bringing in experts that will build low cost accommodation for poor people in Nigeria.
“Our organisation has come to give food to those who are in need,” she said.
On source, she said that the initiative was been funded by herself, pending the time people buy into the projects.
Babafemi urged Nigerians in diaspora to extend a helping hands to the poor in the country, adding “many are complaining but are scared to come to Nigeria.
The Congress of University Academics (CONUA) on Wednesday urged vice-chancellors of public universities to re-open the institutions for academic activities to resume.
CONUA is a splinter group of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) not in agreement with the union’s on-going strike which began since Feb. 14. It says its charge is in consonance with Wednesday’s ruling of the National Industrial Court restraining ASUU from continuing with the strike.
Its National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, told newsmen that it was imperative that the vice-chancellors reopened the universities since the court is one of the recognised tools of democratic engagement in Nigeria.
“Since CONUA members have not been on strike, re-opening the universities will make it possible to duly continue to work and stem restiveness among students.
“Re-opening the universities will also facilitate the restoration of peace to the nation,’’ Sunmonu said.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Polycarp Hamman, held that the court determined Federal Government’s application in restraining ASUU from continuing with the strike.
Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo has given reason for Saturday’s security raid at Eke-Ututu Market in Orsu Local Government Area. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that security operatives raided and burnt some shops in the market after materials for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were allegedly uncovered in the place.
Addressing newsmen on the development at the Government House in Owerri on Wednesday, Uzodimma said that bandits operating in the area use the IEDs to fight security operatives.
He said that a Major in the Nigerian Army on duty around Orsu Awo-idemmili died last month from an explosion from the device.
“Last Saturday, a joint security force, which arrested a bandit, took him after his confession to guide them to where they operate from and manufacture the explosives.
“It turned out to be Eke-Ututu Market.
“They discovered four shops where fertilisers, ammonium sulphate and electrical gadgets used in manufacturing explosives were packed,” the governor said.
He said the Captain, who led the operation, together with another officer, was currently lying critical at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.
He further said that the soldiers recovered all the weapons and fertilisers used by the bandits to manufacture IEDs. “In the process, they burnt down shops and this is consistent with our policy.
“However, they were so tactful that no innocent life was lost.
“They were able to destroy all the shops, where the items were stored,” Uzodimma said.
He expressed concern that rather than visit the scene to ascertain the true situation of event, opposition candidates preferred to condemn the activities of security agencies.
He said that some were so brazen to blackmail the security agencies, questioning why they should go there at all.
He said that traders were not allowed into the market “without paying taxes to unknown gunmen.
“These are illegitimate taxes to enable people to open their shops.
“This is what we have been fighting all through,” he said.
Uzodimma said that his administration would stop at nothing in the fight against terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping in the state.
“It is not politics.
It is about the security of lives and property of our people,” he said.
According to him, the state government will continue to support security agencies to work efficiently.
The governor, who expressed regrets over the “collateral damage” suffered during the raid, promised to replace and rebuild the market.
“So, when Eke-Ututu Market is destroyed to give Imo peace, the Government will also rebuild it.
“If in the process, there are innocent traders who lost their items, government will work out a compensation for them.
“But government has a responsibility to fight crime,” Uzodimma said.
He urged community leaders, residents and visitors with useful information on the bandits’ hideouts to volunteer it to help in their arrest.
The governor said that the operation was exclusively executed by a combined team of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Police.
He said that contrary to speculation, “no local vigilante, called Ebubeagu, joined in the operation”.
Dr Yinka Ayefele, a popular Nigerian Music Super star, has advised Nigerian youths to unlock their potential and work on them for future greatness.
Ayefele, also the Founder of Fresh 105.9 FM, biggest private Radio network operating in the South-West, gave the advice on Wednesday at a news conference in Ibadan.
On his plans for youths, said: “I’m working on something different; the target is to win more young people to my kind of music and bring them closer home.
” According to him, you must not go into music because everyone is doing it, unlock the potential in you first, pray and then go with it.
Ayefele urged them not to lose focus on their God-given talents and avoid venturing into business because others were doing it.
He advised them to look into their respective areas of strength and build their careers on them.
Ayefele, also a producer and music entrepreneur, said that in partnership with CKrowd Africa Technology and Solutions, he would hold a Digital Music World Tour on Sept. 25, to promote music and African culture.
He said he chose to use CKrowd technology to accommodate and reach out to his fans globally.
“Many fans will not be able to travel to witness this occasion; so, we are collaborating with CKrowd to make it bigger, there will be many performances online with other artists.
“We will have virtually all fans watching it live; without my fans, I won’t be where I am today, so this is an opportunity to give it back to them.
“I also want to reach out to the younger generation so that they can know more of Ayefele and be part of my kind of music as they are with ‘hip up’ songs,” he said.
Ayefele, who has released many musical albums, disclosed that his next album would be “So Far, So Good’.
According to him, the album will be released after the concert or around December, saying that he has plans to establish Fresh FM in Europe, U.
S and other countries soon.
Also, Mr Kayode Adebayo, the Chief Executive Officer, CKrowd Africa Technology, said that the partnership with Ayefele would promote Nigerian culture globally.
Adebayo said it would outline the impact of digitalisation in pushing old and new music and connect artists and their super fans.
According to him, it will also create a new space for artists to monetise their contents.
“We chose to work with Ayefele because he is hardworking, a huge artist who brings nostalgia to people who are dedicated to listen to him, moreso, he understands the digital world.
“Going more digital will make him harvest more fans and content creators to see the digital world as one of their revenues.
“People are already registering for the World Digital concert, everything is secured online to ensure it goes successfully.
“CKrowd has grown more than 90 per cent within a year, simply because we are offering solutions to people’s problems,” Adebayo said.
According to him, CKrowd is created to solve the problem of poor revenue for African and Afro-Diaspora content creators by allowing profits from revenue opportunities on the platform.
“It also provides online portal where original, exclusive varieties of African contents are well organised, accessed with ease and consumed as on demand for short videos and live series,” Adebayo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CKrowd distributes African contents in information, education, entertainment and other sectors, to a global audience in short videos and live-stream format.
The Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, Rev John Hayab has urged Nigerians to strengthen the ideals of peace in their relationship, to enhance national development.
Hayab gave the advice on Wednesday in Kaduna at a roundtable discussion in commemoration of the International World Peace Day. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organised in collaboration with some Non-government organisations.
They include, Heath, Justice Development and Peace, The Kukah Centre, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria and King Abdulla bin Abdull Aziz Centre for Inter Religious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID).
According to him, peace is essential to the prosperity and progress of any society.
“For us at Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, it is either peace or nothing, which is why we continue to preach peace through the umbrella of ‘One Family under God’.
“We therefore, advocate that we look at a fellow based on humanity first before the differences in religion, ethnicity, tribe, region.
“This day is a reminder to us all that regardless of where we come from, what language we speak, and what religion we practice, we are more alike as humans than we are different.
“We must, therefore, both as individuals and collectively, strive to promote a culture of peace to attain the socio-economic and political goal we all desire as a people,” Hayab added.
He warned that the failure to cultivate and nurture peace, would be to the peril of all.
“Life is better in a world where peace exists, so we must all think, ask and learn what we can each do individually and collectively to make our families, communities, states, nation, and the world a most peaceful place,” Hayab said.
He also spoke on racism, one of the core focus of the day, saying the world must appreciate that “minority is not synonymous with inferiority”.
The Northern Coordinator of the Foundation, Sheikh Haliru Maraya, said peace is priceless and must be embraced by all, for progress and development.
Maraya urged Nigerians to be more united now with the present security challenges facing the country.
“Enemy of peace does not see you as Christian or Muslim, but an enemy, so we must be united for peace,” he added.
Earlier, the Vicar General, Missionary Society of St Paul of Nigeria, Very Rev. Anthony Anike said Nigerians must work together to ensure peaceful coexistence in the country.
“If we must work for peace there must be sacrifices, compromise and understanding among us.
“We must also listen to one another and have equal treatment; it would bring unity and peace in our society,” he said.
In his address, Mr Stephen Ojapah, an KAICIID Fellow, said justice is a precondition for peace in any society.
He said Nigeria would be peaceful if government manage the nation’s diversity, consolidate citizenship, adhere to rule of law, end impunity, promote interfaith dialogue and uphold the country’s Constitution.