The National Assembly (NASS), has advised various disability organisations in the country to be closer to the National Assembly committee on National Commission for Disabilities for useful oversight functions.
Mr Mohammed Hassan, Director of Legislative Drafting, NASS, gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the convening of the next level for the disability advocacy in Nigeria.
At the forum, organised by Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), Hassan urged the groups to begin to submit their budgetary estimates to the appropriate committee for early consideration and input.
He noted that early familiarisation with the appropriate committees and its members was paramount for quick take-off of the disability commission and for measurable progress and achievements.
“It is very important for disability groups to begin to engage the NASS either officially or privately in order to identify and gather relevant information that can be helpful for the smooth take-off of the commission.
“CCD and other disability organisations should identify the appropriate committee to oversee the commission because it is the major ladder to the success of the commission.
“It is the committee that will aid and facilitate majority of the measurable progress that will be recorded in the commission, and now is the right time to begin to familiarise.
“It is also the right time to begin to draw out and submit budgetary estimate to the committee for early consideration and input,” he said.
He, however, urged the groups not to bombard those who would be appointed to stir the affairs of the commission but to give them the benefit of doubt and set probationary period to have a smooth and proper take-off.
Mr Sam Amadi, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory commission (NERC), urged the group and other disability organisations to hold the commission and its appointees when constituted accountable on every aspect.
Amadi also said that it was paramount for the commission to take-off on a very high note and without compromise in order to gain the trust of the people.
“It is very important that the commission starts at a very high note, full of energy and without any compromise or biases.
“PWDs must also ensure that certain conditions are put in place to checkmate the activities of the commission before it begins to take any strong decision.
“These conditions should include consultation of PWDs groups across the country before any major action or decision is taken by the commission,’’ he said.
He also advised disability groups across the country to come together as a unified and non contradictory coalition in order to achieve any form of success.
“When the disability body is united nationwide, any positive demand they make to the commission will be easily granted and it will be very difficult for the board to do contrary to their interests.
“It is also important for PWDs to build their own capacity in order to be able to give intelligent advice where necessary to the board of the commission when consulted.
“If any of the persons to be appointed lacks adequate knowledge or experience in relation to disability matters, it is the PWDs themselves that will guide the decisions of such a person where need be,’’ he said.
He, however, urged PWDs not to antagonise or give advise solely based on sentiment and emotion but to ensure that any advice given is based on the overall interest of the commission and the no fewer than 25 million PWDs.
Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director of CCD, advised PWDs across the country not to relent in ensuring that the commission lived up to the expectations of the no fewer than 25million PWDs in the country.
According to him, in the country paper policies and plans without actions are usually the order of the day and as such stakeholders need to put in more efforts to ensure that policies and plans are actualised.
“CCD will not fold its hand to watch any person or group of persons treat the commission and the affairs of the commission as a personal property or as a hand-carrying organisation.
“We would also not watch the NASS undermine the activities of the commission by neglecting its oversight duties to the commission.
“We would strive to ensure that both the key players of the commission and the NASS would work tirelessly to ensure that the commission is exactly what PWDs envisaged,’’ he said.
He urged the media not to relent in main streaming disability issues and especially the process of appointment of its board members for the awareness of all across board.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Northern states may reopen schools before Oct. 30 – commissioners
The Commissioners of Education in the 19 Northern States, say they may reopen schools before October 30, but subject to approval of their respective state governors.
The commissioners made this known in a communique issued in Kaduna on Sunday, at the end of a two-day meeting on student exchange programme, school reopening and other matters held in Abuja.
The communique was signed by Dr Shehu Makarfi, Commissioner of Education, Kaduna State, who is also the Chairman of the northern states School Exchange Programme (SEP).
The meeting was attended by commissioners of 10 of the 19 northern states namely, Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe, Plateau, Niger, Kogi Gombe, Taraba, Nassarawa and Plateau, while others sent their apologies.
“We have agreed to reopen schools as soon as possible, hopefully before Oct. 30, fully or in phases, but subject to the approval of our respective governors.
“Some states have already reopened fully while others opened partially since Sept. 14, so we are looking at the possibilities of reopening as soon as we get approvals.
“We therefore urge state governments, development partners, parents and relevant stakeholders to combine efforts in the provision of COVID-19 prevention facilities in schools to fast track reopening.
“The Federal Government should equally support states to meet the COVID-19 requirements for school reopening, as it did to other sectors,” they said.
They recommended the establishment of an effective communication channel between the FME and the state commissioners of education, on policy issues, development in the sector, and particularly plans on schools reopening.
The commissioners observed that most of the SEP schools were overpopulated and directed that affected states should adhere to the numbers stipulated in the guidelines establishing the programme.
According to them, decongesting the schools will ensure quality teaching and learning.
“Commissioners should intensify monitoring of SEP and other schools to improve the education delivery system in their respective states.
“States should equally invest in building the administrative capacities of principals and teachers by organising workshops and supporting school administrators and teachers to attend courses in institutes of education and public administration.
“Similarly, Information and Communication Technology should also be included in school administration to equip school principals and teachers with relevant skills to deliver quality education,” they stated.
The commissioners also resolved to engage the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in developing the needed strategies for integrating children of all almajiri schools into the formal education system.
They agreed to intensify efforts to gain the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure success of the integration process.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide
NCDC records 189 new COVID-19 cases, total now 57,145
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Saturday.
“As at Sept. 19, 2020, 189 new confirmed cases and one death was recorded in Nigeria.
“Till date, 57,145 cases have been confirmed, 48,431 cases have been discharged and 1,095 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” it said.
The agency stated that the 189 new infections were reported from 15 states of the federation.
“Lagos (70), Plateau (37), FCT (24), Kaduna (19), Rivers (12), Oyo (5), Ogun (4), Ebonyi (3), Katsina (3), Ondo (3), Osun (3), Imo (2), Yobe (2), Ekiti (1), Nasarawa (1),” it said.
The agency said that cloth masks provide protection when properly worn and cared for.
“Wear mask covering your nose and mouth, handle mask with clean hands and wash cloth face masks after each use.
“MaskOnNaija with other preventive measures. Learn how to make your own face mask: covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/DI… ,” it advised.
“TakeResponsibility and adhere to all non pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19 if you must travel,“ it said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujini/Sadiya Hamza
NIDO-Ghana plans webinar to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Ghana chapter, said on Saturday that it would organise a webinar as part of events to celebrate Nigeria’s sixtieth independence anniversary.
Mr Elija Iposu, Public Relations Officer of NIDO-Ghana, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
Iposu said the event would be organised by NIDO-Ghana in collaboration with a Ghana-based private firm, Diplomats Extra and Milestone Communications.
According to him, the webinar, which will hold on Oct. 2, is a virtual ceremony with Zoom ID: 742450910 and the title: ’60 years of Ghana-Nigeria diplomacy’.
Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, former Director-General Institute of International Affairs, and Amb. Bulus Lolo, former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria are among high-ranking personalities expected to participate in the event.
Some other expected guests are Mr Oluwaseyi Adeyemi, Publisher, Inside Watch Africa Magazine, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, UN Senior Mediation Advisor, Prof. Baflour Agyeman-Duah, former UN Special Governance Advisor and Affail Monney, President Ghana Journalists Association.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 16, unveiled the logo and theme for the 60th independence anniversary celebration.
He said that the celebration would be observed for a whole year, to end on Sept. 30, 2021 and would be muted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Ekiti Deputy Gov eulogises late theatre icon, Jimoh Aliu
The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has paid tributes to the late theatre icon, Chief Jimoh Aliu.
He eulogised the late prominent artiste for using his talent in promoting arts and culture locally, nationally and internationally.
Egbeyemi, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on media, Mr Odunayo Ogunmola, on Saturday, described the late Aliu as a worthy Ekiti Ambassador, who placed the name of the state on the global map of theatre, arts, culture and entertainment.
He described the death of the former National President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), as a great and monumental loss not only to Ekiti, his state of origin but also to entire Nigeria.
According to him, the late dramatist and producer exhibited the famed Ekiti virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work and good name, which the youths of nowadays must emulate.
Egbeyemi noted that the Aliu mentored many young artistes and promoted local content in the nation’s entertainment industry.
The Deputy Governor said the plays and films produced by the deceased taught moral lessons, bravery, valour, strong will, determination and self-belief in pursuit of dreams and vision.
He said that Aliu rose to stardom by hard work and perseverance, and never forgot his roots as he lived among his people throughout his lifetime.
Egbeyemi regretted that the late Aliu died at a time his wise counsel was still needed, noting that the deceased contributed his quota to the development of Ekiti State.
The Deputy Governor, while commiserating with the family and associates of the deceased, urged them to be consoled by the good life he lived and the legacies he left behind.
“Surely, the vacuum left behind by this great legend of the stage and movies will be difficult to fill owing to his sterling contributions over the years.
“This is a monumental loss not only to Ekiti, but to our entire country. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Felix Ajide