The minister noted that in a country of over 200 million people, the NUJ could serve as a unifying force to bring all Nigerians together.
Bello expressed confidence that under the present leadership, the NUJ could be that force.
” A partnership which, he stressed, he does not take for granted.”
The minister used the occasion to called on journalist to find ways of adapting to the changes brought about by COVID-19.
Earlier, the NUJ President, Isiguzo, who commended the FCT minister for building a befitting secretariat for the FCT chapter of the union, appreciated the FCT Administration for its efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
“This dreaded disease is coming at a time when Nigeria is navigating through very difficult times.
” We are however happy that your efforts are having positive results.
” We urge the FCT Administration to evolve more result oriented ways and means of ensuring that the less privileged and the internally displaced Persons in the FCT do not suffer more than necessary,” he said.
The NUJ National President assured the minister of the continued support and encouragement of the union, both at the national and FCT level, to ensure better and enhanced service delivery to the people.
In attendance are the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Sani, Director, Information and Communication of FCTA, Mrs Stella Ojeme and Acting Director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Department, Dr Jumai Ahmadu.
Others are Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, National President, National Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Chairman, FCT Council of NUJ, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche and the Chairman, FCT Minister’s Press Corps, Mr Ikharo Attah.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Olowu condoles with COAS, says Col. Bako’s death a national tragedy
Oba Adekunle Oyelude, the Olowu of Kuta in Ayedire Local Government area of Osun, has described the death of Col. Dahiru Bako as a national tragedy.
The Olowu, in a statement on Tuesday, said he received the news with shock and deep sorrow.
The monarch, therefore, condoled with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai, and the entire Nigerian Army on the loss.
He stated: “The fact that the Colonel was said to have died in an ambush called for concern because an ambush suggested that the enemy knew of the movement by the officers and men.”
Oyelude prayed for the repose of the soul of the dead and called on Borno elders and Nigerians in general to actively support the efforts of the military in order to put an end to insurgency
According to the monarch, enough is enough.
The Olowu Kuta suggested the use of locals for credible intelligence, adding that anyone caught spying on troops should be treated like mutineers.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Wale Ojetimi
9 energy firms get $2.6m USAID grant to power rural clinics in Africa
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through Power Africa, on Tuesday awarded $2.6 million (N1.2 billion) grant to nine energy companies to electrify 288 rural health facilities without reliable access to power.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Power Africa is a United States Government-led initiative that brings together 12 government agencies, development partners and private sector companies, with the goal of doubling access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The grant, totaling $2.6 million (1.2 billion) was launched in a virtual event which highlighted the importance of healthcare electrification for COVID-19 response and recovery.
NAN reports that the awardees include Havenhill Synergy Ltd (Nigeria), KYA-Energy Group (Togo), Zuwa Energy (Malawi), OffGridBox (Rwanda) Nanoé (Madagascar) as well as PEG, Solarworks, Power and Muhanya Solar Limited for other parts of Africa.
Mark Carrato, Acting Coordinator, Power Africa, said that USAID was doing everything possible to help keep the sector afloat because “these are challenging times for companies operating in emerging markets.”
According to him, when it comes to universal energy access and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal seven, the world can’t afford to go backwards.
“Since the start of the pandemic, Power Africa has successfully worked with local industry associations to compel governments to declare off grid energy as an essential service.
“Despite the economic downturn in the last quarter, we managed to raise $65 million for the energy sector in forms of grants, loans and equity, providing much needed liquidity for a range of companies.
“We know that as a result of the economic downturn, brought by COVID-19, many energy access companies are struggling right now.
“We’re working with a group of investors and development partners so that more companies can receive low interest concessional loans in order to maintain staff and service existing customers.
“We are also helping African governments put in place the legal and regulatory frameworks needed to attract off-grid energy and base investments,”Carrato said.
Chris Milligan, Counselor to USAID, said that the agency was highlighting its mode of operation through partnerships with governments and the private sector that empower communities to solve their own challenges.
According to him, the agency values its partnership with African governments which improve the well being of millions on the continent.
“As Americans, we stand together not only with the people in Africa, but with countless others across the globe to help countries and their people address their development challenges.
“We know the impact of COVID-19 goes far beyond just the health impacts, but also on the social and economic well being of many vulnerable households.
“Without reliable and affordable electricity, it is even more difficult for these communities to recover from the wide ranging impacts of COVID-19.
“Functioning healthcare facilities are essential, not only for individuals health, but also for their economic and overall wellbeing,”he said.
The counselor said that without electricity, health systems struggle to meet the needs of their communities, no matter the dedication of healthcare workers.
“Healthcare facilities need electricity for almost all of their activities as we already know.
“And because most of them are in rural areas, it is important to harness the cutting edge and sustainable off grid solutions that the private sector can bring.
“We cannot solve the problems by working alone and that’s why we’ve awarded grants to demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join forces and find new solutions to this challenge.
“Because of these partnerships, doctors and nurses will have access to better equipment, procedures and surgeries will be safer, and people will live longer, more productive and healthier lives,”he said.
In a recorded message, the beneficiary firms highlighted the importance of health care electrification and summarized the activities their companies would undertake.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi
FCTA reiterates commitment to job creation through agriculture value chain
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Tuesday reiterated its commitment to job creation through agriculture value chain.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, gave the assurance at the launch of the public sales of subsidised buffer stock grains and distribution of motorcycles to agriculture extension agents, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the buffer stock comprised 7,200 bags of maize and 2,500 bags of guinea corn sold at half of their current market value.
Aliyu disclosed that a number of local and multi-national companies were in the process of finalising investment commitments in various agricultural value chains within the FCT.
She also maintained that the decisions of multi-national companies and Africa Development Bank (AfDB) to invest in FCT would help boost productivity and integrate production, processing, distribution and most importantly, create jobs and wealth for the teeming youths.
The minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his foresight in giving administrative backing toward strengthening local capacities in food production.
She added that the FCT administration had placed priority on the agricultural sector in order to unlock its abundant potentials.
“It is in heeding to this clarion call that the FCT administration has been making efforts to open-up the agricultural landscape and attract suitable investments.
“I make bold to say that our efforts are beginning to yield the desired results.
“We are currently engaged in the process of fine-tuning discussions with AfDB toward the smooth take-off of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), as well as the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
“This is in addition to a number of local and multi-national companies that are in the process of finalising investment commitments in various agricultural value chains within the FCT,” she said.
In a related development, the minister also flagged off the harvest and sales of products at FCT Aquaculture and Allied Trades centre for youth and women in Kwali area council.
Aliyu revealed that the project was conceived to address problems of poverty by creating viable sources of livelihood, especially for the less privileged members of the society.
Earlier, the Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr Ibe Prospect, had stressed that the buffer stock programme was an initiative that seeks to ensure the availability of agricultural produce to the public at affordable rate.
He assured residents of the FCT of the administration’s continued commitment to quality service delivery while urging them to cooperate with the committee toward a smooth conduct of the sales exercise.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Ephraims Sheyin
Sanwo-Olu charges cabinet, officials to brace up for optimum performance
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday charged members of his cabinet and Lagos State Government officials to brace up for optimum performance.
Sanwo-Olu gave the charge during the closing of the two-day Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organised by the executive arm of the Lagos State Government.
He urged them to deploy their physical and mental resources to bringing the administration’s development vision to reality.
According to him, Lagos possesses all that is required to attain Dubai development model.
He then urged the drivers of his administration’s vision of Greater Lagos to be articulate and purposeful in the discharge of the tasks assigned to them.
Sanwo-Olu commended the cabinet members and heads of the state government’s agencies for the progress recorded in the last one year.
He, however, said that people’s expectations of the administration’s efforts were more than what had been achieved so far, hence, the need to brace for more work.
The governor urged the cabinet members and executives of the parastatals to deploy more resourcefulness to the implementation of policies and programmes designed to transform the lives of the residents and the state’s economy.
”There are many takeaways from this two-day retreat which must energise us further to deliver on our goals and promises to the people.
”But, one key thing we must take away from this exercise is the fact that we have sustained our attempts to transform Lagos and these efforts are being acknowledged by those who understand what development is all about.
”We have many great actions and ideas we have implemented, which probably have not been properly communicated. Now we need to be smarter, more organised and articulate in the way we go about our programmes, so that our efforts can be more visible.
”The Ministry of Information and Strategy and everyone that has strength in communication should begin to magnify these efforts and show the world how Lagos is changing,” he said.
The governor said that in spite the slow pace of socio-economic activities across all sectors, which was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration would not give excuses to residents.
According to him, the virus would not derail his government’s development agenda.
Sanwo-Olu charged all commissioners and special advisers to work together and exchange information for better service delivery.
“We need to work together and share information with one another. This way, we articulate our successes and progress better,” he said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi