The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called for urgent sensitisation in communities in the frontline states to relocate immediately as the operators of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon have began the discharge of excess water from its reservoir with a likely flooding of 14 states in Nigeria.
The Director -General of the agency, Dr Garba Abari, made the call following the alert already issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) with prediction of consequential damage to many communities on the coast of River Niger and Benue.
He recalled the 2012 flooding which cut off some roads in some parts of the North Central and North East regions of the country and displaced many communities.
”The report from NIHSA indicate that the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by Sept. 13.“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue through its tributaries, thereby inundating communities that have been already impacted by heavy precipitation.
“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria inland reservoirs, including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro are expected to overflow between now and October ending”.
According to Abari, NIHSA has also reported that Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs.
““This will have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of Rivers Niger and Benue.
“These States include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kebbi and Kogi.“Others include the Niger Delta states of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross-River, Rivers and Bayelsa States,” he said.
The director-general urged NOA directors to create awareness on the need for State Governments to “identify safe high grounds for evacuation of communities at risk, preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items.
Others, he said, are portable water and hygiene and provide safety and security to enable them have fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.
He urged the Community Orientation Officers to identify other partners that will help to support communities at risk with necessary information that will assist them to move to safety.
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will on Sept. 21, join the world to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace.
This would be carried out through the institution’s Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, Chairman of the Media and Publicity sub-committee, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said the theme for this year’s celebration is “End Racism, Build Peace”.
Balogun disclosed that highlights of the Peace Day include a lecture by Prof. Uwakwe Abugu, Vice-Chancellor, Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa state at the Convocation Arena, NOUN Headquarters, Abuja.
He said other activities lined up for the day include: Peace walk,, workshop, HOD’s Awards presentation and launching of a book on Peace Building and Nationalism.
The Chairman of the day is Dr Ahmed Audi, Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Prof. Umaru Pate, Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Kashere, Gombe state, and Prof. Oluranti Ojo of the Department of History and International Studies, University of Abuja, will be the main discussants.
The duo of Prof. Femi Peters, Vice-Chancellor, NOUN, and Dr Samuel Opeyemi, HOD Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, NOUN, will be the Chief Host and Host, respectively.
Other expected guests are Prof. Ibrahim Maiqari, Chief Imam, National Mosque, Abuja, and the Most Rev. Peter Ogunmuyiwa, ArchBishop of the African Church, Abuja as Spiritual Fathers of the Day.Malam Musa Bello, FCT Minister, Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency ( NOA) and Dr Velita Bashir, Director- General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja will be Special Guests of Honour.
Also expected to grace the occasion are Dr Nuhu Sanusi, Emir of Dutse and Chancellor, Sokoto State University and Alhaji Ismail Mohammed, Sarkin Karshi, FCT, Abuja as Royal Fathers of the Day.
Armed forces neutralThe Nigerian armed forces have neutralised scores of terrorist kingpins in the Northeast, Northwest and North-Central geo-political zones.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, made the claim on Tuesday in Abuja at a stakeholders meeting on “Communicating government policies, programme and activities.
He said operations executed in recent weeks through various airstrikes and ground attacks, yielded results because of effective synergy and collaboration between security agencies.
Amao was represented at the meeting by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director, Public Relations and Information, Nigeria Air Force.
The meeting was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
“We believe that effective synergy and collaborative efforts with sister services and other security agencies will go a long way in addressing the security threats bedevilling our nation.
“These collaborative efforts between security agencies have no doubt, yielded tremendous results.
“Scores of terrorist kingpins have been neutralised in various airstrikes and ground attacks in the last few weeks in the Northeast, Northwest and North central,’’ he said.
He added that NAF also conducted medical outreaches across the country to strengthen civilian-military relations with the host communities.
About 400,000 people benefitted, he said.
Also speaking at the event, NOA’s Director-General, Dr Garba Abari, urged stakeholders in the security sector to explore civilian-military relations to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful Nigeria.
Abari recalled that in December 2021, NOA, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders held a two-day national summit on “Non-kinetic response to insecurity to complement kinetic efforts to stave insecurity.
’’ “Today, we are here to explore areas of synergy aimed at deploying effective non-kinetic strategies to stave insecurity in Nigeria,’’ he said.
According to him, the aim is to instigate conversation that will produce ideas that will add value to the recommendations produced at the national summit.
In his remarks, Mr Chris Ngwodo, the Director-General, Centre for Early Warning, said non-kinetic response to insecurity played a critical role in complementing security operations.
He said that the centre would support the design and implementation of the strategies to achieve the desired results.
Prof. Mansur Matazu, the Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), on Wednesday in Abuja called for stakeholders’ collaboration to prevent disasters caused by flooding across the country.
Matazu made the call during his remarks at the stakeholders meeting organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) with the theme: “ Urgent need for effective response to the current flood disaster in the country“.
According to him, such partnership among Ministries, Department Agencies (MDAs) and other relevant organisations in terms of skills, materials and finance will go a long way to preventing hazards of flooding in the country.
Matazu said the collaboration of stakeholders ought to be in the interest of places that were currently suffering from the effects of past flooding all over the country.
NiMet boss appealed to people to regularly clear their drainages within the communities and gutters along streets.
“Also, let us ensure we follow guidelines with the Region and Urban Planning Authority.
We should not violate the rules.
We should not be guilty in any area.
“ We should always follow the guidelines, especially as it is enshrined in Nigerian building code which was updated and integrated with the element of climate into building design.
“For other agencies, enforcement and sensitisation is very critical.
NOA and Ministry of Information and Culture also are doing a lot.
But also, we need to integrate local governments in the community levels.
” He said what ought to be done right now was to employ the integrated flood management strategy across the nation.
Matazu, who said more than 90 per cent of NiMet’s predictions had come to pass, added that lots of flash floods had taken place in the riverine including coaster floods.
He further urged the citizens to follow up NiMet’s updates and listen to daily weather forecast which were available on the social media platform.
Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the problem of flooding had become so perennial that it had led to the tragic loss of lives and property.
According to him, many villages have been over run by erosion, buildings have collapsed, people have been rendered homeless and farmlands have been washed way.
Abari said such sad tales emanating from the communities and cities in the country were serious concern to NOA, leading to organising the stakeholders’ meeting.
“It could be recalled that in July, 2021, there was extreme flooding in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba, which resulted in severe damage of over 300 homes.
“Also in Lagos and Ogun states, several houses and vehicles were submerged on the July 16, 2021 among others.
So there is urgent need for effective response to this year`s annual flood prediction.
“NiMet with Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) rolled out its Annual Flood Outlook prediction, that there would be coastal flooding in the country due to tidal surge and rise in sea level, “ he said.
He said NOA with other relevant stakeholders, had in the past carried out sensitisation campaigns on flooding and flood-related issues.
He said the ongoing meeting would provide a platform for all relevant stakeholders to brainstorm and dialogue towards preventing a critical humanitarian crisis that could be occasioned by flooding in some parts of the country.
He pointed out that NOA was charged with the responsibility of providing enlightenment on government programmes and policies and mobilising the citizens to adopt desirable costal behaviours.
According to him, NOA considers itself an important stakeholder in the business of creating awareness and sensitisation on flooding and its implication.
The Federal Government on Tuesday called for collective efforts in preventing violence and extremism to bring peace to the citizens.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, made the call at the National Stakeholders Forum on Parenting for Peace in Abuja.
The forum was organised by the ministry in collaboration with Mercy Corps and United State Agency for International Development (USAID).
Tallen, represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Idris Mohammed, said that the stakeholders forum was apt at this time when the country was experiencing insurgency and terrorism, threatening its peaceful existence.
According to her, for the past few years, government has been battling with different insecurity threats ranging from Boko Haram in the North-East to farmers-herders clash in the North-Central.
“ The Niger Delta militant in the South-South, the IPOB and ESN in the South-East of the county and banditry, kidnapping as well as nline social media and other forms of violent.
“It is disheartening to note that we keep loosing lives and properties, many people are being taken as hostages for ransom, and the displacement of millions of people all over Nigeria.
“ These result to loss of livelihood and consequently billions of naira; resources continuously wasted leading to depletion of national resources which ultimately may contribute to the nation’s depleting economy.
“All hands must be on deck to prevent violent and extremism in all ramifications to bring peace to our people, which is the essence of our gathering today to discuss the way forward,’’ she said.
The Country Director of Mercy Corps, Mr Ndubisi Anyanwu, said that the corps sole responsibility was to advance peace and stability by addressing and mitigating gender dynamics that perpetuate and exacerbate conflict.
Anyanwu, represented by Mrs Adesola Asogi, Acting Country Director, said that Mercy Corps was a Non-Governmental Organisation, which had been existing globally for over 40 years.
He said that the organisation had been in Nigeria for over 10 years, with a passion and mission to reach the most vulnerable people in the hardest to reach places and make their lives better.
“That is where we are in Mercy Corps, that is who we are as Mercy Corps.
Our focus areas include interventions in development, the humanitarian space, and peace building.
“Which is where the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) programme sits to promote and under which the initial correction for peace initiatives sits as well.
“Over the last 10 years, and incidentally, will be 10 years this year in Nigeria, we have worked around humanitarian interventions, Wash, nutrition, food aid and agriculture.
“Also, around peace building, which is why we are here today.
And we are happy to share that over the last 10 years, we have impacted the lives of over two million beneficiaries, over 50 per cent of which are women,’’ he said.
Also, Dr. Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said that the agency was created to educate citizens on government policies to be better understood.
“The National Orientation Agency is an agency of the government establish to educate and sensitise the citizens and in creating awareness on multiple programmes of government.
“We realise that peace building is very critical for any developmental policy of government to take place.
So, we have constantly been engaging Nigerians through a programme tagged, ”building a people of peace”, he said.
He noted that the programme was done` through community engagements, town-hall meetings and community feedback.
He noted that NOA cut across the six geo-political zones of the federation, including the FCT.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CIPP is a five-year peace building programme funded by USAID to prevent violent conflict in the most at-risk communities in six states in Northwest and North Central regions.
The forum has in attendant relevant MDAs, CSOs that will discuss pathways to strengthened the capacity of women, parent, and youths to address radicalisation and vulnerability to violent extremism.
The forum will also serve as a means of gathering information to develop content for a comprehensive guide on parenting for peace and preventing violent extremism.
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Dr Garba Abari, has called for inclusion of the rights and needs of persons with disabilities (PWDs) into all policies and programmes to promote social inclusion.
Abari made this call at a one-day capacity building on the Roles of Stakeholders in the Implementation of the National Disability Act 2018 in Abuja on Tuesday.
The event was in partnership with the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CDD).
The director-general said that the National Disability Act 2018 was birthed as an intervention to the various unmet critical needs of PWDs in Nigeria.
According to him, the National Disability Act 2018 is a welcome development, as it is sufficiently robust to address most issues of persons with disabilities.
He said social inclusion for persons with disabilities included putting their needs as the country prepared for the general elections, policies and programmes and security of their lives amongst others.
“It is also in line with the SDGs of social inclusion.
I strongly believe that persons with disabilities have the capacity to contribute to national development.
“I urge Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and private sector to take a careful look at Disability Act, find our respective roles in the Act and come up with a deliberate implementation plan.
“These plans will help to meet disability needs in your policies, programmes and activities, our individual and collective commitment to this course is quite crucial.’’ The director-general restated the agency’s commitment toward promoting the vision of the CDD as a lead organisation advocating for disability rights.
He said NOA’s role of public enlightenment would be used to step up awareness creation to tiers of government and rural areas.
The Executive Director of CDD, Mr David Anyaele, called for the empowerment of persons with disabilities, saying all stakeholders must support the full implementation of the National Disability Act. He said it was saddening that discrimination still persisted through stigma, behaviours and practices amongst Nigerians to persons living with disabilities.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the disability bill into law, noted the need for not leaving persons with disabilities behind in governance.
“Nigeria currently has 31 million persons with disabilities and 80 per cent of them are in rural areas; we commend those states that have passed the disability law also; it is impressive.
“We call for the removal of all barriers against persons with disabilities so as to allow access,’’ he said.
Dr Comfort Adeosun, representative, Office of the Civil Service of the Federation, said the disability rights law was being implemented by giving five per cent of all recruitments to persons with disabilities.
DSP Patrick Effiom, Disability Desk Officer, Nigeria Police Force, said the force had established disability desk offices in all police stations for persons with disabilities to access policing services.
Mr Kola Ogunbiyi, a keynote speaker, spoke about the National Disability Act, calling on all stakeholders to create awareness for all accessibility to all public places for persons with disabilities.
“We need all MDAs and other stakeholders to make amends to create access to all barriers limiting PWDs. “Even in hospitals, there is need for sign interpreters to be available, so that persons with disabilities will have access to health services.’’ Highlight of the event was the session with panelists emphasising need for ending all barriers and making life inclusive for persons with disabilities in all areas.
African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL),with support from other partners on Thursday in Abuja, unveiled a whistleblowing platform to increase citizens’ participation in anti-corruption fight.
Dr Chido Onumah, the Coordinator of the centre said the platform, named Corruption Anonymous (CORA), would help to deepen accountability in governance.
He said that the introduction of the whistle blowing policy on Dec. 22, 2016, was to involve citizens in the fight against corruption.
Onumah said CORA was unveiled to support government and ensure that the fight against corruption made the desired impact.
The coordinator observed that the whistleblowing policy, initially hailed as one of the most effective of all the anti-corruption strategies by the government, was virtually fizzling out.
“The reason for the lack of interest in whistleblowing has been well highlighted in the report of the survey on five years of whistleblowing which AFRICMIL published in December 2021.
“Key findings, among others, are that an overwhelming 98 per cent of the people surveyed believed that corruption is the country’s major problem, but that they lack knowledge of what to report and channel of reporting.
“It is against this backdrop that the CORA whistleblowing platform, the civil-society-driven public reporting option that we are launching today, serves as an invaluable tool.
“It will fill the gap in the disclosure channels which have made fighting corruption through whistleblowing a challenging exercise for citizens,‘’ he said.
Onumah said that the CORA platform would complement government’s whistleblowing platform managed by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
“Our goal for this project is to have a citizenry that is sensitive to its role in fighting corruption.
“As Nigerians, we must be aware that the fight against corruption is not one to be left for the government alone.
“Legally and morally, we all have roles to play, and this is what the whistleblowing policy seeks to ensure,’’ he said.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, was represented by Mr Abiodun Aikomo, the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes, commended AFRICMIL for the initiative at the event.
Malami said that a robust legislation for the protection of whistle-blowers was ongoing, adding that the government was not relenting in the fight against corruption.
“The truth of the matter is, corruption is a problem that we are dealing with as a people.
“It is not a government affair, it is a we, all of us Nigerians affair. So, we need the cooperation, collaboration, support and the buy in of everybody.
“Government cannot do it alone. So, we need everybody, I want you to know that government is committed to bringing everybody on board.
“So, people are welcome to blow the whistle, to make sure that we destroy and tackle corruption,’’ said the minister.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), represented by Mrs Anne Odey, a member of the ICPC board, welcomed the initiative.
Owasanoye, who said it would greatly help in the fight against corruption, advised that the platform be made easily accessible, as well create secured and confidential hotlines for informants and the information received.
This, he said, was necessary to strengthen an ethical environment devoid of victimisation and reprisals.
He also called for a continuous public enlightenment to ensure sustainability and avoid false and mischievous complaints and reports.
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), represented by the Director of Press, Mr Paul Odenyi, called on AFRICMIL and Yar’Adua Foundation to extend the whistleblowing platform to election matters.
“This is an opportunity for us to raise the issue of transactional politics that is denting our elections, people are buying and selling votes as if it is a market place.
“So if the platform can be used to blow whistle on those who try to corrupt our electoral system like we witnessed during the party primaries and in elections, it will help,’’ Abari said.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Muslims to offer special prayers during the Eid-el-Kabir period for the peace, prosperity and stability of the nation in the face of its current challenges.The Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, made the appeal in an Eid-el-Kabir message to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria on Friday.Abari urged the faithful to maintain the virtues of peace, love and sacrifice espoused by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the agency’s Assistant Director, Press, Mr Paul Odenyi.He also enjoined Muslims to use the Eid-el-Kabir to seek divine intervention for a quick end to the security challenges bedeviling the country.“It is only with ardent faith in God and love for humanity that the citizens of any nation can peacefully navigate the challenges of nationhood and emerge a stronger, united, more resilient and prosperous people,” he said.Abari also urged Nigerians to observe necessary safety precautions for their own security and that of their immediate environment as they go about the Sallah celebration, stressing the importance of maintaining constant alertness at all times.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has expressed willingness to partner with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders toward curbing vote-buying in Nigeria, ahead of 2023 poll.
The Director-Deneral, NOA, Dr Garba Abari, said this when he declared open a capacity building training for members of staff in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by NOA’s Assistant Director, Press, Mr Paul Odenyi.
Odenyi said that Abari was represented by the Director, Special Duties and State Operations, Mrs Mette Edekobi at the event.
He quoted Abari as saying that the agency would leverage on its existing relationship with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to keep Nigerians well informed on the 2023 general elections.
According to him, NOA, in line with its mandate, is poised to lead the charge of voter education, sensitisation and mobilisation ahead of the elections.
The director-general tasked members of staff to be ready at all times to communicate essential electoral information to Nigerians using various conventional and unconventional channels.
According to him, NOA will also be at the forefront of combating fake news and hate speech which are bound to be on the rise during the electioneering period.
“We will discourage electoral violence and ensure free, fair and credible elections, come 2023,’’ Abari said.
He said that the training would be cascaded to the State Directorates and Local Government Offices of the agency to ensure uniformity of preparedness.
He expressed optimism that with massive deployment of members of staff on voter sensitisation duties across the country, Nigerians would have a better informed electoral outing that would help deepen the nation’s democracy. (
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr Garba Abari says Nigeria needs to be a production-based economy to ensure rapid growth.
Abari made the assertion in Abakiliki on Wednesday at a one-day sensitisation and exhibition programme for made-in-Nigeria products.
Represented by Dr Desmond Onwo, NOA Director in Ebonyi, Abari said there was a crucial need to encourage local production of goods.
”As a nation, we need to work towards making the economy one that is production-based, this is in the interest of growth and development,” he said
The D-G said the programme was a continuation of an ongoing national reorientation campaign for the citizenry to accept locally made products.
Abari further called for attitudinal change on the part of the citizenry to encourage the production and patronage of Nigerian goods.
”This will facilitate the revival of local industries, creation of employment opportunities and restoration of national pride.
”No nation can truly develop when its economy is at the mercy of foreign products and services.
”The negative effect of patronage of foreign goods on the Nigeria economy is devastating,” he said
He said it was regrettable that locally manufactured goods were not accorded the required patronage by Nigerians.
According to him, the notion that foreign goods are of better quality than locally made ones is deceptive.
”This impression has made some domestic manufacturers to indulge in deceptive branding by packaging their products with foreign labels.
”This practice is giving our credits and stamp of quality to foreign brands, it is making our products to lose their identity.
”Other consequences of this are, fall in GDP, unemployment, capital flight and low capacity operation, among others,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Nwangelle, Chairman, Abakaliki Local Government Area, commended NOA for the campaign.
Represented by Mrs Janet Igwe, Head, Personnel Management, Nwagelle urged stakeholders to support the campaign programme in the interest of the nation’s economy.
He pledged the commitment of the council to support the agency’s reorientation efforts in the area.
Mrs Ifeoma Anidi, representative of the Nigeria Tailors Association (NTA) in Ebonyi, said it was important for Nigerians to patronise locally made goods and services.
”Patronising Nigerian made goods can help to stabilise the economy and make exportation stronger,” she said.
In his remarks, Mr Chukwuemeka Ogaraku, Coordinator, Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) in Ebonyi, described the campaign as timely and well-intentioned.
Ogaraku, represented by Mr Chukwueze Udu, an officer in the Council, urged Nigerians to take the call for a production-based economy seriously.