By Franklin Ohaegbu/ Olanrewaju Akojede Lagos, July 9, 2022 (NAN) Participants at the Early Years Children Conference on Saturday unanimously called for adequate attention to children from 0-5 years for cognitive teaching, care, training and development. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Early Children Conference held at Lekki Coliseum, Providence Street, Lekki had in attendance over 350 participants. The Conference was organised by Alpha Global a bespoke Children Service with a goal to educate, enlighten empower, enable and encourage educators The discussants and the panelists discussed on various topical issues such as `Safeguarding Children: What it means and why it's important' by Fela Durotoye, who was the keynote speaker. Others are `The Journey So Far: Vision Sharing, Future Plans, `Creating A Sustainable Early Learning and Children System for Nigeria and Africa. The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo talked about ``The Role of Government in Early Years of Education (Regulations, Law, Curriculum. Adefisayo said that Lagos State was experiencing population explosion which had a lot of impact on the adequate supervision of schools on the part of the government, hence all hands must be on deck to arrest declining standard of education. ``The population of Lagos is growing is an enexpanable rate and the growth is as a result of migration, mostly unmarried people. ``For this reason, there are many schools springing up with poor standards. ``For us a government, we want the children of the poor to have the equivalent of what the children of the rich gets in terms of quality education. ``We are also training the next generation of teachers for the state,'' she said. The Special Adviser to Ogun State Governor on Education (Primary and Secondary), Ronke Soyombo told NAN the parents needed to care for the future generations by starting early with them. ``We need to adequately care for the future of this children now because today is the Future and we need to start early,'' she said. Another facilitator, Mrs Irene Bangwell, a Sex Educator talked about the importance of early inculcation in the children the skils of body safety, skills and self respect. Mrs Phinnah Ikeji, a Parenting Teens Consultant talked about eight practices for parent and children relationships. The eight practices are; peaceful home, Care for each other, respect for each other, respect of different opinions, love in the family, compassions among family members, celebrating each other and peace making in the family. The convener of the conference and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alpha Global, Mrs Caroline Popoola told NAN that the age between 0-5 was unique to the cognitive development of any child and must be well taken care of. ``The age between 0-5 is unique for education because this is when the children are molded, so we need to be careful of what we pass around. ``We want to partner with all the stakeholders in education sector to encourage good practices and ensure that we are doing it right for the future of our country,'' she said. The Proprietor of Auscom Private School, Orile Iganmu, Mrs Finea Akunna told NAN that the conference had come with lots of benefits on the best practice for children training and development. Also one of the Awardees, Aronde Adebayo, Proprietor of Sadek School Ijora-Badiya, a scholarship-based school said that the award given to him by the organisers of the event meant much to him. ``I got the award based on my philanthropic gesture in empowering the indigent students in Ijora environment. I do give 10 scholarships to children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school,'' he said. NAN reports that activities at the event includes; panel discussion, presentation of award among others. (NAN)
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has pledged his commitment to improving the social-economic strength of women in Lagos State under its organised Micro-Enterprise Support Initiative through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA). Sanwo-Olu made the assertion at a Micro-Enterprise Support Initiative event for indigent and vulnerable residents across Lagos communities which held on Thursday at the Skills Acquisition Centre, Isheri-Olowora, Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs Folasade Sherifat Jaji, Secretary to the Lagos State Government, said the programme was directed at alleviating the plight of the beneficiaries. According to him, it is initiated in order to enable beneficiaries of the programme to live qualitative lives with a sense of self-worth, respect and dignity in the state. “One of such social intervention strategies by the State Government is to uplift many people from going down the drains, even as it fulfills the manifesto of the All Progressive Congress, for a greater Lagos. “Women have a very crucial and central role to play in shaping the society at the social, economic and political levels. It has been said that, ‘a woman with a voice is a strong woman’. “The programme is directed at alleviating the plights of beneficiaries, being directed toward their financial independence as contributors to economic sustainability and development of Lagos State. “Hence, the need to build that pedestal of success which our women represent, as vessel for social development and progress aid to fostered economic growth,” she added. Speaking at the event, Mrs Cecelia Dada, Commissioner for WAPA, said that the intervention programme by the State Government was crucial at this period, when nations, private sector and civil societies, clamour for better ways to eradicate poverty. She emphasised that the ministry, in line with its vision to sustainably reduce poverty in Lagos State, will continue to initiate, embark and sustain programmes and activities to support indigents and vulnerable women in the state. “WAPA is very passionate about the plight of women in Lagos State, especially at the grassroots level and has made concerted efforts to empower them through its numerous programmes.” According to her, this laudable initiative has a wide spectrum of vocations considered for empowerment including industrial milling machines, sewing machines, professional hair dryers, barbing kits with generators. “Our vision is to have highly resourceful women who groom formidable youths towards a progressive Lagos, accelerate women empowerment, using local economic developmental strategies, which is the corner – stone for sustainable National development. “Other are sterilisng sets, barbecue grillers and toasters, industrial ovens, table-top gas cookers, pop-corn making machines, amongst other appliances are being given to indigents and budding business men and women all for free. “Today’s beneficiaries are drawn from various faith-based groups, students of the 20 Skills Acquisition Centres across the state, vulnerable women and indigents from the 20 Local Government/ 37 LCDA, Lagos State Operations Coordinating Unit Register (LASOCO) and Artisans from various associations. “We have established 20 functional skills acquisition centers under our supervision where no fewer than 20 vocations such as hairdressing/cosmetology, catering/hotel management, computer training, textile designing/hats making/beads stringing and barbing. “Others are printing technology, shoe making and leather-works, furniture and woodwork, welding, block/ tile laying, adult literacy, to mention but a few, are being taught for a period of six months to one year,” she added. The WAPA commissioner noted that participants were awarded certificates at the end of the training, to enable them access the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund for loans to support their businesses. While congratulating the beneficiaries, Dada urged them to use the equipment wisely by creating wealth for themselves and their families, create employment for unemployed youths and contribute to the growth of the state’s economy. She, however, warned them not to attempt selling the equipment but rather apply them in the trade conscientiously and be focused on progress to financial independence, which will certainly not be obscured. NAN also reports that beneficiaries of the trainings at the ceremony were given free work tools relating to their respective trades, as means to enhance high productivity and economic growth. The participants were selected from the Lagos State Social Register domiciled in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, graduands of the Lagos State Ministry of WAPA Skills Acquisition Centres, as well as the various Community Development platforms across the state. (NAN)
A UK Childcare Expert, Mrs Caroline Popoola on Thursday called for the collaboration of educators and practitioners for the protection of children and the coming generation. Mrs Popoola, the CEO, Alpha Global, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said it is important that the stakeholders collaborate especially in a society where Childcare practitioners don't have sufficient support. The expert emphasized that there is a need to protect the next generation as the lack of backing for Childcare practitioners is not just a Nigerian issue but a global problem. "People are keen to do better and that is what we are about. The impact is important. With other practitioners, and educators, together we can bring transformation to this very crucial Sector." she said. The CEO while expressing her passion for Childcare said Alpha Global is hosting a conference in Lagos, Nigeria, channeled at impacting and changing the mindset of key stakeholders in the Education Industry. "The Early Years Child Care Conference themed 'Starting Early, Starting Right' which is holding on July 9, 2022, is based on the five Es which are Encourage, Embrace, Enlighten, Empower and Educate. "At the conference, we and other incredible speakers will be educating practitioners and educators on how they can deliver better Childcare services”, she said. NAN reports that the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo is one of the speakers speaking on childcare at the Conference. Mrs Popoola asked why it was easier to play the victim and being part of the problem rather than delivering tangible or sustainable improvements? "That is why we are coming to Africa to change the narrative. Let's work together, we can do it one at a time but not doing anything and just talking is a waste of time. "For me, its all about the impact we can make whilst we are here. Who would say I benefited from you as a result of the resources you shared or help you rendered? "If each one of us stakeholders, can address each child’s needs, and take on one at a time, you can only imagine the positive impact and what thousands of kids will turn out to become. People keep saying there are too many of them but take one and start. We can't keep waiting for the Government. Yes, its not easy anywhere but we can make it what we want it to be. "I see a day when we will collaborate and truly take on these children from obscurity and show them what their future could be like." she said. While elucidating further, the UK Childcare Expert said at the moment, we make it look like children don't have a right, which is wrong, adding that we should enable the right mindset where they can aspire to become and achieve noble dreams. Speaking on challenges, she said there are lots of people and institutions who want to do more for children but too many protocols, hurdles and "red tapes" make them give up before they even get into the system. She further urged the Government to eliminate bottlenecks hindering healthy participation as well as provide more support by creating awareness and communicating clearly with the necessary stakeholders. "There will always be challenges, regardless of the country you operate in, but with the right mindset, we can overcome and still deliver value and leave a legacy the children will forever cherish and uphold.” "There is need for Government to communicate more and have deeper conversations with the right people. There should be clearer rules on Childcare best practices and a roundtable to engage with individuals and institutions doing incredible work in this Industry. "It is not about what we can get, but what impact or changes we can bring to kids who earnestly look to us to make or take the right decisions and action”. She said.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has called on the Batch B Stream 1 corps members to see their service to the fatherland as a noble one. The Lagos State Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs. Yetunde Baderinwa, gave the charge at the swearing-in of 3,603 corps members held on Tuesday at the NYSC Temporary Orientation Camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos state. Baderinwa’s speech was delivered by Mrs. Margret Omagi, Camp Director, NYSC Temporary Orientation Camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos. According to her, the orientation course, the first of four cardinal programs of NYSC is aimed at preparing graduate youths for the onerous task of nation-building. “It is usually characterized by military drills, lectures on topical subjects, skills acquisition, advisory training, games/sports, and social activities in relation to aims and objectives of the scheme. “Your call to join the vanguard of youths in the service of the fatherland is a noble one, therefore, you should avail yourselves of the opportunities provided by this orientation and be the best you can,” she added. She expressed appreciation to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state for the love and support demonstrated to the scheme, adding, “, especially for the provision of a site for the construction of befitting Permanent Orientation Camp at Ikorodu”. Meanwhile, the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Mohammad Fadah, enjoined the 2022 Batch B, Stream 1 Corps members to know the provisions Act and Bye-Laws of the scheme. Fadah, gave the remark in his address which was read by Baderinwa to the batch deployed to Lagos which comprised of 1,369 males and 2,234 females. “As you may be aware, one of the objectives of NYSC is the promotion of national unity and integration, hence, your deployment away from your states of origin and your assemblage here from diverse ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. “This policy will not only offer you the opportunity for a broader understanding of the country, but also entrench the culture of working together in an atmosphere filled with friendship, peace, harmony, and a shared vision of a great and prosperous Nigeria. “Let me also remind you that the oath of allegiance you have taken today is significant, as it is expected to guide your conduct in the service year as well as have an everlasting influence on your life after service.” He said: “You are also enjoined to familiarise yourselves with the provisions of the NYSC Act and the NYSC Bye-Laws. “Sustain the high level of discipline and enthusiasm you have demonstrated especially by remaining compliant with the camp rules and regulations. “It is designed to equip you for the tasks of the service year through lessons on Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, leadership coaching, sensitization on topical national issues, amongst others. “Also a platform for kick-starting various activities that will enable you to realize your potential and attain individual feats both during and after service. I, therefore, enjoin you to utilize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by participating in all the Camp activities. “Let me also remind you that the oath of allegiance you have taken today is significant, as it is expected to guide your conduct in the Service Year as well as have an everlasting influence on your life after service,” he added. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the oath of allegiance taken by the representative of the ten platoons was administered by Hon. Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, representative of the Chief Judge of Lagos State.
The Creative Industry Group (CIG) has introduced a monthly event tagged, ‘Industry Night’, as part of efforts to keep its members engaged as well as proffer solutions on issues affecting the progress of the association and the industry. Felix Duke, CIG President, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, said that the event would hold every last Friday of the month. Duke added that the event which would feature music, comedy, fashion, acting and Dejays, would hold at Kulture Yard, Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja. According to him, on June 24, there will be all kinds of activities and competitions to carry members along and encourage them to be informed. “It’s an initiative put up for members within the industry space to gather once every month, to run minds and know-how members are faring. “We need to create an enabling environment where members can come to showcase their profession/skill, mix up with talented people and improve on themselves because everybody will be given the opportunity. “There is going to be life stage of entertainments, where comedians, Deejays, musicians including legends will be performing, there will be stage acting by existing, new and upcoming artistes in various field and also a fashion show. “The CIG Industry Night starting from 6.00 pm to 11: 00 pm will provide a platform of fun and meeting of generis of people. Veterans and celebrities are going to be invited to inspire the budding talents,” he said. The president disclosed that the event would be replicated in other state chapters of CIG to strengthen members across the country and sustain their sense of belonging in the industry. “This initiative will go a long way to establish before members that there is a place to gather and express themselves and pick ideas that can improve on contents,” he said.
The 988,923 registered voters in Ekiti State across 16 local government areas are going to the poll to elect the governor and the deputy governor of the state today. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the election will hold in 2,445 Polling Units (PUs) in 177 Registration Areas, in three Senatorial Districts , six Federal Constituencies and 26 State Constituencies across the states. A Total number of 16 candidates and parties are contesting the governorship election. As at of June 13, a total of 749,065 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) had been collected by registered voters in the State. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says voting shall be by continuous accreditation and voting system. The accreditation process shall comprise authentication and verification of voters, using the 3,346 Bimodal Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed by INEC. The accreditation and voting are expected to commence at 8:30 a.m. and close at 2:30 p.m. provided that any voter already in the queue shall be allowed to vote. After an election and completion of results management procedure at the polling unit, the Presiding Officers is expected to transmit a clear image of the result sheet (form EC8A) for purpose of collation. The result will thereafter be transmitted to INEC Result Viewing portal (IREV). It would also be delivered by hand the hard copy of the form EC8A and the BVAS to the Registration Area (RA) collation officer to ensure that the number of accredited voters contained in the machine is same thing in the form EC8A . The candidates are Abiodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olabisi Kolapo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olusegun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Others are Reuben Famuyibo of Accord (A), Ajagunigbale Olajide of African Action Congress (AAC), Oluwole Oluyede of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Elebute-Halle Kemi of Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Benjamin Obidoyin of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Also contesting are Fagbemi Adegbenro of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Christiana Olatawura of All People’s Party (APP), Daramola Olugbenga Onile of Labour Party (LP), Fatomilola Oladosu of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Iyaniwura Ifedayo of the National Rescue Movement (NRM). Also in the race are Agboola Ben of the Peoples Redemption Party, Adebowale Oluranti Ajayi of Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Adeolu Akinyemi of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). INEC had assured Nigerians that people of Ekiti would determine their next governor, while security agencies also pledged to secure peaceful environment for the poll. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
By Millicent IfeanyichukwuLagos, June 17, 2022 (NAN) NewGlobe Nigeria, an education expert, and leader in learning, says there is a need for those aspiring for leadership positions in the 2023 General Elections too, as a priority, have achievable plans to tackle learning poverty. According to it, learning poverty, defined by the World Bank as the share of children who cannot read a simple story by age 10, is an urgent challenge in the present generation. Mrs. Omowale David-Ashiru, Group Managing Director of NewGlobe Nigeria, made the remark at a news conference on Thursday organized to showcase a Nobel Prize-Winning Prof. Michael Kremer’s glowing report on education methodology. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Study by the Nobel Prize laureate finds and confirms that NewGlobe’s holistic methodology delivers among the largest ever measured in Africa, including Nigeria. The findings were announced in a speech by Kremer to African Heads of State and Education Ministers, including UBEC and SUBEB leaders, at the Education World Forum, an annual event hosted in London by UK Government. The event which was attended by no fewer than 100 countries had its theme for the 2022 edition: “Education building forward together, stronger, bolder, better”. “As we approach the election season in Nigeria, those aspiring leadership positions should know that innovative education solutions that are proven to be effective at scale will define the key areas. “These are prosperity, growth, and security of our global future, which is most important for them to make it part of their plans and policies when they assume office. “The groundbreaking study led by the Prize-Winning economist suggests that children living in underserved African communities can receive 53 percent more learning in schools supported by Nigeria Government partnered by NewGlobe through the early childhood and primary schooling, through Grade 8. “We are delighted that an independent study of this size has found such unequivocal evidence of the unrivaled learning gains NewGlobe’s holistic approach to teaching and learning delivery,” she said. David-Ashiru noted that the data-driven scientific learning techniques that characterised the methodology were the blueprint for those used in all schools NewGlobe support in the states of Edo, Lagos and Kwara. According to her, it shows that it is possible to deliver radical and immediate change for the generation of children and that poverty isn’t destined for individuals or nations. Students that started with the lowest learning levels gained the most, with girls making the same leap in learning as boys. “It contrasts with research which shows girls in Sub-Saharan Africa are consistently disadvantaged in learning. “The results are a resounding affirmation of NewGlobe’s integrated learning system across Africa, including Nigeria, and South Asia supporting more than a million children in schools and increasing every year. “This study shows that attending schools delivering highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale. “This suggests that policymakers may wish to explore the incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans and teacher feedback and monitoring, in their own systems,” David-Ashiru added. “NewGlobe is positioned to support the government to achieve improved learning in the national education system and employ new techniques and methodologies proven to yield better results for their children. “Already the program is being used in Nigeria – Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST), Lagos State – Excellence in Child Education and Learning (EKOEXCEL), and Learning Education Achievement and Reform Now (KwaraLEARN). “EdoBEST, which started April 2018, is covering public primary and junior secondary including progressive schools in riverine areas, EKOEXCEL kicked off in January 2020, capturing all public primary schools, and KwaraLEARN flagged off in November 2021 plans to cover 16 LGA’s of the state. “For early childhood students, two years of teaching using NewGlobe’s methods put them a year-and-a-half of additional learning ahead of students in other schools with learning levels increased by a remarkable 1.35 standard deviations. “In NewGlobe-supported schools, 82 percent of Grade 1 students, typically six to seven-year-olds, can read a sentence, compared with 27 percent of those in other schools.” She said that the results were by far, the most authoritative on the use of the model pioneered by NewGlobe. It included individual and ongoing training and coaching for teachers on the use of a digital learning platform with real-time data analysis; teaching guides grounded in scientifically-based pedagogy; and a 360 support system. NAN also reports that NewGlobe supports visionary governments to transform public education systems, and deliver improvements in learning outcomes with a comprehensive system transformation platform and data-driven educational services. The World Bank calls on the global community to cut by at least half the global rate of Learning Poverty, which is defined as the percentage of 10-year-old children who cannot read and understand a simple story, by 2030. (NAN)
By Fabian Ekeruche, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) describes the COVID-19 pandemic as a defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge faced since World War II. The UN agency argues that since COVID-19’s emergence in Asia in 2019, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica. It says the pandemic is infact much more than a health crisis taking into consideration its unprecedented socio-economic impact. Stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political effects that will leave deep and longstanding scars, UNDP says. Countries have diverse shares of the devastating impact of the pandemic, no matter its scale, with many yet struggling to recover or stabilise from its multidimensional impact. For these reasons, in Nigeria, the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) was established in 2020 to intervene in the nation’s health sector and bridge the gap that exists therein. The NSSF’s identifies some of the challenges of the health sector to include over stretched healthcare facilities, inadequate budget allocation for health and insufficient support base for individuals and businesses, among others. The fund believes that the government alone cannot shoulder all these responsibilities hence the need for support from individuals and corporate organisations. Consequently, it defines its priority areas to include supporting vulnerable groups, re-skilling and re- tooling Nigerians and the strengthening of primary healthcare system. Achieving this goal requires funding from individuals and corporate entities who believe in its social re- engineering agenda and sustainability goals. No wonder, the fund set aside June 9 to honour and recognise these individuals and corporate entities who supported the NSSF to bring succour to Nigerians during the pandemic. The General Manger/ Chief Executive Officer of NSSF, Dr Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, says the fund is poised to see the recovery of Nigeria’s health sector beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinye-Nwoko tells the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the sidelines of the award and recognition ceremony that the NSSF’s vision is to champion a healthier Nigeria. According to her, several hands are on deck to strengthen the healthcare systems through building resilience and providing support for the most vulnerable in our communities. She says from the inception of the fund, the goal has always been to complement what the Federal Government is doing in the country’s health care management value chain. She says the fund is vested with the task of sensitisation and creating awareness of its functions, vision and goals. The CEO says it is necessary to get more Nigerians, both individuals and corporate organisations, to sign up and join the effort to contribute to national development. According to her, the fund is in need of committed citizens in a sustainable basis who will support it in fulfilling its mission of transforming health outcomes in Nigeria. “No doubt, the NSSF is an organisation set up by Nigerians for Nigerians as a movement of citizens participating in development. “Our goal is to reach 500,000 citizens to make contributions, both those in the country and those in the Diaspora. “The Fund looks to support and fund impactful initiatives that provide critical intervention in Nigeria’s healthcare sector and upscaling available capacity and resources in the fight against COVID-19. “The focus would be to support urgent aspects of the healthcare system and provide humanitarian support to those people whose lives are disrupted by COVID-19 while working closely with the public institutions and private sector actors,” Chinye Nwoko says. She also says the NSSF is mapping out plans to strengthen the health system, beyond vaccination. “Naturally, out of all the sectors that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the health sector tops the list. “So, it is a priority for NSSF to see the health sector recover from the assault of the pandemic even as it pursues efforts to re-skill the youths to help jumpstart economic recovery , post-COVID-19,” Chinye Nwoko says. The CEO underscores the importance of providing support and assistance to Nigerians by drawing on practical lessons learned globally and focusing on creating awareness and healthcare systems and infrastructure. She emphasises that the government cannot do this alone and calls for support. “It needs support from all well-meaning citizens and organisations. “ Everyone can contribute. “Everyone can join,’’ Chinye- Nwoko said. She says every planned action in NSSF is geared toward set objectives to help transform the lives of vulnerable Nigerians, strengthen healthcare systems, and reskill the Nigerian workforce. The CEO appeals to philanthropists, corporate organisations, Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, public sector institutions and international donor agencies to join hands and support the Fund which has been created by Nigerians for the benefit of Nigerians. “In truth, the biggest problems can be solved with collective effort. “We are building a new narrative of a healthier Nigeria and an approach toward a strengthened economy. “We are grateful to all our donors and partner organisations who have worked tirelessly with us on this journey to create the impact needed to solve our healthcare problems. “We, however, need more partners, NSSF’s objectives cannot be achieved in silos. “We need to establish increased partnerships and drive this change through collaboration,” Chinye-Nwoko tells NAN. The CEO says the Fund is excited by the number of donors it already has but that it is still keen to onboard even more donors. On some of the achievements of the Fund, the Chairman of the NSSF, Mr Tunde Folawiyo, says the Fund has been able to achieve most of its objectives so far. Folawiyo says the NSSF vaccinated no fewer than 1.6 million Nigerians within four months, instead of the projected six months. According to him, one of the major objective of NSSF is to strengthen the health care systems in Nigeria, and to assist the most vulnerable Nigerians to recover from the effects of the ravages of the COVID pandemic. “And of course, the third pillar is to reskill and re-tool Nigerian youths.’’ He says the Fund has also been able to make make good strides on all set objectives, led by the GM/CEO, Chinye-Nwoko. The chairman says the fund assisted the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to roll out vaccination in the six geopolitical zones faster and quicker than NPHCDA could have done. “And it was a fantastic collaboration. And that’s what we’re talking about strengthening. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re not trying to do anything super new. “We’re just trying to strengthen what we have on ground and help them achieve their objectives. “So, that was a perfect example of what collaboration can be where people are already on ground doing great work. “And then, we can just add value and make it faster and more effective and beyond,” Folawiyo says. On the re-scaling re-tooling objectives, the chairman says the Fund organised a photography competition for Nigerian youths. “The competition, which involved the use of camera phones, saw the youths unleashing their creativity. “ You will be amazed at how much creativity we found amongst Nigerian youths. “We were alarmed in a nice way. “The winner of the competition was a young Nigerian of probably 23 or 24 years of age. “He had fantastic sharp pictures and strong images. “We have one of the big auction houses auction those photographs,” Folawiyo says. For Mr Pattison Boleigha, Group Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer for Access Bank, the bank is proud to collaborate with NSSF because of its sustainability agenda. Boleigha says the bank is happy with NSSF’s drive in its sustainability goals towards human capital improvement. He says that globally, there has been a clarion call for some level of inclusiveness and for people to come together to pursue sustainable goals. He says that the re- tooling and re-scaling drive of NSSF is commendable as it builds self-esteem in people to believe in themselves to do things sustainably, and to bring out the best in them. “And so events like this actually helps to promote those kinds of behaviours and different positive vibes into the system. “This brings the whole society to understand that life is actually much more valuable than we see today.’’ The banker says his job as Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer, enables him to ensure fairness, equity, justice and fair play in the system,” Boleigha says. Some personalities have got awards for their support to the fund and they include the Tengen Family Office, NSSF Corporate Sponsor Award; Mr Tunde Folawiyo, NSSF Sponsor Award and Mr Anthony Oputa, NSSF Ambassador Award. Others include Olaniwun Ajayi LP, NSSF Corporate Partner Award and Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika for the NSSF Female Sponsor Award. In summary, it is worthy to note that while the initial ravage of the pandemic has reduced drastically, the need for social reengineering in consolidation on the reforms and interventions in the healthcare value chain remains germane. It is pertinent that Public Private Sector partnerships will engender the much needed impact in bridging the gap in Nigeria’s healthcare value chain. Source: NAN