By Ahmed Abba
Damaturu, Jan. 28, 2019 (NNN) The National Council of Women Society (NCWS) Yobe branch, on Monday in Damaturu bestowed “Heroes’ Award” on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Presenting the award, Chairperson of the council, Hajiya Halima Joda, said that the gesture was in recognition of the courageous and exemplary leadership by the COAS since his assumption of office.
She said the contributions of the Nigerian Army cannot be over-emphasized, especially in the areas of protection of lives and property.
She therefore commended Buratai for his exemplary stewardship, which should be appreciated by all.
Receiving the award on behalf of the COAS, the Acting Commander, Sector 2 Operation ‘Lafiya Dole’, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Dala, appreciated members of the organization for their gesture.
He said that the award would serve as morale booster to officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army who are currently making enormous sacrifice to ensure that peace reigned in the country.
Dala presented sewing and grinding machines to members of NCWS , and urged them to give same to less privileged women and widows. (NNN)
Army repels Boko Haram attack in Yobe
By Ahmed Abba
Damaturu, Jan. 4, 2019 (NNN) Troops of 159 Battalion, Forward Operational Base (FOB), Sector 2, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, on Monday evening repelled attempted terrorists incursion into the border town of Kanama, Yunusari Local Government of Yobe.
The Acting Assistant Director Army Public Relations, Lt. Njoka Irabor made this known in a press statement issued in Damaturu.
Irabor said “The terrorists came in at about 5:30pm and started shooting sporadically and vigilant troops of the FOB engaged them.
“Consequently, the terrorists were overwhelmed by the superior fire power of the gallant troops of 159 Battalion and the well coordinated air support from the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
“This resulted in inflicting casualty on the terrorists, while some of them retreated with gunshot wounds.
“The resilient troops have embarked on hot pursuit of the fleeing surviving attackers towards Niger Republic border.
“Further details of the casualties on the terrorists and recoveries would be provided on completion of the mop up and pursuit operations”, he said. (NNN)
International Education Day: FG promises to rebuild schools affected by insurgency
By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja, Jan. 24, 2019 (NNN) The Federal Government has promised to take proactive steps to ensure that basic schools in states affected by insurgency were rebuilt.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, made the promise on Thursday in Abuja, at the celebration of the first International Day of Education
The theme of the celebration is: “Education: A Key Driver for Inclusion and Empowerment.’’
Represented by Mrs Christy Ogbede, Director, Education Planning and Research Development in the ministry, Adamu noted that no country could thrive in an atmosphere of violence and insecurity.
“It will please you to note that the Federal Ministry of Education is taking proactive steps to ensure that all basic education schools in states affected by insurgency are rehabilitated or rebuilt.
“The Federal Ministry of Education is making every effort to promote inclusive education and uphold the SDGs slogan of ` Leave No One Behind’ by ensuring that every child of school age has unrestricted access to basic education.’’
The minister added that with the inception of insurgency in the North -East, education had been under attack, resulting in killing of learners, teachers and destruction of education facilities.
“ Over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last nine years.
“An estimated 1,500 schools have been destroyed since 2014, with over 1,280 casualties among children, teachers and schools are in the forefront of the conflict.’’
He, however, commended the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), for its role in strategic partnership with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution to check violence.
Earlier, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said that about 60 per cent of the 10.5 million out of school children are girls, and called for concerted efforts to reduce the number.
Adefulire, who was represented by Dr Hassan Suleiman, Secretary of Programmes, SDGs said the number was prominent in the north, hence the need for all stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the problems.
“ Of the 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria, 60 per cent are girls, which is a figure we got from UNICEF Nigeria 2018 survey.
“While this is a national problem, the phenomenon is more pronounced in northern Nigeria. You will agree with me that this is unacceptable and we must individually and collectively take concrete steps to address this,’’ he said.
Similarly, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General, of UNESCO, in a message, called on stakeholders to partner to make education a leading priority.
The message which was read by Mr Abdullahi Salifu, Regional Adviser for UNESCO, said the world was still far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4.
“Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.
“This day is the occasion to reaffirm fundamental principles. Firstly, education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.
“Secondly, education is the most powerful force in the hands to ensure significant improvements in health, to stimulate economic growth and unlock potential and innovation to build resilient and sustainable societies.’’
She, therefore, called for an urgent need to strengthen national resources and international aid, saying that not investing in education would lead to deepening divisions, inequalities and exclusion within societies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN), reports that the adoption of the resolution of the General Assembly was co-presented by Nigeria and 58 other member states, to support transformation actions toward inclusive education. (NNN)
Edited by Bola Akingbehin/Obike Ukoh
By Hawa Lawal
Abuja, Jan. 28, 2019 (NNN) Gombe Commodity and Exchange Depot (GCED), will on Tuesday in Gombe present a cheque of N1.5 billion as part of the farmers repayment loan to the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
GCED is a limited liability company and farmers off-taker in the North East.
Alhaji Sadiq Deware, the National President, North East Commodity Association (NECAS) disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NNN), on Monday in Abuja.
He said the N1.5 billion cheque repayment was part of the N8.9 billion loan granted to NECAS in 2018 on the platform of CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) for one year at a single digit of nine per cent interest rate.
The national president said that upon payment to NECAS, the loan guarantor to the farmers would subsequently be deposited to the Bank of Agriculture and later forwarded to the CBN.
Deware said that before the distribution of inputs, there was biometric capturing which identified farmers to specific farmland through mapping to eliminated the issue of ‘absentee’ or non-practising farmers from benefiting from the inputs and other facilities.
“The beneficiaries are 21,515 farmers mainly affected by the insurgency in Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe states and cultivated 49,000 hectares of land.
“The programme covers all the commodities that the North east states have comparative advantage in production, which include rice, maize, millet, sorghum and even small ruminants among others,’’ he said.
Deware said that Borno was not included in the first phase because of the insecurity in the state.
“Now that there is relative peace, the service providers are mapping the farm lands for the farmers to participate in the dry season farming.’’
He said that to enhance productivity, NECAS had procured 220 motorcycles and distributed them to extension agents in Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe and Borno was yet to receive.
Deware said that NECAS also distributed utility vehicles to the all the zonal supervisors for easy accessibility to over 20,000 farmers. (NNN)
Edited by Grace Yussuf
By Olisa Ifeajika
N’djamena, Feb. 8, 2019 (NNN) The Embassy of Nigeria in Chad on Friday said no fewer than 102 Nigerians were in the country’s prisons, serving varying jail terms.
Charge d’Affaires in the embassy Mr Nasiru Waje disclosed this in N’djamena to some Nigerian journalists on a working visit to Chad.
He said that the inmates, some of whom had not been convicted, were in various prisons across the country.
Waje, however, stated that 39 of the prisoners had regained freedom following the intervention of the embassy.
He said that the Nigerians were held for various offences, including smuggling and attempting to use routes in Chad to enter Europe.
The envoy also said that 8, 000 persons who fled communities in the North-East due to persisting Boko Haram crises, were in Chad and had been registered as refugees.
He said that additional 5,000 victims of the insurgency were registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), adding that there were many other unregistered refugees also in Chad, from Yobe.
Waje said that Nigeria and Chad had very cordial relationship, stemming from their linguistic, religious and cultural closeness “and existing feeling of oneness among their border communities.”
He added that both countries had five agreements which he noted had strengthened the relationship.
According to him, the agreements are: Security Co-operation Agreement, Bilateral Trade Agreement, Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, Bilateral Air Service Agreement and Waiver of Residence Permit Payment for their nationals.
“All the agreements have helped in stimulating development in both countries.
“For instance, Chad has granted permit to Nigeria, based on the security agreement, to pursue fleeing criminals from Nigeria into the country, and Nigeria has also granted same permit to the Chadian Government.
“It has helped to reduce or eliminated havens of criminals in both countries.
“The waiver on payment of residence permit has encouraged more Nigerians to come into Chad and it is also encouraging increased marriages between nationals of both countries,” he said.
The envoy said that the air agreement had led to Chad Airline and Maersk Airline deciding to fly Nigeria’s route.
According to him, the coming of these two airlines will eliminate the monopoly being enjoyed by ASKY Airline, which goes to Nigeria only twice in a week and charges very high rate.
On activities of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Waje said that its operations had restored the corridor or business among the countries in the Lake Chad Basin, particularly between Nigeria and Chad.
“Chadians were really suffering and their economy was down, but the operations of MNJTF have significantly helped in boosting business activities in Chad and making the economy vibrant.
“Livestock business, which Chad is known for, is really thriving now and Nigeria is benefitting from it.”
Earlier, Col. Tukur Gusau, Public Relations and Liaison Officer to the Minister of Defence, who led the newsmen on the visit, had said that the mission was to acquaint the media with MNJTF’s operations on the insurgency.
He said that terrorism, especially in the Lake Chad Basin and the activities of the Task Force were under-reported in the media.
Gusau noted that the huge efforts of MNJTF and governments in the region in combating the Boko Haram insurgency had remained unreported, making it seem as if nothing much was being done to check the terrorism. (NNN)
Edited by Dada Ahmed
Jigawa gets new NSCDC Commandant
By Muhammad Nasir Bashir
Dutse, Feb. 9, 2019 (NNN) The new Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Jigawa Command, Alhaji Garba Mohammed, has assumed duty, the command’s Spokeman, Mr Adamu Shehu, has said.
Shehu, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Saturday in Dutse said that the new commandant, who took over from Mr Muhammad Durumin-Iya, had served the corps in various capacities.
“Prior to his deployment to Jigawa command, he was the commandant of the corps’ academy, and second in command to the College Provost in the NSCDC College of Peace and Disaster Management, Katsina.
“He has equally served in various states as commandant, including Yobe, Bauchi, Borno and Bayelsa,” Shehu said.
The spokesman added that the immediate-past commandant had been transferred to Cross Rivers as the new commandant.
Shehu described Mohammed as a seasoned officer who had what it took to move the command forward.
He said that the new commandant solicited the support and cooperation of the people in achieving his mandate.
“Mohammed is a man with vast administrative experience and leadership skills, and he has promised to make Jigawa safe and secure with the cooperation of the general public,” he added. (NNN)
Edited by Wandoo Sombo/Nyisom Dore
By Tosin Kolade
Sokoto, Feb. 4, 2019 (NNN) The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Emergency Working Group on Monday called for political will and strengthened collaboration from all stakeholders to reduce outbreak of cholera in the country.
Mr Baba Galadima, Team Leader of the Group, while on a Cholera Assessment and Monitoring visit to Sokoto, said that it was a matter for regret that no fewer than 20 states recorded cholera cases and deaths in the last three years.
According to him, a report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control shows no fewer than 44,201 suspected cases with more than 836 deaths have so far been reported from 204 LGAs in 20 states.
The states are Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, Kwara and Jigawa in the year 2018.
Others are Bauchi, Zamfara, Katsina, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Kano and Sokoto, recording the highest number of cases of 9405, 8331, 7400, 7620, 2748, 1905, 2275 and 1609 respectively.
He said that Nigeria “is highly endemic for cholera with cases being reported perennially,`’ saying that ín spite of considerable efforts invested in controlling the disease, the country continued to record high incidence of cases in recent times.
He said that such cases were rampant in the North West, North East and the North Central states, stressing that this had prompted the call for a revision of strategies and the shift to a multi-sectoral and long term planning and interventions.
“There is an increasing global support and supply of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV), now is the time to accelerate sustainable action against cholera elimination in our communities.
“Ending cholera is not only an incredible opportunity; it is a moral obligation and a critical step toward achieving the Sustainable Development goals.’’
Galadima said that there was the need for Nigeria to implement evidence-based cholera control and elimination plans to reduce cholera deaths by 90 per cent and as a threat to public health by 2030.
He said that for an effective cholera prevention and control, there was need to implement integrated and comprehensive approaches that involved activities both inside and outside of the health sector.
“Such approaches involves enhanced epidemiological and laboratory surveillance to identify endemic areas and detect, confirm, and quickly respond to outbreaks.
“Universal use of safe water and basic sanitation, community engagement for behavioural changes and improved hygiene practices.’’
He said that quick access to treatment Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) would successfully treat most cases, and protect persons with access to safe and effective OCV.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the WASH in Emergency Working Group was established in 2012 when the country experienced devastating flood that affected 85milion people from 14 states.
The group has since remained active, especially in the North-East where IDPs exist and have responded immediately on outbreaks.
The group membership cuts across WASH sector players from Institutions, Development Partners, International and Local NGOs, CSOs responding to WASH issues in the North East with UNICEF as its co-lead. (NNN)
Edited by Grace Yussuf
Sukuk Bonds: FG to complete dualisation of highways in North-East
By Kingsley OKoye
Jakana (Borno) Feb.10, 2019(NNN)The Federal Government says part of the N100billion proceeds from the Sovereign Sukuk bonds will be used to complete the ongoing dualisation of five sections of Kano- Maiduguri highways.
The Director of Highways, North-East, Federal Ministry of Power,Works and Housing, Alhaji Mohammad Rufai made the disclosure on Sunday in Jakana , Borno state, while inspecting the road projects.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN), reports that section two of the project, with a 142 Kilo Meter (KM) length covers Dutse-Kwanar Huguma in Jigawa state state.
The section three, with a 106.341km is located between Azare-Potiskum axis in Yobe state.
Similarly, the section four projects are situated along Damaturu-Maiduguri with 145.109km, while the section five corridors are located between Potiskum-Damaturu with 102.075km length.
The projects differently executed by Messers CCECC Nigeria Ltd, Mothercat Ltd, Setraco Nigeria Ltd, and CGC Nigeria Ltd are in significant stages of completion.
Rufai, who inspected the road projects, in company of Federal controllers of works in the states said he was satisfied with the performance of the contractors handling the projects.
According to him, the contractors have been executing the projects based on schedule of the contract terms.
“The quality of work on the road is okay and the progress is on schedule, some of the contractors have even gone ahead of the scheduled program.
” So, we are willing to engage them again, if the opportunity comes up.’
The director attributed the success of the projects to improved security situation in the region and provision of Sukuk funding by the Federal Government.
“Sukuk funding has actually helped a lot because the contractors were able to push the work to this extent because of sukuk fund.
” The second sukuk fund will be used to complete the road projects.
“Government is doing what it ought to do, recently, sukuk released N100 billion for the second phase and modalities are being worked out to deploy the funds.”
At the section five site of the project, Alhaji Ibrahim Barde,the village Head of Alaraba in Portiskum emirate council told NNN that the community was grateful to the federal government for dualising the roads.
According to him, the dualisation has so far increased the economic fortune of the community through job creation and establishment of new business.
” We are grateful to the federal government for this project, we are the beneficiary of this road, in fact, my domain has 38km of Potiskum-Damaturu road.
“We are happy for the development, we thank the federal government.”
He said the Emir of Portiskum, Alhaji Umaru, Bubaran was happy for the project, noting that they have being working harmoniously with the contractors handling the project.
Mr Ayuba Haruna, one of the engineers also told NNN that it was cherry that a significant number of workers on the site were indigenous engineers.
“We have more than 20 local engineers working on the site and the project Chief Engineer is a local engineer.
” The Chinese engineers do the supervision, we are the people doing the field work, the project has created many direct and indirect jobs for the people,” Haruna said. (NNN)
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
Minister urges collaboration toward water resources development
By Ramatu Garba
Kano, Feb.7, 2019 (NNN) The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has urged stakeholders to work collectively to achieve the ultimate goal of reducing poverty in Hadejia Jama’are Komadugu-Yobe Basin (HJKYB) through the sustainable development of the basin’s water resources.
Adamu, who made the call at a two-day stakeholders’ workshop in Kano on Thursday, was represented by Dr Ado Abdullahi, the Managing Director of Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority.
The theme of the workshop was “Preparation of Strategic Action Plan For Water Resources Development of the Komadugu Yobe Basin trust fund.”
The minister said the workshop was organised to ensure the implementation of reforms in the management of water resources in the country.
“We have a framework for the operation and optimization of Tiga and Chalawa reservoirs and a strategic action plan for sustainably harnessing the water resources of the HJKYB.
“I wish to assure stakeholders that my ministry will do the needful to actualize both the immediate and long- term goals of this project; sourcing for funds for the implementation of the priority projects and host a donors’ roundtable to prospect for funding.”
The Executive Secretary of HJKYB, Dr Hassan Bdliya, said the purpose of the workshop was to explain how funds for the project were obtained, how it has been executed to date and the next steps to move the process forward.
According to him, the project was planned to run for a period of 22 months, but it spent 33 months.
“The contract was signed in July 2016 and was launched on January 1, 2017.”
Bdliya noted that at the end of the workshop the stakeholders would organise a donor roundtable to source for funding for the projects that had been identified and confirmed to be bankable.
He commended Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe for fulfilling his pledges by 50 per cent and the Chad Basin Development Authority (HJRBA), for their support towards the project.
Earlier, the Kano State Commissioner for Water Resources, Engr. Sule Riruwai, commended the HJKYB for organising the workshop in Kano.
“We hope that at the end of the stakeholders’ workshop a final decision would be taken onthe way forward for the trust fund,” he said.
The Executive Director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC), was represented by Engr. Peter Sule.
Sule, in his goodwill message, noted that the commission’s mandate was to regulate and manage water resources in the basin by ensuring use of the water at upstream.
“We will continue to partner and support this project to the next steps of execution,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that stakeholders from Kano, Yobe, Borno, Plateau, Bauchi and Jigawa attended the workshop. (NNN)
Edited by Abiodun Esan/Nkechi Okoronkwo
Damagum (Yobe), Feb.8, 2019(NNN) The Yobe All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Alhaji Maimala Buni, said he would replicate the agricultural development Programme of the Federal Government in the state, if elected.
Speaking in Damagum, Yobe, on Friday during a political rally, Buni, former National Secretary of APC, said some of the agriculture programmes encouraged self-reliance and enhanced economic empowerment.
He cited as an example, the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) as most outstanding, and needed to be replicated at the state level.
Buni said irrigation farming would be intensified in the wetlands across the state to promote food security and economic prosperity.
“We will ensure that youth are fully engaged and economically empowered to exploit their potentials.
“It is going to be an administration of the youth; the youth will also enjoy appointments to serve the state diligently, Buni assured.
The candidate also pledged to consolidate on the achievements of the Ibrahim Gaidam administration.
“We will consolidate on the achievements recorded in the health, education and housing sectors, among others,” he said.
Buni urged the people to vote APC candidates during the forthcoming elections to ensure a harmonious working relationship between the executive and legislative arms in the next dispensation. (NNN)