Bill Gates, Dangote Appraise Progress In Polio Eradication

Polio Eradication, Bill gates, DangoteThe Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation have met with the Yobe State government to appraise progress of routine immunization in the state.

Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates, the Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote and Yobe State Government met on Wednesday to appraise the progress made in the fight against polio and other eight child killer diseases in Yobe State.

The meeting was joined through video feed by Mr Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote both in the United States and Yobe State government in Damaturu, the state capital.

The video feed meeting had in attendance various developmental partners who pledged to give their all in the fight against the nine child killer diseases.

The meeting observed that 15 local governments out of the 17 in Yobe State were effectively covered during the period under review.

It was stated that the remaining local governments; Gujba and Gulani had suffered insurgency greatly and needed to be covered.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote and Yobe State had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January on strengthening routine immunisation in the security threatened North East state of Nigeria.

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, informed the meeting that his administration was committed to the MoU to ensure that the nine child killer diseases are eradicated from the state and Nigeria in general.

He said that the state would ensure full coverage of the ongoing support for the routine immunisation programme through community engagement, particularly the use of traditional rulers.

Mr Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote commended the Yobe State government for the remarkable progress made despite insurgency.

They urged the state government to work towards meeting the 2017 targets of countering all the nine child killer diseases.

Dangote pledged to partner the Yobe State government in the reconstruction of the 22 health facilities destroyed in Gujba and Gulani LGAs of the state by the Boko Haram militants.

NEMA Promises Improved Feeding Of Bama IDPs

NEMA, IDPs, BamaThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says the poor nutrition state of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Bama will soon improve.

The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Mohammed Kannar, said this on Thursday when he confirmed the reports on starving refugees to Channels Television.

Speaking on Thursday during a phone interview, Mr Kannar said the agency was working with other aid agencies to ensure the victims were effectively taken care of.

“We’ve made a joint collaboration with all other NGOs which we brought down under the leadership of the Ministry of Health of Borno State,” he said.

The NEMA official revealed that 1,800 malnourished IDPs were relocated from Bama to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in northeast Nigeria.

He noted that the Dangote Foundation has donated lots of materials to the Boko Haram insurgency victims, where 28 trucks of food materials have been sent to Bama.

With the new development, he promised that the poor state of the insurgent victims would improve in a short time.

The internationally renowned charity group, doctors without borders, MSF had reported that about 200 refugees fleeing the Boko Haram militants have starved to death over the past month in Bama.

The MSF says that a catastrophic humanitarian emergency is unfolding at a camp it visited where 24,000 people have taken refuge.

Bama IDPs Get Relief Materials

IDPs, Bama, Humanitarians, BornoInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in makeshift camps in Bama Local Government have taken delivery of food and none food items from various humanitarians.

The Chairman of the Borno State Emergency Maintenance Agency (SEMA), Ahmed Sotomi, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

He lamented that at least 28,000 IDPs living in makeshift camps across liberated towns in the state have been dealing with hunger and ill health besides their homelessness.

Mr Sotomi noted that this was regardless of the relief items being donated by individuals, humanitarian organisations as well as government’s effort.

He added that 1,200 malnourished children and sick adults from the area had already been moved to the capital city of Maiduguri for proper diet and medication.

Commending the gesture, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said that with 156 trailers load of assorted commodities, the Dangote Foundation had so far made the highest donation to the state.

One of the IDPs in Bama, Bunu Tela, urged the government to improve the feeding situation in the camps with consideration for special needs of inmates.

“What we want right now is food. The food they give us is not enough and there is no condiments.

“We just eat boiled rice with salt and seasoning sometimes, (but) we need more food. We need the government to help us to provide condiments for our meals,” Tela said.

Some of the beneficiaries of the items distributed in were orphaned children who have been forced by circumstances of the Boko Haram insurgency to head their families.

Officials say there are other 21,000 IDPs in Banki town, few kilometers away from Bama.

Dangote Foundation Flags Off Construction Of Medical Complex In Kano

Health workers- Dangote foundationDangote Foundation has flagged off the construction of a seven billion Naira ultra-modern medical complex at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano State, north-west Nigeria.

At the Flag off ceremony, the Executive Director of Dangote Foundation, Halima Dangote, told the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, that the project will be completed before the end of 2016.

She disclosed that Dangote Foundation has so far sunk 121 Boreholes in Kano, created 160 million naira animal traction program, and donated over 500 million Naira to the Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudil.

Miss Dangote also said that the foundation is currently in partnership with Kano State Government to provide 500 megawatts of electricity in the state, as the foundation had already extended its polio immunisation program to Yobe, Kaduna and Bauchi States.

Governor Ganduje, who expressed gratitude to the foundation, said that the complex will no doubt save many lives in Kano.

He revealed that the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital is the biggest and perhaps the oldest hospital in West Africa, built by the then native authority, but later handed over to the state government.

Governor Ganduje also said that his administration requires partnership in the areas of community and environmental hygiene.

He solicited the continued support of Dangote foundation towards redesigning the hospital into a modern structure, and also integrating the emergency unit with other parts of the hospital.

We Did Not Call For Fresh National Conference – Kumalia

National ConferenceThe Chairman of the Northern Reawakening Forum, Modibo Kumalia, has explained that their call was not for the convening of another National Conference.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, he said that the conference they are calling for is different from that which was held in 2014.

He explained that what they want is a conference where stakeholders would “come and share experiences” and provide advice on how to rebuild the northeast region of Nigeria

He stated that media reports that they were calling for another national conference were erroneous as their statements were misunderstood. He also did not rule out the possibility of mischief in reporting them “out of context”.

The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, further decried the sensational headlines in the newspapers which he said did not represent the views they clearly communicated to the media.

“I have been a member of the last National Conference, I know the work that has gone into that conference and we made no issue about throwing away that conference or not throwing away that conference. It was not the subject of our press conference.

“The press conference that we held was to read the communique of a 2-day engagement. We held a summit on Saturday, we held a retreat on Sunday under the auspices of the Northern Reawakening Forum, where a number of stakeholders were invited and various issues were discussed.

“We had in attendance, governors of Northern Nigeria, development partners – World Bank, DFID, African Development Bank, United Nations Humanitarian Office, representatives of CBN, National Planning Commission, NEMA and a host of others.

“We even had philanthropic organisations such as the Dangote Foundation, TY Danjuma Foundation, and there was a paper that was delivered by the Governor of Borno, which talked about building a safe, secure and economically inclusive northern Nigeria.

“The communique we read was a 6-page document that talked about good governance and accountability, infrastructure and IT, youth development and education, security and human suffering as well as healthcare.

“The only thing that these two papers were interested in was the issue of the National Conference which they even took out of context.

“So, I will say that the premise upon which people had reacted to this issue was wrong. They were misled, I don’t know the motive (but) the Northern Reawakening Forum did not call for a fresh national conference or a political reform conference.”

World Bank To Spend $2.1 Billion In Rebuilding North-East Nigeria

World BankThe World Bank has unfolded a package which would see it spending up to $2.1 billion in rebuilding the badly devastated North-eastern part of Nigeria, ravaged for the past six years by the Boko Haram insurgency.

At a meeting in Washington on Tuesday with representatives of the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organization (WHO), President Buhari said that apart from rebuilding the region in terms of infrastructure, priority must also be given to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who now number over one million.

He urged the World Bank to send a team, which would work in concert with a team from the Federal Government, so that a proper assessment of needs could be done.

The World Bank will spend the 2.1 billion dollars through its IDA (International Development Agency), which gives low interest rates loans to government.

The first 10 years will be interest free, while an additional 30 years will be at lower than capital market rate.

The World Bank is eager to move in quickly, give out the loans, and give succour to the people of North-east, long at the mercy of an insurgency that has claimed over 20,000 souls.

WHO is also to invest 300 million dollars on immunization against malaria in Nigeria, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will collaborate with Dangote Foundation to ensure that the country maintains its zero polio case record of the past one year.

If the effort is sustained for another two years, Nigeria will be declared fully free of polio.