FG Approves 5.5 Billion Naira For Healthcare In Northeast

northeast, primary healthcare, inadequate facilities, challengesThe Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has approved the sum of 5.5 billion naira to Borno and four other states in the northeast for the implementation of its ‘Saving One Million Lives’ initiative.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this in a meeting with health officials from Adamawa, Taraba, Borno, Bauchi and Gombe states at the strategy planning meeting to prepare grounds for the implementation of the initiative.

The programme, which targets one million vulnerable Nigerians, is designed to improve access to primary healthcare and decrease maternal mortality and morbidity.

The ‘Saving One Million Lives’ programme is an elaborate scheme to expand access to essential primary healthcare services for women and children, launched by Nigeria’s ex-president, Dr. GoodLuck Jonathan, in 2015.

The Minister of Health said that the ‘Saving One Million Lives’ scheme will be used to evaluate the performance of the health sector in each of the states.

According to the Minister, the Federal Government would also provide drugs worth 1.2 billion naira to Borno State while the Presidential Task Force addresses urgent issues relating to health, environment and water.

Each component of the initiative the Minister said has the budget of 4.3 billion naira which has already been approved.

The Minister, however, emphasized the need to utilize the resources on intended purpose as agreed upon in the meeting, threatening that any state that falls below the expected performance will not benefit from subsequent disbursements.

FG Commissions Otuoke Water Project

Water Project, Otuoke, Bayelsa StateThe Nigerian government has commissioned a regional water supply scheme in Otuoke community to provide portable water to Otueke and 12 communities in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The Otuoke regional water scheme is aimed at reducing the incidences of water borne diseases by providing sustainable portable water.

The project was completed by the federal government at the total cost of 5.9 billion naira.

Speaking at the commissioning, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said that the federal government remained committed to completing all viable projects that would positively impact on the lives of the people without any form of political sentiment.

The project was initiated by Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who hails from Otuoke, Bayelsa State.

Shehu Sani Urges Buhari To End Amnesty Program For Ex-Militants

The Senator-elect for Kaduna Central, Mr Shehu Sani, has called on the PAmnestyresident-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to scrap the ongoing amnesty programme for ex-militants when sworn into office.

The programme was initiated by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua for ex-militants in the Niger Delta.

Speaking during a courtesy call to Arewa House in Kaduna on Tuesday, Sani described the entire amnesty programme as a sham and urged the incoming President to probe the operations of the Amnesty programme.

According to him, the amnesty programme ought to be a temporary gesture and not a permanent thing which, he said, some persons have turned into a conduit pipe to drain the nation’s wealth.

The senator-elect wondered why the amnesty programme should be continuous and only meant for youths from a particular ethnic nationality while their counterparts from other regions are left out.

The senator-elect also accused President Jonathan’s administration of skewing development to the South-South alone while neglecting the North and South-West regions.

On the back of this, he called on General Buhari not to repeat “the mistake” of the outgoing government, but to ensure he carries all parts of the country along in his government.

Boko Haram Fracturing, Say Rescued Hostages

Boko HaramThere are very strong indications that the insurgent group Boko Haram is fracturing as shortages of weapons and fuel have caused tension among the soldiers and the leaders.

One of the released victims told Reuters Agency that the fighters are saying that their leaders have deceived them into fighting in the name of religion.

According to some of the rescued women, the group abducted an estimated 2,000 women and girls in 2014 as it tried to create an Islamic state.

So far the army has freed nearly 700 in the past one week.


Dame Patience Urges Cross River Women To Support Jonathan

Dame Patience JonathanIn continuation of the nationwide campaign by the People’s Democratic Party, Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has said that the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan remains the only genuine one that can foster the speedy development of the country judging by his track records even in the midst of challenges.

According to her, no administration in the history of the country has also impacted on the lives of women both nationally and internationally.

A gesture which according to her deserves accolade.

The President’s wife was speaking at the 6,000 seating capacity ultra-modern Township Stadium at Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State in a nationwide women rally to solicit votes for her husband ahead of next month’s election.

Party supporters from across the 18 local government of Cross River State, wives of Cross River and Akwa Ibom State governors, Obioma Liyel-Imoke, Ekaette Godswill Akpabio, political appointees, aspirants, as well as the host governor Liyel Imoke gathered at the venue to welcome the First Lady.

Following the commissioning, PDP Party stalwarts took turns to highlight President Jonathan’s achievement during his first tenure in office which sprang through all facet of the economy

Addressing the gathering, the President’s wife enjoined all Nigerian women and eligible voters not to be cajoled by those who claim to be agents of change because when they were in office, they did not implement the change they are now canvassing for.

Jonathan Promises More Support To Delta State In Campaign Speech

campaignAs political campaigns continue with few days to Nigeria’s general elections, the People Democratic Party (PDP) has taken its campaign to Delta state in the south south region of the oil rich nation.

At the campaign venue on Wednesday, the presidential candidate of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan, promised that the state would encounter more support from his government in all areas of the economy if voted in.

The Delta State Government has asked schools to close down on Wednesday as President Goodluck Jonathan visits Asaba, the state capital, for the presidential campaign rally of the PDP.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Ogeah, confirmed that Wednesday had been declared a public holiday to enable citizens of the state to welcome President Jonathan.

The declaration of the public holiday came as the Goodluck Support Group said it would shut down the entire state to welcome the Peoples Democratic Party presidential campaign team to the state.

The national chairman of the party is confident that Deltans are in support of the Jonathan and Sambo bid. This is corroborated by the PDP governorship flag bearer in delta state.

The president, who spoke in an official language in the Niger delta, promised to improve the maritime sector in the state.

His wife, Patience Jonathan, wooed the women and youth to cast their votes for the PDP.

Music artistes and members of the Nollywood were also at the venue to throw their weight behind President Jonathan and his Vice for another term in office.

They say the entertainment sector had had 100 per cent improvement since the Jonathan administration kicked off.

Sovereign Wealth Fund: Supreme Court Fixes March 19 For Hearing Suit

Sovereign WealthThe Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed March ‎19 for hearing of the Sovereign Wealth Fund suit before it to enable the parties – the Federal Government and the 36 State Governors – file all relevant documents.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, counsel to the 36 states, Mr Yusuf Ali, accused the Federal Government of frustrating all attempts to settle the matter out of court.

The representative of the Federal Government, Ahmed Abdulmalik, told the court that there is no money called excess crude fund in the account of the states.

Having listened to both parties , the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who presided over the case, urged the counsels to advise the parties to settle out of court.

The 36 states had gone to the Supreme Court seeking for an order declaring the proposed creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund illegal and unconstitutional.

The states are also praying that the court would issue an order to the effect that all sums standing to the credit of the excess crude account be paid to court or be otherwise secured as the court may deem fit pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

2015 Elections: Resident Doctors Worried Over Threat Of Violence By Politicians

Resident DoctorsMembers of the National Association of Resident Doctors have expressed concern over the threat of violence by politicians and their supporters during the forthcoming general elections.

The National President of the Association, Dr Prince Dan-Jumbo, shared the resident doctors’ worries while reading out the communique reached at the just concluded National Executive Council Meeting of the association in Owerri the Imo State capital.

He said that the association of resident doctors nationwide amidst all the threat of violence during the election have resolved to willingly render prompt and proficient medical services to all citizens during the election.

He also advised Nigerians to sue for peace during the election.

Of much concern to the association, however, is the welfare of the members of the association.

They advised the Federal Government and the authorities of all federal medical centres in the country to put in place adequate machinery that will effect the uniformity and quality of the residency training programme in the country.

Fighting Terrorism: Lake Chad Basin Commission Says Over N2bn Needed

Lake ChadOver two billion naira is the amount needed to fund operations of the multinational joint security forces organised to fight insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin area.

The Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mr Sanusi Abdullahi, told Chiefs of Defence Staff from member states in Abuja that the amount would fund requirements of small equipment and troop welfare in the on-going fight against terrorism.

“The Lake Chad Basin Commission is committed and determined to support the multinational joint task force to see that the force is maintained and sustained at top capacity to face the challenges of its mission.

“In this regard, we are submitting to the council of ministers of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, a budget of 8.714billion CFA to fund urgent requirements of small equipment, troops’ welfare and daily needs,” he said.

Members of the commission and Benin Republic have been meeting in Nigeria’s capital city to re-evaluate counter terrorism strategies adopted in the past.

It was the fourth meeting of ministers and Chiefs of Defense Staff, and heads of security intelligence to review best strategies in the fight against terrorism.

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, believes that such collaborations from member states is needed to fight terrorism.

He said; “This is the time for affirmative action. It is very important for us to build enduring structures that will have pragmatic value on the Lake Chad Basin Commission community.

“The military structure in terms of the multinational joint task force is one of such structures and has to be fully activated.”

Nigeria Is Not Broke, Says Okonjo-Iweala

Okonjo-IwealaThe Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says Nigeria is not broke.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala, who was responding to questions from journalists in Abuja, said that despite the pockets of economic challenges confronting the nation, it has achieved macro economic stability.

Top government officials and heads of parastatals of the Ministry of Finance were at the news conference on the ministry’s performance in 2014.

The Minister of Finance listed key achievements of the government in terms of job creation, foreign and local debt sustainability, as well as budget implementation.

All of these, she said, have contributed to the nation’s macro economic stability than its perceived state of being broke.

Another issue which the Minister of Finance highlighted is the efforts by the government to finance the real sectors to improve the lives of the ordinary Nigerians.

She announced that 2.4trillion naira has been allocated for the development of the real sector.

Building social safety nets, creating more job creation and addressing issues of infrastructural challenge are some of the areas the Federal Government hopes to prioritise in the days ahead, and this Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said would be beneficial to the ordinary Nigerian.

National Conference Comes To An End

National ConferenceThe National Conference has come to an end, and the delegates have agreed to a change in the document formally known as the draft constitution, through majority voice vote.

Members, on Thursday, agreed to change the Draft Constitution 2014 to ‘Proposed Amendment to 1999 Constitution’.

Northern delegates had rejected the draft constitution, saying that it was a ploy to legitimize the third term agenda.

Southern delegates, on their part had said that it was unfortunate as there was nothing in the report that was not adopted by the entire conference through consensus.

The National Conference, which began on March 17, 2014, would be formally declared closed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

The 2014 National Conference was inaugurated by the Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

There were about 492 delegates that represented a cross-section of Nigerians including the professional bodies.

The National Conference was headed by retired Chief Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi.

Following a plenary session that lasted for weeks, the Conference was broken into 20 committees that included Public Finance and Revenue among others.

Main Committees: Devolution of Power Committee, Political Restructuring and Forms of Government National Security; Environment; Politics and Governance; Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform. Social Welfare; Transportation; Agriculture; Society, Labour and Sports; Public Service; Electoral Matters, Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters, Land Tenure Matters and National Boundary. Trade and Investment Committee, Energy; Religion; Public Finance and Revenue Generation, Science, Technology and Development Immigration

Presidency Replies Northern Elders Over Ultimatum On Chibok Girls

Northern EldersThe President, on Tuesday, fired back at a faction of northern elders, who, on Monday gave him up until October to produce the abducted Chibok schoolgirls or forget about 2015 Presidency.

The President’s Special Assistance on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, in a statement, described the northern elders’ ultimatum as preposterous and one meant to cause what he called “hate mentality and mischief.”

He said that the President does not need an ultimatum to do his job and that he was doing a lot to rescue the Chibok girls.

He pointed out seven areas where the President has demonstrated great concern on the Chibok issue to include, improving on the military’s professional and personnel capabilities, taking advantage of the offer made by the international community, and securing the nation’s borders among others.

According to Dr. Okupe, “The issue of insurgency, especially those ideologically based on Islamic extremism, is a global phenomenon and requires tact, military capability, serious de-radicalisation techniques and community based counter insurgency programmes to ensure success.”

The faction of the Northern Elders Forum led by Maitama Sule, on Monday, gave President Goodluck Jonathan an ultimatum till the end of October 2014 to produce the over 200 abducted Chibok girls in Borno State and also bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency, saying that failure to do so amounts to him being deemed unfit to seek re-election in 2015.

The Northern Elders noted that the warning became imperative because they were of the firm belief that the lingering terrorist attacks and other related security challenges in the country pose a major threat to the 2015 elections and the survival of Nigeria as a nation.