FG Signs Seventy Million Euro EU Support For Health

Nigerian Government Launches Action Plan Against PneumoniaThe Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union (EU) on 70 million Euro support to Revamp Nigeria’s health sector.

According to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, the fund will be used to strengthen the nation’s already weak health system and eradicate polio.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Michel Arrion emphasised the need to concentrate on reducing the nation’s burden of maternal child mortality.

Nigeria’s health sector has been grappled with inadequate financing as the National budgetary allocation fluctuates between 4.6 and 5.4 percent since 2011.

However, the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar spoke on behalf of benefiting states, advocating for the building of internal capacity in the states rather than waste the money on consultants.

Besides strengthening the already weak health care system in the country, 2.7 million children under five years of age and 850 pregnant women are expected to benefit from this funding in Adamawa, Bauchi, and Kebbi states.

Enugu State House Of Assembly Passes Budget Into Law

Six Arraigned, Robbery, Vanguard PublisherThe Enugu State House of Assembly, has passed the 2017 budget estimate of over 105Billion Naira into law, with the breakdown that shows that over 55Billion Naira represents recurrent expenditure.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation said, although the budget estimate may look high, the state will achieve over 80% of the budget estimate with the ongoing restructuring in the Board of Internal Revenue and Prudent Management of the executive, as well as refund from the Paris and London club.

The passage follows the consideration of the report as presented by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

The committee considered the bill followed by third reading of the bill which was subsequently passed into law.

However, the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, has commended members of the House for their contributions in the passage of the budget into law.

He urged them to carry out thorough oversight functions to ensure implementation of the budget.

Female Suicide Bombers Die In Foiled Attack

Female Suicide Bombers Die In Foiled AttackTwo suspected female suicide bombers have died in a failed attack in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Sunday.

The suspects’ planned attack was thwarted at about 8:30 pm at a check point in Geleri village.

Geleri is barely five kilometers to Muna Garage, a satelite settlement in Maiduguri close to the Dikwa/Gamboru road.

According to a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Victor Isuku, one of the suicide bombers detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), strapped to her body, killing herself and her accomplice whose IED vest did not explode.

“Three residents of the area were however injured. The Police EOD unit rushed to the scene to render the unexploded IED safe. The area has been secured and normalcy restored.” Isuku stated.

This recent attack is coming shortly after the military had promised that the era of insecurity, especially the Boko Haram insurgence would be a thing of the past before the end of December 2016.

The incident however shows that there are a few remnants of Boko Haram terrorists determined to carry out attacks to create panic and insecurity in some areas in the northeast that have seen relative peace in the last few months.

Counter-insurgency efforts had heightened since early 2015, with the military sacking the terrorists from communities they had seized in the heat of the over six years insurgency.

Kaduna Govt. Places Ban On Unlawful Assembly

Kaduna Govt. Places Ban On Unlawful AssemblyThe Kaduna state government has banned all forms of processions or unlwaful assembly in any part of the state till further notice.

This was revealed in a statement signed by Spokesman for the Kaduna State Government, Samuel Aruwan.

It also called for the cooperation of all citizens to respect this restriction until it is formally lifted.

According to the statement, the conclusion to impose a temporary restriction on unlawful assembly, was a result of a meeting of heads of security agencies who reviewed the security situation in the state.

“The decision was taken in the interest of the citizenry and to ensure law and order in the state”.

The government further mandated security agencies to ensure compliance to the ban, while advising all law abiding citizens to go about their lawful activities, and to do their utmost to uphold peace and harmony.

Owerri Court Restrains Government From Demolishing NBA Building

Owerri, Court, NBA A state high Court, sitting in Owerri, the Imo state capital, has issued an order of interim injunction, restraining the state government from unlawfully demolishing any part of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) office.

Delivering the Judgement, Presiding Judge, Chukwuemeka Chikeka, in her order, asked both parties to maintain status quo and respect the pendency of the suit, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The judge therefore, fixed December 19, 2016, for hearing the motion.

Justice Chikeka said: “considering the motion ex-partre brought pursuant to order 39 rule 3 (1), (2) and (3) of the Imo State High Court (Civil procedure) rules, 2008 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this honorable Court; together with affidavit in support and written address, praying the court for an order of interim injunction, restraining the defendants or her agents from unlawfully demolishing, pulling down or disobeying or in whatsoever manner tempering or unlawfully trespassing into the claimants property or disturbing the claimants occupation or ownership of the properly known as NBA Bar Centre, situated within the Imo State judiciary complex without complying with the relevant provisions of the public lands (Compulsory acquisition) laws of the state pending the determination of the motion on notice”.

Addressing newsmen, shortly after the order was given, the Chairman of NBA, Owerri branch, Barr. Lawrence Nwakaeti, advised the Governor to obey the court order to avoid anarchy.

According to him, “anarchy looms in a society where there is no respect for separation of powers amongst the three arms of government.”

Minister Advocates Passage Of National Disability Bill

Minister Advocates Passage Of National Disability BillMinister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan, has implored the National Assembly to prepare for the passage of an approvable National Disability Bill.

This according to her, is aimed at catering for the needs of people living with disabilities in Nigeria.

She was speaking at an event marking the 2016 International Day for Persons With Disabilities in Abuja.

The minister further stated that the implementation of such legislation would enable Nigeria to fully domesticate the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Nigeria is currently a nation in which social stigma, cultural beliefs and infrastructural decline seem to militate against the inclusion and contribution of disabled persons in the country, which is why the Alhassan came up with the initiative.

Addressing a gathering of people with disabilities, she said that while the passage of the National Disability Bill was critical to address their plight, the Federal Government refused to be handicapped by bureaucratic processes.

Though enduring blindness throughout his life, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, Dr Samuel Ankeli, expressed a clear vision for persons living with disabilities in the nation.

He said that President Buhari’s creation of the Presidential Disability-focused Office, was an indication to all aspiring disabled Nigerians that they could become anything in life.

Convener of the joint association of persons with disabilities, Ekaette Umoh, also called on the public, saying that true progress depends on citizen participation.

While several experts advocated the inclusion of disabled people at the political party level to cement their socio-political incorporation, others emphasised that 5% of budgetary allocations to all sectors should be administered to establish disabled-friendly infrastructure.

FG To Ban Felling Of Trees To Avert Desertification

Felling of Trees, Desertification, The Federal Government is working towards putting a ban on felling of trees as a means of addressing the challenge of desertification in Nigeria.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, announced the plan on Wednesday at a public forum on desertification and deforestation organised by the European Union.

Mrs Mohammed laments that about 1.5 million trees are cut daily in Nigeria, thereby creating room for desert encroachment.

On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, hinted that the Senate was considering a bill to improve forestry in Nigeria.

At an earlier event to flag-off the ‘Keep Kaduna Green Project’, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed worry that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world in spite of campaigns against such acts.

Restore The Environment

The President was represented by the Environment Minister at the event designed to plant one million trees annually in Kaduna State.

He pointed out that over 576 million trees were lost annually due to deforestation, adding that the situation had led to the increased rate of desertification, flooding and drought in some parts of Nigeria.

Environmental Auditors, AFROSAI, Implementation

President Buhari feared that with the upsurge in the rate of deforestation, the Federal Government’s effort to achieve the forest cover and restore the environment by 25% might be a tall dream.

Paid For Growing Trees 

In another development, the Federal Ministry of Environment reiterated its commitment to forestry development with a view to checkmate the effects of climate change in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, stressed the importance of agriculture and forestry to national economy and security.

He also expressed concern over the negative destruction of the nation’s forests which he said had led to numerous environmental challenges.

Mr Jibrin called on farmers and other stakeholders to come up with solutions on how to combat climate change and deforestation in Nigeria.

If Nigeria could enact a law that would proscribe felling of trees, the nation could be added to the list of countries getting paid for keeping their forests.

Over eight countries get the REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) funds.

REDD+ is the UN led mechanism which helps countries earn dollars by not cutting trees and saving carbon dioxide in forests.

Environmental experts estimate that if a nation upholds deforestation and also plant new trees, it can earn $4 – 12 billion

FG To Launch Digital Switchover In Abuja In December

Digital SwitchoverThe Federal Government has announced plans to launch digital broadcasting in December as part of efforts to ensure the realization of the June 2017 Digital Switch Over deadline.

This is in line with the directive of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to its member countries.‎

Fielding questions from Journalists in Abuja after inspecting a set-up box manufacturing company, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said that digitizing broadcasting in Nigeria is irreversible and unstoppable and that the digital switch over is no longer a matter of choice but a matter of necessity.

He added that the process of digitization would also provide over a million jobs for Nigerian youths within the next two years.

The June 2017 deadline for the digital switch over from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is part of the development of all digital terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television for 119 countries who are members of the International Telecommunications Union.

World Bank, NEWMAP Partner On Imo Erosion Control

World bank, NEWMAPThe people of Umueze Eziala Obizi autonomous community in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state are excited about the gully erosion control and site rehabilitation project by the World Bank and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

This is because they will in no distant time heave a sigh of relieve as gully erosion, which used to displace many lives and properties in the community will soon become a thing of the past.

The cheering news was shared at a town hall meeting organized by NEWMAP in the community to create a rapport between the World Bank project team and the indigenes of the area to ascertain the level of work done on the Obizi gully erosion site.

The meeting was to also educate the people on further precautionary measures to be taken to prevent further occurrence of gully erosion while urging them to also cooperate with the contractors handling the project.

Before the intervention of the World Bank through the Nigeria Watershed Erosion Management Project (NEWMAP), the dangerous Umueze Eziala Obizi gully erosion site had claimed many lives and property.

The erosion site was identified as one to be rehabilitated under the Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project and seven months after, the rehabilitation and control work on the erosion site reached 75-80% completion.

The traditional ruler of the community, Stephen Azubuihe commended the
NEWMAP team for the progress made so far on the rehabilitation works.

He acknowledged the role expected of Stephen-Azubuihe-Umueze-Eziala-Obizithe community in ensuring the success of the project and promised that residents would cooperate with the World Bank to see the project through.

Some of the indigenes of the community whose properties and farmlands were affected by the gully erosion also commended the World Bank.

One of them is the chairman of the farmers’ cooperative in Obizi autonomous community, Justus Uha, who noted that the quick financial intervention and compensation has enabled them to start life over again.

The Urualla erosion site in Ideato North and Umuezelibe Isu erosion site in Njaba local government areas are also under the rehabilitation watch of the NEWMAP team. They have also promised to complete work in these sites in no distant time.

Edo Election: Government Amends Public Holiday Announcement

Edo Election The Edo State government has exempted banks and corporate organisations from the public holiday declared for Tuesday, September 27.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole had on Saturday declared Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28 work-free-days.

The public holiday was declared to enable voters in the state travel to their various locations and exercise their voting rights on Wednesday, September 28.

However, banks and corporate community are now exempted from the public holiday on Tuesday, September 27, in order not to slow down the economy of the state.

In a statement, the state government stressed that the public holiday on Wednesday, September 28, would affects everyone in the state.

It said movement would be restricted on the election day in accordance with the Electoral Act.

Political parties in the state are finalising campaigns ahead of the election to choose a successor for Governor Oshiomhole who is a member of the All Progressives Congress.

Nineteen candidates of different political parties are contesting in the election that will hold on Wednesday.

Court Grants Bail To Seven Shiites In Abuja

Shiites, Abuja, CourtA Magistrate Court in Karu has granted bail to seven members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, who are popularly known as Shiites.

The court on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, granted them bail of 100,000 Naira each on the three-count charge against each of them.

The defendants have been charged for the offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public peace, contrary to sections 97, 102 and 114 of the Penal Code.

Magistrate Abubakar Umaru granted the defendants bail with two reliable and reasonable sureties each in like sum.

He stated that the sureties must be civil or public servants in grade level eight and above.

The Magistrate further ruled that the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court and ordered that their addresses be verified by the officer of the court.

He asked the sureties to submit their passport photographs and national identity cards to the court.

Latest Protest Disrupted

Before their bail was granted, Shiites have continued to stage countless protests to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

However, the latest protest was disrupted by police officials on Thursday in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Alkali Usman, had defended the action, saying it was to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015, after a bloody clash between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Berlin State Poll: Losses For Merkel’s CDU, Gains For AFD

MerkelThe Political Party of Germany Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the CDU, has suffered historic losses in Berlin state elections.

It has been ousted from the state governing coalition with the centre-left social democrats.

Meanwhile the right-wing anti-migrant party alternative for Germany (AFD) made gains and will enter the state parliament for the first time.

Mrs Merkel’s popularity has waned since her decision in 2015 to allow more than a million migrants into Germany.

The CDU won 17.6% of the vote – its worst-ever result in Berlin.

It is the party’s second electoral blow in two weeks, having been pushed into third place by the AFD at the beginning of the month.

“There is no question, we didn’t get a good result in Berlin today,” said Michael Grosse-Broemer, a senior CDU politician. However, he blamed his party’s historic losses in Berlin primarily on local issues.

“I think it is dangerous to transfer the Berlin result to the federal level,” he told broadcaster ZDF.

The AfD has campaigned heavily on the migrant issue, playing to voters’ fears about the integration of the roughly 1 million migrants who entered Germany in 2015.

“From zero to double digits, that’s unique for Berlin. The grand coalition has been voted out – not yet at the federal level, but that will happen next year,” said AfD candidate Georg Pazderski to cheering supporters after the results.