Girl-child Education: Development Partners Support 1,350 Pupils in Jigawa

Agency Report

Development Partners, under the Global Partnership for Education (GEP) on Friday supported 1, 350 female primary school pupils with N27 million, in Kirikasamma Local Government Area of Jigawa.

The pupils, through their parents, were each given N20,000 to enable them to purchase essential educational materials.

Speaking at the disbursement exercise in Kirikasamma, the council’s Education Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, said 912 primary one and 438 primary two pupils benefitted from the gesture.

He said the pupils were drawn from 13 primary schools of Baturiya, Dilmari, Malakori, Gadari, Tandamu, and Likori.

Others schools were: Barmaguwa, Gayinbabba, Kiramasau, Madaci, Jalmari, Lirori and Maleri in the local government area.

Mohammed said the schools selected were located at the council’s remotest areas; where access to education was low.

In her remarks, Hajiya Ramatu Muhammed, the GEP Co-ordinator in the state, cautioned parents against using the funds for unintended purposes.

She said each pupil was expected to buy books, uniform, shoes, hijab and water bottle with the N20,000 paid to her.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, Zainab Yunusa, a mother, expressed gratitude to the state, federal government and the development partners; for their support.

She assured that the funds would be judiciously used for the purpose intended.

The partners include: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF and World Bank.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, in June 2016, inaugurated GEP and the Nigerian Partnership for Education Programme (NIPEP).

The theme was: “Improving Access and Quality of Basic Education with Emphasis on Girls Participation.”

At the inauguration, Task Team Leader, GPE/NIPEP, Mr Olatunde Adekola said that GEP was a UN initiative, aimed at supporting developing countries.

The particular focus was especially “on how to bring more girls to school and make them stay in and learn.”

He listed the benefiting states to include: Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina.

“Since the effort is to bring more girls to school, we are focusing on five states in the North-West that have more girls out of school — Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano, Kastina and Kaduna.

“The allocation is 100 million dollars. 95 per cent of it is for the five states while five per cent is for the supervising ministry and the Universal Basic Education (UBEC).

“The programme will provide scholarship for girls and give incentives so that they can come to school and stay in school.

“There will also be incentives for female teachers of the schools,” Adekola said.


Boko Haram Attacks UNICEF Clinic, Others

No fewer three settlements, including a clinic funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund in Borno State have been attacked by Boko Haram.

Two of the attacks were hatched by the insurgents on Thursday in the Bama and Rann areas, while the third attack happened in Jakana on the Maiduguri-Damaturu Expressway Friday evening.

The UNICEF funded clinic was razed.

According to security sources, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members made an attempt to infiltrate Bama town on Thursday evening.

A security source, who confided in our correspondent, said, “The insurgents wanted to invade the town to cause havoc, but unfortunately for them, they were met by battle ready soldiers who repelled them.”

A resident of the town, Yusuf Abdullahi, told Saturday PUNCH that the people of the town were suddenly woken up by the sounds of gunfire and rockets.

He said throughout the night, no one could sleep in the town as the soldiers engaged the insurgents.

In Rann, the Boko Haram were said to have destroyed the UNICEF clinic, the only healthcare centre in the town which at different times had been attacked by the insurgents.

A military source told our correspondent that the Nigerian military was able to repel the insurgents after a fierce gun battle on Thursday.

A resident of the town, Yabawa Aji, in a telephone chat with our correspondent with all manner of equipment and shot indiscriminately.

He said the casualties could not be ascertained yet as many fled into the bush for safety, lamenting that some of the fleeing residents were caught in the crossfire.

In a statement confirming the attack on Rann, the Chief of Communication at UNICEF, Eliana Drakopoulus, said: “Late last night, there was fighting in Rann and several structures were burned, including a UNICEF-supported clinic.


Ekiti Pupil Hacks Schoolmate to Death After Juju Contest

A 17-year-old secondary pupil, Kehinde Timilehin, has killed a schoolmate, Favour Matthew, 16, after engaging in a contest to test their juju.

The two pupils of Ado Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti were said to have engaged each other in a juju contest after which Matthew, a Senior Secondary School 2 pupil, reportedly went home to bring an axe to attack Timilehin.

Sources said Timilehin, who was in SSS 3, overpowered Matthew, collected the axe and struck him in the chest, leaving him in a pool of blood.

Matthew was rushed to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, where he died.

In the wake of Mathew’s death, the Ebira community along Ado-Federal Polytechnic Road reportedly threatened a reprisal against the Yoruba community in the area.

Consequently, parents of pupils of the school did not allow their wards to attend the school on Friday. It was learnt that the few pupils who showed up in the school were turned back at the gate.

Policemen were deployed in the neighbourhood to prevent a breakdown of law and order while a police van was stationed at the school gate.

The school principal, Mr. Ebenezer Falayi, and the vice principal, Mr. Olurotimi Olaoluwa, explained that the incident occurred around 2.15pm after closing hours.

Falayi said, “This incident really saddened us because it was avoidable. What I gathered from students who were at the spot was that the two were arguing over who had superior power and the deceased had earlier gone home to bring weapons, which did not have any effect on the suspect when used on him.

“I was told that the suspect later overpowered the victim and struck him in the chest with the weapon. Our teachers, including me, the vice principal and registrar who reside in the school rushed him to EKSUTH. We even took the suspect along.

“The victim was put on life support, but that could not help the situation. He died in the hospital. I had to quickly call the Divisional Police Officer of the Odo-Ado Police Station who deployed his men in the area. We also contacted the police station at Oke Ila, Ado-Ekiti, to prevent the suspect from being killed by highly enraged family members of the deceased.

“The hospital insisted on conducting an autopsy before releasing the corpse, but the family resisted it. The corpse was later released to the family when it nearly led a crisis in the hospital.


Court Jails Man for Stealing Milk

Agency Report

A Karmo Grade I Area Court, Abuja, has sentenced a labourer to two months in prison for stealing one roll of sachet Cowbell powdered milk, a carton of Vaseline Blue Seal and one crate of eggs.

The judge, Alhaji Inuwa Maiwada, found Abdulahi Danjuma of no fixed address guilty of house breaking and theft.

Maiwada, however gave the convict an option to pay a fine of N5, 000 while warning him to desist from committing crime.

The judge ordered that the milk be returned to the owner.

The prosecutor, Mrs Ukagha Ijeoma, told the court that two traders Israel Abraham and Mohammed Sani all of NNPC Quarters Life Camp, Abuja, reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station on December 3.

The prosecutor, told the court that the convict broke into Sani’s shop and stole a carton of Vaseline Blue Seal, one roll of Cowbell powder milk, and one crate of egg all valued N5, 000.

Ijeoma said that the convict was apprehended and handed over to the police immediately.

She said that during police investigation and interrogation, the convict admitted to committing the offence and one roll of powder milk was recovered from him.

The prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 354 and 287 of the Penal Code.

The convict pleaded guilty to the charges and begged court for leniency.

Ijeoma, therefore, urged the court to invoke Section 347 of the Administration of Criminal Justices Act, 2015 on summary trial.


Investment in Malnutrition Will Get Nigeria Out of Poverty – Expert … UNICEF Reaches 1, 239, 802 with Vitamin A in 2 North East States

By Alex Uangbaoje, Yola

An expert on nutrition, Dr. Bamidele Omotola, has revealed that investing in children’s nutrition offers some of the greatest opportunities for social and economic change in Africa.

According to Dr. Omotola, every single dollar invested in reducing stunting among children in Africa, there’s a return on investment of $16 which is capable of bringing Africa and Nigeria in particular out of poverty.

The nutrition Consultant, who stated this in Yola, Adamawa State, on Friday, at a media dialogue on child malnutrition with a theme: “Investing in Child Malnutrition for Future”, added that, about 33 per cent of Nigerians will get out of extreme poverty if the country successfully tackles malnutrition.

“If Nigeria overcomes the menace of malnutrition, 33 per cent of poor people will get out of extreme poverty and give their own children a better chance at life.” Dr. Omotola added.

A report by Brookings Institution had recently said Nigeria has become poverty headquartersb in the world, ahead of India.

He said malnourished children have zero potential to contribute to any country’s economy, adding that, fight against malnutrition has become imperative for Nigeria because any economy where 50 per cent of the children are stunted or wasted is doomed.

The nutrition expert, warned that children with severe form of acute malnutrition has nine fold risk of death compare to well nourished children. He said one in five children with severe acute malnutrition cases would die if treatment is not provided at right time.

He therefore called for investment to ensure food security to end extreme hunger by 2030, the second goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The media dialogue was organized by Child Rights Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).

In his presentation, Dr. Martins Jackson, Nutrition Officer, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, said, UNICEF, has reached, 1, 239, 802 children of age 5-59 months with vitamin A supplement, through the Integrated Basic Nutrition Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Borno and Yobe including multsectorial pilot (INP+) projects supported by DFID since July 2017 til date.

“195, 000 pregnant women with Iron/Folate supplement, 38,700 children with acute malnutrition admitted for treatment. While 32,300 pregnant women received N5000 monthly and 6,500 community members were reached with Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), activities in pilot LGAs of; Maiduguri Municipal Council, Jere, Konduga, Bayo, Biu, Kwaya Kasu, Shani, Askira Uba and Hawul in Borno state.

“And also Tarmua, Gujba and Nangere in Yobe State respectively.

“DFID contribution, also procured a bit more than 200,000 carton of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) enough to covers 240,000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).” Added.

Child Rights Expert Calls for Concerted Effort in Fight Against Malnutrition

Child Rights Expert Calls for Concerted Effort in Fight Against Malnutrition

By Alex Uangbaoje, Yola


A child rights expert at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC), has call for a concerted effort in fight against malnutrition in Nigeria, especially in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

Mr. Olumide Osanyinpeju, Deputy Director/Head, Child Rights Information Bureau of FMIC, who made call in Yola Adamawa State on Friday, at Media Dialogue on Child Malnutrition, with theme: “Investing in child malnutrition for the future”, noted that there is need for investing in child malnutrition for the future, raising awareness and understanding on the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and resource allocation for food and nutrition security at all levels.

According to him, “it is imperative to combat Malnutrition, because it can cause death in young children, particularly those under five years of age. There should be concerted effort to fight malnutrition out in totality to ensure the attainment of desired results.

“Malnutrition is a large burden to a country, and tackling malnutrition entails empowering and educating people. Improved nutrition is the key to improved national and human development and this can be done by educating the populace and creating a positive approach towards nutrition.

“Addressing nutrition is one of the ways through which sustainable development goals can be achieved, therefore investment in nutrition will help reduce the negative trend of malnutrition which has been ensured by the creation of this dialogue.”

Mr. Osanyinpeju, however, commend UNICEF for their unyielding partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, and for their contributions towards all activities being carried out to uphold the rights of the Nigerian children.

“I wish to specifically note the constant support of the Media and External Relations Section, and the consistent efforts at ensuring that the wellbeing of our children is promoted through the various interventions of the Section, one of which is continuous dialogues with members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm.

“I also wish to appreciate the collaboration of DFID and our sister Ministry in this stride- the Federal Ministry of Health and other line Partners here present who have worked relentlessly for the progress of this process.

“We highly acknowledge your priceless contributions towards promoting the health of Nigerian mothers and children, and in ensuring that the goals of the health strategies targeted at them are met through constant dialogues.” He said.

He charged Journalists to come together in leadership to take actions on malnutrition for a better growth and well-nourished Nigeria in the future, adding, “distinguished Media Personalities, we have to define the strategic objectives of improving food security at the national, community and household levels.

“To reduce malnutrition among infants and children, adolescents and women of reproductive age; to significantly reduce micronutrient deficiency disorders, especially among the vulnerable group and to increase the knowledge of nutrition among the populace and nutrition education into formal and informal trainings.

“On Air Personalities are encouraged, in your programmes to raise awareness and understanding of the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and resource allocation for food and nutrition security at all levels. It is necessary that awareness be created amongst Nigerian populace especially for mothers; both lactating and non-lactating mothers to give within the first six (6) months of birth the breast milk which is enough for the infant, as nutrition is the key to national development.

“Adequate attention should be given to the nutrition of women especially pregnant women to reduce severe and acute malnutrition. Let us share the vision to see that every citizen has food that is nutrition secured by mobilizing people at grass root level to know their rights with regards to food by involving policy makers. Work with the government and see how to tackle the issue of stunting, wasting and obesity to its minimal level.”

Explaining the essence of the meeting, Sam Kali, UNICEF Communication Specialist, said, the idea is to sensitise journalists on the current situation of child malnutrition in the northeast and what UNICEF, donors, partners and
government are doing to change the situation.

“It is also met to solicit media support and buy-in for the fight against child
malnutrition in the northeast and define roles On-Air-Personalities (AOPs) could perform to help. To equip announcers, presenters, AOPs with key messages on nutrition.

“Commitment elicited from OAPs/participants on use of key messages on child malnutrition in their daily presentations OAPs-announcers, presenters, equipped with key messages on child nutrition. Strategic partnership forged with on air personalities on the fight against child malnutrition in the northeast.” He added.

The 2-days dialogue with journalists, organized by UNICEF, is discussing the management of severe acute Malnutrition in the North East, of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno and the intervention by DFID.

Stakeholders Evaluate Environmental Guidelines for Petroleum Sector

Since its issuance in 1991 by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN) has remained an imperative document in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

EGASPIN outlines environmental and safety standards that must be complied with by oil operators in the country to prevent, minimise and control pollution from the various aspects of petroleum operations. In line with the DPR’s resolve periodically update the publication “as new knowledge becomes available”, EGASPIN was revised and updated in 2002.

Sixteen years later in 2018, the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute) of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State, appears to have revisited the much-vaunted document, in an apparent bid to determine its alignment with international best practices.

OGEES Institute, which has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the regulatory framework for environmental protection in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, embarked on a study in this regard. The findings by the institute’s research team on the project were the subject of discussion by a gathering of stakeholders at a validation workshop that held in Abuja on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

“Given the significance of EGASPIN to enhancing environmental sustainability and good governance in the Nigerian oil sector, it is pertinent to review and assess various aspects of the document in the light of the current knowledge and advancements in international best practices, laws, governance methodologies and pollution control technologies,” said Prof. Damilola Olawuyi, Director, OGEES Institute.

He listed the objectives of the study to include:

  • Reviewing and evaluating EGASPIN to determine its alignment with international best practice on environmental protection, especially during approval, operations and decommissioning phases of the oil and gas sector value chain;
  • Identifying existing gaps; and,
  • Providing recommendations and improvements that would increase its effectiveness.

Authored by Prof. Olawuyi and Dr Zibima Tubodenyefa (of the Niger Delta University), the study, among others, compared EGASPIN with the environmental regulation and processes in the comparator countries with respect to stringency, transparency and compliance.

International best practice on stringency, transparency and compliance, it was gathered, were drawn looking at three stages in the life cycle of an oil and gas project: approval of the project, construction and operations, and closure or decommissioning.

“This report and its recommendations aim to help stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, especially the DPR, to improve EGASPIN’s contribution to achieving efficient, safe, orderly and environmentally responsible development of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources,” stated Dr. Tubodenyefa.


Kaduna Records Huge HIV Prevalence Drop, Now 0.6% – Survey

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

HIV Prevalence in Kaduna has dropped to 0.6%, according to findings of the Kaduna State AIDS Indicator Survey (KADAIS).

National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey-Plus (NARHS-Plus 2012), had placed Kaduna in third highest position, behind Rivers and Taraba, with about 9.2 prevalence rate.

KADAIS is the first state household-based HIV/AIDS survey conducted in Nigeria. KADAIS describes HIV epidemic in the State, providing data to guide HIV prevention and control activities.

Report of the findings was formally made available on December 1st, 2018, by the State Ministry of Health and Human Services and Kaduna State Agency for the Control of AIDS (KADSACA), as part of activities to commemorate the World AIDS day in Kaduna.

According to the report, KADAIS was conducted in all 23 Local Government Areas in Kaduna State from January through April 2017. Trained survey staff collected information about HIV knowledge and risk and offered home-based HIV counseling and testing with immediate return of results.

Additional laboratory tests, e.g., CD4 count and viral load, were conducted to further characterize the HIV epidemic in adults and children and results were provided as soon as they were available. The survey had a response rate of 93.9% among those interviewed and 97.9% among those tested for HIV.

The defines HIV prevalence, as the percentage of people living with HIV (PLHIV), in Kaduna State was 0.6%.

The report states that, “prevalence of HIV infection among children ages 0-14 years was 0.1% and prevalence among people ages 15 years and older was 1.1% (0.7% among males and 1.4% among females).

“KADAIS assessed the unmet need for HIV services, critical to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment target in Kaduna State. The 90-90-90 treatment target cascade is a call to meet the following targets: 90% of PLHIV know their status, 90% of PLHIV who know their HIV status receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90% of PLHIV receiving ART will have viral suppression. (Viral load suppression is defined as having less than 1,000 HIV RNA copies per ml of plasma among HIV-positive adults).”

Findings from KADAIS show 34% of PLHIV knew their status before the survey, 95% of PLHIV who knew their status received ART and 84% of those on ART had viral suppression.

Executive Secretary KADSACA, Dr. Mark Anthony, in a brief remark at the presentation, said, ‘’two out of three people with HIV do not know their HIV-positive status. It is important that people know their status. We need to halt the epidemic, and as a State Government, we have what is required to support persons who are HIV-positive emotionally and psychologically, to provide treatment, to protect their families and to help people live long and healthy lives’’

Commenting on the outcome of the survey, ‘Dr Paul Manya Dogo, Honourable Commissioner for Health and Human Services. noted tgat, ’KADAIS data offer critical evidence to inform Kaduna State HIV programs and investments for progress to be sustained and built upon. Though the HIV prevalence in Kaduna State is low, and we are doing well on antiretroviral treatment for those people who are aware of their HIV-positive status, with 3 out of every four people achieving viral suppression.

“The epidemic, however, continues because of low awareness of HIV-positive status, which needs to be improved by routine testing and continuous sensitization. We need everyone to get tested, know their status and get treatment.”

The survey was funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government, in partnership with Africa Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and Center for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP).

UNICEF, KADSACA Engages Northern Celebs on #isabiHIV Campaign


As part of measures to expand the #isabiHIV campaign in Nigeria, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency (KADSACA), has engaged celebrities in Northern Nigeria to spearhead the campaign.
Addressing the celebraties at the opening of a sensitization meeting, Executive Secretary, KADSACA, Dr. David Mark Anthony, noted that it has become important that they are brought into the campaign, especially in the north, so as to easily deliver the message to the people.
He said as actors and producers, they have a very high block of fans who believes in them and that if they begin to champion the HIV campaigns there is likely hood that those fans could begin to act according to their message.
“Today you know that the actors are the ones that have access to the populace within the their state and the country at large and if that is the case, it is important that you acquire every knowledge about HIV/AIDS and once you have that knowledge, you should be able to reach out to your fans, is important, so that they will know their HIV status.
“You should be able to encourage your follower to know whether they are positive or negative and if they are negative, then they should be able to know how to protect themselves from contacting HIV, and if peradventure they are positive they should be able to access services and treatment.
“I am encouraging you today, to first know your status and also to encourage your supporters and fans to know theirs too. Dr Anthony advised.
Also speaking, HIV/AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Dr. Idris Baba, said the meeting with Northern Actors and Producers was in continuation of prevention campaign for HIV in Nigeria,which is currently ongoing in Kaduna, Benue and Lagos.
Dr. Baba, said the essence is to sensitise them on the situation of Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP), with regards to HIV to see how we can work together to take the prevention campaign to the next level.
“We are happy that today we over 20 of them present in this meeting and have been able to take them through some basic knowledge of HIV and we have interacted very well and we have been able to demystify some myths and misconceptions that they might be having and we hope that they can key into it and take their understanding to a better level. He added.

Police Sweeps OSOM Games Medal, Finish with 41 Gold

By Our Correspondent

Besides emerging tops at the One Service One Medal (OAOM) Games which ended in Kaduna on Tuesday December 4, 2018, Officers and Men of the Nigerian Police Force added colour to the closing ceremony of the third edition of the games.

The Nigerian Police Force garnered a total of 41 gold, 14 silver, 10 bronze to emerge champions of the third OSOM Games.

Nigerian Prisons Service claimed 8 gold, 20 silver, 14 bronze to finish second, while the Nigerian Fire Service gathered 5 gold, 14 silver, 18 bronze medals to place third.

The Police band provided the beats for the march past, which the Police also dominated with about three different teams.

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, CP Abdurrahman who supervised the tug of war and the March Past also watched a display from the Nigerian Police anti-riot squad.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Olusade Adesola described the One Service One Medal (OSOM) Games as an avenue to discover talents that will make the country proud.

“Your participation here is not in vain. It is not all about winning medals, but developing of talents and bonding of friendship by military and para military agencies,” he added.

The Permanent Secretary, represented by Mr. Stanley Okebubu assured that the ministry will in line of its policy thrust, continue to develop grassroots sports.

In the invitational relay aimed at motivating athletes in secondary schools, Faith Academy Kaduna finished first in the male category, second position was claimed by St. Michael Academy, while Bethel Baptist High School placed third.

The girls category saw Faith Academy Kaduna win gold, Our Lady of Fatima Girls Secondary School claimed silver, while Jupavi Schools finished third.

The event which started on November 30, featured seven sports and attracted 360 athletes and officials.

The OSOM Games was initiated as a result of Nigeria’s poor outing at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The first edition was held in Kaduna in 2014 with a total of 329 athletes.

Its objectives include identifying and developing high performance athletes for the country.

It is also aimed at developing friendly relationship among the officers and men of the military and para military agencies in the country.