Procured Child Spacing Consumables: FHANI Urges Kaduna Government to Commence Distribution

By Habila Victor, Kaduna.

The Family Health Advocates in Nigeria Initiative (FHANI) has called on Kaduna State Government to commence distribution of the procured year 2020 child spacing consumables for immediate use by women and families in need.

In a statement signed by its Secretary, Iliya Kure, FHANI expressed that continuous delay in the distribution of the consumables will not only affect the child spacing programme in the state, but will also continue to negatively affect families in dire need of the services.

The statement reads; “Child spacing has scientifically been proven to reduce maternal deaths by up to 40%. It can significantly reduce maternal deaths in the state”.

“On 21st October, Kaduna State Health Supplies Management Agency (KADHSMA) informed FHANI of the procurement of child spacing consumables, an action consistent with the promise of the current administration of ensuring women access child spacing services free of charge”.

“Kaduna state in its 2020 budget earmarked N100 million naira for procurement of child spacing consumables, and another N12 million to be spent on transportation of the consumables, training of service providers and conducting supportive supervision, among others”.

They further commended the state government for its consistency and commitment to improving the life of women through continuous allocation of funds to drive child spacing programme in the state. 

​Insecurity: Reps order NCC to extend SIM re-registration deadline by 10 weeks

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, instructed the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to extend the deadline for the re-registration of all SIM cards in Nigeria, using the Nigerian Identity Number, NIN, to February 2021.

The Commission on Tuesday, issued a two-week ultimatum to telecommunications service providers to use the NIN, to re-register all SIM cards in the country, to mitigate cases of miscreants using unregistered cards to commit crimes in the country.

The House reached the resolution in plenary after passing a Motion entitled “Need for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to give Nigerians reasonable time to submit their National Identification Number for SIM registration”, sponsored by Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu(PDP-Delta).

Elumelu noted that “the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is the independent body saddled with the responsibilities of regulating telecommunications services and facilities, promoting competition and setting performance standards for telecoms operators in Nigeria, with the Ministry of communication and digital economy as the supervisory ministry”.

He argued further that “in January 2020 the minister of communications and digital economy issued a statement wherein telecom subscribers were mandated to get their National Identity Numbers (NIN) and submit to the network operators, with the aim of ascertaining the true identities of all subscribers and thereby blocking loopholes currently being exploited by unscrupulous individuals”.

He said he was aware “that at stakeholders meeting convened on the 15th day of December 2020 by the Minister of communications and digital economy Dr. Isa Patami, the federal government issued a statement signed by the director of public affairs NCC Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, wherein it stated that any telecom subscriber who fails to submit his /her National Identity Number to its network provider would be blocked from the network with effect from December 31st 2020”.

He raised concerns that “as laudable as the idea behind the policy may seem, the timing is very wrong because Nigerians have not been properly sensitized, as only a few educated persons who bother to read the dailies might have heard about this instructions, therefore trying to enforce this policy in a period where most Nigerians are gearing up for Christmas festivities may lead to stampede in the process of rushing to get registered which could lead to unnecessary death and injuries”.

He also warned that “ if the NCC is allowed to cany out this directives, it will bring about untold hardship as millions of subscribers will be disconnected this yuletide period which could spell disaster in an already volatile nation like ours”.

He expressed worries “that if the NCC is not urgently called to halt their plans there may be unnecessary panic in the country which may lead to exploitation of vulnerable Nigerian thereby causing more pains in an already pathetic situation hence the need to urgently Wade into this impending crisis”.

He House, after a few comments from members and a few amendments, resolved to order NCC to extend SIM card registration to ten weeks.

The House also called on the Commission to “give a reasonable amount of time to enable Nigerians meet with the instruction of submitting their National identity numbers to service Providers and not the 2 weeks given”, as it also mandated its house committee on communications to ensure compliance”.

​I sacked Sanusi because of Jonathan — Ganduje

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Tuesday, said he dethroned the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi because he was not best man for the throne, saying he was appointed to spite former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ganduje revealed that Sanusi was appointed the Emir in 2014 to spite former President Goodluck Jonathan, who sacked him as the Central Bank Governor for alleging that $49 billion was missing from the public coffers.

Ganduje disclosed this at the presentation of a book in honour of the former president titled, ‘Dear President Goodluck Jonathan (An Open Letter),” written by a former Managing Editor of the Daily Times Newspaper, Bonaventure Melah, in Abuja.

The Kano state governor further said Sanusi was not the best man for the throne at the time he was appointed in June 2014, adding that he was sustained on the stool despite widespread protests because he had the backing of the Rabiu Kwankwaso administration in the state.

Faulting Sanusi’s public outburst on the alleged fraud, Ganduje said the ex-CBN Governor ought to have discussed the matter privately with the former President, who in turn could have ordered an investigation into the allegation.

The governor praised Jonathan for sacking the former banker, noting that the allegation of missing money was not honourable.

He stated, “Sanusi was appointed Emir of Kano not because he was the best man for the throne but to retaliate what Jonathan did to him. That was in order to prove that what Jonathan did to him was wrong and that the people of Kano wanted their son as Emir and therefore, they decided to appoint him as Emir.

Narrating why he dethroned the outspoken former banker, the Ganduje said, “When I became governor, I said ‘yes, the Jonathan medicine is an important medicine.’ That medicine, even though I am not a medical doctor, but that medicine would serve the same purpose, for the same disease and the same patient.

“So, I took my ‘Jonathan medicine’ and decided to save the system, to save the institution and I applied it effectively. So, Jonathan and I are on the same page. Actually, I have no regrets.”

The former president, Jonathan, in his remarks said that his vision was to change society through education, adding that this informed the establishment of 15 universities by his administration, including maritime, police and medical tertiary institutions in different parts of the country.

​National council on nutrition approves 5-year plan to reduce hunger, malnutrition

In an effort to further improve the wellbeing of citizens, a 5-year nutrition action plan that will guide the implementation of interventions and programmes to address the problems of hunger and malnutrition across all sectors in Nigeria has been approved by National Council on Nutrition.

The Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, approved the action plan titled the “National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN) 2021-2025” at its virtual meeting on Tuesday.

Aside from the Vice President who chairs the Council, membership includes Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Health Minister, Minister of Water Resources, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, development partners, organized private sector, Civil Society Organisations, the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, among others.

The approved plan will reduce the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by 50%; increase exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65%. It will also reduce stunting rate among under-five-year-olds to 18% by 2025 through the scaling up of priority high impact nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.

The plan recommends the adoption and implementation of strategies aimed at improving the nutritional status of Nigerians by tackling undernutrition and stunting, among others.

The Vice President welcomed suggestions for the adoption of extensive nutrition advocacy programmes to be driven by stakeholders across all levels of government and the private sector.

Offering the support of State governors in the actualization of the plan, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Mr Kayode Fayemi, said his colleagues endorse the plan.

While commending the personal commitment of Vice President Osinbajo to the issue of nutrition in the country, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, said the same commitment will need to be demonstrated in the States, noting that taking the advocacy campaign to the State governors will be a crucial part of ending malnutrition in the country.

The former Emir of Kano noted that it was time to take nutrition issues more seriously.

On their part, stakeholders present at the meeting pledged their support for the implementation of the action plan aimed at addressing the menace of malnutrition in Nigeria.

Development partners, and the organised private sector, represented by Mr Diego Moroso of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Ms Zouera Youssoufou of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, respectively, said the adoption of the plan was commendable, calling for a holistic approach in order to address fundamental issues in the food system.

Other presentations made to Council include the National Food Consumption and Micro-Nutrient Survey 2021, the Food System Summit 2021 and the presentation on Nutrition for Growth Summit, by the Secretary, National Committee on Food and Nutrition, Mrs Chito Nelson.

Also today, the Vice President presided over the meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) where the Council adopted the National Action Plan 6.0 for the retention of results delivered so far in the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria. The plan also aims at attaining the top 70 in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking by 2023.

Some of the new reform initiatives in NAP 6.0 will include further reduction in the cost of business registration by simplifying the process and eliminating the need for agents. The impact of this cost reduction would mean reduced burden on MSMES and substantially increase Nigeria’s score in the global ranking and more importantly improve the business environment.

Another new initiative is the proposed reduction in the cost of electrical installations and new connection to the grid by eliminating import tariffs. The reduction in cost will lead to more new and affordable connections.

Those in attendance at the PEBEC meeting include Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello; Head of Service, Dr Mrs. Folashade Esan, AMAC Chairman, Hon. Abdullahi Candido, among other top government officials.

​Niger Delta youths mandate FG to release Tompolo’s confiscated property

Youths in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to immediately release the confiscated property of the former Niger-Delta leader, Oweizide Ekpemupolo (Tompolo).

The call, according to a statement made available to Vanguard on Wednesday, by the President, Odimodi Youth Movement, Com. Edisemi Akin Disi, Tompolo’s confiscated property and companies are yet to be released by the appropriate authorities, adding that the singular act has infringed and defeated the court judgement passed by Justice Buba.

The statement recalled that Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, declared Niger-Delta former militant leader, Oweizide Ekpemupolo discharged and acquitted over N45.9bn fraud on July, 15, 2020.

The statement read further: “As a youth leader in the Niger-Delta, I have objectively observed and reviewed the situation of things in the Niger-Delta and the Ijaw Nation.”

“I recalled that Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos declared Niger-Delta former militant leader, Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo discharged and acquitted over N45.9bn fraud on July, 15th, 2020.”

“I observed that Tompolo’s confiscated properties and companies are yet to be released by the appropriate authorities and the singular act has infringed and defeated the court judgement passed by Justice Buba.”

“I call on President Buhari to prevail on the appropriate authorities including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to hand over property earlier seized from Tompolo and his company in order to promote the rule of law, fairness and justice.”

“I also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to see and treat Chief Ekpemupolo as a law abiding citizen of Nigeria but not as a second class citizen because he is not from the North,” the statement ended.