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Government, Health

Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, kick-started the distribution of five Million insecticide-treated nets to people across the 33 local governments of the state.


He also explained that his administration will continue to deliver accessible, affordable, and qualitative healthcare for all indigines and residents of the state, adding that his administration is committed to improving access to health care delivery by providing functional primary health care centre in each of the 351 electoral wards of the state.


Makinde, who was represented at the eve.t by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Abdul-mojeed Mogbonjubola, said that the distribution process of the nets will increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites.


A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the  governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as declaring at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, venue of the event  that the state will equally improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.


He said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I stand here today to flag off the distribution of five million insecticide-treated nets that will be distributed across all the 33 Local Government Areas of the State. My presence at this occasion underscores the importance this administration has for the health and well-being of the people of the state.


 “Malaria is still a public health challenge in Nigeria and Oyo State. It seriously challenges the health care needs of women and children in our communities, especially at the grassroots. This net distribution process is expected to increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites. This will further improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.”


He assured that his administration will continue to provide accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare for all, especially children and women, saying that “we cannot fold our arms and bury our heads in the sand without acknowledging the sheer magnitude of weak health systems has thrust on the public.


 “It is for this reason that the state deemed it necessary to put in place different health intervention which is free and assessable to the grassroots. Such intervention includes improving access to health care delivery by providing one primary health care centre per ward, improving human resources for health and providing community health insurance services Also, free education is provided by our College of Nursing and Midwifery,” he added.


The governor emphasized that his administration, in a bid to ensure that health services in the state are evidence-based, community data capturing is now electronic to ensure all grassroots households are captured and have access to health care services.


While explaining that distribution of the nets will prevent malaria, reduce the burden of malaria on the economy of the state and health care systems, he reassured that the state will intensify efforts in improving the healthcare-seeking behavior of the populace and give the right message and information needed on the use of insecticide-treated nets.


He added: “The focus of the state government in health care service delivery is in partnership for sustainability. It is in this wise, that this administration will continue to reach out to development partners, well-meaning organizations and notable individuals within and outside the country for partnership and collaboration to implement programmes and projects that will improve the health status of the people.


“In attaining this goal, I am pleased to state here that the Oyo State Ministry of Health, Health Insurance Agency and the State Primary Health Care Board, in collaboration with our colleges are working to ensure universal health coverage at a cost-effective and sustainable way.”


He thanked the institutions that partnered with the state including USAID, PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria,  for collaborating and supporting malaria activities in Oyo State hence making the net distribution possible.


 “This partnership has bought us together today to flag off this round of free net distribution that is conducted every four years, the last round was in 2016. The USAID partners (PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria) supporting malaria activities in Oyo State have collaborated with the state to make this net distribution possible.


“This support is appreciated as it actually goes beyond net distribution to diagnoses and treatment of malaria.”


“Let me make it clear that it is the goal of this administration to leave a befitting legacy in the area of health care. I recall the days when Ibadan and indeed Oyo State was a Mecca of sorts for health care services. Esteemed guest pacesetters we intend to bring those days back.”


Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Funmi Salami, said that the government embarked on an advocacy drive in the media through the airing of jingles for the populace to be aware of distribution periods and benefits of making use of insecticide treated  mosquito nets in their households


She added that field workers were also engaged for the house-to-house campaign for the distribution of letters to residents, which, according to her, would enable identified people to benefit from the laudable project.


In her goodwill message, Ag Resident Adviser, USAID, Celeste Carr, admonished health workers in the state to educate pregnant women continually on the benefits they stand to derive in making use of insecticide mosquito nets at all times.


She noted that her organization pays special attention to the health status of pregnant women and children under the age of five, hence, the need for every household to key into activities that would promote healthy living in the community.


Carr, thereafter, commended the Oyo State Government for various health initiatives and its dedication to the launch of state-wide distribution of 5million insecticide mosquito nets across the state.


Energy, FEATURES, Government

MINA Blog- President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, signed the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law while working from home in line with COVID-19 protocol.


Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, who confirmed this development, said the president is in a five days quarantine as required by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 after returning from London on Aug. 13.


He said the president assented to the Bill in his determination to fulfill his constitutional duty.


”The ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled,” he added.


The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.


The Senate had passed the Bill on July 15, 2021, while the House of Representatives did same on July 16, thus ending a long wait since early 2000s, and notching another high for the Buhari administration.


Government, LIFE STYLE

*VP congratulates new President of Baptist Convention, Revd. Akanji

*Describes him as an “effective bridge builder between faiths and ethnicities”

Nigeria will eventually rise from its security and socio-economic challenges into the glorious light of dawn that would herald greater things for the country and its citizens, because the Spirit of God is in the land, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.


Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Sunday during a Send Forth Service for Revd. Dr. Israel Adelani Akanji, who until recently, served as Senior Pastor and Minister in Charge of the First Baptist Church, Garki, Abuja, for 22 years. Revd. Akanji is now the new President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.


He spoke in a short remark he gave at the service which was also attended by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Revd. Olasupo Ayokunle and the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora, among other dignitaries and Christian leaders.


Quoting from the first chapter in the Biblical Book of Genesis, the Vice President related events surrounding the creation of the heaven and earth to the nation’s present challenges and the lives of great individuals.


Prof. Osinbajo stated that “indeed, the lives of great men and women, even as the lives of nations teach important lessons.”


He noted that, “in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. The beginning was bleak, confused, without form, empty.


“This is the way of the lives of some of the greatest men and women and also nations. There might be confusion, grief, trouble, darkness and fear. But even in that confusion, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the face of the deep. God was in the darkness, He did not run away, He is not asleep.


 “So, it is with our nation. Today, some things may seem bleak and grave, with insecurity, economic difficulties, but even in the midst of these problems, the Spirit of God is in this land, it is here, hovering over this nation.”


He continued: “so, what happens next in verse three? We are told that suddenly God spoke, ‘let there be light…and there was light.’ The darkness came to an end, the fear, insecurity came to an end.  So, it shall be for you and our nation.  In the next verse, scripture says, God saw the light that it was good….so it shall be for you and our nation. The light will come and it shall be good, very good.”


The Vice President also commended the attributes of the new President of the Baptist Convention, describing Revd. Akanji as a humble and credible leader who “has continued to forge pathways for peace and unity as an effective bridge builder between faiths and ethnicities, realizing that Christ died for all men, and that our gospel is the gospel of peace.”


While congratulating the cleric on his inauguration as President of the Baptist Convention, the Vice President noted that Akanji has also served the Body of Christ in Nigeria as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman of Federal Capital Territory, and is still serving as the CAN North Central Zone’s leader.


“Revd. Dr. Israel Akanji now proceeds by the grace of God to the exalted office of the President of the Baptist Convention: the highest office of the Baptist denomination in Nigeria. In this long and arduous journey, Revd. Akanji has had by his side, his dear friend, partner and darling wife, Mrs Victoria Akanji, Mama Sunshine. She has been an effective part of the great works that God has done in her husband’s ministry,” the VP said.


According to him, Revd. Akanji’s “practical demonstration of the gospel of the love of Christ is his recipe for conflict resolution.”


He added, “in those 22 years (serving as pastor of the First Baptist Church Garki) this humble, humorous General of God has also become a foremost, credible and articulate ambassador of the Christian faith in Nigeria.

Noting Revd. Akanji’s “determination to forge pathways for peace and unity, the VP observed that his (Dr. Akanji’s) doctorate thesis was on “Theology of Conflict Transformation in Contemporary Nigerian Society.


“I took the trouble to read portions of it to better understand his thoughts. He proposed a new approach which challenges the religious institutions, particularly the Church, through its pastoral ministry, to become actively involved in the transformation of conflict in the nation through a practical theology, a theology of hospitality.”


In the same vein, the Vice President congratulated Akanji on the occasion of his 60th Birthday coming up on Monday August 16. He wished him more strength, wisdom and favour and asked for God’s blessing on all Nigerians.



MINA Blog- The Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have started the rehabilitation of its coconut belt aimed at producing 10 million coconut trees by 2024.


In a statement on Sunday, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya said that the collaboration would also ensure the rehabilitation of coconut grooves, create over 500,000 job opportunities and wealth through training, capacity building and empowerment of youths and women.


She said that the collaboration became imperative as coconut was one of the major cash crops in the state, producing over 80 per cent of the country’s annual production of 285,200 metric tons.


She said that its production capacity had earned the state the 19th position on the world coconut producing countries.


The commissioner said that in spite of government’s efforts in harnessing the full potentials of the tree crop, the state was only able to access 20 per cent of its potentials.


According to her, this is through rehabilitation and production efforts in upstream and processing; utilisation and commercialisation downstream, while only meeting about 30 per cent of the local demand.


“It is pertinent to note that the strategic five-year Agricultural Road Map of the present administration of having 10 million productive coconut trees in Lagos under the value chain will provide over 80 husked nuts per tree.


“A total of over 800,000,000 husked nuts per annum currently valued at an average of N100 per nut, with economic value of over N76 billion per annum which can be triple to N240 billion worth of transaction volume with value added annually.


“These figures can only be achieved if the right technical and financial supports are provided.


“It is in the light of this that the state government through the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority is collaborating with Food and Agriculture Organisation,’’ she said.


Olusanya noted that the partnership would provide technical support in development of the coconut value chain through unilateral trust fund.


She further said that it would ensure food security through sustainable, resilient, good agricultural practices and promotion of development-oriented policies that supported productive activities.


She also said it promote entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation as well as encourage the validation and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the downstream sector.


The commissioner said that the collaboration would guarantee the development of quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being.


 “The collaboration will help us as as state to ensure economic development in revenue generation, improve standard of living, development of the local economy through employment and wealth creation opportunities,’’ she said.


Olusanya added that it would also help the overall environmental contribution especially, in mitigating the impacts of climate change and global warming.



MINA Blog- The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta has charged the Nigerian youths, who participated in the nationwide digital literacy training conducted by the Commission, to put the skills acquired as well as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools received during the exercise to appropriate and legitimate use.


Addressing the participants at the closing ceremony of the NCC’s Digital Literacy Training for the North-West held at the Kano Campus of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) on Friday, August 13, 2021, Danbatta particularly enjoined the youths who have had the privilege of participating in the training to apply the skills acquired in gainful activities in order for them to be self-employed.


“The training has provided for you, useful skills, which you have acquired to earn a living for yourself without necessarily relying on government to give you a job. It is our hope at NCC that you will apply the skills appropriately and impact on your friends and associates. I also urge you to resist the temptations to sell the laptops and other IT tools you are going to be provided with,” Danbatta told the participants.


Speaking further, the EVC commended President Muhamamdu Buhari, the supervising Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the Governing Board of the Commission for the implementation of the digital capacity-building initiative, describing the scheme as an important intervention approved by the Federal Government to make more Nigerian youths self-reliant.


“We, therefore, express our profound appreciation to the President and to our Ministry for making this particular training, which is a practical demonstration of one of the important pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, possible,” he pointed out.


According to the NCC boss, the Federal Government’s policy in this direction is aimed at lifting Nigerians, particularly the youths, out of poverty, stressing that to achieve this, there was a need to impact skills to the youths who will, in turn, use the skills for self-employment.


“It is consistent with this important policy of President Muhammadu Buhari that the Board of the NCC, two years ago, set up a committee of experts chaired by the former EVC of the Commission, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, to develop modalities and syllabus for the digital training of youths across the six geo-political zones of the country,” he explained.


According to him, the implementation of the recommendations of the committee of experts, as approved by the government, gave rise to the training, which targets 1,000 Nigerian youths to be digitally trained for self-employment.


Earlier, the President of DBI, Prof. Muhammad Ajiya, who praised Prof. Danbatta for his untiring efforts to ensure the implementation of the Federal Government’s policy, said the various modules of the digital, moral and leadership skills given to the youths during the course of the training will go a long way in making the beneficiaries earn a living and be self-reliant.


Participants also expressed appreciation to the Commission for the digital skills acquisition and empowerment programme.


The training, a brainchild of the Commission, which was aimed at implementing the Federal Government’s policy to lift Nigerians out of poverty, held for two weeks across each of the six geo-political zones of the country.


Across the zones, the youth were not only trained by subject-matter experts in ICT but were also given laptops, Internet Mi-Fi, financial support and certificates certifying the digital skills they have been equipped with.


Board members of the Commission participated at the closing and opening ceremonies of the training in their respective geo-political zones.