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    Tinubu travels out  for lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia

    President-elect Bola Tinubu

    By Emmanuel Mogbede

    The President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, has travelled out for lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia, as well to marshal out his transition programme, ahead of the May 29 inauguration.

    Mr Tunde Rahman, his Media Aide said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, adding that the President-elect left the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos enroute to Europe on Tuesday night.

    The President-elect decided to take a break after the hectic campaign and election season to rest in Paris and London.

    Preparatory to going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) and the Ramadan fasting that begins Thursday.

    While away, the President-elect will also use the opportunity to plan his transition programme, Rahman said.

    He cautioned media organisations against publishing rumours, fake news and unsubstantiated claims, urging them to always seek clarifications from the Tinubus media office before publishing.

    Rahman said the President-elect had directed that all his senior aides and campaign staff to go for a short rest. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Benson Iziama/ Ali Baba-Inuwa

    Source: NAN News

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    FEC approves .7m for maintenance of NRC equipment

    FEC meeting

    By Ismaila Chafe

    The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 984. 7 million dollars for the procurement of maintenance equipment for the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

    FEC also approved N5billion for the provision of accommodation to staff of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

    Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami disclosed these when they briefed State House correspondents at the end of the weekly council meeting.

    The meet was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.

    According to Sambo, the NRC equipment are specifically meant for the Kano-Maradi rail line connecting Nigeria and neighbouring Niger Republic.

    He said: A memorandum presented by the Ministry was on behalf of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

    The memorandum sought councils consideration and approval for the award of contract for the procurement of rolling stock operation and maintenance equipment for Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.

    The contract was awarded to a company that is also the contractor handling the railway project in the sum of 984,722,302.05 dollars inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with a completion period of four years.

    He also disclosed that the council approved over N510 million for the supply of customised Fire Service Vehicles for the Nigerian Ports Authority.

    The Federal Ministry of Transportation also presented a memo to the council on behalf of two of its agencies.

    The first agency was the Nigerian Ports Authority which sought to provide for the award of contract for the construction.

    And supply of four customised Fire Service search and rescue vans for extrication of accident victims for Rivers Ports, Port Harcourt, Lagos Port Complex, Tin Can Island Port and Marina Headquarters all in Lagos.

    The Council considered the memorandum and approved the award of the contract as recommended and reviewed by the Bureau of Public Procurement in the sum of N510, 934,600 million inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with a completion period of nine months, he said.

    On his part, the Minister of Justice said the Council approved N5 billion for the construction of residential accommodation for officers and men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

    According to the minister, this has become necessary because to further secure the lives and property of personnel of the agency, who have been making tremendous success in the fight against drug cartels and barons.

    He said: As you are aware, there has been renewed and sustained onslaught by the NDLEA against drug cartels and barons. Within the three quarters of 2023, about 18, 940 arrests were affected by the NDLEA and indeed drugs worth an estimated value of over N40 billion were confiscated.

    The successes that were recorded unfortunately translated to unprecedented threats and attacks on personnel; the officers, men and other ranks of the agency.

    Thus, the need has arisen for the Nigerian government to consider the possibility of taking security measures that will now provide the desired protection to officers and men of the NDLEA.

    He further revealed that the council gave approval for the construction of two categories of barracks totalling 192 flats.

    Accordingly, two contracts were awarded to two different contractors. The first one is for the construction of barracks comprising a total 92 units of three bedroom semi-detached flats for Narcotics Superintendents and Narcotics Assistant Superintendents at the cost of N2, 267, 785, 450.83.

    The second contract was in the sum of N2, 889, 480, 320. 55 for the construction of barracks comprising a total 100 units of two and three bedroom semi-detached flats for Narcotics Superintendents and Narcotics Agents, he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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    Cleric admonishes Nigerians to let go of negativity

    Some pilgrims at the wailing wal

    By Bridget Ikyado

    Rev. Peter Mutong, the spiritual leader of Nigerian Pilgrims currently in Jordan, has admonished Nigerians to let go of negativity for the good of the country.

    Mutong made the appeal in Gedera, Jordan when he led the pilgrims in prayer during a tour of holy sites in that country.

    He said it was important to shun negative spirits and embrace God for a new beginning in life as individuals and a country.

    Quoting the Book of Matthew 8:28-34, he said Gedera was where Jesus cast out demons from two mad men who bowed to the power of God.

    He said that the situation was akin to Nigerias present condition, which required all citizens to embrace God and work positively to overcome the countrys current challenges.

    You can wake up today and say, I will shun corruption, do the right thing. And as you worship and pray, it will be done, Mutong added.

    He urged Christians to pray and let go of negative spirits, as they would also be tired and bow to pressure as we pray and seek Gods help.

    According to him, the scripture has a special purpose for Nigerians; as such all citizens must pray against spirits that cause confusion and wrong acts in the society.

    Let us pray to have can-do spirit with positive mindset that will provoke us to do the right things, promote peace and unity, national development and uplift our religious lives.

    I believe everyone can have a new beginning, and I hope that re-starting will help you to overcome any obstacle or dead-end you may be facing, Mutong said.

    Meanwhile, one of the pilgrims from Kaduna State, Miss Oninye Mezie said that the pilgrimage was a spiritual reawakening for them.

    According to her, many of the pilgrims have had their spiritual life uplifted and ready to impact others positively upon their return to Nigeria.

    Mezie said, I realised that Jacobs river where Jacob had called his brother Esau for peace and reconciliation is the same place he encountered God.

    Also, I learnt that it is good to forgive, as doing so draws us closer to God.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ninth batch of Christian pilgrims from Nigeria are currently in Jordan and will later proceed to Israel for visits to more holy sites.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

    Source: NAN News

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    NOUN introduces e-ticketing to ease students challenges, marks 20th anniversary

    National Open University of Nigeria

    By Emmanuel Afonne

    The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has introduced e-ticketing platform ahead of its 20th anniversary slated for March 25.

    The Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, said in Abuja that the platform was introduced to resolve challenges encoutered by students real-time.

    This helps us track the students challenges , he said.

    Peters noted that the institution had achieved so much in ensuring that Nigerians irrespective of their tight schedule, obtain quality education.

    He said that 28,740 students would be graduating on Saturday as part of activities for the anniversary.

    The university want to use the opportunity to showcase what it has achieved especially its exploits during the COVID-19 era.

    We have 21,339 undergraduates and 7,101 postgraduates students graduating.

    Among this number are 58 inmates out of which seven are postgraduate graduands.

    We have 14 centres in our prisons and we have been mandated to expand it.

    In all, we have 28,740 students graduating during our 12th convocation, Peters said.

    He disclosed that the graduating inmates were under scholarship adding that there were criteria to be among the beneficiaries.

    Peters said the gesture was NOUNs own way of discharging its corporate social responsibilty to help the inmates lead a normal life after leaving the correctional centres.

    He added that the first female Vice-chancellor of University of South Africa (UNISA), Prof. Puleng LenkaBula, would be attending the convocation as the guest lecturer.

    Students of the five study centres in Abuja, first class and Masters students will come to the headquarters for the convocation, while others outside Abuja will join from the study centres in their various states.

    We have 141,000 active students and about 250,000, when you combine active and inactive students with 118 study centres nationwide. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

    Source: NAN News

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    Hoodlums set court ablaze in Ebonyi

    Hoodlums set court ablaze in Ebonyi

    By Christian Ogbonna

    Hoodlums suspected to be political thugs have set ablaze a state High Court in Owutu-Edda, Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

    Mrs Oluchi Uduma, the Registrar of the court confirmed the incident to newsmen in Owutu-Edda on Tuesday.

    She said that the hoodlums invaded the court on Tuesday and set the building ablaze.

    Uduma explained that the court building, documents and other valuables were completely burnt.

    The Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government Area, Mr Chima Nkama also confirmed the incident, adding that the matter was reported to the police. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Auwalu Birnin Kudu/Maharazu Ahmed

    Source: NAN News

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    Adamawa guber: NCWS sues for peace, justice

    By Justina Auta

    The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has stressed the need for peace and justice to prevail over the governorship election in Adamawa State.
    The National President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Adamu-Lau, made the call on Monday at a news briefing in Abuja.
    Adamu-Lau urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release the Adamawa state governorship result and ensure that the will of the people prevailed.
    She said that the call became necessary to ease tension that was currently building in the state.
    We want the umpire to uphold the election guidelines and do everything possible to ensure that the result is not manipulated.
    The people have spoken through their votes, it should be allowed to stand, she said.
    She said the council was monitoring the progress and know that the exercise was postponed to enable verification of the results from Fufore Local Government Area.
    We want INEC to do the needful and release the result for peace to prevail in the state.
    I urged INEC to ensure justice in collating the results before the declaration, she said.
    Lami said that the Nigerian Women still had faith in INEC to do the needful and and ensure that justice prevailed.
    Also speaking, Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, stressed the need to end all forms of injustices, violence against women and rape to the Nation s democracy.
    Tallen, represented by the Senior Special Assistant, Technical, Mrs. Jummai Idomije, said: We must get it right this time.
    Enough is enough. Nigerian women believe in the capability of INEC to release a just result so that Nigerian women can have a voice in national development.
    NAN reports that various women groups were in attendance to show solidarity to the APC Adamawa State governorship candidate, Sen. Aisha Binani. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

    Edited by Ben Ezugwu/Isaac Aregbesola

    Source: NAN News

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    AEDC working to restore power to Bwari and environs in Abuja

    Electricity power station

    By Constance Athekame

    The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) says it is working with stakeholders to restore power supply to Bwari and environs.

    The Management of AEDC, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the power outage, currently being experienced in Bwari and environs, was due to technical fault on the feeder serving the area.

    The management of AEDC wishes to notify its esteemed customers in Abuja, Bwari Town, Ushafa Town, Dutse, Jigo, Kuduru, Kuchiko, Bmuko, Garam, Kogo., Veritas University and environs that the power outage they are currently experiencing is due to a technical fault on the feeder serving their areas.

    All responsible stakeholders are currently working hard to restore the power supply soonest, it said.

    The company said that it regret any inconveniences caused by the outrage. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Vincent Obi

    Source: NAN News

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    Parents, teachers and the burden of children with special needs

    Some of the children with special needs

    Parents, teachers and the burden of children with special needs

    By Aderogba George, News Agency of Nigeria

    As the world marks the 2023 World Down Syndrome Day, many parents are encumbered with how to tackle the challenges of children with special needs.

    According the United Nations (UN) estimates that globally the incidence of Down syndrome is between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide

    A UN report furthers says that yearly, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with this chromosome disorder.

    It is against this background that in December 2011, the UN General Assembly declared that with effect from March 21 it will mark the World Down Syndrome Day.

    The aim is to raise public awareness of Down syndrome and galvanise international organisations, governments and the civil society to address the challenges of those suffering from the syndrome.

    The joy of every parent is to see his/her child compete favorably with other children either in school, sporting activities or any other activities that could make them feel fulfilled.

    Teachers on the other hand derive satisfaction in putting in their best to ensure they do not only meet the expectations of parents but also bring out the best in the child.

    Teachers unlike parents are usually saddled with the responsibility of seeing the needs of children and being able to tackle such pronto.

    This is why children with special challenges or children with special needs are often at the receiving end of parents getting to understand their plight and the appropriate measure to address such need.

    Children with such special needs include; Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral palsy and learning disability which are categorised as neuro-divergent children, while the non-challenged are neuro-typical children.

    The confusion of where to place these children with such challenges is often a recurring decimal among parents, who lack the requisite sensitivity to understand how to address such needs with the necessary school environment.

    Mr Philip Akpa, Chairman, Parents Teachers Progressive Forum, Safehost International Academic, Kurudu, Abuja said some proprietresses have taken up such challenges of creating the right environment to meet the social and educational needs of such children.

    He said instead of locking up their children with special needs in rooms, parents should find the appropriate place that could help confront such challenges develop mentally and academically.

    Akpa, said Safehost International Academy is one of the schools addressing the need by providing the right atmosphere for the children to compete with other children in the conventional school.

    He said the proprietress thought it wise to have a school where children with neuro-divergent childrens needs could particularly melt.

    According to him, the children are taught according to their needs, adding that the idea was to encourage inclusiveness, including the deaf and dumb and other disabilities.

    There are courses for you, there are sign languages that they teach them there and other languages they communicate with these children and they understand, he said.

    He enjoined parents to always ensure that experts handled their wards with special needs.

    Ngozi Belolisa, Executive Director of the school, the society should embrace advocacy and inclusiveness for children with special needs.

    Advocacy is talking about what the typical children can do and what the divergent children can do vis-a-vis with their strength and what they can handle, she said.

    Some of the school had always encouraged the students to take sports as they help to develop their mental abilities.

    The synchronisation of sporting activities in the school is actually deliberate, this is to help them to retain, as they are learning they are looking, Belolisa said.

    Mrs Biboara Yinkere, Convener of the Engraced Ones, an NGO, that caters for children with special needs said with the right education and parenting, such children could become productive members of the society.

    Yinkere, who is also the Director of School of Grace, a special needs school and the Gracelane Miracle Inclusive School, also in Kurudu, said she disability should not be seen as an encumbrance to productivity.

    People with disabilities can thrive, we know of the Paralympians in Nigeria that are doing very well. Here, the neuro-typical children are brought together in a bid to help strengthen their resolve.

    We also bring them together to foster friendship, to break down the wall of discrimination and segregation, she said.

    The Federal Government said it is aware of the plight of children with special needs and will do everything it can to help them develop into citizens that will contribute their quota to the development of the country.

    Now more than ever, we need to come together to support each other, and remember our most vulnerable populations, Malam Muhammad Musa the minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT said.

    He spoke during a visit to Brain Bloom Centre, Abuja which is dedicated to the care of children with special needs.

    As the world once again marks this years edition of the day of down syndrome, experts urge the authorities and every stakeholder to match words with action and fast-track efforts towards making life more enjoyable and meaning for children with special needs. (NANFeatures) (www.nannews.ng)

    **If used please credit the writer and News Agency of Nigeria.

    Source: NAN News

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    Mothering Sunday: Chellaz School hails womens roles in societal development
    By Taiye Olayemi

    Chellaz Schools on Monday celebrated Mothering Sunday, commending mothers for their efforts toward societal development and nation building.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Mothering Sunday is usually celebrated every March 19 every year.

    It is a celebration honouring the mothers of the family, motherhood, maternal bonds as well as their influence on the society.

    Speaking during the celebration in Lagos, Mrs Adenike Johnson, Proprietress of the school, said mothers have been able to position themselves as great pillars of support to their wards.

    She appreciated their various contributions to the growth of their children which are rubbing off positively on societal development.

    She advised mothers on healthy living and regular checkup as they advance in age.

    We want to appreciate our mothers, here present. You have been great sources of inspiration to these children and we appreciate this as a school that is interested in raising healthy and responsible children.

    We appreciate your timely response to their needs.

    I want us to pay attention to healthy living and take regular checkup seriously. We all need these so that we can keep being healthy to raise these children as well as enjoy our health, she said.

    Also, Mrs Modupe Lawal, one of the parents, urged mothers to always cultivate the habit of making their children their confidants.
    Lawal spoke on the need for mothers to communicate, effectively, with their children which also entailed giving absolute attention to them while they speak.

    She commended the school for the systematic way in which knowledge and discipline were instilled on the pupils.

    Lawal also advised the school management on ensuring the children were taught the African culture of respect.

    Another parent, Mrs Arinola Fowowe, a businesswoman, advised mothers not to relent in their responsibility of engaging their wards on sex education early enough.

    Fowowe noted that this would guide them against molestation so as not to truncate their bright future. (NAN) (nannews.ng)

    Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

    Source: NAN News

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    Monalisa Foundation celebrates womens achievements, contributions
    Sumaila Ogbaje

    Arise Monalisa Foundation (AMF) an NGO, says all is set to celebrate female entrepreneurs, who are breaking forth in a male dominated industry from diverse fields, to mark the 2023 International Womens Day.

    Founder of AMF, Monalisa Chinda, who said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja, added that the foundation would be celebrating achievements and contributions of women to the country development.

    Chinda said that other activities planned for the celebration of the IWD included reaching out to the less privileged ones and equally celebrating men folks who supported women agenda.

    She said that the foundation had rolled out an event Tagged Equity versus Equality, Redefining Gender Roles, to celebrate the history of women in the society.

    According to her, the event which will take place on Sunday, March 26, is billed to celebrate 2023 IWD, and also Womens History Month.

    She said with the sub theme Embracing Equity (Empower One Woman Empower Generations), preceding the event was a Green Carpet session, followed by the main event at the Envoy Hotel Abuja.

    Highlights of the event will include Networking Session, Charity Event, and Product Showcase and services.

    This significant occasion will be celebrating female entrepreneurs from diverse fields who are breaking forth in a male dominated industry.

    However, theres a twist to this remarkable event as it will also celebrate male folks, she said.

    According to her, the foundation will also be celebrating men who have embraced their feminism sides and are proudly strutting their stuff in otherwise female dominated industries.

    And, at the end of this event, we will be reaching out to the less privileged ones.

    We are banking on the support of the friends and stakeholders of the foundation to donate food items, money, clothing, books and anything that you have that you are no longer using, she said.

    Chinda said that IWD had occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people.

    acco4ding to her, today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

    Arise Monalisa Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation founded by veteran multi award-winning actress, TV Show Host and Humanist, Monalisa Chinda.

    Its mission is to inspire hope, promote creativity and create opportunities. It has over the years, actively worked in association with other well-meaning organisations to provide empowerment initiatives for indigent women, youths and children in Nigeria.(NAN) ()


    Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

    Source: NAN News

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    Elections: 6 missing as gunmen attack INEC officials in Kogi
    By Thompson Yamput

    Six persons are allegedly feared missing when unknown gunmen attacked six Hummer Buses carrying INEC officials in Kogi in the early hours of Sunday.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Sunday that the incident, which occurred around 2 a.m of March 19 at Abajana, left several officials with gun shot wounds including policemen and drivers.

    The six missing persons include two serving NYSC corps members and four ex- youth corps members.

    The injured persons are already on admission at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), now Federal University Teaching Hospital, Lokoja.

    Mr Salisu Ibrahim, one of the bus drivers, who was shot on his right leg, and recuperating at the hospital, told NAN that the attackers took them by surprise.

    We were on our way back to Lokoja from Abujor RAC with the results of the House of Assembly election held there, when we were attacked by some people.

    All the six buses moving in a convoy were attacked and in the process many of us sustained injuries.

    Thank God, none of us died in the process but I learnt some youth corps members are missing during the attack on us this early morning, Ibrahim narrated.

    Mr Dare Owofadaju, a youth corps member who was shot on his left thigh, said: It is only God that kept us alive considering the way and manner the gunmen attacked us.

    Owofadaju said that the election was conducted peacefully and counting was completed, and it was when we were returning to Lokoja that we were attacked at Abajana.

    Thank God some security operatives came to our rescue and rushed those of us injured to this Federal University Teaching Hospital Lokoja for immediate treatment, he narrated.

    NAN also gathered that the Commander, Headquarters Command Army Records (CAR), Maj-Gen. Sunday Igbinomwanhia, Kogi INEC REC, Dr Hale Longpet, and the Kogi NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Mofoluwaso Williams, have visited the injured in the hospital.

    The REC and the state NYSC coordinator declined to respond to NAN enquiries on the incident.

    But the Spokesman of Kogi Police Command, SP Williams Ovye-Aya, confirmed the incident, saying that the police was on top of the situation.

    We are aware of the sad incident and preparing to issue a statement on the attack, he said. (NAN)

    Edited by Benson Iziama/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

    Source: NAN News

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    Makinde floors Folarin, others emerges governor-elect in Oyo

    Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

    By David Adeoye
    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Gov. Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the March 18 governorship election in Oyo State.

    Prof. Adebayo Bamire, the State Returning Officer, also the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, made the declaration on Sunday at the INEC State Headquarters in Ibadan.

    Makinde floored his closet rival, a serving Senator, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC), having won in 31 local government areas of the state, leaving only two to his opponents.

    Bamire declared that Makinde polled 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Folarin, who scored 256,685 votes.

    The Returning Officer, declaring the final results, said, Seyi Makinde having polled the highest number of votes in the election, was returned elected as Governor of Oyo State.

    He, also, said that the candidate of Accord, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, came third with 38,357 votes.

    While Makinde won in 31 local government areas, Folarin won in Irepo and Orelope Local Governments.

    In his reactions, Makinde said he was overwhelmed.

    He, therefore, thanked the people of the state for the confidence reposed in his administration.

    Makinde also thanked his friends, political associates and everyone that supported his aspiration in one way or the other.

    He promised to work harder for the people of the state in his second tenure.

    NAN reports that 16 registered political parties contested the governorship election in the state, some of the candidates, however, dropped their ambition few days to the election, to align with either of the three main contenders.

    The margin of defeat is 307,071 votes.(NAN)

    Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

    Source: NAN News

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    ECA report urges Africa to tackle poverty, social inequality

    Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) logo

    By Lucy Ogalue

    The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), says many African countries are struggling to meet the continents development goals due to the impact of severe and mutually reinforcing shocks.

    Mr Adam Elhiraika, ECAs Director, Macroeconomic Policy Division, in a statement said the continent encountered severe developmental challenges due to increased poverty, high inequality rates and lack of decent jobs.

    Elhiraika said that the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukrainian war and resultant food and energy crisis, rising inflation, debt tightening, and natural disasters were critical factors to the challenge.

    The director said this while presenting an overview of recent Economic and Social Conditions in Africa at the ongoing meeting of experts.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was held to herald the 2023 Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Ethiopia.

    According to the Report, growth in Africa dwindled from 4.6 per cent in 2021 to 3.6 per cent in 2022.

    In 2022, an additional 18 million new poor emerged in Africa, with more than half the highest proportion of the worlds poor at 54.8 per cent.

    This is alarming because 546 million people were living in poverty in 2022, which is more than half of the continents population, Elhiraika said.

    According to the director, women and girls remain particularly vulnerable, and the continent is facing a potential reversal of the hard-won gains made on gender equity.

    He said another challenge stressed during the meeting was inequality which remained pervasive across all African sub-regions and was exceptionally high in Southern Africa.

    Among the top ten countries where wealth inequality is the highest, seven of them, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Angola and Malawi, are in Southern Africa.

    While two are in west Africa, Guinea-Bissau, and Sao Tome.

    ECA estimates that although the economic outlook remains bleak, Africa is anticipated to grow by 3.9 per cent in 2023, he said.

    Elhiraika said the commission had cautioned that the growth might experience headwinds.

    Especially with an unfavourable external environment created by the recession in both the United States and the Eurozone and expected to weigh on commodity prices, he said.

    Fostering recovery and transformation in Africa to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities is the theme of the ongoing meeting in Addis Ababa.

    At the meeting, countries were urged to pursue pro-poor and inclusive macroeconomic policies and ensure access to affordable and innovative finance for an inclusive recovery. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

    Source: NAN News

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    Lawmaker says orientation key to tackle voter

    By Itohan Abara-Laserian/Stellamaris Ashinze and Millicent Ifeanyichukwu

    A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Temitope Adewale, representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 01, has identified orientation as a means of curbing voter apathy in the country.

    Adewale, who was seeking re-election, gave the advice on Saturday against the backdrop of the governorship and house of assembly elections and the poor turnout recorded during the exercise.

    According to him, a lot of youths still fail to understand the full import of the elections.

    I have also realised that it is on the election day that we have our youth doing their own inter-house sports, that is when they decide to play football on the street.

    You know, it is a Saturday and you will be surprised that most of them do not even have Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), so they are not engineered to go out and vote, he said.

    Adewale stressed the need for more enlightenment of such youth on the reasons why they have to exercise their franchise.

    He also expressed displeasure that the actual people that turned out to vote was a far cry from the number of PVCs collected in Lagos.

    It is saddening because it is less than 10 per cent; movingforward, we need to continue to orientate our youth to get them involved in carrying outtheir civic responsibility, he said.

    Adewale also berated the propagation of ethnicity and religious bigotry by some people during elections, saying these had no place in politics.

    We should focus on what can be delivered in terms of the dividends of democracy to the people rather than going to religion and everything, he said, while also kicking againstpromoting the ethnic card.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the polls witnessed low turn out in many areas of the state. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

    Source: NAN News

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    Buhari to electorate: Vote your preferred candidate
    By Ismaila Chafe

    President Muhammadu Buhari has cast his vote at polling unit 003, Sarkin Yara A in Daura, Katsina State, with a call to electorate to vote for their preferred candidates even if politicians tried to offer them money.

    The president, who briefly spoke to newsmen both in English and Hausa languages after casting his vote on Saturday, said his administration had been preaching against vote-buying and monetisation of politics, calling on politicians to desist from such acts.

    If they (politicians) still give you money, collect, but vote for your preferred candidates, Buhari maintained.
    He again thanked the electorate for trusting the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections where the partys candidate, Sen. Bola Tinubu, emerged winner.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president, who cast his vote at about 9.55 a.m, refused to openly display his ballot paper as he did during the Feb. 25 Presidential election. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Salif Atojoko

    Source: NAN News

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    2023 Polls most credible, transparent  Lai Mohammed
    By Rotimi Ijikanmi

    The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has described the 2023 polls as one of the most transparent and credible ever held in the country.

    The minister said this on Saturday in his home town, Oro, near Ilorin Kwara while speaking with newsmen after casting his vote in the Governorship and State Assembly election.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister voted at about 9.45 a.m. at Polling Unit 006, Oro Ward 2 in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.

    Justifying his assertion, the minister saidthe introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was a game changer in tackling the issues of multiple accreditations, voting and rigging.

    With what I have observed both in the February 25 and todays elections, there has been a remarkable improvement in the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

    Without any doubt, the introduction of BVAS has been a game changer in the sense that with BVAS, you are able to get the actual number of people who are accredited.

    Also with BVAS, it is now not possible for you to vote twice because your biometric and facial are captured.

    That explained why though INEC said there were 84 million voters in Nigeria, the last election showed that only about 24 million people cast their votes, he said.

    The minister said, in spite of the obvious improvements in the electoral process, he was worried about the red herring that trailed the outcomes of the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assemblies elections.

    He said most of the issues being raised about the credibility of INEC in conducting the polls were distractive.

    According to the minister, the electoral law does not recognises electronic voting while the decision of a federal high court in Abuja gives INEC the power to determine the manner it collates and transmits election results.

    Mohammed said he was happy that some of the aggrieved parties in the concluded elections had approached the court to ventilate their grievances.

    He, however, berated the activities of some non-state actors making analysis and propositions which he said were incendiary and injurious to the harmonious and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria.

    The minister said the activities of some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had also been very unhelpful because many of them came out to unjustifiably discredit INEC and set one ethnic and religion against the other

    He said the media should also be circumspect of what they report on the elections and must show professionalism in discharge of their duties.

    What we noticed is that some media houses had taken position for one candidate and this makes rubbish of most of the analysis we see on their platforms, he said.

    The minister said the regulators of the media, particularly the broadcast media were doing their best by issuing warnings and fines where applicable.

    He said many of the broadcast stations that were fined had refused to comply and pay up but dared the regulator.

    He said the intention of the broadcast stations was to provoke the regulator to shut down their stations and by so doing labeling the government of stifling press freedom.

    The minister assured that the regulators would not rest on their oars in the discharge of their constitutional duty of ensuring that the right things were done in the media industry. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

    Source: NAN News

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    NCWS tasks Nigerians on violence-free polls

    NCWS National President, Hajiya Lami Lau

    By Dorcas Jonah

    The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called on Nigerians to ensure peaceful atmosphere during the governorship and Houses of Assembly Elections.

    The national president of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, made the call in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

    She urged women and youths to come out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility and not to be intimidated during the polls.

    Lau urged youths to denounce violence during and after the elections, adding that the Presidential and National Assembly elections recorded some decree of violence in some states.

    I want Nigerians to stand united against violence and activities that will jeopardise the elections.

    I advise all Nigerians, specifically women and youths, to work together towards free and fair elections regardless of party affiliations.

    As women, we are the worst hit in times of violence; our collective goal should be a better Nigeria, she said.

    Lau discouraged Nigerians from engaging in vote-buying and selling or mortgaging their conscience and future for mundane things.

    She advised youths against being used by selfish politicians to disrupt elections as thugs or engaging in other unpatriotic activities.

    According to her no nation can move forward without active participation of women in politics.

    If we must move the country forward we must position women to contribute meaningfully to national development.

    Leadership must be inclusive, creating equal opportunities for women to function in key positions both at the federal and state levels, she said.

    This, she said represents the best practices and standards for sustainable development, gender equity and justice.

    It cannot be denied that the democracy practiced in Nigeria for many years has not met the full ideals because of its lack of inclusion of women in important decision making processes.

    For Nigerian women, democracy is seen as retrogressing with the dwindling number of women in governance in Nigeria.

    However, not voting will not only worsen the situation, but tactically widen the gender gap in politics and leadership hence women are advised to go all out and support every female candidate, she said.

    Lau said that voting women into elective positions will greatly enhance the quality of lives of women in terms of healthcare, agriculture, procurement, business; access to funds, grants and loans.

    She called on the public to support INEC and urged the commission to be open to comments from Nigerians that would help in achieving its set objectives.

    Edited by Abdulfatai Beki/Uche Anunne

    Source: NAN News

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    World Sleep Day: If you cant sleep, find out why  Neurologist

    Woman enjoying her sleep

    By Joy Odigie

    Prof. Frank Imarhiagbe, a Consultant Neurologist, has advised Nigerians going through sleepless nights to seek medical care instead of resorting to sleeping pills.

    Imarhiagbe, a consultant at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Benin.

    The consultant, who spoke on the occasion of the 2023 World Sleep Day, said that taking drugs like Valium and Lexotan were not remedy for sleeplessness.

    He said, If you cant sleep, something must be underlining. Going to take pills to sleep is not the answer to your problem.

    if you cant sleep for a night or two, consult a doctor to help you find out the cause of the sleeplessness.

    Find the cause, dont resort to Valium, Lexotan; you are postponing the evil day and compounding the problem, he said.

    The Neurologist said that there were different causes of lack of sleep, which include disturbed mind, drug abuse, medical condition, psychiatric illness, abusing sleeping pills and genetic condition.

    According to him, sleep is the brain-controlled natural unconsciousness that is timed and fixed.

    Sleep is not optional, it is a basic requirement to maintain life. It is usually regulated to the night time according to the bodys biological clock.

    When the sun begins to set, some chemicals are released to the brain that tells the body that it is time to sleep; when you are at sleep the body rearranges itself for the next day.

    He advised people who do night shifts to always make up for the sleep loss by sleeping during the day, noting that sleep is essential for healthy living.

    Imarhiagbe also recommended good sleep hygiene, including keeping television set and reading tables away from the bedroom.

    The bedroom should be made comfortable for sleeping; avoid too bright lights, put cell phones off the bed and have a good sleeping position.

    NAN reports that World Sleep Day is an annual event that is held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox (The Spring Vernal Equinox occurs on March 20th or 21st of every year) with the 2023 celebration falling on March 17.

    The theme for the 2023 World Sleep Day is Sleep is Essential for health.

    The day aims to reduce the burden of sleep disorders on society by promoting better prevention and management. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Auwalu Birnin Kudu/Oluwole Sogunle

    Source: NAN News

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    Global Terrorism Index: Centre calls for action against organised crime

    Global Terrorism Index 2022

    By Emmanuel Afonne

    The Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) has called for enhanced stakeholders actions to stem the rising terrorism and crimes following the release of the 2022 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report.

    The index developed by the Institute for Economics

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    Elections: CP Adeoye reassures residents, warns trouble makers in Anambra

    CP Aderemi Adeoye, the Commissioner of Police in charge of House of Assembly election duty in Anambra

    By Chimezie Anaso

    Residents of Anambra have been asked to turn out en masse to participate in the State House of Assembly elections on Saturday without fear.

    CP Aderemi Adeoye, the Commissioner of Police in charge of House of Assembly election duty in Anambra, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday.

    Adeoye said that the Command and other sister security agencies had been fully mobilised and were ready to ensure hitch-free elections.

    He said no fewer than 7,000 personnel made up of a combined team of Police, Army, and other agencies would be on duty in the build up, during and after the polls.

    The police commissioner urged voters to go out peacefully and carry out their civic duties without fear, as the security agencies would be there for them.

    Fortunately, the situation at the moment is calm, environment is conducive and security is ready; all the agencies involved are set.

    The Police in particular is fully mobilised to provide security for all and sundry taking part in the elections.

    We already have Police stations and formations in all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state; with the support of other sister agencies, we are going to have a presence in all polling units with teams on standby to respond to situations.

    We are going to give the people of Anambra a secure environment and space to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and conducive atmosphere, he said.

    Adeoye said the personnel had been advised to be civil while providing security, but warned that the force would be firm and decisive in dealing with any breach.

    The police commissioner said the security operation would also cover cross-border incursion.

    Those who wish to foment trouble should think twice, they should better be in their best behaviours so that they will be alive to tell the story, he warned. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

    Source: NAN News

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