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     NCPC boss enjoins pilgrims to practice good culture of Holy Land in Nigeria

    By Bridget Ikyado

    Rev. Yakubu Pam, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) has advised Pilgrims to practice and share the good culture they got from the Holy Land in Nigeria.

    Pam made the call at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja while receiving the first batch of Christian pilgrims who left Abuja on June 15, to Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan.

    Pam said that the testimonies of the pilgrims have been fantastic.

    The Pilgrims are excited about their experiences in both pilgrimage destinations, Israel and Jordan.

    The NCPC boss commended the active role played by the medical team, the spiritual leaders and the pilgrimage managers for coordinating an excellent exercise.

    He affirmed that the 360 pilgrims, who left the country all came back complete without a record of absconding.

    He prayed that the same testimony would be said of subsequent batches.

    Pam advised the Pilgrims to go back home and share their experiences with people around them.

    He urged them to spread the good news of Christ with what they had heard, seen and also touched with their hands.

    He told them to be good ambassadors of Christ and good citizens of our great country Nigeria.

    The NCPC helmsman also intimated that the exercise was ongoing and hopefully would be rounded off in September.

    In his remarks, the Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Dabara Audu expressed his joy for the safe return of the first batch of pilgrims for the 2021 main pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan.

    Audu said that all pilgrims went there for the real purpose of it and not for any other transaction and tourism or any of sort.

    The numbers that went came back the same and in good health, he added.

    We are happy to be back and hope to make impactful change desired for our nation.

    Another Pilgrim, Chief Adetayo Haastrup, spokesman of the National Hospital Abuja, expressed happiness for a successful trip.

    He said the Pilgrims had the best reception, accommodation and meals.

    We were fed well both physically and spiritually. We prayed for peace and unity in Nigeria.

    He advised Nigerians to be more patient and observe orderliness wherever they found themselves.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the states that went with the first batch to Israel and Jordan are FCT and Bayelsa. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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     Group seeks more investment in road safety projects
    By Naomi Sharang

    A non-government organisation (NGO), GreenLight Initiative, has called on governments at all levels to invest in road safety projects in order to reduce the alarming rate of road traffic crashes across the country.

    Executive Director of the group, Mr Simon Obi, made the call at an event held in Abuja on Saturday.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, tagged: Introduction to Road Safety: Advocacy for Youth Involvement in Road Safety was organised, in collaboration with Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

    Obi noted that more than 80 per cent of economic activities relied on road transportation, adding that government needed to make roads safe in order to boost the countrys economy.

    Government should invest in road safety, as it is an improvement in the economy.

    We cannot do without the road. An improvement in road safety is an improvement in the sustainability of the growth of any country s economy.

    We all use the road for almost everything: to go to work; market and school. If we improve investment in road safety, then our economy will improve; the standard of living will also improve, he said.

    Obi quoted a recent World Bank report which stated that countries that did not invest in road safety lost three to seven per cent of their annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    He also called on government to implement the policy for road safety inclusion in schools curriculum, especially for primary and secondary schools.

    That policy hasnt been effective. So we are advocating for full implementation and strong policy backing from the government and strong investment in the policy to make it work, Obi said.

    Also speaking, Coordinator of YALI, Abuja network, Mr Okafor Innocent, said that YALI was a group of young persons focusing on civic engagement, entrepreneurship and public management.

    It is an initiative of the US Department to raise future African leaders, he said.

    Okafor called on government through the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to create more awareness on the various traffic codes to tackle the menace of road traffic crashes. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Wale Sadeeq

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     NUPRC to issue licences to successful marginal field awardees Tuesday
    By Emmanuella Anokam

    The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) says it will issue Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPL) to successful awardees of Marginal Fields in the 2020 Bid Round on Tuesday.

    Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive Officer, NUPRC, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PPL is expected to ensure that the awardees contribute to the countrys increased crude oil production capacity which currently stood around 1.4 million barrels per day.

    The country had in recent times failed to meet the 1.799 million barrels per day capacity allocated to it by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and hopes that it exceeds that allotted capacity soon.

    Komolafe said the licencing would be conducted in pursuant to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

    He said that the Commission had in March informed all participants in the 2020 marginal field bid round programme that it had put all necessary machinery in place to conclude the bid round exercise in line with the PIA 2021.

    Komolafe also said that the commission would unveil the implementation template for the Host Communities Development Trust for commencement of the provisions under Section 235 of the PIA.

    This, he said, was to positively impact against restiveness in the host communities, and in the process guarantee seamless operations, boost investors confidence and provide enabling environment for sustainable development of the countrys hydrocarbon resources.

    These will mark the conclusion of some of the most urgent and critical tasks inherited by the Commission when it was inaugurated in October 2021, after the signing into law of the PIA 2021, he said.

    He added that the Commission constituted an in-house team to distill and address the concerns of awardees with a view to settling issues affecting multiple awardees per asset and formation of Special Purpose Vehicles by awardees, in line with the respective letters of award.

    Komolafe, therefore, urged awardees to avail themselves of the resolution mechanism provided by the Commission in the overriding national interest. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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     GSS Kuje set 2001 donates study materials to alma mater
    By Angela Atabo

    Set 2001 graduates of Government Secondary School (GSS) Kuje, Abuja, on Saturday donated study materials to their alma mater.

    The Chairman, Set 2001, Mr Zakari Ahmed, while presenting the items on behalf of his mates, said the gesture was in commemoration of the sets 21st anniversary of graduation.

    Ahmed said that the community of former students was established to utilise the benefits of bond and social capital to contribute to nation building and give back to the school community that made them.

    He said the group had in the past, marked its anniversaries by supporting the students of GSS Kuje with over 500 customised exercise books.

    He added that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group reached out to Pasali and Shetiko communities in Kuje with food items where over 50 households benefited.

    We equally visited an orphanage in Kuje where we donated food items, and this years anniversary, we decided to support learning by donating 50 desks and chairs to the school.

    Truth be told, we are counting memories of long nights of studying for exams, sports games, jocks in our locker rooms and classes, senior-junior students mentorship, teachers-students mentorship.

    Today, our hearts are knitted with the euphoria of fulfillment that our hopes as students have been birthed into realities.

    We are resolute in our resolve to procure comforts and conveniences that will create conducive learning environment; provide career guide to students and offer the best representation of this school in all our duty posts.

    Ahmed further called on the school management and other old students to create a forum where the school problems would be communicated so they could be attended to.

    He expressed the groups gratitude to the principals, teaching and non-teaching staff, whose collective resilience strewn dreams into realities.

    We are transformed because of your commitment to impact in us the virtues of our various endeavours. We are celebrated because you trained and instructed us.

    Responding, Dr Bello Gupa, the Principal of GSS Kuje, thanked the set on behalf of the school and FCT Secondary Education Board, for the gesture, adding that the school was in dire need of chairs.

    Thank you very much set 2001, the truth is that we are short of chairs; in fact, we have been thinking of what to do about it.

    Since I came, we have made about 600 chairs and year in year out, we keep on having shortage of seats.

    Now you have come to our aid and I think from now till the end of the term, our students will sit comfortably, he said

    One of the teachers who taught set 2001, Mr Dugule Hacks, thanked the group for the initiative, noting that such acts complements governments effort towards providing conducive learning environment.

    I want to say that I am proud to be part of a set like yours, continue to do what you are doing, continue to pray, continue to stick together; the almighty God will certainly bless you.

    We want to appreciate you all, for even remembering that we, in our own little ways, touched your lives; we appreciate you for looking back to say that where you have been trained deserve much more.

    Hacks advised youths to take the forefront in the affairs of the country by taking leadership positions and working hard for the good of the nation.

    In his remarks, Mr Ibrahim Abubakar, Head boy, set 2001 thanked the teachers for being so impactful, adding that God had been faithful to set 2001 for 21 years.

    About 21 years ago, we thought that we were being punished by our teachers but looking behind, we discovered that they molded us to become the best we are today, he said.

    Abubakar told the school to expect more of such gestures and also urged the students to emulate the good virtues of set 2001.

    The Head Girl of set 2001, Ms Grace Inuwa, also appreciated the teachers for their commitment towards ensuring that her mates became great men and women.

    You instilled in us character, and the determination to succeed, we realised that after the discipline comes the gift, she said

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlight of the event was the presentation of cash gifts to appreciate their teachers. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Chidinma Agu/Idris Abdulrahman

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     Okowa berates critics, urges them to visit Delta
    By Ifeanyi Olannye

    Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday berated his critics and urged them to come to Delta to assess the level of infrastructural development across the state.

    The governor gave the charge while addressing newsmen after inspecting the ongoing projects at the Dennis Osadebey University, Asaba.

    Okowa gave assurance that the university would wear a new look by December 2022, when the projects would have been completed.

    When people in Lagos and Abuja say that they are not seeing what we are doing, it is either that they dont come home or that they just want to be wicked in their ways.

    There is a lot going on in our three new universities and we are proud that we took this decision because the new universities have admitted no fewer than 5,000 students within one year of their approval.

    We have also commenced the construction of two hostel projects in the university to accommodate students and it will be useful to us during the National Sports Festival holding in Asaba in November, he said.

    On the N25 billion loan for oil palm farmers in the state, Okowa said that it was not a direct loan to the state government, adding that the government was only act as guarantor to the farmers.

    It is not a direct loan to the state government; its unfortunate what critics are saying because they need to be informed and if they had listened at the House of Assembly when it was brought before the lawmakers, the letter was very explicit.

    We have an economic team and when we are satisfied with a plan, we go through the State Executive Council and then to the House of Assembly for approval.

    We are only like a guarantor to the farmers, the oil palm farmers in the state. The loan is to the farmers but the state is acting as a guarantor to them.

    In Akwa-Ibom and Edo States, they have borrowed far more than what our people are asking for.

    This particular loan is from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the oil palm farmers association in Delta State for the development of about 17,700 hectares of oil palm.

    Its going to be monitored but somebody needed to guarantee it for them and that is just what we have done, Okowa said.

    On pensions, Okowa said that only eight states were currently running the Contributory Pension Scheme in the country as 16 states had exited.

    He said that the state government inherited a huge backlog of past services as a result of the pension scheme but was doing a lot to defray it.

    When we came into government in 2015, we were owing about N100 billion as past services or accrual services.

    We were able to investigate the sum and it eventually came down to about N88 billion and since then we have been paying N500 million monthly and we have paid over N36 billion over time.

    We have also made a provision of N20 billion from the proposed bridging finance to see what we can pay down for the past services, he said.

    On politics of 2023, the governor said that he would not leave any work undone and encouraged Nigerian youths to embrace the PDP, adding that Nigerians would gain from the success story of the Atiku-Okowa ticket.

    Here in Delta we have focused a lot on our youths and women because they are very important in this nation, he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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     Waldrum picks Ebi, Oshoala, Plumptre, 22 others for WAFCON
    Super Falcons Head Coach Randy Waldrum has picked team captain Onome Ebi and 24 other players to represent Nigeria at the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).

    Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a statement on Friday said the 25-player list was an interesting mix of the old guard and new blood.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the competition is scheduled for Morocco from July 2 to July 23.

    Veteran players Tochukwu Oluehi, Ebi, Rita Chikwelu, Osinachi Ohale, Francisca Ordega and Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene are on board.

    There are also defenders Ashleigh Plumptre, Nicole Payne and Michelle Alozie, midfielder Regina Otu and forwards Vivian Ikechukwu, Gift Monday and Ifeoma Onumonu, Olajire said.

    He however added that eight of the players who made the Falcons camp in Abuja were dropped.

    These are goalkeeper Rita Akarekor, defenders Chidinma Okeke, Ngozi Emenayo and Opeyemi Sunday, midfielders Suliat Abideen, Amanda Mbadi and Charity Adule, and forward Anam Imo.

    NAN reports that the Super Falcons will take on South Africas Banyana Banyana in their first match of the competition on July 4.

    They then take on Botswana on July 7 and Burundi on July 10.

    All the four semi-finalists at the competition in Morocco will qualify to represent Africa at the 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    NAN reports that the Falcons contingent will depart Nigeria for Morocco on Monday.

    SUPER FALCONS FULL LIST FOR MOROCCO 2022

    Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Tochukwu Oluehi (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera, Israel); Yewande Balogun (Coppermine United, U.S.)

    Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Santa Teresa FC, Spain); Onome Ebi (En Avant Guingamp, France); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain)

    Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, U.S.); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, U.S.); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens)

    Midfielders: Peace Efih (Kiryat Gat, Israel); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden); Toni Oyedupe Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus)

    Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden)

    Forwards: Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Vivian Ikechukwu (WFC Gintra, Lithuania); Chinonyerem Macleans (GSK Gornik Leczna, Poland)

    Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, U.S.); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Gift Monday (Bayelsa Queens). (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Olawale Alabi

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     Super Eagles skipper warns about fake social media accounts in his name
    By Polycarp Auta

    Super Eagles skipper Ahmed Musa on Friday advised Nigerians to be wary of and also stop patronising fake social media accounts created in his name.

    Musa said such fake accounts created on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms in his name were aimed at defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.

    Musa, in a statement released in Jos, added that some of these fake accounts were being used by criminal elements to defraud innocent people.

    He decried the activities of the fraudsters and said they were aimed at tarnishing his image, that of his football academy and agents.

    I wish to advise the general public not to engage anyone using fake Facebook, Twitter or any social media accounts in my name, my agents or representatives to discuss football or any financial transaction.

    The operators of such accounts have been deceiving and defrauding innocent people about a non-existent football academy and other deals, thereby bringing my name and integrity to disrepute.

    Members of the public are hereby advised that I dont run my football academy and Sports Centre online.

    The recruitment and engagement processes are never virtual and no one should request for money from them virtually, Musa added.

    He said it was therefore in the best interest of members of the public to verify every social media handle and information before being used as a cheap prey to swindlers.

    Musa, however, promised to use his activated cyber security agents to go after the fraudsters and ensure they were brought to justice.

    He listed his verifiable social media accounts as follows: Ahmed Musa MON on Facebook and @Ahmedmusa718 on Twitter. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Olawale Alabi

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     AfCFTA needs PPP to thrive  Saraki
    By Chiazo Ogbolu

    Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State for Transportation, has called for Public, Private Partnership (PPP) to create an enabling environment for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to thrive.

    Saraki made the call at the Ministerial Consultative Meeting with the media on Friday in Lagos.

    Saraki said her visit to Lagos was to take stock of the state of the two ports in Lagos, which were in dire need of repairs.

    For the country to reap from AfCFTA, we need to make the ports more competitive. We know that the largest number of cargoes come to Nigeria, we need to take advantage of that.

    The state of the ports in Lagos made my move imperative, and the ministry seeks to drive a closer relation and synergy between the private and public sectors in ensuring an enabling environment exists in which business can thrive.

    Especially for AfCFTA, being the champion in the transportation sector, it was critical for me to come to know where we are in our preparedness compared to our neighbouring countries, she said.

    Saraki noted that the blue economy at times sounded like a puzzle but it could create a lot of jobs in the maritime sector, adding that if the country didnt have oil, maritime would be the next biggest sector of the economy.

    We need to take advantage of what God has given to us. We have a large young population and wealth and there are many ways we can engage our youths in employment in the sector.

    The floating dockyard is an area that can provide jobs for the youth as it has been estimated to provide up to 20,000 jobs and we have gone to the Naval Dockyard to see how best we can put it to use.

    Government has this programme of bringing Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years and we need to have the maritime industry contributing to that, the floating dockyard will see to that contribution.

    I assure you that before the end of this administration, we will have the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), which has gone up to 350 million dollars, and also the National Transport Policy, she said.

    She said it was disheartening to see that nothing had changed as regards the CVFF, stating that it had to be disbursed, especially with the commencement of AfCFTA as the country needed vessels to trade.

    On the connection of the lekki Seaport, she said the port must be connected to the rail as the authorities had taken congnisance of evacuation of cargoes when establishing the port. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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     Danjuma invites 30 to Falconets camp as Costa Rica 2022 preparations begin
    Falconets Head Coach Chris Danjuma has invited 30 players to the national under-20 women teams camp for preparations for this years FIFA Under-20 Womens World Cup finals in Costa Rica.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria has never missed a FIFA Under-20 Womens Championship since the competition began as an Under-19 Championship in Canada 20 years ago.

    They have now been drawn to take on France, Canada and Korea Republic in Group C of this years tournament scheduled for Costa Rica from Aug. 10 to Aug. 28.

    All invited players are to report in Abuja on Sunday, according to a statement on Friday by the Communications Department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

    NAN reports that theFalconets overcame challenges from Central African Republic (CAR), Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Senegal to qualify for the World Cup.

    The mundial is a competition which they have been runners-up twice (2010 and 2014) and reached the semi finals in 2012.

    ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS

    Goalkeepers: Nelly Ekeh; Monle Oyono; Inyene Etim; Peace Obidinma

    Defenders: Oluwatosin Demehin; Omowunmi Oshobukola; Rofiat Imuran; Jumoke Alani; Motunrayo Ezekiel; Rihanat Kasali; Oluwabunmi Oladeji; Oluchi Ohaegbulem

    Midfielders: Bashirat Amoo; Esther Onyenezide; Adoo Yina; Chidinma Ogbuchi; Chinyere Kalu; Amarachi Odoma; Chioma Olise; Favour Emmanuel; Deborah Ajibola

    Forwards: Joy Jerry; Mercy Idoko; Flourish Sebastine; Taiwo Lawal; Precious Vincent; Blessing Okpe; Juliet Adebowale; Joy Omewa; Chiamaka Okwuchukwu. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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     National Lottery Trust Fund: Deeping healthcare delivery
    By Muhammad Auwal Adam, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

    The mandate of the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), established under Section 35 of the National Lottery Act 2005, is to facilitate the achievement of national development goals through the promotion of access to lottery funding for good cause projects, which are transformational and sustainable, with lasting impact for people and communities.

    Since the Fund commenced operation, it has recorded achievements in many areas of national development.

    They including: education, sports, provision of potable water, healthcare service delivery, among others.

    But, unarguably, since Dr Bello Maigari, became the Executive Secretary of the Fund in 2019, the Fund has deepened healthcare delivery across the six geo-political zones.

    From 2019 to date, the Fund has among other healthcare intervention programmes provided: Modern electric delivery beds to General Hospital, Gombe, ultra sound machine with monitor to General Hospital, Daura, Katsina State, double hydraulic delivery beds to the Primary Health Centre, Onikan, Lagos State.

    Laboratory autoclave machines were also donated to many health institutions across the country.

    World class medical equipment were also inaugurated by the Fund at Primary Healthcare Clinic, New Karu, Nasarawa State.

    Vital medical equipment were also donated to Kugba Maternity and General Hospital, Agbowu, Abeokuta, Nneto Maternity Home, Abia, General Hospital Umunze, Anambra, Eja Memorial/Joint Hospital, Itigidi, Cross River State, and Joint Hospital Amaigbo, Imo State among others.

    It is evident that health institutions and communities across the six geo-political zones have benefited from the Funds intervention.

    Maigari, at the various presentations, stressed that Fund, would live up to its mandate.

    Maigari, at the inauguration of medical equipment at Gbaja Randle Hospital, Mother and Child Care, General Hospital, Surulere, Lagos State, noted that the Fund was saddled with the mandate to promote social inclusion and healthy wellbeing of Nigerians.

    He said that the Fund had, over the years, enhanced capacity delivery of many health facilities across the country to enable them cater for the health needs of patients, pregnant women, children and the vulnerable.

    Nevertheless, the Fund has significantly recorded impressive interventions in various aspects of nation-building.

    As I speak to you, Nigerias gaming market is the fastest growing in Africa, with the sales revenue approximately two trillion naira annually, this indicates that lottery is a wealth generator, the NLTF boss said.

    According to him, Nigerias gaming market, if properly utilised, would generate huge revenue for national development and create more job opportunities that would help actualise President Muhammadu Buharis pledge of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

    The executive secretary also reiterated the commitment of NLTF to live up its mandate when some vital medical equipment were presented to New Karu Primary Healthcare Centre in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

    Maigari said that the handing over of the 34 equipment was a significant milestone in the funding of lottery good causes project in the country.

    He listed the items as one digital x-ray, 10 kidney discs, five thermometers, 10 HIV kits, one colour ultrasound machine and one genotype machine among other medical equipment.

    The essence of the intervention is to provide vital medical equipment to under-served communities to save lives and check the deteriorating health conditions leveraging the use of hi-tech diagnostic equipment, he said.

    He also stressed that the intervention was to provide high standards of care to vulnerable segments of the society in some states in the six geo-political zones.

    Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, who was represented by Mr Philip Dada, Commissioner for Works and Transportation, expressed delight over the gesture by the NLTF, stressing that it would reduce the already overstretched facilities at the clinic.

    Maigari, who recently presented vital medical equipment to 12 primary healthcare centres selected from the six- geopolitical zones, said the equipment would provide more access to health delivery.

    The items included digital x-ray machines, colour ultrasound machines, suction machines, kidney discs, hydraulic beds, wheelchairs, blood banks etc.

    Our hope is to see projects of this nature in every constituency in the country seeking to save and change lives for the good of all Nigerians.

    The goal is to ensure, everyday, Nigerians living in rural communities have access to modern laboratory and radiology services as a critical first step in receiving decent and quality care.

    It is alarming that people travel long distances from remote communities to urban areas just to obtain basic laboratory services such as x-rays, blood tests, etc. which often result in patients dying even before receiving proper medical attention.

    For us in the Trust Fund this is a major concern which needs to be addressed urgently, more so if we are to change the current narrative that our hospitals are not just mere consulting clinics.

    Hence this vital and constructive effort by the Fund to equip healthcare institutions with basic radiology facilities across the nation, Maigari said.

    Maigari noted that the NLTF was established under Section 35 of the National Lottery Act 2005 to take custody of a certain percentage of all national lottery operations in the country for investments to promote the wellbeing of the nation.

    Promotion of good causes is a social service to the nation which can cater for the sick and the unemployed and uneducated, the talented but undiscovered young sportsmen, the victims of natural and ecological disasters, the refugees and homeless.

    It is, therefore, an agency that can assist the government to promote social stability, poverty eradication, social cohesion and economic wellbeing, he added.

    When vital medical equipment were presented by NLTF to two healthcare centres in Edo in September, 2020, Maigari said that the equipment would complement the efforts of the state government to make a difference in saving lives.

    The health institutions were, Usen General Hospital, in Ovia South-West Local Government Area, and Ogbesse Maternity Home, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area.

    Bello listed the equipment as phototherapy machine, delivery beds, blood banks, haematocrit centrifuges, defibrillators and infant incubators

    Other equipment were baby cots, hospital beds and mattresses, Olympus, bucket cent, sonicaid, cardiotocography, suction machine, autoclave, among others.

    Bello who said the intervention was imperative as Nigeria was dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19, noted that the agency was committed to ensuring better healthcare delivery across the country.

    The target is to cover the entire 774 local government areas across the nation, including the Federal Capital Territory.

    I am here to re-affirm that our intervention will continue to be pursued in a broad, distinctive, integrative and inclusive manner across the country, whilst also ensuring that good causes offer long-term value to society and give good value for lottery money.

    Let me reassure you that NLTF has put in place a robust and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system to help the agency track the progress of its intervention programmes, and in particular, the utilisation of these facilities in this hospital, he said.

    He, however, solicited support from stakeholders in the health sector in raising awareness on the value of lottery funding to modern life and its transformational legacy to the nation.

    Earlier, Edwin Ajah, Zonal Coordinator, National Lottery Trust Fund South-South Zone, said the intervention would help those who cannot afford to pay for exorbitant fees in private hospitals to access vital services.

    He noted that the agency is poised to change the lives of Nigerian citizens.

    Speaking on behalf of the recipients, the Medical Director of Usen General Hospital, Solomon Aiguobasimwin, commended the agency for the donation, adding that the items would contribute significantly to healthcare delivery.

    Undoubtedly, the grassroots intervention by NLTF is impactful and if sustained would deepen healthcare delivery across the country. (NANFeatures)

    Source: NAN News

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