World Sight Day: FCTA provides eyecare services, glasses to 500 workers

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has provided eyecare services and donated reading glasses to more than 500 workers in the administration.

Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, Mandate Secretary of Health Services and Environment Secretariat (HSES), FCTA, stated this during a news briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

Fasawe explained that the media briefing was part of activities to commemorate the 2023 World Sight Day, with the theme, “Love Your Eyes at Work”.

She said that the free services, which took place on Tuesday, were part of continued efforts to make eyecare services affordable and available to the working population of the FCTA.

“During the eye screening, 500 staffers of the FCTA were given reading glasses free to complement President Bola Tinubu’s initiative.

“You will recall that President Tinubu had in September inaugurated the distribution of five million reading glasses to Nigerians.

“As an individual, I am donating 750 reading glasses to the FCTA in support of the 2023 WSD activities,” Fasawe said.

She added that the team would move to Karu Abattoir on Wednesday to screen the workers and the immediate community.

Fasawe said that drugs and other medical interventions would be provided while an additional 500 reading glasses would be donated to the community members.

“Last year, we provided optical, medical, and surgical interventions to the teaming population of FCT residents, with support from relevant stakeholders and the Federal Ministry of Health.

“This year, the HSES has received the support of the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike to celebrate the WSD with rapt attention to the sight and visual needs of workers.

“This is an indication of Wike’s resolve to ensure that FCT stays in the forefront in the fight to reduce the menace of avoidable blindness,” she said.

Fasawe added that a considerable proportion of Nigerians had the tendency to wait until there was an emergency before seeking the help of the eye care professional.

This, according to her, makes intervention and treatment difficult with outcomes that could have been better if presented earlier.

Fasawe described the workers of the FCTA as “middle-aged, highly mobile, dynamic, and very active”, stressing the need to take proper care of the eyes for maximum productivity.

“Over the years, we have continued to strengthen our eye care delivery system in the FCT with the establishment of eye clinics in 10 secondary health care facilities owned by the FCTA.

“In all of these centres, quality eye care services are being delivered in our bid to reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment in the FCT,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, with the cooperation of the World Health Organization has set aside the second Thursday of October, every year, for the celebration of WSD.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Wike orders demolition of scavengers’ colony in Abuja

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, has ordered the demolition of a scavengers’ colony along the road corridor cutting across Mabushi, Jahi and Kado Districts.

Wike gave the order in Abuja on Tuesday, when he visited the area, officially known as ‘Road N12’ in Mabushi District of the FCT.

He described the colony, located behind the Minister’s Quarters in Mabushi District, as a “threat” to the security of the city.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the area had been taken over by scavengers popularly known as ‘Baban Bola’, including mechanics and furniture makers.

The minister, who was accompanied by a combined team of security personnel and senior officials of FCT Administration, added that efforts would be heightened to rid the city of criminal elements.

He said that such dens of criminals would not be allowed in the FCT.

He said that the colony was also encouraged by the thick canopy of cashew trees planted by the indigenous people of the FCT for speculative purposes.

Wike warned against planting such trees in areas where the government had mapped out for development.

According to him, the government will not pay compensation for the trees.

Wike ordered the Development Control Department and the Federal Capital Development Authority to clear the entire area and take a scope of the road for preliminary works.

“You should not compensate them. This is a hideout of criminals, and the communities should stop planting trees in the area.

“When they see that the government intends to develop the road, they come and plant crops for the government to pay compensation. We are not going to do any compensation.

“The Development Control must clear this area, chase out all these criminals.

“These are the kind of things you see that people commit crimes and then before you know it, they run down here for cover and people will be saying oh, FCT is not safe.

“It is not a question of giving them notice. There is no notice. You must chase them out now and clear the entire area,” he said.

The minister assured the residents of FCT that the government would do everything possible to reduce the level of crime.

Mr Mukhtar Galadima, Coordinator, Federal Capital Territory City Management Task Team, assured the minister that the area would be cleared of all structures and send the criminals packing.

Galadima, who is also the Director, Department of Development Control, said that the area was proposed for a transit road network that transverses the city across districts.

He said that scavengers had however turned the area into a colony, harbouring all kinds of criminals.

“With the security challenges across the country, illegal activities of this nature will not be allowed to continue.

“That is why we are not giving consideration to compensation; we have to secure the place.

“After the clearing the area, FCDA will move in immediately, nobody will come in and settle again,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


IDPs: Commissioner inspects resettlement houses, appeals for ecological funds

The Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Alhaji Tijani Ahmed on Tuesday inspected 40 flats of housing units built for Internationally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Ahmed during the inspection at resettlement city in Keffi, Nasarawa appealed to government for ecological funds to enable the Commission construct a good road network in the area for easy access.

According to him, the resettlement centre will accommodate 40 households and it is expected to be ready in the next three months.

While expressing satisfaction at the level of work at the centre, Ahmed said that the facilities at the city were clinic, school, recreational centre, market and police station for their security.

“We are also working towards durable solution to ensure that all IDPs return home if they wish or they will remain in the resettlement centre we have provided for them.

“We want to have a good road network so that there will be easy access from the main town to the resettlement centre. We want to make the environment comfortable for IDPs,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that presently the resettlement cities are in Edo, Borno, Katsina, Kano, Zamfara and Nasarawa.

Ahmed also said that with time the resettlement city would be extended to other states, particularly violence prone states.

He acknowledged the vision of his predecessors Senator Basheer Mohammed, who conceived the idea and Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim who saw it through.

Ahmed promised that the Commission under his leadership would build on these achievements and restore livelihoods for IDPs and provide educational opportunities for their children.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Lions Club plants 25 trees in Lagos college to safeguard environment

Ikeja Dynamic Lions Club, an arm of Lions International District 404B2, Nigeria, on Tuesday planted 25 trees within the premises of Government Technical College, Agidingbi, Ikeja, to safeguard the environment.

Mr Sanyaolu Opeyemi, President of the club, said during the tree planting exercise that the move was to ensure the environment was further protected against environmental depletion.

Opeyemi said that it was observed that there are limited trees within the college premises.

“ This is one way to keep the ecosystem balanced in terms of sustaining the environment, and we observed that this college needs this, furthermore, the management of the school requested we do this.

“ We have come to answer that call, ozone depletion is really affecting them and planting of trees will help in sustaining the atmosphere and the ambience. We have planted over 25 trees in this premises today.

“ We call on government and organisations to plant more trees so that we can continue to safeguard our environment,” he said.

Earlier, Mrs Oluwakemi Abimbola, Second Vice District Governor of the club and the Vice Principal, Special Duties of the college, appreciated the club’s kind gesture.

Abimbola said this was one of the ways to serve humanity by ensuring the environment was comfortable and safe for all.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members and executives of the club participated in the exercise.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Africa Cassava Conference will boost production-FG

The Federal Government says the upcoming Africa Cassava Conference in Abuja, will boost cassava production along its value chain.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari,who stated this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, said it will also facilitate increase in local and export demand.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Africa Cassava Conference is scheduled to hold on Oct. 18 to 20 in Abuja.

NAN reports that the objective of conference is to bring together stakeholders in the cassava value chain to brainstorm and strategies on the full exploitation of cassava-based products.

The minister was represented by Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture.

The theme of the conference is ” Stimulating Africa’s industrialisation through development of cassava-based products and assuring quality along cassava value chain.”

” The Africa Cassava Conference is welcomed as the importance of ensuring standardisation in derivatives of cassava products cannot be over emphasized.

” It will also provide good quality cassava derivatives to facilitate increase in local and export demand of the product,” he said.

“Cassava is recognised as a staple crop and one of the major sources of carbohydrate for human consumption as well as other industrial uses.

” This is why the Ministry will continue to support the development of the commodity in Nigeria,” he said.

He said the ministry through the Cassava Value Chain is continuously working earnestly towards continuous promotion and development of cassava and its derivatives.

Kyari said the outcome of the conference would bring about increase in the average yields in cassava.

He said it will also promote the stakeholders’ revenues; incorporate quality control inspection and certification system.

Earlier, the Project Manager, Africa Cassava Conference, Ms. Heather – Ronke Akanni, said the objectives of the conference were not far-fetched.

“We need to provide an overview, create awareness, share evidence based contributions from our participating states and countries, outside and within Africa, it is also to inspire innovation.

“The expected outcome of the conference are centered around the need to enhance knowledge, collaboration, increased awareness of cassava products and their innovation applications,” she said.

In a goodwill message, the representative of Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF), Prof. Abba Gambo, said that the 36 States of the Federation would be represented at the conference.

He said the 36 State Governors through the Forum are in support of the organisers as cassava value chain is one of the value chains prioritized by the governors.

The conference is being organised by African Union Commission (AUC) and Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI).

NAN also reports that participants expected at the conference included countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, and others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


FG to partially commercialise dams under its 12 river basins – Minister

The Federal Government is set to partially commercialise the dams under the nation’s 12 river basins to enable them to deliver their mandates effectively.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, disclosed this while speaking to newsmen shortly after inspecting Tiga dam in Bebeji Local Government Area of Kano State on Wednesday.

The minister said the commercialisation of the basins would enable them to generate increased revenues for the Federal Government.

He assured that the huge infrastructure available at the basins would guarantee a return on investments.

He explained that the exercise would ensure sustainable operations and management of their infrastructure.

” The basins have huge infrastructure like water supply schemes, dams and irrigation that require good funding to be able to keep them running and to provide dividends for Nigerians.

He said the aim of the visit was to assess the state of the dam and the challenges with a view of addressing them for optimal growth.

The minister explained that the main purpose of constructing the dam was for irrigation, flood control and energy generation.

The Federal Government is ever ready to partner commercial farmers to pave the way for massive production of assorted food crops in all-year farming system.

” We are ready to partner with commercial farmers, they come and register with us, and we will allow them to tap water from the dam for commercial farming which will help immensely in enhancing food production.”

He said one of the major challenges the dam was currently facing was illegal tapping of the water from the dam by farmers.

” Farmers are tapping water illegally from the canals and this will have negative impact, hence we are working towards calling the attention of the farmers so that they will register with the government and the water would be supplied to them.

“We will also update our data base for effective service delivery,” he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Hadejia Jamma’are River Basin, Ma’Amun Dau Aliyu, explained that more than 3 million farmers were benefiting from the Tiga Dam while hundreds of others were syphoning the water illegally.

He said the basin had since commenced moves to mobilise all those operating illegally so that they would register.

Aliyu hinted that the dam, built 50 years ago, was constructed on 1.4 billion cubic water capacity, and was done on some five million combined Kano/Jigawa population then, but still not being fully utilised.

He said Tiga Dam had canals and small dams that linked up to Lake Chad through Kamadugu River Basin in Yobe State, adding that with the commercialisation of the dam, more economic inputs would be recorded.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Edo gets 412 slots for 2024 Hajj

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has allocated 412 slots to Edo for the 2024 Hajj.

Sheik Ibrahim Oyarekhua, Chairman, Edo Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, disclosed this during an interactive session with newsmen on Wednesday in Benin.

“In 2023, 432 slots were allocated to the state in the recently concluded exercise, and with the allocation for 2024, the slot has reduced by 20,” he said.

Oyarekhua said that the slots might be increased when the state exhausts the slots given to it on or before the deadline.

“NAHCON has announced N4.5 million as deposit for the 2024 Hajj before the actual full payment is announced on or before the Ramadan fast in 2024,” he said.

He said that intending pilgrims in the state had commenced depositing money, adding that while some have made part payment, others have paid the full amount announced by NAHCON.

The chairman described the response from intending pilgrims in the state so far as very encouraging.

“Intending pilgrims can make payment through bank transfer or pay cash to the board or any of the designated banks.

“Thereafter, the board will issue prospective pilgrim receipt on the exact amount paid, whether full or part payment,” he explained.

He urged Muslims faithful who have the intention to perform the 2024 Hajj to start making deposits to enable them beat the deadline of Feb. 28, given by NAHCON.

Oyarekhua encouraged intending pilgrims to make early payment as everything about the Hajj operation, would end 50 days before the commencement of Hajj to allow for a hitch free exercise.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Alleged stolen genitals: Esu Karu, security agents warn residents against jungle justice

The Esu-Karu, Luka Panya and security agents, on Wednesday warned residents of Karu, in Nasarawa State against taking laws into their hands (jungle justice).

Panya said this at a meeting with security agents, traditional rulers, community, religious, motorcycle and tricycle leaders, following the recent bizarre story of stolen genitals.

He said that in the last three weeks, there had been incidents of stolen genitals around Karu, Masaka, Ado, New Nyanya and the latest in sharp Corner, where the suspect and his car were burnt.

According to him, it is my duty to ensure that my subjects are safe because the essence of leadership is to ensure that the community is peaceful and attain required development.

“We have a duty to talk to our people so we know how to manage these issues of stolen genitals, so we don’t take laws into our hands.

“I urge every representative, especially the chairman of motorcycle/tricycle riders association to pass the message to their people.

“There is no society that is free of crime, but there are ways to handle these through security agencies, not jungle justice, because anybody can be affected,’’ the Esu said.

In his contribution, Prince Jatau, a security agent called for sensitisation of the rural populace.

Jatau warned that no act of jungle justice would be tolerated any longer in the community.

He said that Karu was a sensitive town and close to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and therefore, expressed his fears that if the present situation was not well managed, could escalate to religious or ethnic crises.

Jatau advised the people to be careful in raising false alarm as anyone seen at the scene where jungle justice was being carried out, would be charged to court too.

Similarly, Francis Obigwa, the Police Area Commander in charge of Karu, said that the issue of alleged stolen genitals, which had been proven to be untrue medically, was becoming overwhelming

According to Obigwa, there has been ongoing arrests as regards the case and both the suspect and victims will be charged to court.

He said that some persons were now capitalising on the trending issue to commit other manner of crimes, adding that the police was always on alert to deal with such individuals.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Motorcycle/Tricycle Riders Association, Bahago Na’Allah, had assured the Esu and the security agents that the association was working toward ensuring that its members conducted themselves in an orderly manner by not taking the law into their hands.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Diphtheria: Over 80% of infected children never received vaccination – NPHCDA

Dr Faisal Shu’aib, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says over 80 per cent

of children who died of diptheria or admitted in hospitals never received routine childhood immunisations.

The NPHCDA boss said this after inspecting the Diphtheria Treatment Centre at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano on Wednesday.

He, therefore, urged parents to ensure that their children are up to date with their vaccines, and appealed to caregivers to pay attention to personal

and environmental hygiene and avoid crowded rooms.

He said “I implore every parent/caregiver to take proactive measures to protect their loved ones. Immunisation is the most effective safeguard

against diphtheria.”

He also advised individuals at higher risk of contracting diphtheria to get vaccinated immediately, as he encouraged citizens to be patient, saying

the country would rise above the challenges presented by the disease.

He added that “we are using the crisis to strengthen the country’s health care system.”

The executive director acknowledged that there are gaps in public knowledge about vaccinations, but reassured that inoculations would not

be mandatory, taking into account some public concerns.

She said “diptheria has had significant impact on Nigeria, with more than 14,000 reported cases of the disease. The states are primarily

responsible for 97 per cent of cases in Kano, Katsina, Borno, Yobe, and Jigawa.”

He, however, expressed satisfaction with the commitment of the state governments toward improving the quality of healthcare.

Shu’aib took the opportunity to clarify that diphtheria is not related to COVID-19, explaining that “diphtheria is caused by bacteria, while

COVID-19 is caused by virus.”

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat and sometimes, skin of an individual.

Some symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling and difficulty in breathing.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


ECOWAS reiterates commitment to protection of Child Rights

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday reiterated its commitment for the promotion and protection of Child Rights.

Mr Olatunde Olayemi, Programme Officer, Trafficking in Persons, ECOWAS, said this on the sidelines of a retreat held by ECOWAS at Ikeja.

The retreat has as theme: “Development and Validation of an ECOWAS Inter-Sectoral Strategic Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Child Rights”.

He said that the retreat would enhance and strengthen the Child Rights across all platforms in ECOWAS.

“The purpose of this retreat is to look at the child right, brainstorm on it and strengthen the child right across all the entire ECOWAS institution.

“Child poverty, impact of climate change, natural disasters, election violence, economic downturn and natural disasters have grievous effects on the child so we want to ensure that children are properly protected.

“We will come up with strategic plans to ensure that all developmental actions taken by ECOWAS serve the children in various positive ways.

“The Child Rights is extremely important, so, would ensure that they are rightly promoted and protected like they are ought to be,” he said.

Olayemi noted that the retreat would address the gaps and challenges in the mission’s implementation of the Child Rights Agenda.

He said that the mission would collaborate with other agencies to ensure that the Child Rights is implemented in all sectors of the country.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria