ACCI tasks officials on prosperity of business community

The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Emeka Obegolu, has charged its newly inaugurated Governing council members to ensure prosperity of Nigeria’s business community.

Obegolu, represented by his 1st Deputy President, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said this while inaugurating the Governing Council of ACCI’s Four Centres in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inaugurated officials would be responsible to drive affairs of the centres.

The centres include: ‘the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce Dispute Resolution Centre (NCC-DRC) to be chaired by Prince Adetokunbo Kayode and Mr Patrick Ikwueto, as vice-chairman.

‘The BEST Centre, with Prof Adesoji Adesugba as Chairman and Mr Ezenwa Anumnu as his vice-chairman.

‘The Abuja Trade Centre (ATC) is chaired by Dr Johnson Anene, and Mr Abiodun Odusanwo is his vice-chairman.

‘The National Policy Advocacy Centre (NPAC) has Dr Aliyu Hong as chairman while Mr Dozie Mbanefo is serving as his vice-chairman.’

Obegolu emphasised the trans
formative potential of these centres in shaping the business landscape not only in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) but also across Nigeria.

‘The Centres will play a major role in promoting international trade, resolving commercial disputes, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and advocating conducive business policies.

‘I urge the newly inaugurated leaders to leverage their expertise and networks to drive the success of these Centres, thereby, contributing to the overall prosperity of the business community.’

Responding on behalf of the officials, the chairman of Abuja Trade Centre expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve.

Anene pledged the commitment of the officials to the development and success of the various centres.

The inauguration of the Governing Councils marks a significant step in ACCI’s mission to create a vibrant and resilient business environment, driving sustainable growth and prosperity for all stakeholders.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Shettima departs for 2024 US-Africa Business Summit in Dallas

Vice-President Kashim Shettima is expected to depart Abuja for Dallas, United States of America, to represent President Bola Tinubu at the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit is organised by the Corporate Council on Africa.

Mr Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of The Vice-President, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nkwocha said Shettima would join other political and business leaders across Africa, the USA and beyond for the summit.

According to him, the summit will feature high-level dialogues, networking business sessions and the plenary, all scheduled for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

He said that the African leaders expected at the summit include, the President, Republic of Liberia; Joseph Boakai, President, Republic of Malawi; Lazarus Chakwera and the President, Republic of Angola, Joao Lourenço.

Nkwocha said other African leaders that woul
d grace the summit are the President, Republic of Botswana, Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi, President, Republic of Cabo Verde, José Maria Neves, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Lesotho, Nthomeng Majara.

He said besides the summit’s plenary, Shettima would speak at the Roundtable on African Infrastructure Investment with a focus on impact and returns.

‘He (Shettima) is also scheduled to speak on a high-level panel on agribusiness, focusing on transiting ‘from food insecurity to thriving agribusinesses.

‘Additionally, the Vice-President will speak at a plenary session on Navigating Africa’s Energy Future as well as chair a session dedicated to promoting the ‘invest in Nigeria’ initiative.

‘He is also expected to attend other meetings and engagements on the sideline of the summit.’

Nkwocha said that Vice-President Shettima is expected back in the country at the end of his engagements in the US.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


A Network Of Traditional Leaders Is Helping Kaduna Communities Find Missing Children

Aisha Muhammed’s daughter was missing. Three-year-old Talatu (not real name) was nowhere to be found.

That cold realisation brought tears to Muhammed’s eyes. ‘At that time, I could not think straight, I was just crying and begging God to forgive me for my wrongs and bring back my only child,’ she said.

Muhammed was expecting her daughter’s return on a Sunday morning. Talatu had slept over at her aunt’s house, a stone throw away from her own home in Rigasa area of Igabi Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna state. When she inquired on the phone about her child, she got the shocking news that Talatu went missing 12 hours ago.

Apparently, Talatu went outside to play with other children in the same compound but, unlike the others, did not return indoors after 6:00 pm. Five hours after a door-to-door search and she was still not found.

Muhammed remembered a report she had heard on radio about children stolen from their community and taken to another state or region for sale. This put her into more despair. ‘It
was my mum that suggested we report the matter to the police station,’ she narrated.

‘So we all went to my aunt’s place and together we left for the police station where I reported the matter describing my child’s appearance and the time she was missing.’

A frightening trend

In recent times, there have been reports of missing children from the northern part of Nigeria on account of child trafficking. In some instances, they were located in southeastern Nigeria where they were renamed and sold.

For instance, in 2019, the Kano State Police Command arrested eight suspects involved in the kidnapping and trafficking of nine children. The victims, who were reunited with their relatives, aged between two and 10, were kidnapped from various locations within the state capital and trafficked in Anambra State.

What started as isolated cases of missing children in Kano State gradually grew to become a great source of concern as Kaduna State also recorded such cases with some suspected traffickers arrested.

In Sept.
2023, the police in Kaduna State had arrested four suspected child traffickers, Rahila Gajere, a retired social worker; Ngozi Peter, a nurse; Maryam Afaka; and Blessing Eze, in Zaria LGA.

During questioning at the police command, Afaka confessed to supplying Peter with stolen children and receiving payments ranging from N25,000 to N50,000 for each newborn from girls with unwanted pregnancies.

Some children are allegedly picked or lured by child traffickers who travel far to either sell or enslave them.

According to the latest figures shared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 64,000 cases of disappeared persons have been reported across Africa. In Nigeria alone, over 25,000 have been reported missing. Almost 14,000, more than half of the missing, are children.


The traditional institution comprising of a district head (Hakimi), village heads ( mai unguwa), area chiefs (sarkin unguwa) and other community leaders in Rigasa ward of Igabi LGA took it upon themselves to accom
modate missing children found in the community pending when their caregivers come for them.

One of these traditional leaders is Salisu Sani, popularly known as Baba Zango, who is the (sarkin samarin gunduman Rigasa) youth leader of Rigasa ward. He was assigned by the ward’s district head, Muhammad Idris, to oversee the case of missing children and adults in the community through collaboration with the police, the area chiefs and village heads.

‘Almost every day, when parents who are searching for their missing children search everywhere to no avail, the moment they come to us, I immediately place a call to all the various village chiefs and heads; and with the help of God, the missing children are found and reunited with their parents.

‘We have a very good relationship with the police and other security operatives; that is why they refer people who report cases of missing children or persons to us at the district head’s office,’ Zango said.

When Muhammed reported that her daughter was missing to the polic
e, the officer taking the report told her to meet Baba Zango at the district head’s office in Rigasa, saying he had the contact of all the village heads in the ward. When they did, Zango placed a call to the village heads in proximity to where her daughter went missing. Unfortunately, most of them said they had no one with Talatu’s description.

After several more calls and a request for one of the heads to check their Whatsapp platform on Talatu’s issue, Baba Zango later called a village head from another chiefdom. It was reported that two girls of the same age as Talatu were found in the evening and had spent the night in that village head’s home.

‘We immediately went to the traditional head’s house to check if Talatu was one of the found children,’ Muhammed continued. Fear, however, made her lag behind. She could not bare hearing a negative outcome.

But then, there was Talatu playing with the other girl in her company, unconcerned and unaware of her predicament. When she saw her family, she ran and embra
ced them.

That was not the end of the matter. The process did not work that quickly without some checks.

Muhammed was not allowed to take her child home because of a policy in the palace which stated that she would have to come with the father of the child or any respected man known by the palace.

Muhammed’s husband was out of town and she had not informed him about the situation because she feared he would blame her for being careless. So she called Baba Zango who came and stood for her before the child was released.

The Whatsapp group

‘In the past, when a missing child was found in our community, we searched house to house looking for the parents. Sometimes we use the town crier to announce that a child is missing or found.

‘Nowadays things have changed with the help of technology. We place calls to our colleagues to enquire about a missing child,’ Mai Unguwa Yusuf Abisai said.

Abisai, who is the village head of Kutungare, Mashi Gwari village in Rigasa explained that they now have a Whatsapp group wh
ere issues related to missing children are treated with their pictures and names posted on the platform for easy identification.

This WhatsApp group has all the village heads of a particular chiefdom in the ward, alongside members of the palace. Other important information related to these villages were also passed in the online platform.

Abisai added that the Whatsapp group was created six years ago with each chiefdom in Rigasa ward having their own unique group.

‘From January to date, we have found over 20 missing children who have been reunited with their families. Some spend some hours with us while others spend days.

‘Right now I have two children under my care which I posted on the group; it turns out that one of the children’s parents had visited a colleague of mine searching for the child and she was referred to my house.’

Who takes care of the children?

The Children are taken care of by the village heads’ wives. They stay with the children before their parents or relatives come for them.

‘We p
rovide their feeding and our wives bath and cloth them for the number of days they are with us,’ Shittu Abubakar who is the village head of Lokoja road, said.

‘We don’t charge any fee from their parents for taking care of the children. But some parents usually give our wives gifts or money when they come to pick their children.’

Abubakar, however, lamented that some parents do not appreciate their effort and claim their children were playing outdoors and not missing.

Due process before release

When parents or caregivers find their child in a village head’s custody, they are required to follow some procedures before the child is released.

Abubakar explained that a form has to be filled by parents who come to pick their children in which they are required to write their name, address, phone number and other important details.

He added that the father of the child has to be present or someone known in the community, before a child is released.

‘We don’t just give out children to anyone like that because o
ne may claim someone else’s child. That is why we document information regarding the child and the parent.

‘We also advise parents to be more careful while taking care of their children by cautioning them about leaving a small child outside alone with the excuse of playing,’ he said.

According to the village head, some parents refuse to fill the forms and sign. They ask ‘don’t you trust me?’ But after an explanation is given to them on the importance of keeping records, they oblige.

Due to the high population of the Rigasa community, certain persons opt to keep a missing child in their homes rather than take them to their village head. This causes delays in child-parents re-union, Abubakar revealed. There is also the lack of financial support from the government or non-governmental organisations for proper upkeep of such children.

‘We feed and take care of these children from our personal purse, accommodating them in our homes because children are for everyone,’ Abubakar said.(NAN)

***This is supported b
y the Solution Journalism Africa Initiative (Phase II) with collaboration of the Nigeria Health Watch.

***If used, credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


We’re prepared against floods in FCT – FEMD

The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department (FEMD) says it is well prepared to prevent residents from dying to flooding in the territory.

The Director of the department, Mr Mohammed Sabo, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

Sabo explained that the department had all the data required to put prevention and mitigation measures against flooding in the FCT.

‘Sometimes in February, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), released the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction report.

‘The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has equally released the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook.

‘These are the documents we used in preparing for the rainy season.

‘As such, we have all the critical data needed to adequately prepare our prevention and mitigation measures against flooding,’ Sabo said.

He said that based on the reports, FCT might not be in danger, but all the surrounding states of the territory were susceptible to flooding.

He said that i
n response to the prediction, FEMD had adequately put measures in place to ensure effective response to the likelihood of flash floods in the territory.

‘I assure you that we are well prepared to respond to any flood that may occur in the FCT,’ he insisted.

The director added that the department would equally mount signposts to enlighten and caution residents on the dangers of flood and install additional barricades in flash flood areas.

‘We are ready to collaborate with our stakeholders to ensure that all the roads that experience flash floods during the rainy season are barricaded to prevent vehicles from plying them.

‘This is to prevent loss of lives to flooding during rainy seasons,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria



Former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Candidate in the 2023 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is fast developing a reputation for distorting and manipulating facts for his self-serving objective of discrediting the current administration.

In his latest press statement, the defeated PDP presidential candidate made wild claims on a number of issues that need to be corrected so that the public will not be misled into accepting fallacies as the truth.

The President Bola Tinubu-led administration believes that every true and patriotic Nigerian, regardless of political differences, should work to promote the unity and economic well-being of the country and not delegitimise genuine efforts of the Federal Government to encourage local and foreign investments into the economy.

Contrary to Atiku’s claim, the Tinubu administration, within its first year, has attracted over $20 billion into the economy. While President Tinubu was in New Delhi, India for G20 Summit last year August, Indian busi
ness leaders committed over $14 billion in new investments. A substantial part of this sum is already in the country.

In an unmistakable vote of confidence in the economic reforms being executed by the Tinubu administration, foreign investment in Nigeria’s stock market has ballooned, from N18.12 billion in Q1 2023 to N93.37 billion in Q1 2024, an increase of 415%. The last time Nigeria saw such level of investment was in the first quarter of 2019, when N97.6 billion was invested. The market, since Tinubu came to power, has broken records and created more wealth for the investors.

During President Tinubu’s recent trip to The Netherlands, the Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, announced a fresh $ 250 million investment by Dutch businesses in Nigeria.

Different sectors of the economy, especially telecoms, manufacturing, solid minerals, oil and gas, e-commerce, and fintech, are attracting new Foreign Direct Investments from discerning investors who know Nigeria is a good market for bountiful returns.

We found it str
ange that Alhaji Atiku could accuse President Tinubu of conflict of interest in the award of Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway to Hitech Construction Company which he claimed is owned by Chagoury family because the President’s son, Seyi Tinubu, sits on the board of CDK, a tiles manufacturing company, based in Sagamu, Ogun State.

Nigerians should, by now, be well accustomed to Atiku’s hypocrisy on many national issues. Is it not amusing that the former Vice President, a man who openly said he formed Intels Nigeria with an Italian businessman when he was serving in the Nigeria Customs Service, a clear breach of extant public service regulations, is now the one accusing someone else of conflict of interest?

When he was Vice President of Nigeria between 1999-2007, he maintained his business links with Intels that won major port concession deals.

Was this not an abuse of office, a flagrant violation of his oath, that a company where he was a co-owner won major government contracts and concessions when he was vice p

As Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, he approved sales of over 145 State-owned enterprises to his known friends and associates and openly said during his failed campaign for the presidency last year that he would do the same, if elected.

It is important to state clearly that Seyi Tinubu is a 38 year-old adult who has a right to do business and pursue his business interests in Nigeria and anywhere in the world within the limits of the law. The fact that his father is now the President of Nigeria does not disqualify Seyi from pursuing legitimate business interests.

For the records, Seyi joined the Board of Directors of CDK in 2018, more than six years ago. He is representing the interest of an investor company, in which he has interest. He is not a board member because his father is a friend of the Chagourys. Information about owners and shareholders of CDK is a matter of public record that can be openly accessed from the website of the Corporate Affairs Commission and CDK’s. Atiku
and his proxy did not need a little-known journal to recycle open-source information to make a fallacious argument. The Chairman of CDK and the highest shareholder of the company is respected General TY Danjuma (rtd). The Chagourys are minority shareholders in the company, and only one member of the clan is on its five-man board.

We wonder how Seyi’s membership of the board of CDK conflicts with Hitech Construction Company’s work on Lagos-Calabar Coastal superhighway.

Alhaji Atiku has been waging an unrelenting war against this all-important and transformative project for no justifiable reasons other than bad politics. Atiku knows that its grand success and other projects to be unfurled, such as the Badagry-Sokoto superhighway, will be a major boost for President Tinubu and finally upend his perennial presidential ambition.

If not blinded by political ill-will, Alhaji Atiku knows that the right thing for him to do is to applaud President Tinubu for the ambitious and audacious Lagos-Calabar Highway, which w
as authorised by the Federal Executive Council.

It is important to remind Alhaji Atiku that infrastructural projects such as the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway are used to galvanise the economy. In the US, President Joe Biden has used his $2 trillion bi-partisan infrastructure deal to revamp decaying American infrastructure and inject life into the US economy.

How can an elder-statesman be waging a campaign of calumny against the economic fortunes and prosperity of a country he wishes to govern or trying to scuttle a project that will bring prosperity to nine coastal states and the nation in general?

That Nigeria’s economy is being reclassified by the IMF as the fourth largest in Africa is stale news. This happened because of the devaluation of the Naira and President Tinubu’s determined effort to set the economy on the path of sustainable growth. Under the progressive, bold, inventive, and innovative leadership of President Tinubu, Nigeria will bounce back to where it rightfully belongs as Africa’s largest
market and biggest economy.

The Tinubu administration targets a $1 trillion economy in the next few years, with audacious economic programmes and critical infrastructure projects in key sectors . With revenue rising in trillions and the creation of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Fund, which is poised to raise over N20 trillion this year alone, we have no doubt that the $ 1 trillion economy is realisable.

Bayo Onanuga

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Army tasks commanders on effective operational analysis, adaptability

The Nigerian Army has charged its operational commanders, and those of other security agencies, to ensure effective operational analysis and adaptability in tackling the nation’s security challenges.

The Director Consult, Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Maj.-Gen. Abubakar Ndalolo, made the call at the opening of a week-long Army Headquarters (AHQ) Garrison Operations Planning Cadre 2024, on Monday in Abuja.

The event has the theme, ‘Sustaining Capacity Building and Mult-Agency Cooperation: An Approach to Defeating Insurgency and Terrorism in Nigeria.’

He said the security threats facing the country were complex and multifaceted in nature, hence, the need for predictive effort to overcome them.

Ndalolo said the complexities of the security of Nigeria’s environment had affected modern warfighting, which demanded meticulous operational planning to achieve the desired result.

According to him, since contemporary threats transcend the domain of any particular security agency, it is advised that operatio
ns planning is best done in a multi agency setting.

He commended the Nigerian Army for recalibrating its cooperation with sister security agencies and paramilitary organisations to ensure the safety and defence of the country.

‘Training together, working together, sharing knowledge, and deploying diverse expertise by all the security agencies will help to achieve better outcomes than an individual agency’s effort.

‘Let the security agencies refresh themselves with the basics of operational planning and mix implementation.

‘Remember, your dedication, professionalism and commitment to keeping our nation secure and safe is a sworn duty we all owe Nigerians,’ he said.

Ndalolo said the essence of the cadre was to sharpen the skills of the participants in operational arts and campaign planning, and in a multi-agency setting.

He added that the event would help them to be able to plan and execute operations in a robust manner that would ensure that the mission’s success would be accomplished easily.

‘This is p
ossible because the essentials that are required – to analyse, strategise, adapt and react – will be at their fingertips,’ he said.

Earlier, the Commander, AHQ Garrison, Maj.-Gen. Koko Isoni, said operations planning played a crucial role in ensuring the success of any military operation.

Isoni said the cadre had brought together tactical and operational level officers from various Nigerian Army formations, sister services, security agencies and paramilitary organisations within AHQ Garrison area of responsibility.

He said the cadre was tailored towards refreshing participants on the various aspects of operations planning process so as to enhance their skills in operational arts and campaign planning.

According to him, the planning cadre is designed to improve participants’ ability to think critically, anticipate potential obstacles, and develop innovative and achievable courses of action to accomplish the operational end state within a joint environment.

‘It is crucial to recognise the ever evolving nat
ure of warfare and the challenges we have struggled with where our adversaries are becoming increasingly evasive, innovative and sophisticated.

‘But we must adapt accordingly and neutralise them completely in light of their formation.

‘Armies world over are continually engaged in training and capacity building to enable them triumph over contemporary security challenges.

‘To this end, the Nigerian Army equally recognises these challenges and therefore seeks to develop capacity through realistic training aimed at enhancing its operations.

‘Additionally, army headquarters’ garrison experience in various engagements have helped us draw lessons and identify gaps in the conduct of operations.

‘To this end, this year’s operations planning cadre is expected to amplify existing efforts by the garrison in collaboration with other sister agencies and paramilitary organisations to meet its operational end state,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Kofi Annan institute urges capacity building for women, youth to tackle terrorism

Maj.-Gen. Richard Gyane, Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana, has called for capacity building for women and youth to build their resilience to tackle terrorism.

Gyane made this known at the opening ceremony of a Mobile Training course on Women, Youth, and Violent Extremism and Terrorism, organised by KAIPTC in collaboration with the Norwegian Government, on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training aims at building the capacities of women and youth in Nigeria to be more resilient against the threat of Violent Extremism and Terrorism (VET).

He explained that heavy-handed tactics by security forces have sown distrust among and within local communities in some countries, making women and youth more vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment by terrorists.

The commandant said that terrorist groups exploited latent ethnic animosities, mistrust of security forces, and the absence of state presence in certain parts of the lit
toral countries to enhance their agenda.

He explained that the training developed by KAIPTC for women and youth, which was the sixth edition, would equip the beneficiaries with requisite knowledge skills and resilience against VET.

‘As we gather here today, it is clear that VET continues to escalate at an alarming rate in coastal states of West Africa.

‘This is terrifying for citizens, especially women, youth, and children, although what we see is just the tip of the iceberg.

‘As such, there is a need for partners to remain committed in this fight against VET by building the resilience of their main targets (women, youth, and vulnerable communities), to prevent and counter the recruitment processes of these VET groups.

‘It is obvious that there is a critical need to build the resilience and capacity of women and youth to also support the efforts of security practitioners in achieving this unity of purpose.

‘KAIPTC collaborates with its key and strategic partners to organise VET-related courses both at t
he centre and as Mobile Training Teams (MTTs), because the fight against VET is not only for security practitioners but for all,’ he said.

Gyane said that as security responses to the threat of VET ramped up, the ability of governments in the littoral countries to avoid the mistakes of their counterparts in the Sahel (Mali and Burkina Faso) was critical.

He explained that KAIPTC preferred to teach participants through collaborative problem-based learning methodology and based on peer learning.

Gyane urged them to be actively involved in the training and offering informed suggestions to address the VET threat regionally.

Dr Joseph Ochogwu, Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), who declared the training opened, said the institute was glad to identify with KAIPTC, adding that the strategic course was timely.

Ochogwu said that women and youth were the worst hit by the menace of violent extremism and terrorism particularly due to their high level of vulnerability.

‘My presence
here today to join forces with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and Norwegian Government in the swift conduct of this strategic Course, is a testament of our resolve to achieving a nation and continent devoid of violent extremism and terrorism.

‘It is my earnest belief and the belief of the entire team at IPCR that working together, we can create a safer and more secure future for our nation and the entire West African region.

‘I have no doubt in my mind that this five-day event will achieve its overarching goals of equipping the participants with the requisite knowledge and skills to combat Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Nigeria, Sahel Region and Africa as a whole,’ the IPCR DG said.

He added that the array of experienced resource persons participating in the course was proof that all stakeholders were determined to stamp out VET for regional stability, integration, sustainable development and global peace.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


MMA2 operator says regional operations not abandoned

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd., operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Ikeja, says its proposed regional operations has not been abandoned.

Bi-Courtney’s Acting Chief Operating Officer, Mr Remi Jibodu, said this at a media parley to mark the 17th anniversary of the facility on Monday in Lagos.

Jibodu said the launch of the regional operations was still in the pipeline, as there was approval for it, and the operator had consistently maintained facilities acquired for the operations.

‘The launch of regional operations, considering our track record of continuous growth and excellence, will provide a single hub for domestic airlines.

‘This will boost revenue through transit flights, drive economic growth by creating more jobs, and enhance connectivity.

‘This expansion will open new revenue opportunities, benefiting all stakeholders involved.

‘The economic ripple effects will be felt far and wide, from increased foot traffic in our terminal to enhanced commercial opportunities’.

ibodu also said that one key achievement of the operator in the past 17 years was the resounding success of its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

He said this had helped foster collaborations with private entities that had enabled Bi-Courtney to deliver world-class services to passengers and stakeholders.

He recalled Chanchangi Airline Flight NCH 334; with registration number 5N BEU, with 70 passengers as the first airline to use the terminal on May 7, 2007.

The chief operating officer revealed that 10 domestic airlines including Ibom Air, Valuejet, Air Peace, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Dana Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Azman Air, Max Air, and Rano Air currently use the terminal daily.

According to him, more than 10,000 guests visit the terminal daily, including passengers, stakeholders, concessionaires, and many others who visit to shop, eat, and fly.

Speaking on the successes of the operator, Jibodu said that Infrastructural development, establishment of e-gate had helped to streamline passenge
rs’ facilitation and seamless journey.

He added that the provisions of uninterrupted power supply system and the recent development of flight distribution guidelines after the trend of passengers’ unrest at the slightest provocation had given a face-lift to the operations.

He said that the MMA2 training centre was another milestone which had earned the operator several accolades nationally and internationally.

‘Our training center is not just a place of learning; it is a symbol of empowerment, providing individuals with the tools they need to soar to new heights.

‘Whether it’s an aspiring ground staff learning the intricacies of customer service or advanced aviation security courses, our training centre is a place where dreams take flight.

‘Looking ahead, we are poised to embark on an exciting journey toward continued growth and innovation.

‘Our plans include further expansion of our terminal facilities, implementation of improved technology to enhance security, sustainable initiatives to expand our car
go ecosystem, and the commencement of regional operations from our terminal’, Jibodu said.

Meanwhile, Mr Temitope Yusuf, Value Jet MMA2 Station Manager, said that the airline had enjoyed consistent support, professionalism and commitment to safety of the MMA2 operator.

Similarly, Mrs Monica Aguta, Head, Aviation Security, MMA2, said that the terminal prides itself on the milestone achievements it had recorded over the years.

She said that security and safety played a pivotal role in the success recorded so far.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Deployment of Laws will ensure national stability, development – NBA

Mr Afam Okeke, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abuja Branch says deployment of laws will ensure national stability and development.

Okeke made this known at a news conference to announce the start of the branch’s 2024 Law Week with theme: ‘Deploying the Law to Attain National Stability and Development’.

‘As lawyers, we have a firm belief that once the law is properly deployed, we will have national stability and development as law is key to the development of any country.

‘Because of the challenges our country is facing now, we are now suggesting to the political actors and leaders that there is the need to deploy the law to solve the issues bedeviling the country, ranging from the economy and insecurity to other challenges.

‘ We don’t have shortage of laws, we have sufficient laws to solve our problems but the challenge is in doing the right things”.

He said the seven day programme for the Law Week would include four sessions of discussion of different topics, one of which is ‘The R
ole of the Judiciary in Upholding Democratic Values and Principles in Nigeria’.

‘Looking at the legality of constituency project issues recently raised at the National Assembly, we thought it wise to bring eminent legal practitioners and other knowledgeable Nigerians to discuss the legality or otherwise of constituency projects.

‘We have to look into the law and constitution to know if we are doing the right thing”.

Okeke added that insecurity, which is one of the challenge facing the country will be discussed under the topic: `Using Technology and Other Non-Kinetic Means to Solve Insecurity Challenges in Nigeria’.

He believed that at the end of the session, participants should be able to get an insight on how to contribute towards tackling the insecurity challenges in the country.

He added that the branch would visit an orphanage and also some of their members who are facing one challenge or another to encourage them and give them a sense of belonging.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Nigeria plastic solutions initiative will create 10,000 jobs – USAID

Melissa Jones, Mission Director, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Nigeria says the newly launched Nigeria Plastic Solutions Initiative will create 10,000 jobs and generate $4.8 million in income.

Jones made this known in her remarks at the launch of the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity, an initiative equally funded by USAID and the Coca-Cola Foundation, on Monday, in Lagos.

The launch had the theme, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Building a Sustainable Future.’

The Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity is a 24-month initiative being implemented by TechnoServe Nigeria, in collaboration with its partner, the Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF).

This initiative seeks to tackle the critical challenge of plastic waste management in Nigeria through innovative recycling solutions.

Jones said the goal of the activity was to recycle 49,000 metric tons of plastic waste produced in Lagos and Anambra states over the next two years.

She added that by recycling plastics, the environment was safeguarded and
pathways to economic empowerment for underemployed Nigerians unlocked.

According to her, Nigeria is the ninth highest contributor to plastic pollution, with about 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, over 88 percent of which is not recycled.

The result of this, she said, is excessive plastic pollution, which threatens ecosystems, marine life, and public health.

‘It is plastic pollution that clogs our waterways, mars our landscapes, kills thousands of marine animals, and releases toxins into the environment.

‘Firstly, plastics recycling reduces the demand for virgin materials, curbing the energy-intensive process of producing new plastics by up to 90 per cent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent.

‘Recycling plastics also reduces the amount of plastic entering the ocean by 80 per cent.

‘The 49,000 metric tons of plastics collected and recycled under the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity will contribute to efforts to achieve these targets and the overall goal of a more sustainable
and circular plastics economy in Nigeria,’ she said.

Jones added that asides improving the environment, plastic collection, sorting, aggregating, processing and manufacturing offers employment opportunities.

On her part, Small and medium scale enterprises and entry-level and semi-skilled workers particularly stand to benefit from this new value chain.

‘Because barriers to entry in the recycling sector are relatively low, the National Plastic Solutions Activity will be able to employ marginalised groups including women, youth, and people with disabilities.’

She noted that USAID would provide an enabling environment to improve the competitiveness, sustainability, and profitability of numerous collectors, aggregators and recyclers.

On her part, plastics recycling is not just an environmental imperative, it’s a catalyst for sustainable development and economic prosperity.

General Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, Mariam Khan said her company remained committed to creating shared opportunities and making a dif
ference in communities.

She noted that the initiative was not just about cleaning up but also about positively impacting lives and creating jobs.

‘This programme is a key illustration of what collaborative efforts can do for the society and the ripple effect of this will be significant,’ she said.

In her remarks, Adesuwa Akinboro Country Director, Nigeria, TechnoServe said the activity aims to reduce plastic waste in Lagos and Anambra states by at least 49,000 metric tons, through inclusive, market-driven interventions along the value chain.

According to her, a fundamental aspect of the approach is the emphasis on developing market systems to drive the circular economy.

‘We recognise the complexities within the plastic waste recycling value chain and are committed to addressing these challenges through innovative solutions that will enable sustainable practices and create inclusive job opportunities.

‘Our collaborative model ensures that we remain accountable and effective in achieving our waste reducti
on and recycling targets, reinforcing our commitment to environmental stewardship,’ she noted.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Group seeks holistic approach toward addressing determinants of suicide

The Nigeria Suicide Prevention Advocacy Group has called for a holistic approach to prevent and address the determinants of suicide in the country.

Dr Oluwatosin Adekeye, Deputy Director, Clinical Psychology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, made the call at the 2nd Virtual Meeting of the Group on the topic: ‘Determinants of Suicidality in Nigeria’.

Adekeye called for the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders to addressing the determinants of suicide, saying that effective prevention and intervention of requires a multilayered approach.

He said that the increasing rate of suicide and its corresponding devastating effects made it pertinent for stakeholders including governments, families, policy-makers and organisations to collectively look at the issue with a view to addressing it.

According to him, suicide is a behaviour motivated by the desire to escape unbearable psychological pain.

He identified psychological risk factors of suicide to include bulling, social rejection, quality o
f life and lack of care, saying that sadness, anxiety and hopelessness were the key causative factors of suicide in Nigeria.

Adekeye, who called for increased advocacy on suicide, provision of support through prevention and treatment, emphasised the need for decriminalisation of suicide to pave the way for effective suicide prevention and control in Nigeria.

‘Effective prevention and intervention require a multilayered approach that encompasses community engagement, healthcare service enhancement and robust policy support.

‘Hence, the need for social support system and education of the populace on the psychological determinants of suicide and how to cope with them,’ he said.

Speaking, a Consultant Psychiatrist, Prof. Jibril Abdulmalik, identified gender as a biological risk factor for suicide, saying there was a strong genetic history in connection to suicide.

Abdulmalik, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UCH Ibadan, said that men were at higher risk of suicide than women.

According to him, men tend
to commit suicide four times more than women.

Alhaji Abubakar Bichi, a Social Worker at the Federal Medical Centre, Kano, said that poverty and unemployment had become the major economic factors affecting suicidality in Nigeria.

Bichi, also the National President, Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigerian (AMSWON), said the burden of economic pressures such as debt, inability to meet daily needs and uncertainty about future could lead to increased level of stress and anxiety, leading to suicide.

He decried that mental health services were barely available in the rural communities, as the country only have six Federal Psychiatric hospitals basically located at the urban cities.

‘Mental Health, though, might be a long term health condition, is treatable that an individual with the condition can live a normal life.

‘Unfortunately, in many Nigeria communities, mental health issues are often stigmatised and perceived as sign of weakness.

‘The social and economic determinants are the major causative f
actors of mental health conditions and suicide in Nigeria, hence the need to address them.

‘The Government should implement mental health policies and laws and provide the enabling environment for the citizens to be meaningfully engaged.

‘Let there be more job opportunities so that people will gainfully be employed and the basic amenities be made available,’ Bichi said.

Prof. Ibrahim Wakawa, Medical Director, Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital Maiduguri, said there was need for a public pronouncement by the Federal Ministry of Health that suicide has became a public health pandemic.

According to him, there is need for proper control and monitoring of the means of access to suicide like snipper, by the relevant authorities.

He noted that poverty alleviation needed to be really considered a priority if significant achievement would be made in prevention of suicide in Nigeria.

Earlier, Prof. Taiwo Sheikh, the Group Coordinator, said that mental health, including determinants of suicide, affect millions of
people across Africa, adding that stigma and cultural misconceptions often compound these issues.

In his welcome speech, Sheikh, also a consultant psychiatrist, said that insufficient public spending on mental health and suicide prevention was a major barrier to providing assistance to those in need.

According to him, effective suicide prevention can only take place through a whole-of-society approach that involves the government, civil society organisations and community leaders.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


NILDS to partner Abuja Varsity to expand its programmes

The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) says it plans to partner with the University of Abuja to expand its academic programmes.

Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, the Director-General, NILDS, said this at the orientation programme for the 2024 NILDS/University of Benin (UNIBEN) post graduate students in Abuja on Monday.

‘This will showcase NILDS as indeed the citadel of learning, character moulding and intellectualism,’ he said.

Represented by a consultant of the institute, Dr Kabir Ahmed, Sulaiman said that the orientation was to acquaint the students with the rules and regulations guiding the operation of the institute.

He said that the institute placed great premium on high moral and ethical standards saying that there was no short-cut to success and students must always play by the rules.

Sulaiman said that the institute would soon commence a Masters Degree Programme in Governace in collaboration with some renowned educational institutions.

‘I am pleased to inform you all that a
s part of our efforts in ensuring that we strengthen our post graduate programmes, a master’s degree programme in Governance will soon commence in the Institute.

‘This is a collaborative tripartite agreement between the NILDS, University of Benin (UNIBEN) and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN).

‘Also, the Open Distance Learning (ODL) Programme in professional certificate courses in diverse areas will soon commence.

‘I am equally pleased to inform you all that there is also a collaboration between NILDS and the Federal University Lokoja for doctoral programmes in Election and Party Politics, Parliamentary Administration, Legislative Studies, Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, Leadership and Strategic Studies, and Social Works,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria