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Commission Pledges to Eradicate Illiteracy and Endemic Poverty in North-East

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Commission pledges to eradicate illiteracy, endemic poverty in north east

The North East Development Commission Education Endowment Fund (NEDC-EEF), on Friday in Abuja has expressed commitment to the eradication of illiteracy and endemic poverty in the North East region.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the fund, Mr David Sabo Kente (DSK), made the pledge at the inauguration of the board by the Chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Gen. Paul Tarfa retired.

Kente said that the board would assiduously work towards the development of sufficient human capital in order to acquire adequate capacity for infrastructural and socio-economic development of the region.

He also said that the fund would build human capacity for the north east zone through scholarship endowment;
Offer citizens of member States equal opportunity in ICT skills acquisition and educational training at graduate and post graduate levels.

” We are also determine to provide educational training for families at Ward , Local Government and Senatorial district levels in all the States.

” And further the education of over 2400 beneficiaries of the Safe School Initiative (SSI) beyond Secondary School level;
Offer opportunity for training orphaned children and other vulnerable groups currently not benefitting from the safe school initiative.

” We will also provide short term but impactful entrepreneurship training programmes to candidates whose primary school or secondary school education were truncated by the Boko Haram and other crisis.

” Similarly, we intend to offer special scholarship opportunities to talented youths engaged in sports, and also establish a North East Regional Sports Institute in the future and support the training of Nurses, Midwives and retraining of Teachers and vocational training for women and youths.

” These will in no small measure, fight the menace of low human capital and illiteracy which has been traced to be the highest in the north east compared to the rest of the six geographical zones in the nation,” he said.

Kente said based on the UNDP Human Development Reports of 2018, north east States have a Human Development Index (HDI) scores below the National average.

” Ranging from a high of 0.4286 in Taraba to a low of 0.3238 in Bauchi State, less than half of that of Lagos State at 0.6515,the State with the Highest HDI score.”

He assured that the board would partner with States Education architecture, local and international development partners in the education sector, as well as donor agencies, to achieve it core mandate of creating an educated citizenry.

” This we believe will change the educational landscape of the region.

” Our intention and target is to get the first set of beneficiaries of the programme into various institutions by the beginning of the next academic session.”

Kente used the occasion to appreciates the support of the Chairman and Members of the Governing Board of NEDC for setting aside the approved grant to enable the board hit the ground running with the activities of NEDC-EEF.

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Public, private investments critical in transforming Africa’s food systems – Osinbajo

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By Gistflash News

July 27, 2021

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says transforming Africa’s food system is an obvious task requiring the active mobilisation and prioritisation of both public and private investments.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the vice president virtually spoke at the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021.

The pre-summit is a prelude to the global event scheduled for Rome, Italy, in September; an event the vice president described as crucial just as the previous dialogues held in several countries on food systems.

He said that the Federal Government was committed in complementing existing development plans, sectoral strategies, and prioritising investments in specific innovations and technologies to transform food systems in the country.

“The Nigerian Government is committed to addressing the drivers of food insecurity such as food inflation, changing consumption patterns and climate change, amongst other things.

“At the same time and as an outcome of 40 different food systems dialogues in which up to 5,000 people participated, Nigeria is prioritising investments in specific innovations and technologies to scale up and transform food systems.

“These actions complement existing development plans and sectoral strategies such as our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the National Policy on Food and Nutrition, and the National Policy on Food Safety.

“A specific aim of our recently launched National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy is to address hunger, malnutrition and poverty as part of our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.”

Osinbajo added that at the heart of Nigeria’s post-COVID-19 response was the Economic Sustainability Plan.

He said that the plan had a major component, which is the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Programme (AFJP), where the country sought to leverage suitable technologies to build a resilient food system for Nigeria.

“Our Nutrition Policy addresses the issues of sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food systems – and the country has prioritised key nutrition actions that are impactful, cost-effective, scalable and sustainable.

“An integral part of our food systems’ transformation strategy is to create an enabling and supportive environment to implement these policies in a participatory manner involving farmers, investors and state governments.

“For example, when, as in our country and several others, population growth exceeds growth in national income, food supply would not meet the needs of people, especially when distribution systems are inequitable.”

According to him, post-harvest losses in Africa, and particularly in Nigeria, are more than 20 per cent of production for several food groups.

He said the losses were mainly due to poor storage, poor rural infrastructure and non-automation of food processing, among others.

“The situation in many African countries is given increased urgency with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to growing levels of acute food insecurity.

“This is of great concern to all of us, especially if we recall that prior to the pandemic, the prevalence of severe food insecurity was as high as 22 per cent,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, commended Nigeria’s effort, especially the vice president, for leading six ministers in the dialogues and other efforts aimed at building sustainable food systems in the country.

“Food unites us all, as families, as communities, as cultures and as humanity, now let’s use it to unite around the urgency and the actions that are needed to transform our world by 2030,” she said.

Aside Osinbajo and Mohammed, participants at the second day of the preparatory meeting included the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi; Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed; and ministers representing India, Canada, China, Norway, Egypt, among other countries.

NAN

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2021 Children Golf Development Clinic begins Monday in Abuja

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By Gistflash News

July 23, 2021

The 2021 edition of the Children Golf Development Clinic, being organised by the Ladies Section of IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja, begins on Monday at the club.

The event’s Organising Committee Chairman, Joy Ikwue who is also the club’s Vice Lady Captain, disclosed this on Friday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“The two-week event tagged `Future Champions of Golf’ is being put together by the club’s Ladies Section and it is part of efforts to raise the level of the sport by the Executive Committee led by Lady Captain MaryRose Richard-Obioha,” she said.

Ikwue disclosed that top Nigerian professional golfers would also be available at the clinic which ends on Aug. 6 to offer life skills training to the children and youths.

“This is with a view of not only integrating them into the game but the society in general.

“Golf is a game of rules and in as much as there will be many rules for the children to learn, we will also want them to know about service to humanity, country and fellow golfers.”

Ikwue stated that more than 70 children and teenagers, whose ages range from five to 18, have so far registered and the organisers believed that more are still coming.

She added that the club’s ladies have traditionally always arranged this summer development clinic for over a decade now.

“The section has tried to sustain the developmental programme with the aim of discover potential young golfers.

“This is because the clinic is to catch them young and groom them so as to become assets for their parents and Nigeria as a whole.”

Ikwue however lamented the difficulties in getting sponsors as some of the letters sent out did not receive any response.

She nonetheless thanked the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Rotary Club, as well as members of the club for their support.

NAN

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Workers’ welfare: FG to ensure implementation of projects

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By Gistflash News

July 22, 2021

The Federal Government on Thursday, expressed its commitment to the effective implementation of projects that would improve the welfare of civil servants in the country.

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), said this at the inauguration and handing over of erosion/flooding control, and road improvement work at Ama Pepple Public Servants’ Estate, FCT.

Yemi-Esan said that the project was one of the 7th ecological interventions, approved by President, Muhammadu Buhari, for 3rd and 4th quarters of 2019.

She said that the government had in pursuance of this goal, also implemented a project named the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.

The HCSF explained that the FISH Programme was designed to provide quality and affordable housing for public servants, in line with the Federal Government’s Housing Policy.

According to her, the government is working assiduously to make the lives of public servants better.

“We are also working to provide critical infrastructure in estates built for civil servants under the FISH project.

“Necessary action has been taken to reposition the FISH programme. So, we are working very hard to ensure that public and civil servants live in comfortable homes.

“The Federal Government is determined to pursue and implement projects aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of citizens, and also looking for better opportunities for economic growth of the country,’’ she said.

Yemi-Esan, however, implored residents of the estate to cherish the project by desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, in order to ensure its sustainability.

“Having successfully completed this project, the living standard of the residents will be enhanced. This will also reduce dangers of erosion and persistent flooding that had been experienced here in recent times.

“The execution of projects across the country also demonstrates the sincerity of purpose by the present administration towards entrenching justice, equity and fair play to all and sundry,’’ she said.

She commended Ecological Fund Office (EFO), the project contractor; Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd and the project consultant; Enplan Group Ltd, for their doggedness in ensuring speedy completion of the project.

Dr Habiba Lawal, the Permanent Secretary of EFO, said that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention, forwarded to the EFO by the Chairman of the estate.

Lawal said that the request was to arrest the continued erosion, flooding and other ecological challenges, as well as to prevent further environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties in the estate.

She said that the completion of the project was made possible through the efforts of the project contractor and consultant, which worked tirelessly to ensure that minimal time in the project implementation was achieved.

Dr Gaga Ali, the Chairman of the estate, who spoke on behalf of the residents, thanked the Federal Government and EFO officials for their effort sin making sure that the project was duly implemented.

Ali appealed to the government to construct an access road to the estate, as according to him, each year residents repair the road, it deteriorates due to erosion.

Also, Alhaji Mohamed Bello, the Managing Director, Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd, said that the job was to be executed within six months, but was completed in four months.

Bello said that the project was executed during the rainy season, and that in spite of the horrible state of the road and the season, the contractors were able to ensure the delivery of a quality project.

NAN

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