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NECO prepares for 2024 NCEE, urges parents to maintain decorum

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Ahead of the scheduled date for the 2024 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) on April 20, the National Examination Council (NECO) has affirmed its readiness for the examination and called upon parents to observe decorum during the process.

The acting Director of the Directorate of Information and Digital Communication at NECO, Mr. Azeez Sani, made this disclosure during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Tuesday.

Sani emphasised the importance of parental cooperation for the smooth conduct of the examination.

He stated, “The examination is on April 20 and we are doing everything necessary to ensure a successful conduct. However, we need maximum cooperation of parents.”

Furthermore, Sani urged parents to avoid overcrowding the examination centres and to maintain decorum throughout the process, emphasising the importance of a conducive environment for candidates.

He added that, “While parents bring their wards for the examination on that day, they must not overcrowd the centre but should as much as they can, exhibit extreme decorum.

“The candidates are children who need concentration and we don’t want noise or any form of distraction during the examination. This is an appeal.”

The NECO official explained that pupils siting for the examination are expected to be in the age bracket of 10 and 13 years by September 2024, in line with Federal Government’s directive.

According to him, it’s been clearly stated that pupils below 10 years are not qualified.

He said, “We are using this opportunity to tell parents to appeal to their conscience and stop rushing their children’s education because it will affect them later.”

He expressed optimism that school authorities and management have educated the pupils on what is expected of them while attending to the questions as a guide.

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Reps seek more financial investment for federal teaching hospitals

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The House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Health Institutions, Amos Magaji, has called for a sustained financial investment in the federal teaching hospitals across the country.

He said this will be in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration for the betterment of the citizenry.

Magaji disclosed this during an oversight visit of members of his committee to the Federal University of Health Sciences Teaching Hospital, Otukpo.

He stressed the need to allocate more funds in health sector, considering the primary responsibility of health institutions in the country.

Magaji appreciated the Chief Medical Director, CMD, and his management staff for showing interest in the growth of the teaching hospital, considering the tremendous achievements recorded within a period of one year.

He assured that he would work with his members to ensure that more funds are made available to develop the needed infrastructure including the medical equipment to meet up with the expectations of the people.

“We are glad to be in Otukpo today to see things for ourselves. We don’t want to depend on second hand information on the true condition of the Federal University Teaching Hospital Otukpo,” he said.

He assured the management of full support of the Federal House of Representatives as appropriate incentives would be given through interface with other critical stakeholders in Abuja.

The committee chairman enjoined the staff, whom he described as foundation staff to work as team despite the working condition, “we have seen how the environment is looking and we will continue to monitor the progress.

“So, as foundation staff, you all have the opportunity to write your name in gold.”

While welcoming the committee, the CMD, Prof Silas Ochejele, appreciated the federal government for the establishment of the teaching hospital in Otukpo which has drastically changed the medical services narratives in the state.

Ochejele thanked the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions for the pains to come down to Otukpo and believed that the visit has made them to see things themselves, which would go a long way in repositioning the hospital for the betterment of the people.

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JUST IN: Helicopter carrying Iran’s President crashes

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, has been involved in an incident while he was visiting neighbouring Azerbaijan, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on X on Sunday according to CNN.

“Some of the president’s companions on this helicopter were able to communicate with Central Headquarters, raising hopes that the incident could have ended without casualties,” it added.

It is unclear what the exact status is of Raisi’s helicopter, CNN reports.

The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters. Two of those helicopters were carrying ministers and officials who arrived at their destination safely, according to Tasnim.

“Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Al-Hashem, Tabriz’s Friday Prayer Imam, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were also reportedly on the helicopter with the president,” Tasnim said on X. BREAKING: Helicopter carrying Iran’s President involved in an accident

A helicopter carrying Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, has been involved in an incident while he was visiting neighbouring Azerbaijan, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on X on Sunday according to CNN.

“Some of the president’s companions on this helicopter were able to communicate with Central Headquarters, raising hopes that the incident could have ended without casualties,” it added.

It is unclear what the exact status is of Raisi’s helicopter, CNN reports.

The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters. Two of those helicopters were carrying ministers and officials who arrived at their destination safely, according to Tasnim.

“Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Al-Hashem, Tabriz’s Friday Prayer Imam, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were also reportedly on the helicopter with the president,” Tasnim said on X.

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NDDC to unveil 92 projects worth N84bn

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The Niger Delta Development Commission said it would commission 92 infrastructure projects valued at over N84 billion across five states in the region in the next two weeks.

This is according to a statement by the Director, Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Mr. Pius Ughakpoteni, made available to our correspondent in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on Sunday

“With a forward-looking, innovative and result-oriented roadmap, the commission is well-equipped towards ensuring a holistic and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful,” adding that the NDDC’s management “would explore means of reducing recurrent expenditure, while focusing on completing capital projects.

“And in the light of the above, NDDC, will in the next two weeks, commission 92 infrastructure projects executed at a cost of N84 billion across the nine mandate states in the region,” the statement partly read.

The projects include the 25.7 km Ogbia-Nembe Road which creates a road link to the ancient city of Nembe. For the first time in living memory, the 9.15 km of pre-fabricated vertical drains on the swamp and seven bridges are also among the star projects in the area.

These projects executed at the cost of N24 billion, cut the traveling time to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital from 3 hours on dangerous water routes to 45 minutes and also opened up 14 communities for development.

Also slated for commissioning are the 132KV Transmission Line and I32KV/33KV sub-station electrification project, executed at a cost of N8.3bn to optimise power supply to Local Government Areas in the southern part of Ondo State.

The project covers the construction of 45km double circuit 33KV feeder lines from Omotosho Power Station (Hook-up point) to Okitipupa and two 30MVA, 132/33KV injection substations with breakers, gantry and substation automation. It also includes the construction of a 3-bedroom semi-detached bungalow as service quarters.

The capacity of the power station is optimised with the provision of 2 x 60MVA, 132/33KV transformer and other ancillary works at Okitipupa injection sub-station, rehabilitation of 35km 33/11KV transmission from Okitipupa-Igbokoda-Ugbonla and environs and the construction of 1km rigid pavement.

The electricity project will complement the Federal Government’s effort in the power sector development by improving power supply to Okitipupa, Igbokoda and other neighbouring communities in Ondo South Senatorial District, with direct value chain in small and medium scale industries, job creation and consequently engender growth and development in Ondo State.

Ughakpoteni also noted that in Akwa Ibom State, the NDDC will commission the 6.87 km Iko-Iwuochang road in Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District of the state.

In Abia State, the commission will unveil the Obehie to Oke Ikpe road reconstructed at a cost of N3.5bn, among others.

Other projects for commissioning during the event include roads, electrification, a police station, health centres and school blocks.

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