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Ogun to conduct multidimensional human development index survey



The Ogun State Government is set to conduct household surveys to develop a framework that will assist in planning, management, and evaluation of the multi-dimensional poverty human development index.

The survey is expected to go one step further than the NBS’ multidimensional poverty index. The survey will allow the government of Prince Dapo Abiodun to assess the impact of the various policies it has been implementing in the last four and half years in such areas as education, health, job creation, empowerment and other social interventions.

Already, a consultant, E-services Nigeria Limited, has been contracted by the state government to carry out the survey for a 27-week period. The General Household Survey will produce indicators needed for the design and monitoring of the implementation of various State Development Plans (SDPs).

The consultant commenced work on 6 March. They are to work in liaison with the Ogun State Bureau of Statistics.

According to the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan, the survey will enable the state government to properly establish baselines on different data points in the state and allow for the implementation of the various strategies already earmarked for execution.  “This is in line with the ‘Building Our Future Together’ mantra of the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration, which over the years have executed and implemented various strategies cutting across the ISEYA development agenda.

“In the past five years, under the pillar of infrastructure, our administration has brought development to every ward in the 20 local government areas of the state. We have constructed, reconstructed, and rehabilitated over 500 kilometers of roads across all regions in the state in line with the administration’s policy of inclusiveness and determination to abolish erstwhile practices of prior administrations of developing one section of the state at the expense of other sections.

“Similarly, in the energy sector, the administration has installed over 500 transformers across communities through its Community Electrification Project and has improved power supply in the 20 local government areas.

“We have also provided solar street lights, solar boreholes for potable water, and the distribution of solar home kits to rural dwellers.

“The administration has also rehabilitated the Arakanga Waterworks in Abeokuta to ensure a reliable supply of potable water and constructed new water storage facilities as well as expanded the water supply and reticulation network to many streets and neighborhoods in the city of Abeokuta. These completed projects, which are already in use and being enjoyed by residents, will soon be formally commissioned.

“We are currently at the planning stage of expanding the reticulation network into new areas within the state while rehabilitating all our Mini Water Works in other parts of the state for improved water supply for our people.

“Ogun State is leading the pack in energy transition as we are on record as the first state to deploy Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses in Nigeria and have deployed them in Abeokuta and Mowe/Ibafo to Lagos routes with the aim to cushion the effects of transport fares for our citizens and facilitate movement of people and goods from the rural to urban and vice versa for increased livelihoods for our people,” he said.

The commissioner also spoke on the Gateway Agro-Cargo International Airport, which, along with its allied businesses in the aerotropolis, are expected to generate over 25,000 direct and indirect jobs.

He also noted the government’s investments in automating business processes to improve efficiency and the Ease of Doing Business Index in the state.

The commissioner said education and human capital development remain key priorities of the government with the renovation and construction of over 1,200 classrooms and buildings across all 234 wards in the state, together with over 50,000 new desks and chairs, provision of learning materials, and the implementation of the OgunDigiClass initiative, which utilizes technology for virtual learning.

Olabimtan spoke on efforts to address the shortage of teachers in public schools, with the recruitment of 5,000 teaching interns under the OGUNTEACH program and the recent conversion of 1,000 teachers from the program for permanent employment.

In the same vein, the commissioner noted that the Abiodun-led administration launched the Ogun Job Portal in 2019, which has enabled the government to match thousands of applicants with employment opportunities in the various sectors of the economy.

The government has also rehabilitated, equipped, and staffed 100 primary healthcare centres across the state to provide quality heathcare to the people, he said.

“We’ve implemented programmes to boost the status of women by including them in politics, governance, and economic activities, as well as providing education for girls.

“Through the Oko’wo Dapo Women’s Empowerment scheme, over 50,000 women have grown their businesses, and with additional funding from the Federal Government’s Nigeria for Women Project, the total investment in women’s empowerment now stands at about N1.5 billion,” he said.

In the area of provision of shelter, Olabimtan said the construction of 4,000 housing units, amongst others, are some interventions that the government believes should filter down to improve the living standards of the people of the state.

In addition, government, this year alone, started the construction of 200 units of high-end duplexes at PMB Estate, Kobape through a PPP programme, commenced development of Ibara and Idi Aba GRA Regeneration Schemes, commenced the construction of 200 units of Affordable Housing in Gateway Aviation Village, Iperu, commenced the construction of 250 units of Affordable Housing in Kobape Phase 3 and the construction of 100 units of mixed Housing units at OPIC Estate, Warewa, Isheri.

A recent report by BudgIT ranked Ogun State in the 7th position in the 2023 overall Fiscal Performance Ranking and 1st in most improved in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) among the 36 states and the FCT.

This affirms the position of the state as the investment destination of choice as well as one of the most resilient states.

“We will continue in our drive towards attracting investors by providing the most business-friendly environment through well-thought-out policies assisted and driven by technology,” Olabimtan said.

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Nigeria deploys troops for peace keeping in Gambia



The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday, announced the deployment of 197 personnel for the peace keeping mission in the Gambia.
The Chief of Operations Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Boniface Sinjen made the announcement in Jaji, Kaduna State, at the graduation of troops of Nigerian Company 9 Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG).
The 197 troops began Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) on May 4, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji Kaduna State.
According to him, the PDT is in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff , Lt -Gen Taoreed Lagbaja and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in deploying quality peacekeepers in support of international peace and security.
He said that the training had equipped them with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge required for peace support operations.
“It  has prepared you for the protection of civilians and the accomplishment of assigned tasks under the ECOMIG mandate.
“You have learned the importance of teamwork, leadership and cultural sensitivity as well as other factors that would ensure your success in the mission area.
“You have been trained in the latest techniques and procedures for maintaining peace and stability in a complex environment and instilled with the values of discipline, respect for human rights and compassion for the people you are going out there to protect.
“Your mission comes at a critical time, as The Gambia faces a period of
uncertainty and instability, “he said.
According to him, the country’s political crisis has affected the lives of many innocent civilians and their presence will sustain the existing peace and stability to the region.
“Your role is crucial in maintaining peace, protecting lives and promoting sustainable development.”
Sinjen  charged  the troops to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights.
He advised them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS’ mandate, which guides your mission and ensure that your actions align with the principles of peace, stability and human rights.
”Remember that your conduct will not only reflect on yourselves but also on your country, the ECOWAS region and the international community.
”Additionally, your training has exposed you to the culture and religious diversity of The Gambia.
 “You are, therefore, expected to approach all interactions with sensibility and respect. Be mindful of the local customs, traditions and socio-political dynamics of the mission area.
”You must remain vigilant in the face of potential security threats and   avoid any actions that may be perceived as insensitive,” he said.
He said that as peacekeepers in a sovereign nation, they must adhere strictly to the UN principles and guidelines for peacekeeping operations.
 “Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Gambia and avoid any actions that may be perceived as interference in the country’s internal affairs.”
He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria had zero-tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse in line with United Nations’ policies.
”Therefore, any form of sexual exploitation and abuse will be met with severe consequences.
“As ambassadors of the armed Forces of Nigeria and our great nation, you must uphold the esteemed values and enviable image of this country, “Sinjen said.
Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the six weeks training had been intense, comprehensive, and was conducted in line with the Standard UN Core Pre-Deployment Training Modules.
Adedoja said the PDT was to equip the earmarked unit with the requisite skills and knowledge to function effectively and efficiently in their deployment to the Gambia.

He said as  part of their training, the troops were taken through crosscutting issues like Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Conduct and Discipline as well as Protection of Civilians amongst others.

“This graduation is a testament to the capacity and capability of the MLAILPKC as a United Nations accredited Centre to conduct quality training of prospective peacekeepers for deployment to multidimensional Peace Support Operations in fulfillment of her mandate.

“The Centre has within the last six weeks been able to train, retrain and refresh the troops on requisite knowledge and expertise to succeed in a Peace Support Operation environment.

” It is my fervent belief that these men are better informed and equipped to perform their roles in the Gambia, “Adedoja said.

He said the graduation ceremony once more showed the commitment of Nigeria and the Nigerian Armed Forces to global peace and security.

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Tinubu calls for stronger collaboration with FBI to fight cybercrime, terrorism



President Bola Tinubu has called for stronger collaboration between Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fight against cybercrime, terrorism, and other related crimes. 

The President made the call during a meeting with FBI Director, Christopher Asher Wray, at the State House on Friday in Abuja.

Tinubu described the presence of the FBI Director alongside his team in Nigeria as a recognition of the enduring partnership between Nigeria and the U.S. in the fight against financial crimes and terrorism. 

Security chiefs who attended the meeting included the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Also in attendance were the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) and Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede; and the National Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, were also present.

Tinubu said it was an honour for him to receive Wray, the leader of an organisation that had demonstrated consistent procedural sophistication and a reputation for excellence over several years.

“Your visit conveys the importance of Nigeria and Nigerian partnership in the work of America’s law enforcement institutions and vice-versa.

“For us, it is a recognition of what stage we are at, who we are, and the level of interest both countries share in eliminating crimes locally and globally.

“We cannot achieve this important feat of eliminating crimes without collaboration.

“Incidentally, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, Nigeria is also collaborating with other West African countries to fight economic and other related crimes,” the President said.

He told the FBI Director that his administration had prioritised education as a tool against poverty, which was generally believed to be a driver of criminal activities.

“We are working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, sextortion, and I am glad that we have a good number of agencies that are involved in reducing these crimes to the barest minimum, and they are also well represented at this meeting,” said Tinubu.

Noting that no single country could combat financial crimes in isolation, he called on the U.S. to support developing countries with the requisite technology and knowledge transfer required to combat complex international crimes.

In his remarks, Wray said he was in the country to enhance the “outstanding partnership” that existed between the government of Nigeria and the government of the U.S. 

He lauded Tinubu for supporting the growing partnerships between various agencies of government and the FBI in order to protect the citizens of both countries. 

“We appreciate the President’s vision in countering terrorism in the region, which is a dangerous threat, not only to the countries in the region but also to the United States. 

“We appreciate your vision in re-engineering the role of the Office of the NSA to effectively coordinate efforts on counter-terrorism, and this has already started to bear fruits in terms of the success you are recording against ISIS in West Africa and other terrorist groups. 

“We appreciate your support and collaboration on cyber-enabled crimes and sextortion, which has unfortunately resulted in a few tragic deaths in the United States. 

“I want to assure you of our support whether it is on counter-terrorism, cyber-enabled crimes, kidnapping, joint investigations, and intelligence sharing. Our relationship with Nigeria is a very important one,” the FBI Director said. 

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Saudi Weather: NACHON urges pilgrims to avoid direct sunlight



The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has advised Nigerian pilgrims to use umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen, on Friday in Mina, a valley located eight kilometres South-East of the city of Mecca.

This year’s hajj is taking place in sweltering temperatures that test the endurance of worshipers during the mostly outdoor rituals.

He implored the pilgrims to always seek shade whenever possible to avoid direct sunlight.

Arabi said,” It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if they do not feel thirsty.

” Pilgrims are also advised to pay close attention to all health advisories and instructions provided by the medical team.

” To limit sun exposure, pilgrims should avoid going outside during peak heat. They should also stay cool by refraining from walking on or touching hot surfaces like rooftops.”

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has issued a heat advisory for the pilgrims in the wake of scorching surface temperatures, which pose a significant health risk.

The ministry highlighted the intense heat in Makkah as a major challenge for hajj, adding that prolonged sun exposure could be dangerous.

On Saturday morning, pilgrims will proceed from Mina to the plain of Arafat for the major ritual of standing.

Spanning approximately 33 square kilometers, Arafat hosts over two million pilgrims each year.

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