Archive For The “News” Category
Kogi state is to flood the markets with rice and fish by December following the mass production of the products by the state-owned Omi Agricultural Development Centre.
The centre situated in Yagba-West Local Government would be out with “Confluence’’ rice, Mr David Apeh, Special Adviser to Gov. Yahaya Bello on Agriculture and Rural Development, said.
‘’In December, God willing, the state government will be out with Kogi Confluence Rice from Omi Dam,’’ he said.
According to Apeh, necessary arrangement for the December deadline, for the rice to hit the market has been completed.
“The milling factory in Omi will also serve as undertaker for other rice-producing local government areas of the state to mill all and package them for the markets.’’
The Omi project also has about 500 fish ponds already developed for massive fish production.
Apeh expressed optimism that fish production would boost the effort of the state government to feed the people of the state and the nation at large.
He also said that plots of land have been cleared and allocated to youths and other interested groups in the area to grow different crops.
Apeh expressed the hope that with sustained commitment to the various initiatives, Kogi would soon assume leadership position in food production in the country.
“With all these, we should be the ‘’Food Basket of the Nation’’ rather than Benue which currently claims the title. We have everything it takes to achieve that.
“ With the arable land, water bodies and the commitment of the present government in creating conducive environment for investors in agricultural production, we shall be up there soon.
“Agriculture is our only hope of survival now that the economy is dwindling.
“We want to overtake Lagos and Kebbi, taking advantage of our location.” (NAN)
–By Friday Idachaba NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
Less than two weeks after a 8.1 magnitude earthquake killed over 90 people in Mexico, another earthquake has claimed 44 lives and destroyed buildings.
The latest magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, making panicky thousands flee into the streets, as buildings collapsed and at least one was engulfed by fire.
The quake occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.
Mexican media broadcast images of multiple downed buildings in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby Cuernavaca. A column of smoke rose from a structure in one central neighborhood in the capital.
Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City.
Gov. Alfredo del Mazo told the Televisa news network that two people died in the State of Mexico, which also borders the capital: a quarry worker who was killed when the quake unleashed a rockslide and another person who was hit by a falling lamppost.
Rescue workers rushed to the site of damaged or collapsed buildings in the capital, and reporters saw onlookers cheer as a woman was pulled from the rubble.
Rescuers immediately called for silence so that they could listen for others who might be trapped.
The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage was not yet clear.
The U.S. Geological Survey calculated its magnitude at 7.1 and said it was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.
Puebla Gov. Tony Gali tweeted that there had been damaged buildings in the city of Cholula including collapsed church steeples.
In Mexico City, thousands of people fled office buildings and hugged to calm each other along the central Reforma Avenue as alarms blared, and traffic stopped around the Angel of Independence monument.
Earlier in the day workplaces across the city held readiness drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake, a magnitude 8.0 shake, which killed thousands of people and devastated large parts of Mexico City.
In the Roma neighborhood, which was hit hard by the 1985 quake, piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets. At least one large parking structure collapsed. Two men calmed a woman seated on a stool in the street, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee.
Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, said she was in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck. She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings. She was anxiously trying to locate her children, whom she had left in the care of her disabled mother.
Pictures fell from office building walls, objects were shaken off of flat surfaces and computer monitors toppled over. Some people dove for cover under desks. Local media broadcast video of whitecap waves churning the city’s normally placid canals of Xochimilco as boats bobbed up and down.
Mexico City’s international airport suspended operations and was checking facilities for any damage.
Much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soil can amplify the effects of earthquakes centered hundreds of miles away.
The new quake appears to be unrelated to the magnitude 8.1 temblor that hit Sept. 7 off Mexico’s southern coast and which also was felt strongly in the capital.
U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle noted that the epicenters of the two quakes are 400 miles (650 kilometers) apart and most aftershocks are within 100 kilometers.
There have been 19 earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or larger within 250 kilometers of Tuesday’s quake in the past century, Earle said.
Earth usually has about 15 to 20 earthquakes this size or larger each year, Earle said.
Initial calculations show that more than 30 million people would have felt moderate shaking from Tuesday’s quake. The US Geological Survey predicts “significant casualty and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread.”
*This extensive report was courtesy AP*
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, urged the world to strive for peace and decent living for all people.
Buhari, who delivered Nigeria’s National Statement, lauded the international community’s support against Boko Haram and for providing support to address the huge humanitarian challenges in Nigeria’s North-East.
“In an exemplary show of solidarity, the international community came together within my own region to assist the countries and communities in the Sahel.
“The international community also assisted the Lake Chad regions to contain the threats posed by Al Qaida and Boko Haram.
“We thank the Security Council for visiting the countries of the Lake Chad Basin to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs and for pledging assistance to rebuild lives and livelihoods.
“Indeed, in Nigeria we are providing relief and humanitarian assistance to millions in internally displaced camps and those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods and other natural disasters,” he said.
The president also assured the UN of Nigeria’s support, especially at this troubled time in the life of the organisation.
“I assure you of my country’s solidarity and cooperation. You will indeed, need the cooperation of all member-states as we are meeting during extra-ordinarily troubled and dangerous times.”
According to him, the previous year has witnessed many far-reaching developments, including the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the North Korean nuclear crisis.
Buhari commended UN for helping to settle thousands of civilians in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also lauded the Governments of Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees.
“In the last year, the international community came together to focus on the need for gender equality, youth empowerment, social inclusion, and the promotion of education, creativity and innovation.
“The frontiers of good governance, democracy, including holding free and fair elections, and enthronement of the rule of law are expanding everywhere, especially in Africa.
“Our faith in democracy remains firm and unshaken. Our regional organisation, ECOWAS, came together to uphold democratic principles in The Gambia as we had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire,” he said.
According to the president, through individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery in Africa.
“These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support.
“We shall also cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime. These cooperative efforts should be sustained.
“We must collectively devise strategies and mobilise the required responses to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin.
“The Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin are where there are insufficient resources, and response capacity is weak.
“This will require strong UN cooperation with regional organisations, such as the African Union, in conflict prevention and management,” he said.
The Nigerian leader condemned the Myanmar crisis, saying the Rohingya crisis was state-backed.
“The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what, from all indications, is a state-backed programme of brutal de-population of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the bases of ethnicity and religion.
“We fully endorse the call by the Secretary-General on the Government of Myanmar to order a halt to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and ensure the safe return of the displaced Rohingya to their homes in safety and dignity.
“In all these crises, the primary victims are the people, the most vulnerable being women and children.
“That is why the theme of this session, Focusing on People: Striving or Peace and Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet, is most apposite,” he said.
According to him, the most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea.
Buhari, therefore, urged that necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader. The delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.”
Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s abiding commitment to the foundational principles and goals of the UN.
“Since our admission as a member state in 1960, we have always participated in all efforts to bring about global peace, security and development.
“Nigeria will continue to support the UN in all its efforts, including the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said.
By Prudence Arobani/New York(NAN)
The Police in Borno state have confirmed the killing of an Islamic cleric and 16 others by Boko Haram gunmen and bombers in separate incidents in two villages.
DSP Isuku Victor, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), said an Imam and three persons were killed when the insurgents stormed Kurumari village in Magumeri council area on Sunday.
“On September 17, at about 22:30 hours, some suspects reasonably believed to be Boko Haram terrorists attacked Kurumari village, about 14 kilometres east of Magumeri town, in Magumeri local government area.
“Four persons including the Imam of the village were reportedly killed during the attack.”
Victor disclosed that 13 other persons were also killed in multiple suicide bomb attacks at Mashemeri village in Konduga local government area of the state.
“On Monday September 18, at about 10:50 hours, two male and a female suicide bombers carried out coordinated attacks at different locations at Mashemari village in Konduga Local Government Area.
“The first explosion occurred when there was echo of sporadic shooting in a farm. In the ensuing stampede, the first suicide bomber detonated the Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs).
“The other two suicide bombers detonated their explosives inside the village close to the house of the village head.
“Thirteen persons including the three suicide bombers died while sixteen other persons sustained various degrees of injuries,” he said.
Isuku said that the victims were referred to the General Hospital, Konduga for treatment.
He added that Police EOD team and Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) were deployed; adding that normalcy had been restored to the area.
Rabiu Sani /Maiduguri
A humanitarian medical organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said about 48 persons have died of cholera since the outbreak of the disease last month in Borno state.
The organisation otherwise called Doctors without Borders, said that 2, 627 cases of the disease were recorded by the state ministry of health.
Anna Cilliers, MSF’s Medical Coordinator said that the organisation had scaled up its campaign to contain the cholera outbreak in Maiduguri, Monguno and Dikwa local government areas of the state.
“As new cases of cholera emerged from Monguno, Dikwa and other parts of Maiduguri, MSF continues to scale up its response in the state. Since the start of the outbreak, a total of 2, 627 cholera cases and 48 deaths were reported by the Borno State Ministry of Health. The state capital Maiduguri alone has witnessed 1,425 cases, while 600 cases in Dikwa and 602 cases in Monguno have so far been reported.
“Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to tackle cholera outbreak. As cases of the disease increased in Maiduguri, we rapidly set up a 100-bed capacity Cholera Treatment Centre (CTU) at Dala area of Maiduguri”.
Cilliers disclosed in a statement that since August 16, some 491 patients were admitted and 475 discharged at the centre.
She added that the organisation had also set up another 50-bed capacity CTU centre at the Muna Garage Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in the outskirts of Maiduguri, adding that the centre would be upgraded to 100-bed capacity in the coming days, if the conditions warranted it.
The medical coordinator lamented that the disease has begun to spread to other camps in the surrounding area and into the city.
To contain the situation, Cilliers said, MSF operated an Oral Rehydration Point (ORT), where patients could access sugar and salt solution to help them to overcome severe dehydration.
“Patients arriving here in critical condition are taken directly in our ambulances to the cholera treatment centres”.
The statement also quoted Dr Felix Kouassi, another MSF’s Medical Coordinator, as saying that a 110-bed capacity treatment centre was established at Monguno to combat the disease.
Kouassi noted that patients with suspected cholera cases were isolated to curtail spread of the disease.
“We are worried that the number of beds currently planned may not be enough as cases continue to rise in the town.”
According to him, the organization was working closely in coordination with state ministry of health, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other humanitarian organisations on prevention and treatment of cholera, as well as providing training to health workers.
“Our facilities operate 24 hours basis providing free services. People with symptoms of cholera, acute diarrhoea, loose stools and dehydration should seek treatment immediately.
“We remain alert and through our community health workers continue to monitor spread of the outbreak and ensure rapid respond,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government has commenced a five-day cholera immunisation campaign in the affected communities.
About 900, 000 persons were targeted for vaccination against the disease in the exercise while community sensitisation on environment, sanitation and hygiene has also been conducted to control the disease.
By Rabiu Sani/Maiduguri
The ambitious bid by the Presidency to present its budget to the National Assembly next month may not materialise after all, due to several factors, chief among which is the postponement of the resumption from vacation by lawmakers.
The lawmakers, who went on their annual vacation in July, were to resume today, but inexplicably extended their resumption date by a week, citing lack of funds. But Vanguard learned exclusively that the lawmakers had not acted on the request by the Presidency to approve the virement for capital projects in the 2017 budget worth hundreds of billions of naira, though the Presidency had sent in the request long before they proceeded on the vacation in July. Yet to approve virement for 2017 capital projects A top Presidency source told Vanguard, yesterday, that the lawmakers ignored the urgency, which was highlighted in the request for the virement for capital projects and proceeded on leave, leaving the Federal Government with no option than to wait until they resume for the critical approval. MTEF for 2018 estimates But while the delay by the lawmakers has effectively stalled the execution of many capital projects and their delayed resumption has also held down the consideration and approval of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, for the consideration of the 2018 budget. The MTEF sets the benchmark for any budget and remains a precursor to any appropriation. It was learned that in a bid to forestall the delay in the preparation and passage of the 2018 budget into law, President Buhari had directed all the agencies of government to furnish the Budget and National Planning Ministry with the details of the expenditure for the year on or before the end of September.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/nass-may-halt-presidencys-bid-present-2018-budget/
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will conduct verification for the recall of Sen. Dino Melaye, on Oct. 14.
Melaye is representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
The commission disclosed this in its amended timetable and schedule of activities issued by its Secretary, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, in Abuja on Monday.
Ogakwu said the verification would take place in all polling units in Kogi West, while INEC notification for the exercise would be released on Oct. 3.
She said that INEC had fixed Oct. 5 as the last day for the submission of applications by observers, and Oct. 9 for the publication of the list of accredited observers for the exercise.
The secretary said that the commission would hold its stakeholders’ meeting at the Senatorial District headquarters and Local Government headquarters on Oct 10.
The last day for the submission of names of polling agents for the verification by the member sought to be recalled and the representatives of the petitioners had also been scheduled for Oct. 12.
The commission said that it had provided Melaye with relevant materials to study.
“”In fixing the timetable for the verification, sufficient time has been provided for the senator to study the petition and accompanying materials to effectively prepare for the verification in accordance with the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.’’
The court had on Aug. 11 ordered the commission to continue with the suspended recall process.
The commission had on July 3, issued the timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the senator but was forced to suspend the process on July 13, by a court order.
The court had directed all parties listed in the suit by Melaye to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Melaye had applied for an order restraining INEC from acting on the petition by registered voters of Kogi West Senatorial District for his recall.
-By Emmanuel Oloniruha NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA (NAN)
President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in New York to join other world leaders for the one week 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) high-level events starting on Tuesday.
The President was accompanied by Govs. Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara, David Umahi of Ebonyi and Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) of Ondo state.
He was received at the JF Kennedy Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande.
The president was thereafter, welcomed at about 8:30 p.m. at his lodge by the Ministers of Solid Minerals Kayode Fayemi, Education, Adamu Adamu, and Industry, Trade and Investment counterpart, Okechukwu Enelamah.
The others were the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril; his Budget and National Planning counterpart Zainab Ahmed, presidential aides as well as members of staff of the Nigerian Missions in the U.S.
Buhari will deliver Nigeria’s National Statement on Tuesday, the first day of the general debate.
He has been listed as the eighth speaker of the 193 Head of States expected to address the General Debate of the General Assembly.
The theme for this year’s debate is ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’.
The president will also join other world leaders at the welcoming reception to be hosted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and hold a bilateral meeting with the UN chief.
Aside other high-level engagements, he will have a lunch meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, along with other world leaders.
Nigeria will also participate in high-level meetings on ‘Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Building Momentum for Change’, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a High Level Event organised by AU under its theme of the Year:‘Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend:From Commitment to Action’, among others.
It is expected that the president and members of his delegation will project Nigeria as a strong moral force and responsible member of the international community.
Nigeria’s commitment to global peace, security and development will also be reaffirmed, with the need for increased international cooperation in the fight corruption.
Other priorities for the Nigerian delegation at 72nd UN General Assembly include strengthening human rights institutions, the rule of law, support for internally displaced persons arising from Boko Haram activities and recent flooding and mitigating the effects of climate change.
The Nigerian delegation is expected to also canvass the support of UN member states for the Buhari administration’s efforts towards combating illicit financial flows in order to foster sustainable development.
By Prudence Arobani/New York(NAN)
The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) has suspended its indefinite strike after one month.
The suspension was sequel to a meeting with the Federal Government`s delegation led by the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige on Monday.
ASUU said the suspension would last until the end of October in order to enable the Federal Government to meet the union`s demands.
The union directed university lecturers to resume duty from Sept.19.
ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike on August 13, following Federal Government’s failure to implement the 2009 agreement with the union.
The Nigerian Army has said it will soon launch Operation Crocodile Smile II in the South-West and South South regions of the country. Army spokesman, Sani Usman, said this in an interview with Signature TV, an online platform.
Although there are controversies surrounding Operation Python Dance in the South-East, Usman said the army had been getting “encouraging feedback.” He said: “Look, this is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Nigerian military belongs to Nigeria and they have a duty to exercise in any part of the country. It is so sad that some people try to politicise these issues. They should have exercised patience and seen how this exercise would go. “We had Operation Harbin Kunama II covering the North-West and parts of the North-Central this year. As soon as we are done with Egwu Eke II (Python Dance), we are also going on Crocodile Smile II that will cover the South-South and some parts of the South-West of the country. “Operation Python Dance II came about based on the encouraging feedback we received as a result of Python Dance I held last year. This is especially because of the crimes during the ‘ember’ period in the region. You know that the south-easterners, who are enterprising and industrious people, have to return to their places at the end of the year.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/well-launch-operation-crocodile-smile-s-west-s-south-army/