Abuja-Kaduna rail travelers safe – NRC assures

Abuja-Kaduna rail service
Abuja-Kaduna rail service

By Lucy Ogalue

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), says it has intensified efforts to ensure the safety of trains and passengers that travel via the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service(AKTS).

Mr Paschal Nnorli, Manager, AKTS, NRC, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the 1955 Railway Act that established the NRC created a command  for the protection of lives and property.

“The command is usually headed by a Commissioner of Police with six or seven area commanders. On this corridor which cuts across FCT, Niger and Kaduna, there are three police divisions in Idu, Kubwa and Rigasa.

“Aside that, any train you see on this corridor is having at least 15 armed policemen and you know this trains stop at the stations.

“There are some plain clothed policemen deployed recently by the Inspector-General of Police, including Police Mobile Force units. We also have DSS personnel attached to us for intelligence gathering.

“Again, we are in synergy with the military who sometimes use helicopters to escort our trains when they have information of security threat.

“At Rigasa in Kaduna town, we have the army on ground very near to our station, so it will be extremely difficult for anyone to attack the train,” he said.

The manager debunked claims by an online media that a train was attacked along the Abuja-Kaduna route last week.

According to him, no such attack took place.

“We wish to use this medium to inform our passengers that adequate security arrangements are in place on all our trains.

“We thank the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police and the Military, for their support toward securing our train service.

“Our passengers are appreciated for their trust and continuous patronage; we want to assure them that safety and security remains our priority,” Nnorli said. (NAN)

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Gov. Udom hosts IOCs over move to end gas flaring

………Plans over 5,000 new jobs with gas initiative

Gov. Udom Emmanuel with representatives of the IOC during the inspection on the intelligent Building in the state
Gov. Udom Emmanuel with representatives of the IOC during the inspection on the intelligent Building in the state

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, on Tuesday hosted multinational companies comprising Mobil Producing Nigeria, Vitol and BlackRhino in Uyo and expressed desire for more partnership to create job opportunities in the state.

This is even as he expressed optimism that the planned partnership with the IOCs to tap the gas that was hitherto flared wold come to fruition soon and create over 5,000 jobs.

Speaking at the meeting with IOCs led by the Lead Country Manager, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Mr. Paul McGrath, Gov. Emmanuel appreciated the companies for accepting to partner the State.

He assured that the enabling environment would be created in the state for he IOCs, while reiterating that his administration’s determination to create job opportunities through industrialisation which he noted was only possible when investments thrive.

The Governor explained that the state had taken steps to build the necessary gateways for investors and appealed to the Federal Government to assist in the realisation of its vision.

“We appeal to the Federal Government to give us enough support for the investors that are coming in because people that will work here are not only Akwa Ibom people.

“The day we start the Ibom Deep Seaport project at least 5000 people will be on board handling different jobs, skills will be transferred and training will be offered.

“We will develop capacity and the rest of the things will come up so the chain effect of that positive impact is what we cannot overlooked, he stated.

The Intelligent building in Akwa Ibom still under construction
The Intelligent building in Akwa Ibom still under construction

Justifying the partnership with Vitol, the Governor explained that the company would partner others ” to stop gas flaring then channel the power to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and other uses”, explaining that ” we cannot have gas then complain in this country”.

The Governor who embarked on inspection of the 21 Storey Intelligent building shortly after the meeting, said the building has been a demonstration of government’s commitment to partner with the Corporate Organisations in the provision of conducive working environment, adding that residence for staff will be added.

Earlier, the Chairman and Lead Country Manager, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Paul McGrath, thanked the Governor for the opportunity given the company to partner in the development of the state .

Mr. McGrath pledged the company’s readiness to eradicate gas flaring and produce more Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) using Vitol and BlackRhino as facilitators.

Also, the African Head, Vitol, Mr Pierre Barbe, said their major focus in their investment in Nigeria is to end gas flaring and sanitise the ecosystem, saying that the initiative will make gas available for power generation and production of LPG for domestic consumption.

On his part, the President BlackRhino, Brian Hertily, assured that when the necessary modalities are put in place for conversion of gas into energy the state will attract more industries for job creation.

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Patient safety: FG tasked to curb healthcare errors, preventable deaths

Patient safety: FG tasked to curb healthcare errors, preventable deaths
Patient safety: FG tasked to curb healthcare errors, preventable deaths

By Abujah Racheal

As the World marks Patient Safety Day, some Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the Federal Government to ensure that healthcare errors that cause unwarranted deaths are curbed.

The Nigerians spoke to our correspondent on the sidelines of an event to mark the first World Patient Safety Day, a day set aside to create awareness on the importance of safety of patients in all developing and developed countries of the world.

Mr Solomon Onuh, a Psychologist said that the celebration should focus on creating awareness regarding the factors that contribute to preventable deaths and to ensure proper patient safety in our hospitals.

Onuh said that there was need for government to focus on the main factors that contribute to preventable deaths such as healthcare associated infections.

According to him, the infections are considered to be the most harmful cause of deaths around the world, adding that both developing and developed countries suffer such deaths

Mrs Tobias Dasat, a Teacher said that the government should conduct awareness campaigns to promote the effects of unsafe healthcare practices and the importance of ensuring proper safety.

Dasat described poor patient safety as a global threat and urged healthcare providers to emphasise the importance of proper hygiene, washing of hands regularly before and after contact with a patient.

A Cleric, Rev. Fr Timothy Chukwudi who also attributed high mortality and morbidity rates in the world to error in medication called on government to punish medical practitioners for avoidable errors.

“Doctors and nurses tend to make errors while prescribing medications which can cause harm to the patient’s life.

“ Surgery, for instance, is the most common and preferred technique for eliminating disabilities and critical injuries.

“It is estimated that surgeries are done mainly for cardiovascular diseases, cancer and orthopedic injuries, but unsafe surgical practices can lead to fatal errors and significant complications,” he said.

NAN, reports that World Patient Safety Day will be observed yearly on September, 17 .

The World Health Organisation launched a global campaign to create awareness of patient safety and urged people to show their commitment to making healthcare safer. (NAN)

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Average price per litre of kerosene up in August – NBS

Average price per litre of kerosene up in August - NBS
Average price per litre of kerosene up in August – NBS

By Folasade Akpan

The average price per litre paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene increased to N319.94 in August 2019 from N316.03 in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The bureau, in its “National Household Kerosene Price Watch (August 2019)” obtained from its website on Tuesday in Abuja, said the increase is by 1.24 percent month-on-month and 10.80 percent year-on-year.

The report by the bureau indicates that states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene were Abia, N375.55;  Enugu, N365.47; and Ebonyi, N358.33.

It also said that states with the lowest average price per litre of kerosene were Abuja, where it sold for N245.50; Kwara, N261.11; and Benue, N261.90.

“Similarly, average price per gallon paid by consumers for kerosene increased by 0.19 percent month-on-month and by 11.92 percent year-on-year to N1, 213.53 in August 2019 from N1, 211.18 in July.

“States with the highest average price per gallon of kerosene were Gombe, N1, 400; Adamawa, N1, 360.00; and Borno, N1, 355.

“States with the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene were Bayelsa, N1, 030; Akwa Ibom, N1, 079.58; and Osun,N1, 085.22.”

The NBS said that in arriving at the statistics, field work was carried out by its staff in all states of the federation, supported by supervisors who were monitored by internal and external observers. (NAN)

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Facebook blocks Netanyahu’s chatbox for election violation

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at Facebook (FB.O) on Tuesday after the social network blocked a “chatbot” from his right-wing Likud party’s account for violating election day rules.

“They took a 100 kg hammer and brought it down on a fly, because it is a Likud fly,” Netanyahu said in a video posted on social media.

“They shut down our means of communication with our voters.”

Israel’s leading YNET news website said the chatbot, a type of automated software that is able to simulate a conversation with a user, had posted results from an election poll on Tuesday while

Israelis were out voting, a contravention of election rules.

The problematic posts were apparently taken down and no longer appeared on Netanyahu’s Facebook page.

Netanyahu appeared to play down the violation, saying: “Someone published a small poll on Facebook.’’

Asked about its intervention on Netanyahu’s account, Facebook said in a statement it works with

“elections commissions around the world to help protect the integrity of elections.”

“Our policies clearly state developers are required to comply with all applicable laws in the country where their app is available.

“We have restricted this bot for violating local law until the polling stations are closed tonight,” it said.

Netanyahu, who is battling for his political career, has been trying to mobilise his base by warning them of low supporter turnout.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu battled for his political survival in the final hours of a close-run election on Tuesday, urging voters to support him to avert a “disaster”.

His voice hoarse from weeks of campaigning, the veteran leader took to the streets and social media, at one point using a megaphone in Jerusalem’s bus station, to urge voters to extend his unbroken decade in power.

Netanyahu, 69, has cast himself as indispensable and blighted by voter complacency over his tenure – the longest of any Israeli prime minister.

Prime minister from June 1996 until July 1999, he has held the post since March 2009 and is seeking a record fifth term. (dpa/NAN)

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Health officers plan to disinfect Abakaliki, environs of yellow fever

Health officers
Health officers

By Uchenna Ugwu

Mr Sunday Nwonu, a Sanitarian and Senior Environmental Health Officer, Ministry of Environment, Ebonyi, says the ministry plans to sanitise Abakaliki and environs following the recent outbreak of yellow fever in the state.

Nwonu made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Tuesday during a programme to strengthen efforts in controlling the circulation of the yellow fever virus.

The Sanitarian said that the exercise was to ensure total elimination of mosquito vectors in dirty environments and to prevent further outbreak in the area.

Nwonu who is also the President, Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi Chapter, said that it would also complement the long-term strategy of high coverage of yellow fever vaccination.

He said the association was collaborating with the state ministry of health to commence the exercise.

He appreciated the efforts of the World Health Organisation, (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Gavi, the state government, among other partners, in containing the situation.

“It is not enough to administer the vaccines to people because environments where the mosquitoes live is still a factor.

“We are making plans to interface with state government to embark on disinfection process around government property, drainages, residential areas and removing objects that will help the mosquitoes reside, among other factors.

“The exercise is the responsibility of the environmental health officers to attack the mosquito vector and eliminate the yellow fever,’’ Nwonu said.

He called on residents, schools and other public establishments to support government efforts by disinfecting their premises against yellow fever.

He, however, encouraged them to properly discard abandoned objects such as old tyres, cover empty containers and pots with water to avoid mosquitoes residing in them.

NAN reports that the state ministry of health reported that no fewer than 15 persons had died following the outbreak of yellow fever in Iboko community, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

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Bande in church service to usher in 74th UNGA

 

Bande joins other Muslims in church service to usher in 74th UNGA

Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, was among several Muslims that attended a special church service in New York on Monday evening.

The prayer service, hosted by the Church of the Holy Family, United Nations Parish, is an annual tradition of the UN to usher in every new session of the Assembly.

Monday’s edition came shortly after the President of the 73rd UNGA, Ms Maria Espinosa, handed over to Muhammad-Bande at the UN headquarters a few meters away.

Other Muslims at the service included presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu; former Chairman of INEC, Prof, Attahiru Jega, and officials of Nigerian missions to the UN and the United States.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; the Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed, also a Muslim, and Espinosa, equally attended the service.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that speakers at the occasion underscored the significance of the composition of the gathering to religious tolerance and harmony.

In his address, Guterres said “our presence here sends an important message” at a time of “widespread polarisation and horrific violence targeting people solely for their (religious) identity”.

“We are recognising our human connections and reaffirming respect for each other’s religions, cultures and traditions”, he said.

Speaking later, Muhammad-Bande said the service was a reminder of the “place of faith and the role that empathy and love can in agreeing when we want to disagree”.

He urged all those present to recommit themselves to God and seek His intervention while also doing their best to address the challenges facing the world.

The Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, Bishop Paul Hinder, spoke in similar vein in a sermon.

Hinder called on Muslims, Christians and adherents of other religions to unite and find a common cause in the fight against religious violence and extremism.

The service featured special prayers for the UN and its leaders, for lasting peace in war-torn regions and for a “globalisation of solidarity” against hunger hunger, poverty, disease, among others.(NAN)

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UNGA: Nigeria’s Muhammad-Bande takes over as president

Ambassador Muhammad-Bande: declares interest in UNGA Presidency

By Harison Arubu

Ms Maria Espinosa, the President of the 73rd UN General Assembly, on Monday handed over to Nigeria’s Muhammad-Bande, who will lead the 74th session of the assembly in the next one year.

The ceremony, held inside the General Assembly Hall of the UN headquarters in New York, marked the end of the 73rd session .

The 74th session will formally begin on Tuesday with the inauguration of Muhammad-Bande, who is the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN.

The handover ceremony was witnessed by top officials of the UN led by the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

Nigerian officials, including a presidential team, comprising the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ahmed Abubakar, and presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, also witnessed the ceremony.

In a short address, Guterres lauded Espinosa for her strong leadership, describing her as a “champion for multilateralism”, who made the UN “relevant to all”.

“I commend her ambitious priorities for this session, which addressed crucial matters of international impact and concern.

“These include gender equality, migration and refugees, decent work for all, environmental protection, the rights of people with disabilities, promoting the voices of young people to advance peace and security, and revitalising the work of the United Nations.

“The commitment of Espinosa to the environment especially ending plastic pollution also stands out,” he said.

The UN chief said he looked forward to working with Muhammad-Bande to advance the organisation’s mission of building  more peaceful and prosperous world.

Earlier in a valedictory press conference, Espinosa said she was satisfied with her achievements within her one-year tenure.

She said her practice of formally reporting back to member states every three months, was very useful, especially for the smaller missions that could cover all the agenda items.

Espinosa said during the 73rd Session, no fewer than 341 resolutions were adopted, making it the highest number in several years.

She reiterated her call on member states to “read the resolutions we have adopted again and let´s deliver and implement them using this norm-setting power of the General Assembly”, she said.

Espinosa is the woman to hold the office of the president of the General Assembly. (NAN)

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GenCos releases 3,306 MWH of electricity to national grid – report

 

Electricity power line
GenCos releases 3,306 MWH of electricity to national grid – report

By Constance Imasuen

Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), comprising gas-fired and hydro stations, said they released an average of 3,306 MegaWatts/Hour of electricity into the national grid on Sunday .

The Advisory Power Team, Office of the Vice President, disclosed this in a daily energy report made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

The report noted that the electricity sent out by the GenCos was down by 4.49 megawatts from the figure released on Saturday.

It, however, said that 1,591 megawatts could not be generated due to unavailability of gas.

The report noted that zero (0) megawatts was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure during the period.

Similarly, it said that 2,963.40 megawatts were not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

According to the report, zero (0) megawatts was recorded as losses due to water management procedures.

The report revealed that the power sector lost an estimated over N2 billion on Sunday  due to insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.

On sector reform/activities, it said that the dominant constraint for Sunday was high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

The report noted that the peak generation attained on Sunday was 4 186.8 megawatts. (NAN)

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Seven-year-old Nigerian robotic kid aims for World title

Winners of 2019 World Robot Olympiad, from left, Christian Peter-Jesse and Brendon Ikem
Winners of 2019 World Robot Olympiad, from left, Christian Peter-Jesse and Brendon Ikem

By Olanrewaju Akojede

Seven-year-old 2019 World Robot Olympiad (WRO) joint champion Brendon Ikem has said that he aimed to be the best Artificial Intelligent (AI) developer in the world.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ikem, emerged champion alongside his pair Christian Peter-Jesse at the just-concluded 2019 World Robot Olympiad (WRO) held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island on Saturday.

The 2019 WRO Nigeria serves as the qualification stage to the upcoming WRO in Gyor, Hungary from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10, the qualifiers may have about 22,000 participants according to the organisers.

The theme for the 2019 WRO is “Smart Cities”, had over 120 students drawn from the public and private schools in attendance.

The 2019 WRO Nigeria was put together by Arc Lights Foundation, the national organiser of the programme since 2011.

The 2019 WRO Nigeria serves as the qualification stage to the upcoming WRO in Gyor, Hungary and the qualifiers may have about 22,000 participants according to the organisers.

Ikem, a pupil of Children’s International School, Lekki, Lagos, said that the robotic education means a lot to him, adding that he would love to be the world renowned AI.

“I am excited and happy to be the winner of 2019 WRO, I did not win last year but I came second, so, I am more determined to be the champion this year.

“I practiced and worked hard for this because robotics means a lot to me. I want to be the best in the world.

“ I will work hard to become the world champion,” he said.

Ikem’s father, Obed, an Engineer, said many preparations had gone into the preparation of his child before he became champion.

“So, much preparations had gone into his winning. We have been preparing for this for a long time. We had to teach him coding and build an application for him.

“I am a researcher and I gave him a lot of support towards realisating his dreams. Nigeria can be a great nation through Artificial Intelligence,” he said. (NAN)

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