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We’ll soon expose big men behind oil theft, says presidency

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Abuja—The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, has said the federal government would soon reveal the identities of important personalities behind oil theft in the country. 

Shehu said that as part of efforts to rid the country’s economy from sabotage of greedy few, security operatives had raided locations where illegal oil bunkering thrive. 

Speaking on Trust TV’s  Politics Today, Shehu hinted that there might be cases of some law enforcement agents engaging in the illegal act, but said that new measures were being taken to put a stop to it.

“Oil theft is being tackled. The big problem we have in this country is that we ought to see more commitment from communities in assisting law enforcement agents. In some cases, where some actors in the law enforcement are complicit, it becomes bad,” he said.

He added that it was embarrassing for Nigeria not to meet up with the quota given to it by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“We used to fight the OPEC for more quotas; now, they have given us and we are not able to meet up. This is embarrassing. Security agencies are fully involved in stopping this act.

“I am hopeful that in the next few days, the office of the National Security Adviser will be presenting to the country, big men who are promoters of this kind of business as they are being caught and illegal refineries are being bombed out. 

Read also: ASUU strike: lawyers back FG’s no-work-no-pay pronouncement

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited is also installing a monitoring capacity to detect or advise immediately when sabotage of oil pipelines happen,” he said.

On insecurity, Shehu said that ending the insurgency in the North East was the president’s priority when he came into office and a lot of efforts had been put in to curtail the menace. He added that terrorists no longer laid claim to any territory due to the might of the Nigerian Army.

He, however, said cases of banditry and kidnapping were as a result of the previous administration’s failure to tackle the root cause, as well as negligence of military personnel in the area of adequate training. 

“The fight against banditry and kidnapping and the results have begun to reach an important turning point. A momentum has been generated, and we are hoping there would be no turning back.

“These days, all we hear is that the military is being frontal in its activity of attacking bandits’ enclaves; freeing hostages and all of that. We hope there would be no turning back,” he said. 

He said the victory recorded by the army had justified the money spent on the military, saying, “Public expenditure is justified because if we didn’t fight Boko Haram to what we have today, they would have probably taken over many more cities.

“Before now, they were active, up to Abuja, bombing the United Nations’ headquarters and other places. Is it 100 per cent success? Clearly no, but substantially, they are degraded.” 

Business

If elected president, I will name, shame oil thieves—Atiku to business leaders

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Lagos—The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has threatened to name and shame oil thieves in the country if elected Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Channels TV reports that Atiku made this known on Saturday when he interacted with the Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

Atiku also said he would confiscate all oil blocs allocated to some Nigerians who have failed to make them operational.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it.

“We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

He reiterated his commitment to privatizing the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri.

Atiku was at the event with his running mate and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

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Only 250 psychiatrists left in Nigeria, says association

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Enugu—Taiwo Obindo, president of the association of psychiatrists in Nigeria, says the current psychiatrist-to-patient ratio in Nigeria is one to one million.

According to TheCable, Obindo Spoke on Thursday on the sidelines of the ongoing 53rd annual general and scientific meeting of psychiatrists in Enugu.

He said two-thirds of certified personnel leave the country annually.

According to him, this has led to the poor ratio and has made accessibility and deliverability of psychiatric care relatively difficult in the country.

“The standard is that one psychiatric doctor should take care of 10,000 patients. But today, we have one psychiatric doctor to more than one million Nigerians,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“As we speak now, we have less than 250 certified psychiatric doctors throughout the country, and more are leaving by the day.”

Obindo called for the passage of the national mental health bill as amended to ensure proper administration of mental health treatment, adequate funding, and remuneration of professionals.

“Mental healthcare should be incorporated into the primary healthcare system to cater to primary and secondary institutions treating mental health disorders in localities,” he said.

“Presently, the little budget meant for mental health treatment goes to tertiary medical institutions only. Mental health should be fully taken care of at primary healthcare centres.

“Percolating mental healthcare to primary healthcare institutions will save Nigerians transportation, feeding and accommodation costs, and the stress of conveying mentally-ill persons to urban centres where psychiatric hospitals could be found.”

Speaking further, Obindo said Nigerians facing insecurity and forced displacements have continued to face psychological and psychiatric trauma and disorders.

He said the government should ensure that such people recover from the shock they have witnessed.

“It is important that governments and other support groups give them special attention to meet their current challenging emotional, psychological, and psychiatric needs so as not to fall into deeper depression or societal withdrawal,” he added.

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FG reintroduces history in basic education curriculum

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Abuja—The Federal Government has announced the reintroduction of history as a stand-alone subject in the basic education curriculum 13 years after it was abolished, according to the Tribune.

The government noted that 3,700 History teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training for enhanced teaching of the subject.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the reintroduction of the teaching of history and training of history teachers at basic education level on Thursday in Abuja, lamented that national cohesion was being threatened with the country retreating into primordial sentiments.

He said this is because of the lack of knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria following the removal of History from the basic education curriculum.

Adamu was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah at the event attended by Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and other key stakeholders in the education sector.

History was removed from primary and secondary education curriculums from the 2009/2010 academic session.

Adamu ordered the reintroduction of the subject in 2019 following widespread condemnation.

Adamu said: “History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classroom but for some inexplicable reasons, the stream of teaching and learning was abolished.

“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combinations our students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.

“This single act no doubt relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and have already started seeing its negative consequences

“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past.

“More worrisome was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post basic levels of education which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.

“The immediate implication of this was that we lost ideas even of our recent past, and we scarcely saw ourselves as one nation and gradually began retreating into our primordial sentiments.”

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