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Buhari mandates NNPC to fix East-West road

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Abuja—The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has ordered the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries to ensure that section 4 of the East-West road, spanning from Eleme Roundabout to Onne junction, is fixed without delay through the Tax Credit Scheme, Punch newspaper reports.

Punch newspaper reports that he said that the East-West road project currently handled by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is the largest infrastructure in Nigeria, and very dear to his administration.

Buhari stated this on Thursday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the meeting of the fifth National Council on Niger Delta held at Ibom Icon Hotel and Suites.

The event was with the theme, ‘Harnessing 21st century Development Initiatives and Strategies for Greater Development in the Niger Delta’.

The President who was represented by the Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, said the completion of the project is a ” top priority for this administration”

He said, “The East-West road project which is now being handled by the federal Ministry of Works and Housing is the largest infrastructure project in Nigeria, as it’s very strategic road, connectors the country’s busiest and foremost commercial cities in the region.

“Considering the priority this administration places on the completion of this project, the Ministry of Petroleum has directed NNPC and it’s subsidiaries to step in and fix section 4 of the East-West road (Eleme Roundabout to Onne Junction), through the Tax Credit Scheme.”

He stated further that his administration had undertaken critical reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission, adding that the implementation of the recommendations of the Forensic Audit Report which is being implemented in phases would bring about the constitution of the new board, which according to him is the desire of the most stakeholders in the region
Read also: Ex-governor Dickson gives grants to Law students of Bayelsa origin
He added,” One of the cardinal mandates of my admissions is to tackle corruption. To this end and in response to the call of the Governors of the South- South geopolitical zone for a Forensic Audit of NDDC from 2000- 2019, the Report of Audit had been submitted and the implementation of it recommendations has commenced in phases

“I hereby assure you that this process will eventually bring about the Constitution of the a new board for the commission which is the desire of most stakeholders in the region.”

In his remarks, chairman of the council and Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana, explained that the meeting which is held annually, is a platform for bringing all Development Partners to the same table to ” proffer solutions to developmental and Socioeconomic issues in the region”, adding however that the council could not gold for the year 2021, for some cogent reasons.

He disclosed that his administration would publish a compendium of all completed projects undertaken the NDDC in all the states in the Niger region.

Umana, said the need for the publication of the compendium became necessary as some states are of the opinion that NDDC has not done enough.

The Minister said  “We intend to publish a compendium of all completed projects of NDDC in all the states in the Niger Delta region, because some states are saying that NDDC has not done enough.

“The perception of people about what is not reported is that nothing has been done, so let people challenge us. when we publish the compendium” he said.

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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