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FGC Maiduguri Alumni Decries Deteriorating Level  Of Unity Schools

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FGC Maiduguri Alumni Decries Deteriorating Level  Of Unity Schools

By: Francis Okoye

A former minister of information, Mr Frank Nweke Junior has decried the deteriorating condition of the 104 unity colleges across the federation.

Nweke Junior stated this in an interview with Journalists yesterday in Maiduguri as part of the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Federal Government College Maiduguri in Borno where he had his secondary education between 1977 to 1982.

He said even though the main objective of establishing the unity schools which is fostering national cohesion, unity and diversity have been achieved, he must confess that he is not unaware of significant drop in standard not only in his alma mata,  the FGC Maiduguri,  but in all unity colleges across the federation. 

He said for this reason, various sets of the old students under the umbrella of the old students association of the FGC Maiduguri have been coming together with different projects to assist the management of the school in tackling some of the challenges facing the school. 

The former minister said during the 50th anniversary coming up between 18th to 22nd of this month, old students from as far as the United States, Canada,  England and others coming from across the federation will converge in Maiduguri and discuss on how to further develop their former school. 

The President of the Alumni association, Suleiman Muhammed Dikwa, said the anniversary will serve as a message to the world that Maiduguri is back as a center of education.

Suleiman recounted some  projects which the association have executed in Federal Government College Maiduguri through the state and individuals, part of which include donation of vocational equipment by one its members, facilitation of e-libary and, ongoing installation of solar electricity in the dining hall,  music equipment and construction of sport complex with modern  sporting equipments.

Also speaking, the Chairman Board of Trustees, FGC Maiduguri Old Students Association,  Engr Abel Imonighavwe recalled that when he was admitted to the FGC Maiduguri then, each state of the federation was represented in the school despite being in Borno State. 

He said a lot of activities have been rolled out for the 50th anniversary adding the old students will use the occasion to further tour the school and come out with more interventions to make the college one of the best in the country. 

FGC Maiduguri Alumni Decries Deteriorating Level  Of Unity Schools

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Cholera Outbreak: FG Urges Nigerians to be More Vigilant, Imbibe Good Sanitation, Hygiene Practices

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Cholera Outbreak: FG Urges Nigerians to be More Vigilant, Imbibe Good Sanitation, Hygiene Practices

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government has called on all Nigerians to be more vigilant, imbibe good sanitation and hygiene practices at home and in their workplace and take preventive measures to combat the spread of cholera.

The call was made in a statement issued on Sunday by the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako who lamented
that the World Health Organization (WHO), has confirmed the ongoing cholera outbreak in Nigeria as part of the global resurgence of cases of cholera, classifying it has current a “grade 3 public health emergency”, requiring maximal WHO system wide response.

Nigeria has been identified as one of the 14 countries in Africa where the resurgence is being experienced.

The Minister said “the Federal Ministry of Environment is deeply concerned about the ongoing cholera outbreak in some states of Nigeria which has tragically claimed many lives and affected many communities. Recent situation report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated a total number of 1159 suspected cases, 65 confirmed cases and 30 deaths across 30 States. The States most affected, contributing 90% of the total cases includes, Bayelsa, Lagos, Zamfara, Abia, Bauchi, Cross River, Ebonyi, Delta and Katsina.”

Salako said: “To prevent the spread of cholera, we urge all Nigerians to be more vigilant, imbibe good sanitation and hygiene practices at home and in their workplace and take preventive measures such as: keeping their environment clean always and disposing of waste properly at designated places.

“Ensuring the use of clean and safe water. Water from suspicious sources should be well boiled or treated by adding one part of chlorine solution to 100 parts of water.

“Avoid locally prepared drinks like kunu, sobo, fura da nono, koko, fruit juice etc except it is certain that the preparation was done in an hygienic and safe manner.

“Wash hands regularly with soap under running water, especially at moments such as after using the toilet, after cleaning a child who has gone to the toilet, before preparing food, before and after eating, and after playing with animals.

“Avoid open defecation and instead use clean and safe toilets.

“Cook foodstuff well, keeping food covered and eating it hot. Eating in public places including at parties should be done with utmost care.

“Wash fruits and vegetables with clean and safe water before eating.

“Anybody experiencing any of the symptoms of cholera is advised to seek medical attention immediately.”

The Minister also said: “We urge all Commissioners of Environment and Local Government Chairmen to support Environmental Health Officers across the country to step up their sanitation and hygiene activities through enhanced community-led total sanitation in order to break further transmission and spread of the disease. We also urge the scale-up of awareness campaigns focusing especially on places where prepared food and drinks are sold like markets, garages, schools, restaurants, stadia, religious, and sporting events. In addition, sub-national governments are urged to strengthen environmental health surveillance in eating premises like “mama put”, cafeterias, restaurants and mobile food vendors.

“We assure the general public that the Federal Ministry of Environment remains committed to ensuring a clean and healthy environment for all Nigerians. This is the only way we can prevent and curtail the incidence of Cholera outbreaks and other sanitation related diseases.”

He reiterated that: “Cholera is preventable, and prevention remains better and cheaper than cure,” urging all Nigerians to take these preventive measures seriously and more importantly, keep their environment clean.

He extended the government’s condolence to families who have lost loved ones and stand in solidarity with all those affected by the outbreak.

Cholera Outbreak: FG Urges Nigerians to be More Vigilant, Imbibe Good Sanitation, Hygiene Practices

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Experts Calls for Certification to Combat Electrical Quackery

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Experts Calls for Certification to Combat Electrical Quackery

By: Michael Mike

Experts in the electrical/power sector have called for rigorous skills development and certification among practitioners to combat the growing numbers of quackery in the industry.

This was the main focus at the 16th fellowship conferment of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) held in Abuja at the weekend

The President of NIEEE, Engr Felix Olu, highlighted the critical need to address the problem of unqualified individuals handling electrical jobs, which often leads to faulty installations and hazardous conditions.

He said: “Quackery in electrical work is a major issue due to the engagement of unqualified individuals and the use of substandard materials.”

He lamented that many people opt for the cheapest available options due to economic pressures, thereby exacerbating the problem.

Olu said to curb this menace, the NIEEE has been proactive for over a decade now, adding the recognising the impending crisis, electrical engineers across Nigeria came together to advocate for regulatory measures. He noted that these concerted efforts resulted in the proposal of a bill in the National Assembly to establish the Chartered Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of Nigeria. This bill was successfully passed and signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

According to him: “This new regulation mandates certification for all electrical and electronic engineering practitioners in Nigeria, encompassing engineers, technicians, technologists, and craftsmen. Certified practitioners will now carry insignia such as badges, certificates, and seals, allowing the public to identify and verify their qualifications easily.”

He emphasized the importance of this regulation in reducing incidents of faulty installations and fire hazards. “With the establishment of this organization, Nigerians can now identify who is qualified to do electrical jobs, thereby significantly reducing the risk of accidents caused by substandard work,” he added.

Speaking on the event, Olu noted that it marked the awarding of fellowships to distinguished members of the NIEEE, recognizing their significant contributions to the profession and society. He explained that this prestigious honor is awarded after a rigorous screening process, ensuring that only the most qualified and dedicated professionals are recognized.

He noted that: “Furthermore, the NIEEE has been proactive in addressing current technological trends and their implications. The theme of the event, focused on artificial intelligence and digital transformation, reflects the institute’s commitment to staying abreast of global developments and educating both its members and the public. As engineers, we need to educate ourselves, share knowledge, and guide public policy to ensure that Nigeria keeps pace with global technological advancements.”

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology, Prof. Nouruddeem Umar, while delivering his paper, stressed the need for monitoring and advancing the field of electrical engineering amid the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

Umar highlighted the importance of digitization and the role electrical engineers must play in leading this transformation.

He said: “The current era is defined by rapid advancements in AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things, digital twin technology, and more. Our field is uniquely positioned to address diverse challenges across these areas. We must urge all our members to take responsibility and set an agenda for today’s challenges, leveraging our curriculum empowerment.”

He emphasized learning from global models such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea, stressing the importance of upskilling the youth population to bridge the skills gap.

“Our youth are our greatest asset. Proper skill development will enable them to understand and engage with new technologies effectively. Support from ministries and agencies is crucial to provide the necessary infrastructure,” he said.

He called for a “train the trainer” approach to extend skill development to the wider community. “While government initiatives are important, experts within our institution must take the lead in upskilling. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure we meet the standards of our global contemporaries.”

Umar advocated for continuous learning and engagement through conferences and workshops to benchmark against global standards. He said: “Everyone here has the responsibility to upskill and address the present challenges. We must work hard to identify and close gaps in our field, ensuring we are well-prepared for the future.”

Experts Calls for Certification to Combat Electrical Quackery

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NDLEA bursts snake-guarded shrine loaded with drugs in Edo

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NDLEA bursts snake-guarded shrine loaded with drugs in Edo

By: Michael Mike

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted a snake guarded shrine used to store illicit drugs in Igor community, Benin city, Edo state

A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi operatives of NDLEA detected a specially constructed large hole storage in a wall covered with wallpapers and fetish objects during a raid on a shrine where different quantities of illicit substances such as methamphetamine, Loud, Colorado and Arizona, all strong strains of cannabis with a total weight of 8.743 kilogrammes, were pulled out from the deep hole dug in the wall of the shrine building.

He said at least, two ladies: Sonia Ezumezu and Risikatu Tijani were arrested during the intelligence-led operation last Tuesday after the big black snake guarding the shrine was demobilized.

He also said two suspects: Obi Ferguson,45, and Ernest Abanum, 46, were arrested on Saturday when NDLEA operatives raided the Usen forest in Ovia South West local government area of Edo state where 209 kilogrammes of cannabis and a motorcycle were recovered.

In another clampdown, NDLEA officers in Lagos have intercepted a carefully packaged consignment of 8.2 kilogrammes of methamphetamine at a motor park in Mazamaza, Ojo area of the state.

He said the highly addictive illicit substance, also called ice or crystal meth was packed in imported Dunkin’ turtle love chocolate wraps and then concealed in the casing of three loud speakers.

He disclosed that a 39-year-old suspect, Michael Odiomume who was sending the consignment to Owerri, Imo state was promptly arrested last Wednesday at the park.

In Abuja, operatives last Tuesday intercepted a white Nissan Frontier pick up vehicle with amber lights and fake registration number of a security agency at Kiyi village in Kuje area of the FCT. He said the vehicle was loaded with 454 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa, weighing 340.8 kilogrammes procured at Uzeba, Edo state. He said a 76-year-old grandfather, Mr. Francis Omofa, who claimed to have been in the illicit drug business for 10 years, linked to the consignment was arrested.

Babafemi said with the same vigour, commands and formations of the agency’ across the country continued their War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) sensitization activities in schools, worship centres, work places and communities among others in the past week.

Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of Edo, Lagos, and FCT commands, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd) noted the balance in their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts as well as those of their compatriots across the country. He however charged them to maintain the ongoing offensive action against drug cartels as they continue to intensify their war against drug abuse, WADA, social advocacy campaign.

NDLEA bursts snake-guarded shrine loaded with drugs in Edo

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