Author: Emokiniovo

LASU releases merit list for 2016/2017 admission, says can’t admit 5,500

The Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, on Tuesday released its merit admission list for the 2016/2017 academic session.

The institution’s spokesman, Mr ‎Adekoya Martins, told newsmen in Lagos that LASU received the approved list from Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Monday. Continue reading “LASU releases merit list for 2016/2017 admission, says can’t admit 5,500”

Why 2017 budget won’t be less than N6 trn, Adeosun tells Senate

By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA- MINISTER of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Tuesday, told the Senate that the Federal Government would sustain its over N6trillion national budget in the 2017 appropriation bill, expected to be submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari, after the consideration and subsequent approval of the pending 2017—2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, by the National Assembly. Continue reading “Why 2017 budget won’t be less than N6 trn, Adeosun tells Senate”

NPFL star, Izu Joseph is dead

NPFL star Izu Joseph who plies his trade with Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) is dead.

The defender died on Sunday in Bayelsa where he was holidaying following the just concluded Nigeria Professional Football League after a stray bullet hit him.

izu

The deceased defender, Izu Joseph, was part of the Oluyole Warriors which finished 14th at the just concluded 2015/2016 season of the Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL.

Announcing the incident on in its official website, the club wrote, “A Shooting STAR is gone! Izu Joseph is gone! Flamboyant defender is gone! RIP, brother. What a life! May God strengthen his family #Tragedy.”

The post NPFL star, Izu Joseph is dead appeared first on Vanguard News.

G20 agrees refugees a global issue

The G20 group agreed at their summit in China that refugees are a global issue and the burden must be shared, the leaders declared in a joint communique Monday.

“Worldwide massive forced displacement of people, unprecedented since the Second World War, especially those generated from violent conflicts, is a global concern,” they said at the end of their two-day gathering in the scenic eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

The Group of 20 — which together account for 85 percent of the world economy and two-thirds of its population — reiterated their call from last year’s summit in Turkey for “global concerted efforts in addressing the effects, protection need and root causes of refugee crisis to share in the burden associated with it”.

The group called for strengthening humanitarian assistance for refugees and invited all states “according to their individual capacity” to ramp up aid to international organisations assisting affected countries.

A steady stream of refugees has flowed into Europe over the last year, largely fleeing the civil war in Syria.

EU President Donald Tusk said on the first day of G20 Europe was “close to limits” on its ability to accept new waves of refugees and urged the broader international community to shoulder its share of the burden.

The issue has become a political flashpoint for leaders in the region as a series of Islamist terror attacks and rising anti-globalisation sentiment have combined to create an increasingly inhospitable environment for refugees from the brutal conflict.

The group’s communique called for increasing efforts to “find durable solutions”, particularly for “protracted refugee situations”.

Earlier a senior EU diplomat told AFP that G20 was making a strong stand, and had overcome initial reluctance from Argentina and Brazil on including the issue in the communique, but noted it was not a binding commitment.

“There is a difference between commitment and enforcement… at least, it’s here,” he said.

“Of course we have to take into account the fact that it is a sovereignty issue… it is not an obligation, but the burden-sharing is there.”

The post G20 agrees refugees a global issue appeared first on Vanguard News.

NAF to deploy additional personnel to Niger Delta

Abuja – The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Sunday said arrangements had been concluded by NAF to deploy additional personnel to the Niger Delta.

This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa, in Abuja.

The statement said that it was part of the resolve to combat militancy and other forms of internal security challenges in the region.

Abubakar disclosed this in Yenagoa during his visit to NAF Mobility Command.

“The planned deployment is aimed at strengthening the existing NAF manpower disposition, especially in Bayelsa and to enhance Nigerian Air Force (NAF) involvement in `Operation Delta Safe.”

“Preparatory to this deployment, new facilities were recently put in place to cater for accommodation and other welfare needs of the personnel.

“These include the construction of new blocks of accommodation for officers and men, office accommodation, airmen’s mess and provost squadron which were commissioned recently.”

According to the statement, two of the airmen’s blocks of accommodation have been named after Cpl. Omaka VI and Aircraftman Ofonih EF, both of whom were killed in Bosso, Niger, during an Internal Security Operation.

Retired AVM Larry Koinyan commissioned the newly-constructed projects as the guest of honour.

In his remarks, AVM Koinyan applauded NAF personnel for their courage and resounding successes following their renewed vigour at ensuring peace and stability in the various theatres of operations in the country.

He, however, called on the people of Bayelsa to support the Federal Government’s effort at solving the problems of the region once and for all.

Earlier, CAS paid a courtesy call on Gov. Henry Disckson of Bayelsa, who gave assurance that his administration was ready to partner NAF and other security agencies in their bid to rid the state of criminal activities.

Dickson said it had become necessary because Bayelsa government understood the importance of security and the need for the state to be safe for economic prosperity.

He also promised that his government would partner the service to build NAF primary and secondary schools in the state to enable Bayelsa people to benefit from the quality education provided by NAF Schools.

The governor noted that the discipline and re-orientation of the youth in the state would further be enhanced at NAF base in Yenagoa where the schools would be sited.

The post NAF to deploy additional personnel to Niger Delta appeared first on Vanguard News.

Why Americans, rest of the world are interested in Ghana elections – Ex-REC Igini

A former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini, was in the delegation that recently assessed the preparation of Ghana ahead of its December general elections. Igini speaks on the mission.

You were said to have been selected along with Dr Oby Ezekwesilli and other prominent individuals  by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), both of the United States,  to carry out assessment of Ghana  ahead of its December general elections. What was the mission all about?

Igini
Igini

Since  the return to civil rule in 1992, Ghana has been showing good example in West Africa  and has crossed critical democratic thresholds that must be consolidated for other countries in Africa to emulate. The purpose of the mission was to support Ghana’s ability to deliver credible and peaceful elections in 2016.

The delegation’s specific goals were to:  Assess the preparation for Ghana’s December 7  presidential and legislative elections; identify opportunities for and potential risks to the good conduct of the electoral process, specifically in terms of pre- and post-election periods; provide recommendations to increase the integrity and transparency of the electoral progress; and promote dialogue among political actors and electoral stakeholders.

IRI and NDI  are Washington-based institutions, non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to supporting and strengthening democratic institutions and advancing freedom across the world. IRI works with civil society and religious leaders in Ghana to support peaceful elections through inter-faith dialogue and youth engagement and plans to conduct a gender assessment of women’s participation in the December  elections.

NDI has worked closely with Ghanaian civic and political organizations since 1992 to support the development of the country’s democratic institutions and promote transparency and integrity of the electoral process through advanced techniques in election monitoring.   So the visit of the delegation is also in the context of deepening these cooperative efforts of supporting and strengthening democratic institutions and advancing freedom across the continent of Africa and the world.

Who are the stakeholders that your delegation visited on this mission?

The delegation was a joint team  and we met presidential candidates, political party leaders, women groups, civil society groups like Western African Network for peace-building presided over by one brilliant Nigerian Emeka Eze,   media owners and journalists, head of security, and several eminent Ghanaians, such as Koffi Annan, a  former UN Secretary General, former presidents: Jerry Rawlings, John Koffour, and others too numerous to mention, who are key to   democratic stability and accountability in Ghana. The delegation used the meetings to  stressing the gains Ghana has recorded  and that they should not be reversed.   If you are familiar with the standard measures of democracy, namely, competition, participation and legitimacy of electoral outcomes , you will agree  that they rely on the perceptions and buy-in of the gate-keepers and agenda setters of democratic practice in a country.

Ghana is reputed to be the leading democracy in West Africa and many people wonder why there should be a pre-election assessment of this nature undertaken?

No matter how mature a democracy may be, as you can see in some countries like the United States, it is not perfect and so there could be desperation by political actors leading to   concerns at some critical junctures, as there are in Ghana rising fears about the forth-coming elections. In Africa, we   fail to realize that election is just a means to the goal of development and not an end in itself. We must also bear in mind the fact that the development of democratic value is work in progress with no hope of final completion and it feeds on eternal vigilance from internal and external stakeholders. Apart from our delegation, there were also the UN team led by Dr. Mohammed lbn Chambas, the A.U as well as the Ecowas delegation  for the same objective.

As I told some of the stakeholders during our meetings, Ghana, in terms of benchmarking, is one of the shining lights of the West African region, it is like the democratic cockerel crowing to all of us in West Africa, to remind us that it is the dawn of democratic value change in Africa. Although this democratic cockerel is owned by Ghanaians, its   crow is for   all of West Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. Therefore, the world must help the owner of the cockerel to see to its well-being, otherwise we may all lose  its valuable crow. The IRI and NDI as lead organizations  facilitated the visit as part of that necessary vigilance to remind the Ghanaian people that their relative democratic advancement is of a regional, continental and global importance.

There are reports that the December elections would really put to test the extent of institutions that have made Ghana a more mature democracy. What is your assessment of these institutions?

Election is the only activity that is all-involing that a nation would embark on in peace time. Every election is a test of the commitment, vulnerability and resilience of the democratic institutions of a country. But it should be noted that Ghana has conducted six transfers of power through democratic elections – two of which changed between opposing political parties in 2001 and 2009 respectively. In that light, Ghana has proven to be a profoundly resilient bastion of democratic practices in West African  and  Africa. The stakes are very high in the forthcoming elections  under dwindling revenue base, high unemployment, rising militia groups or thugs and of course gradual loss of faith even in democracy   all pointing intense competition and possibly high participation in the December election.

How mature are political parties’ management and the process of selection of  candidates for the elections?

Unlike our country, there was not much noise in this regard. There is no  internal party crisis and in-fighting among party members about the choice of candidates for the election. The main opposition party is fielding the same  presidential candidate it fielded in 2012, who is contesting for the third time, while the incumbent NDC is presenting the sitting president for second term.

Given that these two political parties have been able to  ensure six peaceful transfers of power through democratic elections, two of which changed between opposing political parties, we can say that there is political maturity on the part of the parties and their followers. What appears to be a stabilizing factor for Ghana democracy is the existence and dominance of two almost equally matched political parties in terms of spread and capacity to win election which are the NDC and the NPP with influence over the electoral space. These parties are what the APC and the PDP appears to be in Nigeria hopefully if they can manage themselves maturedly   for adversarial competition for power.

How do you describe the politicians in Ghana and those of our country?

One has not made a deliberate exhaustive comparative analysis, but, on a preliminary assessment, I will have to admit that Ghanaians are ahead of Nigeria in terms of the necessary ingredient that  democratic consolidation, namely, broad area of basic agreement or a shared consensus on important democratic values. Ghanaian politicians are doing relatively better in certain levels of shared democratic values, than our politicians who are yet to agree on the pillars of consensus, how much more reaching a   common consensus, even about the entity called Nigeria except the benefits derived by the elites.

Are campaigns in Ghana issue driven and what are the defining issues for debate by their candidates?

The groups that we interacted with were of the view that not much of the issues that matter most to the ordinary Ghanaians have   been in focus, even though the candidates maintained that they have been engaging on those issues. Our delegation encouraged the stakeholders to stay with and engage on the economy, job creation, reducing inequality and unemployment. But for the elections, key issues of debate include the fidelity of the voter register, particularly the Supreme Court decision that people who were registered with NHS identity cards, most of whom allegedly are Togolese and foreigners,   should be removed from the register; and the electronic results transmission system (ERTS) for the 2016 elections, in which it is proposed that hand-held scanners should be used to scan constituency collation forms that contain the polling station results and sent electronically and directly to the National Collation Centre. The hard copies would then be sent physically to the Head Office of the EC.

Also there are issues relating to the biometric verification of voters, the “No biometric Verification, No Vote” (NVNV) rule, where there are calls for modification of the biometric accreditation laws to make it possible for voters to cast their ballots, if the machines fail to capture their details already accommodated by the EC. Proponents favor the extant NVNV rule and view the 2016 provision for manual registration as a substantial risk to the integrity of the process.   Generally, the economy, with the global downturn in commodities such as oil, has influenced the discourse along with other domestic issues but, as the political parties publicize their manifestoes, their positions on such issues will become clearer.

The electoral umpire is reported to be under intense scrutiny over the register of voters and allegation of likelihood of  bias of the commission. What are your team’s findings on these?

There were some electoral issues that were of concern, raised mainly by members of the political class and the opposition in particular, but when we met the chairperson of the commission, a lawyer,  we were very impressed with her thorough explanations, regarding the concerns. She made it clear that the elections  are  about the Ghanian electorate that would cast the votes and their votes   counted and taken into account in an open and transparent manner, to determine who becomes what,   that the election should never be about the umpire. She  maintained that  the process is what is critical and important because, if the process is credible and transparent, contestants would  accept the outcome without fuss, and that is what she and her team is committed to deliver come December 7.

She appeared confident, strict and very committed to the adherence of the rules that guide the elections and wants all candidates standing for election to abide strictly to the rules of the game. She came across as brilliant, re-assuring and philosophical when she said that it is the will of the Ghanian people expressed through the ballot in December that would govern and that is what the commission is working to achieve, to build on what she met and leave behind a heritage of democratic tradition.

Our delegation was impressed   and also shared our thoughts on the need for   the Electoral Commission to establish a baseline, by disaggregating data on women’s participation including voter registration, voter turnout, number of women candidates and analyzed according to geographic region and age;   target civic education to promote women’s participation as voters and as poll workers; need to utilize a transparent system that will not allow recruitment of partisan election ad-hoc staff, but one that allows for   credible, known and respected individuals from institutions and agencies to administer elections ; and ensuring engagement with relevant stakeholders   at every stage of the electoral processes up till election day.

The fears so far reported about the forthcoming election in Ghana are associated with unrestrained and unprofessional role of the media. How true is this claim?

The fears raised about the harm that the media could cause, in the build up to the elections and after, if media regulatory bodies like Ghana Journalists Association and National Media Communication of Ghana fail to call its members to order, were confirmed by all stakeholders including journalists. The real problem is not so much about the fact that there are 200 FM stations, 50 registered publishing newspapers and 50 television stations, but the fact that most of them are established and owned by politicians who use these platforms to unlease hate campaigns daily against opponents or any individual who holds contrary opinion to them or those of their parties. This is the heart of the  fears being expressed about the  elections, that the stage for possible violence is gradually being prepared with generous airtime being devoted to hate speeches and threats, even directed at judges and officials of the Electoral Commission.

What was your delegation’s advice to the media in Ghana and our colleagues here in Nigeria

I kept reminding the practitioners there of Dahl’s two key attributes of the media, that they as practitioners must not abuse, which are:  Availability and observance of the right to free speech and protection to exercise it from abuse that may lead to widespread disruption of public life. We all must always bear in mind that liberty, as an index of freedom, is not   absence of restraints necessary to protect social order. For democracy to flourish, and this is also a message to  my friends here in Nigeria, the media should not relapse to cognitive Cherry-picking and must avoid the echo chamber effects, wherein certain views are played-up with the relegation of alternatives, during electioneering campaign.

We made the point clear to the media guys  that they should not undermine the progress made so far in Ghana on the democratic front, that they owe Ghanaians the obligation to be normatively and descriptively controlled by codes of practice as well as journalistic ethics that include the need to ensure respect, justice, Nonmaleficence and beneficence which, when expanded, have to do with: respect for persons/autonomy, that is,  the need to acknowledge a person’s right to make choices, to hold views, and to take actions based on personal values and beliefs; justice– the need to treat others equitably, ensure distribution of benefits/burdens fairly; Nonmaleficence (do no harm)- the obligation not to inflict harm intentionally; and beneficence (do good)- the social obligation to provide society with benefits to persons and contribute to their general welfare.

 

The post Why Americans, rest of the world are interested in Ghana elections – Ex-REC Igini appeared first on Vanguard News.

Nigeria deserves more world heritage sites – Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture says the country boasts of numerous sites with special cultural, physical attributes to qualify them for listing as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

The minister spoke on Saturday at the third festival colloquium of the 50th anniversary of Lagos State with the theme: “Tourism Potential in Yorubaland: Landmarks, Culture and History’’.

Mohammed said that due to lack of proper inventory and vision to exploit their resources for economic and tourism gains, only two of such sites were recognised by UNESCO.

He identified the two recognised UNESCO sites as Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adamawa.

“In comparison, Ethiopia has nine UNESCO World tourist sites, Kenya six, Libya five, Mali four and Morocco nine! This of course means that we are sitting on a gold mine,” he said.

Mohammed also identified the heritage sites that could attain the global status as National Museum and Lekki Conservation Center in Lagos, Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River and Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State.

He said that the Ikogosi Warm Spring in Ekiti, Nike Lake Resort in Enugu, Mambila Plateau in Adamawa and the Royal Palace of the Oba of Benin in Edo could attain the global status.

The minister said that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari was determined to reposition the tourism sector and reverse the ugly trend.

“In this search for a new economic paradigm, tourism, arts and culture have been identified as the most viable sector of the economy to explore.

“Culture drives tourism, and both are good for creating jobs, reducing crime and diversifying the economy, three of the cardinal programmes of the Buhari Administration,” he said.

Mohammed noted that the sector had been spotlighted in various reports by international agencies to have the potential of boosting the country’s economy.

He said that a British Council sponsored report in 2013 showed that the sector was a viable contributor to the economic development of nations.

“The report reveals that the creative businesses surveyed in the mapping exercise contributed N2.5 billion during the reference period.

“61 per cent of the total Gross Value Added (GVA) derived from the film industry alone while fashion and music contributed 26 per cent and 13 per cent respectively,” he said.

The minister briefed the gathering on the policies, programmes and activities of the Federal Government to reposition the tourism sector.
He commended the organiser of “Lagos at 50’’, stressing that the event would give the opportunity to address the challenge of lean resources and large scale unemployment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event witnessed cultural performances and the premiere of a movie, “Iwure Olofin’’ (The Blessing of Olofin).

The movie is an historical documentation of how Lagos was founded by a prince of Ile Ife named, Olofin.

NAN reports the event was attended by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and his wife, Wuraola, former Governor of Cross Rivers, Donald Duke, Commissioners from Lagos state and members of Lagos House of Assembly.

The post Nigeria deserves more world heritage sites – Lai Mohammed appeared first on Vanguard News.

FG issues alert on fake quinine sulphate in circulation

The Federal Government has stepped up vigilance within the drug supply chains in the country on the circulation of two confirmed falsified versions of Quinine Sulphate.

A statement said the Federal Ministry of Health received a medical alert that the two falsified drugs contain zero active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The statement signed by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations of the ministry, on Saturday said the drugs were circulating in West and Central Africa.

Akinola said the two version of the drug were circulating in Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo.

She said the quinine Sulphate was used in the treatment of malaria.

According to her, the implication of using the falsified one is that it will not be effective and may also lead to other health challenges.

She said one of the fake products was named Quinine Sulfate 300 mg with 1000 Tablets per container, Batch Number 10H05, expiry date 09/2018 and it manufactured 09/2014.

Akinola added that the drug manufactured by Novadina Pharmaceutical Limited, London, United Kingdom was first was discovered in Cameroon.

The director said the other version of the fake drug was Quinine Sulphate 300mg with 100 Tablets per container; batch F4387, expiry date 11/18 and its date of manufacture is 12/14.

She explained that the product was manufactured in India by CAD Pharm, and it was discovered in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

She advised Nigerians to be vigilant and report to the nearest National Agency for Food and Drug Administration office anywhere the drugs were spotted including hospitals and pharmaceutical shops.

The ministry urges Nigerians to also report it the following GSM no +234-8037881120, +234-8055056727 and +234-8035902679.

“If you are in possession of these products, please do not use them.

“If you have taken this falsified product or if you suffer an adverse effect following its uptake, please seek immediate advice from a qualified healthcare professional and report the incident to NAFDAC.’’

The post FG issues alert on fake quinine sulphate in circulation appeared first on Vanguard News.