P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Living http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:32:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Teenage pregnancy, cause of mortality among girls – Expert http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/11/teenage-pregnancy-cause-of-mortality-among-girls-expert/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/11/teenage-pregnancy-cause-of-mortality-among-girls-expert/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 16:28:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225870 FILE PHOTO: Maternal Mortality Rate

FILE PHOTO: Maternal Mortality Rate

Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, the President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), on Sunday warned against teenage pregnancy.

He said this was often the cause of mortality among girls.

Ladipo told NAN in Lagos that teenage pregnancy could predispose the girl-child to devastating reproductive health outcomes.

He also said that early marriage and early pregnancy were capable of exposing girls to devastating social, educational, economic and health challenges.

“Many of this girl-child getting pregnant have one major disadvantage of poor reproductive outcome.

“They are the ones that will suffer anaemia, pregnancy induced hypertension and obstructed labour.

“And if they do not die in the process, they are left with Vesico-Vagina Fistula (VVF) or Rectovagina Fistula. They will be draining urine continuously or faeces continuously from their lower genital tract.

“This is a tragedy that should never be allowed to happen,” he said.

Ladipo said that teenage pregnancy could be reduced by investing in child survival and health programmes as well as giving priority to free and quality education for all.

He called on government at all levels to place high priority on girl-child education to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies in the country.

“Girl-child marriage and early pregnancy initiation is one of the things that need to be discouraged because the mortality is high in this group.

“The girl-child should be allowed to complete her secondary school education.

“Education of the children in this country should be free and compulsory to the secondary school level. If we do that, it’s another way of reducing high maternal mortality and morbidity among Nigerian girls,” he said.

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Mo Abudu Is Forbes Africa’s Most Successful Woman http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/mo-abudu-is-forbes-africas-most-successful-woman/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/mo-abudu-is-forbes-africas-most-successful-woman/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:17:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225675 Funsho Arogundade

Mo Abudu, executive chairman and CEO of Ebony Life TV, Africa’s first global black entertainment and lifestyle network, has been announced by Forbes as Africa’s Most Successful Woman of The Year.

Abudu joins other notable African women who have been listed in the past. They are Divine Ndhlukula, Founder and Managing Director of SECURICO, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security companies, and Khanyi Dhlomo, a 36- year-old South African media mogul, unconventional visionary, and a builder of big dreams.

•Mo Abudu

•Mo Abudu

Mo, who has been described by international news outlets as ‘Africa’s Africa’, said she is keen in her resolve to rewrite Africa’s story.

In a recent interview with Forbes, she recounted her entrepreneurial journey and reflected on the lessons she has learned along the way.

Speaking on her entrepreneurial journey and lessons she has learned along the way, Mo said: “This kind of afro-pessimism simply fuelled a burning, deep-seated desire in my subconscious to one day help to rewrite the African story; to get people to talk about the issues that affect our society and to tell the African narrative in a contemporary and interesting way; to change the perception the world had of us; to let the world know that in spite of our challenges as a developing continent, Africans are not a bunch of savages but mostly a breed of gifted and remarkable people.”

Mo was also recently honoured with a Doctorate degree by Babcock University.

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View from abroad: Nigeria’s super rich and their $2m fairy wedding http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/28/view-from-abroad-nigerias-super-rich-and-their-2m-fairy-wedding/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/28/view-from-abroad-nigerias-super-rich-and-their-2m-fairy-wedding/#comments Sun, 28 Dec 2014 06:13:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224246 One of the fairy tale weddings in Nigeria

One of the fairy tale weddings in Nigeria

Illusionists flown in from Spain, flowers imported from France, or an R&B superstar flown in from the United States. No request seems to be out of line to Nigeria’s rich when it comes to the most beautiful day of their life. And don’t even mention the b-word – budget, that is – ’cause whatever the bride wants, the bride gets.
Due to its oil reserves, gas, telecom and rising entertainment industry, Nigeria may consider itself Africa’s largest economy as of early 2014. But natural resources and Nollywood aside, there’s another million dollar business out there giving the national GPD a major boost: the wedding events business.

The West African nation may be home to the majority of Africa’s billionaires, but there’s no shortage of millionaires either. “Our core clientèle is mainly made up by millionaires. They will not hesitate to spend the money in order to get what they want. If they need to fly in an artist from America, or a decorator from Dubai or London, they will do so,” says Funke Bucknor, founder of Nigeria’s leading wedding and events company, Zapphaire events.

Bucknor is a brand. Apart from her wedding planning duties, she’s published a book titled The Essential Bridal Hand book, and in the first quarter of 2015 her very own TV show will start airing on a national TV network.
She founded her wedding planning business twelve years ago and was amongst the first to do so. Today, her profession which seemed unnecessary to many locals over a decade ago, has become an essential to the moneyed Nigerian bride that wants her wedding to be the talk of town. Or perhaps it is better to say her weddings.
‘Cause one wedding alone just doesn’t cut it. First there is the traditional wedding – the only wedding recognized by the family – followed by the white wedding, which is similar to that which we know in the West. As for the latter, the destination wedding is all the rage. “Dubai and London are the most popular destinations, followed by Cape Town, Seychelles and the Maldives. Florence in currently growing in popularity,” Bucknor adds.

In 2013 research company Euromint showed how Nigeria had world’s fastest growing rate of champagne consumption, second only to France, while ahead of other lucrative markets including the US and China. Lagos-based beauty-queen-turned-event-planner, Elohor Aisien, concurs. “Nigerians love champagne, so the most money will be spent on drinks as well as food. On Nigerian weddings there’s food from 2pm till midnight.” Given that the average Nigerian wedding will easily have around 1000 guests, whereas the bigger wedding will have between 2000 and 3000 guests, the choice of champagne is a crucial one. “Old money Nigerians may keep things more subtle, new money Nigerians are more concerned with letting people know that they’ve arrived. Magnums of Dom Pérignon will often be their drink of choice. In a way it’s become this competition amongst brides. They’ll ask me: ‘How many bottles did she have? I need more,’” 33-year-old Aisien says.

Her wedding and events planning company Privé Luxury – founded in 2012 – might be a newbie to the scene, but Elohor may already consider offspring of Nigerian royalty, and the country’s leading female recording artist amongst her clients. “I did the wedding of Reukayat Indimi, who comes from a royal Nigerian family, which hails from the north of the country. According to northern tradition, the bride can’t leave the house during the month leading up to the wedding. Since the bride didn’t have her wedding dress yet, I flew into London with a model who fitted several dresses for her. Elie Saab is a popular choice of wedding dress amongst Nigerians, whereas most grooms I work with want a Tom Ford total look. Vera Wang is also very much in demand, since it fits well on the Nigerian body type,” Elohor says, who may also tick the box that says “celebrity wedding”. In 2013 Privé Luxury planned one of Nigeria’s most talked-about weddings, twhich ended up being broadcast on a local TV network. It was when Nigeria’s leading female recording artist Tiwa Savage, exchanged vows with husband Tee Billz. Their destination wedding was held at Dubai’s Armani Hotel, part of world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.”I have a good relationship with the Armani Hotel in Dubai, they love Nigerian weddings,”Aisien concludes.

Some might argue that it is morally wrong for a country in which some have to live on a dollar a day, to add value to how many liters of DP are flowing at a wedding. Others however, claim that if it wasn’t for lavish Nigerian weddings, there would be no Nigerian economy. “I appreciate them spending this money, cause without these weddings I don’t know where the Nigerian economy would be,” says Weruche Majekodunmi, founder of Newton & David, a local company specialized in event design and décor. “The weddings keep our economy going. Normally the rich Nigerians will spend their money abroad, whenever they go shopping. Thanks to the wedding industry the money is being invested back into our economy. Jobs of caterers, tailors, carpenters and upholsterers are being sustained. Prior to these major weddings, the profession of make-up artist wasn’t even considered a full-time job,” she explains.

Weruche started working with flowers at church as a hobby, around 25 years ago. It was at a time in which Nigerians paid little to no attention, to the decoration of their wedding venue. “Up to fifteen years ago, some weddings wouldn’t even have a table cloth on the tables and they wouldn’t have any flowers except for the bridal bouquet. Nowadays Nigerian weddings will feature expensive flowers from France, silk table cloth and lots of crystal. A lot of the elite Nigerian kids have been educated abroad, so they’re used to the international standard when it comes to detail. They’ve become accustomed to a certain standard, so to import something isn’t unusual to them” the décor specialist slash wedding planner explains. Currently trending amongst the international kids is the flower wall, which surged in popularity after Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kanye West.

Weruche goes on saying, “It has happened three times in the last five years that I’ve organized a wedding that cost over $2 million. They spent the most on food, Cristal champagne, entertainment and gifts to their guests. At one wedding all the invitees got their wedding outfit with their invitation. At another wedding they handed out microwave ovens, smart phones and rice cookers, to all of their guests. At some other weddings they’ll fly in their guests and arrange their accommodation in case they decide to get married overseas. You must understand, that our reasoning is different from that in the West.”

Culled from www.forbes.com

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Why Cost Of Accommodation Is High —Survey http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/22/why-cost-of-accommodation-is-high-survey/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/22/why-cost-of-accommodation-is-high-survey/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:24:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223637 Stakeholders in the housing sector have blamed the soaring prices of locally-produced and imported building materials for the high cost of accommodation in major cities nationwide.

They disclosed in separate interviews that the instability in the price of building materials was responsible for the high cost of accommodation in the country.

The stakeholders, including professionals in the housing sector and estate developers, urged the Federal Government to provide tax relief for local manufacturers and importers of building materials in order to reduce the high cost of accommodation in major cities.

Mr. Ayo Adejumo, Executive Secretary, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), said Nigerians would continue to pay more for accommodation in major cities until the cost of building materials was subsidised through tax holiday.

According to him, if the government can grant tax holiday to the producers of building materials, it will go a long way in reducing the cost of building houses in the country.

Ayo Adejumo

Ayo Adejumo

Adejumo also urged government to provide enabling environment for the private estate developers to strive by providing them with proper incentives, credits and mortgages.

Mr. Danjuma Abalaka, the Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Institute of Building, however, attributed the ugly trend to lack of effective legislation guiding activities in the housing sector.

Abalaka said the non-passage of the Building Code by the National Assembly had made it difficult for effective regulation of the activities of operators in the housing sector.

“The institute has a bill on building code, which has been at the National Assembly for so long. “If the bill can be passed, it will help to regulate and monitor the activities of both professionals and private developers.

“So, it is when this law is in place that the issue of high rent can be checked.

“NIOB has been tasking government to industrialise the country so that the cost of most of the building materials will be affordable. The Ajaokuta Steel Company is still lying fallow after so many years.

“High cost of building materials and reinforcements is another problem confronting people who plan to build their own houses.

“If the government can revitalise our industrial base, the cost of building materials will come down and many people would be able to build their own houses.”

Abalaka also explained that many completed housing estates remained unoccupied because of the high rent attached to them as against the meagre income of the average Nigerian worker.

He said that an average Nigerian worker must contend with the lack of access to affordable land and mortgage facilities.

“The inaccessibility of land has been a major hindrance to Nigerians having their own houses. In Abuja, the cost of buying a land is much more than building a house.

“Civil servants cannot afford the houses due to their meagre earnings. It is also difficult for them to access mortgage loans.

“The high cost of rent makes it difficult for people to purchase these houses. The percentage of workers that can access mortgage is very appalling.”

Abalaka stressed the need for the government to evolve a clear housing policy to regulate the activities of private estate developers in the country.

Mr. Gandu Zakari, a Quantity Surveyor, attributed the high cost of rent and phenomenon of unoccupied estates to corrupt tendencies of some Nigerians.

“Some people embezzle money and due to the Central Bank Cash Transaction limit policy, it makes it impossible to lodge certain amount of money without drawing attention.

“So, they invest in property with pseudo names with no plans to rent or make the rents affordable.

Zakari suggested the introduction Property Tax, whereby anyone who has more than two houses would be made to pay higher tax on such properties.

“This will help to check the rate at which people acquire property greedily,” he said.

He further suggested that unoccupied housing estates whose ownerships could not be properly ascertained should be confiscated by the government and auctioned.

“Some people acquire properties they do not even need. It is just sheer greed,” he said.

Mr. Emmanuel Okafor, a civil servant, expressed sadness about the whole situation.

“I do not think the government has the civil servants in their plan for housing; if they do, the process of acquiring housing loans should be made more civil service-friendly, since they know how much they pay us,” he said.

Mr. Kashim Ali, the President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), however, urged the Federal Capital Territory Administration to fast-track the development of infrastructure in the satellite towns to check the high cost of accommodation in the nation’s capital.

He attributed the prohibitive cost of rented accommodation in the FCT to the high cost of land and building materials.

Ali said that massive development of the satellite towns would provide the people access to buy land to build their own houses.

“In Abuja, there should be more efforts in the development of satellite towns. Government should embark on massive development of infrastructure in the satellite towns.

“That way, people will have access to land and people can easily buy plots of land to build their own houses.

“That way, the pressure on the city centre would reduce and crash rent charges.”

He noted that most completed housing estates in Abuja were unoccupied because of the high rent demanded by the estate developers whose aim was to earn more profits from their investments.

“Some of these houses are built using bank loans. So, the owners want to pay their debt and in the process overcharge.

“They charge high rent in order to make profit from their investments. Many people cannot afford to pay the high rent, so the estates are unoccupied.

“People would not take such houses but would rather go to the outskirts of the city for similar houses that are affordable and a bit cheaper.

“The cost of construction is pretty high. The investment in the cost of land and materials translates into high rent.

“Having spent so much money in building houses, the owners expect high returns hence the high rent charges.

“Because of the level of investment they have made in the buildings, owners cannot just give them out for paltry sums, especially within the city centre,” Ali said.

The COREN president, therefore, called for adequate funding and effective monitoring of mortgage financing institutions to ensure that their services are accessible to more Nigerians.

Professor Timothy Nubi of the Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos, suggested the overhaul of the land registration system to facilitate housing development and enhance wealth generation.

Mr. Lewis Ladipo, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos branch, identified policy inconsistency as the bane of development in the housing sector in Nigeria.

“An administration that formulates a housing policy never accomplishes it,” he said.

According to him, the housing sector has been known for contributing to the economic renaissance of many countries.

“Unfortunately, in Nigeria, we have been experiencing governments that never accomplished what they set out to achieve.

“Policy inconsistency is unhealthy for the growth of any country’s housing sector,” he said. Ladipo advised the Federal Government to adopt strategies that developed nations had used to optimally provide accommodation for their citizens.

“Promoting security of tenure is a prerequisite for sustainable improvement in housing and environmental conditions.

“The federal government and local authorities should design, adopt and implement pro-poor city development strategies and ensure sufficient availability of land for housing development.”

He urged the Federal Government to pool resources together to overcome the challenges confronting its housing sector.

However, Mr. Makinde Ogunleye, a former Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), stressed the need for stakeholders to support the federal governments’ efforts to provide affordable housing for Nigerians.

Ogunleye said that partnership between public and private sectors would not only guarantee availability of housing finance but would also enhance speedy housing delivery.

He said that the mortgage sector should be looked at as a value chain for the success of the partnership.

According to him, production of the building materials, creating enabling environment in the area of titling as well as ensuring vibrant primary mortgage market have to go hand-in-hand.

Ogunleye said that there would be no secondary mortgage market without a vibrant primary mortgage market.

He explained that mortgage banks were facing challenges of how to design flexible products for potential house owners to help them achieve their goals of home ownership.

“The mortgage banks need to put in place appropriate products as well as build adequate information infrastructure to be able to deliver effective mortgage banking.

“There is also the need to have the right people in terms of training and capacity in the development of the mortgage industry,” he said.

In Lagos, Mr. Chuks Omeife, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), described the housing situation as “very, very uncomfortable.”

“This is giving the fact that the state is overpopulated with serious deficit in housing stock.

“The challenge, however, is that the rate of housing production and the rate of population growth is opposite. While population is growing at geometrical rate, housing provision is far below expectation.

“The private sector that would have filled the gap is not producing houses that are within the reach of an average Nigerian.

“The houses obviously are grossly inadequate in all respects, including not being enough for civil servants due to the continuous growing population arising from the influx of Nigerians looking for greener pasture in Lagos.

“The measures currently put in place are far cry from what is expected. The major cause of the high cost of accommodation in Lagos is, therefore, attributable to the high deficit in housing stock in the state.”

Omeife blamed the ugly trend on the absence of effective mortgage system, adding that “this is one of the major challenges Nigerians have faced for a long time trying to acquire houses.

“It is very unfortunate that mortgage industry in the country has been haphazard and this has contributed to the problem.

“In other climes, people do not have to buy a house by cash-and-carry, mortgage is always available where individuals can purchase a house and pay over a long period.

“This is what is missing here. The recent Mortgage Refinance Company set up by the Federal Government is an initiative in the right direction and it is hoped that if this fully comes on board it will provide a relief for Nigerians in an attempt to access housing provision.

“It is expected that with the level of work done by government in the housing sector giving the various housing initiatives and partnership delivery platforms, Nigerians might start witnessing a boom in the housing sector,” he said.

But Mr. Yakubu Garba, the Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Abuja chapter, has attributed the high cost of accommodation in the FCT to insecurity in parts of the country which resulted in the influx of many people into the city.

He said that the issue of insecurity in several parts of the country had compelled many people to abandon their erstwhile places of abode for the FCT, which they perceived to be safer.

“People feel safe in Abuja. This attracts large population coming into the city, thereby causing the high rate of tenancy in Abuja.

“But there are some people who, no matter the economic situation in their place, will still choose to remain there so long as they are safe.

“But if your place is not safe, nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to stay where he is not secure. People will surely move to where there is security.

“The activities of government are happening in the centre because in the states, many people do not have the hope of making it.

“Everybody thinks that when he comes to Abuja, this is where he can get something. So, the high rent is the effect of demand and supply.

“There is high demand for housing here in Abuja because there is a huge influx of people into the city.

“Anytime we have election, new members of the National Assembly would buy houses to accommodate their personal aides and families in Abuja.

“New set of Ministers would be appointed. New set of MDs and DGs of parastatals would be appointed. Some of them may be staying outside Abuja before the appointment. This demand jacks up rent.”

Garba urged the Federal Government to embark on massive establishment of centres of economic activities across the states and zones, to discourage people from moving to Abuja.

“Let there be government activities spread across the nation everywhere. If we cannot do for each state, let the government initiate projects in each zone.

“That will attract people to go and make a living from those places. That is when the centre (Abuja) would be relieved of this onslaught; but in as much as it remains this way, the tenancy rate would continue to rise.”

He also advised the government to commence the dredging of River Niger to provide environment conducive for economic activities to spring up in Lokoja and the neighbouring states.

“That would decongest Abuja because the issue of freight loading and off-loading and clearing and forwarding would attract people and make Abuja no more attractive.

“So, the government should start looking at the potential in every zone; establish some economic activities that would attract people and when demand for housing drops in Abuja, rent will go down.”

He said that Nigerians should be empowered economically to own their houses, adding that it would be impossible for the government alone to address the housing deficit by directly building houses for the people.

In Port Harcourt, Dr Victor Obinna, a senior lecturer at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, said that there were no concrete measures in place to ease the difficulties in providing affordable housing.

“Delay in the issuance of titles and Certificate of Occupancy, minimal access to credit for private developers and failure of government to regulate rent also cause high rent,” he said.

Obinna said most of the unoccupied housing estates were privately built and the rent could not be within the reach of the poor class.

“There is no regulatory mechanism to compel private developers to rent out their houses within a given period because it is not within the purview of government,” he said.

Obinna said that most of the private developers were not abreast with the federal government policy on affordable housing which had contributed to the high cost of accommodation in major cities.

“Housing is one of the basic needs of life as good housing leads to higher productivity and self esteem, if you are well housed, you have better health,” he said.

Obinna observes that there were lots of conditions that poor people could not meet in accessing the mortgage finance funds which were also insufficient in the face of increasing demand.

He said the National Housing Fund (NHF) Act of 1992 that was designed to generate funds for channeling into the mortgage institutions had not worked very well.

Meanwhile, some residents of Port Harcourt said that the high cost of accommodation in the ‘garden city’ had deepened poverty in the state.

They said in separate interviews with NAN that if the ugly situation was not urgently addressed, some of them might be forced to relocate from the city.

NAN investigation showed that rent for one room “self-contained” apartment cost between N150, 000 and N200, 000 per annum, while a one-bedroom flat cost N250, 000 to N350, 000 per annum, depending on the location in the oil city.

Similarly, a two-bedroom flat goes for between N400, 000 and N650, 000 per annum, while a three-bedroom flat and four-bedroom bungalow cost between N800, 000 and N1.3 million per annum, respectively.

Mrs Precious Lloyd, a civil servant in Port Harcourt, said that rent in the city was fast getting out of reach of civil servants, stressing that it was now difficult for an average civil servant to live in good apartments.

She called on government to evolve policies that would control house rents and other issues associated with housing.

“Government should also have a mutual understanding with landlords to enable them collect one year rent for new tenants instead of the two-year rent that is attainable here,” she said.

In Kano, civil servants blamed the high cost of rent on the failure of the state government to regulate the activities of estate agents who deliberately jacked up the prices of rented accommodation.

“You will be surprised to know that most landlords or property owners prefer to deal with tenants through agents or touts instead of dealing with them directly.

“Such agents when they rent you a house, they have to collect administrative charges from the tenants in addition to receiving a certain per cent on total rent.

“All these if put together will lead to high cost of accommodation,” Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, a civil servant, said.

Some of the civil servants, however, blamed the high cost of accommodation in the country on the failure of the three tiers of government to come up with a sustainable housing policy.

According to them, the only solution to the problem is for the government at all levels to embark on massive construction of housing estates for low and middle level income earners in the country.

Malam Abdu Mahmud, a resident, said if the federal, state and local governments could embark on massive construction of houses for low and middle income workers, it would go a long way in reducing the high cost of accommodation.

To provide sustainable solution to the problem, Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, however, appealed to state governments to make plots of land available for the Federal Government’s mass housing project for Nigerian workers.

She made the call at the inauguration of the 100,000 Nationwide Workers’ Housing Scheme in Abuja.

“Evidently the support of the private sector is essential to shore up the level of investment required to meet the enormous demand for housing and provision of infrastructure, which is beyond the scope of government alone.

“Because of our firm commitment to better manage our rapidly expanding cities and our acknowledgement of housing as not only one of man’s basic needs but as a fundamental element required for the rapid growth of the economy.

“ I wish to seize this medium to appeal to all the 36 state governments to make suitable an un-encumbered land available for the expansion of this worthy scheme for the benefit of Nigerian workers nationwide,“ Eyakenyi said.

Eyakenyi said the government was working out modalities to reduce the housing deficit in the country to promote access to home ownership and affordability by giving free lands to developers.

She, therefore, urged state governments to do the same as it would help reduce the cost of houses while increasing the rate of construction of more houses to alleviate the plight of low income earners.

She commended the FCT Administration (FCTA) for providing land for the take-off of the initial 20,000 units of various types to be built and the two workers’ unions for their concerns for Nigerian workers.

The minister said the funding for the first phase of the scheme in Apo, FCT, was provided by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria through its national housing scheme.

According to her, the scheme is a veritable source for long-term financing mechanism for affordable home ownership, which calls for further strengthening and re-capitalisation of the bank to enable it to perform its function.

The Minister of FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed, who spoke at the occasion, said the land swap initiative of the FCTA was to leverage on Public Private Partnership to provide housing for FCT residents.

Mohammed said FCTA intended to develop 15 new districts to provide housing for one million residents, create 500,000 new jobs, and reduce housing deficit in Abuja.

“It will also encourage capital inflow of above one trillion naira in the next five years; this will provide 22,000 houses for low income earners in the FCT.

“With the Goodluck Jonathan and the Sen. Bala Mohammed estates, there will be more houses.”

The FCT minister added that 1,000 hectares of land had been made available to the Ministry of Lands to provide social and affordable housing for Abuja residents.

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Mr Bala Kaigama, lauded the federal government for the initiative, saying that when fully delivered, it would alleviate the plight of Nigerian workers.

They appealed to President Jonathan to ensure that the percentage of the initial deposit for the houses was reduced from 30 per cent to 10 per cent so that workers could afford the houses.

Owelle Nicholas Ukachukwu, the Chairman, Good Homes Development Co ltd., an estate developer, said the first phase of the project would be completed in May 2015.

Ukachukwu said the project would provide jobs for 10 million Nigerians and that it would be of standard quality.

NAN reports that 100,000 housing units are expected to be built for workers nationwide with Abuja accounting for 22,000 units.

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Akpabio distributes 2.7m treated mosquito nets http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/18/akpabio-distributes-2-7m-treated-mosquito-nets/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/18/akpabio-distributes-2-7m-treated-mosquito-nets/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:19:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223316 Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom has flagged off the distribution of 2.7 million insecticide treated nets to households in the state.

Performing the flag off on Thursday in Uyo, the governor said elimination of malaria in the country demanded the concerted efforts of government and the private sector.

NAN reports that the distribution of the nets will last for five days. Akpabio, who was represented by his Health Commissioner, Dr Emem Bassey, also said his administration with the support of World Bank had commenced free distribution of malaria drugs in the state.

“Malaria is a global problem that has existed with us for ages. The unfortunate thing is that malaria does not discriminate between rich and poor and is not religion inclined.

“Akwa Ibom is a peculiar state with lots of rivers and coastline that favour mosquito breeding, thus the need to deploy all proven anti-malaria interventions.

“The state government is determined to create a favourable environment for effective use of these nets for malaria prevention and control in the state,” Akpabio said.

He urged residents of the state to ensure that all family members sleep inside the nets every night for maximum protection against malaria.

Akpabio commended the Federal Government, the Global Fund, Society for Family Health and other development partners for their efforts at eliminating malaria in Nigeria.

In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, Mrs Stella Usah, noted that malaria was a disease of public health significance.

Usah commended government at all levels and donor partners for the resources committed over the years to reducing morbidity and mortality due to malaria.

She said the distribution of the nets in the state would help to replace the old ones earlier given out in 2010 which had lost their potency.

In his goodwill message, the State Coordinator of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Sylvester Agwai, said malaria intervention programmes had
reduced the incidence of the disease by 30 per cent globally.

Agwai said such interventions between 2000 and 2013 had reduced the incidence of malaria by 34 per cent in Africa. He, however, said achieving universal coverage of rural communities with life-saving malaria interventions was still a challenge in Nigeria and other African countries.

Agwai reiterated the commitment of WHO to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) programme in the state.

Mr Emeka Okafor, who represented the Society for Family Health, said that it had been proved that sleeping inside the nets consistently reduced incidence of malaria by 50 per cent.

Okafor, who is the Deputy Director of Logistics in the organisation, said that this year’s net distribution exercise in the state was intended to reach 4.8 million people.

He explained that at least two persons were expected to sleep inside one net. Other goodwill messages were received from the Global Fund, Nigeria Inter-Faith Action Association, Malaria Action Programme and National Malaria Elimination Programme(NMEP).

The distribution exercise was carried out by the state Ministry of Health in collaboration with NMEP and the Society for Family Health.

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CODE to monitor FG’s N9.2bn clean cook stove funds disbursement http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/15/code-to-monitor-fgs-n9-2bn-clean-cook-stove-funds-disbursement/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/15/code-to-monitor-fgs-n9-2bn-clean-cook-stove-funds-disbursement/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:57:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223038 President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Connected Development (CODE), an NGO, said it would monitor the disbursement and application of the N9.2 billion approved by the Federal Government for the purchase of clean cooking stoves for distribution to rural women.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Mr Hamzat Lawal, who said this at the organisation’s End of Year Media Roundtable Meeting on Monday in Abuja, explained that the monitoring of the funds was part of its plans for 2015.

“Connected Development in partnership with other organisations will track the disbursement and utilisation of these funds to ensure that it actually gets to these rural women and (they) will feel the impact.

“In 2013, the World Health Organisation released a report that over 95,000 women and children die annually. I am urging you all to join us to ensure that these funds do not get into private pockets.”

NAN recalls that the Federal Government recently approved the funds for the purchase of 750,000 units of the stoves for onward distribution among rural women under the “National Clean Cooking Scheme”.

The stoves are expected to be distributed using the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which has captured the data of a significant number of women farmers.

The cooking scheme is designed by the government to be an aggressive drive to engender clean cooking culture among rural women to reduce and possibly eliminate cooking with solid fossil considered detrimental to health.

Lawal also said the organisation would monitor the 2015 general elections and inform the public by providing periodic update on the exercise through text messages.

The chief executive officer of the NGO explained that the sending of text messages to individual phones was to ensure accountability and transparency of the electoral process making sure that votes count.

CODE is an NGO with the aim to improve access to information and empower local communities in Africa through dialogue, debate and capacity building while promoting transparency and accountability.

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No monkey is missing – Wildlife official http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/13/no-monkey-is-missing-wildlife-official/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/13/no-monkey-is-missing-wildlife-official/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 16:01:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222794 11.4c1 Ad hoc DSC_0756

Mr John Doy, the General Manager (GM), Plateau Tourist Corporation, has denied rumours that two monkeys have escaped from the Wildlife Park in Jos.

Doy told NAN on Saturday in Jos that though monkeys were lower sapiens and always explored the exit routes of their caregivers for curiosity purposes, none has left the wildlife park because of the proper care they were getting.

Doy explained that the custodians of the park were well trained and the park was attached to a research team from the National Veterinary Research Institute where they give them the necessary advice.

He added that the park also had a veterinary unit where animals were given routine check-ups.

The General Manager disclosed that animals seen around the environs might be the mythical “Rikida” who transformed as beast in the night for hunting purposes.

Rikida is a Hausa word used to describe people in the occult world who change to beasts in the night to attack animals they desire.

“People mused at this but it still exist till date and the culprits are mostly hunters and butchers,” he said.

Doy said when these set of nocturnal people were transformed into animals they choose to be, they devour goats, sheep and cows and vomit them the next day for commercial purposes.

He said such animals when seen were alleged to come from the wild life park, adding that it was impossible for animals to leave their cages for hunting purposes and return the next day still caged.

“It is irrational to think locked animals wonder at night and locked themselves back when they return from their hunting expeditions,” he said.

Doy advised the public to select where they get their meat to avoid such animals.

The GM also said the animals at the park were safe from Ebola and were not carriers of the virus.

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Fidson Set to Transform Healthcare Sector with Biotech Plant http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/13/fidson-set-to-transform-healthcare-sector-with-biotech-plant/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/13/fidson-set-to-transform-healthcare-sector-with-biotech-plant/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 12:05:09 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222766 Dr Fidelis Ayebae

Dr Fidelis Ayebae

Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical company, Fidson Healthcare Plc is set to transform the country’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry with the construction of its new World Health Organization (WHO)-standard Biotech Plant, located in Sango Ota area of Ogun State.

The new plant will help Fidson accomplish a world-class pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, that will in turn help it to compete healthily with its foreign counterparts, thereby placing the country’s healthcare manufacturing sector on a global pedestal.

The company’s Managing Director, Dr Fidelis Ayebae who made this known stated that presently, the company is almost exhausting its manufacturing capacity due to the volume of demands for its products by Nigerians, both at the institutional and individual level. This he said has called for a more massive manufacturing plant that can meet its growing demand.

Dr Ayebae also emphasised that when completed, the plant will be used for manufacturing large scale pharmaceutical products that will take care of the healthcare needs of Nigerians, thereby strengthening the company’s leadership position in Nigeria and global pharmaceutical sector.

The new Biotech plant construction is one of the ways Fidson Healthcare is demonstrating its commitment to the well-being of Nigerians and also fulfilling its corporate brand promise of providing excellent quality world-class healthcare solutions.

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Olive oil prices to shoot up http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/08/olive-oil-prices-to-shoot-up/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/08/olive-oil-prices-to-shoot-up/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:35:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222132 New research from Harvard University suggests it could put years on your life. But a Mediterranean diet rich in pungent olive oil does not come cheap, and it is just about to get a lot more expensive.

Disastrous olive harvests in much of southern Europe have sent wholesale prices shooting up, meaning consumers around the world are going to have to get used to paying substantially more for a culinary staple prized equally by gourmets and physicians.

Nowhere has the impact of freakish summer weather been felt more painfully than in Tuscany and Umbria, where the subtly aromatic, extra-virgin oils reaped from timeless landscapes provide the industry’s global benchmark for quality.

Olive Oil

In Spain, which last year accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil, a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria is expected to halve output this year.

A different bacteria threatens to decimate olive groves in southern Italy.

In the heartland of poshly-packaged oils that connoisseurs discuss like fine wines, it was a humble fly that wreaked havoc after being handed optimal breeding conditions by the erratic climate.

At Fiesole, in the heart of Tuscany’s “Chiantishire” — so called because of its rich British ex-patriates — Cesare Buonamici’s olive processing facilities should be whirring at full capacity.

Instead, thanks to the olive fly, the sophisticated presses and extraction machines lie dormant for lack of the organically-cultivated fruit that would normally keep them busy until nearly Christmas.

“Our production has been halved,” the former engineer says gloomily.

Figures from the International Olive Council suggest wholesale prices of Italian oil have risen 37 percent from 2013, but Buonamici warns the rise for top quality oils like his will be steeper.

“Those are the prices ex-press,” he told AFPTV. “For the final consumer the increase is likely to be more than 60 percent.”

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Miracle for six left blind by cataract surgery http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/06/miracle-for-six-left-blind-by-cataract-surgery/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/06/miracle-for-six-left-blind-by-cataract-surgery/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 11:40:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221938 An Indian doctor inspects the eye of a patient

An Indian doctor inspects the eye of a patient

Doctors may be able to restore the vision of at least six of the 20 people blinded by botched free cataract surgery in northern India, a government official said on Saturday.

Authorities have suggested poor surgical hygiene may be to blame for the loss of sight after what are normally considered low-risk operations, in the latest scandal to highlight poor medical care in parts of India.

Authorities in India’s Punjab state reported 20 confirmed cases of blindness after a medical charity conducted free cataract operations on 157 people in November in Amritsar.

But now a special team of doctors dispatched from New Delhi and Punjab state capital Chandigarh say “at least six of the victims could get their normal sight back after special treatment”, senior Punjab state government official Ravi Bhagat told AFP.

Local media reports, however, say the number of people blinded could range from 30 up to as much as 60.

The cases have raised fresh concerns about the hygiene standards in India’s severely stretched health-care services.

The incident comes just weeks after the deaths of 13 women following sterilisation surgery at a camp in central India.

Government officials blamed tainted drugs for the deaths, but an independent report said the women had suffered septicaemia that could have been caused by lack of hygiene.

In the case of those having eye surgery, the organiser of the camp has been arrested on accusations of allegedly running the camp without government permission, police said, while the doctor who performed the cataract operations has been been held for questioning.

“Our preliminary enquiries have indicated the doctor performed more than 30 operations in a single day,” Manvinder Singh, a senior Punjab police official, told AFP.

“Technical teams are questioning him (the doctor) on different aspects,” Singh said.

Punjab police were seeking to trace every patient operated on at the camp to ascertain the total number of victims.

A government doctor who treated the latest victims on Friday said they had contracted infections after undergoing the cataract surgery on November 4.

“They came to us in a very bad condition… the infection had already spread,” Karanjeet Singh told India’s NDTV news channel, adding “chances of restoring their eyesight” are as a result much lower.

Volunteer groups and government authorities regularly hold medical camps to treat tens of thousands of poor Indians each year for various ailments.

Authorities said the problem first came to light when victims began coming forward earlier in the week.

Police said there could be more arrests in the cataract case.

“Our police team is leaving for Mathura in neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, where the NGO (non-governmental organisation) has its headquarter,” Singh said.

“In Mathura, we hope to get the names of all the other people directly responsible for this illegal camp,” he said.

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Technology Is Our Hope, Say Nigerians With Disabilities http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/03/technology-is-our-hope-say-nigerians-with-disabilities/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/03/technology-is-our-hope-say-nigerians-with-disabilities/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:55:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221615 Simon Ateba/Lagos

Technology represents hope and unlimited possibilities for persons with disabilities, it was said on Wednesday, as Nigerians came together to celebrate the International Day for people living with disabilities. ‎‎

The United Nations Day for persons with disabilities is celebrated every year on 3 December and in Lagos, the event was organised by the Lagos State Office for Disabilities Affairs, LASODA.

The theme for ‎the year 2014 , “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology “, could not have come at a better time because technology can be used as a tool to break barriers and forge an inclusive and more equal society, said Mrs. Tolulope Animashaun, Chairperson, Governing Board of LASODA.

Animashaun said the day (3 December) is important as it reminds everyone of the progress made so far and the challenges ahead.

She said Lagos,  the first state to enact the Special People’s Law to champion the cause of people living with disabilities, has made tremendous progress but more still needs to be done, especially in the area of awareness creation.

Some persons with disabilities in Lagos on Wednesday. Photo: Simon Ateba.

Some persons with disabilities in Lagos on Wednesday. Photo: Simon Ateba.

The private sector for instance, she added, needs to be brought in and should go beyond corporate social responsibility which often looks like charity.

To Akinola Emmanuella of Heroes Media Nigeria who champions issues with people with disabilities, “for people without disabilities technology makes things easier but for people with disabilities technology makes things possible.”

She described technology for people with disabilities as a tool of implementation and possibilities.

“Technology provides hope for sustainability of the SDGs,” Akinola said.

She said Nigeria cannot meet its Millennium Development Goals because it has failed to include people with disabilities in almost all its policy formulations.

According to Dr. Segun Oshiyimika, Permanent Secretary, Office of Youth and Social Development of the Lagos State Government, the celebration is necessary because people with disabilities represent “a sizeable chunk of the world population”.

“Recognising them is important as we cannot afford to neglect such a huge number of people vis-a-vis‎ Nigeria’s population.

But even as the country celebrated the achievements made so far, especially in Lagos, elsewhere the situation looked gloomier.

Only about four to five out of 36 states have passed the Special People’s Law and in  Lagos where the law was passed in 2011, LASODA only got their office this year, two years after it was officially set up by the government in 2012.

Nigeria still does not have a national law for people with disabilities and this is a shame, said Adebowale Ademiluyi, a physically challenged person.

He said what Nigeria has achieved for persons with disabilities is “grossly inadequate” and implementation is also a problem.

To Oshilim Constance, some progress has been made in Lagos, but there is need for a more inclusive society.

Nigeria, she said, should empower the physically challenged, passed laws that will protect them and create jobs for those who are graduates.

According to Vweta Chadwick, Global Programmes Director, ASHA Initiative, ‎the government has not fully explored the use of technology towards promoting the social inclusion of people with disabilities.

She gave the example of the use of tablets and other technological tools that can be used to promote literacy for people with disabilities.

For Deaconess Adedoyin Beyioku-Alase, National President Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, a lot needs to be done.

The government should empower people with disabilities and create and enabling environment for them.

As she spoke, many people with disabilities, especially those on wheelchairs struggled to access the ‎Adeyemi Bero Auditorium where the gathering took place because it was not accessible to them.

While some people on wheelchairs had to be carried others had to ride in the planks provided to make their movement easier and the shame less obvious.

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Its ‘I Do Day’ In Rio: Nearly 4,000 tie the knot http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/01/its-i-do-day-in-rio-nearly-4000-tie-the-knot/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/01/its-i-do-day-in-rio-nearly-4000-tie-the-knot/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 04:21:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221311 Rio Wedding

It was Rio’s biggest mass wedding: a total of 1,960 couples who exchanged vows Sunday in a hall next to the famous Maracana stadium.

The big event brought out a whopping 12,000 people, between brides and grooms, friends and family and authorities — including a pack of judges, a Catholic priest and an evangelical Christian pastor.

Dubbed “I Do Day,” the event was sponsored by authorities to encourage many people who might not be able to afford to marry if they had to pay for licenses and banquet halls.

The megacrowd gathered in the venue which is often used for major concerts, couples tied the knot and friends took in a concert by samba star Dudu Nobre.

Guests also got a free ride on local trains — nicknamed the “I Do Day Train” just for the occasion.

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FG assures of total eradication of wild polio virus http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/28/fg-assures-of-total-eradication-of-wild-polio-virus/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/28/fg-assures-of-total-eradication-of-wild-polio-virus/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 23:02:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221008 Vice President Namadi Sambo

Vice President Namadi Sambo

The Federal Government has expressed optimism that with the impressive gains recorded in the fight against the wild polio virus disease, the virus will soon be completely eradicated from the country like the Ebola virus diseases.

Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo stated this at a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication held at the State House, Abuja on Thursday.

“Government will continue to give political support, ensure sustained funding of the programame, procurement of the polio vaccines and support the introduction of other new vaccines and work with the traditional, religious leaders, development partners and other community based organizations, to ensure that no polio case is recorded in Nigeria,” Sambo said.

He commended the Commissioners of Health in various States, Local Government Chairmen, traditional rulers, especially His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto and the Shehu of Barma for their commitment to polion eradication in Nigeria as demonstrated through the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care (NTLC).

He also commended bodies such as Aliko Dangote Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, the World Health Organisation and other partners for their unwavering support towards eradication of the virus.

Sambo expressed delight that in the last two years no new case of the virus has been recorded in Nigeria while immunization of 88 percent has been achieved in 2014, noting that the country has greatly improved this year compared to other parts of the world where polio is still a problem.

He also noted that the task is enormous but urged all stakeholders to continue to work collectively in order to achieve result especially in the areas where there is security challenge and other risk factors. The VP also urged partners to work together with Nigeria for the success of radication of other diseases such as measles, whooping cough and diarrhea.

Earlier, the Supervising Minister of State for Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan while giving an account of the efforts to eradicate polio and the challenges, noted that, the Wild Polio Virus is now confined to only five LGAs compared to the more generalized situation of the past. He added that Nigeria now have six cases of Wild Polio Virus while 96 per cent of the 774 local government areas have been polio free in the last one year.

The Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Mohammed, delivered a power point presentation where he expressed confidence in the efforts of the three tiers of governments to eradicate the polio virus.

Yobe State Commissioner of Health also said the only one virus identified in the state is confined to a ward and assured of its eradication. All stakeholders were encouraged to sustain the achievement by constantly immunizing children especially at the border towns to avoid the importation of same to the country.

Present at the meeting were Governor Alhaji Isa Yuguda of Bauchi, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Nuhu Bajoga and representatives of World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

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Video of maid savaging baby shocks Uganda, police step in http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/24/video-of-maid-savaging-baby-shocks-uganda-police-step-in/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/24/video-of-maid-savaging-baby-shocks-uganda-police-step-in/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:30:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220666 *Here is a video every parent who leaves his child in the care of a house maid must watch

Uganda maid savaging an 18month old baby

Uganda maid savaging an 18month old baby

Ugandan police have arrested a maid for attempted murder after she was seen on a film abusing a baby, reports said Monday, in a case that has shocked the country.

Worried parents, who installed a CCTV camera when they were at work, were shocked to see they had filmed the maid pushing the 18-month-old baby girl to the floor.

She then kicked the child’s face and stomach before putting her entire weight on the girl’s back before dragging her out the room apparently unconscious, newspaper reports said.

The obviously mad maid slapped the baby when she rejected the food being offered her. Then the mad is seen forcing the baby to swallow several spoon-feeds at a go. Moments after, the baby vomited the food. That provoked the maid’s insanely brutal reaction, according to the video in circulation.

The disturbing video has been seen or shared tens of thousands of times on social media.

The Family of the Uganda baby

The Family of the Uganda baby

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said the maid, named as 22-year-old Jolly Tumuhiirwe, had been charged with attempted murder. She is due in court on December 8.

The parents told Uganda’s New Vision newspaper the baby was traumatised and bruised.

“The video of this baby being beaten is shocking,” UN children’s agency chief in Uganda Aida Girma said.

“Any such act of abuse and violence against children is completely unacceptable.”

The baby’s father is Erick Kamanzi, a staff at a reputable NGO in Kampala.

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90% of Nigerians with mental disorders don’t go to hospital http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/22/90-of-nigerians-with-mental-disorders-dont-go-to-hospital/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/22/90-of-nigerians-with-mental-disorders-dont-go-to-hospital/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 10:07:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220505 A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Femi Olugbile, on Friday said 90 per cent of Nigerians with mental disorders did not visit their healthcare providers for attention.

Olugbile, who is also a former Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, said this in an interview with NAN in Lagos.

According to him, such attitude will have detrimental effects on both the individual and the society at large.

“Ninety per cent of people, who have mental disorders in our country, whether major or minor, do not get to see any healthcare provider at all for relief of their symptoms.

“So, they are not diagnosed or treated which is a shame, because they have a detrimental effect, not just on the individuals, but on our society.

“Most people who have mental illnesses carry them about; it is like they are working wounded. So, they go to work and live their lives.

“They are not disturbing other people, but they are under-performing at their tasks or they are making wrong decisions as a result of the illness.

“So, untreated mental illness, whether major or minor, carries a cost both for the individual and the society.”

Olugbile said that, at least, one in five people would some time in life experience one or other types of mental illness.

According to him, most of the illnesses that people have are not psychotic such as hallucinations, schizophrenia, they are anxiety and depression.

“They are very common and often missed, because people do not even recognise them as mental illnesses, and they do not present themselves to healthcare providers.

•Dr. Femi Olugbile

•Dr. Femi Olugbile

“They do not present, sometimes, out of ignorance or just because the facilities for intervention are not available or within their easy reach.

“This constitute the overwhelming majority of mental illnesses,” he said.

Olugbile said that there were approximately 100 psychiatrists in Nigeria due to brain drain which had continued to be a challenge.

“Many Nigerian psychiatrists practiced abroad because conditions of work in many Western countries are obviously more attractive than locally.

“Also, many young doctors prefer to specialise in areas they consider more ‘lucrative’ such as obstetrics and gynaecology rather than psychiatry.

“Efforts are ongoing to get more young doctors to show interest in psychiatry as a career.”

Olugbile said that it was a challenge and the country has to think of how to creatively provide mental health services to substantial number of the people.

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Empower Your Self-Healing Body http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/21/empower-your-self-healing-body/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/21/empower-your-self-healing-body/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:03:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220472 Natural Fruits

Natural Fruits

The Western diet is having dire consequences on our current and future generations. Today’s food environment is adversely affecting our health and setting us up for health concerns, chronic diseases, and shorter life spans. As a result of our poor dietary lifestyles, we’re indirectly encouraging different types of diseases.

Let’s face it, nothing that is artificial; be it a sweetener, flavor, colour or enhancer; is going to be recognized as food by our bodies and such additives have the potential to cause all kinds of unexpected damage at a cellular level.

However, God provides us with a better way to recover and restore our health. God built self-healing into each of our bodies. When we rectify nutritional deficiency through enzymatically active foods and vital nutrients; the body is brought back into balance and the process of healing automatically occurs. Under right conditions, the body can heal itself. 

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” Psalm 139:14.

Jovana Farms

Dr. John Knowles, president of the Rockerfeller Foundation says: “The next major advance is the assumption of individual’s responsibility for one’s own health and a necessary change in lifestyle’’.

With knowledge, people would then be able to intelligently choose between a system that promotes wellness through proper diet and lifestyle versus a system that promotes disease.
True healing is self-healing; as we give the body the nutrients it needs to rebuild its immune system and self-healing mechanisms so that the body can do what God designed it to do, which is heal itself.

Surprisingly, we’re destroying this internal doctor’s ability to heal us and keep us in health through improper diet and lifestyle. ‘’Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” Galatians 6:7.

What I am saying is that almost all physical problems are caused by putting into our body substances they were never biologically designed to handle…substances that are actually dangerous to the body.

Just as our car will not perform well if the wrong fuel is filled in the gas tank, neither will our bodies function properly if the wrong foods are put into them.

According to my mentor, Rev. George Malkmus, LIT.D. The founder of Hallelujah Acres and Hallelujah Diet “Let’s shift our emphasis to the prevention of disease rather than the current goal of merely trying to treat disease after it has occurred. The public must be told how to alter their diet and lifestyle so that disease is not created in the first place’’. 

In order words, disease prevention and cure is not outside what we eat and how we live! God didn’t create our bodies to run on drugs. Any treatment that doesn’t address the causes of disease is time wasting. Otherwise, why does your disease persist despite years of treatment with drugs? Your food and lifestyle make healing impossible.

According to Dr Everett Koop MD, former Surgeon-General, United States. “All killer diseases are caused by diet related factors.” 
Almost all physical problems (other than accidents of course), can be eliminated and perfect health maintained by proper diet and lifestyle! My experience has even shown that when people adopt the diet and lifestyle we promote, most mental and emotional problem also disappear.

Since we’re all concerned with the cost of medical care, I am amazed so little is known by the public about the effectiveness of God’s original diet, Genesis 1-29 approaches to health and longevity, the reversal of disease processes and the prevention of degenerative diseases. Add to the fact that consumption of living foods are relatively low-cost and are very effective and safe. And my wonder continues….

At Living Food Conservation and Utilization, we’re promoting plant-based lifestyle; thereby helping people to stay in good health. 
We explore the efficacy of God’s original diet in preventing and reversing illnesses by showing people how simple diet and lifestyle changes can, in most cases, help a person restore their health.

Our staff has experience that can help you begin a healthy eating lifestyle; so come by for a visit, bring your questions and your shopping list. We’ll help you find the answers and make the best choices for your personal needs. If you want vibrant health, come see us-together we can empower your self-healing body.

E-mail: godsoriginalfood@gmail.com
TEL: 08179629250
Website: www.godsoriginalfood.com

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Over 6m Nigerians live with diabetes, say Experts http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/over-6m-nigerians-live-with-diabetes-say-experts/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/over-6m-nigerians-live-with-diabetes-say-experts/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 20:58:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219806 Diabetes

Mr Peter Ujomu, Executive Director, Health Matters Inc, on Friday said that an estimated six million people were living with diabetes in Nigeria.

Ujomu made the assertion in an interview with NAN on the sidelines of activities marking the 2014 World Diabetes Day (WDD) in Lagos.

NAN reports WDD is a day set aside by the International Federation for Diabetes to increase the awareness about diabetes.

WDD is marked annually on 14 November, and the 2014 campaign marks the first of a three-year (2014-16) focus on healthy living and diabetes.

Ujomu said: “The number of people with diabetes may be on the increase because there are so many predisposing factors that are all over the place.

“Like every other statistics in Nigeria, there is always controversy about the number but right now, we believe about six million people are living with diabetes in this country.

“Some of the factors are the kind of foods we eat; culture, lifestyle and other things that happen to us.

“These are all signposts of an imminent danger in the increase of the number of people living with diabetes”.

According to Ujomu, there is need to expand the message horizon by talking to communities as almost half of the people with diabetes remain undiagnosed.

“For this year’s WDD, we had a walk, which is about sensitisation and awareness creation and over 500 people were screened.

“At our level, all we are doing is education, testing, making sure that people know their status and encouraging early treatment.

“Internationally, stem cells are being developed for all kinds of ailments but we do not have any proof of that yet in the country,” he said.

Dr Afoke Isiavwe, Medical Director, Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre, Lekki, Lagos, said, that “Diabetes often times has no symptoms and by the time most people realise it, the cost of treatment and management becomes high.

“Majority of people who have diabetes are between the ages of 40 and 59 years. But again, the younger age groups are getting diabetes now, especially as a result of feeding habits and lifestyles.

“Eating healthy breakfast will help to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Healthy breakfast should consist of water, green vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereal.”

Dr Paul Amaze, a Consultant Endocrinologist, said that there were different types of diabetes.

“There are different types of diabetes such as Type 1, Type 2, Gestational Diabetes and a few others. The Type 2 Diabetes is common and affects the older people.

“The predisposing factors to Type 2 Diabetes include obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, advancing age, strong family history, hypertension and western diet.

“Younger children usually have the Type 1 Diabetes. We also have Gestational Diabetes, which is found in some women during pregnancy. Constant exercise and healthy diet are the only ways to prevent and manage diabetes,” he said.

Amaze urged Nigerians to be careful with their feeding pattern.

“We should watch what we eat. Avoid too much intake of fatty and oily foods, smoking, alcohol, carbonated drinks as well as sugary food and drinks.

“Exercise regularly to burn calories and keep fit always; by so doing the rate of diabetes would be reduced.

“ Nigerians should be conscious of regular checkup to enable early treatment and management of positive cases.

“The rapid test for the check takes less than five minutes to be done,’’ he said.

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Over 500, 000 visitors expected at the Port Harcourt Carnival 2014 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/over-500-000-visitors-expected-at-the-port-harcourt-carnival-2014/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/over-500-000-visitors-expected-at-the-port-harcourt-carnival-2014/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 07:24:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219751 L-R, Deinbofa Era, Dr. Sam Dede & Deacon Vincent Erinwo during Carniriv 2014 unveiling

L-R, Deinbofa Era, Dr. Sam Dede & Deacon Vincent Erinwo during Carniriv 2014 unveiling

An estimated number of over Five Hundred Thousand carnival lovers and participants are expected in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, for the 2014 edition of Carniriv, the Port Harcourt Carnival, making it the biggest carnival brands in Africa.

Speaking during an interaction with journalists in Port Harcourt, the Director General of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, Dr Sam Dede announced that the 2014 edition of the carnival, set to hold from 14–20 December, will outstrip other carnivals both in scope and size with participants and tourists drawn from Europe, Americas and the Caribbean joining their African counterparts for the one-week fiesta.

Dr. Dede assured that security will be top on the agenda of the Rivers State Government while stressing that the 2014 edition of Carniriv, also known as the Port Harcourt Carnival, will go down in history as one of the best organised with new innovations such as the introduction of the Miss Carniriv Beauty Pageant, the launch and deployment of the biggest state-of-the-art performance stage; and increased exposure for local artists to perform on the same stage with international stars.

Dr. Dede also told journalists about the value-added marketing opportunities that companies and corporate bodies can avail themselves as participants in the carnival. “We have opened up the carnival for commercial exploitation from interested corporate bodies by packaging at lease twelve signature carnival events into stand-alone brands for category sponsorships. Each category sponsor is entitled to multiple levels of commercial and non-commercial exploitations such as publicity, speaking opportunities, branding, the distribution of company literatures/souvenirs and other levels of corporate canvassing. The carnival is also up for headline sponsorship with innumerable value propositions already lined up for the sponsoring brand,” he added.

Dr. Dede, an award winning Actor and Theatre Arts lecturer also said that a cocktail of incentives await carnival lovers this year as His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted that the carnival is deployed as an empowerment platform for local artists and Micro, Small and Medium scale enterprises to connect with their fan base and clients alike and improve their business fortunes ahead of the Xmas and New Year seasons.

Chairman of the Board of Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, RSTDA, Deacon Vincent Erinwo, assured that the RSTDA will judiciously expend every fund released by the government for the purpose of the carnival while reiterating that the carnival is a project that is dear to the heart of the people of the state.

“We at the RSTDA, have being given a matching order not only to put the scare funds to the best use but to also seek for sponsorship and collaboration from both corporate and non-corporate organisations to make the carnival a self sustaining annual exercise in line with the vision of the state government,” he said.

Deacon Erinwo also promised that the 2014 edition of Carniriv, the Port Harcourt Carnival, which is themed as the One Love, One People edition, will be remembered for its organisation, audience management and satisfaction. “We will exceed the expectation of our guests and indigenes alike with the quality of world class performers and chart toppers that will grace our events for one week. I will urge interested carnival lovers from both far and near to make early preparations in terms of visa secure and other travel arrangements in order to witness the world-class fiesta that awaits them from the 14th to 20th of December this year,” he said.

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Nigerian Sex Workers Explore Social Media http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/14/nigerian-sex-workers-explore-social-media/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/14/nigerian-sex-workers-explore-social-media/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:08:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219647 Eromosele Ebhomele

For many commercial sex workers in Nigeria, the internet has become a blessing as it is increasingly becoming a major avenue for them to meet clients and patrons.

P.M.NEWS findings show that the prostitutes majorly use social media including Twitter, Facebook, Eskimi, Twoo, Tango, Blackberry Messenger and 4clique to advertise themselves to likely patrons either directly or through agents.

While some of these media like Eskimi, Twoo forbid members from uploading and displaying nude photographs, others including Facebook, BBM and Twitter do not really give their members such restrictions apart from emphasising its rule against infringement of privacy.

“Some of these social media afford us the opportunity to display some of our assets to attract guys like you,” one of the girls on Twitter, who later gave her name simply as Bisi, a resident of Egbeda, told our correspondent, who had posed as a client.

“The use of social media is even better because some men are very shy to approach a lady physically. Some are also very scared of going to brothels. But on social media, they are bolder and encouraged to speak their minds because it is just like a blind date where they are not physically with the woman,” the 30-year old Bisi added.

File Photo: Sex workers protesting against discrimination

File Photo: Sex workers protesting against discrimination

She, like many of her colleagues, have adopted a strategy to make it easy for them to meet with a client for sex over an agreed fee.

“What we do now is to come together-maybe three of us-and rent an accommodation where men visit us and have fun. But before then, we would have agreed on a fee.

“We fix the appointment after making sure it would not clash with those of our roommates. We either also give the impression that we are sisters or friends when our customers visit,” she said, adding that in the alternative, they would visit the “customer” at home after his assurances that it is safe to do so “or hang out somewhere else if the customer has enough money for entertainment and getting a room.

“I think it is more economical that the customers visit us, do what they want and pay rather than getting a venue and spending more for short time,” she said asking our correspondent which of the options he wanted.

On Eskimi and Twoo, the ladies are free to give details about themselves, their stature, marital status, number of children where applicable, and what they want from their likely catch.

P.M.NEWS finding showed that while some on these media are genuinely searching for love, others are there to date and flirt as found on some profile messages.

A 32-year old mother of two, who registered her profile as Victoria, told P.M.NEWS in an online chat that her husband left her and the children for another woman.

“Since then, I have been made to cater for the children and their education. He does not care and I can’t just allow the children suffer.

“You also know that it is difficult to find a man that would marry a woman who has two children when single ladies are even finding it increasingly difficult to get a husband.

“Instead of going about the streets to beg, the best thing is to make myself available to men who can afford it. That could help me take care of myself, the children and my rent,” she confided in P.M.NEWS.

Abuja-based Chidinma, who plies her trade on Twoo said she is not cut out for men lesser that 30 years, stressing that many of them are still children who do not know how the “sex business” operates.

“I can only date you if you are married. I go out with only married men and on exceptional cases, with spoilt children of wealthy men in Abuja,” she said.

She told our correspondent that she lives with two other ladies in a two-bedroom flat and that through the business, she now has a car and has been sponsoring two of her younger brothers through school.

Philomena, a 28-year old woman from Akwa-Ibom, who does ‘business’ majorly on Twitter explained that she had come to Lagos at the age of 15 to serve as a house help. She then graduated into prostitution at age 20, adding that since then, the business has paid off.

“I ran away from my the family I was serving as house help after the woman’s husband continuously tormented me with sex till the day my madam caught us.

“I then joined a group of girls in a brothel in Iyana-Ipaja and after a year, I was not meeting my expectations. So I started joining girls to seek customers around major streets.

“But since someone introduced me to Twitter, things have changed. I have been getting more clients than when I was at the brothel. I now live in a rented apartment, but I select the type of people I bring into my apartment,” she said, adding “I am just giving you details of myself because I like you and I believe you are a serious person.”

P.M.NEWS finding revealed that women are not the only ones who pass through agents. Men are also part of the group.

However, those who seek to be linked up through agents include men in search of sugar mummies, adult women in search of younger men for sexual relationships and men in need of young ladies.

These agents demand particular amounts for the different services.

For example, to register for a sugar mummy on Mature And Rich Sugar Moms And Dads Hookups, one is expected to pay the sum of N3,000 while belonging to the BBM group costs just N500 through recharge cards.

While defending this business strategy, one of those who told P.M.NEWS that he had patronised some of the women through social media, said it was more economical and “it brings the two of you close even before you finally meet each other and it affords you the opportunity to know more about the kind of woman you want at that particular period.”

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Navy School Bans Students From Solat http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/08/navy-school-bans-students-from-solat/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/08/navy-school-bans-students-from-solat/#comments Sat, 08 Nov 2014 10:36:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218963 Harrison Iyoha

File Photo: Nigeria Navy School

File Photo: Nigeria Navy School

Barely weeks after a court in Lagos upheld the ban of Hijab in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos, the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ibara, Abeokuta, Ogun State has banned Muslim students from observing solat (prayers).

The affected prayers are solatul magrib and Ishai, which the school Commandant, Lieutenant Arukwe claims falls during the evening prep. Not only that, we were reliably told that the ban, which has been described as a violation of Muslims’ right to worship by the parents, has extended to other prayers (subh, zuhr and asri).

Some of the Muslim students, we learnt, are no longer praying since the Commandant issued the directive weeks ago.
According to one of the students who pleaded not to be named, “our Commandant has stopped us from praying in the school Mosque. She said our school is a military and not a missionary school. If she must allow us to pray, it’ll only be on Fridays, just as the Christians pray on Sundays. She said praying five times everyday affects the school activities.

“The school is over 20 years old and such a thing has never happened, until this woman came with her anti-Islam policy. The school built the mosque for us to worship at the appropriate time. The Directorate of Islamic Affairs recognises mosque, that’s why they appointed an Imam for us.”

When contacted an official of the school who also pleaded not to be quoted because he was not authorised to speak to the media said: “Nobody was been banned from praying in the mosque. They pray four times a day and their chaplain (Imam) said that the fifth one, which falls within the time of prep, is just an admonition and not compulsory. That’s why the students were stopped from attending admonition since it affects the activities of the school slated for that period.”

Another official of the school told our reporter on phone that the matter has been resolved.

“We are even the ones pushing them to go and pray because we believe nobody can achieve anything in this life without backing it with prayers.

“We’ve invited the Imam, and we’ve agreed to shift the last prayer (ishai) time till after prep, which ends by 9:30pm. By then, they can observe their prayers.”

Meanwhile, some aggrieved parents dismissed the claim that the matter has been resolved, saying it’s far from the truth. In a chat with P.M.NEWS Campus Square, a parent lamented: “This is wickedness! What kind of directive is that? My son has not prayed for five days, in a school that has a big mosque.

If she claims that the night prayers clash with prep times, what about morning and afternoon prayers? This is a violation of our right, and the Directorate of Naval Education must hear about it.”

Another parent told our reporter that “Everybody knows that Muslims pray five times a day, even Christians too are aware. Why would the Imam tell her that solatul ishai is not compulsory? Obviously, she’s lying. The truth is, she ordered the ban because it falls within the time of prep.”

The Secondary School was founded in 1990, and it is a full boarding school for boys only.

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