Month: August 2013
The Vice chancellor, university of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole, has encouraged the learning and understanding of other languages besides one’s native language such that an additional linguistic knowledge of at least one could serve as a means of curbing crime in the society.
Prof. Adewole made this observation while hosting the outgoing students of the Yoruba Flagship Centre, who had come to the University for a 2-month Summer Intensive Proficiency Course at the Centre in partnership with the University of Florida, United States of America.
The VC, while receiving the students in his office, noted that the mastery of additional language has tremendous advantage in curbing crime in the society, hence, the need for a conscious effort towards its functional knowledge.
According to him, “every community must learn a second language; learning of other languages will help to curb crime. For instance, someone who has the knowledge of a particular language about to be used to commit crime could quickly nip it in the bud. We need to promote the teaching and speaking of other language because of its strategic importance.”
While lamenting his past lackadaisical attitude towards learning French language when he had the opportunity to do so, Prof. Adewole advised the Federal government to make French language compulsory as a second language in Nigeria, pointing out that the country is surrounded by French speaking countries.
Charging the outgoing students not to abandon speaking Yoruba language, Prof. Adewole stressed that “it was only through the constant use of the language that could guarantee proficiency.”
Earlier, the Director, Yoruba Flagship Centre, Prof. Kola Owolabi, in his assessment, commended the students for their dedication and hardwork, stressing that the students thrilled him throughout the duration of the programme and had proved to be worthy ambassadors of America in character and learning.
Speaking in the same vein, the Coordinator of the programme, Dr. Moses Mabayoje advised parents to encourage their children to speak their native language as, according to him, “Yoruba language is dying as a result of predilection for foreign language by the indigenous users of the language.”
Having attained the adolescent age of 22, the history making founding fathers of Abia State, will at the prevailing positive turn of events, begin to bask in a deserved sense of fulfillment, on account of the reality that the much desired steady progress they patriotically wished for the State has been ubiquitously stimulated.
Let me pre-empt and adventurously probe into our minds to disabuse same ofany untoward & irrelevant assumption that may want to diminish the awe-inspiring camaraderie I have always consummated with our esteemed readers, given that this endeavor is dispassionately intended to celebrate the path finders of Abia State and, overtly highlight how we were conscripted into the cherished values that drove them.
On the strength of that understanding, encomiums will also be lavished on our retired but not tired General, Ibrahim Babangida for heralding the birth of todays adolescent Abia.
As our effervescent General acknowledges the flight of time, he will agree as well as we do, that he appended his signature to a document that was neatly & meticulously promoted by assemblage of Abia eggheads, some legendry & some of blessed memory.
This divine stewardship, celebrates with a depth of gratitude the tripod of equity, justice and fair play, which they bequeathed the State.
It is instructive however to retrospectively reveal that the on going new vista in Abia State has had its fair share of challenges occasioned by past pitfalls of elevatingineptitude, favoritism, apostasy and unbridled god-fatherism, which like a dark cloud,over-shadowed the State.
Our subscription to the vitality of stocktaking is what has thrown up events of yester-years, & its importance will further illuminate our understanding of todays Abia and its precarious state, before the gubernatorial change of baton.
Without mincing words, the administrative compass instituted by successive governments in Abia State, were not particularly broad and expectantly ambitious. The young Abia whose frame was weak & frail on account of that, tumbled & fumbled in the challenge of establishing a virile identity road map. Consequently, Abia was left hollow and malnourished.
But on assumption of office, this government chose not to sympathize with blame game & bulk passing, irrespective of the enormous infrastructural layback, which in quick succession starred it in the face.
But it has been tortuous in the sense that when you juxtapose the grossly inadequateresources available on offer with the countless tasks to address, your mind will always skip a bit.
The inevitable option of widening our approach to governance, earned us the merit of streamlining & prioritizing activities so we can look before we leap.
A sectorial x-ray, for which preponderance of opinion favored injecting life into the strategic & vital health care sector, motivated us to tackle its unfortunate absence in the State.
Today, we can rewind to proudly flaunt our health delivery blaze captured in a humble beginning which like the biblical mustard seed, began with an initial 65 health centers & latter grew to 250 evenly distributed health centers. Contrary to the medical gloom, which in the past cascaded over the State, Abians are now exposed to the relief ofchoosing from vast spectrum of medical facilities available in the State. Nothing could have been more enthralling than to celebrate the medical icing of realizing Abia State Specialist Hospital & Diagnostic Center, built in synergy with Me-Cure Health Services of India. The Abia of yesterday which medically groped in the dark has today earned her self a deserving pride of place in medical tourism.
Time was, when disillusionment reigned in the air following from the brazen confiscation of values meant for public good. Abians could sadly not spot a crane in any construction site any where near the State. At best, we could only pride in the conversion of primary school halls to government offices. Typical of man, the story has changed & the laughable poser agitating the minds of the people is anchored on the illusion that this mandate will not deliver on the numerous construction works it has occupied itself with.
Without wanting to despicably dismiss our fears, the submission in this regard will always be that the application of Gods divine initiative, which earned us the victory we are consummating, will graciously see to their completion. We have
Positioned our hands on the plough to collectively drive home the sense of belonging we pledged to give Abians & the expectations of our people on the capacity of this mandate to deliver will always be revered & respected. This inspiration will constantly feature in our genuine desire to deliver the gigantic & imposing twin workers secretariat, to free us from the nightmare & unacceptable layback of operating from old & antiquated classroom blocks. On another note, it will engender the requisite motivation critical for effective work delivery in our civil service system.
One of our very critical targets is to relocate the chaotic Umuahia main Market to the vastly spacious & serene Ubani neighborhood. Having attained the construction of over 4000 shops, asphalting the major network of roads, & hooking the market to national grid, government will in a matter of very few months relocate the main market to Ubani. This inevitable measure will clinically rid the Capital City of confusion & reduce the volume of filth. The necessity of this approach is that it will synchronize with the visionbehind the already relocated Umuahia Timber Market, where sanity has since returned to the neighborhood of World Bank & Low Cost Housing Estates.
The other huge eruption of eye wondering legacy is in the direction of a classical new government house. This fast sprouting edifice will be delivered to the good people of Abia State in record time. It will deservedly reward their persevering wait for a government House of such magnitude, & free Abia from the retrogressive past of operating in a rented building.
So also will the almost completed International Conference Center, JAAC & ASUBEB high rise buildings be completed & credited to our eventful mandate.
Let me observe with a note of appreciation, the amazing harmony in government-labor relations, which follows from several trade off of interest. Consequently, every payment regime from NLC’S minimum wage, CONMESS, CONHESS & USS has been fully implemented.
In the face of obvious scarce resources, & against the backdrop of inherited debt burden, government has not given a thought to borrowing, bond market or other wise. Havingdelivered on the necessity of prudent management, people oriented projects and elimination of irrelevancies, our shrewd & coat cutting style of governance, earned us the endorsement of Nigerian Senate as a financial healthy State.
With out meaning to say that I am saving the best for last, our security scorecard is positively reflecting in throngs of investors who desire to display their wares in the State. To conscientiously design a lasting investment framework, a bill seeking to establish a Public-Private-Partnership Agency has been sponsored in the State House of Assembly.
As we commemorate the 22nd anniversary of Abia State, let us for the umpteenth time pledge our commitment to upholding the virtues which stimulated our founding fathers to collectively work for the creation of Gods own State.
Being Governor T. A. Orji’s fraternal message, marking the 22nd anniversary of the creation of Abia State
Radiotherapy unit coming for teaching hospital, says Health Commissioner Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof Modupe Adelabu has urged specialist to conduct a research into the cause of cancer of the eye among children. She spoke even as Health Commissioner Prof Olusola Fasuba hinted of plans by the state government to have a radiotherapy unit established in the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH). Ado Ekiti. Prof. Adelabu said the time to do such research is now when two kids, (Daniel Popoola and Kolade Abegunde), aged two and four years have tumor growing on their right eyes.
Both kids are being treated for cancer of the eye at the instance of the deputy governor, who encouraged their parents to cheer up and hope for the best. Prof. Modupe Adelabu, who visited Daniel and Kolade Abegunde and their parents, at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Children’s Ward of the teaching hospital, told Prof. Foluso Owoeye and Dr. Omotoye Olusola – both consultant ophthalmologists in charge of the kids’ treatment, to give the research a thought.
The commissioner, who was also at the hospital to receive the deputy governor said: “In fact, I want to let you know that by October ending, the radiotherapy unit would have been functioning here at the teaching hospital,” the commissioner said. Informing that one of the kids would soon be referred to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan for radiotherapy, the commissioner noted that EKSUTH presently has facility for chemotherapy. His words: “Surgery has been performed on the affected eye of one of the kids. The other is undergoing chemotherapy. By the time we are through with that, he would go for radiotherapy at Ibadan. “We are going to have such facility here very soon and it is going to be the best in Southwest Nigeria. We have a consortium from England, United Kindgom (UK) and they are bringing it down to the state.”
The commissioner expressed concern over the rising wave of cancerous tumour among children and urged parents whose children have been infected to bring them for treatment.
He said: “There are lots of people having the challenges but hiding in their homes. I want them to come to the teaching hospital before it is too late.”
The Ekiti State Government is poised to take an innovative step that is aimed at breaking its dependence on allocation that accrues to it from the federation account by switching from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-driven economy.
This was why the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi yesterday inaugurated an 11-man steering committee of the Ekiti Knowledge Zone(EKZ) to look into the exploitation of the human resource which the State takes pride in and transform its economy through the human capital.
Inaugurating the steering committee in Ado Ekiti, Governor Fayemi explained that the Knowledge Zone was created because the State needs “to step out of the shadows, let go of yesterday’s strategies and leap into the future with new processes, new approaches to solving our problem”, making Ekiti survive and thrive in today’s global economy.
The Governor added that it was a logical choice to turn to knowledge as the primary product in which the State can successfully trade since it is faced with the challenge of how to effectively transform its agrarian economy and convert the intellectual Capital to prosperity for the people of Ekiti.
“This administration is committed to converting its brain into brawn for the people by accelerating development, skipping less efficient routes and moving directly to more advanced stages such as a knowledge-based economy – a system of consumption and production that is based on intellectual capital rather than on physical inputs or natural resources. Hence, we would develop our economy by trading skills and activities in which our constituents are well versed in”, he said.
The State, according to Fayemi, is toeing the path of Malaysia which economy in the 1960s was similar to that of Ekiti but got transformed through knowledge. Justifying the choice of Knowledge Zone, the Governor stated that according to KPMG Australia, Nigeria is at an advantage and provides an opportunity for Ekiti in particular to position itself strategically to attract the attention of Investors; saying that with the reputation of Ekiti as a leader in the production of superior intellectual Capital, the State can convincingly position itself as and effectively evolve into a knowledge-based economy.
“The EKZ is conceived to be a place where we can match Ekiti’s global repertoire of Academic Experts and pioneers with platinum players in the industrial and scientific community, cross-fertilize revolutionary ideas and produce innovative concepts, products and services that will positively impact the state, our nation, sub-Saharan Africa and by extension, make conscious, holistic contributions to the advancement of humanity”, he added.
Fayemi charged members of the Steering Committee to be single-minded in the goal of delivering first-class results that are of international standards and also reflective of the Ekiti spirit.
He spelt out the committee’s terms of reference to include studying and advising the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Innovations on the most appropriate model or hybrid model best suited to deliver the Programme objectives in Ekiti; reviewing current Trade Zone Legislation at State, Federal and international levels and advise the Government on creating an enabling legislative environment for the EKZ, and advising and providing guidance to the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Innovations in developing different categories of Agreements with Partners and Investors in the EKZ Programme.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Tunji Olowolafe pledged the committee’s readiness to deliver on the terms of reference as well as help in transforming the State’s economy such that it becomes one of the leading in Nigeria.
Other members of the Committee are Professor Akin Oyebode, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke, Professor Mobolaji Aluko, Professor Oladeji Ojo, Dr. Oluwole Oluyede, Dr. Funmi Olopade, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapounda, the Commissioner for Trade, Innovations and Investment, Mr. Debo Ajayi, Miss. Tosin Otitoju, Mr. Gbenga Ogunsakin and Mrs. Ibironke Babalola who is the secretary.
THE Federal Government has commenced the training of, at least, 400 unemployed youths in agriculture as part of its efforts to boost the sector and facilitate economic development.
The training programme, which is also an effort towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is being organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Millennium Development Goals Office.
The training, which is expected to last for two weeks, began in Zaria on Monday and will continued till August 31.
The participants are to be exposed to another one-week practical training in their various states, where they will engage in agricultural activities.
The trainees, mostly unemployed graduates, were drawn from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The selection was the State Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs).
The first batch, comprising 200 who began training last week, were the first set to be trained by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in extension skills, agri-business skills as envisioned by the Agricultural Development Agenda (ATA) document, which lay emphasis on operational dictates of the value-chain in agriculture.
Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Dr. Ismaila Ilu, urged the participants to see the training as an opportunity to improve on their lives and that of the entire country.
Ilu explained: “Theoretical understanding of development issues, especially in agriculture is not enough to empower any individual. There is need for practical exposure, which the training will fundamentally deliver through visitation to rural farmers.”
He urged the participants to be more inquisitive in the course of the training by asking questions, adding: “The success of any extension work requires critical probing through genuine interpersonal discussion and the exploitation of other communication channels by the agents.”
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, who was represented by the Regional Director, Mr. Nyam Yusuf Leo, advised the participants to take advantage of the training and empower themselves to full capacity.
Thousands have gathered in the US capital to mark 50 years since Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech on civil rights.
Today’s civil rights activists came to Washington with concerns that include jobs, voting rights and gun violence. They marched to the Lincoln Memorial and a new monument, the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. The mother of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager shot dead in Florida last year, was among those due to speak. Sabrina Fulton told the BBC many young African Americans had been left afraid by the acquittal of his killer, neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. She called for a change to laws in many American states which allow the use of deadly force if a person feels seriously threatened. Mr Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked protests in more than 100 cities.
Eric Holder, the first black attorney general in US history, paid tribute to the original protesters, in a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “They marched in spite of animosity, oppression and brutality because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept,” he said. He said the spirit of 1963 now demanded equality for gay people, Latinos, women, the disabled and others. Saturday’s event is being led by the Rev Al Sharpton and King’s son Martin Luther King III. It comes a few days before the actual anniversary of the original march on 28 August 1963.
King, who was assassinated in 1968, led about 250,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall and delivered his famous speech from its steps. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” he said, in one of the most celebrated pieces of American oratory. Barack Obama, the first black US president, is due to commemorate the event on the anniversary itself with a speech from the same spot. He will be joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, while churches and groups have been asked to ring bells at 15:00 (19:00 GMT) on Wednesday to mark the exact time King spoke.
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has charged the editors of various media houses to ensure that they discharge the role as the watchdog, monitoring the implementation of budgets, in order to achieve transparency in governance at all levels.
The governor who stated this on Saturday during an executive session of the ongoing 9th edition of Nigerian Guild of Editors conference in Asaba, he also lamented the high cost of governance which he attributed partly to numerous appointment of political appointees.
The governor made it clear that government’s budget is a public document that should be made available to the public to see and assess the level of its implementation, which he said, informed the Delta State government to print and circulate its 2013 Budget freely to individuals including participants at the conference.
He said, “budget should be a public document that people can have access to and hold government accountable to it. This is why we have printed and distributed our state budget to people including you all in this hall. You can also access our budget online at any of our websites.
I think we are the only one in the country to have done this. Government is accountable to the people in everything”.
On high cost of governance, Uduaghan said, “the cost of governance is high because everybody now depends on government for business, we need to develop other sectors of the economy so as to create job opportunities independent of government.