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Why Nigeria May Remain World Poverty Capital – Emir Sanusi

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The Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, has said except proactive steps are taken to change the current trend, Nigeria may still remain the poverty capital of the world for many years to come.

Sanusi said this after his induction as an honorary member of the Sigma Club of the University of Ibadan over the weekend.

His words: “If every country continues its present trajectory, by 2050, 80 per cent of all the poor people in the world will live on the African continent. But, that is not the frightening thing. One half of this 80 per cent will be in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two countries will account for 40 per cent of all the poor people in the world and Nigeria will, therefore, remain the poverty capital of the world.

“This is a country that has produced many great people. This is a country that has boasted of best professors, greatest intellectuals, and the most educated people. “In 1960, the per capita income in Nigeria was higher than what it was in South Korea, and China. My father was the first ambassador of Nigeria to China in 1972. In 1972, he had to go to Hong Kong every two weeks to buy essential commodities because they were not available in Beijing. He could not find milk, sugar and cornflakes in Beijing; he had to go to Hong Kong in 1972, not 100 years ago.

“In 1974, when Deng Xiaoping started opening up in China, there were 700 million Chinese living in extreme poverty. Today, that number is down to only 30 million people in one generation. In 1974, China had only 8million university graduates.

Today, China has more than 300 million university graduates, more than the entire population of the United States of America. Yet, China did not have direct foreign investments; in fact China stopped it.

“We talk about miracles, ancient miracles. I don’t like the word miracles because miracles are associated with angels with wings that you do not see, coming from the sky. The Chinese are human beings like us and they did it.

“When we say miracle, it sounds like something supernatural that has some certain powers to it. Every time you think about it, the only deficit we have is a policy deficit.

“We have elections in 2019, I read the papers, I look at the television, and listen to the discussions, who is talking about education? Who is talking about nutrition? Who is talking about basic health? As a country, what are our priorities? We don’t have enough money for education. We don’t have enough money for health. We don’t have enough money for nutrition. But we have N1 trillion or N2 trillion to spend on petroleum subsidies. Where is our sense of what is important, and where is our investment in the future? “So, for all Nigerians, who care about this country, the real task before us is to know that we have 30 years on the outside in which we need to make sure that we do not become the poverty capital of the world, and slum of the world.

“The earlier we realise that countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong in China, Singapore and Israel have become what they have become, not because they have found oil or diamond or gold, but because they have realised the values of human beings. The earlier we begin to take the path that will change this very sad trajectory, the better for us.

“We should keep those numbers at the back of our minds because that is the future of our children and the future of our grandchildren. And this generation can take decisions that are necessary to make sure that crisis in the future is averted. I am sure everyone here is committed to this. I certainly will remain committed to it.

“I hope we can all work together and build this country, and make it a country that we all know it can be. We know that Nigeria can be great. We all know it.

“All those seeking political office, we hope will begin to join us, and we will continue to urge those outside politics to exert the right pressure on those in government to give us these policies, these thinking because that is the future of this country.

“If you take Kano alone, today 58 per cent of all children under the age of five in Kano State suffer from chronic malnutrition. Out of that, 17 per cent has acute malnutrition. Globally, nine per cent is a crisis, but we have 17 per cent. Forty-eight per cent of the children of all women of reproductive age suffers from anaemia, iron deficiency. We have almost four million children out of school. We have one of the highest infant mortality and maternal mortality rate in the country.

“These are the kinds of things that are not even featuring in political discourse. These are issues that confront us and these are the issues we must address to avert that future that has been so very tragically by Bill Gate and other economists.

“Within Africa, we are having countries that are becoming excellent examples of what we can do with just a little bit of good thinking, combined with the right values. Our people have the ability, they are resilient, had working and intelligence to do it.”

BIG STORY

Ritual Killings: Police Arrest Six Native Doctors Native Doctors As Delta Girls Fortify Selves Against ‘Yahoo Boys

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Following the increasing spate of kidnapping and ritual killings in Delta State, detectives attached to the criminal investigation department ( CID) at the state police command on Thursday arrested six native doctors In Ughelli town and Abraka community through intelligence gathering.

The commissioner of police in the state, Anthony Agbidi, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects to newsmen in Asaba, disclosed that the detectives acted on intelligence gathering, adding that three of the suspects were arrested in Ughelli town, while the three other suspects were nabbed in Abraka community with strange substances including prepared charms in different containers.

CP Agbidi said: “The suspects were arrested on intelligence gathering by officers and men of the state CID and they recovered different prepared charms in containers. The suspects made useful statements to the police and they shall be charged to court upon completion of investigation”.

He however called on members of the public to always provide useful information to the police with a view to arresting criminals in their hideout.

He gave the names of the suspects to include: Bernard Thomas 52, Babalola Akin 48, who claimed to have hailed from Ijebu community, Lucky Omorofu, 47, Maculey Obaro, 52, Aghalokpe Kennedy 49, and Chief Chiedu Agbarho 56 years old, adding that the suspects will remain in the police custody until investigations are completed and they are charged to court.

Meanwhile, the police have confirmed moves by young girls across the state to fortify themselves against being kidnapped for rituals purposes.

CP Agbidi, while exchanging views with newsmen on Thursday in Asaba, disclosed that young girls between the ages of 18 and 20 years have allegedly resorted to patronizing native doctors to fortified them against ritual killings among others.

He said; “the report reaching us has indicated that young girls have allegedly resorted to patronizing native doctors to help fortify them against ritual activities. The police have gone after these fraudsters and Yahoo, Yahoo boys. We will bring all of them to book soon.”

Reports say the ritualists allegedly use female pants, breasts, tongues, hearts, womb including other vital organs to enhance their diabolic activities.

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LASU Will Get Faculty Of Pharmacy When I Become Governor —— Sanwo-Olu

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To strengthen capacity in pharmaceutical profession in Lagos State, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2019 election, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria that he will ensure that Lagos State University gets a faculty of Pharmacy, if he elected as the Governor.

Sanwo-Olu made the promise on Thursday during his interactive session with the Lagos State chapter of the PSN.

He said the state university after more than three decades of existence should be a centre of academic excellence for the production of manpower in the field of pharmacy.

He said: “To strengthen the profession and boost manpower in the field of Pharmacy, I am convinced that our state university should have a Faculty of Pharmacy.

“If elected, we will make sure LASU within our four years have Faculty of Pharmacy.

“It is not just right that we have Medical College without Faculty of Pharmacy.

“I am promising you that our government will ensure that everything is done to make Faculty of Pharmacy a reality for the State-owned University.

“As professional body of pharmacists, I will implore you to give us a position paper on what we need to do that will enable us achieve our objective and I can assure that as government, we will do all within our powers to make it a reality.”

The APC candidate told the pharmacists the importance he attaches to their profession and the entire health sector in general.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Your profession is one of the most important fields for human existence.

“No one can joke with the health sector.

“So when I received your invitation, I pledged to attend this event regardless of my schedule because it is about health and we must listen to you.”

The Chairman of Lagos State chapter of the PSN, B. T. O. Adeniran, urged Sanwo-Olu to help pharmacists practicing in the State when he gets to government.

Adeniran described the issue of turnaround time in getting drugs at government hospitals across the State as very cumbersome.

She said: “We need the government to look into the welfare and working condition of pharmacist working in Lagos State.

“We want upward review of salary and allowances.

“On capacity development, we need more training for our members so we can serve the state and the public better as integral part of the health system.”

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2019: Why We Chose Five Presidential Candidates For Debate —- NEDG

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has explained how five political parties were selected to participate in the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

NEDG Executive Secretary, Eddie Emesiri, said in a statement on Thursday that the parties for the debate were picked through an independently administered multi-stage process.

The statement was issued in reaction to the criticism triggered by the number of political parties selected by the group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) organizers of the debates.

Emesiri stressed that the decision to select five parties was taken at the beginning of the process to ensure that the debates were managed effectively.

According to him, the stages of the selection process focused on political parties while the organisers considered the importance of diversity in the nation.

The NEDG Executive Secretary insisted that no preference was given to any candidate or party, adding that nobody influenced the organisers to include or exclude any political party from the debates.

The statement read: “Further to our earlier announcement of participating parties for the Presidential Debates, the organising partners of the Debates hereby reiterate the transparency and independence of the selection process that resulted in the five participating political parties.

“Firstly, we would like to state that the Presidential Debates are organised by a partnership of the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), a broad coalition of over 100 public and private broadcasters in Nigeria with coverage of terrestrial radio, television, direct-to-home, digital terrestrial television and multimedia distribution system. The members of BON are responsible for over 250 radio and tv stations across Nigeria.

“The choice of participating parties for the debate was made through an independently administered multi-stage process. The first stage was an independent online poll and the second involved the distribution of survey questionnaires per state, to professionals, artisans, students, etc; respondents were within the voting age and spread across urban, semi-urban and rural classifications. The third stage was to take an aggregate of the stage result and extend invitations to the top 5 parties for the debate.

“Following our disclosure of the participating parties earlier in the week, our attention has been drawn to some reactions in the public space over the decision to limit the participation to five parties and exclusion of some party flag bearers from the debate. Considering the vast number of contending parties, the decision to limit to five parties was taken at the beginning of our process to ensure ease of management for the debates. All the stages of the selection process were focused on political parties, taking into consideration the importance of national spread and diversity. Focus was not on specific individuals or candidates.

“We wish to emphatically state that the NEDG and BON were not influenced or induced by anyone to include or exclude any political party from the debate. We understand the disappointment of some political parties who would have wished to see their candidates share their visions for the country at the Debates. However, Nigerians have spoken through the multi-stage process and we urge all Nigerians to respect their choice as we abide by the outcome of the independent party selection process.”

NEDG and BON had named only five political parties to participate in 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The parties listed were Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

This meant that the presidential aspirants expected at the debate are President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu.

However, Presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, has sought for five more influential presidential candidates.

The five candidates include: Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, SDP; Omoyele Sowore, of the African Action Congress, AAC; Byron Fagbemj of KOWA Party; and John Gbor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.

The Vice-Presidential Debate and the Presidential Debate are scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2018, and Saturday, January 19, 2019, respectively.

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