Niger Govt. Approves N25m For Surveillance On Cholera

About N25 million has been approved by the Niger Government for its Ministry of Health to continue with the ongoing surveillance on the outbreak of cholera and other related diseases.

Dr Jibrin Mustapha, the Commissioner for Health and Hospital Management, made this disclosure at a press conference in Minna on Wednesday. The commissioner said that the money would be used to curtail the disease as well as prevent other outbreaks throughout the year.

He said that so far, seven people had died of cholera since the outbreak of the disease was confirmed on June 19, even as 120 cases were reported from Bida, Gbako, Katcha and Lavun Local Government Areas of the state.

Mustapha said that five among the cases tested positive to vibrio cholera, adding that 20 persons, who were on admission at the Umaru Sanda General Hospital Bida, were responding to treatment.

The commissioner added that 205 cases of gastroenteritis had been reported in Agaie, Gurara, Lapai, Mokwa, Munya, Paikoro, Suleja, Tafa and Wushishi Local Government Areas.

He said a team comprising of the state health officials and partners such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), had visited Bida to ensure rapid responses to the situation.

According to him, WHO is providing a technical support to ensure quick response to contain the outbreaks while UNICEF is supporting in coordinating strategic communication, health education and social mobilisation.

“All these are the efforts being put in place to raise awareness and sensitise the people on the cholera outbreak.

“We are also engaging the traditional institutions to further increase awareness on the outbreak within their domains.

“Our district surveillance officers in the 25 Local Government Areas have been put on high alert to report any suspected case immediately,” he said.

Mustapha said the state had put in place preventive awareness measures such as coordination, active surveillance, aggressive case management, infection prevention and control, community involvement and social mobilisation.

He noted that the state had designated the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Umaru Sanda General Hospital Bida and Kutigi General Hospital, as focal referral centres to manage the outbreak and give free medical treatment to affected persons.

Mustapha advised the people to report immediately to a nearby health facility, if they experience symptoms as vomiting, diarrhea, rapid dehydration, weakness, low pulse, reduced or no urination and muscle cramps.

The commissioner urged the people to embrace good personal and environmental hygiene, consumption of hygienic food and clean water and dispose plastic bags containing faeces in latrines.

210 Inmates Escaped From Niger Prison – Dambazau

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau has confirmed that 210 inmates escaped from the Minna Maximum Prisons in Niger State.

The inmates escaped after an invasion of the prison by some gunmen on Sunday night.

A prison warder and a commercial motorcyclist were killed during the jailbreak as the gunmen shot sporadically. Many inmates, which Dambazau confirmed to be 210 are currently on the run.

Dambazau told journalists on Monday that out of the 210 inmates that escaped, over 35 inmates who have been rearrested.

The Minister, alongside Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello, visited the prison facility on Monday morning to ascertain the situation.

Dambazau, during the inspection, lamented over the inadequate manpower in the Nigerian Prisons. He added that plans are on to recruit more workers to enable adequate security.

The spokesperson of the prison service in Niger State, Rabiu Shuaibu had earlier confirmed the Sunday night attack on the prison which is located in Tunga area of Minna Metropolis.

He said the incident was perpetrated after the armed criminals attacked the prison and gained access after an exchange of fire with prison officials.

In 2014, a similar jailbreak occurred at the Minna maximum prisons where hundreds of inmates were freed.

Youth Urged To Shun Violence

The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello while receiving members of Abi Doka Dole, a civilian security outfit called on residents of the state, particularly the youths, to shun violence in order to boost the development of the state.

The association whose chairman is Mr Musa Abdullahi was formed by some youths who had denounced crime and violence and had resolved to assist security agencies to maintain peace and order in the state.

Bello advised members of the association to desist from activities capable of disrupting the peace in the state and engage in useful ventures to improve their condition of living.

The governor also pledged his government’s support to the group, urging it to liaise with the police in the fight against crime.

Earlier, Abdullahi had told the governor that the association made up of youths who had denounced violence had been assisting the police in maintaining peace in different communities.

He said the association had partnered with the police in keeping the peace among feuding youths in areas such as Limawa, Maitumbi, Barkin Sale, Anguwar Daji, Dusten Kura, Bosso, Fadope and Sauka-Kahuta.

Abdullahi, however, appealed to the state government to assist the association with office accommodation and equipment to fight crime within Minna metropolis.


Buhari Commissions N50b Sugar Estate In Niger

President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the N50 billion Sunti Golden Sugar Estate which he said will employ 10,000 people directly.

Speaking in Sunti in Mokwa local government area on Thursday, Buhari said the magnitude of nvestment in the sugar estate is a clear manifestation that the policies on economic diversification  of the government is attracting the right kind of support and engagement.

“With N50 billion invested into Sunti  Golden sugar Estate, this makes it the largest Agro-allied investment in Nigeria today. The sugar factory will produce 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually, employ 10,000 people directly and a network of 3,000 small scale outgrowets of sugarcane. ”

The President stated that the socio-economic impact of the company’s investment cannot be quantified as lives would be changed and the impact on the national economy will be significant.

He further noted that the benefits of the River Niger have been overlooked for long stressing on the need for proper utilization of the masses of bodies and how it can be converted for commerce and investment.

Buhari then reassured Nigerians that the administration is committed to the transformation and diversification of the economy adding that they will continue to support businesses and investors by creating enabling business environment.

He stated that sugar have been identified as a key commodity that is critical to national food security adding that the sugar factory will help stem the tide of importation of sugar, save foreign exchange and create wealth amidst rural poverty.

In his address, Niger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello said Nigerlites are proud farmers adding that the sugar estate would utilize the farmers and make them productive.

He said that 2018 have been earmarked as the year of agricultural revolution in the state calling on investors to invest into the state which is a perfect model for investment.

Bello said that the sugar mills which is one of the two sugar mills in the country will produce 4,500 metric tonnes of sugar per day.

The governor then appealed to the President for the speedy completion of the Suleja road,  Tegina-Kontagora road and Mokwa-Jebba road in order to attract more investors into the state.

The Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr. John Coumantaros said the Sunti sugar factory is to ensure that local sugar is produced in Niger state adding that the factory is showcasing the shift in the focus from crude oil to agriculture.

He said that the Sunti Sugar factory will save Nigeria 100 million dollars on foreign exchange every year strengthen the capacity and economic status of the people.

The Chairman commended President Buhari for his policies which have been good and have lead to private sector growth across the country.

The Sunti Golden Sugar Estate occupies 17,000 hectares of land in Mokwa local government area of Niger state out of which 10,000 hectares is being used as sugarcane farm.

Gunmen Attack Police Station In Niger State

A police station was attacked by unknown gunmen yesterday in Lemu town, the headquarters of Gbako local government area of Niger State.

According to reports, the gunmen freed some criminals held by the police. It was gathered that the 10-man gang stormed Lemu town in two Hilux pick-up vans and fired sporadically into the air to scare away members of the community. The gang invaded the Divisional Police Station in the town and took away some criminals detained in the station.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dibal Paul Yakadi, rushed to the community immediately he heard the news. The state government has, however, imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew while vigilance group members have been mobilized to go after the gunmen and arrest them.

Meanwhile in Akwa Ibom State, there seems to be no end in sight for violent clashes in Etim Ekpo Local Council as at least three persons have been reported killed following a bloody rival cult clash between Icelaand (the red) and Debam (the white) groups.

Among the dead is Okon Nkanang, a retired police officer from Nkanang compound in Ikot Udobong, and Akpan Inyang, from Ntuk compound in the neighbouring Ikot Obioma village.

Inyang, according to local sources, was killed by the Iceland group, in place of his brother, a member of the Debam group, said to have escaped soon after sighting the gun wielding Icelanders
on motorbikes en-route their compound at Ikot Obioma.

Although the motive behind the killing of the retired policeman could not be ascertained at press time, it was gathered that the deceased might have been a security informant or relation to a wanted member of the Debam group.

The incident occurred at Ikot Udobong, Ikot Obioma and Edem Akai group of villages in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of the state. Several persons were also injured in the exchange of gunfire between the rival groups.

On Wednesday, the same rival groups clashed along the Edem Akai axis of Iwukem-Etim Ekpo-Abak highway during which a commercial bus driver was killed and his bus burnt with eight passengers sustaining injuries.

Worried by the total collapse of security in the council, concerned stakeholders and elders called on the governor, Udom Emmanuel, to “save the people from the carnage”.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Odiko Ogbeche, said men of the command were working frantically to restore normalcy in the affected communities and urged the people to always volunteer information on activities of hoodlums in their neighbourhoods.


Meningitis Kills Four In Niger State

Four people have died from Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Niger State as the state has recorded the outbreak of the disease.

Presently about 31 cases have been reported with nine laboratory tests confirmed.

The four deaths were recorded in Katcha Local Government Area of the state.

The State Commissioner of Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril confirmed the case to journalists at a briefing on Wednesday morning.

However, two Local Governments are said to be affected by the outbreak which are Katcha and Magama Local Government Area, both in Niger state.

Three Sisters Abducted By Gunmen In Niger State

Three sisters of the impeached chairman of Munya Local Government Council in Niger State, Malam Yahuza Mohammed, have been abducted by.

According to reports, the sisters were abducted at 1;30am on Saturday, at the local council chairman’s residence in Kuchi community.

The chairman, who was served with impeachment notice earlier in the week by the legislative arm of Munya Council was not in the residence when they were attacked.

However, a source close to the family told Daily Trust that the kidnappers placed a call to the chairman demanding N150 million ransom for the release of the girls.

The State Police Spokesman, ASP Mohammed Dan-Inna Abubakar, confirmed the abduction of the three sisters.

He said “We have no knowledge of the demand for ransom but officers and men of the command have since swung into action to rescue the girls and apprehend those behind the kidnapping.”


Police Threaten To Impound Vehicles With Concealed Number Plates In Niger

The Niger State Police Command has said that it will soon commence impounding vehicles with concealed number plates, adding that the drivers of such vehicles will be arrested and prosecuted.

The police, in a statement, said the illegal concealment of vehicle number plates had been traced to increasing cases of kidnapping and other criminal acts in the state.

The statement signed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammad Abubakar, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), added that: “The police command will not hesitate to arrest any person or group of persons seen to be driving vehicles with concealed plate numbers and whoever is arrested will be charged to court in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act.”

He expressed dismay that members of the public including top government officials drove their vehicles with covered number plates in the state.

Abubakar said that the command had directed all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to enforce the provisions of the Act.

Bello Swears In 14 New Commissioners

Governor of Niger State, Mallam Sani Bello has sworn in 14 new commissioners, warning them against all forms of corrupt practices.

Speaking at the occasion in Minna on Wednesday, Bello also urged them to work hard to uphold the confidence reposed on them.

“It will interest you to know that we have put in place a mechanism to monitor, evaluate and assess your performance.

“I congratulate you and urge you to take this call to service as a golden privilege to contribute your quota towards the development of our dear state.

“I have no doubt that your appointment will further boost our resolve to transform the state to one of the most socio-economically developed in Nigeria,” he said.

The governor urged them to be proactive, exhibit high sense of patriotism and work hard to enable his administration to consolidate on its achievements in office.

He said the state government would not tolerate laxity and disrespect to established rules and regulations.

Bello had in November last year submitted names of 18 nominees to the state House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioners following the dissolution of the cabinet in October, 2017.

The commissioners include Alhaji Idris Jibrin, Alhaji Zakari Bawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Panti, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, Hajiya Rahamtu Yaradu and Alhaji Mohammed Mundi.

Others are Dr Mustapha Jibrin, Alhaji Mamman Musa, Hajiya Amina Musa, Alhaji Ibrahim Shiroro, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro and Mr Nasara Dan-Malam. (NAN)

NAFDAC: N11.5m Expired Drugs Destroyed In Niger

Ministry of Health and Hospital Services in Niger State say it has, in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, destroyed expired drugs worth N11.5m.

Dr. Mohammed Makunsidi, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, who disclosed this to journalists, explained that some of the destroyed drugs had been in the stores of various health facilities in the state for over 10 years.

According to him, the destroyed drugs included expired HIV and Tuberculosis drugs as well as hand sanitizers among others.

Makunsidi, who was represented by the Director of Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Muhammad Ndagi, said the drugs and consumables with short expiry dates were brought to the state by partners for national programmes.

He said, “As a responsible government, the expired drugs and consumables were being destroyed to safeguard public health by preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.”

The permanent secretary explained that the National Drugs Policy and the National Drug Distribution Guideline both prescribed that every state must have a drug distribution centre as a solution to the problems in the health commodities and supply chain management.

He noted that since the establishment of the Niger State Drugs and Hospital Consumables Management Agency, the activities at the central medical store had tremendously increased.

While commending the state government for its commitment to the provision of necessary funds for the smooth running of the agency, he gave the assurance that the agency would ensure the orderly and systematic supply of genuine drugs and consumables to all the health facilities across the 25 local government areas of the state.

Makunsidi also disclosed that the coming of the Logistics Management Coordination Unit which is domiciled at the Central Medical Store would enhance data collection and information sharing among various health facilities and agencies.

The state zonal coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr. Anikoh Ibrahim, admonished the management staff of the ministry and its agencies to be proactive in the discharge of their duties.

Ibrahim, who expressed dissatisfaction that the drugs were kept for a long time, queried why they were not distributed to health care facilities for the people to use.

He advised the ministry to always reject drugs and consumables with short expiry date

Gov. Bello Denies Plan To Sack Teachers

The Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello on Wednesday has denied plans by his administration to sack primary school teachers in the state.

Governor Bello gave this assurance while inspecting the newly established Niger State Professional Teachers Development Institute at Maraban Dandaudu, in the Muyan Local Government Area of the state.

The institute was established to produce primary school teachers for public schools, especially in the rural areas.

The governor had said that some primary school teachers with fake certificates in public schools were being investigated, accusing them of being responsible for the poor foundation of pupils and falling standard of education in the state. The statement was interpreted by many to mean that the governor was planning to sack to teachers.

But allaying the fears, the governor said, “I learnt of a rumour making the rounds that we intend to sack primary school teachers following the misconception of what I said about the falling standard of education occasioned by inadequate qualified and competent teachers in our primary schools.

“I received calls that people are afraid we may retrench primary school teachers, especially those with faulty certificates. The truth is that there is no such plan. We don’t have enough teachers, so we are not sacking rather we are going to train and retrain our teachers and those with the bad case will be sent back to school.”