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Buhari appoints Dangote to chair fight against malaria campaign

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President Muhammad Buhari with members of the Council

Nasiru Yusuf

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated 16-member Council Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC), headed by the founder and president of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

KANO FOCUS reports that the president projected that the successful implementation of the Council’s agenda and savings from the estimated economic burden of the disease would save Nigeria about N687 billion in 2022 and N2 trillion by 2030.

The President told the 16-member Council, that beyond improving the quality of life, health and well-being of Nigerians, the concerted strategy to tackle malaria had both public health as well as socio-economic benefits for Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari speaking during the inauguration

‘‘Our inauguration today will therefore ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda, with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels.

‘‘Additionally, the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good,’’ the President said.

Expressing concern that the age-long disease had remained a major public health challenge in Nigeria, the President cited the World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2021, showing that Nigeria alone accounts for 27 per cent of all cases of malaria and 32 per cent of deaths globally.

Members of Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC) with President Buhari

‘‘Malaria infection can cause severe disease and complication in pregnant women and lead to high rates of miscarriage.

‘‘It is also responsible for a considerable proportion of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most vulnerable group affected. These are reasons we must not relent in fighting malaria.’’

On his choice of Dangote to chair the Council, President Buhari explained that it was in recognition of the track record and passion of Africa’s richest man in supporting initiatives on various health issues such as polio and primary health care system strengthening.

He expressed confidence that Dangote would bring his outstanding achievements to help the country achieve its goal of malaria elimination, adding that a group of eminent personalities, who have also made their mark across all walks of life, have been selected to work in the Council.

He added that the membership of the Council reflects Government’s commitment to significantly reducing the malaria burden in Nigeria, to a level where it is no longer a public health issue.

Members of Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC) with President Buhari

‘‘I have been informed that the End Malaria Council (EMC) has already been established in other African countries, in line with the African Union Assembly Declaration for Establishment of EMC’s in Africa.

‘‘EMCs have provided leadership, new funding and innovation to enable these countries stay on track to meet malaria burden reduction targets, and I am optimistic that the setting up of the Nigeria End Malaria Council will do the same for Nigeria.

‘‘I must add that with the additional advocacy and funding the Council will bring to the malaria control drive, we can anticipate a reduction in malaria burden that ensures that our children, pregnant women, indeed, all Nigerians are shielded from the disease.

‘‘We must work together to reduce the unnecessary deaths attributable to malaria and ultimately improve the well-being of citizens.  I implore the Council to ensure best practices and innovative strategies in achieving its mandate.’’

President Buhari used the occasion to thank the Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the Executive Secretary of ALMA, RBM Partnership in Nigeria for their continuous support to the Federal Ministry of Health and the malaria programme, in particular.

He also acknowledged the contributions of the Global Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, the President’s Malaria Initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO , UNICEF, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, other implementing partners, and the private sector.

In separate remarks, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, and the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama Nkama, said since 2010, Nigeria has been recording a continuous decline in malaria from 42 per cent in 2010, 27 per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2018.

Quoting figures from the 2010 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey and the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, they attributed the decline to the thorough implementation of the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP).

Both ministers, however, admitted that funding gap has impacted the implementation of the malaria programmes in Nigeria, adding that the country needs N1.89 trillion to reduce malaria prevalence and mortality by 2025.  .

Ekumankama said: ‘‘The biggest challenge confronting us, which prevents the elimination of malaria, to ensure a malaria-free nation in the shortest possible time is inadequate finances to fund the NMSP.

‘‘We are currently implementing NMSP of 2021 to 2025, with the intent to achieve a parasitic prevalence of less than 10 per cent and reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1000 live births by the year 2025. It will take about N1.89 trillion to implement this plan.

‘‘However, in the first year of its implementation we had an estimated deficit of over N150 billion and in 2022, we already have a deficit of over N170 billion.’’

In his acceptance speech, Dangote thanked the President and all members of the Council for entrusting him with the enormous responsibility, pledging to work hard to achieve the mandate.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote presenting acceptance speech

‘‘I must confess that this resonates with my current role as the Nigerian Ambassador for Malaria, my role on the Global End Malaria Council and with the work that my Foundation is doing to mobilise the private sector to support malaria control in Nigeria and Africa at large,’’ he said.

The Council members are: Shehu Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President on Political and Economic Affairs, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Hon. Abubakar Dahiru, Chairman, House Committee on AIDS, TB and Malaria, Dr Ehanire, Hon. Ekumankama, Mahmuda Mamman, Permanent Secretary, Federal Minister of Health.

Others include, Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Board of Directors, UBA, Folurunsho Alakija, CEO, Rose of Sharon Group, Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank, Femi Otedola, CEO Forte Oil, Hajiya Lami Lau, President, National Council of Women Societies, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Emertius Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Alhaja Rafiyat Sanni, National Amira, Federation of Muslim Women Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi, NEMC Secretariat/National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP).

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Gov. Abba Kabir Urges Security Agencies to Quell Thuggery in Kano

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Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has beseeched security agencies operating within the state to promptly bring an end to Thuggery and other malevolent activities that are disrupting peace in specific areas of the Kano metropolis.

The Governor gives this directives at the commencement of the 15th weekly meeting of the Kano State Executive Council held at the Government House.

This was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Saturday.

Governor Abba Kabir expressed disapproval of the recent upsurge in Thuggery and clashes involving Yan daba, affirming that the government will not passively observe while unscrupulous elements endanger the relative tranquility and harmony enjoyed by the law-abiding citizens of the state.

He reiterated that under his administration, the state government is diligently collaborating with relevant security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the populace and their possessions at all times.

Furthermore, Governor Abba Kabir cautioned Judges against the unwarranted release of thugs, emphasizing the threat they pose to the welfare of the state’s residents and stressing the importance of prompt and equitable dispensation of justice.

Alhaji Abba Kabir also instructed security agencies to strictly adhere to their mandated duty of safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens they serve, warning against involvement in matters beyond their designated responsibilities.

He implored the populace in the state to continue with their lawful pursuits, assuring that the government will persevere in its commitment to ensuring their protection, and requested ongoing support and cooperation for the current administration.

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Emirate Tussle: Prof. Yadudu Faults Justice Liman’s Ruling, Says Judgement not Helpful For The Judicial Process

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Reacting to the ruling, renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, told Daily Trust that the judge’s pronouncements were strange and baffling by approbating and reprobating in the same breath.

He said the development was not helpful for the judicial process, stressing that the judge assuming jurisdiction on the fundamental human rights aspect and refusing the same on the validity of the substance of the case–the Kano emirates law–has “muddled up the case, and it is very unbecoming of a judge who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal”.

Professor Yadudu clarified that while he was not accusing the judge of any impropriety, the pronouncements were unbecoming. “How can you say the actions taken in pursuant of a law are set aside, and then say you are not delving into the validity of the said law?” he queried.
Prof. Yadudu said further that the judge had more or less held that he lacked jurisdiction on the issue by transferring the case to another judge, but still went ahead to set aside the governor’s actions.

He said that the ex-parte order should no longer be of any currency because it is being challenged at the Appeal Court, and the judge himself admitted knowledge of this by granting a stay of proceedings and also deciding not to grant an order to nullify the law.

“All these are avoidable. It is not helpful for the judicial process. It is strange and doesn’t speak well of the judge. The question of whether the governor’s actions came before and after the exparte order is a question of fact or evidence. It seems from the record that the order came after,” he said.

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Governing council: ASUU BUK rejects Gawuna’s appointment, favours Udoma’s return

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bayero University Kano, BUK chapter during the weekend rejected the appointment of Kano top flight politician, Dr Nasiru Gawuna into the Governing Council of the second generation tertiary Institution.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Chairperson, Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj said that the process that led to the appointment of politicians into the Governing Council of the nation’s citadel of learning contravened the relevant laws that guided such appointment.

 

Addressing newsmen in its secretariat, Comrade Siraj explained that “I must admit that we are not happy over the decision of the federal government to appoint hard core politicians into the Governing Council.

 

Prof. Siraj stressed that “the criteria for such appointments is explicitly clear, as it favoured the appointment of technocrats, academic to the Council”.

 

The Chairperson maintained that the sack of former Council with a constitutional mandate of

4 years tenure, after one year in office was a rape on the rule of law.

 

He therefore called on the federal government to reinstate Senator Udo Udoma led Governing Council to complete their term in the interests of the rule of law

 

Siraj stressed that “the scenario is just like sacking an executive governor of a state after just one in office, and you went ahead to assume that all is normal, no, this is rape on the rule of law.”

 

Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, earlier had led (ASUU), Bayero University Kano branch, on a peaceful protest on Friday demanding the federal government to pay their entitlements and implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement.

 

Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, said the action was in compliance with the directive by the national body to all its branches to organize protests within their campuses on account of the federal government’s failure to pay their entitlements.

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