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CYPF Takes Menstruation Message to School Girls

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By Prosper Okoye, Abuja

In a groundbreaking initiative, the Child and Youth Protection Foundation (CYPF) has embarked on a mission to enlighten and empower young girls at Government Secondary School (GSS) Kuchingoro, Abuja, by providing them with crucial knowledge on proper menstrual care.

As part of their noble endeavor, CYPF generously donated a comprehensive menstrual tool kit to the school, ensuring that these girls have the necessary resources to manage their menstruation effectively.

Director of CYPF, Kolawole Olatosimi, emphasized the importance of this educational campaign, stressing that the advancement of the girl child is pivotal in driving Nigeria’s development.

Olatosimi shared his concerns, revealing that he has witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of inadequate menstrual hygiene practices, which can lead to severe health issues for women.

Commencing the didactic session, Fejiro Anibor, a facilitator from CYPF, shared her personal experience of her first menstruation.

She emphasized that menstruation is a natural process that every woman goes through, encouraging the girls to never feel ashamed and to reach out for assistance when needed.

“Menstruation is not a sin, and it isn’t a form of punishment for women,” Fejiro reassured the girls, recognizing their discomfort in discussing the topic.

Continuing the session, Mrs. Mary Iteogu-ubach guided the girls through the signs they might experience during menstruation.

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“Your menstrual flow may last from 5-7 days, depending on your biological makeup,” she informed the attentive girls, who were now actively engaged in the discussion.

Several girls acknowledged suffering from mood swings, cravings, stomach cramps, anxiety, and fatigue during their menstrual cycles while seeking clarifications on issues that bothered them regarding menstruation.

Mrs. Mary further advised the girls to keep track of their menstrual cycle, which typically ranges from 21 to 28 days on average, with a maximum duration of 35 days. This would help them be prepared and avoid being caught off guard.

Furthermore, Binta Jalo demonstrated to the girls the proper way to insert a pad into their underwear and the best method for disposing of a used menstrual pad.

Davou James, the Principal of GSS, praised the initiative and pledged that the school would work diligently to sustain it.

“Sincerely speaking, I am greatly impressed with what CYPF has accomplished in the school,” James expressed.

“Due to the remote location of the school and their parents’ financial circumstances, many of these girls lack access to pads. Additionally, they are not familiar with proper sanitary habits and often use whatever materials that are available, regardless of cleanliness. Therefore, this project will have a significant impact on their lives,” he added.

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The FCT’s Secondary School Board Director, represented by Oladele Olajide, Assistant Director of Guidance and Counseling in the Board, informed DAILY ASSET that the project would prevent girls from having to return home due to the onset of their menstrual flow.

“Kudos to CYPF, now, all they need to do is visit the guidance office, and a pad will be provided to them, eliminating the need for them to go back home,” he explained.

DAILY ASSET reports that the menstrual pad box was packed with packs of pads, toilet rolls, detergents, and toilet soaps.

Agriculture

FCTA Launches 2023 Farming Season: Assorted Agricultural Inputs Delivered to Farmers

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By Laide Akinboade, ABUJA

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) witnessed the commencement of the highly anticipated 2023 farming season as Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Minister of State for FCT, distributed a range of agricultural inputs to farmers in Abuja.

This momentous event holds significant importance, coinciding with the beginning of the farming season in the FCT.

It also marks the commendable achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which has prioritized agriculture as a crucial aspect of revitalizing the Nigerian economy.

During the official flag-off ceremony in Abuja, Dr. Aliyu emphasized the integral role of agricultural development programs in the FCT Administration’s agenda.

She noted, “Back in 2019, the FCT last witnessed such an event. Unfortunately, due to the End SARS protest, which resulted in the theft of procured inputs meant for distribution to farmers, the event couldn’t be organized in 2022. However, our dedicated efforts over the past year have led to a complete overhaul of warehouses and increased capacity to store numerous inputs.”

Significant progress has been made, with the allocation for agricultural inputs procurement skyrocketing from N200 million in 2021 to a whopping N2 billion in the 2023 budget. This generous funding has been utilized to obtain fertilizers, irrigation equipment, mechanized farm implements, agrochemicals, and improved seedlings.

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Moreover, a total of 970 metric tons of NPK, 750 metric tons of Urea, and 6,000 liters of liquid fertilizers have been acquired. These products will be sold to farmers at subsidized rates of 50%, approved by the FCT Administration.

To ensure efficient distribution of inputs to targeted farmers, Dr. Aliyu has instructed the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat to expand the scope of the Fertilizer Distribution Committee. Their primary focus is on reaching cooperative societies, area council authorities, 17 chiefdoms, SWOFON (Women Farmers), Sarkin Noma’s in the 62 wards of FCT, vulnerable groups, and individual farmers.

It is worth noting that the procured inputs are not solely intended for crop farming; a significant portion of the funds has been allocated to the fisheries, livestock, veterinary, and forestry development sectors.

Dr. Aliyu further emphasized the importance of Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) alongside agricultural inputs. The Administration has consistently invested in knowledge acquisition by organizing programs to introduce farmers to more efficient innovations.

During the ceremony, Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Permanent Secretary of FCTA, addressed the pressing global issues of food crisis, population growth, conflicts, and climate change. He stressed the strategic significance of the annual provision of inputs to farmers in strengthening food production systems, urging continued support and funding for the sector.

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Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Secretary of the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat, expressed optimism about the impact of the support provided to farmers. With the substantial quantity of inputs procured for distribution, the FCT anticipates a bumper harvest, projecting a potential improvement of up to 30% in the food insecurity situation within the Federal Capital Territory.

Allocation letters were distributed to some beneficiaries during the event, enabling them to collect their inputs on-site. Other farmers will need to present valid allocation letters with evidence of payment to redeem their products from designated warehouses located in Gwagwalada, Tungan-Maje, Gwagwa, Kwali, Karshi, Abaji, and Kwali.

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Awka Residents Call out NMDPRA, State Gov’t as Petrol Sells for N350

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Residents of Awka, the Anambra State capital, have decried what they call the “arbitrary pricing” of petrol by marketers in the state.

Some residents who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Awka on Monday, said the marketers’ were indulging in sharp practices due to inadequate supervision of operators by the relevant authorities.

NAN reports that petrol, officially known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), sells for between N220 and N350 per litre in Anambra, depending on the part of the state or the outlet.

A motorist, Emma Anayo who spoke in Awka said unlike in the past when the difference used to be between N10 and N15 per litre, the disparity now was between N100 and N150 per litre.

Anayo said motorists now buy a litre of petrol for as much as N350 in the town depending on the marketer. 

He, however, said a particular filling station sold for N220 per litre whenever they had products to sell and wondered why such disparities should exist where there was a regulator.

According to him, customers are helpless as marketers fix prices the way they liked without anybody questioning them.

“It is sad that in our town, officials of the Nigeria Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) are not seen anyway and the Anambra government is not saying anything.

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“Nobody is doing anything to bring sanity to the system, we are just on our own,” he said.

Another customer, Mr Chukwudi Ibekwe, said it was more convenient for motorists in Onitsha to cross over to Asaba in Delta to buy petrol which was being sold for between N180 and N200.

Ibekwe said another worrisome development in the petrol crisis was inadequate dispensing.

He described the plight of motorists as a double tragedy where they had to pay exorbitant price for less fuel. 

“The federal and state governments should wake up, there is hoarding, arbitrary hike and manipulated metering here and nobody is checking all these.

“Most people who came for Christmas are trapped because of the high cost of transportation due to high pump prices.

“We are not seeing NMDPRA, we are not seeing the state government and these people have a serious role to play in ensuring that this anomaly stops,” he said.

NAN reports that the NNPC Mega-station in Awka and some major marketers were not selling.

Reacting, Mr Tony Ifeanya, Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, said the state government was worried and was taking steps to address the challenge. 

Ifeanya said he had met with the leadership of downstream operators on the matter and that discussions were ongoing towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis.

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According to him, the scarcity, hike and disparity in petrol pump price were national issues and fallout of the current realities in the petroleum industry.

“It may interest you to know that I met with the leadership of the petrol dealers in Anambra State and Independent Petroleum Marketers, Enugu zone in my office last Friday,” he said.

Mr Victor Orjiakor, NMDPRA Controller in Anambra, neither picked up his calls nor responded to text messages sent to him by NAN. (NAN)

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HOS Expresses Concern over Non-payment of Workers’ Death Benefits

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The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, has decried the lackadaisical attitude of insurance companies over non-payment of death benefits of civil servants.

Mr Mohammed Ahmed, the Deputy Director, Communications, office of the HOCSF made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Yemi-Esan said this during the meeting with Underwriters of the Group Life Insurance Policy for Federal Civil Servants in her office.

Yemi-Esan expressed her displeasure to the fact that these people were dead and could not fight for themselves.

She said the Federal Government was doing its best to improve the welfare of families of deceased workers through the prompt release of funds for the payment of death benefits.

She lamented that the underwriters and brokers were frustrating the efforts by their unserious attitude.

The HOS said that such situation was unacceptable and must be remedied.

According to her, the meeting is necessary so as to bridge the gap that exists between the underwriters and brokers as it is unreasonable to continue doing the same thing repeatedly without achieving meaningful result.

“If the brokers are no longer relevant, then they should be blacklisted.

“Payment of insurance claim is not rocket science, the office of the Head of the Civil Service performs similar function by settling backlog of claims not covered by the present arrangement seamlessly.”

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Yemi-Esan said that from the breakdown of the report, there was a clear indication of a huge gap between the number of claims reported and those paid.

She added that there was the need for improvement from the insurance service providers, as there was always room for other alternatives.

In his remarks, the Lead Underwriter and CEO of Old Mutual (Nig.) Ltd., Mr Segun Omosehin, expressed his gratitude to the Head of Service for her concerns and show of outright displeasure with their low performance.

Omosehin pledged the company’s commitment to support the Head of Service by doing the needful to bridge the gap existing between the underwriters and the brokers.

He, however, identified the gap as the major issue responsible for the late payment of claims to families of departed civil servants. (NAN)

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