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Over 200m girls, Women Experience FGM – UNFPA




Ms Ulla Mueller, Country Representative, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on Saturday said  over 200 million girls and women had experienced Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) globally.

Mueller said this in commemoration of World’s Zero Tolerance Day for FGM in a statement in Abuja by Mrs Kori Habib, Media Associate to UNFPA.

She expressed concerns over its likely increase in the future if there was no collaboration among stakeholders to act in stemming the trend.

“More than 200 million girls and women have experienced female genital mutilation and at least four million girls are at risk of undergoing the practice each year.

“Sadly, Nigeria alone contributes 10 per cent of this global burden.

The UNFPA Country Representative, who blamed a set back in the progress made in the fight against FGM on COVID-19, said two million additional cases of female genital mutilation were likely to occur over the next decade due to the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is threatening to reverse the progress made toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5, gender equality and specifically target 5.3, the elimination of FGM.

“In spite of the progress noted in Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) with Nigeria’s growing population, progress will  need to be at least 10 times faster to meet the global target of elimination by 2030.”

Mueller, who reiterated the imperatives of ending female genital mutilation, said it was realisable through empowerment of women and girls.

According to her, education is paramount in empowering the woman and girl to oppose the continuation of the practice.

She described all acts of FGM  as violation of human rights which must be ended with direct involvement of traditional rulers, government and relevant stakeholders.

The UN official, who expressed the commitment of UNFPA in eliminating female genital mutilation, called on Nigerian government to make financial commitment through annual budgetary allocation.

“Globally, progress will require some 2.4 billion dollars over the next decade which breaks down to less than 100 dollars per girl.

“Nigeria must join the global commitment efforts and ensure budget lines for female genital mutilation and other forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the annual budget,” he said.

Mueller,  however,  appealed for global support to strengthen the transformative change through gender transformative approaches that tackle the structure, policies and harmful gender norms that perpetuate the practice.

NAN reports that Feb. 6 of every year is set aside by the UN to commemorate World’s Zero Tolerance Day for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). (NAN)


Police Demote Inspector for Attempted Extortion in Lagos 




The Police Command in Lagos State has demoted a police Inspector to a Sergeant for trying to extort money from a drone operator.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the demotion on Saturday.

“The disciplinary process of the police officer that harassed one drone operator on Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge has been concluded.

“He has been reduced in rank from Inspector to Sergeant,” he said.

Report says that on April 6, 2024, Hundeyin responded to a viral video showing two police officers demanding a permit from a drone operator on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.

He said that the police officers acted within the ambit of the law to demand to see a permit.

“For emphasis, Nigerian aviation laws stipulate that a permit must be obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the operation of drones weighing more than 250 grams anywhere within the country.

“Nonetheless, the Police Command in Lagos totally condemns the unprofessional conduct of the officers in attempting to extort the drone operator as can be seen in the concluding part of the video.

“The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Adegoke Fayoade, has, therefore, directed the Commanding Officer of 49 PMF Akodo, from whose squadron the police officers were duly posted to the bridge, to produce the men for appropriate disciplinary actions,” he said. (NAN)

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NAFDAC Partners Centre on Fight Against Drug Counterfeiting




The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has partnered with the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (NCTC-ONSA) to strengthen its fight against drug counterfeiting, abuse and unwholesome foods.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof.

Mojisola Adeyeye, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

Adeyeye noted that the partnership also included the fight against unauthorised handling of chemicals which was part of the things fuelling terrorists operations and other criminal activities in the country.

The NAFDAC boss said the agency sealed the partnership when a delegation from the NCTC-ONSA, led by its National Coordinator, Maj.

-Gen. Adamu Garba Laka, paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.

According to her, NAFDAC is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Maturity Level 3 Regulatory Authority and is highly endowed with experts in terms of human resources, and well equipped WHO Pre-qualified Laboratories.

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC, being a regulatory agency, is supposed to have 12,000 staff but the staff the agency has at the moment is barely 2,000 in a country of more than 230 million people.

“Indonesian Regulatory Agency has over twenty thousand staff and the population of Indonesia is about 280 million.

“NAFDAC staff work around the clock. We are not just a civil service organisation but a regulatory body that is mandated to protect lives on a daily basis from food to drugs to water, precursors and chemicals that can fall into the hands of the terrorists.”

Adeyeye thanked the Office of the National Security Adviser for returning NAFDAC to the ports in 2018, a year after her assumption of office as the Director-General of NAFDAC.

“So, this partnership between the two strategic agencies in the country at this point is very apt to safeguard the lives our citizens,” the NAFDAC boss said.

Adeyeye recalled that NAFDAC was out of the ports for seven years between 2011 and 2018 for reasons she said herself was not aware of, while sharing her passion and commitment for a better and secured country.

She said that there was need for NAFDAC to return to the Ports, adding that a lot of things went wrong when NAFDAC was pulled out of the ports.

She added that anything bad was coming to Nigeria in terms of drugs, precursors, adding that tramadol was rampant in the country.

“Our young people were getting mad at this period. Suicide bombing was at the peak. At this period, I said do we really know what we are doing?

“NAFDAC is charge with drug regulation. We are in charge of chemical and NAFDAC was removed from the ports for seven years. That is part of why terrorism became big in the country.

“I always refer to NCTC-ONSA as one of the agencies that helped us to go back to the ports. I commended the relentless efforts of the NCTC-ONSA in supporting NAFDAC to return to the port,” she stressed.

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC will continue to work with the organisation to ensure that sanity returns to the country, while issuing a stem warning to criminals who deal with substandard and falsified medicines to desist.

The D-G thanked the security agencies for their support during the recent relocation of the Open Drug Market in Kano to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre in Dangwauro and Justice Simon Amobeda for watershed judgement.

She said that the judgment affirmed the relocation of the market.

On his part, Maj. Gen. Laka said that his team were in NAFDAC office to solicit the agency’s support in deploying of some its officers to the NCTC to operate in its Forensic, Toxicology, Biological and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Laboratories.

He said that the embodiment of knowledge in the area of science and research standout NAFDAC in the community of World Regulatory Authorities.

He pledged his continuous support to the NAFDAC in the area of operations, research, Laboratory testing and investigation.

He also sought NAFDAC’s support to the Centre in the area of operationalisation of the laboratory equipment and analysis for it to achieve its objective.

Laka equally thanked NAFDAC D-G for releasing one of her staff to the Centre and requested for more staff from the agency. (NAN)

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Bwari Residents Appeal to FCTA for Water, Transport Aid




Some residents of Bwari Area Council have appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to improve on water supply, transport services and rehabilitation of public schools in the council.

The residents spoke in separate interviews on Saturday in Abuja.

They lauded the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike’s administration, for the ongoing and completed road projects at the various communities in the different area councils.

They, however, asked that more basic amenities be put in place to improve on the livelihood of residents.

Mr Haruna Zamayi, a public servant, said it was beautiful to see the administration working hard to ensure access to roads at the community level.

He, however, said that if the development could include provisions of other basic amenities at the local level, it would go a long way to improve the lives of residents.

“We believe that these roads will definitely link the rural areas to the urban and bring development in the capital city, so it is really a good and beautiful thing.

“I will also like to see the water board giving constant supply of water to residents in Bwari especially, as we cannot be the host supplying water to the city, yet keep buying water from local vendors.

“Transportation should be considered too; it is either we have new vehicles that can convey people at cheaper or susidised rates or they fix the old broken ‘El-rufai’ buses and keep them running,” he said.

He said that transportation from the satellite towns to city centre was a major challenge to especially government workers going to work every day, in spite of hike in fuel price.

Similarly, Ms Roseline Yuhe, an educationist and school proprietor, advocated for an improved learning structures for public schools in the area.

According to Yuhe, many public schools in the area, suffer from poor infrastructure, including inadequate classrooms, lack of proper sanitation facilities and poorly maintained buildings.

She said: “Learning takes place in a conducive environment not in dilapidated structures.

“You see a block of classrooms with damaged roofing or ceilings, yet pupils are made to stay inside to learn.

“Overcrowded classrooms are big challenge too and unfortunately extended to some private schools and this makes it difficult for teachers to manage classrooms effectively,” she said.

She urged the administration to look into addressing the challenge, while prioritising the education of children at the rural level with utmost attention.

Another resident, Mrs Christy Chibuzor, trader at the Bwari town market, also appealed to the administration to improve on the security of the area.

Chibuzor, who said though the Nigerian Police Force and other joint security forces were putting their best to secure lives and property in the area, however, added that crime was still increasing.

“Armed robbers keep disturbing some particular places in this town, like the Pambuara-Ushafa areas, Tudun-Fulani and so many other places and most times, they abscond before the police arrive.

“Even though we have heard less of incidents of kidnappings unlike last year to early this year, some of these criminals still operate on low key.

“We are hoping and trusting that the minister will not be tired or relent in the good work he has started, “she said.

Chibuzor also called on governments at all levels to have a review on taxes imposed on essential goods and services, adding business was slow and too much burden on average Nigerian. (NAN)

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