National Student Financial Aid Scheme on meeting with KSD TVET College management and student leadership

NSFAS administrator statement on the meeting with the KSD TVET College management and student leadership

The NSFAS Administrator, Mr Freeman Nomvalo met with the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) TVET College, led by the College Principal, Mr Mqondisi Bh…


NSFAS administrator statement on the meeting with the KSD TVET College management and student leadership

The NSFAS Administrator, Mr Freeman Nomvalo met with the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) TVET College, led by the College Principal, Mr Mqondisi Bhikisha and the President of the Student Representative Council, Mr Somelele Ndwayi, at the Ngcobo KSD campus in the Eastern Cape.

Upon receiving social media reports regarding the plight of students at the KSD TVET College, the NSFAS Administrator committed to swiftly resolve the challenges experienced by the students, particularly given the seriousness of the matters confronting the students relating to payment of allowances and students accommodation.

The NSFAS Administrator was fully briefed on the challenges facing the college relating to the payment of allowances, which includes the accommodation allowance.

The list of all the affected students was handed over to NSFAS for processing and the meeting resolved that the Ngcobo campus student allowances will
be paid from the 25th June 2024.

The NSFAS Administrator reiterate his call to the landlords who still have outstanding payments not to evict students. NSFAS has already commenced with clearing of all legitimate outstanding payments. Landlords who did not submit their claims for outstanding payments are still encouraged to refer their queries to our dedicated email address NSFASAccomProv@nsfas.org.za.

To further deal with issues affecting student accommodation, NSFAS will be undertaking provincial accommodation road shows from the month of July in all provinces.

The road shows are aimed at understanding different institutional dynamics and sharing NSFAS accommodation guidelines and processes to ensure a seamless accommodation application process for 2025.

These roadshows will also assist all institutions and landlords in dealing with immediate accommodation challenges in addition to the current platforms introduced by NSFAS to deal with the payment of allowances to students and to landlords.

Source: Sou
th African Government News Agency

Nigeria committed to harnessing full Potential of maritime resources – Minister

The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to harnessing the full potential of the nation’s maritime resources for economic prosperity.

Badaru said this in Abuja on Friday at the commemoration…


The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to harnessing the full potential of the nation’s maritime resources for economic prosperity.

Badaru said this in Abuja on Friday at the commemoration of the 2024 World Hydrography Day, organised by the Nigerian Navy (NN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event titled ‘Hydrographic Information-Enhancing Safety, Efficiency and Sustainability in Marine Activities’.

The minister commended the Nigerian Navy for her instrumental role in laying the foundation for Nigeria’s national hydrographic services capacity.

According to him, it is on record that for decades, the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic office has worked tirelessly to develop our hydrographic capability, ensuring the safety of navigation and contribution to the national security.

He said that the creation of the National Hydrographic Agency was to build upon that solid foundation and expand Nigeria’s capability to meet evolv
ing needs of the nation’s maritime sector.

‘Under the visionary leadership of President Bola Tinubu, we are committed to harnessing the full potential of our maritime resources and opportunities to take Nigeria out of the present economic doldrums to birth a diversified economy for sustainable growth and development,’ he said.

He emphasised the importance of hydrographic information for enhancing maritime safety by providing accurate and up to date information to vessels to navigate the nation’s waters safely.

He also said that it would help vessels avoid hazards and reduce the risks of accidents.

He added that this was particularly crucial in Nigeria where the nation’s ports where busy shipping lines and offshore oil and gas were vital to the economy.

According to him, by providing detailed hydrographic data, the national hydrographic agency will help ensure that our maritime activities are conducted safely and efficiently.

‘Moreover, the National Radiographic Agency will play a critical role in promot
ing environmental sustainability as we strive to balance economic growth and environmental protection.

‘Hydrographic information will guide our efforts to manage maritime resources sustainably, monitor coastal erosion and mitigate the impacts of climate change.’

Badaru said that the strategic significance of the National Hydrocarbon Agency extended beyond safety and sustainability.

According to him, the agency will enhance the efficiency of Nigerian maritime operations, which will lead to reduce operational costs, increase competitiveness and new economic opportunities.

He assured the agency that the Federal Government would continue to invest in the development of Nigeria’s national hydrographic capacity in areas such as the acquisition of state of the art survey technologies, building skilled workforce and fostering international partnerships.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, said the navy had made several attempts at domestic charts for Nigerian waters.

Ogalla said that the
effort was in realisation of the fact that hydrography was actually a public good, just like construction of roads.

According to him, you really cannot quantify the impact it will have in terms of value and that is why enormous resources are required.

He added that the navy and other agencies in the maritime domain had made tremendous effort towards fulfilling their roles of providing the information required to produce nautical charts and other aids to navigation and safety of mariners.

‘We have charts covering Nigerian waters and most of these charts were based on information obtained by the British when they were here along the line.

‘We have had several other improvements on those charts, particularly in the past 10 to 15 years.

‘But we still noticed serious gaps when it comes to surveying in our waters and that gap is not only in Nigerian waters, it’s the whole of Africa, particularly West Africa’, he said.

The CNS explained that the Africa integrated multi strategy recognised that the eradication
of poverty in Africa depended on the ability of African nations to exploit the resources in the marine environment.

According to him, it is projected that the marine environment (the blue economy), is the vital ways we can propel ourselves out of poverty.

‘we are gradually moving towards having all our charts produced in Nigeria, not only charts, but caribbean graphic information generally.

‘And these include notices to mariners and all other aspects of arbitrary things that are required to improve safety on our waters’.

The Hydrographer of the Federation, Rear Adm. Ayodeji Olugbode, said Nigeria’s advancement in hydrography has laid a solid foundation for the nation’s progress.

Olugbode said that the Federal Government’s investment had bolstered navy’s capacity as a nation to conduct comprehensive surveys of the nation’s territorial waters up to the extremities of its exclusive economic zone.

These vessels, according to him, are not just assets; they are symbols of sovereignty and our unwavering commit
ment to maritime safety and operational excellence.

‘What we have achieved this year will include the launching of a revised national charting scheme, the maiden edition of our catalogue of Nigerian charts, and a chart of the approaches to Lagos harbor.

‘All of these were achieved within the first half of this year, even though some of these works commenced even before I came into office.

‘The conduct of surveys in Nigeria speaks volumes of a long standing commitment in the field of hydrography, but our progress does not end here.

‘Looking ahead, capacity building remains a top priority and we are committed to equipping our hydrographers with the best training and resources, ensuring that they are well prepared to meet challenges of the future,’ Olugbode said.

According to him, technologies and innovative methodologies will continue to drive efforts to produce high quality hydrographic data that is crucial to maritime success.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

LASG arraigns ex-Punch worker over alleged N998m fraud

The Lagos State Government on Thursday arraigned a former employee of Punch Nigeria Ltd., Olusegun Ogunbanjo, charged with N998 million stationary fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogunbanjo, whose residential address was not prov…


The Lagos State Government on Thursday arraigned a former employee of Punch Nigeria Ltd., Olusegun Ogunbanjo, charged with N998 million stationary fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogunbanjo, whose residential address was not provided, was arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy to commit felony to wit obtaining under false pretence, stealing and forgery.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following his not guilty plea, the state Counsel, Mrs Qawiat Shomade, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendant be remanded in prison, pending the hearing and the determination of his bail application.

The Defence Counsel, Mr T.E. Okeke, informed the court that he was appearing for the first time in the matter and that he needed ample time to file the bail application.

Okeke pleaded with the court for a closer date for him to file and move the bail application on behalf of his client.

‘My lord, I plead for a closer date to tender an applica
tion to grant the defendant bail,’ he said.

Justice Ismail Ijelu, thereafter, remanded the defendant in Kirikiri Correctional Centre pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.

Ijelu told the defence that the court would have looked into the bail application if it was ready.

‘If you had your application, the court would have looked into it but while we wait for it, the defendant should be remanded at the correctional facility,’ he said.

The judge adjourned the case until Oct.16 for commencement of trial.

Earlier, the prosecution told the court that the defendant with others still at large allegedly committed the offences between January 2017 and December 2022 in Ikorodu, Lagos.

The prosecution submitted one of the court count that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of N417 million from one Mr Durodola Balogun on the pretext that he was going to use the money to purchase stationaries and supplies for financing Local Purchase Order from Punch Nigeria Ltd.

The prosecutor also a
lleged the defendant fraudulently collected N581 million from one Mr Olusola lkuyajesin under the guise of purchasing stationaries and supplies for financing Local Purchase Order from Punch Nigeria Ltd.

The state counsel told the court that the defendant allegedly stole and converted the sum of $5,000, property of lkuyajesin to his personal use.

The prosecution also alleged that the defendant forged Punch Local Purchase Orders.

According to the prosecutor, the alleged offences violate Sections 411 (2) 314, 285, 287 and 365 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State (2015).

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

How Nigeria can become green industrial powerhouse

The terminology ‘Green industrial economy’ does not resonate with many Nigerians, particularly because the country presently, at best, is a green industrial upstart.

The country is confronted with a myriad of climate-related challenges, stemming fro…


The terminology ‘Green industrial economy’ does not resonate with many Nigerians, particularly because the country presently, at best, is a green industrial upstart.

The country is confronted with a myriad of climate-related challenges, stemming from the encroachment of rising sea levels on coastal regions to devastating floods impacting agriculture and displacing communities, carbon emissions and pollution, among others.

President Bola Tinubu acknowledges persistent hurdles due to conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, affecting energy and food security, impeding cooperation from wealthier nations to support sustainability efforts in less developed economies.

The Federal Government , therefore, seeks strategic partnerships and increased investments, and actively pursues private capital and support from international initiatives including the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative and global infrastructure programmes.

The question agitating the minds of many discerning individuals now is can the Federal
Government achieve growth in employment and income, driven by public and private investment into such economic activities, infrastructure and assets that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy and resource efficiency, and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services?.

The good news is that experts believe that this is achievable and Nigeria can, indeed, become a green industrial powerhouse in the foreseeable future.

But for that to happen, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, Professor in Global Governance and Public Policy, University of Bristol, says Nigeria will have to scale up climate finance.

He says the Federal Government must as a matter of necessity establish a clear policy framework or strengthen the existing one.

Okereke says Nigeria can also create incentive for renewable energy, efficient use of green infrastructure development and the strengthening of the mechanism of governance to ensure transparency, accountability and the efficient use of climate finance.

A
ccording to him, there is also the need to develop financial instruments tailored to local needs such as green bonds that can attract domestic and foreign investors.

Okereke, who is also an expert in Climate Justice, Green Growth, Climate Policy and Low Carbon Development in Africa, said that the government could leverage public funds to attract private investment.

‘One of the ways to do this is to de-risk an investment so that private sector investors can put their money there with a guarantee that if anything happens, government will come to their aid,’ he said.

The don says the government can also identify and prioritise sectors that have the highest potential for climate impact and economic development.

He advises the government to strengthen partnerships by fostering strong collaboration between government and international donors and NGOs.

The don notes that if the country is to get it right in attracting climate finance, it has to put its house in order.

‘The government should make sure that the
right people are appointed; those who know what they are doing. They should not be playing politics in this sector.

‘The international partners know when we are serious and when we are not serious,’ Okereke adds.

Also, Ms Helen Brume, Director for Project Finance and Assets Based Finance at Afreximbank, says that to attract climate finance to the country, the government must put in place appropriate regulatory framework that allows investors to recoup their investments in a sustainable way.

Brume says political stability and appropriate infrastructure are required to attract investors into the climate finance ecosystem.

For the Executive Director of Climate Action Africa, Ms Grace Mbah, the ability to prepare bankable projects is needed to attract climate finance.

According to her, Nigeria has been trying to access the Green Climate Funds (GCF) for a couple of years, adding that some of the procedures are strict because they want their funds to really meet their target.

To become a green industrial powe
rhouse, Mr Taiwo Adewole, an Environmental Consultant, agrees that the Federation Government must encourage and scale up private sector investment for climate and nature.

He says there is a need to shift capital investment in linear economy and encourage circular economy through private sector mobilisation.

‘Another step is collaboration and partnership with international institutions.

‘The new mechanisms expected to be put in place to achieve transparency and innovative application of available resources are the steps the government is taking already.

‘This is by setting up the Presidential Committee on Climate Change and various appointments related to climate finance.

‘If the committee is given a free hand to operate, it would attract investment capital from the public or private, national or international, bilateral or multilateral,’ he said.

He adds that the Climate Finance Committee should not just be on paper but practical and attract higher rating for the country.

As part of the new mechanism t
o fast track the Federal Government’s climate initiatives, President Bola Tinubu appointed Chief Ajuri Ngelale, as the Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Action (SPEC), and followed it up with the establishment of the Presidential Committee on Climate Change.

Ngelale, who has hit the ground running, believes that through cooperation between Nigeria and international partners, Nigeria can become a green industrial powerhouse over the next ten years.

Ngelale had a productive meeting with the U.S. Head of Delegation to the United Nations Climate Conference and Principal Deputy Special Envoy for Climate, Ms. Sue Biniaz, in Bonn, Germany, in June.

‘We shared views concerning tangible next steps to be taken toward leveraging large-scale climate financing instruments to drive Nigeria’s green industrial agenda in the years ahead.

‘We have much work to do in the form of putting in place new mechanisms to achieve a truly transparent and innovative application of available resources to meet our objective of attra
cting new and de-risked investment capital from around the world.

‘I am confident that we have the team to deliver on this for the country. One step at a time,’ Ngelale said.

He had said the U.S. Principal Deputy Special Envoy for Climate was joined in the meeting by Mr Trigg Talley, who serves as the Managing Director for Negotiations and Director for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Change.

Indeed, the Federal Government is not taking the climate action lightly. During the COP28 World Climate Action Summit in Dubai, President Tinubu reiterated the far-reaching implications of climate change on the West Africa’s most pressing issues.

The President has also demonstrated his commitment to reinvigorating a cleaner and more resilient nation.

Nigeria’s proactive stance toward a greener global landscape was underscored by the launch of the Carbon Market Initiative, a testament to its dedication to sustainability.

The country’s participation in the African Carbon Market Initiative further reinforc
es its commitment towards environmental responsibility, showcasing a readiness to engage in global climate solutions.

President Tinubu emphasises the imperative for partnerships to foster a green economy in Africa.

Leveraging resources like the EU’s Global Gateway programme and the US Build Back Better World initiative is critical for sustainable development and global market access.

Advocating for fairness and cooperation, President Tinubu urges developed nations to honour their commitments, especially contributing to the Loss and Damage Fund and the 100 billion dollars annual climate financing pledge.

With appropriate partnerships, collaboration, investments, and initiatives already in place, Nigeria is certainly on its way to becoming a notable green industrial nation.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FG to launch civil service e-learning platform

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), says that there were plans to launch e-learning platform, to fasttrack training of more civil servants for quality service delivery.

Yemi-Esan made the disclosure at a publi…


Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), says that there were plans to launch e-learning platform, to fasttrack training of more civil servants for quality service delivery.

Yemi-Esan made the disclosure at a public lecture on Thursday in Abuja, as part of activities to commemorate the 2024 Civil Service Week.

According to her, this unprecedented resource will ensure that we are able, significantly, to increase the number of civil servants, who can undertake induction and Structured Mandatory Assessment- Based Programme (SMAT-P) module.

She also said that civil servants could also undertake other specialist trainings at the same time.

‘The objective of the e-learning platform is to train many more civil servants at the same time. We have modules that would ensure that civil servants are well trained,’ she explained.

According to her, the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) initiative also contains modules that can enable civil servants train themselves, to gain m
ore knowledge on the new Performance Management System (PMS), while preparing for any promotion examination.

The HOS said the government was fully prepared to reposition the nation’s civil service to global standards, adding that it could only be achieved through training and retraining of officers.

‘This entails equipping of the next generation with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate and thrive in an increasingly complex world of work.

‘In this light, the Nigerian Civil Service, in collaboration with its partners, and stakeholders and the most prominent is the AIG-Imoukhuede Foundation, has invested massively in the training, retraining of the workforce,’ she said.

Yemi-Esan also said the Federal Government would identify mentors among the civil servants, and strategically deploy 500 civil servants to various sectors of the service.

According to her, this is to make them the future leaders, service wise by the end of 2025.

‘Previously, the absence of structured and targeted training programmes
for civil servants in the Nigerian civil service was a major challenge.

‘Training across the MDAs was carried out without considering the actual competencies lacking in the service,’ she said.

She emphasised the need for continuous self development by the public officers, as Nigeria was focusing on the reposition of the sector.

Also, Prof. Peter Okebukola, the Guest Speaker, who described the present crop of civil servants as ‘the best in the African continent’, commended Yemi-Esan for her efforts.

Okebukola spoke on the topic, ‘Education Fit For The 21st Century: Preparing Nigerian Public Servants to Address Global Challenges While Fostering Employee Engagement, Retention and Satisfaction’.

According to him, if Nigeria fails to plan well 25 years from now (2050), It might not meet with the required global standard in terms of quality service delivery on expected mandates.

‘So this lecture is about painting the scenarios of the future of Nigerian civil service by 2050, ‘ he said.

Okebukola advised the
government to engage the civil servants in ICT training, so as to fill the gaps in service delivery.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the week is, ‘Educate an African Fit For The 21st Century: Building resilient systems for Increased Access To Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa’.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

We can no longer plan our meals, FCT residents

A cross section of residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), says they can no longer fend for their families due to the rising cost of foodstuff .

The residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Frida…


A cross section of residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), says they can no longer fend for their families due to the rising cost of foodstuff .

The residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, said that eating beans and yam have become a luxury due to its high cost.

This, they said, had affected their domestic food time table, making it impossible to eat varieties.

Mrs Glory Ocholi, a mother, said that beans have become so expensive that it is difficult to buy in bulk as she usually does to help in her nutrition plan.

‘Before now, I used to buy 10 mudus of white beans for between N9, 000 to N10, 000, at N900 to N950 each.

‘While the red one was usually slightly above N100 or N200.

‘Currently, white beans cost N2,800 while red beans are sold for N3,000 to N3,500 , yam, Irish and sweet potatoes are also very expensive, it is only the rich that can afford them.

‘You cannot buy corn or sorghum, vegetables are a no-go area, so at the end o
f the day, our children are forced to eat whatever we can provide,” she said.

Ocholi said that buying foodstuff at a higher cost had forced her to take off meals like ‘akara’ and pap which used to be a Saturday morning meal in her home.

She appealed to both the government and Nigerian Food Products Suppliers and Manufacturers to find ways to address the situation.

Mr Habila Makama, said that he could no longer afford certain foods in his household due to the high prices.

‘I used to compliment yam with sweet or Irish potatoes when yam is not in season but now, I cannot afford any of them.

‘Sweet potatoes that used to be the cheapest are also expensive. Rice is the only available food now in spite of the cost.

‘We eat it every day of the week and probably exchange it with any available swallow with the soup you can afford,” he said.

A NAN correspondent who visited the Dutse-Alhaji market reported that five big tubers of yam now go for a negotiable price of N12, 000 to N14, 000.

At Karu market, corn an
d millet which previously sold for N850 and N900, is now being sold for N1, 300 per mudu.

NAN also reports that a bag of corn which was previously sold for N40, 000 and millet for N65, 000, are now being sold for N90, 000 per bag.

One of the traders in karu market, Mallam Bashiru Ahmed, said that prices of goods fluctuate daily and could increase by 20 per cent or more, within a week.

He said that traders sometimes go to the market to buy a bag of beans for N160, 000, but end up buying for between N180, 000 or N200, 000 due to price fluctuation.

Ahmed attributed the high cost to transportation of the goods from the northern states to the distribution units or towns, where other middle men or traders go to buy from.

‘The cost of transportation has contributed to the increase in cost of these foods and it has really affected our business.

‘We had to increase the price of grains to meet up with the expenses in logistics, and this is making our customers complain, thereby affecting patronage,” he said.

He
pleaded with the government to put in place measures that could salvage the cost of transportation and control market price for grains.

This, he said would stop distributors and sellers from inducing unnecessary price increase.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

UN, NHRC advise youths against inciting hatred

The United Nations (UN) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have urged young people not to allow themselves to be used to incite and deepen hatred in Nigeria.

The organisations gave the advice at the commemoration of the third Internatio…


The United Nations (UN) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have urged young people not to allow themselves to be used to incite and deepen hatred in Nigeria.

The organisations gave the advice at the commemoration of the third International Day for Countering Hate Speech, jointly organised by NHRC and UN on Friday in Abuja.

The Executive-Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, decried the impact of hate speeches in the society.

Ojukwu said hate speech had promoted discrimination; divisions; incited violence; and such impeded voters participation and access to elections.

Ojukwu said that in order to ensure peaceful, prosperous and united nations; Nigerians, particularly young people should reflect on things that would bind compatriots together, rather than separate them.

‘Young people are more invested in the future of Nigeria than any other group in our population, and should not allow themselves to be used as cannon fodders to incite and deepen hatred in the country.

‘Coincidentally, youths for
m the bedrock of our nation and this demographic dividend should at all times be mobilised for the social and economic development of our dear nation.

‘Sensitising and mobilising young people to combat hate speech is crucial in today’s world, where they are not only the target, but also influential voices in their communities,’ he said.

He promised to work closely with the UN system in Nigeria, youth leaders and other stakeholders to create relevant awareness to identify and counter hate speeches.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Mohammed Fall, said that hate speech contradicted all the values and principles enshrined in international human rights law.

Fall, who was represented by Mr Phillippe Delanghe, added that it undermined efforts to achieve the aim of 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.

‘Hate speeches often target the most vulnerable in our societies and minorities, if left unchecked, it can harm peace and development.

‘It lays the foundation f
or conflicts and tensions, undermine social cohesion and contribute to wide scale human rights violations and crime.

‘The devastating effect of hatred is not new. However, new technologies of communication has amplified the scale and impact of hate speech.

‘Social media and the internet are now the most frequent methods for spreading divisive rhetoric and ideologies on a global scale,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

ILO urges media practitioners to combat child labour

The International Labour Organisation has urged journalists to create awareness to combat the menace of child labour in the country.

Dr Vanessa Phala, ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, said this at a three-day Communication T…


The International Labour Organisation has urged journalists to create awareness to combat the menace of child labour in the country.

Dr Vanessa Phala, ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, said this at a three-day Communication Training Workshop for Media Practitioners on Friday in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is on elimination of child labour.

The training was organised by ILO, funded by the U.S. Department of Labour through the Action against Child Labour in Agriculture in West Africa (ACLAWA) project, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Phala, represented by Dr Agatha Kolawole, Project Coordinator of ILO’s ACLAWA, said child labour had cast a long shadow across Nigerian communities, particularly within the agricultural sector.

According to her, this is driven by poverty; families often rely on children to contribute to the family’s well-being and survival.

‘Children often have to work under hazardous conditions, sacrif
icing their education, health and childhood for meager wages.

‘This not only violates their fundamental rights but also hinders their potential and perpetuates cycles of vulnerability, ‘she said

She said that the 2021 Global Child Labour report released by ILO and UNICEF, indicated a global increase of child labour prevalence by 8.4 million to reach a staggering 160 million.

She said globally, the agriculture sector accounts for 70 per cent of child labourers.

According to her, nearly 28 per cent of children aged five to 11 years and 35 per cent aged 12 to 14 years in child labour are out of school.

Phala said that the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) launched the Nigeria Child labour survey report conducted in 2022 which corroborates the global trend.

She said the media plays a pivotal role in combating child labour by raising awareness and mobilising public opinion against this pervasive issue.

‘Through investigative journalism, documentaries and news reports, the media sheds light on the often hid
den and harsh realities faced by child labourers around the world.

‘By bringing these stories to the forefront, the media educates the public and policymakers about the scale and severity of child labour, thereby creating a sense of urgency and a call to action.

‘This heightened awareness is crucial for fostering a societal consensus that child labour is unacceptable and must be eradicated,’she said.

She said media coverage can pressure governments and corporations to implement and enforce stricter laws and policies to protect children from exploitation

Phala added that in addition to raising awareness, the media serves as a platform for advocacy and education, empowering communities to take a stand against child labour.

She commended the U.S. Department of Labour for funding the ACLAWA project.

Mrs Tessy Odoh, Head, Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Unit, Inspectorate Department, Ministry of Labour and Employment said the training was apt.

Odoh said that the Federal gov
ernment had put in place some policies to mitigate the menace of child labour.

She said that Nigeria had ratified and domesticated the ILO conventions 182, 138, 29, among others.

Mr Christian Appolos, a journalist with the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, who spoke to NAN, said the training had boosts his knowledge on the issues of child labour.

‘I see the training as a targeted effort to the campaign for the eradication of Child Labour,’he said.

Other journalists who participated in the workshop pledged their continued commitments to doing reports on child labour.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Video and Audio: Rare great Ape caught on video in Cross River

Mr Adekambi Adeyinka, a Masters student at the University of Calabar, has captured stunning footages of the world’s rarest great ape, the Cross River gorillas, in the Afi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Adeyinka of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, discl…


Mr Adekambi Adeyinka, a Masters student at the University of Calabar, has captured stunning footages of the world’s rarest great ape, the Cross River gorillas, in the Afi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Adeyinka of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, disclosed this in Calabar while reacting to the need to protect the rare apes on the list of endangered species due to human activities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the extraordinary sightings marked the first successful photos since three graduate students at UniCal began studying this elusive subspecies in 2023.

NAN reports that the study was part of the Cross River Gorilla initiative.

The Cross River Gorilla, known as Gorilla gorilla diehli, is a critically endangered subspecies of the western gorilla.

It was named a new species in 1904 by Paul Matschie, a mammalian taxonomist working at the Humboldt University Zoological Museum in Berlin, but its populations were not systematically surveyed until 1987.[3][4]

It is the most western and northe
rn form of gorilla, and is restricted to the forested hills and mountains of the Cameroon-Nigeria border region at the headwaters of Cross River.

Estimates from 2014 suggest that fewer than 250 mature Cross River gorillas remain, making them the world’s rarest great ape.

Adeyinka said that the sighting was more than just a visual success and underscored the importance of community involvement and innovative research in conservation.

‘By working closely with local communities, we are not only gathering crucial data but also fostering a deeper understanding and commitment to protect these incredible great apes and their habitat,’ he said.

Dr Joseph Onoja, Director General, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) expressed hope that the initiative would contribute to the realisation of their strategic pillar of saving species in peril.

Onoja said the University of Calabar in 2022 commenced a five Year Community Conservation Graduate Student Scholarship Programme for the Conservation of Cross River Gorilla.

H
e said the initiative was funded by the Wilder Institute – Calgary Zoo and implemented by NCF in partnership with the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation Research (CBCR), Ghana.

‘The programme which involves supporting graduate research projects in Nigeria, including scholarships for one Ph.D. student and four master’s students in UniCal for five years.

‘This collaborative initiative extends beyond borders to allow an exchange programme for knowledge sharing that creates successful community conservation initiatives,’ he said.

Mr Emmanuel Owan, the Head of NCF Calabar office, disclosed that the foundation was putting in place measures to ensure that the gorillas are put in their natural habitat for their safety and continued existence.

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Prof. Francis Bisong, Secretary, Cross River Gorilla Conservation Project Committee, said Adeyinka’s result was promising as it demonstrated the power of collaboration to save the severely endangered Cross River goril
las.

Bisong said the capture of two silverback gorillas on trial cameras in the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary emphasised the need for innovative technology, collaborative and community engagement to safeguard the species and its environment.

‘These findings highlight the sanctuary’s vital role in gorilla protection and the need for more research and collaboration to conserve Cross River gorillas and the region’s rich biodiversity.

‘I urge the scientific community, conservation organisations, and stakeholders at all levels to support and extend this essential effort to protect one of the world’s rarest and most fragile species,’ he said.

Dr Mary Liao, Conservation Manager, Wilder Institute, said the images captured by the camera traps were an incredible glimpse into the life of the elusive and magnificent creatures.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria