Filed under: Economy, features: good governance, Politics | Tags: Corruption in Nigeria, President Mohammed Buhari, Timothy Bamidele
A civilised human society has rules of engagement guiding private and public conducts, the rational minded in any given society frowns at every iota of dishonesty, how much more unbridled tendency for acquisition of wealth especially in primitive desperation.
Our country today is confronted with a bug called corruption. It has infested our world and had eaten deep like cankerworm into the fabric of our society. Ranging from pilfering to palace looting, pedestrian underhand dealings to official manipulation, corruption has become the caterpillar of destruction.
From petty stealing to palace looting, pedestrian underhand dealings to official manipulation, corruption has become the caterpillar of destruction.
It becomes worrisome that custodians of commonwealth, those in position of authority and entrusted with responsibilities are the ones who turned to be the captains among the legions of maggots eating up the nation.
The media is awash, daily, with divers tales of corruption, the stories of missing millions, starched away billions, bungled projects, the list is endless.
The scenario throws the present into a quicksand of under development and plunged the future into the ocean of perplexity and poverty.
How did we get here? Who fails to do what? Whose responsibility it is to check mate? Who should play oversight role and what institution should guard the state? All seemed to be compromised, guilty and culpable.
One wonder what moment in history did we detour and lose moral guard, our forebear are men of conscience and modesty. It is hard to pin down when the declension began, but greed, coloured with madness is at its crescendo.
The gains of greed, ostentatious lifestyle, and magnifications of its reward mutate the culture of diligence and hard work. The consequence is that the society breeds laziness, promotes indolence and destroys initiatives; after all, short cut pays.
Nigerians have not only tolerated corruption, they seemed to be getting conditioned, the system builds up social, psychological, ethnical and religious safety net to accommodate the menace to the extent that anyone who found himself in a privilege position especially public office is considered fortunate and expected to live big and be the father Christmas.
The game changing quality of service, sacrifice and selflessness had simply become alien, everyone for himself, all for God.
The social systems, schools, religious and family, aimed at building the society, have lost their relevance and also prey for a share in the reward of iniquity. Communities conferred traditional titles, Ivory tower bargained with honorary doctorate, and religion organisations pursue donations.
Stolen money is shared on the platform of philanthropist activities done to shut up the conscience. Men may excite themselves in their folly but God cannot be mocked, after all, Apostle Paul in the Holy bible stated that the gift of God can not be bought with money.
Greed perpetrated by the minority in the upper class afflicts the poor and reinforces anti social behavior among the millions at the lower rung of the ladder, though the former suffers the heaviest.
There is glaring paradox in the nation penal systems because those who commit minor offenses suffer heavy punishments whereas those with heinous crime enjoy mere spanking.
The younger folks just take a cue, resolved to go for the kill and aimed high to steal big, because they know that the size of their pockets will neutralized the consequence of their action, the end they say justify the means.This malady, the primitive acquisition of wealth deserves psychiatric investigation, declaration of national emergency and punchy chastisement.
The oppressed in the Nigerian society recently had a sense of relief and a new lease of life. They have perceived a new wave that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the monster will not only be confronted but will be attacked frontally.
The populace must resolve and constitute itself as a nuisance against the cabals and pylons who pillage commonwealth and plundered the nation’s resources. This however demands re-orientation.
Just as the President had pointed that corruption will kill the country, therefore war against corruption should not be politicized and clothed in the garment of deceit, selectivity, ethnicity and religiosity.
It’s a serious warfare not only because of its damaging effect but it’s certainty of destruction, it should therefore not be reduced to sloganeering.
The President should beware of the mixed multitudes, many within and outside his fold who had hitherto lived with monstrous skeleton in their cupboards. These ones who suddenly become cheerleader apparently to cover up their trap, those big kettles calling the pot black, these “midnight” converts must not be allowed to dissolve until they vomit their loots hence they become the albatross of the new vision.
The President should not fall into the façade of their deception and fallacy of their décor.
Days ahead will be challenging as logjam will be created through the feeble institutional structures. It will be needful that the momentum is sustained by strengthening anti corruption institutions and supported with creation of special courts with distinct power to bite every culprit, regardless of class or caste, with a venom and pang of justice.
A blueprint to fight corruption should be developed; the message should be loud and clear, no longer business as usual.
To those who through goodwill rose to power with a promise to better the lots of the people but through greed and corruption wreck havoc on the society, in no long time, they shall be made to give account.
Leopard cannot change its skin, with the heat of the moment they will want to lie low and invent new tricks as old ways will be blocked, to contend effectively with the evil of the moment and the threat it posed to the future, the nation needs a new brand of warriors, whistle blowers who will alert the world and nip corruption at the bud.
Let it be proclaimed from Abuja to Abeokuta, Oyo to Uyo and Kastina to kwara that the cup of judgment of the kleptomaniac is full.
No doubt, Nigerians have great expectations under this dispensation, the path to liberty, greatness and prosperity is not hidden, we must resolved to walk the talk, follow the path of truth, openness, sacrifice, transparency, equity and fairness.
Righteousness still remained the indestructible springboard through which any nation can be exalted, Nigeria not an exemption
Filed under: lifestyle, New Media, Technology | Tags: Digital Literacy, National Developement
From Adam man has striven to subdue and exercise dominion over the earth and at every juncture in human dispensation.
From Stone Age to Medieval Period and beyond, human history has been characterised by shift from agrarian economy and traditional industry through technological advancement to an economy that now thrives on information computerisation.
With development Milestones comes new realities, which present challenges men have to contend with.
The modern world is dubbed a global village: a compact entity, courtesy of the internet, which has ushered in unprecedented knowledge explosion. Thus, this period in history is particularly described variously as the Information Age, Computer Age, Digital Age, or New media Age.
Curious enough the changes that overtake human development often evolved unannounced. Some people quickly flow with the trend, many refuse to join the train and are stampeded and overtaken by innovations, while several others are permanently sidestepped as the world moves on.
Aside hundreds of digital gadgets including computers, smartphones, multi-radio Wifi/Bluetooth, enabled devices litter the world and pop up every day, It may be hard to imagine life without the internet, especially in the developed world.
According to National Communication Commission, NCC Internet penetration rate in Nigeria is 59.4 percent of the 142.5 million subscriber base. People use the Internet, the World Wide Web to communicate, gather and distribute news, sell and buy, research, and play games. In fact, flood of information available online seems overwhelming, there are billions of web pages.
This gamut of information provides new opportunities, promises, possibilities but also new threats. It is a challenge people cannot excuse themselves from, they will remain retarded and ill-informed in Information new Age.
The onerous task before citizens of developing nation in a world driven by Knowledge economy is to find value-adding credible information Online and reposition themselves for emerging opportunities.
It is apparent that online platform now determines the pace of information gathering and News-breaking, Commerce, E-banking, Point of Sales, POS system and the use of tokens for transactions.
Hence individuals need empowerment to be an active player in this new digital paradigm.
Enlightenment platform must therefore be created through the media while public lectures, workshops and seminars should be encouraged to make people become digitally literate.
For any nation however to maximize digital possibility, its government and private sectors must ensure the growth of bandwidth and reduction in the tariffs on the cost of digital hardware. This will encourage widespread access by larger number of the population.
Comprehensive training platform should be provided for public servants to learn new tools for communication, official dispatch, computation, report generation, strategic planning and networking to save cost and promote service delivery.
Students and scholars must key in and be equipped with advanced research skills, avoid plagiarism and leave their digital footprints in academic arena. Parents need capacity to protect their children from exposure to nasty stuffs, cyber bullying through appropriate filtering of content both online and offline.
Digital Literacy will help the rank and file of the security agencies to beat crimes and nabbed criminals.
Knowledge of internet safety and security should be widespread, individual and organisations should know the implication of digital footprint, malware, safe downloading, online shopping, smartphones safety, privacy, and Online Gaming.
It is sad to remark that many have become victims of fraudsters due to lack of basic knowledge as simple as the use of Automated Teller Machines. Several others have carelessly shared vital information such as Personal Identification Number, PIN BVN numbers and Passwords to strangers via email and responded to a casual call from unknown callers.
Digital literacy will prevent unnecessary death as that of Cynthia, a post graduate student of Nasarawa State University in the hands of Ezekiel Nnechuwu Olisa Eloka, 25 and Echezona Nwabufor, 33, who met her on facebook and lured her to Lagos.
Digital Literacy will safeguard people from the trap of Yahoo Yahoo syndicates and help them exercise discretion before accepting friends on social network platforms. It will prevent citizens from falling to the bait of scammers who lurk everywhere online.
It is noteworthy to point out that in spite of the upbeat of digital trend and realities of its social incursion, many in work places, private life still deny the impact of digital encroachment. They remained glued to analogue model, resisting change and stifling growth.
Though the new technology apparently has distorted tradition, it will further set new social culture from African communal orientation to the western individualistic cage. This is why we must take advantage of instant messengers to consolidate family bonds.
The exuberances of youths who are the early acceptors of digital tools should be properly channeled to make use of robust information online to improve their skills, employability, innovation and resourcefulness rather than waste their precious time on hedonistic stuff.
They should find new career path in digital industry, such as application and software developments, animation, and explore new entrepreneurship possibilities.
Now is the time for Nigeria to invest and support its citizens so that the nation can produce her own Microsoft Bill Gates, Twitters’ Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, Apple Steeve Jobs, and Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.
For the nation in quest for rapid development like Nigeria, now is the time to close the digital divide and unleash the potential of the people. Digital literacy will liberate anyone to be effective in private life, efficient in public, know more, be more and do more, stimulate national productivity and global competitiveness.
The stark reality of the modern time is that literacy will no longer be defined by ability to read or write but by capability to make adequate and effective use of digital tools.
Filed under: health, news, Orphan and Vulnerable Children | Tags: C4D, Communication for Development, Female Genital mutilation, UNFP, UNICEF Nigeria
Female genital mutilation, an harmful practice with health implication still remains a major problem in Nigeria.
According to Unicef about twenty million women and girls have been subjected to the experience and a recent survey also by Unicef in Nigeria indicates that the practice is prevalent in five states including Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Osun and Oyo.
To address this problem, UNICEF and UNFPA organized a two -week Training the Trainer for stakeholders drawn from the five states with a view to exploring an evidence based process on Communication for Development to promote behavioral change.
Radio Nigeria Correspondent, who is among the participants in Calabar, Cross River state reports that the workshop was aimed at accelerating the total abandonment of FGMC practice in the next 20 years
Addressing the participants, the UNICEF Chief Child Protection in Nigeria, Rachael Harvey pointed out that Nigeria ranked 3rd in the world and still has the highest absolute number of women and girls who have undergone the practice.
An estimated 19.9 million Nigerian women have undergone FGM/C meaning that approximately 16% of the 125 million FGM/C survivors worldwide are Nigerians (NPopC 2014)
More than 65% of the women who have undergone FGM/C were cut before age 5 (MICS 2011)
The overall prevalence of FGM/C among girls and women aged 15-49 years in Nigeria (27%) is lower than in many countries
Prevalence of FGM/C has decreased by 9% between 2008 and 2011
However, due to its large population, Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of women and girls (19.9 million) who have undergone FGM/C worldwide (after Egypt and Ethiopia)
Represented by a UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Maryam Enyiazu, Ms Harvey said the training would adopt a new proven model in behavioral change to address the issue.
In a submission, the UNICEF Communication for Development Chief in Nigeria, Mr. Arthur Tweneboa-kodua corroborated that strategy of Communication for Development being a new proven theory will be adopted, as it provided an added value to programme intervention.
An evidence-based process to promote measurable behaviour and social change to accelerate programme results
C4D uses proven change theories and findings from formative research, C4D provides “leverage” and “added value” to programme interventions
Damilola Olofinjana from Osun and Istifanus John from Ebonyi states expressed their confidence in the new methodology in addressing the problem of Female Genital cutting
Contributing, a participant from Imo state,Kingsley Oguamana who spoke on the role of the media which was a strategic component of the training, stressed that there was the need to effectively carried media along at every stage of programme development for a far reaching outcome.
The Second part of the two week training which end this week will also involve over thirty community leaders from Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Osun and Oyo states.
Osun state may forfeit the support of International Donors on HIV Prevention especially on the areas of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV-Aids
This is as a result of failures on the part of the people to make use of structures and facilities put in place thus leading to expiration and mopping up of retro viral prophylaxis drugs
This report examines the significant of Early Infant Diagnosis against the background of report that the state still had about 10,000 cases of dry blood spot sampling not reported out of fourteen thousand expected by December this year
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV is one of the National Policies on Prevention of HIV hence the strategic approach of early infant diagnosis.
To achieve this goal programmes that focused on pregnant women were developed with the engagement of cluster groups of Service providers including health workers and community based organizations
Also selected Primary Health Centers were strengthened to offer services for the community.
Speaking on the challenge on this prevention strategies and implications of available result, A community Mobilization Officer, of one the non- governmental organizations working in Osun state, Hygiea foundation, Mr George Olorunnisomo noted that a situation where funders made adequate provisions for resources and such not made use of by the people might lead to forfeiture of such privilege.
He described as disturbing; a situation when only two out of twenty exposed women to HIV returned to clinics for Dried Blood Spot Sampling after birth
Mr. Olorunisomo urged all stakeholders to break barriers and scale up outreaches to safeguard the interest of the unborn child.In a separate Interview, the Executive Secretary Osun state Agency for the Control of Aids, OSACA, Dr Monsuir Bello acknowledged the significant of Early Infant Diagnosis saying it was one of the component to measure the success of Prevention of Mother to child Transmission of HIV
He added that the agency would partner with the Media to raise level of awareness in the state.
In a submission, the Chief Executive Officer of a non- governmental organization, Living Hope Care, Ilesa, Osun state, Ms Ibiyemi Fakande noted that existing programmes should be reviewed as the present experienced indicated that more result was being obtained during outreaches rather than people visiting the health facilities provided for referrals.
She called for the need to bridge the observed gaps for the actualization of the set goals.
Filed under: health
Special Report Achieving High Impact in Tuberculosis Control in Nigeria
Experts are however of the opinion that with early detection and proper treatment most people with Tuberculosis will fully recover and millions of life saved
This special report examines the impact in the fight against Tuberculosis
With over two hundred new cases of Tuberculosis recorded in Nigeria ,as indicated by World Health Organization , it remains one of the countries with high burden of Tuberculosis, ranking 10th positions among 22 of such nations.
Through the combined activities of stakeholders working at the grassroots, coordination of the ministry of health and National TB leprosy control programme, the nation was able to detect and notify over 90 thousand TB patients.
Stakeholders, however, argued that if the battle against TB must be won, involvement of the community, participation and empowerment of volunteers at the grassroots must be given due consideration.
Dr Gidado Mustapha is the country representative KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation CARE 1 project in Nigeria; he speaks on the need to improve general health system, trace, detect TB patients in the community, and create awareness on signs and symptoms of TB for potential patient to know the service points
Another stakeholder on Tuberculosis Management , Dr Omoniyi Fadare of the World Health Organization, WHO , TB Care project in Nigeria, pointed out the need for those working on TB control to be innovative and involved all service providers in detection and referrals of cases of TB to service treatment centers
The TB Network Coordinator in Osun state Ms Ibiyemi Fakande and the team lead for HYGIEA foundation which consult on the implementation of the global fund project for Aids Tuberculosis and Malaria in Osun state Dr Francis Anyaji maintained that goal setting, team work and integrations of TB awareness activities into other programmes would provide a leverage for more results
Corroborating the submission of other respondents, the Executive Director PLAN Health Advocacy and Development Foundation, Ibadan Oyo State Mr. Obatunde Oladapo maintained that people in the community are best positioned to detect, referred and support TB patients, hence they must be empower with basic information that would make them effective.
Mr. Oladapo added these procedures would help the nation achieve the goal to halve TB prevalence and death by 2015
Filed under: health, news | Tags: 2013 Biomedical HIV prevention forum, Abuja, HIV, HIV Vaccine, Nigera
The Federal Government says it has concluded arrangement to commence the implementation and trial of HIV vaccine plan.
The Process to be supervised by National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, would ensure that all vaccines trials in the country are in accordance with Universal standard
The Minister of Health Professor Onyebuchi Chuckwu stated this at a two day Bio Medical Prevention Forum in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The Biomedical HIV prevention forum which attracted participants from Australia, United State of America, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria is organised by the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) and the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) – in collaboration with the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Delivering a key note address, The Minister of Health expressed with delight that though progress has been made in the fight against the scourge in WHO African countries with decrease in new infection in twenty two countries and stability in eleven in line with MDG Six, Nigeria had stepped up activities in several areas including treatment, care, support service and research.
Represented by the Director Centre for disease control in Nigeria, Dr Abdusalami Nasidi, The minister of health acknowledged that Nigeria need to develop tropical microbicide, as well as support advances in technology including rolling out of vaccine policy in the country
In a special lecture a foremost African Scientist and Director CAPPRISA Professor Salim Abdool Kareem who affirmed that there was scientific evidence that microbicide tools could aid prevention of new HIV infection called on Nigeria government to step up action, evolve effective policy and provide fund for researchers in Nigeria to meet up with global challenge.
In another contribution, One of the speakers from University of California, United States of America, professor Brandon Brown stressed the need for Nigeria to take pro active step by setting up research ethics committee in all institution.
In a submission, the Country Director Centre for Disease Control in Nigeria, Dr Okey Nwanyawu said Getting to Zero in a Biomedical way requires bold leadership, HIV counselling and testing and application of microbicides tools for the prevention of new HIV infection.
The pioneer chairman for Aids control in Nigeria Professor Etim Essien who was honoured at the event urged stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities provided by advancement in science to reverse the scourge of the disease in the country.
The forum was also exploring approaches to articulate way forward for hiv prevention as highlighted by the by the recent African Union Abuja plus 12 summit.