Northern Groups Fail To Endorse Buhari For 2019 Despite Marathon Meeting (Read Full Statement)

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Prominent northern groups on Saturday held a marathon meeting at Arewa House, Kaduna to assess the security, economic and political circumstances of the North and Northern communities in other parts of Nigeria.

It is understood that during the meeting, the Summit of Northern Groups asked northerners to examine “all options” in political choices they will make in 2019 – a development which indirectly shows that they are passing a vote of no confidence to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari who is thought to be seeking a second term in office.

Specifically, it reviewed the worrying state of insecurity “under which virtually all Northerners live”.

It also deliberated the “worsening economic fortunes” of the vast majority of Northerners and the options that are available to the North as it prepares for the next general elections.

While some northern governors have already endorsed Buhari for another term, the 18 northern groups – including the apex socio-cultural group Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) – warned in the communique shared with TheCable that no one “should take the North for granted”.

It warned that “no Northern politician should expect to be voted for in the next general election unless they demonstrate a willingness to champion a massive assault on poverty and underdevelopment in the North. In this regard, most political office holders from the North are hereby served notice that they have failed the test to lead the region towards economic recovery and growth.”

Read the full text as sent to TheCable below:

Communique of the Summit of Northern Groups, held at Arewa House, Kaduna, on Saturday, 24th March, 2018

Leading Northern Groups and Associations held a Summit of their leaders at Arewa House, Kaduna on Saturday 24th March, 2018. The Summit was convened to assess the security, economic and political circumstances of the North and Northern communities in other parts of Nigeria. Specifically, the Summit reviewed the worrying state of insecurity under which virtually all Northerners live; the worsening economic fortunes of the vast majority of Northerners and the options that are available to the North as it prepares to engage the political process towards the elections of 2019.

The Summit noted that in spite of notable successes by the Buhari administration against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, many Northern communities still live under its threat. In many other parts of the North, communities are routinely exposed to attacks from shadowy killers, and suspicion and anger at known and suspected killers are pitching Northerners against each other. Armed bandits terrorize rural communities almost at will, while kidnappings and abductions have assumed alarming notoriety as crimes. The nation’s security and law and order assets are stretched beyond points where they can’t provide even the most elementary confidence and protection of citizens. The North has rarely been so exposed to multiple and varied threats.

The economy of the North continues to deteriorate in spite of the evident willingness of Northerners to work hard and earn legitimate incomes. Its basic infrastructure suffers massive deficits in funding while its growing population starves from lack of critical investment in human capital development. Federal government spending is severely tilted against the North, while most State governments only pay lip service to real development in their states. Agriculture shows limited glimpses of recovery, but almost entirely through efforts of peasants and antiquated processes. The North is completely de-industrialized, while the rest of the nation moves towards sustainable growth and development. There is no evidence of bold thinking, strong political will and/or serious concern by any leadership at any level to reverse the alarming decline of the Northern economy.

Since 2015, Northerners have occupied positions with the potential to make decisive differences in the economy, security or political fortunes of the region. The hopes that leaders who have exercised power since 2015 will reverse the abuse and neglect of the region in the previous decade have been betrayed. Weak governance, gross insensitivity and unacceptable levels of incompetence have been compounded by battles of attrition in which northerners have sapped each others’ strength. Weak and incoherent responses to provocations from other parts of the country around the imperatives of re-visiting the foundations and structures of the Nigerian state have created the false image of a North without its own positions beyond survival as the parasite of Nigeria. The historic gains in Northern political unity secured by Northern votes in the 2015 elections have been wasted by the poor management of conflicts between and among Northern communities. Today Northern communities are erecting barricades against members of other communities, as well as and politicians who have failed to lead and make impacts in lives of the poor and the vulnerable are daily feeding the people with hate and resentment instead of searching for genuine and lasting solutions. In a region with enough resources for every community or trade, our people are now fighting for morsels, while leaders think of new ways to turn our misery into electoral capital.

The Summit, having undertaken a thorough analysis of the state of the North and our communities, therefore:

URGES all leaders, elders and communities to seek peaceful resolutions of conflicts between and among communities. Lives lost, injuries suffered and losses incurred in any community must be redressed firmly and fairly. The roots of co-existence and inter-dependence in all Northern communities are much deeper than the barricades being erected around communities. All persons who are involved in killings and crimes against communities must be brought to book.

DEMANDS immediate and decisive steps to improve the security of lives and economic assets in the North by the federal and state governments. Too many communities are at the mercy of attacks from sundry groups of criminals who appear to have unchallenged access to space and weapons.

APPEALS to Northern Governors and President Muhammadu Buhari to set in motion serious initiatives towards achieving higher levels of trust among Northern communities which is vital for the imperatives of peace and justice.

INSISTS that the routine denial of the rights of the North to its fair share of budgetary allocations by the federal government must cease from the 2018 budget. Northern representatives in the National Assembly must live up to their oaths to protect the rights of their constituencies to equity in the allocation of national resources.

WARNS that no Northern politician should expect to be voted for in the next general election unless they demonstrate a willingness to champion a massive assault on poverty and underdevelopment in the North. In this regard, most political office holders from the North are hereby served notice that they have failed the test to lead the region towards economic recovery and growth.

ASSERTS the rights of all Northerners to examine all options in political choices they will make in 2019. The leadership selection process must be critically interrogated to present the best leader to Nigeria as a whole. No one should take the North for granted, and it is not for sale. It will resist shedding its blood for any candidate, and will critically scrutinize all politicians who will seek our mandate. At this stage, all options are on the table, and politicians who have betrayed the hopes and mandates of our people should be prepared to suffer rejection, in the same manner the votes of the North rejected the attempt to continue with impunity, corruption and indifference of the previous regime.

ADVISES all Northerners to be alert to plans to weaken the region through the manipulation of our fears and vulnerability and our ethno-religious differences. There must be vigilant scrutiny of opportunities for manipulation by outsiders of our present challenges. We must stand up and unite against those who kill villagers in Kogi, in Zamfara, in Benue, in Adamawa, in Borno, in Kaduna, in Taraba and in every village or town. No Northern blood is more precious than others, and we can only heal if we adopt common positions to finding solutions to our problems.

INVITES attention of the rest of Nigeria that the North knows its interests and place and will defend them in the context of Nigeria. Our people are willing and eager to put our union as a nation on the table and discuss with other Nigerians the relative values of ALL options and negotiate them with responsibility and respect.

CAUTIONS the Presidency and members of the National Assembly and Governors to resist the temptation to abuse the political process in pursuit of their personal ambitions.

COMMITS to sustaining the strong interests behind this Summit through other activities and actions which will strengthen Northern unity and prepare it to extract the maximum benefits from the 2019 elections.

The Summit welcomes the release of the Dapchi girls, and urges the government to intensify efforts to secure the release of all other abducted Nigerians. It calls on the government to ensure that no abductions occur again, and all communities are sufficiently protected and young Nigerians are free to acquire education without fear.

Kaduna

24th March, 2018

Signed

  1. Professor Ango Abdullahi, CON (Chairman ACF Political Committee and Convener, Northern Elders Forum)
  2. Dr. Yima Sen (Northern Elders Forum, NEF)
  3. Amb. Ibrahim Mai Sule (Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF)
  4. Engr. Bello Suleiman (CODE Group)
  5. Mataimaki Tom Maiyashi (Arewa Research Development Project, ARDP)
  6. Zannah Hassan Boguma (Borno Elders Forum)
  7. Nafiu Baba-Ahmed (Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria)
  8. Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame (Northern Union)
  9. Yerima Shettima (Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF)
  10. Alh. Mohammed Bello Kirfi, CON (North East Forum for Unity and Development)
  11. Pastor Aminchi Habu (United Christian Leaders Eagle Eye Forum (UCLEEF)
  12. Balarabe Rufai (Coalition of Northern Groups)
  13. Isa Tijjani (Labour Veterans Association)
  14. Rev. Bitrus Dangiwa (CAN Northern Chapter)
  15. Umar Ahmed Zaria (Jama’atu Nasiril Islam (JNI)
  16. Alh. Buba Adamah (Arewa People Unity Association)
  17. Bilkisu Oniyang (Arewa Initiative For Good Governance)
  18. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman (Northern Emancipation Network)

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FG Seeks For Withdrawal Of PDP’s Certificate Of Registration

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The Federal government has called for the withdrawal of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) registration as a political party.

The minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed stated this on Sunday during a press conference on the release of the abducted Dapchi School Girls held in Lagos.

Reacting to the statement made by what he called Naysayers, the opposition PDP in particular to the release of the Dapchi girls, Vanguard quoted the minister as saying:

“What called for non-partisan celebrations was rather thoughtlessly turned into politics, bad, despicable politics that has no place in any democracy.

“You are not unaware of the reaction of the naysayers – the main opposition PDP in particular – to the release of the Dapchi girls. What called for non-partisan celebrations was rather thoughtlessly turned into politics, bad, despicable politics that has no place in any democracy. At times of national tragedies, countries unite. This is the norm everywhere.

“The PDP and its co-travelers do not understand that terrorism is a global problem. A terror attack on any country is an attack on all countries. The UN was among the first international organizations to condemn the abduction of the Dapchi girls and also among the first to welcome their release.

“There should be a new criterion for withdrawing the registration of a party like the PDP which has failed both as a ruling and an opposition party! If a party cannot rule and cannot be in opposition, what else can it do?

“Perhaps we should ask the PDP what indeed the party knows about the abduction of the Dapchi girls, going by its statement that their abduction and release were stage-managed.

“The party made itself a laughing stock within and outside Nigeria with that statement. Don’t they know that our international friends are involved in the process that led to the release of the girls? Indeed, there should be a new criterion for withdrawing the registration of a party like the PDP which has failed both as a ruling and an opposition party! If a party cannot rule and cannot be in opposition, what else can it do?”

Alh. Mohammed, while, quoting the statement of the President when he received the Dapchi girls last Friday, said:

”May I warn against those elements who have chosen to make political fortune of our citizens’ misfortune. Government would not tolerate any attempt by any person or group to trivialize or politicize security issues for politically motivated ends”, adding that, “security agencies would not hesitate to decisively deal with such unscrupulous characters.”

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Nigerian Rapper Sauce Kid Released From US Prison? (Video)

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It appears that Nigerian rapper Babalola Falemi, popularly known as Sauce Kid and Sinzu, has been released from prison after serving his 2-years jail sentence in the United States for allegedly stealing $15,388 for credit card fraud.

The US Based Nigerian rapper was jailed for two years for aggravated identity theft, after he was accused of stealing bank card numbers and identifying information of their owners.

After using an automated system to change account PINs, he was able to withdraw cash from bank ATMS and buy merchandise from stores between July 23 and 26, 2016.

He was said to haven stolen $15,388 from the unsuspecting victims at the Treasure Valley, Idaho.Nigerian Rapper Sauce Kid Released From Prison (Video)

The rapper was arrested at Boise Airport as he was about to board a flight. He was found in possession of a card encoding device and about $6,000 in cash. 

The rapper was initially charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, eight counts each of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, and possession of 15 or more fraudulent bank cards.

But he pleaded guilty to one of the counts of aggravated identity theft and the prosecutors dismissed the other charges exchange for the guilty plea.

He spent his sentence in a federal prison.

However, on Sunday, March 25, 2018, a video surfaced on Instagram, with the caption “My bro is back!! SINZU”.

Watch the video below;

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Police Move To Declare Senator Melaye Wanted

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The Nigeria Police Force on Saturday threatened to declare the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye and Alhaji Mohammed Audu wanted should they refuse to comply with an order of the court.

The police also said the duo’s refusal to appear will make them seek a Warrant of Arrest for them and declare them wanted throughout the country and on INTERPOL platform.

The duo are expected to appear before the Federal High Court, Lokoja, on March 28, to answer criminal charges against them.

Melaye is accused of arming two suspects to commit armed robbery and kidnappings, hence his summon by the police.

In a statement on Saturday, Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the police, said a letter had been sent to the Senate President Bukola Saraki asking Melaye to appear at the command but he has failed to honour the invitation.

Moshood said that a suspect, Kabiru Saidu  a.k.a Osama had confessed to the Police investigative team that Senator Melaye handed over a bag containing one AK47 rifle, two Pump Action guns and the sum of N430,000.00 for him to share with his boys.

Moshood said: “Working on actionable intelligence, the Kogi State Police Command personnel and operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad trailed and arrested two suspects, Kabiru Saidu a.k.a Osama “31 YRS” From Dekina LGA but based in Anyagba (Leader of the gang) and Nuhu Salisu a.k.a Small  “25 YRS” (a member of the gang), after a gun battle with the Police team that lasted for some hours on the 19th January, 2018 at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.

“During investigation, they confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the commission of several kidnappings and armed robbery, murder and other violent crimes in different parts of Kogi State for which they have been on the wanted list of the Police for more than two years now.

“The gang leader KABIRU SAIDU revealed that he and his gang have been working as a political thug for one Alh. Mohammed Audu a politician in the state and that Alh. Mohammed Audu invited him to Abuja and introduced him to Senator Dino Melaye and they met on Airport road, Abuja inside the Senator Dino Melaye’s car in the month of December, 2017.

“Saidu further confessed to the Police investigative team that Senator Dino Melaye handed over a bag containing one AK47 rifle, two Pump Action guns and the sum ofN430,000.00 to share with his boys.

“The Police conducted investigation into the criminal indictment against Sen. Dino Melaye and Mohammed Audu and discovered that the two (2) of them have case to answer.

“The two suspects namely; KABIRU SAIDU a.k.a OSAMA and NUHU SALISU a.k.a SMALL were paraded at the Kogi State Command Headquarters, Lokoja on 19th March, 2018.”

“It will be recalled that consequent on the confession of criminal offences indicting Senator Dino Melaye by the principal suspect KABIRU SAIDU  a.k.a OSAMA “31 YRS”, The Nigeria Police Force, sent a letter of investigation activities/invitation dated 2nd March, 2018 addressed to the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria informing and requesting him to release Senator Dino Melaye to report to Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command on the 7th March, 2018 to answer  to criminal offences of Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of  Prohibited Firearms levelled against him, this is to enable the Police Investigation Team carryout a discreet and thorough investigation into the case. But Senator Dino Melaye refused to honour the Police invitation.

“Based on evidence gathered so far in the matter, a case of Criminal Conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms was filed by the Nigeria Police Force at Federal High Court Lokoja on 16th March, 2018 against the two principal suspects; Kabiru Saidu  a.k.a Osama, Nuhu Salisu a.k.a Small; Senator Dino Melaye and Alh. Mohammed Audu. But Senator Dino Melaye and Alh. Mohammed Audu refused to appear in court on Tuesday, 20th March, 2018 when the trial was supposed to commence.”

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Army Tackles TY Danjuma For Asking Nigerians To Defend Themselves Against Killer Herdsmen

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The Nigerian military on Sunday reacted to a statement credited to a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, in which he called on Nigerians to defend themselves against killers because the army has failed to protect the citizens.

The Army classified the statement as an unfortunate one coming out from a highly distinguished statesman especially now the military has embarked on demilitarization of the North Central Region of the Country.

VIDEO: TY Danjuma Accuses Military Of Collusion With Killer Herdsmen, Tells Nigerians To ‘Defend Yourself’

Danjuma had in the statement accused the army of bias and colluding with killers to attack Nigerians.

But in a statement on Sunday, Texas Chukwu, spokesman of the army, denied such collusion and said that the military is neutral in its operation.

The statement read: “The attention of the Nigerian army has been drawn to the unfortunate statement made by a former chief of army staff, lieutenant general Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, during the convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University on Saturday 24 March 2018 in which he categorically asserted that the armed forces of Nigeria was colluding with militias and other criminal elements and was unable to provide security for the citizens of Taraba state.”

“He further called the people of Taraba state to take up arms and defend themselves. The Nigerian army views this statement made by the former chief of army staff as most unfortunate at this critical time that the military has embarked upon demilitarisation of the north-central region of the country.”

“While Nigerian army would not want to join issues with the elder statesman, however, certain facts need to be clearly stated in the interest of the Taraba people and the Nigerian public – the Nigerian Army is constitutionally charged with the responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and to aid the civil authority whenever called upon to do so.”

“In this light, the authorisation for the conduct of Ex AYEM AKPATUMA was authorised and troops deployed to curb menace of the herdsmen-farmers conflict and other criminal activities in the north-central region amongst others.”

“It is noteworthy to state that at the inception of Ex AYEM AKPATUMA, the Taraba state government, did not cooperate with the Nigerian army due to the army’s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen-farmers crisis.”

“The Nigerian army will continue to remain as such.”

Chukwu advised Nigerians to continue to be law-abiding citizens as anyone caught with arms and ammunition would be dealt with in accordance with the laws.

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Prioritising Nigeria’s Human Capital for Sustainable Prosperity, By Bill Gates

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Prioritising Nigeria’s Human Capital for Sustainable Prosperity, By Bill Gates

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I’ve been coming here regularly since 2006, and I’ve always felt welcome. Nigerians usually greet me warmly. The first time I met the Sultan of Sokoto, I was honoured that he greeted me with the gift of a white horse.

At some point during every visit, though, some brave person eventually asks me—very politely—”Why are you actually here?” It’s an understandable question. Most American technology guys don’t wander around Nigeria learning about its health system. But I think I have a good answer.

When we started Microsoft 40 years ago, we wanted to build a successful business, but we also wanted to make people’s lives better. We believed computers could revolutionise the way people lived and worked. But back then only big companies could afford them. We wanted to give everybody access.

As I got older, traveled more, and learnt more about the world, I realised that billions of people had a problem that computers couldn’t solve. They lacked the basics of a good life: food, shelter, health, education, and opportunity.

And so I started my second career with my wife Melinda. With the money I’d been lucky enough to earn at Microsoft, we started working toward a different goal: a healthy and productive life for everyone.

That’s why I come to Nigeria, and that’s why Melinda and I will continue coming for as long as we are able. Our Foundation’s biggest office in Africa is here. We have committed over $1.6 billion in Nigeria so far, and we plan to increase our commitment. We have strong relationships with the federal government, state governments, businesses, NGOs, and civil society organisations. We are eager to support you as you work to make Nigeria a global economic powerhouse that provides opportunity for all its citizens—as you strive to fulfill this country’s immense promise.

I’m blown away by how much Nigeria has changed in the past decade.

Consider the technology sector. That energy I talked about during the early days of Microsoft, our passion and our eagerness to take risks. That’s the same energy that powers technology hubs across Nigeria like Co-Creation and Enspire.

The novelist Chimamanda Adichie, who my wife especially admires, captured the country’s spirit when she said her fellow Nigerians have “big dreams and big ambitions.”

This line graph of Nigeria’s per capita GDP shows where those dreams and ambitions can lead. With the exception of the recent recession, the slope goes straight up. As a result of this growth, Nigeria is now the biggest economy on the continent. You are rapidly approaching upper middle income status, like Brazil, China, and Mexico.

But growth is not inevitable. Nigeria has unmatched economic potential, but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices you make as Nigeria’s leaders.

The most important choice you can make is to maximise your greatest resource, the Nigerian people. Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive.

If you invest in their health, education, and opportunities — the “human capital” we are talking about today — then they will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity. If you don’t, however, then it is very important to recognise that there will be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow.

You see this risk in the data. From the point of view of the quality of life, much of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country.

Let me give a few examples.

In upper middle income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years. In lower middle income countries, it’s 68. In low income countries, it’s 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still: just 53 years. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad. One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished.

I do not enjoy speaking to you this bluntly when you have been gracious enough to invite me here. But I am applying an important lesson I learnt from Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Recently, Aliko and I were having a conversation with several governors about their states’ official immunisation rates. Aliko’s way of stressing the importance of accurate data was to tell us, “I didn’t get rich by pretending to sell bags of cement I didn’t have.” I took from that, that while it may be easier to be polite, it’s more important to face facts so that you can make progress.

On immunisation, you are already living that lesson: last year Nigeria revised its immunisation coverage numbers downward to reflect more accurate sources, and I applaud you for those lower numbers. They may look worse, but they are more real, which is the first step toward saving and improving more lives.

I urge you to apply this thinking to all your investments in your people. The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies “investing in our people” as one of three “strategic objectives.” But the “execution priorities” don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritising physical capital over human capital.

To anchor the economy over the long term, investments in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand in hand with investments in people. People without roads, ports, and factories can’t flourish. And roads, ports, and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy.

In preparation for my visit, I asked a research institute at the University of Washington to model Nigeria’s economic growth under three scenarios related to health and education, the core of how economists define human capital.

Here you can see Nigeria’s per capita GDP growth from 2000 until today. If current education and health trends continue — if you spend the same amount in these areas and get the same results — per capita GDP flatlines, with economic growth just barely keeping up with population growth.

If things get worse, it will decline. Unfortunately, this scenario is a very real possibility, unless you intervene at both the federal and state levels. Because even in the worst-case scenario, your national income level is about to make you ineligible for certain kinds of development assistance and loans that you’ve been relying on to fund your health system and other priorities. Without more and better spent domestic money, investment in your people will decline by default as donor money shrinks — a lose-lose scenario for everyone.

However, if you commit to getting better results in health and education — if you spend more and more effectively — per capita GDP will stay on its remarkable pre-recession trajectory.

This is the scenario we all want: Nigeria thrives because every Nigerian is able to thrive.

And the data makes it clear that this scenario is entirely within your reach.

What do I mean by investing in your people? I mean prioritising health and education, the factors included in the model I just showed you. I also mean continuing to open up opportunities in the agriculture and microenterprise sectors, as the government has proposed in the ERGP. I mean creating the conditions where Nigerians can reach their goals, while adding value to the economy — the win-win scenario.

Our Foundation doesn’t invest directly in education here, but the World Bank World Development Report that just came out makes it clear that education leads to improvements in employment, productivity, and wages.

Today, though, more than half of rural Nigerian children can’t read and write.

The conclusion is inescapable: Nigeria’s economy tomorrow depends on improving its schools today.

The same is true of health, our Foundation’s primary focus area.

In 1978, Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, who later became the Nigerian minister of health, helped establish primary health care as the global standard. We now know that a strong primary care system takes care of 90 percent of people’s health needs.

Tragically, 40 years after Dr. Ransome-Kuti helped other countries set a course for the future, the Nigerian primary health care system is broken.

The evidence for this can be found in the epidemic of chronic malnutrition, or stunting. As the name suggests, chronic malnutrition is not a disease children catch. It is a condition that develops over time because they are deprived of a diverse diet and the services a strong primary health care system provides.

The consequences of stunting are devastating. Though stunted children are defined as shorter than average, we’re not particularly concerned about their height. What we’re concerned about is their brains, or what Akin Adesina calls “gray matter infrastructure.”

This is a picture of the brain of a single normally developing infant. And next to it is a picture of the brain of a single chronically malnourished infant. Every brain and every child are different, but you can clearly see the difference in the number of neural connections in these two brains. And once this kind of damage is done, it’s very hard to repair.

In Nigeria, one in three children is chronically malnourished and could therefore be at risk. This is a tragedy for each one of these children; it is also a huge blow to the economy. According to the World Bank, addressing the stunting crisis in Nigeria would add almost $30 billion to the GDP.

So what will it take to solve stunting? It will take a focus on agricultural development, nutrition, and primary health care.

A functioning primary health system has six features.

Adequate funding. Good facilities located in the right places. Skilled and dedicated health workers. Ample stocks of essential equipment and medicines. Patients who know about the system and want to use it. And a mechanism for collecting the data needed to improve quality.

I believe the Nigerian primary health care system is not adequately funded. But it also doesn’t get the most out of its current funding. I want to re-emphasise that last point about data. More transparency would lead to more accountability, which would strengthen governance, leadership, and management, which would improve quality across the board.

I visited a health clinic in Bodinga LGA in Sokoto yesterday, and it reminded me why I do this work. I’d like to ask all of you to spend one hour at a health centre in the next month. I think you’ll see how the system can be improved — and how much good it will do when it is.

I know Nigeria can build up its primary care system, because I’ve seen what you accomplish when you meet health challenges head on.

As many of you know, we’ve been very close partners in your fight against polio.

As you can see on this graph, the hard work of hundreds of thousands of local leaders and health workers since the turn of the millennium has paid off. Nigeria has not had a case of wild polio virus in more than a year.

But the graph also shows that you’ve reported zero cases before, only to learn that the disease was still circulating in tiny pockets hidden by insecurity. It would be catastrophic to let your guard down when you’re on the verge of eliminating the disease once and for all.

I believe — because I have seen your work in the field as recently as yesterday — that you will do what it takes to end polio in Nigeria. We will be here, working side by side with you, until you do.

Though health is our Foundation’s primary area of expertise, it’s not the only thing we do, and it’s not the only thing I mean when I say Nigeria should invest in its people. Healthy people need opportunities to thrive.

One of the most important of these opportunities is agriculture, the sector that nourishes most Nigerians and supports half the population, especially the poorest.

The agricultural sector is a pillar of the Nigerian economy. It accounts for a large proportion of your GDP, and during the oil price collapse and recession, it helped cushion the economy. But it still has a lot of potential to grow.

The majority of Nigerian smallholder farmers lack access to the seeds, fertiliser, and training they need to be more productive, and they lack access to the markets they need to profit from their labour.

The government has taken important steps to fill these gaps, with both more investment and a series of smart policies, to encourage private sector investment.

These reforms lay the foundation for a booming agricultural sector that feeds the country, helps end chronic malnutrition, and lifts up tens of millions of smallholder farmers. I urge you to build on this good work.

One of the barriers that continues to prevent smallholders from thriving is their lack of access to finance. Like good roads, finance connects farmers to opportunity, yet only four percent of Nigerian farmers currently have a loan to grow their business.

In a country where three quarters of people have mobile phones, digital financial services provide a solution to this problem. In fact, digital finance offers the potential to boost the economy from top to bottom.

Right now, more than 50 million Nigerian adults are at the whim of chance and the informal economy. With access to digital financial tools, they can cope better with disasters that threaten to wipe them out, build asset and a credit history, and gradually lift themselves out of poverty.

Consider the impact this would have on businesses. Of the 37 million micro, small, and medium enterprises in Nigeria, more than 99 percent are micro. Their lack of access to finance is a leading reason why these businesses can’t grow. With digital payments, savings, and credit, they will finally have the resources to plan for the future.

According to the best estimates, digital financial services will create a 12.4 percent increase in Nigeria’s GDP by 2025. Meanwhile, oil accounts for about 10 percent of Nigeria’s GDP. Imagine adding another oil sector and then some to the economy, but one whose benefits spread far and wide and reach almost every single Nigerian.

There is another benefit to digital financial services that will make everything I’m urging you to do much easier: It will vastly improve the government’s ability to tax and spend efficiently.

Let me pause for a moment to say, I am confident that one thing you’ve been thinking as I’ve been talking is that, while you would like to spend more on health and nutrition and education and agriculture, you don’t have the money to do everything. I appreciate the fact that what you can spend is a function of what you raise.

Nigeria’s government revenue as a percentage of its GDP is by far the lowest in the world, at 6 percent. That makes investing in your people difficult. The next lowest country, Bangladesh, collects 10 percent of its GDP. If you got yourself up to second-to-last in the world, you would have an extra $18 billion to budget. Obviously, you’re aiming higher than that, but it gives you some idea about the scale we’re talking about.

We want to support you in your work to mobilise more resources to invest in your country. That’s why our Foundation is working with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to help States track internally generated revenue.

Ultimately, raising revenue to invest in growth will require delivering on the government’s commitments to the Nigerian people, and convincing them that they will get a return on their taxes.

Right now, Nigeria’s fiscal situation is at what you might call a low equilibrium. In return for low levels of service, people pay low levels of tax. We hope to help you reach a higher equilibrium rooted in effective and transparent investments in people. This equilibrium would trigger a virtuous cycle.

More government revenue would lead to more money to spend on health and education. Better health and education, and investment in sectors like agriculture, would lead to more productive farms and factories. More productive farms would lead to more prosperous farmers who could expand their farms or invest in other businesses, especially if they had access to credit and other financial tools. These thriving farms, factories, and new businesses would lead to more government revenue. And the cycle would start again.

Triggering that cycle will require bolder action—action you have the power to take as leaders, governors, and ministers focused on Nigeria’s future.

Conclusion

Nigerians are known around the world for their big dreams and big ambitions.

Together with the Dangote Foundation, we will be here to help you achieve your dreams and ambitions. You have the support of the international community. The Nigerian private sector will continue to invest. We are eager to help, but we know we can’t lead. You must lead.

I believe in the grand vision of Nigeria’s future. I believe in it because I’ve seen it. It’s represented by this line — the line that depends on healthy, educated people and the surge of economic activity they will unleash.

And that means that the future depends on all of you — and your leadership in the years to come.

Bill Gates is an American business magnate, co-founder and Technology Advisor at Microsoft, and Co-Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

The post Prioritising Nigeria’s Human Capital for Sustainable Prosperity, By Bill Gates appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning

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  • Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho are barely on speaking terms, with the pair communicating through assistant manager Rui Faria as their relationship reaches rock-bottom.
  • Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw is causing him to alienate himself from key members of the playing and coaching staff.
  • West Ham are planning a £15m summer move for Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles.
  • Jose Mourinho is playing hardball with the likes of Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw because he does not believe player power can get him the sack at Manchester United.
  • Chelsea and Arsenal are poised for a tug of war over Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak this summer.
  • Manchester United are targeting summer moves for Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos, Marquinhos, Marco Verratti and Alex Sandro – and are prepared to sell Paul Pogba to fund the spending spree.
  • Mohamed Salah will turn down any offers from Real Madrid and is ready to sign a new £200,000 per week deal with Liverpool.
  • David Moyes will remain in charge of West Ham next season – but only if he helps them to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
  • Liverpool will have to pay Emre Can £200,000 per week if they are to convince him to stay at Anfield, with Manchester City and Juventus keen on the Germany midfielder.
  • Everton are considering a summer move for Chris Smalling, whose days at Manchester United are numbered.
  • Jamie Vardy is set to start up-front for England when they face Italy at Wembley on Tuesday evening.
  • At least one England player is considering hiring a security firm to travel to Russia with his family during the World Cup this summer.
  • Antonio Conte has held talks with PSG over moving to the club from Chelsea in the summer, with Unai Emery certain to leave the French side at the end of the season.
  • Gareth Southgate is set to shuffle his England pack for the friendly against Italy, with Jack Butland, Dele Alli and Eric Dier all set to start.

The post Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

Source: New feed

Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning

Featured Image
  • Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho are barely on speaking terms, with the pair communicating through assistant manager Rui Faria as their relationship reaches rock-bottom.
  • Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw is causing him to alienate himself from key members of the playing and coaching staff.
  • West Ham are planning a £15m summer move for Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles.
  • Jose Mourinho is playing hardball with the likes of Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw because he does not believe player power can get him the sack at Manchester United.
  • Chelsea and Arsenal are poised for a tug of war over Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak this summer.
  • Manchester United are targeting summer moves for Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos, Marquinhos, Marco Verratti and Alex Sandro – and are prepared to sell Paul Pogba to fund the spending spree.
  • Mohamed Salah will turn down any offers from Real Madrid and is ready to sign a new £200,000 per week deal with Liverpool.
  • David Moyes will remain in charge of West Ham next season – but only if he helps them to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
  • Liverpool will have to pay Emre Can £200,000 per week if they are to convince him to stay at Anfield, with Manchester City and Juventus keen on the Germany midfielder.
  • Everton are considering a summer move for Chris Smalling, whose days at Manchester United are numbered.
  • Jamie Vardy is set to start up-front for England when they face Italy at Wembley on Tuesday evening.
  • At least one England player is considering hiring a security firm to travel to Russia with his family during the World Cup this summer.
  • Antonio Conte has held talks with PSG over moving to the club from Chelsea in the summer, with Unai Emery certain to leave the French side at the end of the season.
  • Gareth Southgate is set to shuffle his England pack for the friendly against Italy, with Jack Butland, Dele Alli and Eric Dier all set to start.

The post Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

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Son: Kane Is The Best In The World

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Heung-min Son has described his Tottenham teammate, Harry Kane as the best in the world.

The England international has scored 24 goals so far in the League, but his third consecutive golden boot could go to Salah, who has 28 goals.

Pochettino has hailed Kane as the best, a sentiment Son has echoed.

“Harry Kane is, of course, a very important player for England because he’s the best player in the world,” Son told Sky Sports .

“This is football, so sometimes you get injuries, but as Tottenham we need to play without Harry. It’s very sad but the other players have to be ready.

“I’m not like Harry, I’m just trying to practice every day, but it’s a good opportunity to make something happen.

“I’ve proved a lot of things while at Tottenham in two and a half years, I’ve enjoyed it a lot and I’m really happy to be there because they work hard and this is what I want.”

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VIDEO: TY Danjuma Accuses Military Of Collusion With Killer Herdsmen, Tells Nigerians To ‘Defend Yourself’

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A former Minister of Defense General Theophilus Danjuma on Saturday accused the Nigerian Armed forces of colluding with killer herdsmen on an ethnic cleansing agenda.

Speaking yesterday at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University (TSU), Jalingo, Taraba State, where he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Science Degree, Danjuma further urged Nigerians to defend themselves against killers in the country.

According to the war veteran, the Military were providing cover for killer herdsmen unleashing terror on communities across the country.

He called on the people to rise up and defend themselves, as relying on the armed forces to defend them was suicidal.

He said: “The peace in this state is under assault. There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in this state and, of course, in all the riverine state of Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up.

“The armed forces are not neutral; they collude with the armed bandits that kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them. 

“You must rise to defend yourselves from these people. If you are depending on the armed forces to protect you, you will all die one by one. I ask everyone of you to be alert and defend your country. Defend your territory, defend your states, because you have nowhere else to go.

Mr. Danjuma, who was Nigeria’s Minister of Defence from 1999 to 2003, warned that Nigeria risks suffering a fate such as that of Somalia if the killings are not checked.

“The ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State, it must stop in all the states of Nigeria; otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play,” General Danjuma said.

He continued: “I am not a politician and politics is one profession I don’t want to belong to because if I am a politician, I would not say what I am going to say to you now.”

“When I arrived this arena, I saw rich cultural display, and I was amazed at the rich cultural heritage of our people. Taraba is a mini Nigeria with diverse ethnic groups living together peacefully, but the peace in this state is under assault.

Watch video below:

The post VIDEO: TY Danjuma Accuses Military Of Collusion With Killer Herdsmen, Tells Nigerians To ‘Defend Yourself’ appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

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