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Nigeria gets World Bank’s $611m to tackle out-of-school children

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50% children engage in child labour –NBS

 

The World Bank has approved $611 million to support Nigeria in addressing the menace of out-of-school children. There are over 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, the highest in the world.

World Bank Education Specialist and Consultant, Mr. Adebayo Solomon, disclosed this at the flag off of Federal Government’s 2017/2018 Annual School Census exercise across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

According to him, the money was approved for the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BES- DA) Programme, which was aimed at bringing out-of-school children into the classroom, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results in basic education.

This move, he explained, was to support the federal and state authorities in their efforts to foster inclusion and revive growth, in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government and also to help in generating credible and reliable data in the education sector.
While noting that many states were unable to conduct annual school census because they did not prioritise it, Solomon said with the project embarked upon by the World Bank in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education, the needed money has been made available for each of the states to be able to conduct the census.
“The money is available to the level at which data are collected first of all by the states themselves. They have to spend their money and after they have spent their money somebody will now verify.
“We are working with the National Bureau of Statistics to ensure that the data are verified. Immediately they are verified, each school will collect $30. And each state government will collect $100,000.
“The more you continue to publish the data and it is becoming accurate, there is a bonus that is given to you. There should not be challenge in respect of collecting the data. State need to be on top of it and be proactive,” he said.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who kicked off the enumeration exercise in Abuja, stressed the importance of data in planning for delivery of quality and all-inclusive education in the country.
Adamu, who explained that there would be simultaneous commencement of enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and facilities in the basic and post-basic school levels in 36 states and FCT, added that the census would provide reliable data that would lead to proper planning, management and administration of education in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the minister disclosed that the Federal Government has commenced geo-positioning of schools, to help in getting the exact and accurate number of schools and validating the annual census school data collection.
He, however, lamented that some state governments, agencies of government and private schools had failed to comply effectively with the enumeration exercise in the previous years.
The minister appealed to states and schools to diligently adhere to the guidelines so as to get the data right.
“I will also urge for cooperation and full participation of the military, para-military and private schools, both registered and unregistered, almajiri centres and integrated Koranic schools in this exercise so that we can explore and improve all school environments in order to begin to solve the problem of out-of-school children,” he said.

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Reps move to amend revenue sharing formula

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, initiated a legal framework for restructuring distributable revenue to the three arms of government.

The resolution came following passage through second reading of a bill for an act to amend allocation of revenue (Federation Account etc), Act Cap., A15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to establish the excess revenue fund account and for other related matters (HB. 1277).

 

The bill was sponsored by Hon, Lovette Idisi (PDP, Delta). It came on the heels of criticism over the legality of the proposed withdrawal of $1 billion from Excess Crude Account (ECA), for the procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram. Leading debate on the bill, Idisi noted that the “allocation of revenue Act was established in 1982 to prescribe the basis for distribution of revenue accruing to the Federation Account between the Federal and state governments and Local Government councils in the states; the formula for distribution amongst the states; the proportion of the total revenue of each state to be contributed to the state joint Local Government Account.”

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Bed sharing raises risk of baby deaths

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Scientists have raised the alarm over the number of babies dying of suffocation, occasioned by an increase in the number of parents sharing beds with their infants.

 

According to the findings of a report published in ‘Paediatrics,’ babies are safest sleeping on their backs in their own cribs without any pillows, toys, blankets or other loose bedding. From 1999 to 2015, the suffocation death rate for babies younger than one year climbed from 12.4 to 28.3 fatalities for every 1,000 United States (US) infants.

 

Similarly, the study shows that in 2015 alone, this translated into 1,100 infant deaths that were entirely preventable.

 

The majority of these suffocation fatalities occurred while babies were in bed. Although, there is lack of data to show the trend of these activities in Nigeria where bed sharing between mothers and newborn is very common among low income and the poor, it is believed that this practice might also be impacting negatively in the country.

 

 

However, going by the guidelines from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), if babies do sleep in parents’ beds, parents should have a firm mattress, remove soft objects such as pillows, and move the bed away from the wall, as part of measures to ensure the safety of the babies.

 

Similarly, the AAP said parents should also be aware that bed sharing is most dangerous for newborns, less than four months old, premature babies and underweight infants, or if babies were exposed to tobacco during or after pregnancy.

 

 

Study co-author, David Schwebel, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: “It may be that parents are not following `safe sleep’ recommendations to place infants in beds without stuffed animals, soft blankets, pillows, and other items that could cause suffocation.

 

Suffocation and strangulation deaths increased across the board for boys and girls, regardless of race, ethnicity or whether they lived in urban or rural communities, the study found. At least some of the increase in suffocation deaths might be due to a change in how these fatalities are categorised, researchers note.

 

Some fatalities that were attributed to sleep-related causes like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at the start of the study might have been categorised as accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed by the end of the study period.-

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Proscribed IPOB blames FG for members’ plight in prison

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The outlawed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday expressed dismay over a move by a lawyer representing Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, one of the sureties for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the ongoing case to release some of its members in prison custody to adjourn the case to a later date.

 

IPOB listed the members in prison custody to include Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi, Bright Chimezie Ishinwa, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, among others.

 

A statement made available to journalists in Awka by IPOB’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, the group noted that seeking another adjournment on the ongoing matter in court was a clear indication that the blackmail machinery of DSS and presidency was fully at work.

 

The statement reads: ‘We have no doubt that this adjournment was instigated by the Federal Government of Nigeria as another way to delay and deny justice to those who have now spent more time in jail than those convicted of similar offences.

 

“Information reaching IPOB now from Federal High Court Abuja with Justice Binta Nyako presiding is that Abaribe’s lawyer has written to the court asking for an adjournment.

 

“The Government of Nigeria has succeeded in pressuring Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe to ask for adjournment of the ongoing case of treasonable felony between Nnamdi Kanu and three others who have so far spent more time in prison than those convicted of similar offences.

 

“DSS and Aso Rock knew they had no choice than to release David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Bright Chimezie Ishinwa so they decided to blackmail and intimidate Senator Abaribe into getting his lawyer to write to the court seeking yet another adjournment.”

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