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Poverty: Senator Nnamani warns of looming ‘demographic bomb’




Former Governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani has cautioned the government at various levels to quickly find a way of positively responding to youth bulge in the country’s population.

Nnamani, who is the Senator representing Enugu East Senatorial Zone, spoke during a public lecture he delivered at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, over the weekend.

The event was an Annual Leadership Forum organized by the Medical Research and Humanitarian Society, MEDRHUS.

While linking youth restiveness to demographics, he said an inappropriate response would spell doom for the nation.

He said there must be a clear roadmap towards addressing poverty and unemployment, recommending that the youth service year could be increased from one to two or three years.

The Senator spoke on the State of the nation, identifying national transformation, poverty, critical infrastructure, youth bulge, gap crisis, among others as major areas of concern.

He said, “youth restiveness has to do with demographics; Nigeria, together with the rest of the world, will go through demographic transition; Nigeria’s population, today you are talking about 195 million, by 2020, Nigeria population is expected to be about 236 million and by 2050, it will be about 410 million, moving Nigeria from 7th most populous nation to the 3rd most populous nation, so you are going to have demographic changes, you are going to have a decrease in gross dependency ratio.

“So, Nigerians under 25 will increase exponentially. This expansion is called youth bulge. But the question is- how does society react to youth bulge? Society can react to youth bulge by business as usual or they can react to youth bulge by business unusual.

“If the country reacts to youth bulge as business unusual by providing enabling environment to tag the economic benefits of this youth bulge, through policy formations and implementation, they will have demographic dividend accruing from this expansion population, however, if it is business as usual and the country fails to tap into this population explosion, you are going to have a demographic bomb and the inherent youth restiveness.

“What are the business unusual policies- they include providing education to this expansive population, providing health facilities, providing food, skill acquisition training, providing creativity, innovation, providing agrarian loans, entrepreneurship, to this age group to guarantee employment, to guarantee effective and adequate income and guarantee social protection for them.

“Where these policies are implemented, they will be of use to the State but if contrariwise is done, you are going to have youth restiveness, you are going to have hopelessness, you are going to have social instability, you are going to have vulnerability to indoctrination, you are going to have youth restiveness, you are going to have communal violence, you are going to have religious violence, you are going to have domenstic violence, inter-tribal violence as you have in the North-East Boko Haram, North-West so-called bandits, local terrorism, herder-farmer clashes, which is also terrorism, restiveness in the Niger-Delta and in the South-West and even here in the South-East.”

He said the prevalent problems had to be addressed “through policies, like empowerment and job creation. For example, we can extend one year of youth service, provide additional two or three years, but it will be purely voluntary, instead of one year youth service, you can have one or two years extra, and those years can provide skills acquisition, job training and also provide entrepreneurship for the graduates to use and face the world.

“You can have a youth empowerment school, you can have a youth empowerment commission, such as you have the various character commissions which guarantee that if the government is going to employ, you must have a certain quota for the youths, you can have cottage industries, these are targeted policies to address youth bulge.”

On critical infrastructure, he said it included “transportation, roads, waterways, aviation, communication, commerce, agriculture, health, among others.”

Senator Nnamani said the national security architecture was witnessing challenges across the country, especially within the Lake Chad basin, Boko Haram in the North-East and the split group, as well as the Fulani herders’ conflict.

He said climate change and desertification was worsening the conflict involving herders, noting that stakeholders must be ready to embrace a working solution.

According to him, “we have had cases where some state governments entered into amnesty agreements with the so-called bandits authorities, these agreements of course cannot be implemented because the bandits do not have common leadership, common goals.

“There must be synergy and partnership with neighboring countries, address critical infrastructure and poverty to provide for the people, rejig security strategy, restore confidence in government. Why not provide for the youths, maybe an adult education programme?”

He also identified the gap crisis, which he described as “the expansive void between those who are rich and those who are poor- inequality, massive inequality”, as another major issue confronting the nation.

“We have regional inequality, we have economic inequality, we have geographic inequality, we have gender inequality, that is the gap crisis; crisis as a result of massive inequality,” he said.

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Cholera outbreak in Cross River Community claims 51 lives



The death toll from the Cholera outbreak in Ekureku, Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State, has risen from 20 on Saturday to 51 on Monday.

Bernard Egbe, the clan head of the community, stated this when he received Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Sandy Onor, who was in the community to sympathise with them.



The clan chief, who described the situation as unfortunate, stated that many people infected with the disease were being treated at various health facilities in the area.

He went on to say that four of the victims being treated were in critical condition.

He stated that they had received assistance from WHO, UNICEF, and state government officials.

The cholera outbreak, which began on Thursday, affected ten villages in the Ekureku clan, he said.





Mr Onor, the PDP governorship candidate, said he felt the people’s pain but urged them to remain hopeful.

He stated that if elected, he would ensure that the people of the state have safe drinking water.
He gave cash as a consolation prize to each of the Ekureku community’s ten affected villages.




Meanwhile, Janet Ekpeyong, the Director-General of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated on Sunday that the state government is on top of the situation.





She stated that the government had used both human and material resources to stop the spread of the disease.

“The state Government has deployed a response team together with representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Nigerian Red Cross and Wash Programme.






“The combined team have all intervened accordingly and helped to save lives and prevent further spread of the disease,” she stated.







A case of the disease has also been reported in a remote village in the state’s Odukpani Local Government Area.

Iwara Iwara, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.







Mr Iwara stated that the outbreak was reported on Sunday night and that the government had sent men and materials to the area.






READ ALSO:Drama as Cross River State Governor locks out staff for late coming.

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Currency hawkers selling scarce new naira notes at party venues.



Despite complaints that several bank branches had run out of the small quantities of the newly redesigned naira notes allocated to them by their head offices as early as 12 noon on Thursday, large wads of the new notes have saturated party venues, with hawkers charging N200 on N1,000.





On Thursday and Friday, journalists who visited banking halls in several cities across the country, particularly Lagos and Abuja, confirmed that there was a limited supply of the redesigned notes, as bank tellers mixed a few notes with the old ones for over-the-counter withdrawals, while automated teller machines continued to dispense old bank notes.






Further investigation revealed that several bank branches had yet to receive their new note allocations, with many bank officials informing our correspondents that the new notes were still on their way.

On the other hand, at a party in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, a woman was seen freely hawking newly redesigned wads of N200 bank notes.







However, officials at some of the bank branches that still had the new notes told reporters that each cashier was given N100,000 of the new N1,000 for onward disbursement to customers seeking over-the-counter payments, and that they do not yet have the N500 and N200 denominations.








Customers were also seen depositing old bills over the counter, while cashiers at bank branches were handing out more old naira notes.

Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier clarified on its website under currency management, that it is against the law to sell currency banknotes.








READ ALSO:Massive bombing by the Nigeria Air Force hits bandit hideouts, many killed.







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6 people dead, 25 injured in a ghastly road accident in Kogi state.



The Kogi Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed that six people were killed and 25 others were injured in an accident on the Okene-Ogori road on Saturday.

Mr Stephen Dawulung, Sector Commander in Lokoja yesterday, revealed that the lone accident involved an articulated vehicle carrying 45 people and cows.






According to the sector commander, the accident occurred around noon and killed some of the cows.

The victims of the accident were taken to Ageva General Hospital in Okene, Ajunko Clinic and Maternity in Ibilo, and Ogbagidi General Hospital in Okene, according to Dawulung.






He said: “When the accident, which involved an IVECO trailer conveying cows and 45 persons down South, occurred by a graveyard just a few kilometres to Ogori Magongo along Okene-Ogori road, Kogi, our officers and men were timely in response to it.”

“Our officers in conjunction with the Police and military personnel came to the rescue and rushed the injured to four different medical centres for medical treatment. The corpses of the dead have also been deposited at the morgue of the Ageva General Hospital, Okene.”







The accident, according to Dawulung, was caused by speed, which was uncontrollable at “a sharp bend.”

The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.











The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.

He defined mixed loading as the loading of goods and passengers in trucks and other vehicles designed solely to transport goods.

He advised motorists to maintain strict adherence to road traffic regulations at all times in order to avoid such calamitous incidents.










READ ALSO:Man shoots his step-father dead while testing charm in Adamawa state









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