HM the King Congratulates Seychelles President on National Day

Rabat - His Majesty King Mohammed VI sent a congratulatory message to the president of the Republic of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, on the occasion of his country's National Day. In this message, His Majesty the King expresses to Ramkalawan His congratulations and best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the Seychellois people. The Sovereign seized the opportunity to express His esteem for the deep bonds of brotherhood and friendship that unite the two peoples, and the excellent cooperation between the two countries, underlining His constant readiness to work with the President of Seychelles to deepen bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest. Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

FEMD, Near Foundation distribute meat to IDPs for Eid-el Kabir

The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department (FEMD), in collaboration with Near Foundation, has distributed meat to 150 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja, to celebrate Eid-el Kabir. Acting Director-General of FEMD, Mrs Florence Wenegieme, explained during the distribution exercise in Abuja on Tuesday, that the support was part of measures to leave no one behind. Wenegieme said that the distribution of the meat would give the IDPs a sense of belonging, saying, 'It is not everybody that can afford a ram or even a chicken.' The acting D-G urged other organisations to emulate the good will of Near Foundation to give vulnerable people hope in life. 'Beyond reaching out to vulnerable people, FEMD in partnership with other organisations will equally build the capacity of IDPs in different skills for self-reliance. 'We pray that Near Foundation and other NGOs we are collaborating with will design different programmes for the poor and vulnerable in the FCT. 'Helping the less privilege d people in our midst will give them hope,' she said. Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, Federal Capital Emergency Management Department (FEMD), Mr Mohammed Abdulrahman (6th from left); acting Director-General, FEMD, Mrs Florence Wenegieme (7th); and Project Manager of Near Foundation, Mr Abdulmalik Bulakos (8th), and other officials at the distribution of meat to Internally Displaced Persons to celebrate Eid-el Kabir in Abuja on Tuesday. The Programme Manager of Near Foundation, Mr Abdulmalik Bulakos, said that the partnership with FEMD was to strengthen humanitarian support for distressed people. Bulakos said that the strategic partnership with FEMD helped the foundation in identifying the vulnerable people in FCT, particularly IDPs. See also Ganduje appeals to FG to re-open MAKIA for International flight He explained that humanitarian aid was one of the intervention areas of the foundation, to reach out to poor and vulnerable people in communities, particularly with the current economic hardship in the country. On the meat package, the programme manager said that each IDP would receive four kilogrammes of meat to celebrate Eid-el Kabir. He said that so far, the foundation has slaughtered over 1,200 cows and distributed meat packages to more than 50,000 vulnerable residents of FCT. 'This part of the tradition of Near Foundation. It is an annual event and still ongoing, as evident with distribution of meat packages to more than 150 IDPs in Abuja,' he said. Project Manager of Near Foundation, Mr Abdulmalik Bulakos, supervising the preparation of meat for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons to celebrate Eid-el Kabir in Abuja on Tuesday. Also speaking, Mr Mohammed Abdulrahman, Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, FEMD, described the gesture and life changing. 'This is five years now that they have been consistently doing this. Every salah, the foundation touches the lives of vulnerable people,' Abdulrahman said. One of the IDPs in Kabusa, Mr Yahaya Hassan, said he could not afford meat for th e Eid-el Kabir celebration and thanked FEMD and Near Foundation for supporting him with meat to celebrate salah. Similarly, Mrs Halita Joseph, an IDP in Yimutu IDP Camp, equally thanked the foundation and FEMD for remembering IDPs every year during salah. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

AHF Nigeria advocates age-appropriate sexuality education for children

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria, an International NGO, has advocated for an age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to enhance health outcomes and protect children from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and abuse. The AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, Dr Echey Ijezie, made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, in commemoration of the International Day of the African Child (IDAC). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the day is annually celebrated on June 16 to raise awareness and focus on challenges children in African countries face in receiving quality education. The day is also to honour those who participated in the 1976 Soweto uprising and has since become an observance day about the rights of African children. The programme director, therefore, said 'AHF's commitment to fostering CSE stems from extensive global research, which highlights its many benefits - including reduction in early sexual engagement. 'Others are fostering a positive attitude to ward sexual and reproductive health issues, reducing the tendency to engage in risky behaviours, and strengthening self-awareness. 'There is also the need to equip young individuals with knowledge to combat HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancies, while challenging harmful gender norms.' Ijezie also noted that the #ProtectTheChild campaign aims to address the pushback and misinformation around CSE, which has hindered effective implementation. He added that the organisation would be hosting a consultative meeting with students, young people and government officials on how CSE could foster health and education on June 20. He announced that AHF Africa will also host series of events under the theme 'Fostering Health and Education Through Comprehensive Sexuality Education' as part of its ongoing '#ProtectTheChild' campaign. See also CCN seeks laws to criminalise stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria Ijezie said the theme aligns with the global 2024 IDAC theme - 'Education for All, and the Time is Now' , to underscore the crucial role that access to education, including Comprehensive Sexuality Education, play in enhancing health outcomes for young people. He added that 'the emphasis on age-appropriate CSE stems from the increasing rates of new HIV infections and teenage pregnancies, highlighting the urgent need to equip young people with proven tools, services and information. 'Research has demonstrated that age-appropriate CSE can significantly reduce the incidence of HIV, STIs, Gender-Based Violence, and unplanned pregnancies among adolescents and young people. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Experts advise early cancer screening for successful treatment

Medical experts have encouraged the public, especially women and girls to engage in regular screening for early detection and successful treatment of cervical cancer. They made the call during a zoom meeting organised by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria and partners, on Tuesday in Abuja. The zoom meeting is with the theme 'Understanding Cervical Cancer and Its Intersection with HIV.' The partners include: John Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) and GirlsAct. Dr George Ikaraoha, JHPIEGO Advisor on Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) and Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (CECAP), explained that cervical Cancer was a malignant tumour of the lowermost part of the uterus. He added that cervical cancer could be prevented and treated if detected early. Ikaraoha identified Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection, early sexual activity and multiple sexual partners, sm oking and immune system deficiency as factors that contributed to cervical cancer. Ikaraoha, also identified long-term use of oral contraceptives, having many children, poverty, poor access to healthcare services, as well as information amid cultural beliefs as other factors. He, therefore, encouraged regular screening as crucial for detection and treatment of precancerous conditions before they developed into cervical cancer. 'By understanding the risk factors and adhering to recommended screening schedules, women can significantly reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer and improve their chances of successful treatment, if cancer does occur,' he said. Ms Omoseke Bamijoko, an Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Nurse with AHF, also stressed the need for early diagnosis, which she explained would enable experts to detect and treat cancer successfully. See also Minister takes free medical outreach to hard-to-reach communities in Kogi She said: 'Women living with HIV are more prone to cervical cancer and as such should go for screening every three years while others can be screened every five years. 'Also, the public should desist from stigmatising people to enable them access health care.' She urged girls and women to seek health professionals, when they observe unusual bleeding, increase in foul-smelling vaginal discharge, persistent pain in the back and leg or pelvic. Others, she said are weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite, vaginal discomfort, swelling in the legs among others. Dr Lois Maji, a Programme Officer with IHVN, advised young girls to take advantage of the Federal Government's free programme on HPV screening and vaccine to protect themselves against cervical cancer. She emphasised that early detection would not only reduce the burden of cervical cancer in Nigeria but would also prevent genital warts and other genital growths in women and girls. Mrs Menakaya Atenchong, senior nursing officer with AHF, called for more investment and affordable healthcare services, public education, eng agement of community leaders and utilising culturally sensitive approaches to enhance cervical cancer screening and treatment services. Mr Steve Aborisade, AHF Nigeria Advocacy and Marketing Manager, said that cervical cancer and HIV were significant public health issues that disproportionately affect women, particularly in resource-limited settings. Aborisade said the meeting was organised to acquaint participants with information on the relationship between HIV and cervical cancer. 'This will also enable us to discuss preventive measures, and to share the latest research and strategies for effective management and support,'he said. See also Proper handwashing key to disease prevention-FG The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 160 participants from across the country joined the meeting. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

AGN holds candlelight service for late Nollywood Mr Ibu, others in FCT

The Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN)has organised a candlelight procession to pay tribute to late Nollywood actors John Okafor, popularly known as 'Mr Ibu', Amaechi Muonagor and Zulu Adigwe. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the thespians, alongside fans and friends of the late veterans gathered for the procession at the Unity Fountain on Monday night in Abuja. The procession was led by Emeka Rollas, National President of the AGN ,alongside veteran actors Kenneth Okonkwo, Zack Orji, Sidney Idiala, among others. In a heartfelt display of respect and emotions, the attendees took turns to pay tribute to the fallen heroes for their contributions to the Nigerian film industry. Mercy Salma, FCT mayor of AGN, said the event was to show appreciation and honour for the life and times of the late actors. 'These are Nollywood veterans that put smiles in the faces of Nigerians during their lifetime, so we should celebrate their legacies and memories. 'They have both the young and the old Nigerians, and even across Africa and beyond as their fans.' 'So this procession is to show that we love them and appreciate their sacrifices and contributions to our industry and nation at large,' she said. In his speech, Emeka Rollas said the procession was to demonstrate the solidarity that exist in the actors guild and to reflect on the moments they shared with the late thespians. According to the AGN helmsman, the candlelight service was also an occasion for actors to reflect on how they want to be remembered at the end of their works. See also Peter Obi, Nollywood veteran actor, Kenneth Okonkwo mourn "Mr Ibu" 'This is a season of sorrow for us at the AGN, our hearts are filled with grief over the loss of our three veteran members. 'But as the saying goes, when someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. 'The Late John Okafor, Amaechi Monaugor and Zulu Adigwe lived life that exemplified brilliance and inspired emulation. 'They also lived a life that burned so that others' paths were lit, and th ey made impact on the society through their profession. 'Today we are here to honour them, not only by profoundly feeling and expressing our loss, but also to remember their amazing personalities. 'They all played unique and special roles in all of our lives and the acting profession and they were loyal colleagues and special friends to many of us. 'Today, we honour these men as we recall special moments ,they were living proof of how fine a person can be, caring hearts to their friends and colleagues, loving and devoted father to their children. They gave their all in their acting careers as they worked with passion, integrity and energy and our hearts and prayers are with their families at this most difficult time,' he said. On his part, Kenneth Okonkw, foremost Nollywood actor said their commitment to their profession were part of what made the Nigerian film industry a toast of fans. According to him, they were driven by passion to join the industry that was why they rose to their peak and made indel ible marks. He urged young artistes to focus on value delivery and shun the rush for quick monetary gains for them to make their marks in the industry. See also Adewale Ayuba releases album, Fujify Your Soul, Feb. 26 'As one of the pioneer actors in the industry, I was connected personally to each of them that came to Nollywood at that time, and I can tell you that they were all driven by passion for acting. 'Wherever they are today, we should appreciate what they have contributed towards they growth and development of our industry,' he said. NAN reports that the high point of the event was prayers for the repose of the departed souls and for Nollywood industry, and as well as prayers for Nigeria. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Oil block Licencing: NUPRC extends deadline for pre-qualification documents submission

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has announced the extension of the deadline for the registration and submission of pre-qualification documents for the 2024 oil block licensing round. Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive (CCE), NUPRC, announced the extension in a statement issued on Wednesday. Komolafe said the registration and submission of pre-qualification documents which was initially scheduled to close on June 25, 2024 had been extended by 10 days, and would now close on July 5, 2024. According to him, the data access, data purchase, evaluation, bid preparation and submission initially scheduled to open on July 4 and close on Nov. 29, will now start on July 8 and close on Nov. 29, 2024 as previously scheduled. He said all other dates in the published 2024 Licencing Round Schedule remained the same unless otherwise communicated. 'In pursuit of the Commission's commitment to derive value from the country's abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, th e Commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies to undertake more exploratory activities. 'This is to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector,' he said. Komolafe said that as a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the Commission had added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. He said that further details on the blocks could be found on the bid portal. 'In accordance with the published guidelines, we had earlier indicated that some of the assets on offer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS and PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001. See also Women constitute 18.6% workforce in energy sector - Kyari 'Bidders are hereby advised to bid for those blocks as clusters or as single units; it is optional,' the statement quoted Komolafe as saying. Recall that some deep offshore blocks and other blocks which cut across onshore, were put on offer for the 2022/2023 Mini Bid Round. C ontinental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round. In order to vacate entry barriers, the Commission had sought and obtained the approval of President Bola Tinubu, in line with his determination to create enabling and attractive investment regimes in the upstream oil and gas sector. Tinubu who is also the Petroleum Minister had approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for award of the acreages. 'Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the same bid criteria (in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria) are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders. 'Since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/2023 Mini Bid Round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunit y to bid for the assets. 'All blocks in the 2022/2023 and 2024 Licencing Rounds are available to all interested investors on and respectively. 'And the 2022/2023 Mini Bid Round registration phase is reopened to new applicants. See also Lokpobiri inspects N68.5bn NUPRC `BARREL' building, pledges urgent completion 'The public is therefore invited to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise,' the statement also quoted Komolafe as saying. Source: News Agency of Nigeria