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Deputy Speaker, Kalu expresses concern over Neglect of Girl Child Education, Gender Based Violence

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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has expressed concern over the rising number of uneducated girl-child and incidence of Sexual Gender-Based Violence against girls in Nigeria.

Kalu expressed the concerns on Thursday when he received a delegation from the Female Student Vanguard for Girl Child Education in Nigeria from Kano State who paid him a courtesy visit his office at the National Assembly complex Abuja.

He observed that the issues if not tackled will have negative consequences on the child’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Kalu further lamented that legal instruments and several policies formulated to address gender inequality in education have not been implemented well enough to yield the desired results.

The Deputy Speaker therefore called for the establishment of more schools in rural areas to reduce the exposure of girls to social violence especially rape.

He said: “The long distances girls have to travel to school, expose them to gender based violence, including sexual harassment like you mentioned such as rape. The closer we bring the schools to the communities the better. Within every 5 kilometres there should be a school. So that girls in the rural areas will not be exposed to this violence”.

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Kalu noted that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration is committed to addressing challenges militating against girl-child education and gender empowerment.

While thanking the advocacy group for honouring him with an icon of exemplary leadership award, the Deputy Speaker pledged to adopt the Female Students Vanguard for Girl Child education as one of his pet projects.

“Talking about girl child education, education, it’s a fundamental right, an important tool for empowerment and development of any nation. In Nigeria, gender inequality in education remains a major concern, I appreciate you for taking up this advocacy to provide a solution, I’m proud of you people. Many don’t know what girls go through. Many comfortable girls or women don’t know what indigent girls go through in the rural areas. For you to set out to be their voices to make sure their basic needs are met, you’re champions in my eyes. It’s not only happening in the North, it’s happening in the South and every other parts of the country. It ought not to be so, we need to take steps towards reducing the percentage. Boko Haram abduction of school girls from Chibok in Borno State in 2014 sent shock waves around the world, we are yet to recover from the shock.

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“There’s hope that the current administration will right the wrongs of past administrations in regards to the girl child. I am sure very soon the percentage will reduce from what it is now to a manageable percentage. There will be steps to show that considerately policies are in place even as we promise as a parliament to use the instrument of our legislative interventions. We shall join our voice with yours, we will join our resources with your resources to make it more accessible for girls around the country. We call on you to also extend the reach to other parts of the country aside the north. Around the whole country such needs you highlighted that needs to be taken care of.

“Girls are the mothers of tomorrow and education is an essential part of their lives. We need the male and female gender for us to develop the nation. I pledge that for the four years I’m going to be here by the grace of God as the Deputy Speaker, I’m going to adopt Female Students Vanguard for girl Child education as one of my pet projects. My office will partner with you and my foundation known as the Benjamin Kalu Foundation, to make sure that it’s a little easier for you”, Kalu said.

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Earlier, the group led by its President of Khadijat Suleiman told the Deputy Speaker that the purpose of the visit is to congratulate him on his well deserved emergence as Deputy Speaker and to solicit his support for their advocacy.

They expressed optimism that with the help of compassionate individuals like Kalu, their objective of reducing women illiteracy in Nigeria by getting more girls into school will be achieved.

“We have been following your track record, the role you played in carrying everyone along in your policy making, irrespective of gender, cultural background or faith. So we are here also to present you the female student instrument of commendation as an icon of exemplary leadership. You represent the very best, you’re polite, simple, straightforward, confident, intelligent, an outstanding figure and an efficient team player,” the group added

Signed:

Udora Orizu, Special Assistant on Press Affairs to the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Arts and Life

Nasarawa University commences first Medical Geology degree programmes in Nigeria

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By David Odama

Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) has begun the world’s first medical Geology Post Graduate programmes at the Jose Centino International Centre for Medical Geology (JacMedGeo) Research in the institution.

Director of Linkages and International Cooperation at the University, Dr Kitso Nghargbu confirmed the development told Journalists in Keffi, Nasarawa State Thursday. Thursday that a foremost medical geologist, medical geology is multi disciplinary in nature and a new discipline no other tertiary institution across the world has offered it.

“It is very young. The first text book in medical geology was published only in 2005. So it’s an emerging discipline and NSUK and by extension Nigeria, Africa has trailed the blaze.

“We have become the pace setters in running degree programmes at the Post Graduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate levels as far as the whole world is concerned. So it goes beyond being the first in Nigeria and translates to being the first in the whole world,” Nghargbu stated.

He assured that the institution has made available a curriculum that has been prepared, assessed and approved by relevant education authorities which the Senate of the university approved for the commencement of the degree programmes.

“So the curriculum has been prepared. It has also been peer reviewed by founding fathers of medical geology, by the best experts in medical geology research in the whole world.

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“This center that has just been established -the Jose Centino International Centre for Medical Geology Research, NSUK is a project of the International Medical Geology Association at the global level supported by several scholars and researchers within the health and environment spheres,” he added.

He explained that for the Post Graduate Diploma in the discipline will take 18 months to complete while for the Masters Degree, it will take 24 months and completing the Doctorate Degrees program takes a maximum of 48 months.

“Admissions have started and it starts with the adverts. In the next eight weeks forms will be on sale. Then we take two weeks to shortlist. Then another three weeks for resumption and registration,” he said.

He also assured that there was enough manpower to handle the discipline in the institution with about 32 faculty members from across the world who are experts in the field of medical geology.

“Just yesterday the Deputy Minister of Technology of the Islamic Republic of Iran wrote to us that he wants to be a part time lecturer in this centre.

“So manpower is adequate. So I want to assure you that even before we started sale of forms yesterday we had indication of interest from over ten countries. So its going to be a foremost international research centre,” he said.

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He then defined Medical Geology as the study of geological processes and materials with processes referred to earthquakes, volcanoes, climate change activities, flooding, tsunamis and all other forms of disasters geologically induced and sometimes caused by man.

“When you talk of materials, you talk of minerals, rocks, mineral waters or medicinal waters which are beneficial to man. So it’s a study of those geological processes that impact on man and his environment,” he said.

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Breaking News: Senate removes senator Ndume from position of Chief Whip

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The APC has removed Senator Ali Ndume as Chief Whip of the 10th Senate and replaced him with Senator Tahir Mongun

Ndume’s replacement by the Senate , followed directive issued to that effect in a letter written and signed by the National Chairman of the party , Dr Umar Ganduje and National Secretary , Senator Bashir Ajibola .

The request was put to voice votes by the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , and loudly affirmed by all the APC Senators

Details later

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Most Reverend Michael Crotty is new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria—Pope Francis

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The Holy Father, Pope Francis has announced His Excellency, the Most Reverend Michael F. Crotty, as the new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria.

The information is contained in a communiqué issued by the Apostolic Nunciature to Nigeria.

Archbishop Crotty, born in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, Ireland, and ordained a priest in 1994, has a distinguished career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

He has served in various capacities across Kenya, Canada, Iraq, Jordan, the Vatican, and Spain.

Recently, he held the positions of Apostolic Nuncio to Burkina Faso and Niger.

Archbishop Crotty brings a wealth of experience and multilingual proficiency to his new role in Nigeria.

Welcoming the new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in a statement signed by its President and Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, expresses gratitude to Pope Francis for the appointment.

Archbishop Ugorji highlights the historic connection between Nigeria and Ireland, noting that Archbishop Crotty is the first Apostolic Nuncio from Ireland to Nigeria, mirroring Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo’s tenure as the first Nigerian Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.

The CBCN assures Archbishop Crotty of their full support and cooperation, praying for a fruitful and blessed mission.

Reacting to his new appointment, Archbishop Crotty, expressed great joy and gratitude to Pope Francis for the honor.

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In his statement, the Nuncio pledges to serve all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds, to the best of his abilities.

He acknowledges the deep bonds of faith and friendship between Ireland and Nigeria, established by generations of Irish missionaries.

Noting the historic significance of his appointment, which coincides with the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Archbishop Crotty invited Nigerian Catholics to pray for Pope Francis through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Patrick.

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