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False diagnosis: Typhoid must stop in Nigeria - ITREALMS

WeekendSalvo@ITREALMS: In Nigeria, if you called in sick and couldn’t make it to work, it was probably because you had Malaria and Typho...

Saturday, September 14, 2019

False diagnosis: Typhoid must stop in Nigeria - ITREALMS

In Nigeria, if you called in sick and couldn’t make it to work, it was probably because you had Malaria and Typhoid. Did I hear you say Typhoid? You have participated in Fraud!

Let me shock you, the rate of Typhoid fever occurrence in Sub-Saharan Africa based on existing studies is less than 1%, unlike malaria prevalence which currently stands above 60% in Nigeria. Yet, typhoid fever, a disease caused by Salmonella typhi and its paratyphi variant is being diagnosed on a daily basis and treated at an unprecedented rate in Nigeria.

This situation has gotten so bad that almost every patient; male, female, young and old with febrile illness in Nigeria is treated for typhoid. At every turn, what you hear is: ‘I have just been diagnosed and treated for malaria and typhoid’ or ‘since I treated malaria and its not going I must definitely have typhoid. As a matter of fact, patients who believe they have these twin ailments will abandon doctors who refuse to treat the Typhoid component to go see other doctors who are willing to treat.

Perhaps a major cause of this problem is the method used in diagnosing the so called typhoid. It is a widely established fact in medical circles that the serological test (widal agglutination) which is often relied on to make Typhoid diagnosis is unreliable. Several studies (Olopoenia & King (2000), Enabulele & Awunor (2016) etc concluded that Widal test is non specific, poorly standardized, confusing and difficult to interpret.

In other words, Widal test is outdated and has since been abandoned for more reliable tests such as bacteriological culture in other countries.

Nigerian Doctors are aware of this situation, but are probably tired of explaining to patients that they don’t have typhoid, since such patients more often than not will go find another ‘Doctor’ , mostly a quack, to ‘flush out’ the Typhoid from their system with drips, for a tidy sum.

Why should we all be concerned? Because of the dangers inherent in continuing the harmful practice such as:

1) Antibiotics Resistance- consuming antibiotics when not needed breeds resistance and subject patients to unnecessary side-effects.

2) Mis-Diagnosis- and delayed Diagnosis- while ascribing an illness to typhoid, diagnosis of other more dangerous diseases may be missed and mistreated leading to higher morbidity and mortality.

3) Missing malaria resistance- taking antibiotics while recuperating from malaria makes it difficult to detect and differentiate reduced anti-malaria efficacy , drug resistance, or even recrudescence from genuine infection requiring antibiotics treatment.

4) Raising cost of treatment/Lowering value of healthcare- an average citizen who is already resistant to common and affordable antibiotics ends up spending more in procuring expensive antibiotics to achieve the same result. This diminishes the value of healthcare provided by physicians who are sometimes pressured to treat this ‘typhoid’

Therefore, my appeal is first to the citizens to desist from self treatment of typhoid fever without undergoing proper tests prescribed by qualified physicians.

As for Typhoid, you should now know that the test that says



1/160 is no longer useful in diagnosis and you should never take antibiotics on the basis of that test.

It is high time also, that physicians and their various associations insisted on the use of blood or stool culture diagnosis in treating their patients and totally discountenancing Widal test for uniformity of practice.

Lastly, I appeal to the Federal Ministry of Health to start an immediate campaign to change this trend. It is my suggestion that relevant research be launched to determine the true incidence and prevalence of typhoid fever in Nigeria.

Subsequently, a specific national policy on the diagnosis and treatment of Typhoid fever and perhaps other infectious diseases should be promoted.

In addition, citizens may also be sensitized on the low prevalence rate of typhoid and the need to see qualified doctors for proper advice, to prevent them from falling prey to quacks who make money from this not-so-common disease.

I conclude by saying ‘’typhoid is now in your court’’

*Courtesy of Dr Odunayo Talabi, a Harvard Global Health Fellow is the M.D of Prettyhealth Care Ltd Lagos.

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FUOYE Protest: Ekiti govt visits, condoles with families of slain students - ITREALMS

The Ekiti State government has commiserated with the families of Joseph Okunofua and Kehinde Dada, students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) who lost their lives during Tuesday’s protest in Oye-Ekiti, reports  ITREALMS:.

The government delegation comprising the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Biodun Oyebanji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Biodun Omoleye; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social development, Chief (Mrs) Moji Fafure; Commissioner for Environment, Hon Gbenga Ageyo; lawmaker representing Ido/Osi 1 at the State Assembly, Hon. Abiodun Fawekun, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr (Mrs) Enuice Oladimeji, visited the two families in Ido-Ekiti and Usi –Ekiti on Friday afternoon.

The delegation led by Hon. Oyebanji visited Mrs Esther Okunofua, mother of Joseph, who was a 300 level student of Biology Education in Ido -Ekiti and Mr and Mrs Adedayo Dada, parents of Kehinde Dada in Usi Ekiti.

Oyebanji said the visit was at the instance the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; who was saddened by the unfortunate incident, adding that the visit was to demonstrate that the state government share in their grief and to encourage them during the trying period.

“On the instruction of the governor, delegation of the government is here to condole with the families that lost their loved ones during the unfortunate incident that happened in Oye Ekiti. We are here to commiserate, encourage them to take heart and to assure them that government is with them in this trying period”, Oyebanji said.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Chief (Mrs) Moji Fafure who also spoke with the parents in Yoruba language urged the parents of the deceased to take solace in the word of God as no amount of counselling can fill the vacuum created by the irreparable loss. She also prayed for the families.

“The Governor and his wife sent their condolence messages. They share in your grief over the unfortunate incident and they prayed that God in His mercies will not allow a reoccurrence. The loss is painful but it is our prayer that the Almighty God will keep your remaining children safe. Never again will you bury any of your children”, she said.

At the resident of the late Kehinde Dada, the deceased’s elder brother, Bankole Dada thanked the government delegation for sharing in their grief.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Q2 2019: 9mobile on impressive lead in porting activities - ITREALMS

Telecom operator, 9mobile has maintained its impressive performance on the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) activity chart as it emerged the highest gainer with more subscribers porting into its network at the end of the second quarter of 2019, reports. ITREALMS.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Telecoms Data Q2 2019 Report, 9mobile gained 19,369 subscribers in porting activities for quarter two in comparison with the number of subscribers which other Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) attracted unto their network during the period in review.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), recently affirmed that 9mobile gained highest ports-in consistently over the past one year. The regulator in the industry report covering the period June 2018 to May 2019 posted on its website, indicated that from June 2018 up till May 2019, 9mobile has consistently maintained double or triple lead in ports-in to stay ahead of other 
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

While further affirming the telco’s impressive performance on MNP assessment, the NBS Q2 report showed that 9mobile was ahead of other operators having gained more subscribers from their networks at the end of the second quarter.

The report added that MTN emerged the second largest MNP gainer with 7,560 ports-in; Airtel was third with 1,355 subscribers while Glo was fourth having gained 1,184 subscribers.

The breakdown of the NBS Q2 report shows that in April, MTN gained 3,018 subscribers and lost 942; Glo gained 697 and lost 2,401; Airtel gained 809 and lost 2,792 while 9mobile gained 4,017 and lost 1,808. In May, while MTN gained 3,018 subscribers, 942 ported out of the network; Glo gained 767 subscribers and lost 3,013. Airtel gained 305 and lost 5, while 9mobile gained 6,691 and lost 1,892. For June, MTN gained 1,524 and lost 1,178; Glo gained 420 and lost 3,887; Airtel gained 241 and lost 73 while 9mobile gained 8,661 and lost 1,200.

The total figures for the three months of April, May and June 2019 indicated that 9mobile topped the ports-in list with 19,369 subscribers while 4,900 customers ported out. MTN came second on the ports-in chart with 7,560 subscribers and 3,062 ports-out while Airtel was third with 1,355 subscribers ported-in and 2,870 subscribers exiting the network. Glo came fourth having gained 1,184 port-in subscribers while it recorded the highest port-out figure of 9,301 subscribers.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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How Erelu Fayemi convoy was attack by EKSG - ITREALMS

The Government of Ekiti State hereby confirms that the convoy of the First Lady of the State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, was attacked during a protest by students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti on Tuesday.

Whilst acknowledging that the protest might have started as a peaceful one, there was an escalation to violence, possibly due to infiltration by hoodlums.

Erelu Fayemi was in Oye Local Government in continuation of her community engagement and advocacy tour of the state. She had commenced the Tuesday’s tour from Moba Local Government and had visited Ilejemeje Local Government before arriving in Oye-Ekiti for the last leg of the tour.

The students had earlier in the day taken over major streets in the town, protesting against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), over power outage in the area. Government was not petitioned nor alerted of this plight prior to the protest.

The convoy of the Wife of the Governor was attacked with several vehicles vandalised, leaving many people, including journalists, with varying degrees of injuries.

Those injured during the attack have been given first aid treatment, while some are still receiving treatment in the hospital.

While not denying the students the right to express their grievances on any issue, it is expected that such be done without resulting to violence.

Ekiti State Government has been informed that there might have been casualties recorded during the incident. We await more details of this sad development from the school authorities. Nothing is worth the loss of any life.

As a responsible government, it is on record that the State Government has been engaging the electricity company (BEDC) on how to improve the power situation in parts of the State, long before this unfortunate incident, and promise to continue to engage them on the improvement of their service delivery to Ekiti State.

The general public is hereby advised to go about their normal activities as the situation is now under control.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Tribunal: Vindication of President Buhari’s personal character, electoral victory says Tinubu

All Progressives Congress National Stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari over his victory at the Presidential Elections Tribunal on Wednesday, describing it as a resounding judicial vindication of Buhari’s personal character and electoral victory, reports ITREALMS.

In press statement entitled “President Election Tribunal Verdict, Justice Served, Democracy Saved,” Asiwaju Tinubu said: “With the unanimous ruling of the Court of Appeal dismissing the Presidential Election Petition of PDP candidate Alhaji Abubakar Atiku today, the rule of law came to the defense of democracy by affirming the sovereign will of the people. Their will was expressed during the February 23 election when a vast, compelling majority of the electorate cast their ballots for President Buhari to serve a second term as Head of State and Commander-in- Chief of our beloved nation.

“Whatever partisan side one might take, all must agree that today was a bright day for the administration of justice. The Court of Appeal rendered a comprehensive judgment of extraordinary thoroughness, reason and breadth on the many issues presented in this important matter. The Court did so in the open air and before the television cameras that gave eyes to the entire nation to watch this fine moment for the Nigerian judiciary. The court did its job by following the law of the land wherever it might lead.

“As a Nigerian, I was proud to see both sides of this dispute behave with utmost civility and decorum despite the weight of the matters at stake and the intensity of the legal arguments presented. It is in this spirit that we must always seek to resolve even our most stubborn differences that we may emerge a stronger yet more peaceful nation.

“Former Vice President Atiku and his legal team put forth some imaginative, if desperate, arguments as was their right. They fought vigorously for their positions and were allowed to do so without pressure and without fear. No one used the power of the state to intimidate them in court just as no one used the power of the state to intimidate them during the election. As the Court affirmed, the election was free and fair and the final result should stand.

“The PDP claimed that President Buhari was unqualified to run for office. To his credit, President Buhari took this assault against his character with customary grace. The court thoroughly vindicated him. Based on his education and the experiences gained through his fine career, the Court determined the evidence presented by Atiku showed that the President was “eminently qualified” and had done nothing untoward in his election filings with INEC.

“Atiku also placed unfounded reliance on the assertion of the use of card readers to send election results to an imaginary server. The court found that the operative law did not provide for the alleged electronic transmission of polling booth results. Atiku could not present evidence that such transmissions ever took place. In fact, such transmissions were technologically unfeasible. Card readers were not meant for this task and the purported mystery server was but a phantom in the PDP’s mind.

“To their credit, Atiku’s team argued and pressed their case energetically; but in the end their claims were based on things that existed only in their minds. They were arguing what they wanted to have happened not what actually took place. The Court, on the other hand, can only deal with facts at hand not the imaginings of the mind.

“Most importantly, the Court found that the election was properly conducted and that President Buhari won by the wide margin counted and recorded by INEC. Atiku was given the chance to prove his case. In the end, he did not produce the requisite evidence. This failure was not from lack of trying; the failure was because such evidence simply does not exist. President Buhari won the election openly and honestly.

“I congratulate President Buhari for this resounding judicial vindication of his personal character and of his electoral victory. I know Mr. President as a magnanimous person who will reach out his hand in friendship to Atiku in the spirit of reconciliation, national tranquility and progress. We may disagree and argue as brothers but never as enemies who cannot resolve whatever difference that has come between us.

“The next step lies with Atiku. He can decide to continue with these claims or he can take the more prudent approach by accepting the express will of the people and placing his ample talents in the service of the nation in his private capacity.

“In the meantime, this day shall stand as a proud day for Nigeria, a day when the rule of law stood in full support of democratic elections and of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people to select the leaders of their choice”.

Chuks Egbune/Editor
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

BREAKING: Pantami appoints Uwa Suleiman spokesperson - ITREALMS

The Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has appointed Mrs. Uwa Suleiman as his spokesperson, reports ITREALMS.
Mrs. Suleiman was until her latest appointment, the Assistant Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, which effectively position her as spokesperson at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

ITREALMS recalls that Pantami was the Director-General of NITDA till he was appointed minister by President Muhammadu Buhari , since 2016.

A copy of the appointment letter to Mrs. Suleiman sighted by 
ITREALMS, was personally signed by Dr. Pantami and dated Thursday, September 12, 2019.

According to Pantami in the letter referenced “HMC/026/GEN/Vol.IV” Mrs. Suleiman’s appointment was based on her track record and performance.

“The appointment takes effect from 5th September, 2019,” he declared.

Also, he said, Mrs. Suleiman’s schedule of duties would be communicated to her in due course.

Further, he urged Uwa, to accept his warm congratulations and best wishes on the latest appointment, which he maintained was a testimony of confidence and trust he had on her ability to deliver.

Uwa Suleiman, 
ITREALMS gathered is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University where she obtained Bachelor of Education (BEd) in English Language and Literature/Letters from in 2002.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Vodacom Digital Accelerator makes a debut - ITREALMS

Leading telecommunication company Vodacom Tanzania Plc and Smart Lab, Thursday launched “Vodacom Digital Accelerator,” reports ITREALMS.

This programme, ITREALMS gathered, intends to help early-stage and growth-stage technology startups become profitable and revenue generating businesses.

The new program which will run yearly aims at identifying and supporting startup entrepreneurs in mobile, telecom, fintech, media, health, education, and e-commerce will have three phases which include application, selection and acceleration.

Speaking at the launch event, Vodacom Tanzania Plc’s Managing Director Hisham Hendi said that the partnership between Vodacom Tanzania and Smartcodes is a crucial move towards providing opportunities to startup businesses via technological paths which will result into workable business models which will benefit communities, especially scores of youth across the country. He encouraged more youth to be innovative and take advantage of this opportunity as a path to economic empowerment through solving social developmental issues in their communities.

“Vodacom always aims to create impactful sustainable change in the society where we operate in line with our strategic business focus and, the Vodacom Accelerator aims to do just that,” he added.

He further elaborated that as a company which aims at taking Tanzanians into the digital world, Vodacom Tanzania encourages technology driven ideas that bring sustainable change.

“Digital technology is not only changing the way we do business in Africa but also revolutionizing the way we perceive and solve issues of development. It is therefore with great honor that we will once again create an opportunity for such ideas to be recognized, supported and transformed to maximize social impact”, he said.

He also added, “Vodacom has partnered with Smart Lab, a well-known innovation hub that aims to bring tangible results that will disrupt the innovation eco-system. So, this will be an opportunity for startups and innovators in the selected criteria to showcase their products and also gain from the platform including exclusive partnership deals with Vodacom, mentorship, technical assistance, marketing and exposure to Vodacom and Smart Lab’s large network of partners and finally customers to test and experience their solutions’.

Smart Codes Chief Executive Officer Edwin Bruno shared his excitement for the new program saying that, “we are excited to be part of the “Vodacom Accelerator” and together with Vodacom we hope to create a brand building platform for the tech savvy youth. This program is in line with our corporate strategy to drive messaging around youth support in the digital age and we are grateful for Vodacom Tanzania who saw the need to create the next round of success stories for African entrepreneurs building fast-growing technology companies coming from within the country.”

He detailed that “the innovation community has mushroomed in Tanzania from just a handful of hubs in 2011 to more than 45 in 2019 but there has been a slower involvement from the corporate side whereas Vodacom in this partnership with Smart Lab will lead in bridging that gap. We look forward to a tech-evolved-future for Tanzania that is full of disruptive solutions which will positively impact the coming generations.”

Vodacom’s director of Corporate Affairs Rosalynn Mworia said Vodacom is investing more than 150,000 dollars into the accelerator program which will go towards educating and empowering Tanzania‘s youth.

During the program which also aims at leveraging corporate resources, networks, mentors, and partners, participants will present their progress to a panel of investors and associates at the end of a 3-month acceleration period from which winners will get further support from Vodacom Tanzania Plc, Smart Lab, and partners for an added period of 6 months.

Vodacom is leading in the evolution of the fintech sector in Tanzania which is one of the fastest growing sectors on the continent with technology increasingly defining the day-to-day running of businesses and services.

The launch was also attended by other stakeholders from government, investor community, innovation hubs, financial institutions, corporates, startups, university professors, development partners, embassies and key players in the technology and innovation community.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Oloibiri Health Programme: PPP at work for Sustainable Healthcare Systems in Nigeria - ITREALMS

The first phase of the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP) was recently inaugurated and comprises of the remodelled General Hospital, Kolo; Water Treatment Plant; Hybrid Solar Powered System; Medical Laboratory Equipment at the College of Health Technology, Otuogidi and the Dental Chair at the Demonstration Clinic, Otuogidi (one of the 14 OHP network of facilities). Over 17,000 people and 20 Communities have benefited from the programme over the last three years, in addition to training of 117 facility and community health workers and business mentorship to 100 entrepreneurs. In 2015, GE Healthcare and Shell Companies in Nigeria (Shell) signed an MOU to establish the comprehensive healthcare project in Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA), Bayelsa State.
“The OHP is an expansive initiative being implemented in three phases. As part of the first Phase, the General Hospital Kolo will serve as a referral hub providing 24 hours service with linkages to five Health-for-Life Centres and 13 Ward Health Centres. The second phase projects consists of Oloibiri Health-for-Life Centre, a Ward Health Centre, and a Knowledge Management and Research Centre to be completed by the end of October 2019.The third phase will be the establishment of the pilot Ogbia Community Health Insurance Scheme that will anchor the sustainability of the OHP and will deliver healthcare services using a network of facilities. This is expected to start in December 2019.” Said Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria.

The OHP is a transformational health intervention programme championed by Shell as part of its Social Investment Programme, and in commemoration of the centenary celebrations of Nigeria delivered by GE Healthcare from February 2015 to August 2019. Other key programme partners include Bayelsa State Government/ Ministry of Health, Ogbia Local Government Area, Federal University Otuoke, and World Bank/International Finance Corporation.

“Strengthening healthcare systems at the primary and secondary levels is key in accelerating Nigeria’s vision for Universal Health Coverage,” said Eyong Ebai, General Manager, GE Healthcare West, Central & French Sub-Sahara Africa. “The OHP is an excellent example of the impact collaborations in the healthcare sector can attain, in driving sustainable healthcare solutions and access to quality and affordable healthcare for all across the country.” Mr. Ebai added that with over 40 years of operation in Nigeria, GE Healthcare was focused on partnering with public and private health providers to support the country’s sustainable healthcare development.

The OHP through targeted efforts seeks to strengthen the existing health system, promote world class service delivery and uptake, establish a learning and operations research institute, and enhance social determinants of health within communities. The programme has taken a more holistic and unique approach by addressing challenges across the entire health system in a given population, with a wider scope including infrastructure upgrade, capacity building and training, availability of drugs, health insurance, strengthening data and overall health information management. It also has an explicit focus on social determinants of health which are outside the health system but have huge impact on the health of individuals and communities such as employment, water, sanitation and hygiene, electricity among others.

“In the next decades, economic growth in nations will be driven by the extent of human capital accumulation. This is why I am particularly proud of the launch of this programme, because it prepares the people of Ogbia LGA for the challenges of the next century. Human capital development cannot become a reality if the people lack basic healthcare needs, education, skills and capabilities” Said Dr. Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank/International Finance Corporation.

He added that Oloibiri, which was where Nigeria first discovered oil in commercial quantity over six decades ago, has made another first in the country by attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The Permanent Secretary Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, Dr Inodu Apoku KSC said, “The OHP is a good example of how as a state we are fast-tracking achievement of UHC through collaborations with private, development and other stakeholders as part of our Bayelsa State Strategic Health Development Plan. This will help ensure our citizenry have access to comprehensive, appropriate, affordable quality essential health care through revitalization of Primary Health Care.”

The attainment of UHC for both Nigeria and Africa at large requires continuous innovation of health systems at both primary and secondary healthcare levels. The success of the OHP in particular demonstrates the critical role of the private sector as a source of funding for universal access to a guaranteed package of health services at an affordable price and for provision of services which is used to leverage public financing. Health for all is possible through deliberate public and private collaborations in scalable initiatives such as the OHP, geared towards improving the quality of life for the citizens. 
Uboshe Uboshe/Editor
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NLNG steps up game, issues Train 7 EPC contract letter to SCD JV Consortium - ITREALMS

The Nigeria LNGLimited (NLNG) has made a significant step towards the Final Investment Decision (FID) for its Train 7 Project, with the issuance of a Letter of Intent for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract of the project to SCD JV Consortium, reports ITREALMS.

SCD JV Consortium, ITREALMS gathered, is made up of Saipem of Italy, Japan’s Chiyoda and Daewoo of South Korea.

This came, ITREALMS also gathered, on the heels of the Nigeria Content (NC) plan signed with Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the recent milestone of the 3rd of September, 2019 when NLNG submitted the summary outcome of the commercial bids evaluation for the Train 7 Project to NCDMB in line with the project certification and authorization procedure.

According to NLNG, in a press statement available to ITREALMS by the General Manager, External Relations, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, the Letter of Intent is one of the key milestones to be achieved on the road to FID by its Shareholders; this expresses the intention to award the main EPC Contract for the Train 7 Project to the preferred bidder, saying that it marks another significant step towards the realization of Train 7 and it’s attendant value to NLNG’s Shareholders and for the benefit of the Nigerian Economy.

The company, Fatayi-Williams said, assured that the contracting process was transparent in full compliance with all applicable laws and good industry practices, stating that it will continue to operate its business in an open manner consistent with its core values of Integrity and Excellence.

The Train 7 Project is expected to ramp up NLNG’s production capacity by 35% from 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to around 30 MTPA. The Project will form part of the investment of over US$10 billion including the upstream scope of the LNG value chain, thereby boosting the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) profile of Nigeria. . The Project is anticipated to create about 10,000 new jobs during the construction stage, and on completion, help to further diversify the revenue portfolio of the Federal Government and increase its tax base. The company said this was in line with its corporate vision of ”Helping to build a better Nigeria”. The construction period after FID will last approximately four to five years.

NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49 per cent), Shell Gas B.V.  (25.6 per cent), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15 per cent), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4 per cent).

The actualisation of the Train 7 Project comes as NLNG celebrates 30 years of its incorporation and 20 years since exporting its first LNG cargo in 1999.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

WSPD: Facebook tightens policies on contents inducing self-harm - ITREALMS

As part of activities to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) which is observed globally on September 10 every year, Facebook has restated its commitment to keeping people safe on all of its platforms.

Facebook’s Global Head of Safety, Antigone Davis noted that since its inception, the platform has worked with experts from around the world to inform users of its policies, practices and products supporting those at risk of suicide or self-injury.

Revealing some of the steps Facebook has taken in the past year, as well as additional actions it plans to take, Davis said that the intention is to keep people safe on its apps, especially those who are most vulnerable.

“Earlier this year, we began hosting regular consultations with experts from around the world to discuss some of the more difficult topics associated with suicide and self-injury. These include how we deal with suicide notes, the risks of sad content online and newsworthy depictions of suicide. Further details of these meetings are available on Facebook’s new Suicide Prevention page in our Safety Center,” she stated.

As a result of these consultations, Davis said, Facebook has made several changes to improve how it handles content, tightened its policy around self-harm to no longer allow graphic cutting images to avoid unintentionally promoting or triggering self-harm, even when someone is seeking support or expressing themselves to aid their recovery.

“On Instagram, we’ve also made it harder to search for this type of content and kept it from being recommended in Explore. We’ve also taken steps to address the complex issue of eating disorder content on our apps by tightening our policy to prohibit additional content that may promote eating disorders. And with these stricter policies, we’ll continue to send resources to people who post content promoting eating disorders or self-harm, even if we take the content down. Lastly, we chose to display a sensitivity screen over healed self-harm cuts to help avoid unintentionally promoting self-harm,” Davis noted.

She said that Facebook’s engagement with experts has proven so valuable that it is also hiring a health and well-being expert to join its safety policy team.

“And for the first time, we’re also exploring ways to share public data from our platform on how people talk about suicide, beginning with providing academic researchers with access to the social media monitoring tool, CrowdTangle. To date, CrowdTangle has been available primarily to help newsrooms and media publishers understand what is happening on Facebook. But we are eager to make it available to two select researchers who focus on suicide prevention to explore how information shared on Facebook and Instagram can be used to further advancements in suicide prevention and support,” she added.

On how it intends to make its platforms safer for difficult conversations, Davis said that Facebook has a unique role in facilitating those kinds of connections and it is taking additional steps to support those who are discussing these sensitive topics, especially young people.

“To help young people safely discuss topics like suicide, we’re enhancing our online resources by including Orygen’s #chatsafe guidelines in Facebook’s Safety Center and in resources on Instagram when someone searches for suicide or self-injury content.

“The #chatsafe guidelines were developed together with young people to provide support to those who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviors,” she further stated.

She also assured that Facebook will continue to invest in people, technology and resources so that it can do more to protect people on its apps.

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Airtel Africa appoints Ian Ferrao as Regional Director East Africa Region - ITREALMS

Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 14 countries across Africa, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Ferrao as Regional Director of its East Africa business and George Mathen as Managing Director for Airtel Tanzania Plc, reports ITREALMS.

Their appointments take effect on the 1st of October, 2019.

Ian Ferrao has more than 12 years of experience in senior management telecommunications roles in Africa. Prior to joining Airtel Africa, he was the CEO of Vodacom Tanzania PLC, the CEO of Vodacom Lesotho and Chief Commercial Officer at Vodacom Business Africa. He holds a First Class Honours Degree in BSc Management Sciences from the Warwick Business School.

While Mr. Mathen has more than 20 years’ of experience in senior management roles, with experience in the telecommunications and FMCG sectors. Prior to joining Airtel Africa, he was CEO – Homes, at Bharti Airtel In India where he designed and implemented the Airtel Home strategy. Prior to taking up the role, he has also been the CEO of various circles within the India business. 

Before joining Bharti Airtel, George also spent ten years’ in Coca-Cola India in several capacities including Area General Manager and Sales Manager across various regions. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and has done his Masters in Business Administration.

Commenting on the appointments, Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to welcome Ian as Regional Director for East Africa, which includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda. He brings a wealth of relevant telecommunications and mobile money experience within the region and will be an asset to the business. He will be part of the Africa Executive Committee based in Nairobi and will focus on driving growth across voice, data and mobile money in East Africa.”

Also remarking on George Mathen appointment “We are excited to welcome George as Managing Director for Airtel Tanzania Plc. 

He will be responsible for the profitable growth of the business and help Airtel be the preferred telecom brand to bridge the digital divide and preferred partner to grow financial inclusion. 

I would also wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Sunil Colaso, the outgoing Managing Director, leaving after 13 years’ of dedicated service to Airtel, including the last 6 years’ as Managing Director for Airtel Tanzania PLC. We wish him the very best as he starts a new chapter in his life.”

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Ekiti gets $500m World Bank project, doles out N180m to 19 communities - ITREALMS

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday revealed that the World Bank would soon embark on some legacy projects across the state worth about 500 million dollars.

The Governor stated this in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, while presenting cheques worth N180 million to 19 benefiting communities under the state’s self-help community development programme.

Tuesday’s presentation came barely six months after the state government doled out about N216 million to some communities for various self-help projects.

Governor Fayemi, at the presentation ceremony held at the Government House grounds, said his administration is determined to improve technical education by ensuring that all the technical colleges in the state are upgraded in its drive to improve skills development and education of the citizens.

The Governor said “I’m also pleased to inform you that no fewer than five World Bank projects would be starting in the state across many of the local governments within the next few months and all of these would cost about $500 million.

He assure that his administration would continue to bring remarkable improvement to the living condition of the people through value restoration adding that the grassroots would continue to benefit from this agenda.

Dr Fayemi said he would continue to collaborate with development partners to ensure that the people at the grassroots are not left out in the scheme of things.

“Today’s ceremony is one of the multiplier effects of the Ekiti State value restoration agenda of this administration, and we are poised to make similar meaningful impact in every stratum of our society. As a government that wants both urban and rural developments, we paid our own counterpart fund to activate this World Bank project geared towards improving the living condition of people at the grassroots.

“When you entrusted the management of Ekiti State’s commonwealth in our care, we promised and assured you all that your welfare and well-being will be of paramount interest to us. We are here today to strengthen the bond and deliver one of our promises.” He said

While congratulating the benefitting communities, the governor enlightened them on the need to ensure judicious use of the money by following the World Bank standard. He advised all stakeholders in the project to carefully monitor the projects by ensuring its completion.

Dr Fayemi also explained that “I admonish you to make sure you use the money for the completion of the projects for the benefit of your people and follow the laid down rules and regulations of the World Bank so that other communities can benefit. The government will not hesitate to sanction any individual, group or community found wanting in the implementation of the selected and approved projects.

He however commended EKCSDA for its efforts towards actualizing the desired goals of rural development and advised them to work assiduously to ensure the best for the State.

Earlier, the chairman of the agency, Dr Yemi Alatise commended governor Fayemi for facilitating the World Bank’s support for developing the rural areas of the state through the various projects approved by World Bank. He further appreciated the cordial relationship between the governor and donor agencies which according to him has attracted a lot of developmental programme to the state.

Alatise said the agency scrutinized the various projects to ensure that they would boost the economy of the benefiting communities.

Responding on behalf of the 19 benefiting communities, Chief Gbenga Agbona from Ilawe Ekiti community appreciated the Governor for the gesture and promised that the communities would make judicious use of the fund.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Botterman to replace Chalaby after ICANN66 – ITREALMS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have revealed that Maarten Botterman will replace the incumbent chair of the ICANN Board of Directors, Mr. Cherine Chalaby, reports ITREALMS.

The replacement, 
ITREALMS gathered will take effect immediately after the forthcoming ICANN66, which is an Annual General Meeting of the global non-profit coordinating organization for the Domain Name System (DNS).

Chair, ICANN Board of Directors, Mr. Cherine Chalaby, confirmed this in a blog post stating that the Board has selected Maarten Botterman as the next Chair of the ICANN Board following the process outlined in the Board Governance Committee Practice for Board Engagement in Developing Slate for Board Leadership.

“I am proud to welcome Maarten as my successor, and look forward to supporting him and working with him toward a smooth transition,” he declared.

Chalaby also announced that León Felipe Sánchez Ambia has been selected Vice Chair.

“Many congratulations to León as he takes on this important role,” he said.

Pointing out that they will be seated after the formal election that will take place at the Annual Meeting at ICANN66 in Montréal.

“Our advance planning for the transfer of those responsibilities will support continuity in ICANN's service of its mission,” he assured community.

He explained that as part of this leadership change, current Vice Chair Chris Disspain has stepped down from that role.

In the interim, Chalaby said, he will ask the Board to appoint Maarten to serve as Vice Chair until he becomes ICANN66 when he is expected to graduate into the chair proper.

“I want to thank Chris for his partnership as my Vice Chair over the past two years. His knowledge and skills will remain a great asset to the Board over the next year,” he said.

Further, he explained that the other candidates for Chair were Chris Disspain and Ron da Silva; the other candidate for Vice Chair was Becky Burr.

“Congratulations to Maarten and León. They are exceptional leaders whose fresh perspectives and insights will be of great value as ICANN embarks on the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan,” Chalaby said.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Crude theft, vandalism Shell loses 10,000 barrels daily - ITREALMS

With a daily loss of about 10,000 barrels of oil from its pipelines to crude oil theft, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has cried out for help from government, communities and other stakeholders to stem the incessant attack on oil assets in the Niger Delta.

“These are critical national assets with 55 percent government interest and they produce the crude oil that accounts for over 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and the bulk of government revenue. Hurting these assets means hurting the nation’s revenue, the economy of the states, the health of the people and the environment,” SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, said on Monday at a media workshop on Pipelines Right of Way Encroachment and Vandalism held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital city where the company has its headquarters.

“Crude oil theft on the pipeline network resulted in a loss of around 11,000 barrels of oil a day in 2018, which is more than the approximate 9,000 bbl/d in 2017, Weli said, adding that since 2012, SPDC had removed more than 1,160 illegal theft points on its joint venture pipelines in the Niger Delta.

In its June 2019 monthly report, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation which controls Nigeria’s 55 percent interest in the SPDC JV said there was a 77% rise in oil pipeline vandalism and that 106 pipeline breaches were recorded in June, up from 60 in May.

Weli said SPDC was concerned about the lives and safety of those involved in pipeline vandalism and crude theft just as the company was concerned about the environment. “As a responsible organisation, we put safety first and have constantly made this appeal to those involved in crude theft in the Niger Delta to stop destroying their land and heritage from the spill and pollution arising from their activities.”

He described crude oil theft and artisanal refining of stolen crude as criminal acts “that are not only against the law but are also capable of mortgaging the future of the community.”

Also speaking SPDC’s General Manager, Safety and Environment, Chidube Nnene-Anochie, noted that illegal refining and third-party interference with pipelines were the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta. According to Nnene-Anochie, in 2018 alone, “third party interference caused close to 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from SPDC JV pipelines.”

Represented by SPDC’s Compliance Monitoring Lead, Temitope Ajibade, Nnene-Anochie said no spill was acceptable to the company. “A key priority for Shell companies in Nigeria remains to achieve the goal of no spills from our operations. No spill is acceptable, and we work hard to prevent them. However, SPDC cleans and remediates areas impacted by spills from its facilities irrespective of the cause.”

On the measures taken by the company to stem crude theft, she explained SPDC had enhanced its community-based pipeline surveillance while promoting alternative livelihoods through Shell’s flagship youth entrepreneurship programme, Shell LiveWIRE. “Between 2003 when Shell LiveWIRE was launched in Nigeria and now, the programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817

Remmy Nweke/DoP
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Pic: L--R: Senior Research Adviser, Social Performance and Social Investment, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Kenneth Nweke; Compliance Monitoring Lead, Temitope Ajibade; External Relations Manager, Alice Ajeh; General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli; Encroachment Management Lead, Ucheoma Amechi; and Right of Way Lead, John Okojie, at a media workshop on pipeline vandalism and encroachment in Port Harcourt …on Monday

Two Nigerians shortlisted @Shell Global Innovation Prize - ITREALMS

Two Nigerian entrepreneurs have been shortlisted among 21 finalists for the Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Awards, a global competition which highlights and rewards businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation as well as giving entrepreneurs a chance to shine on a global platform. The businesses are” FarmToJuice and Foods Nig. Ltd which produces juices, processing any waste into livestock feed and using a biogas digester to provide energy; and Basiled Energy Ventures, a business that provides solar lamps, solar installation maintenance and repair, and solar battery recycling services.

“The two Nigerians have come up with creative ideas on energy efficiency, food and agriculture and join19 entrepreneurs from other countries to vie for the prestigious prize,” said the Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor.

A public vote of the shortlisted businesses takes place September 9 – 18, 2019 on the Shell LiveWIRE website, with the results helping to determine the winners.

“We are happy that young Nigerians keep deploying the skills and funding assistance in our LiveWIRE training schemes. Last year, two Nigerian companies were among the Top Ten Innovators from among 21 entries in a contest which attracted over 11,000 voters from 102 countries. We hope to come out successful again this year,” said Igo Weli, SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations.

LiveWIRE is Shell’s flagship youth enterprise development programme that provides training and finance to young people to start or expand their own businesses. Launched in Nigeria in 2003, the programme enables young entrepreneurs to convert their bright ideas into sustainable businesses creating wider employment and income generation opportunities. “LiveWIRE ambassadors have benefitted from this support to make their mark and we call on Nigerians to encourage them by voting for their ideas,” Weli added.

Winners and two runners up will be named in the categories of Food & Agriculture, Energy & Mobility, and Sustainable Future, with the winners receiving $20,000 USD and runners up receiving $10,000 USD. In addition, Shell LiveWIRE will name an Outstanding Achievement Award winner who will receive $10,000 USD. All Top Ten Innovators will win direct mentoring from Shell staff and the opportunity to integrate and benefit from vast linkages within Shell’s global network.

Executive Vice President of Shell Global Commercial Huibert Vigeveno said, “We’re inspired to see these 21 finalists from around the world whose businesses work towards providing circular solutions that help to achieve zero waste. Transitioning to a circular economy can help protect the environment and deliver positive change to society. Working with innovators like these esteemed finalists, will allow businesses, communities and society to move faster towards achieving these goals.”

Since its introduction in Nigeria in 2003, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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