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Nigeria improves on HIV ranking — now ‘fourth most affected’ globally



A new report says at least 1.9 million Nigerians are living with HIV/AIDS, making it fourth most affected country in the world.

The report of the 2018 Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and impact survey (NAIIS), launched by the federal government on Thursday showed that Nigeria’s ranking improved from 2014 when it was the second worst hit.

The survey assessed the prevalence of HIV and related health indicators in the country and captured surveyed 225,000 respondents

It was conducted over the space of six months (June to December, 2018) through the federal ministry of health and National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA).

According to Isaac Adewole, minister of health, it was also discovered that only 1.1 million Nigerians living with HIV are undergoing treatment with mother-to-child transmission still a major means of infection.

The report added that Akwa Ibom overtook Benue as the state with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS while the number of women living with the virus is double the number of men living with it.

Other key findings from the survey as unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja include:

The national prevalence measure (that is percentage of persons living with HIV in the population under study) is 1.4%.

The prevalence rate among adults (15-49 years) is 1.9% for women and 0.9% for men.

North-west region has the lowest prevalence rate at 0.6 per cent, while south-south has the highest with 3.1 per cent.

Results from other geopolitical zones show that north-central has 2.1% prevalence rate, south-east, 1.9%; south-west, 1.2%; and north-east, 1.1%.

While unveiling the report, President Muhammadu Buhari promised his administration will continue to commit relevant resources to ensure Nigeria attains zero HIV status.

In his keynote address, Adewole described the survey which cost about $110m as “world class”, while revealing that the US government contributed as much as $70m to it.

He added: “We must ensure pregnant women have access to required services and are tested during every pregnancy. We know we can support HIV-positive mothers hence ensuring the next generation is free from HIV,” he said.

Sani Aliyu, director-general of NACA, said it is important that all people living with HIV get into treatment and achieve viral suppression.

“To halt the epidemic, we need do act now. As a government working with out partners, we have what it takes to support persons who are HIV-positive to provide treatment and ensure they live long and healthy lives” he said.

Below is the rate of HIV prevalence in the 36 states and FCT:

StatesHIV Prevalence95% CI*
Akwa Ibom5.54.7-6.3
Cross River21.4-2.5
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Details of IBB’s meeting with lawmakers in Minna revealed



Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, on Thursday, told members of the Niger State House of Assembly, that they have met the expectations of the people.

IBB stated this when the lawmakers visited him at his Uphill home in Minna.

“I have been looking forward to meeting with you.

“I am proud to say that you have been doing well. You are meeting our expectations.

“We have heard of states lacking synergy among the arms of the government, but in Niger State that should not be your lot.

“Keep a good working relationship between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. You have been doing this and I want you to keep it up.

“You are closer to the people. It is your responsibility to know what the people need and carry them along all the time. Do not leave them outside your projects and programmes,” he said.

Speaker Abdullahi Bawa Wuse explained that they visited the former President, to get the blessings required to run the legislature effectively.

“We are here to get the blessing of our father; this is because we know your concern and commitment to the development of this state and Nigeria.

“Outside office, you have done more than you did while in office. Your role as a father in the nation has ensured that Nigeria remains indivisible,” Bawa said.

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Tribunal upholds Ikpeazu’s election, dismisses Alex Otti’s petition



The three-man panel of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, and chaired by Justice A.L. Ogumoye, has dismissed the petition filed by 2019 APGA gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Alex Otti against the declaration of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.

The tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to prove the case of over-voting, non-compliance to the INEC election guideline and electoral act.

Recall that Alex Otti had asked the tribunal to cancel fifteen out of the seventeen local government areas’ election results in Abia State.

Otti claimed that the respondents, PDP, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who was the governorship candidate of PDP perpetrated excessive malpractice in those LGAs in the last March 9, 2019, election conducted in the state.

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Importers Smuggling Rice In Tyres, Says Economist



Due to the closure of Nigeria’s borders with Benin Republic, rice smugglers are seeking out more devious ways of importing the product into the country.

National Coordinator of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, Dr Oladapo Ganiyu, while speaking with SaharaReporters said that people have resulted to fitting bags of rice into tyres of automobiles. 

Ganiyu, who claims this method is carcinogenic, said the border closure was untimely.

He said, “The closure of the border now is untimely. People are now packing rice inside tyres.

“When the four tyres are rolling, will you suspect there is rice there? The way they are bringing it in, it can cause cancer.

“The people I have spoken with on commercial buses and market women, say the rice is not sweet and it takes time to cook.”

Speaking further, Ganiyu said ICEN will give the government’s new economic team six months before judging their performance.

For over 30 days, Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic and parts of its Northern border with Niger Republic had been closed.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, insists that the border closure will not cease until concerned West African states stop the smuggling of parboiled rice from their country into Nigeria. 

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