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

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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*
Abia2.11.7-2.4
Adamawa1.20.9-1.6
Akwa Ibom5.54.7-6.3
Anambra2.41.7-3.0
Bauchi0.50.2-0.8
Bayelsa1.91.4-2.3
Benue5.34.3-6.3
Borno1.20.6-1.9
Cross River21.4-2.5
Delta1.91.4-2.4
Ebonyi0.80.6-1.1
Enugu2.01.5-2.5
Edo1.91.5-2.4
Ekiti0.80.5-1.1
Gombe1.30.8-1.8
Imo1.81.3-2.3
Jigawa0.30.2-0.5
Kaduna1.10.7-1.5
Kano0.6o.2-1.0
Katsina0.30.1-0.6
Kebbi0.60.3-0.9
Kogi0.90.6-1.3
Kwara1.00.6-1.3
Lagos1.41.1-1.7
Nasarawa2.01.5-2.5
Niger0.70.5-1.0
Ogun1.61.1-2.1
Ondo1.10.7-1.5
Osun0.90.6-1.3
Oyo0.90.6-1.3
Plateau1.61.2-2.0
Rivers3.83.1-4.6
Sokoto0.40.2-0.7
Taraba2.92.2-3.6
Yobe0.40.1-0.6
Zamfara0.50.1-0.8
FCT1.61.1-2.0
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Crime

Court Convicts Former NIMASA DG, Obi over N136million Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, secured the conviction of a former acting Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Callistus Obi. Also convicted was Alu Dimas, an aide to Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA. They were convicted by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi.



The duo were arraigned alongside two companies, Grand Pact Limited and Global Sea Investment, on April 12, 2016 on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, conversion, and money laundering to the tune of N136million (One Hundred and Thirty Six Million Naira).

The prosecution proved that the convicts converted the sum of money, N136million, belonging to the Agency to their personal use on August 5, 2014.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Callistus Nwabueze Obi and Dismas Alu Adoon, on or about the 5th day of August 2014, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: Conversion of the sums of N111, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred and Eleven Million naira) property of NIMASA, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing, and thereby commited an offence.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their trial.

In the cause of the trial, the prosecution called eight witnesses and tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence by the court.

At the resumed hearing today, Justice Olatoregun discharged and acquitted the defendants of the charge of conspiracy preferred against them.

The Judge, however, convicted them of conversion and money laundering.

The Judge said:  “The prosecution has proved the charges preferred against you beyond reasonable doubt with evident conversion and money laundering of N136million”.

Justice Olatoregun, however, deferred sentencing to May 28, 2019 and ordered that the convicts be remanded in prison custody.

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Brands

Zenith Bank Emerges First Nigerian Bank To Repeatedly Audit Its Carbon Emissions

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Zenith Bank Plc was presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after a successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year. The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

The Executive Director, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date.  He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager, Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”. 

She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.”  In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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Lagos Matters

Senate okays bill seeking to upgrade Yabatech to varsity status

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The Senate, on Thursday, passed the City University of Technology (Est, etc) Yaba Bill, 2018 for second reading.

The decision followed a motion by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos) at the plenary presided over by Senate President, Bukola Saraki in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill essentially sought to transform the Yaba College Technology (YabaTech) in Lagos State, to the City University of Technology Yaba.

Leading the debate, Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District, argued that if the bill is considered, it would enhance the capability of the institution to achieve its objectives.
”Nigeria’s steady march towards education for all in the shortest possible time has taken a giant leap with the introduction of this bill.

”I am personally excited by the prospect of transforming this polytechnic to a university of technology because it will motivate both students and academic staff.
”It will also upgrade the facilities and enhance it capability to achieve its objectives.
”Similarly, the new university of technology will encourage the advancement of learning and hold out to all persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction the opportunity of acquiring a higher and liberal education,” he said.

Citing instances, the lawmaker noted that in similar circumstances in the United Kingdom, most of the polytechnics were upgraded to universities.
”If Nigeria has plan to become one of the world’s leading economies as currently being pursued by government, we must be ready to adjust and position our educational institutions so that its products are geared for the technological challenges inherent in such projections,” he said.

According to him, the attainment of university status would definitely enhance the operations of the Yaba Polytechnic and clarify its mission and vision.
Lawmakers, who contributed to the motion, also supported it.

When the motion was put on a voice vote, it was unanimously adopted by the legislators.
Saraki, therefore, referred the bill to Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative action and report back within a week.
Similarly, the Senate also passed a Bill for the Establishment of Federal Polytechnic Iwerekun, Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, sponsored by Ashafa for second reading.

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