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FG, development partners strengthen social registry to address poverty



The Federal Government says it is working closely with development partners to strengthen the National Social Registry (NSR) to make it serve as a single database for poverty reduction interventions.

It said such interventions would be made by all stakeholders in policy and programme design.

Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, during a policy dialogue on Nigeria’s poverty and vulnerability profile.

Akume was represented at the event by Mrs Esuabana Asanya, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, SGF’s office.

He explained that the move was to ensure that the social register reflects the true poverty and vulnerability profile in Nigeria that would support effective targeting of interventions.

The secretary to the government of the federation pointed out that poverty and vulnerability remain pressing challenges in the country, saying that the advent of the Coronavirus has aggravated the problem.

He said current data indicated that 63 per cent of Nigeria’s population “is multi-dimensionally poor”, of which about 70 per cent constituted children.

The SGF also said that Nigeria’s social inequalities further exacerbate the situation, as access to essential resources such as food, education, healthcare, and infrastructure was unevenly distributed.

“Women, children, and persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable groups facing poverty, ill-health, and economic shocks.

“This setback emphasizes the urgency to strengthen our efforts in mitigating these issues and improving the lives of millions of Nigerians,” he said.

He said that the dialogue was organised by the Social Protection Development Partners group, in partnership with the Federal Government to find ways to address the challenge.

Akume said the primary objective was to develop a common understanding of poverty and vulnerability in Nigeria and identify key indicators for measuring them, adding that the meeting was also to devise strategies that would strengthen the registry.

“At the end of the meeting, we will develop a shared understanding of poverty and vulnerability in Nigeria among all relevant stakeholders, including government officials, civil society organisations, and development partners.

“This common understanding will pave the way for more coordinated and efficient policy design and programme implementation.

“The meeting will equally help us to identify key indicators for measuring poverty and vulnerability in Nigeria and how to align them with a nationally agreed measure.

“By establishing these indicators, we will enhance our ability to accurately assess poverty levels and progress over time that will lead to better-informed decision-making processes,” the SGF said.

He expressed optimism that the stakeholders would establish a comprehensive framework that accommodates various dimensions of poverty and vulnerability in Nigeria.

This, according to him, will arm the government and stakeholders with the knowledge and strategic approach to design and implement effective poverty reduction and social protection policies and programmes.

“This is particularly crucial in our efforts to collectively address the critical development issues of poverty and vulnerability in Nigeria, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable populations,” he said.

Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, noted that understanding the nature and extent of poverty was vital in developing targeted interventions and strategies.

Sani-Gwarzo said that the registry captures community profiling, to establish paucity of social infrastructure and its interconnectedness with poverty and issues of access to social assistance.

“The NSR is the foundational database for the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria, and this is the first time we have developed such a valuable system.

“In the past few days, this database has come into sharp focus.

“The outcome of the workshop will provide valuable insights as to the ways to strengthen what we already have,” he said.


Forum blames hoodlums for grid collapse



The Nigerian Power Consumers Forum (NPCF) has blamed the recent grid collapse in the country on sabotage by hoodlums who may not mean well for the country.

Mr Michael Okoh, Convener of the NPCF, said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the grid collapse was not due to the lack of capacity on the part of the company, adding that it was a case of sabotage by hoodlums, who may not mean well for the country.

”The fire incident at the Birnin Kebbi transmission substation switchyard is more of a sabotage on the national grid systems, ” he said.

According to him, power engineers who have over three decades of experience, believe that technically, there is no way two power transformers separated by a reasonable distance from each other will be engulfed by fire simultaneously.

He said that transformers have inbuilt system protection and the probability of a transformer ignition is quite low.

”However, saboteurs could devise any means to disrupt the flow of electricity by pulling out transformer components, ” he said.

According him, immediate enquiries into the incident, both at he 90 Mega Volt Ampree, (MVA) transformer on the 330KV line and the 60MVA transformer on the 132kV line experienced a fire incident simultaneously inspite of being apart, separated by a reasonable space.

”The issue of voltage or surge was ruled out as TCN has robust protection and isolation mechanisms, instead, only internal issues within the transformer can lead to such incidents.

“’This is not the first time critical national infrastructures have been sabotaged as cases abound everyday of oil theft rupturing pipelines.

”Hacking of power transmission towers of which over 20 of such cases were reported by TCN in the last 12 months,” he said.

Okoh said that just after the pronouncement on the efforts of TCN on grid stability, the power sector has recorded at least two system collapses in succession.

He said that the grid collapse was caused by a fire incident in the Birnin Kebbi transmission substation and line snap along the 330 Kilo Volt (kV) Jebba – Kainji transmission line.

He said that these incidents have caused nationwide outages which the NPCF believes is to bring the management of TCN into disrepute.

“’While the investigation is ongoing, all indications refer to sabotage on both transformers as they are not linked and operate on two voltage levels and transmission lines, ” he said.

Okoh said that Niger Republic was receiving bulk power from a 150MVA lower transformer in the Birnin Kebbi substation.

He said that this was because of the important role of Kebbi substation nationally and internationally, adding that it was properly fitted with all protection and safety devices.

”The NPCF strongly notes that there may be an external force acting against the nation’s transmission system.

”We believe that the government of the day will strive to identify and bring the saboteurs and perpetrators of this act to book, ”he said.

According to him, the forum noted that TCN has been maintaining its grid efficiently for 421 days and the grid is looped in some places.

”This is coming just some days after the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) stated that for over 400 days, the system has been relatively stable.

”Nigerians have seen the enormous work done by the current TCN management led by Mr Sule Abdulaziz. For instance, in the history of Nigeria, the TCN for the first time, took delivery of over 30 power transformers in 2022.

”And all were deployed to site for onward installation. The projects TCN are executing to improve access to bulk electricity covers all the six geopolitical zones too,” he further noted.

Okoh said that from independent assessment which started in 2022 and up to 2023 , the forum was able to confirm the various initiatives TCN deployed to stabilise the grid, including the use of Internet of Things (IoT).

”And the deployment of the stop gap system as a placeholder for a smart grid system, which is in the advanced stage of the procurement process.

”For a robust deployment of a full-scale state-of-the-art Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)/Energy Management System (EMS), ”he said.

Okoh said that NPCF, on behalf of Nigerian electricity consumers, urged TCN to continue on its trajectory of investing in the transmission networks especially in lines reconductoring,
”We implore them to proactively buffer other substations against further sabotage, ”he said.

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Let’s exercise patience with Tinubu, there’s hope for positive achievement – CAC President



The President, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) worldwide, Pastor Samuel Oladele, has appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with President Bola Tinubu, for there’s hope of positive achievement for Nigerians in his administration.

Oladele made the statement while addressing the press at the 2023 CAC Pastors’ Conference (Retreat, Refresh and Refire), at the CAC Babalola Memorial International Miracle Camp, on Wednesday, at Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun.

He said that the present economic downturn across the country requires that citizens would endure and persevere for a while, for there’s hope in the end.

“I observed that our president is a serious leader, and with the steps he has taken within a few months in office, things are changing drastically, though, gradually.

“If we can exercise patient with him, I believe that within his first four years, Nigeria would surely get to the promised land,” Oladele explained.

According to him, “if he’s not sabotaged while he is truly trying to resuscitate the economy, Nigeria will soon emerge strong and become a pride for all and sundry.”

Oladele admitted that now is the hardship period and called on Nigerians to support the present administration.
“Let all hands be on deck for the overall good of the country,” he said.

To all and sundry, especially political leaders, he admonished them to retrace their steps and return to God for Him to rescue the nation from impending calamities.

The CAC President urged the Federal Government to do the needful in making life bearable for the masses, saying that it’s too difficult for most people to survive the prevailing harsh conditions in the country.

“The country has a glorious end in sight; if the people can pray and live righteously, the current economic hardship in the country will soon end.

“The security of the country should be paramount in the mind of our President, while education must also be given priority attention,” he urged.

Oladele maintained that the security apparatus should be rejigged and more security personnel recruited to tackle the challenge of insecurity in the country.

He tasked the security personnel to redouble their efforts in the fight against insecurity.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 12,000 pastors attended the Conference.

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