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Fuel subsidy removal: Gov. Mbah inaugurates committee on palliatives



Fuel subsidy removal: Gov. Mbah inaugurates committee on palliatives

Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State has rolled out palliatives to mitigate the harsh economic effects of the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government on residents of the state.

He stressed that his government felt the pains the people were passing through.

The governor disclosed this on Monday in Enugu while inaugurating a committee for the procurement, storage and distribution of the relief items to the public.

He charged members of the committee, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ossai, to handle the palliatives with transparency, while ensuring the speedy distribution of the items to those in dire need of them.

Also, members of the committee include the chairman, Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON), Enugu State, and Chairman of Nkanu East Council Area, Mr Okechukwu Edeh.


ALGON Deputy Chairman and Chairman of Uzo Uwani Council Area, Mr Chukwudi Nnadozie, Chairman of Awgu Council Area, Mr Pedro Nwankwo and his Enugu East counterpart, Mr Livinus Anike are also members.

Others are the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Mike Ogbuekwe, Programme Manager of Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme (ENADEP), Dr Ogbonna Onyeisi, and the head of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Chinasa Mbah.

Mbah who acknowledged the harsh impact of the fuel subsidy on the people, further said that the subsidy removal, would, however, immensely benefit Nigerians in the long run.

While maintaining that he shared in the pains Nigerians were going through at the moment, Mbah expressed the hope that the palliatives would help alleviate their hardships.

He also enjoined the committee to spare no time in ensuring that the palliatives were sent to “homes of those that need them the most in the state”.


He said, “You recall that few months ago the Federal Government of Nigeria removed the fuel subsidy. And as you know, that came with pains, shared pains, even though we believe in the long run, it will be beneficial to the country.

“The question for us now as leaders is, how do we mitigate those shared pains that our people are going to be exposed to? It is part of what we are doing to see how we can begin to cushion the effects of some these pains.

“So, what we are doing now is to see how to fix the pains people are going through and there are also plans for short and medium term solutions, and that we are going to do in due course.”

The governor further charged the committee to ensure that the palliatives got to the people who deserved it and also ensure it was distributed with speed and transparency.

Responding on behalf of the committee members, Ossai expressed the committee’s readiness to deliver on the assignment and work with the template given to them in ways that would reflect transparency.


He appreciated the governor for meeting the yearnings of the people, even as he assured that the committee would not disappoint in the discharge of their responsibilities.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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