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We’ll focus, invest on the blue economy – Badaru



We’ll focus, invest on the blue economy – Badaru

The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, said on Wednesday that the Federal Government was focused on investing in the modernisation of military equipment to guarantee the safety of citizens and foreigners.

Badaru said this in a statement issued by Mrs Victoria Agba-Attah, Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Defence, in his goodwill message at the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference 2023.

The conference had as its theme: “Crafting a Strategic Blueprint for Security and Prosperity”.

He said while investing in the modernisation of military equipment, the government would also pay attention to the blue economy, the unmanned spaces and climate change.

Badaru who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Ibrahim Kana, said that the Nigerian Government through the ministry had invested a lot in providing equipment and platforms to address piracy.


He added that the International Maritime Bureau had declared that Nigeria had recorded less than two to five cases in the gulf of guinea.

According to him, the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Nigeria are responsible for maintaining peace and stability, not just within the black water and the brown water, but deep down into the blue water.

“Indeed the government is redoubling its efforts by providing more platforms like ‘Falcon Eye’ as well as the deep blue project.

“Government has invested huge resources on these projects to address insecurity in not just the Niger Delta but the entire coastal areas of Nigeria,” he said.

Badaru also said that the Nigerian Navy had been active in fighting piracy which had affected the economy of the country, particularly in the maritime area.


He further said that unmanned spaces had significant impact on both the security and economy of the country.

He added that the country would invest in the unmaned spaces through agriculture in order to reduce insecurity in the country.

On Defence and innovation, the minister said that the focus of the National Defence Policy was on modernisation of the Armed Forces.

He noted that the country was developing her local Military Industrial Complex which would ensure innovation and employment as well as fight insecurity.

“With the deployment of modernised military equipment, we will begin to say goodbye to insecurity in Nigeria”, he said.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu and Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, represented by Rear Admiral M.K Onubebe were in attendance.

Others in attendance were the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, represented by Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor who is the Chief of Administration, Army and the Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, represented by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Frank Mba.

His Royal Highness Emir of Gumi, Justice Lawan Gummi; Chief Adetunji Adeleye, Commander, Ondo State Security Network (Amotekun) were also among other dignitaries present at the event.


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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