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FG to replicate arts, crafts villages in 36 states



FG to replicate arts, crafts villages in 36 states

The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) says plans are underway to replicate the Abuja Arts and Crafts Village in 36 states of the federation to tackle unemployment and boost the nation’s economy.

The Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, disclosed this on Saturday when he led members of diplomatic community, state commissioners and the media on the inspection visit to the craft village in Abuja.

This was part of activities for the commemoration of the 16th International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC) ongoing in Abuja, with the theme “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.

Runsewe said it was time to be practical about tackling the problem of unemployment confronting the nation.

He said with the craft village in the 36 states of the nation, the unemployed individuals will gain access to the platform to market and produce their wares.


“We are going to replicate this art and craft village in the 36 states of the federation to help the ordinary Nigerians make a living.

“This will reduce unemployment, crime rate and make the nation a better place.

“If the ordinary Nigerians can be provided with workshop to produce and a platform to market their crafts, they will have no time for frivolities.

“This is the sector that can liberate Nigeria from the shackles of unemployment and insecurity,” he said.

According to him, the craft village accommodates an amphitheatre where countries and states can stage their performances.


He said that 20 public toilets have been constructed, adding that others included events arena, business centres, photo shops, pharmacy, the diplomatic arena and a car park that can accommodate over 50 cars.

He noted that the craft village would be opened in two weeks.

“This place used to be hide-out for armed robbers before the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized it and I was able to recover it after lots of threat to my life.

“The building was owning electricity bill worth N5.6 million because there was no metre, now we have gotten metres for each building to allow for seamless operations for eventual occupants.

“You do not need to spend fortune to celebrate your birthday, with N30,000 you will be given access to the party arena.


“Also the shops will go for N200,000 each when plazas around the Federal Capital Territory go for N2 million. So, the entire package has been made affordable,” Runsewe said.

According to him, NCAC, has an arena for diplomatic communities to use especially when their countries celebrate National Day.

“Every nation has a cultural market, we must make ours better,” he said.

Speaking on sustainability, Runsewe noted that he had began training three members of staff of the organisation who would be able to maintain seamless operation of the village upon his exit from the organisation.

“Every financial transaction is done through government Treasury Single Account (TSA), payment for shops and all are through the TSA,” he said.



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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