Unnecessary Things People Take To #NYSC Camp


Prospective corps members, As a follow up to a previous post – Things To Take To NYSC Camp , NYSC Camp Requirements – here is a list of things you do not need in an NYSC Orientation camp.

1. MATTRESS: The Camp would provide that for everyone, so you don’t have to take any there. It would be excess luggage and in most camps if you meet the ‘wrong’ officials it would be seized.

2. CUTLERY: You might be surprised, but yes, they seize them except spoons. Knives, fork and even metal spoons are seized because it is believed that Otondos use them for negative things……

3. SOPHISTICATED GADGETS: Things like iPads, big tablets, laptops etc… These attract thieves and they are not necessary. In my previous post I said that you could take your PSP, games and novels in case you get bored. In fact for those who have smartphones, BlackBerries, iPhones etc. you do not need others. You should take just that to camp. At least the lesser you carry, the better for you to watch. It reduces the likelihood of it being stolen, misplaced or damaged.

4. BIG/EXCESS LUGGAGE: There is no need to stress yourself in carrying things you won’t need. When you are packing, ensure you check my previous post on what to take. Those are the necessities. Also on your first day, you would have to be moving around with your luggage or where you will be forced to put it on your head. Yes. On your head. God help you if yours is heavy. hmmm this is where OYO (on your own) wakes up. If you get the top bunk, you might not have space to store the said suitcase. Think it’ll attract thieves. The more it looks like you have, the higher the chances you’ll be targeted for theft.

5. PRESSING IRON: It would be seized from you and won’t get it back till camp is over. Also, most camps don’t have sockets in the rooms and some don’t even have electricity in the rooms allocated for corps members.

6. FOOD FLASK: During my time, it was useless to me because I didn’t eat camp food. I fed on almighty mammy food. lol. Actually, when I got to camp, I did buy one but it ended up being useless to me.

7. CAR: Why on earth would you take your car to camp? Are you trying to impress babes (for the guys) or oppress the officials?? It is not necessary. Some very strict camps would send you away or your tires would be deflated. It could be at a risk of being stolen.

8. Boiling ring, mirrors, bottled items, extension boxes. They will all be seized. (don’t ask.)

Are there any items missing from this list? Pls contribute. Remember comments are free. Lol.


Where are the Men in the Family Planning Discourse? – #NaijaMen4FP


From inception, family planning interventions and responsibility for the uptake of family planning commodities has pre-dominantly been targeted at women. This seems logical, as women are the end users of most family planning commodities. Yet, men are often the primary decision makers that have an influence on when (or whether) women access family planning services or commodities. So, what would happen if family planning interventions and discussions targeted men just as much as they did women?  How would this affect uptake of family planning services and commodities? More importantly, how would it help Nigeria reach a modern contraceptive rate of 27% among all women by 2020, as the government has pledged?

At the just concluded 2nd THISDAY Healthcare Policy Dialogue, the Nigeria Health Watch press team spoke with Dr. Joe Abah, Country Director, DAI Global. Speaking on the role of men in family planning, he said,

“We live in a patriarchal society where all advice is targeted at women, and men take no responsibility… Men have a vital role in family planning because they have the responsibility to care about the health of their spouses… Men need to first see it as their responsibility… The fact that one party is the one bearing the physical responsibility doesn’t take away the responsibility from the other party to make sure she is in a fit state.”

The first Nigeria Health Watch Forum for 2018 is themed, “The Elephant in the Room – Men as Change Agents in the Family Planning Discourse”. The Forum, a town hall style breakfast meeting, will have four speakers address the role of men in helping Nigeria meet its FP2020 Commitments from their different perspectives.

This will be followed by two panel discussions focusing on the following critical questions:

  • How do we accelerate action to meet Nigeria’s FP 2020 Commitments?
  • How do we engage men to support their partners in seeking FP Services?
  • How do we get men to take responsibility for FP without depending on women?

The speakers and panelists come from a wide range of health care services and specialties, from general practice to community practice. Their work spans from clinical practice, teaching, policy making to management of health services.

Dr. Diene Keita, the UNFPA Country Representative brings a wide breadth of experience having worked across many countries on family planning initiatives. Effiom Nyong Effiom, Country Director for Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria (MSION), has over 20 years of experience in commercial and social enterprise and expertise in using private sector business models to deliver social benefits.

Dr. Ejike Oji, Chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, is an experienced doctor with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. He has experience in the areas of Non-profit Organizations, Life Coaching, Epidemiology, and Program Evaluation. Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, Director of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, is currently responsible for initiating policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of health policies on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health as well as Elderly care, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

The panellists are: Dr. Laz Ude Eze, Family Planning Advocate, National Champion for Health; Sa’adatu Hashim, Amira, FOMWAN Kano State Branch; Florida Uzoaru, Founder, Slide Safe; and Rev. Isaac G. Gbaero, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sabongari, Zaria, Vice-Chairman, Zaria Interfaith for Safe Motherhood/NURHI.

The Health Watch Forum will be moderated by Dr Ifeanyi Nsofor, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Nigeria Health Watch, and CEO, EpiAfric.

Our objective is simple; “To ignite change in the family planning sector by inspiring action through advocacy and innovation”.  We need to ask the tough questions because it is no longer sufficient for the Nigerian government to make declarations, they need to be held to account for outcomes.

For those who have registered to attend the event, we at Nigeria Health Watch would like you to keep three things in mind as you attend: Please download your ticket, ensure that you come early, and come with your questions, ready to learn and network with others working to make the health sector better.

There will be robust conversations both during the health forum and online throughout the day. If you are unable to attend the event, you can watch the event via livestream on our Facebook Page. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter, follow the hashtag #NaijaMen4FP. If you don’t yet, follow Nigeria Health Watch on Twitter @nighealthwatch, as we will live tweet the event.

Join us on April 18th as we explore the critical role that men play in igniting change in Nigeria’s family planning arena. Come hear the voices of #NaijaMen4FP.

2019 elections: statistician predicts high inflation


By Cecilia Ologunagba

A statistician, Dr Olatunji Arowolo, says the country may experience high inflation rate due to demand and spending pattern as it prepares for the 2019 elections.

Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices of goods and services is rising, and consequently the rate at which the purchasing power of currency is falling.

Arowolo, a lecturer at the Statistics Department, Lagos State Polytechnic, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that demand pattern would likely cause changes in prices of goods and services.

He said people would envisage scarcity of some goods, and thereby, tend to produce in large quantities ahead of the elections and hoard them.

“This causes artificial scarcity and demand will be higher than supply, thereby causing general rise in the prices of these goods in particular and other goods and services in general.

“’Example is petrol. If there is hike in the price of petrol, it can lead to rise in other goods and services.’’

Arowolo, also a National Secretary of the Nigerian Statistical Association, said that the situation would cause chain effects as well.

He said farmers would spend more to transport the goods to the market which would cause the market women to add more money to the prices of goods.

“This is because market women pay for education service for their children and teachers in turn would demand higher pay and the cycle continues.’’

In addition, he said people tend to buy more and store them to reduce the risk of going to the market during election period, saying “this mentality is common to many, thereby, making goods to be scarce at that point.’’

Arowolo, however, said that the present inflation figures did not reflect a better standard of living for Nigerians.

Nigeria’s inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped from 14.33 in February to 13.34 per cent in March year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The bureau stated that the figure showed 14 consecutive reductions in inflation rate since January 2017.

According to the bureau, the figure is 0.99 per cent points less than the 14. 33 per cent recorded in February.

Arowolo said the figure did not reflect a better standard of living because the prices of goods and services in reality did not decrease as reported by the CPI.

“CPI of 13.34 per cent year-on-year means that there is general rise in the prices of goods and services by 13.34 per cent from one year to another from the period under review.

“This means that on the average, the prices of goods and services reduced 0.99 per cent on monthly basis from January 2017 to February 2018,’’ he said. (NAN)

Police recover 179 illegal firearms in Rivers

Nigerian army nabs arms supplier in Mararaba
Police recover firearms, in Rivers

By Richards Nzemeke

The Police Command in Rivers says it has recovered 179 arms and 577 cartridges from members of the public.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zaki Ahmed, said this on Tuesday in Port Harcourt at a news briefing.

Ahmed listed the recovered firearms to include 27 AK47 rifles; 51 locally made pistols; 33 single barrel guns; 29 double barrel guns;  21 pump action guns and other 18 assorted ones.

He recalled that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had given a 21-day ultimatum to members of the public to surrender their illegal firearms to the police.

He said the command had set up an eight-man Task Force headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations to mop-up illegal firearms in the state.

The commissioner said that the task force had embarked on sensitisation and advocacy visits to all the local government areas in the state to that effect.

He said the mop-up compliance in the state had been commendable, noting that the exercise was ongoing.

“I am, therefore, appealing to members of the public to once again cash in on the window to submit their illegal firearms before the expiration of the deadline or force will be used,” he said.

Ahmed said the command was always making efforts to protect lives and property and urged residents of the state to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation.

20 states, 14 African countries join Soyinka in Ogun festival

Festival: Wole Soyinka to lead conference

By Olawale Jokotoye

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and other literary icons will feature in the 2018 African Drums Festival that will be attended by 20 states and 14 African countries.

The conference that will feature the drums festival is scheduled to hold in Abeokuta from April 19 to 22.

Ogun state Governor Ibikunle Amosun said that Soyinka had been scheduled to coordinate a conference on April 20 at the Olumo Rock Tourist Centre, with the theme, “Drums For Advancement”.

During conference, experts would speak on the importance of drums.

He said that an Art exhibition would also hold at the same venue while a “Walk For Drum’’, will also hold from the Cultural Centre at Kuto to the Olumo Rock at Itoku area in Abeokuta.

Amosun said that Africa had a rich culture which predated the Western civilisation, saying that the festival was organised “to re-awake and revive our dying culture’’.

“We have noted that our culture is dying and need to be revived.

“Drums and Drumming are important features of the African culture that cut across the strata of the continent.

“There is nowhere that you don’t have one type of drum or the other and if we are to revive our ideals and ideas as a continent, we must start with a culture that cuts across, which is drumming, ’’ the governor said.

He said that about 70 private cultural groups as well as other countries like Haiti, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, would also participate in the festival.

The governor said that the state government was determined to nurture the festival to maturity, so that subsequent governments would also preserve the legacies of the festival.

“Thereby making it (Drums Festival) a flagship for cultural activities in the state and the country at large,’’ Amosun said.

He said that the festival would continue to hold in Ogun annually on every third week of April. (NAN)

Army nabs Boko Haram’s bomb specialist

Army nabs Boko Haram bomb specialists

By Rabiu Sani

Mr. Adamu Hassan, a Boko Haram insurgent specialised in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) has been nabbed by the Nigerian army.

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, said the military apprehended the suspect in Kaltungo town of Gombe state.

The suspect was arrested during a joint operation with Department of State Security Service (DSS).

He said that the suspect, also known as ‘Baale’, was apprehended at a check point in the busy Gombe to Yola highway during a Stop-and-Search operation.

In a separate incident, he disclosed that troops also killed three ‘Boko-Haram’ insurgents in two separate encounters at the Bokko Hilde mountainous region along Ngoshe to Pulka road and Mujigine general area in Borno, on April 9.

“The troops neutralised the insurgents during clearance operations and recovered two AK 47 rifles and a motorcycle,” he said.

Nwachukwu added that in another joint operation with members of vigilante group, the troops foiled a raid by terrorists rummaging for food and logistics at Kudiye community along Dikwa to Gulumbagana road in Borno.

He said the insurgents were intercepted following a tip- off to the effect that they (insurgents) were on their way to loot the community.

According to him, the insurgents have admitted that they belong to the Abubakar Shekau’s faction, adding that they are now in custody assisting with useful information.

He said two motorcycles, bags of grains and tamarind, were recovered from them.

“It is expedient to bring to public awareness that in their desperation to survive troops’ onslaught and remain relevant, the Boko Haram terrorists have continued to make frantic efforts to infiltrate communities with Person Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (Suicide bombers) to callously unleash terror and fear on the populace.

“Members of the public are therefore enjoined to remain vigilant and watchful while going about their normal activities, and promptly report suspicious persons or activities to appropriate security agencies”. (NAN)

Nigerian story yet to be told to the world: Ambassador Bande

Obilo, Ambassador Bande and Mrs Obilo and Ambassador Samson Itegboje at the New Jersey dinner

Prudence Arobani/New York

Prof. Mohammed Bande, Nigeria’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, said if Nigeria should tell her story, other countries would keep quiet.

Bande, who stated this in New Jersey at a dinner organised by a U.S.-based Nigerian medical doctor and President Nigerian Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Iwuozo Obilo and family, said Nigeria has remained a great country.

According to the Nigerian envoy, however, Nigeria has not been able to properly tell its story for the world to appreciate its accomplishments and sacrifices.

“All countries tell the best stories about themselves outside but some do it better than other. If Nigeria can say what it has done, many countries will keep quiet.

“But we have not been able to say all what we have done but we will continue to say it,” Bande said.

The Nigerian envoy commended the great Nigeria men and women who are doing the country proud in the U.S. and all over the world, saying Nigerians are excelling everywhere.

“Nigeria and Nigerians are always happy when our sons and daughters excel all over the world. Millions of Nigerians are doing Nigeria proud all over the world,” he said.

According to him, the Federal Government has posted eminently qualified Nigerian envoys to the U.S. and the UN to project Nigeria’s image of the country to the outside world.

“There is no place as vibrant as Nigeria; that is who we are,” the Nigerian envoy stressed.

Bande pointed out that other countries also had their own challenges, saying no country is immuned from problems.

He said Nigerians in the disapora were very united, explaining that there is neither Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba sentiment among Nigerians once they left the shores of country.

He also said efforts were ongoing to deal with the issues of corruption, disintegration, and insecurity, among others.

The Nigerian envoy commended Obilo and family, saying: “I am happy a Nigerian is inviting Nigerian officials to his house to appreciate them.

Nigeria’s Acting Consul-General in New York, Mr Tanko Suleiman, said Nigerians could fight when they were in the country.

“But when we get outside the country, we fight as one Nigeria. Let us bring that thing that we practise outside back home,” Suleiman said.

Obilo, in his remarks, said it was his tradition to host Nigerians and Nigerian officials, commending them for representing Nigeria well in the U.S. and for the reforms at Nigerian missions.

“We Nigerians in the diaspora love our country. At the same time, we love our countries of residence. U.S. showed me who I can be and trained my children without any problems.”

He, however, bemoaned some of the challenges confronting the country but pledged to continue to contribute his quota for the upliftment of his fatherland.

The Nigerian philanthropist, who sponsors medical outreaches to Nigeria annually with his American partners, said: “Nigeria is blessed with many things but we also have challenges – the leadership is poor.

“We Nigerians want to come home to contribute because my partners, who are Americans, have taught me so much”.

Obilo’s American partners, commended him for going back to Nigeria every year to contribute to the country’s health sector, saying it is a pleasure to work with the Nigerian over the years, .

The event was attended by Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Samson Itegboje; Head, Economic and Trade at the New York Consulate, Nicholas Ella; Spokesperson of the Permanent Mission, Bolaji Akinremi, and others Nigerians and partners.

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