Floods : Homes Submerged Under Water, 100,000 Children Displaced In Somalia

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More than 200,000 people, half of them children, have fled their homes following massive floods that have left most of a town in central Somalia under water, Save the Children said on Thursday.

People have been evacuated using tractors and boats from neighborhoods that have been submerged in water in Beledweyne town after days of rainfall and flooding, the charity said.
Thousands of residents in makeshift camps are in desperate need of food and water, the organization said.

Residents are evacuted with tractors on Sunday. Photo via Save the Children
Save the Children said its staff are working tirelessly screening children, but resources are inadequate to address the humanitarian scale of the problem.

“Somalia is on the front line of the climate crisis, and resources are being stretched to their limits,” Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children Somalia Country Director said.
“The current needs are huge and we’re in danger of being overwhelmed if donors don’t step up urgently. Right now, our main concern is the potential health crisis, including cholera and malaria outbreaks, which are devastating diseases for children,” he added.
More than 85 percent of Beledweyne, home to an estimated 400,000 residents, has been inundated by floods, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Monday following an assessment of the area by the UNHCR-Protection Return Monitoring Network (PRMN).
OCHA said three people, including two children were reported to have drowned after a river in the town burst its banks on Saturday due to the rains. A boat carrying 20 people also capsized on the river, and many passengers are feared missing, the UN agency said in a report.
Floods from the river had destroyed farmlands, roads, and other infrastructure in surrounding areas, according to the UN agency.
Somali government has set up an emergency committee to coordinate humanitarian response assistance with organizations in affected areas.

Seasonal rainfalls that occur between October and December in Kenya and South Sudan have also left thousands displaced in these countries.

At least 29 people have died, and an estimated 12,000 have been displaced by floods in recent weeks, according to authorities in Kenya.

Fire Engulfs World Heritage Japanese Castle In Okinawa

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A fire has swept through a historic castle on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa , destroying much of a structure that had come to symbolise the ancient Ryukyu kingdom and the island’s recovery from the second world war.

Flames engulfed Shuri castle, a Unesco world heritage site located in the island’s capital Naha, at around 2:40 am and quickly spread to other buildings in the complex, local police said.

There were no initial reports of injuries, but nearby residents were evacuated while firefighters spent several hours attempting to bring the fire under control.


The castle, a popular tourist spot, dates back to the days of the Ryukyu kingdom, which began in 1429 and ended in the late 1800s when it was annexed by the government in Tokyo.

More recently, the castle has come to symbolise Okinawa’s struggle to overcome the devastation of war. More than 200,000 Americans and Japanese, including around a quarter of Okinawa’s civilian population, died during a fierce 82-day battle from April to June 1945. The island is still home to a large number of US military bases.

As the headquarters of the imperial Japanese army, Shuri castle was relentlessly shelled by US forces, who occupied the island until it reverted to Japanese control in 1972, two decades after the rest of Japan regained full independence. The castle was extensively restored and reopened as a national park in 1992.

Guardian News

Photonews:  Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday

L-R,  Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R,  Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R,  Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
 L-R,  Head Strategy, AMCON Mr Muhammad Suleiman,  Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System Mr Jalo Waziri, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk and Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R, Head Strategy, AMCON Mr Muhammad Suleiman, Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System Mr Jalo Waziri, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk and Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
 L-R,  Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk and Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R, Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk and Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed  with Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed with Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
 L-R,  CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed , Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun, Head Strategy, AMCON Mr Muhammad Suleiman  and Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission  Ms Mary Uduk during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
L-R, CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema, Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed , Publisher Business Day Media Mr Frank Aigbogun, Head Strategy, AMCON Mr Muhammad Suleiman and Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms Mary Uduk during the Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, Thursday
 Court Orders Forfeiture of $899,600, N150m Cash

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Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has granted three separate interim forfeiture applications by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, involving monies and properties.

The first involved the sum of $899,600 ( Eight Hundred Ninety-nine Thousand, Six Hundred Dollars), belonging to one Abdallah Suleiman, which was forfeited to the federal government.

The money was established to be proceeds of fraudulent activities by the EFCC.

The ex parte application for the forfeiture was moved by counsel representing the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, who asserted that the Commission received intelligence bordering on money laundering regarding illicit funds stashed in an apartment, located in Wuse, Abuja.

He said that based on the intelligence, the house was searched and a safe was found that contained the money.

According to EFCC, he told the court that investigations revealed that the apartment was secured by a former secretary to the Bauchi State Government, Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija to store his valuables but that all efforts to get him have been futile as he has refused to honour the invitation to explain his connection to the money.

Iheanacho further revealed that one Abdallah Suleiman later came forth to claim the money, stating that he engages in chartering of aircrafts through his company Montes Auri Ltd and that the money was received on behalf of a company. However, according to the EFCC counsel, investigations in the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria,FAAN, by the Commission failed to establish Suleiman’s claim.

Justice Giwa granted the prayer sought by the EFCC and directed that the order be published in a national newspaper for persons with interest in the funds sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause why the final order of the forfeiture of the funds should not be made in favour of the Federal government of Nigeria on December 4, 2019.

Similarly, the court also ordered the interim forfeiture of N150 million (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira), belonging to Nicholas Mutu Ebomo, who was the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Deleta Development Commission, NDDC.

While moving the application for the forfeiture order, Iheanacho stated that the money was recovered by the EFCC in the course of investigating contracts awarded by the NDDC.

He affirmed that NDDC engaged the services of Starline Consultancy Services to recover funds owed it by oil and gas companies and that Starline sought the assistance of the House Committee on NDDC in the recovering of the funds. The oil companies eventually paid the debts to Starline, with a total sum of N10 billion being realised.

According to the prosecutor, investigation further revealed that Hon Ebomo received bribe and kickbacks to the tune of over N400 million (Four Hundred Million Naira) as appreciation for his role in using the office of House Chairman on NDDC to facilitate the recovering of the monies.

Iheanacho said the money the Commission is seeking its forfeiture to the federal government is the N150 million refunded by Hon Ebomo in favour of the EFCC Recovery Fund Account.

Justice Giwa granted the prayer and directed that the order be published in a national newspaper for persons with interest in the fund to show cause, why the final order of the forfeiture of the funds should not be made in favour of the Federal government.

In the same vein, the judge also ordered the interim forfeiture of a plaza and block of flats, belonging to one Goddy Nnadi, General Manager, Corporate Services, Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board.

Justice Giwa gave the order following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC through its counsel, Ekele Iheanacho.

The plaza, a two storey building is located at Plot C46 5221 Road, Block XXIIC Gwarimpa II Estate, Abuja , while the set of four detached bungalows are located at Plot No 77, 525 Road , A Close, Kubwa Estate, Phase IV Abuja.

Iheanacho told the court that the properties are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

In his affidavit, Iheanacho stated that Nnadi received kickbacks from petroleum products dealers and contractors and thereafter acquired the properties to launder the funds received. He further told the court that Nnadi has now voluntarily pledged to forfeit the properties to the federal government and therefore urged the court to grant the application against the properties.

Justice Giwa granted the prayers being sought with the previous conditions attached

Hong Kong Plunges Into Deep Recession

 

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Hong Kong has plunged into deep recession after its economy was hit by a double whammy of violent street protests and the US-China trade war.

Activity contracted by 3.2% in the three months to September as a loss of exports was compounded by a collapse in consumer spending and a loss of revenue from tourists.

Analysts said the third-quarter contraction – which followed a 0.5% drop in gross domestic product in the three months to June – would be the start of a prolonged slump that would cause permanent damage to Hong Kong’s reputation as a place to do business.


Two consecutive quarters of negative growth constitute a technical recession, but Iris Pang, China economist with ING bank, said the falls in GDP would continue throughout 2020. “That’s a real recession, not just a technical one,” she said.

Protracted anti-government street protests have seen tourist arrivals to Hong Kong drop by a third, and with shops shuttered and roads blocked, retail sales have plummeted. Business confidence has been affected and investment has dried up.

The 3.2% quarterly drop – almost on a par with the worst quarter during the slump triggered by the 2008 financial crisis – meant Hong Kong’s annual growth rate fell from +0.5% to – 2.9%.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said: “The near-term outlook remains downbeat. Shipments through the city are likely to shrink further in the coming months as the global economy continues to cool. And disruption from the protests worsened at the start of this quarter with no immediate resolution in sight. As a result, Hong Kong’s GDP will probably continue to contract in the fourth quarter.

“The political crisis has done lasting damage to Hong Kong’s reputation as a stable, autonomous financial hub.”

Stroke : 100,000 Nigerians Affected Yearly – – NSO

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As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 2019 World Stroke Day, the Nigerian Stroke Organisation (NSO) says 100,000 stroke cases occur in the country every year.

The association said   that one in four persons have a risk of developing stroke in a lifetime. Reports have it that the theme for the year is tagged: “Don’t Be the One”.
In the statement issued by its President, Prof. Abayomi Ogun, the association said that stroke was preventable if the risk factors were identified and controlled.
The statement said that recent research in the country revealed that the topmost 10 risk factors for stroke are hypertension, dyslipidemia, regular meat intake, central obesity and diabetes mellitus.
“Other top risk factors for stroke cases in the country include higher income level, stress, cardiac diseases, high salt intake and tobacco use; whilst green vegetable intake and physical activity are protective.

“The African continent has some of the highest rates of stroke worldwide. “In Nigeria, stroke is the most common medical emergency in most hospitals and accounts for up to eight out of 10 neurological hospital admissions with at least 100,000 cases occurring every year.

 “Therefore, interventions targeting these dominant risk factors have the potential to fast track progress on stroke prevention in Nigeria and indeed the African sub-region,” the statement read in part.

It said that the theme for the year hoped to draw attention to the importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s own health through healthy lifestyle choices.

“The theme for the 2019 World Stroke Day is ‘DON’T BE THE ONE’. “This message puts the responsibility on every Nigerian to take personal responsibility for their health and be counted among the three out of every four persons who will not have a stroke in their lifetime rather than being among the one out of four who will have a stroke.

“The NSO appeals to all individuals, families, communities and the government to take on the battle to defeat stroke. “We need to ‘check our numbers’ on a regular basis, these include blood pressure, blood sugar, blood fats, weight and abdominal girth. “Appropriate medications need to be taken regularly when the values are abnormal and require drug treatment.

“Those who smoke need to stop and alcohol should be taken in moderation. “Healthy diets rich in green leafy vegetables have been particularly shown to be protective against stroke among Nigerians. “Giving urgent priority to prevention now will yield obvious benefits in terms of reduced human, social and economic costs,” it said.
 The statement further advised people on regular physical activity up to 30 minutes every other day as a protective measure. “In 2019 alone, 14.5 million people will have a stroke; 5.5 million people will die as a result.
“All over the world, there are up to 80 million people who are living with a stroke and its huge and costly short and long-term complications. “Many stroke survivors face significant challenges that include physical disability, communication difficulties, changes in how they think and feel, loss of work, income and social networks,” it stated.
The statement called for improved access to fast and easy medical care and treatment to save the lives of stroke victims and improve stroke recovery.
Yellow Fever : Over 150 Feared Killed In Katsina


Following  the outbreak of an ailment suspected to be yellow fever in Matazu, Danmusa and Kankara council areas of Katsina State, more than 150 people, including women and children, have been feared killed.

The state government, has however, pegged the casualty figure at 24 with 47 cases so far recorded.But sources from the affected areas, who spoke with newsmen, including family members of some of the victims, insisted that scores had passed on in the past one month on account of the illness.

According to them, more than 135 people died in Matazu alone, while 10 were said to have lost their lives in Danmusa, and another 11 in Kankara. The disease has feverish condition, nausea, vomiting and yellowish eyes as some of its symptoms.

A former councillor of Kogwane ward in Matazu local council, Sule Ibrahim, said over 112 deaths had been recorded in the area in the last three weeks.He added that another three people gave up the ghost over the weekend with several hospitalised.The ex-lawmaker hinted that the scourge was first discovered in the area before spreading to the neigbouring Unguwan Sarki community.

The village head of Kogwane, Alhaji Shuaibu Ilyasu, confirmed that more than 50 people lost their lives in the last couple of days to the ailment, adding that every household had at least one person lying critically ill.“More than 50 people that included women and children, have lost their lives in recent days. We are still in disbelief over the deaths that have occurred due to this strange disease,” he stated

A resident, who simply gave his name as Ibrahim, said he had lost a loved one, maintaining that scores had either died or were lying criticality ill at home or in the hospital. Sources from Kankara and Danmusa also said some communities, especially those at the rural areas, had been severely affected by the bug with the death toll said to be substantial.

One of them, who craved anonymity, said more than 10 people had died in Danmusa, while 11 more lost their lives in Kankara.The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Kabir Mustapha, said the first outbreak was reported in Danmusa, as eight persons were brought to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Katsina for referral.

He stated that six people died of the infection a couple of days later, with 18 dying in Matazu, adding that 47 cases had been recorded in the state. Mustapha however dismissed reports that scores had died of the virus, insisting that the figure contradicts what was at the disposal of government.He said as a preventive measure, seven million doses of vaccines had been procured with 6.3 million immunised so far.(Medicalworldnigeria)

14 Health Facilities Shut Over Non-Compliance

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The Lagos State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency has shut down 14 health facilities across the state over non-compliance with regulatory standards.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Abiola Idowu, who disclosed this during an enforcement exercise, noted that the state government was committed to ending the trend of unqualified personnel in health facilities.

He added that the agency would continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.

She said, “The government will ensure that all health facilities in the state conform to best practices and all health facility operators abide strictly by the standards of the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency to avoid being sanctioned.

“Members of the public should continue to support the state government in the fight against quackery and illegal operation of facilities by reporting those behind such acts to relevant government agencies to safeguard the health and well-being of the citizenry.”

Idowu, however, urged operators of health facilities in the state to ensure that they completed their registration with HEFAMAA, collected the agency’s logo and displayed it where members of the public could easily see it.
Atiku Vs Buhari : PDP Expresses Shock Over Supreme Court Verdict

 

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed shock at the Wednesday judgment of the Supreme Court on the Presidential Election Petition filed by the party and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The party expressed the shock in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wedneday in Abuja, while reacting to the Supreme Court judgment that upheld the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ologbondiyan said the party was awaiting the Supreme Court to release the details of its judgment to see how it arrived at it

He contended that what was witnessed in the judgment was not what majority of Nigerians who participated and observed the presidential election expected, including the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said that the PDP indeed made a solid case, with indisputable evidence, showing that Abubakar won the Presidential election.

Ologbondiyan said that the party was as such surprised that the justices of the Supreme Court held otherwise.

“However, that is the highest court of the land.

“Notwithstanding, the distinction of our case remains for Nigerians, including generations yet unborn, to appreciate,’’ he stated.

He added that nevertheless, PDP and the nation awaited the justices of the Supreme Court to release their reasons behind the verdict.

Ologbondiyan expressed the party’s gratitude to millions of Nigerians across board for voting for Abubakar in the election.

He also commended their unflinching support for the PDP during the election and throughout the duration of court proceedings.(NAN)

Global Maritime Essay Competition : Nigeria Wins

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A Nigerian, Iorliam Simon Tersoo has won the Future Maritime Leaders essay competition organised by the Global Maritime Forum.

Tersoo’s article titled, “Emerging Technologies: Autonomous Shipping and Seafarers’ Continuous Professional (Ir) Relevance,” was among top three essays selected from 140 shortlisted entries from 46 countries that participated in the annual competition.

The Maritime Safety Officer at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the other two winners made compelling presentations on their essays at the ongoing Global Maritime Forum in Singapore, where the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, is a major participant.

Dakuku is one of three leaders in Africa invited to the exclusive industry forum, which focuses on addressing the burning issues in the maritime industry and proffering viable strategies to meet the challenges of the future.

Tersoo wrote on how to prepare the next generation of seafarers for digitalised ships, which is believed to be the future of shipping.

He anchored his write-up to the bourgeoning technological innovation, Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship (MASS), which the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) defines as a ship which “can operate independently of human interaction.”

His essay painted the picture of a future where ships will be fully digitalised, automated, autonomously piloted and controlled from both onshore and offshore.

He described this as the next phase of disruptive innovation in shipping.

Tersoo acknowledged the immense benefits of the autonomous shipping regime but identified a major challenge of the innovation as the threat posed to the jobs of the over 1.5 seafarers working onboard ships worldwide.

To address this challenge, he said “the committee on Human Element Training and Watch-keeping (HTW) of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) “will have to re-organise the curriculum of Maritime Training Institutions (MTIs) globally to embrace this new trend, tilting seafarers training more towards maritime information communications technology (ICT) and regulations that can enable them to participate effectively in the technological revolution.”

He also recommended the retraining of existing seafarers to fit into the new digital era.

Tersoo, a product of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), had worked on board a vessel and is now fully involved in regulatory duties at NIMASA.

He had the opportunity of seeing both sides of the life of a seafarer.

He attributed his success in the essay competition to the push for a knowledge driven organisation by the current leadership of NIMASA, saying he is challenged daily by leadership and innovation at the Agency.

Two other essays written by Yiqi Zhang, a 30-year-old PhD Student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China, and Line Fryd Hofmansen, a 26-year-old Management Consultant at PA Consulting Group, Denmark, were among the winning entries.

According to the Global Maritime Forum, “The competition aims to give students and young professionals aged 18-30 a voice in the debate about how the maritime industry can sustainably address maritime challenges and opportunities – and the industry a chance to listen.”

The winners of the competition won a chance to attend the Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit 2019 in Singapore, all expenses covered, together with 200 leaders from inside and outside the maritime industry, where they will represent the voice of the young generations.

The Future Maritime Leaders essay competition represents an invaluable opportunity for young people aspiring to become the leaders of the future to meet and engage with senior maritime stakeholders.