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By Ojimaojo

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has won the 2021 Blueprint Governor of the Year Award for Youth and Women Empowerment and inclusion in Governance.

Blueprint Newspaper Limited is one of the leading Newspapers in the country and organisers of Blueprint Impact Series Award.

According to the Award Committee, His Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello ranks topmost in recognition of his commitment for women empowerment and youth inclusiveness in governance. The Award Committee disclosed that Governor Bello has been consistent in ensuring that youths and women are appointed to position of responsibility.

The committee which was made up of eminent Nigerians reviewed Governor Bello administration’s policy on the deliberate and practical demonstration of the belief in the capacity of Nigerian Youths to assume the mantle of leadership in the country and contribute to the political and socio-economic development of the state in particular.

Award Committee also added “You have also carved a niche for yourself in promoting female inclusiveness in politics and leadership positions, especially the appointment of a female Secretary to the State Government , Aide-de-Camp to Your Excellency and deputy chairpersons in all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state. This is unprecedented in the history of the country, coming at a time Nigeria rank 185th position out of 193 countries on the percentage of women in National Parliaments. This bold effort ensures a governance structure that is gender-balanced and well-positioned to harness the contributions Women at all levels”.

The Governor will receive the award at the Blueprint 10th Anniversary and Impact Series Awards which comes up on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Mariana, Abuja by 10am.

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NDPHC, Ministry Of Water Resources To Collaborate On Small Hydro Power Projects




By ABBA Sunday, Abuja

The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Ltd has sought collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to execute some small and medium hydro projects in parts of the country aimed at boosting power generation.

This was made known by the Managing Director/CEO, NDPHC, Ltd Mr Chiedu Ugbo Tuesday when he led the management team of the company on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Water Resources in Abuja to seek the Ministry’s support in the company’s effort to develop small & medium hydro projects in the country.

In a statement signed by NDPHC’s Head, Communication & Public Relations, Olufunke Nwankwo,
Ugbo explained during his remark that the company was looking at setting up small hydro plants on existing dams in the country, especially those in the northern part of the country.

He said: “We are here to pay you a courtesy visit and at the same time let you know what our programmes are with regards to renewable so that we can start discussing with your Ministry in earnest on how we can develop small hydro resources around the country, preferably, in the northern part of the country because of the quality of electricity in the area.”

The NDPHC boss noted that though the company has ten power generation plants, with eight linked to the national grid with about 4,099 mega watts, most are located in the southern part of the country and are unable to generate optimally due to poor transmission and distribution infrastructure
“We have 4,099MW but not all are taken in the grid due to systemic problems. If you check today, we have 500-700MW on the grid. That is not to say our machines are bad, it is because of transmission and distribution challenges.

“In those areas too, NDPHC has done significant work. We pride ourselves as having invested about 50 percent of the transmission assets in the country. We have invested heavily in transmission and distribution assets all over the country, in every state.

“We have also invested in solar home systems. We started from not just underserved but un-served communities.

We did 20,000 in the first phase called beyond the grid programme. We started the second phase in Kazuare Emirate in Bauchi State with 100,000 connections.
“But having developed our thermal plants reasonably, we thought it is time to move to the next phase of our project development and that phase is where after optimizing gas resources, we have to optimize other resources we have for power generation.

“In renewable energy, we are working on solar, not just stand alone but also mini-grid and on utility scale, that is on one side. We also thought that part of the programme is the hydro electric and the best way to start it is the dams”, he explained.

The CEO said the company was interested in the dams especially those with hydro electric capabilities already installed or can be recovered.

Speaking during the meeting, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Adamu said Nigeria has over 240 dams across the country most of which have the capacity for hydro power.

The Minister who pointed out that the dams have the capacity from 40MW and below, stated that most of the projects have been halted because of poor planning.

He explained that most irrigation projects in the country require a lot of water which also needs a lot of electricity to operate, urging NDPHC to support the projects by installing solar projects in the irrigation areas.

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Award winning CNN’s Amanpour reveals she has ovarian cancer, ‘confident’ in recovery




CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour announced she has ovarian cancer. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist shared her cancer diagnosis with viewers Monday during her CNN International program “Amanpour,” which she’s been absent from the last four weeks while undergoing treatment.  

“Like millions of women around the world, I’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer,” Amanpour, 63, said. “I’ve had successful major surgery to remove it and I’m now undergoing several months of chemotherapy for the very best possible long-term prognosis and I’m confident.”

According to Mayo Clinic, ovarian cancer is a “common cancer among women” that “starts in the ovaries, and spreads to the abdomen and pelvis if it is not diagnosed and treated early.”

Amanpour said she publicly shared her diagnosis not only for “transparency,” but to highlight the importance of an “early diagnosis” and to “urge women to educate themselves on this disease.””

Get all the regular screenings and scans that you can,” Amanpour said. “Always listen to your bodies; and of course to ensure that your legitimate medical concerns are not dismissed or diminished.”

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread to the pelvis and abdomen, which makes the disease more difficult to treat, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include abdominal bloating or swelling, quickly feeling full when eating, weight loss, frequent need to urinate, changes in bowel habits and discomfort in the pelvic area.

The London-born, Tehran-raised journalist, who first came to America’s attention as an unflappable war correspondent reporting from bombed-out conflict zones around the world, said she feels “fortunate to have health insurance through work and incredible doctors who are treating me in a country underpinned by, of course, the brilliant (National Health Service)” in the U.K.

Amanpour also hosts PBS’ “Amanpour & Company.”

Contributing: Maria Puente

Christiane Amanpour permanently replaces Charlie Rose in PBS late-night slot


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NSCC Set To Address Injustices, Abuses Facing Older persons In Nigeria




Reporter: Blessing Bature

Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), Dr Emem Omokaro has said the Centre is set to address the challenges of welfare, healthcare, injustice, abuse and discrimination against Senior Citizens in the country.

Omokaro made this known during a press conference to mark the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on Tuesday in Abuja.

She said, ‘WEAAD is commemorated every year on June 15th and It was launched in year 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and ratified by the United Nations’ General Assembly under its Resolution 66/127 of 2011.

The theme of 2021 WEAAD is: “Access to Justice”. “It is no longer news that the elderly in the country are facing challenges which include, lack of welfare, Justice, healthcare, discrimination, abuse and false accusations, saying NSCC with its envisioned organogram will be razor focused on delivering the mandate of addressing the challenges faced by older persons in the country, she said.

She explained that the Centre would adopt an optimistic perspective on ageing and leverage on existing social, health and economic systems and structures or forge new ones to enhance the capacities, engagement and well-being of all older peoole.

She emphasised that programmes would be developed in conjunction with older people and stakeholder constituents to eliminate age-based discrimination and exclusion in later life, reduce key vulnerabilities and inequalities especially in rural areas,

“We will concentrate on citizens’ orientation , advocacy and ageing integration, health and social Care, special needs population, Quality Care Regulation, Social Programs and Support Services.

“Other are continuing Engagement Bureau and Inter-generational Programs;, Rural Community Engagement and Livelihood Development etc,” Omokaro said.

According to her, the Centre will use all Primary Healthcare Centres to enhance the health being of the senior citizens across the country
“We shall also set up a help line for all the Senior Citizens and also partner with Legal Aid Council to ensure that their rights are protected and defended.

“We will partner with the National bureau of Statistic for survey to have accurate data and multidimensional approach to ensure we deliver on our mandate. We will develop a five year implementation plan,” she said.

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