AGN holds candlelight service for late Nollywood Mr Ibu, others in FCT

The Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN)has organised a candlelight procession to pay tribute to late Nollywood actors John Okafor, popularly known as ‘Mr Ibu’, Amaechi Muonagor and Zulu Adigwe.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the thespians, alongside fans and friends of the late veterans gathered for the procession at the Unity Fountain on Monday night in Abuja.

The procession was led by Emeka Rollas, National President of the AGN ,alongside veteran actors Kenneth Okonkwo, Zack Orji, Sidney Idiala, among others.

In a heartfelt display of respect and emotions, the attendees took turns to pay tribute to the fallen heroes for their contributions to the Nigerian film industry.

Mercy Salma, FCT mayor of AGN, said the event was to show appreciation and honour for the life and times of the late actors.

‘These are Nollywood veterans that put smiles in the faces of Nigerians during their lifetime, so we should celebrate their legacies and memories.

‘They have both the young and the old Nigerians, and even
across Africa and beyond as their fans.’

‘So this procession is to show that we love them and appreciate their sacrifices and contributions to our industry and nation at large,’ she said.

In his speech, Emeka Rollas said the procession was to demonstrate the solidarity that exist in the actors guild and to reflect on the moments they shared with the late thespians.

According to the AGN helmsman, the candlelight service was also an occasion for actors to reflect on how they want to be remembered at the end of their works.

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‘This is a season of sorrow for us at the AGN, our hearts are filled with grief over the loss of our three veteran members.

‘But as the saying goes, when someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

‘The Late John Okafor, Amaechi Monaugor and Zulu Adigwe lived life that exemplified brilliance and inspired emulation.

‘They also lived a life that burned so that others’ paths were lit, and th
ey made impact on the society through their profession.

‘Today we are here to honour them, not only by profoundly feeling and expressing our loss, but also to remember their amazing personalities.

‘They all played unique and special roles in all of our lives and the acting profession and they were loyal colleagues and special friends to many of us.

‘Today, we honour these men as we recall special moments ,they were living proof of how fine a person can be, caring hearts to their friends and colleagues, loving and devoted father to their children.

They gave their all in their acting careers as they worked with passion, integrity and energy and our hearts and prayers are with their families at this most difficult time,’ he said.

On his part, Kenneth Okonkw, foremost Nollywood actor said their commitment to their profession were part of what made the Nigerian film industry a toast of fans.

According to him, they were driven by passion to join the industry that was why they rose to their peak and made indel
ible marks.

He urged young artistes to focus on value delivery and shun the rush for quick monetary gains for them to make their marks in the industry.

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‘As one of the pioneer actors in the industry, I was connected personally to each of them that came to Nollywood at that time, and I can tell you that they were all driven by passion for acting.

‘Wherever they are today, we should appreciate what they have contributed towards they growth and development of our industry,’ he said.

NAN reports that the high point of the event was prayers for the repose of the departed souls and for Nollywood industry, and as well as prayers for Nigeria.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Experts advise early cancer screening for successful treatment

Medical experts have encouraged the public, especially women and girls to engage in regular screening for early detection and successful treatment of cervical cancer.

They made the call during a zoom meeting organised by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria and partners, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The zoom meeting is with the theme ‘Understanding Cervical Cancer and Its Intersection with HIV.’

The partners include: John Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) and GirlsAct.

Dr George Ikaraoha, JHPIEGO Advisor on Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) and Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (CECAP), explained that cervical Cancer was a malignant tumour of the lowermost part of the uterus.

He added that cervical cancer could be prevented and treated if detected early.

Ikaraoha identified Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection, early sexual activity and multiple sexual partners, sm
oking and immune system deficiency as factors that contributed to cervical cancer.

Ikaraoha, also identified long-term use of oral contraceptives, having many children, poverty, poor access to healthcare services, as well as information amid cultural beliefs as other factors.

He, therefore, encouraged regular screening as crucial for detection and treatment of precancerous conditions before they developed into cervical cancer.

‘By understanding the risk factors and adhering to recommended screening schedules, women can significantly reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer and improve their chances of successful treatment, if cancer does occur,’ he said.

Ms Omoseke Bamijoko, an Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Nurse with AHF, also stressed the need for early diagnosis, which she explained would enable experts to detect and treat cancer successfully.

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She said: ‘Women living with HIV are more prone to cervical cancer and
as such should go for screening every three years while others can be screened every five years.

‘Also, the public should desist from stigmatising people to enable them access health care.’

She urged girls and women to seek health professionals, when they observe unusual bleeding, increase in foul-smelling vaginal discharge, persistent pain in the back and leg or pelvic.

Others, she said are weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite, vaginal discomfort, swelling in the legs among others.

Dr Lois Maji, a Programme Officer with IHVN, advised young girls to take advantage of the Federal Government’s free programme on HPV screening and vaccine to protect themselves against cervical cancer.

She emphasised that early detection would not only reduce the burden of cervical cancer in Nigeria but would also prevent genital warts and other genital growths in women and girls.

Mrs Menakaya Atenchong, senior nursing officer with AHF, called for more investment and affordable healthcare services, public education, eng
agement of community leaders and utilising culturally sensitive approaches to enhance cervical cancer screening and treatment services.

Mr Steve Aborisade, AHF Nigeria Advocacy and Marketing Manager, said that cervical cancer and HIV were significant public health issues that disproportionately affect women, particularly in resource-limited settings.

Aborisade said the meeting was organised to acquaint participants with information on the relationship between HIV and cervical cancer.

‘This will also enable us to discuss preventive measures, and to share the latest research and strategies for effective management and support,’he said.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 160 participants from across the country joined the meeting.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

AHF Nigeria advocates age-appropriate sexuality education for children

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria, an International NGO, has advocated for an age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to enhance health outcomes and protect children from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and abuse.

The AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, Dr Echey Ijezie, made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, in commemoration of the International Day of the African Child (IDAC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the day is annually celebrated on June 16 to raise awareness and focus on challenges children in African countries face in receiving quality education.

The day is also to honour those who participated in the 1976 Soweto uprising and has since become an observance day about the rights of African children.

The programme director, therefore, said ‘AHF’s commitment to fostering CSE stems from extensive global research, which highlights its many benefits – including reduction in early sexual engagement.

‘Others are fostering a positive attitude to
ward sexual and reproductive health issues, reducing the tendency to engage in risky behaviours, and strengthening self-awareness.

‘There is also the need to equip young individuals with knowledge to combat HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancies, while challenging harmful gender norms.’

Ijezie also noted that the #ProtectTheChild campaign aims to address the pushback and misinformation around CSE, which has hindered effective implementation.

He added that the organisation would be hosting a consultative meeting with students, young people and government officials on how CSE could foster health and education on June 20.

He announced that AHF Africa will also host series of events under the theme ‘Fostering Health and Education Through Comprehensive Sexuality Education’ as part of its ongoing ‘#ProtectTheChild’ campaign.

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Ijezie said the theme aligns with the global 2024 IDAC theme – ‘Education for All, and the Time is Now’
, to underscore the crucial role that access to education, including Comprehensive Sexuality Education, play in enhancing health outcomes for young people.

He added that ‘the emphasis on age-appropriate CSE stems from the increasing rates of new HIV infections and teenage pregnancies, highlighting the urgent need to equip young people with proven tools, services and information.

‘Research has demonstrated that age-appropriate CSE can significantly reduce the incidence of HIV, STIs, Gender-Based Violence, and unplanned pregnancies among adolescents and young people.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FEMD, Near Foundation distribute meat to IDPs for Eid-el Kabir

The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department (FEMD), in collaboration with Near Foundation, has distributed meat to 150 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja, to celebrate Eid-el Kabir.

Acting Director-General of FEMD, Mrs Florence Wenegieme, explained during the distribution exercise in Abuja on Tuesday, that the support was part of measures to leave no one behind.

Wenegieme said that the distribution of the meat would give the IDPs a sense of belonging, saying, ‘It is not everybody that can afford a ram or even a chicken.’

The acting D-G urged other organisations to emulate the good will of Near Foundation to give vulnerable people hope in life.

‘Beyond reaching out to vulnerable people, FEMD in partnership with other organisations will equally build the capacity of IDPs in different skills for self-reliance.

‘We pray that Near Foundation and other NGOs we are collaborating with will design different programmes for the poor and vulnerable in the FCT.

‘Helping the less privilege
d people in our midst will give them hope,’ she said.

Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, Federal Capital Emergency Management Department (FEMD), Mr Mohammed Abdulrahman (6th from left); acting Director-General, FEMD, Mrs Florence Wenegieme (7th); and Project Manager of Near Foundation, Mr Abdulmalik Bulakos (8th), and other officials at the distribution of meat to Internally Displaced Persons to celebrate Eid-el Kabir in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Programme Manager of Near Foundation, Mr Abdulmalik Bulakos, said that the partnership with FEMD was to strengthen humanitarian support for distressed people.

Bulakos said that the strategic partnership with FEMD helped the foundation in identifying the vulnerable people in FCT, particularly IDPs.

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He explained that humanitarian aid was one of the intervention areas of the foundation, to reach out to poor and vulnerable people in communities, particularly with the current economic hardship in
the country.

On the meat package, the programme manager said that each IDP would receive four kilogrammes of meat to celebrate Eid-el Kabir.

He said that so far, the foundation has slaughtered over 1,200 cows and distributed meat packages to more than 50,000 vulnerable residents of FCT.

‘This part of the tradition of Near Foundation. It is an annual event and still ongoing, as evident with distribution of meat packages to more than 150 IDPs in Abuja,’ he said.

Project Manager of Near Foundation, Mr Abdulmalik Bulakos, supervising the preparation of meat for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons to celebrate Eid-el Kabir in Abuja on Tuesday.

Also speaking, Mr Mohammed Abdulrahman, Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, FEMD, described the gesture and life changing.

‘This is five years now that they have been consistently doing this. Every salah, the foundation touches the lives of vulnerable people,’ Abdulrahman said.

One of the IDPs in Kabusa, Mr Yahaya Hassan, said he could not afford meat for th
e Eid-el Kabir celebration and thanked FEMD and Near Foundation for supporting him with meat to celebrate salah.

Similarly, Mrs Halita Joseph, an IDP in Yimutu IDP Camp, equally thanked the foundation and FEMD for remembering IDPs every year during salah.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

2024 LIMCAF: Access Bank board chairman tasks youths on creativity

Mr Paul Usoro, Chairman, Board of Directors, Access Bank Plc, has advised Nigerian youths to focus on creativity and skills acquisition rather than seeking shortcuts to wealth creation.

Usoro gave the advice during the opening ceremony of the 2024 Life In My City Art Festival (LIMCAF), held in Lagos on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme featured exhibition of about 106 artworks by up-and-coming artists from across the nation.

The festival has the theme ‘Humanism’, which the artists depicted in their works.

Usoro, who was the special guest of honour, said knowledge and skills acquired could be easily converted to wealth by being hardworking.

He urged the youth not to lose hope in spite the economic hardship but remain hardworking and creative.

He advised them to be committed to utilising their brains positively.

‘I will like to advise Nigerian youths not to lose hope; don’t look for shortcuts; all you really need to do is to use your brains.

‘Even as artists, you can
be successful. Make yourselves knowledgeable and skillful.

‘I am impressed with the works these young people have created here.

‘I wish the organisers can project it to a larger audience so that it can inspire our leaders to formulate policies that will make life much better and give the young people hope,’ he said.

Also, Kelvin Ejiofor, Executive Director, LIMCAF, said that at the end of the programme on June 22, the exhibitor of the best artwork would win N1 million.

Ejiofor said that LIMCAF aimed at encouraging creativity and empowering aspiring young artists , including those with disabilities.

‘LIMCAF, in its 17th edition recorded remarkable impact of convincing people that arts was no longer an occupation not to be proud of.

‘It is my main source of joy helping the young people to find their feet in their chosen profession, giving them opportunity to showcase their works,’ he said.

For Jekami Adetiloye, one of the Jury, said the exhibition is a clarion call to every Nigerian to be humane, regardl
ess of the happenings in the society.

‘There seems to be the absence of humanity in the society because of the current economic hardship in the country, hence the choice of the theme.

‘The artists who have exhibited their works are suggesting ways government can solve problems as well as sensitising Nigerians on the need to show kindness and compassion to others.

‘This exhibition has seen our youths solving the problem of unemployment as they become relentless, hardworking and creative to have come up with unique perspectives to things happening in the society.

‘The youths are also now interested in documentation which has been a great challenge,’ he said.

One of the artists, Praise Edward, who described herself as a digital artist and and a graphic designer, said her work titled ‘Strong Together’ exposed the chaotic experience of women who have been marginalised.

‘So, I tried to picture these women coming together to build hope by way of uniting, sharing their experiences and creating better lives for
themselves,’ she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Manufacturing, commercialisation critical to driving Nigeria’s economic growth – Expert

An entrepreneur, Mr Innocent Ogu, says manufacturing and commercialisation are critical to driving Nigeria’s economic growth.

Ogu, the President, African Legacy International, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that his organisation was committed to fostering economic development through strategic initiatives.

He said one of such efforts was the upcoming 2024 Industrial and Commercial Expo, designed to catalyse technology transfer among stakeholders in the sector.

According to Ogu, the 2nd edition of the Expo, themed ‘Driving the Nigerian Economy to the Global Markets Level,’ is scheduled to take place from August 21 to August 23 in Abuja.

He said various measures had been taken to ensure the event’s success, including the participation of more than 300 exhibitors and about 10,000 attendees.

‘The event will feature high-level Government to Business meetings, and we expect about 300 exhibitors from different countries.

‘Delegates will have the chance to meet local and international manufactu
rers, brands, and suppliers from various countries .

‘The countries include China, South Korea, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Egypt, and many others,’ he said.

Ogu encouraged local manufacturers to showcase their products and engage with international producers, promoting an exchange of ideas and fostering business collaborations.

According to him, such interactions can significantly benefit Nigerian businesses by exposing them to global markets.

He expressed optimism that the programme would drive the Nigerian economy toward global market competitiveness.

‘The Expo aims to provide Nigerians with the opportunity to compete on an international level, offering greater value for their goods and services.

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‘Local exhibitors are expected to gain enhanced visibility and appreciation for their participation, while international exhibitors will find direct end user
s for their products and services.

‘The projected 10,000 visitors expected at the event highlights its potential impact on both local and international business communities.

‘The 2024 Industrial and Commercial Expo represents a significant step towards economic growth and development in Nigeria.

‘It will showcase the nation’s potential to engage with the global market and foster valuable business connections,’he Ogu said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria