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Page 7 Thursday March 24

Page 7 Thursday March 24 Brussels attacks trigger security alert at Lagos airport From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on Belgium’s Zaventem Airport and…

Page 7 Thursday March 24

Brussels attacks trigger security alert at Lagos airport

From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on Belgium’s Zaventem Airport and Maelbeek Metro in Brussels have triggered a string of security measures at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, our correspondent gathered yesterday.

Authorities at the airport said they had reviewed security at the local and international wings of the airport. One of the measures is the evacuation of unclaimed luggage found within the departure and arrival halls while sniffer dogs have been deployed.

The Commissioner, Police Airport Command, Mrs. Victory Menta, met with the Divisional Police Officers and Area Commanders within the airport to strengthen security within the airport.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also said it had taken steps to improve security.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Yakubu Datti, warned those without any legitimate business at the airport to keep off, saying FAAN would not leave any stone unturned to ensure maximum security.

He said all the body scanners and Close Circuit Television (CCTV) units were functioning and advised passengers to arrive the airport on time for check-in procedures in order not to miss their flights. He urged all passengers not to leave any luggage behind as such items would be taken away and destroyed.

‘Lack of political will key challenge to agriculture’

By Abubakar Haruna

Lack of concentration and co-ordination by governments are the major challenges facing the agricultural sector in the country, the Deputy Director, Country and Policy, Agricultural Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, James Nyoro, said yesterday.

Nyoro spoke in Abuja at an exclusive interview with Daily Trust on the sidelines of the stakeholders’ dialogue and workshop for the State Partnership for Agriculture organized by Synergos Nigeria with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Government has not had a lot of concentration on agriculture, and that is because the oil sector had been doing well and had been injecting money into the country’s economy,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria had been doing well before discovering oil because it concentrated on agricultural products.

He was however optimistic that with the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari to concentrate on agriculture, things would get better for the country.

He said a lot must be done to follow up on government’s programmes and policies to ensure the achievement of the desired objective on agriculture, adding that the foundation would partner the states and federal government to develop the sector.

The Director, Synergos Nigeria, Adewale Ajadi, said they organized the programme to engage stakeholders and empower them to move agriculture from subsistence to business status.

He said part of their work was to develop experts and make them to ensure transformation. According to him, the organisation will work with stakeholders to deliver feedbacks from the workshop.

Rivers to immortalise slain corps member

From Victor Edozie, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said yesterday in Port Harcourt that the state government would immortalise Mr Samuel Okonta, the corps member who was shot dead during the Saturday’s rerun legislative elections in the state.

He also promised that the government would provide all necessary assistance for the police to investigate the killing to identify those responsible and prosecute them.

The governor who spoke at the Rivers State office of the National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC) in Port Harcourt also announced an increase in the monthly allowance of corps members serving outside Port Harcourt and those serving in Port Harcourt.

He expressed sadness that the corps member died serving the nation and promised that the state government would take care of his family.

Governor Wike noted that the death was even more painful because the corps member was an orphan and was on the verge of helping his immediate family.

“The death of this corps member is unfortunate and condemnable. I urge the police to thoroughly investigate the crime. The outcome of the investigation should be made public so that those involved are prosecuted. The killing of this corps member must not be swept under the carpet. I call for a post mortem on the corpse so that we can ascertain the type of bullet and type of gun that killed him,” he said.

The governor said his administration would also take measures to improve security in the state, adding that steps would be taken to ensure that a similar incident does not occur.

He commiserated with the Department of State Services over the death of their

staff. State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs Ngozi Nwatarali, appealed for greater protection of corps members during elections.

Inadequate power, water supply itching BSUTH-CMD

From Hope Abah, Makurdi

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Professor Orkurga Malu, says the hospital is facing acute shortage of water, inadequate power supply and low manpower.

Speaking yesterday at a meeting in Makurdi with officials of the state Ministry of Health, Malu appealed to the state government to assist the hospital address the problems for high performance.

The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Cecilia Ojabo, appealed to labour unions in the health sector to understand with the state government by not insisting on some of their benefits in view of the present economic situation.

The CMD said despite the challenges, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had established a malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS research centre meant for the North Central zone at the hospital while the National Communications Commission had donated electronic-health equipment with a smart classroom, teleconferencing and I.P phones to facilitate health care delivery.

He added that a multi-purpose teaching laboratory was being built by the university, and through his personal contacts with an NGO in the United States, a container of medical equipment would soon be shipped in for the hospital.

Malu added that the hospital currently renders services such as endoscopy, total knee and hip replacement and highly specialized surgeries, noting that with the induction of another set of doctors from the Benue State University, the hospital’s objectives were being fulfilled.

Earlier, Dr. Ojabo at the meeting with management and staff of the hospital maintained that in view of the present dwindling resources of government, emphasis was now on payment of workers’ salaries and the hospital had been placed on the front line charge due to the central role it plays in healthcare in the state.

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