Sahara Reporters Latest News Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 02/01/19

Read also Leadership Newspapers News Today Wednesday 2nd January 2019

target=_blank>2019 Offers Nigerians Golden Opportunity To Change Our Destiny, Says ADP Presidential Candidate

Yabagi Yusuf Sani, ADP presidential candidate

Yabagi Yusuf Sani, ADP presidential candidate

As the world celebrates the turn of a new year, Yabagi Yusuf Sani, presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), has urged the people to embrace the “golden opportunity” the new year offers.
In his new year message, Sani lauded Nigerians for their doggedness in the face of challenges and urged them not to be discouraged as 2019 will bring hope that will satisfy their aspirations.
He also expressed optimism that “a new Nigeria will emerge where quality education is guaranteed, there is a decrease in the unemployment rate and economy blossom”, adding that “it can only be realised if Nigerians make the right choices in the next polls”.
“As we enter a new year, it is my hope and aspiration that Nigerians, for once benefit from democracy. We now have a golden opportunity before all of us to change our destiny once and for all and for greater good,” he said.
“I want Nigerians to think anew. The daunting task before us is achievable. We can have a brand new Nigeria where we can give our children quality education, where youth unemployment and restiveness can be reduced to near non existence. We can also have quality and affordable private and public health system for our kids, adults and aged ones. Our economy can be transformed to become the largest in Africa and begin to compete with advanced nations of the world.”
Sani stressed that he is rightly positioned to get Nigeria back on the right track, expressing his readiness to serve Nigerians.
Sani, who is expected to kick-start his campaign fully, said: “It is time for serious work to rescue our country and bring prosperity to all citizens”.

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target=_blank>AAC To Nigerians: Welcome To 2019, Our Year Of Taking It Back

The TakeItBack movement of the African Action Congress (AAC) has congratulated Nigerians on the beginning of another year.
According to the party, “2019 is the year of taking it back”.
A statement issued by Lucky Ighoyota, Public Relations Officer of the TakeItBack Movement/Sowore2019 Campaign on Tuesday thanked those who have supported the movement and also urged Nigerians to “continue to garner strength for tougher days ahead”.
The statement read: “The Sowore 2019 Presidential Campaign Team wishes all Nigerians a happy and prosperous new year. We thank our numerous supporters worldwide and the Nigerian public for their acceptance of our political brand: direct citizens’ engagement in the body polity of the Nigerian state that has witnessed ‘kleptocratic politicking’ in the last 58 years of our national life.
“We hope our ambitious aspirations hinged on these three most sacred of pillars: Security, Sufficiency and a Sustainable Economy will remain the burning issues of discourse in the build up to the 2019 general election.
“We know that the status quo is already triggered by our disruptive activities in the last 10-11 months as we have grown from a human rights movement to the kind of strength that birthed a political party; a major political party registered just last August and since adjudged to be the fastest growing political party in Africa. We know that they have charted our force with growing concern, marshalled by incorruptible digital-age individuals as well as some of Nigeria’s finest brains around the globe, all ably led by our convener and presidential candidate, OMOYELE SOWORE.
“With the forgoing narrative, we therefore hold the strong belief that if we agree and commit our collective resolve in chasing the ‘Political Barabbas’ in the 2019 general election through our revolutionary drive, our goal is more than doable if we faint not.
“We therefore charge you with the prayers to continue to garner strength for the tougher days ahead; for ‘no pain, no gain’. Welcome to 2019, our year of TAKING IT BACK. Happy New Year!”

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target=_blank>Beware Of Peddlers Of Fake News In 2019, APC Tells Bayelsans

The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the people to wary of the antics of those who spread fake news that can lead to breakdown of law and order in the state.
Doifie Buokoribo, APC State Publicity Secretary, stated this in the party’s New Year message released on Monday in Yenagoa, in which he the party wished Bayelsans the best in their “traditionally lofty endeavours” in 2019.
Residents were urged to be wary of fake news, innuendos, and propaganda intentionally designed by “enemies of peace and democracy” to cause disaffection among the people for selfish political purposes. 
The message read: “It is our honour to extend felicitations to you, the good people of Bayelsa State, on this joyful occasion of New Year’s Day. APC wishes all Bayelsans the best as they pursue their traditionally lofty endeavours throughout 2019 and beyond. You have shown outstanding civility remaining peaceful, despite living under a state government and party that all too often runs riot with power, looting and assaulting democratic freedoms and values, and spreading pain. 
“APC salutes the resilience of the Bayelsa masses in the face of the myriad, but very avoidable, socio-economic challenges. May we also use this medium to warn the people of the state to be wary, as some powerful individuals in the state, with their acolytes outside, have concluded a plot to launch a campaign of fake news and disinformation intended to cause disaffection among the people and try to discredit some of our finest leaders to criminally perpetual themselves and their cronies in power.
“Information at our disposal has revealed how these enemies of our people and democracy have planned to use both formal and informal news channels, as well as traditional and new media to create, present, and disseminate their wicked falsehoods and conjectures. Fully aware that they cannot get political mandate from the people by wholesome means, this tribe of democracy haters have chosen the unwholesome method. But, as usual, we can cut the ground from under their feet.
“As the 2019 general election draws closer, we urge Bayelsans to embrace the wind of change blowing across the country. It is in the best interest of our people to cast their votes for the party that has hope, the APC. We call on the people of Bayelsa State to vote the APC presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, and others carrying our party’s flag for the various elective offices in the 2019 general elections. We should use our votes this February and March to leave retrogression and change to the next level of progress with the rest of Nigeria.
“We wish Bayelsa State a Happy New Year, and the earliest return to a prosperous future.”

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target=_blank>MURIC Condemns Nigerian Govt For Granting Official Recognition To Jan. 1 For Christians To Enjoy

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has taken a swipe at the Nigerian government for recognising January 1 for Christians, yet failing to do same to other religious affiliations, especially Islam.
In a statement on Tuesday, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the MURIC Director, maintained that several petitions have been written for the Islamic calendar to be recognied, yet it has been consistently turned down.
According to Akintola, the recognition of January 1 “for Christians to enjoy” is “religious apartheid”.
The statement read: “The Federal Government declared today, 1st January 2018, as a public holiday thereby keeping faith with the practice since colonial days into Nigeria’s post-independence period. The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the Federal Government (FG) for granting official recognition to 1st January for Christians to enjoy while ignoring the myriad of petitions from Muslims dating back to the 60s demanding recognition for 1st Muharram as the first day of the Islamic calendar.
“Nigerian Muslims feel marginalised. The reality of the Nigerian situation has subjected Muslims in the country to religious segregation. Today 1st January 2019 was declared by FG in recognition of the Christo-Western Gregorian calendar. This happens every year. In essence, FG recognizes the Christian calendar but spurns the Islamic calendar despite several petitions and appeals to it dating back to the 60s. In particular, MURIC has consistently made this demand at least for the past ten years.
“This is religious apartheid. A society which desires peace must embrace justice and fairness. Justice is the soul of peace. Nobody can deny one and enjoy the other. It is this socio-economic imbalance that has been responsible for the absence of genuine and enduring peace in Nigeria.
“Muslims suffered under colonial rule as every policy of the colonial master was designed to eliminate all vestiges of Islam. It is most unfortunate that successive post-independence regimes have pursued this lopsided policy and refused to review the situation. It is disappointing to note that Nigerian governments headed by Muslims have equally turned deaf ears to our complaints.
“From Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to Muritala Muhammad, from Ibrahim Babangida to Sanni Abacha, Musa Yaradua and now Muhammadu Buhari, no Muslim head of state had the political will to bell the cat. Though we are not unaware of the strategy of agents of neo-colonialism whose stock-in-trade is to blackmail Muslim heads of state with the ‘Islamisation’ agenda in order to put them permanently on the defence, we expect that every Nigerian leader must possess the courage to enthrone justice and equity.”
The organisation applauded state governments that have recognised the Islamic calendar, and “declared 1st Muharram as holiday”, and urged the Nigerian government to follow suit. It also promised to go tough if the government fails to recognise the Islamic calendar, stating that it would employ civil actions to press home its demands.
“In view of this glaring injustice and the obvious lack of political will on the part of FG, MURIC hereby calls on Nigerian Muslims to prepare for a change in tactics. From now onwards, if FG continues with its lackadaisical attitude to the demands of Muslims for parity with their Christian neighbours, we will accompany our civil rights demands with peaceful protests”, Prof. Ishaq said.
MURIC ordered all Muslims to observe a sit-at-home on 1st Muharram 1441 as the beginning of their actions to ensure the federal government recognizes the Islamic calendar and declare the first day of the calendar as a public holiday.
The statement continued: “To start with, we are instructing our members throughout the federation to sit at home on 1st Muharram 1441 which corresponds to 31st August 2019. However, Muslims will observe the sit-at-home on Friday, 30th August 2019 to give more effect to their demand for parity and civil liberty.”
“We refuse to be third class citizens in our own country. Nigeria belongs to all of us. We are not asking for any favour. We are demanding our Allah-given fundamental human right. Nobody has the right to take from us what Almighty Allah has given us. We will not be slaves in our land.
“In conclusion, we give notice to FG to brace up for peaceful confrontation with Nigerian Muslims or to grant equal status to 1st Muharram by declaring the day as a public holiday like 1st January.”

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E2%80%94-nigerian-govt target=_blank>Mandatory Use Of NIN Begins Today — Nigerian Govt

In line with Federal Government directive, the implementation of mandatory usage of the National Identification Number (NIN) takes effect from today, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has announced.
At its meeting on September 12, 2018, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the new National Digital Identity Ecosystem Strategic Roadmap for the enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
By that federal directive, therefore, the usage of the NIN becomes mandatory, from January 1, 2019, to access any government service across the country.
According to Engr. Aliyu Aziz, Director-General of NIMC, all federal government Ministries, Agencies and Departments that take records of personnel/provide services requiring the identification of a person, shall from January 1, 2019, mandatorily demand the NIN from citizens to offer any of such services.
Ministries and Agencies such as  Education, Aviation, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, National Population Commission, National Independent Electoral Commission, Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Health Insurance Scheme, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Nigeria Police Force, Security and Exchange Commission etc. must request and verify the NIN as already adopted by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Road Safety Commission and the National Pension Commission.
Explaining how the mandatory usage of the NIN will be implemented, Engr. Aziz allayed the fears of the public that the cut-off date might pose a challenge to citizens or jeopardise their access to government services, or indeed, put their citizenship in any doubt.
“The process is simple and shall bring no stress to anyone. When the Federal Executive Council says mandatory usage of the NIN from January 1, 2019, it means that from that date onward, the agencies providing services listed under Section 27 of the NIMC Act and Section 1 of the Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number Regulations 2017 shall demand the NIN from citizens or legal residents before offering them any service.”
Speaking further, Engr. Aziz assured Nigerians that no one shall be denied any government services on account of not having the NIN.
Rather, the mandatory enrolment or collection of data by the above-mentioned government agencies or their licensed agents, along with private sector organisations to be licensed by NIMC in the coming days under the digital identity ecosystem means fast-tracking of the enrolment process in the national identity system.
“We have a mandate to register all Nigerians and legal residents or at least over 95 per cent of the population within the next three years. It does not necessarily mean that NIMC must have offices or enrolment centres in all nooks and crannies of the country, especially given the current economic situation and realities in our country.
“Instead, in its wisdom the Federal Government approved the new digital identity ecosystem which ensures and mandates all government agencies earlier mentioned and private sector organisations to be licensed by NIMC, to collect citizens’ data using guidelines issued by the NIMC and through secure approved channels of communication send such data to NIMC to generate the NIN.
“This Strategic Roadmap, which is supported by the World Bank, puts Nigeria on the path to becoming one of the leading countries in the World with a verifiable and credible identity system, which is the bedrock for planning, financial management and shrewd budgetary scheme,” he explained.
The FEC approval of the new digital identity ecosystem brings into full force the implementation of the provisions of the NIMC Act 23, 2007, which include the enforcement of the mandatory use of the NIN and the application of appropriate sanctions and penalties on defaulters as provided under Section 28 of the NIMC Act.
“NIMC is empowered to ensure strict compliance with the NIN requirement and can demand evidence of compliance from a person or entity; caution a non-compliant person or entity in writing; sanction a non-compliant person or entity by the imposition of administrative fines or institute criminal or civil actions against the non-complaint person or entity,” Engr. Aziz stated.

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E2%80%8B target=_blank>2019 Budget: Buhari To Spend N1bn On Travels, N98m On Food​

The Federal Government budgeted N1,001,318,171 for President Muhammadu Buhari’s local and international travels in the proposed 2019 budget.
The budget proposes N250,021,595 for the President’s local trips and N751,296,576 for him to travel internationally.
Meanwhile, N83,974,710 was budgeted for Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s local travel, while N217,060,883 was proposed for his international trips.
Under foodstuff/catering materials supplies, N98,306,492 was budgeted for the President and N50,888,218 for the Vice-President.
The Federal Government also proposed N416,668,229 for the construction of the presidential wing of the State House Medical Centre out of the Presidency’s total estimate of N49,307,859,794 in the 2019 budget proposal.
Aside from this, N823,441,666 was proposed for the State House Medical Centre, including drugs and medical supplies (N208,350,424).
Meanwhile, the State House also budgeted N36,787,354 for drugs and medical supplies, and N51,821,160 for medical expenses.
In the 2018 budget, the Presidency had proposed N1,030,458,453 for the State House clinic after the President’s wife, Mrs Aisha Buhari, criticised the medical centre for not having an “ordinary syringe.”
In the 2017 budget, N3.2bn had also been allocated for the upgrade of the state clinic, including “the completion of ongoing work as well as procurement of drugs and other medical equipment.”
The President and his deputy are also to spend over N7.5bn this year on “operations” and maintenance of office buildings, the breakdown of the 2019 budget showed.
The breakdown, which The PUNCH obtained on Monday night, indicated that the entire State House was allocated N49.3bn for general services, covering capital, recurrent and overhead costs.
However, the President’s office was given a dedicated vote of N10bn for the running of his office, out of which N7.5bn went for operations.
To maintain presidential office buildings will cost N4.7bn this year.
Similarly, the President’s direct overhead cost is N1.3bn, while his capital spending will consume another N416.6m, bringing the total figure for “operations” alone to N1.7bn.
On his part, Osinbajo is to spend N591.8m on operations.
Out of the figure, N448.6m goes into overhead costs, while the balance of N143.2m will be spent on capital provisions under operations.
A further breakdown of the presidential budget showed that the Presidency would buy vehicles worth N607.1m this year.
Aside from the N4.7bn budgeted for the maintenance of office buildings, the Presidential residential buildings will be rehabilitated with another N140.4m.
The item titled ‘Refreshments/Meals’ has an allocation of N135.6m and an additional N25.6m, meaning a total N161.2m.
Similarly, a provision of N65.4m was made for the animals in the State House for their “conservation.”

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E2%80%99-abductors-collected-n15m-ransom-%E2%80%93police target=_blank>Zamfara Twins’ Abductors Collected N15m Ransom –Police

Operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested 12 people allegedly linked to the kidnap of twin sisters at Dayran village in Zamfara State.
The 18-year-old girls – Hassana Bala and Hussauna Bala – were kidnapped on October 21. They were on their way to distribute their wedding cards when they were abducted.
The 12 suspects were presented to journalists yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Jimoh Moshood.
According to Moshood, each of the suspects received N500,000.
This was as he noted that six AK47 rifles, four magazines, 34 AK47 live ammunition and four swords were recovered from the suspects.
He said: “Consequent in the kidnap of Hassana Bala (18) and her twin sister, Hussaina Bala on 21, 10, 2018 at Dayran village in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State when they went to distribute their wedding invitation cards to families and friends, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, directed a discrete investigation into the sudden disappearance of the twins and bring perpetrators to justice.
“The operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) carried out a discrete investigation into the matter and succeeded in the arrest of the above-mentioned 12 suspects who were directly responsible for the kidnap of the twins.
“The suspects were arrested in various criminal hideouts in Katsina and Zamfara states. They confessed to the crime and admitted to the various criminal roles they played in the kidnapping of the twins and several other armed robberies, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Zamfara State and environs.
“The suspects also admitted to the Intelligence Response Team that they collected N15 million as ransom before releasing the twins and shared the money N500,000 each among themselves.
“Investigation is in progress and effort is being intensified to arrest the gang leader, Dankarami, second in command of the gang, Yellow, who negotiated the ransom for the release of the twins and Sirajo Dogo the mastermind of the kidnap, who were indicted in the confession statements of the above mentioned suspects.”
Moshood disclosed that six AK47 rifles, four magazines, 34 AK47 live ammunition and four swords were recovered from their possession.
The FPRO added: “The IG has directed the Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspector General of Police in states and Zonal Commands to intensify the implementation of the ongoing robust security arrangement to ensure adequate security nationwide throughout the New Year celebration and beyond.
“Special deployment will be carried out on the highways and major roads nationwide, places of worships, celebrations and recreation centres in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The ongoing raids of criminal hideouts and back spots to remove all criminal elements, and the threat assessment currently being carried out throughout the country will continue into the 2019 general elections and beyond in order to ensure secured environment for a free and fair election.”

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E2%80%8B target=_blank>US Embassy Closes Indefinitely, Visa Seekers To Miss Appointments​

Many Nigerians who applied for US visa will miss their appointments as the United States embassy in Abuja and its consulate in Lagos have shutdown indefinitely.
With this development, applicants for tourist, study, business visas, immigrant visas or any other travel document ,will not be attended to.
The US embassy in Nigeria said in a Facebook post that the development was caused by the government shutdown in the US.
According to the statement, “Due to the current US government shutdown, the American centres located in the embassy, Abuja and Consulate-General, Lagos are unfortunately closed. They will re-open once the US government shutdown is resolved. Sorry for any inconvenience to our valued patrons.”
President Donald Trump-led executive and the US legislative had clashed over Trump’s attempt to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Building a wall was one of Trump’s major campaign promises as part of efforts to curb illegal migration and crime.
During his campaign, Trump had threatened that the Mexican government would pay for the wall.
But after the Mexican government refused to fund the wall, Trump approached the US legislature, requesting for $5 billion to fund the wall.
The Congress, however, rejected Trump’s proposal.
On December 11, Trump held a televised meeting with Speaker-designee, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, in which he asked them to support $5billion in funding for the border wall but they rejected his request.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security … I will be the one to shut the government down. I’m not going to blame you for it … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down,” Trump reportedly said.
However, Politico later reported that Trump was willing to sign a bill that delayed a government shutdown into 2019 and the new Congress.

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target=_blank>I Dropped Out Of OAU, Ogun APC Gov Candidate Admits

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has said the contention over his academic credentials is an attempt at mudslinging, adding that he never claimed to have graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife).
A suit filed earlier this month at a High Court in Abuja sought Abiodun’s disqualification from the governorship race for allegedly giving “false information” in the academic qualification he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission
Abiodun, in an appearance on Sunday Politics, a live programme on Channels Television, however, said he had never misrepresented his educational credentials to anyone.
The APC candidate stated, “I never claimed to have finished from the University of Ife (now OAU). I did go to school in Ife. I went to school in the University of Ife but I didn’t graduate from the University of Ife. I never claimed to have obtained a degree from the University of Ife.”
When asked specifically about the Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree he claimed to have, Abiodun said he would not comment further.
When also asked to state the school he earned his degree from, the APC candidate said doing so would not be proper since the matter was in court.
“But that (degree) is not from Ife. This has all been an attempt to mudsling and confuse the electorate, and it’s bundled with a lot of half-truths.
“I never claimed to have studied Accounting at the University of Ife. I never claimed to have graduated from the University of Ife. So, this issue has been presented as the presenter wanted it presented. I do have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and I would like to stop at that.
“The electorate know that I went to school and I have not misrepresented to anyone about my degrees. But it would be convenient for those who are intimidated and afraid of my electoral success to continue to attempt to disparage me and to present the matter as falsely as it suits them. The facts are being distorted but we will leave the matter since it is in court.”
Abiodun also said the APC chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was not responsible for his victory at the party’s primary in Ogun State as reported in some quarters.
The APC candidate has been rejected by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who has endorsed Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement as his candidate.
Abiodun further denied claims that he won the primary as a result of his alleged closeness to Tinubu and a former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba.
He said, “These are accusations that have been thrown all over the place and it is not unusual in politics for people to mudsling and say things to try and bring the other person down. It’s convenient for people to say one is favoured.
“I don’t see how Asiwaju, who is our leader, favouring me, had influenced the elections. I never saw any endorsement before my election.
“Chief Osoba is the leader of the party in the state. He took me by the hand because I am now the candidate of the party, so everybody in the party must now support me. That is the way it works. The governor (Ibikunle Amosun) has chosen not to support me. Ideally, my governor and I should be on the same page.
“So, if you have emerged through a process and you have now become the candidate of the party, everybody who is your leader in that party in that state (and) outside that state, in that geopolitical zone, should be supporting you. Anyone not supporting you amounts to something else.”
Asked to confirm if he was the favourite of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in the primary, Abiodun said, “I don’t know about ‘favoured candidate.’ I don’t think primary elections are won by favoured candidates. Adams Oshiomhole did not come to conduct my elections in Ogun. I don’t see how anyone would begin to accuse Adams Oshiomhole as favouring me in place of some other persons.”

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25,685 Babies Will Be Born In Nigeria On New Year Day – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that 25,685 babies would be born in Nigeria on New Year Day. Pernille Ironside, UNICEF Nigeria’s Acting Representative revealed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the figure placed the country’s babies as making up 6.5 per cent of the estimated 395,072 babies that would be born on the day globally.
Ironside noted that within Africa, Nigerian babies would account for almost 40 per cent of all those born in West and Central Africa, and more than 23 per cent of those born in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Globally, over half of the world’s births are estimated to take place in just eight countries, including Nigeria.
”Others are: India 69,944, China 44,940 Pakistan 15,112, Indonesia 13,256, United States 11,086, the Democratic Republic of Congo 10,053 and Bangladesh 8,428.”
According to him, on current life expectancy rates, a child born in Nigeria today is likely to live only to the year 2074 – 55 years of age.
”A child born today in Denmark is likely to live until the 22nd century. “Only children born in three countries of Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Leone today have a lower life expectancy than that of Nigerian children.
“We can and must do more to ensure that children born in Nigeria survive their first day of life and are able to survive and thrive for many months and years to come,” Ironside said.
The UNICEF country representative in Nigeria noted that globally in 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born and 2.5 million in their first month of life.
He said that in Nigeria about 262,000 babies die at birth annually thereby accounting for the world’s second highest national total, adding that 257 babies also die within their first month in Nigeria.
Ironside decried that many of these children died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery and infections like sepsis and pneumonia.
“In Nigeria today, only one out of every three babies is delivered in a health centre, decreasing a newborn baby’s chance of survival.
“This is just one of the issues that need to be addressed in order to improve the chances of survival of those babies born today and every day.
“As the calendar turns to 2019, UNICEF calls on countries to meet every newborns right to health and survival.
“Let’s all make a resolution to fulfill right of every child, starting with the right to survive in this New Year.
“We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands,” he said.
Ironside identified 2019 as marking the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
He added that under the convention, governments committed to, among other things, taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care.
According to him, over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, reducing the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half.
“UNICEF calls for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn.
“These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth.
“Ample supplies and medicine to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth and empowered adolescent girls and women who can demand better quality of health services,” he said. 

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