Nigeria: Covenant University to Launch StartUp Lab

Covenant University, Oya is set to launch to functional startup Incubation hub, which will help to produce more entrepreneurs within the institution.

Mr. Stephen Oluwatobi, the director of Centre for Entrepreneurship Development Studies of the university took to Facebook to share the news of the technology hub situated in the school.

With the growing dependent on entrepreneurship and innovation such move by Covenant University is a welcome development.

Edufrica wishes Covenant University well, even as as we await the formal launch.

More details later.

Daily Briefing: Top Education News on 24/03/2017

Here are the top Africa education news stories we are tracking today. More to follow as they unfold. 

In Nigeria, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is proud to announce the selection of 1,000 African entrepreneurs, creating the 3rd cohort of the 10-year, $100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

Over 93,000 entrepreneurs, from 55 countries and territories in Africa, applied – more than twice 2016 applications and nearly four times 2015.

Over the next nine months, the 2017 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored and will use the skills acquired to develop a business plan. Following which, they be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in seed capital to implement.

In Uganda, Makerere University has withheld 14,895 transcripts for students who graduated in February until the institution completes cleaning up its results management system after some staff infiltrated the system and falsified some of the students’ marks.

Prof John Ssentamu Ddumba, the university vice chancellor, yesterday asked the former students and the public to give them three to four weeks to investigate the matter and remove those who were illegally listed in the 67th graduation booklet.

The university took the decision on March 9 after suspending four staff from the Academic Registrar’s department on suspicion that they participated in altering students’ marks without permission from their bosses.

Moving over, Armed groups in the Central African Republic have occupied, looted, and damaged school buildings, preventing children from getting an education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 39-page report, “No Class: When Armed Groups Use Schools in the Central African Republic,” documents how armed groups, and even soldiers from the United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA, have used school buildings as bases or barracks, or based their forces near school grounds. The government and the peacekeeping mission should increase protection for students and schools in areas of the country affected by armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said.

Moving over to Kenya, Kenya has cemented its position as the top African country with the largest number of students admitted yearly to the prestigious Yale University in the United States.

Data from the university indicates that 24 Kenyan students have been accepted to study at the institution this year, ahead of Nigeria’s 23, Zimbabwe (18), Ghana (17) and South Africa (16). Last year Kenya held the top position in the continent with 23 admissions.

The university, where Kenyan-born Oscar Awards winner Lupita Nyong’o graduated with a Master’s degree in acting, offers courses in nursing, law, medicine, arts, music, management, environment and architecture.

Finally, in Zambia, Government has closed down three Primary Schools and all fishing camps along the Luapula River and Lake Mweru in Chiengi District of Luapula Province after cholera breakout.

Chienge District Commissioner Davis Kasongole has named the closed institutions as Kefulwe, Chiba and Kabwe primary schools.

Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says the closure of the schools is part of the measures to contain the cholera outbreak in Chienge where 54 cases have so far been reported in the last four weeks. 

Seventeen Universities participate in the First Certificate Course in Global Health Pharmacy in West Africa

Seventeen Nigerian universities have participated at the just concluded Certificate Course in Global Health Pharmacy which held from the 5th -12th of February, 2017 at three centres spread across the entire country.

These universities include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria which served as the centre for the northern cohort, Gombe state university, Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Bayero University Kano, Kaduna State University, University of Maiduguri, University of Jos, University of Uyo, University of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe university, University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Madonna University, Niger Delta University, Igbenidion University, University of Port Harcourt which served as the venue for the Southern/Eastern cohort and Obafemi Awolowo University which served as the centre for the western cohort.

According to the National Coordinator of the Project, Aniekan Ekpenyong, a recent graduate of pharmacy the from University of Uyo, the course attracted over 500 participants including Pharmacists, Medical Interns, Pharmacy and Medical students, Pharmacy technicians and other healthcare professionals.

The certificate course introduced theories and concepts including current trends, issues, challenges and debates in global health as it relates to medicines and drugs. It provided a critical understanding of the determinants that shape the current global health situation and the important role expected of pharmacists to play in addressing these challenges.

The course which was jointly organized by AB Global Health Initiative and Global Health Focus (GHF) Africa and hosted by Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria students (PANS) aimed to raise critical thinkers and leaders in pharmacy who are able to contribute to debates and challenges in global health, inspire and develop pharmacists who will in the near future lead advocacies for global health issues and also provide a platform for networking with other global health leaders across Africa.

The course director and lecturer was Professor Don Eliseo Lucero Prisno III of the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Don has published in the fields of global health and public health in scientific journals and has authored book chapters. His work has been recognized by a number  of international awards including the first Global Health Promotion Practice Award by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

Other speakers at the event included professor Vincent Idemyor (College of Medicine, UIC, United States), Professor Adesugun Fatusi (Provost, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife),   Dr Shafiu Mohammed (Head of Department, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria), Pharmacist Adebisi Adenipekun (Founder, Lighthouse Global Health Initiative), Dr Ayomide Sina-Odunsi (Co-founder, AB Global Health Initiative) and Pharmacist Aniekan Ekpenyong (Pharmacy Director, AB Global Health Initiative).

As a follow up, graduates of the course would be trained and mentored through the FutureGen Research Program, an innovative research course that aims to develop researchers/leaders in global health from middle and low income countries LMICs.  The objective of the course is to train students passionate about using research as a tool to provide for evidence based policies and advocacies in global health

Daily Briefing: Top Education News on 23/03/2017

Here are the top Africa education news stories we are tracking today. More to follow as they unfold.

In Nigeria, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, held its zonal meetings across the country on Tuesday, warning the Federal Government to desist from deducting salaries and pay shortfalls with education stakeholders calling for mediation between the duo, saying the feud is a bad omen.

They stated that the introduction of Treasury Single Account, TSA, further compounded the financial problem of universities, as the internally generated revenue by institutions are no longer available for use. According to them, there are some universities, who employed staff and depend on the proceeds from Internally Generated Revenue to offset the salaries.

Meanwhile, aggrieved primary pupils and their teachers yesterday shut down Jalingo, Taraba State capital, barricading major streets and the gate of Taraba State Government House, over unpaid teachers’ salaries and other benefits.

The protesting pupils gave the government 24 hours to pay their teachers or they would shut the government house.

In Zambia, the government has closed down three Primary Schools and all fishing camps along the Luapula River and Lake Mweru in Chiengi District of Luapula Province after cholera breakout.

Chienge District Commissioner Davis Kasongole has named the closed institutions as Kefulwe, Chiba and Kabwe primary schools.

Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says the closure of the schools is part of the measures to contain the cholera outbreak in Chienge where 54 cases have so far been reported in the last four weeks.

Also in Ghana, The Central Regional police say they have arrested some 22 students involved the recent clashes on campus during the Atlantic (ATL) hall week celebration.

At least three students sustained serious injuries last Friday at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) following a clash between some irate students of University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and UCC.

The skirmishes, the witness said erupted when porters of Oguaa Hall refused to allow some naked students from the Commonwealth Hall popularly referred to as (Vandals), Unity and ATL students into the hall. Several properties worth thousands of cedis belonging to Oguaa hall was been destroyed, the eyewitness said.

Moving to Kenya, Moi University has come out fighting over a decision by the Council of Legal Education to stop it from offering law degree programmes.

Acting Vice-chancellor Laban Ayiro said the institution is offering legal education that meets national, regional and global standards and produces graduates equipped with the necessary tools and skills to offer leadership, innovation and serve the public.

In South Africa, The African National Congress Youth League has told the Fees Commission that all public universities should be state-owned and controlled to ensure equity.

This would result in increased revenue for government and a standardised cost of education, ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza told the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission) in Centurion.

He called on the commission to look at the Cuban education model for solutions to funding higher education.

And finally in Zimbabwe, Philippines’ Paolo Aguilar, a student teacher at Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotoroa, New Zealand, is working with the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust to raise funds to support rural school libraries in Zimbabwe.

He will participate in the 53rd iconic Lion Foundation Rotorua Marathon on May 6. Aguilar is turning 34 two days before the marathon.

2017 Bauchi Health Budget: When 16 Percent is Not The Solution

Strengthening Primary Health Care including Routine Immunization and Reproductive Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services is one of the focal key points of the Bauchi State Health Agenda. This and the Abuja declaration influenced the 16 percent budget allocation to the health sector in the state. Esther Mark, Examines the adequacy of the N23.8billion health budget allocation in meeting the needs of the populace.  

Aisha Buba, a child of 5 months in a faraway town of Chaledi, in Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi state, is sick. With visible bones cascading the entire length of her body, with her ribs winning the visibility contest between her flesh and bones, she suffers both Severe Acute Malnutrition and Diarrhoea, and has been stooling for days, nonstop.

Little Habiba Abdullahi from Bakin Kogi, Kirfi Local Government is forced to become a big sister, just 1 year into her life. Her mother gave birth to another baby and she is left at the mercy of her 7 year old aunt, who though a minor, already has become his caregiver. But that’s not all. She also has been diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition and has been admitted into the Out Patient Therapeutic centre at the Community-Based Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) located at the Kirfi Town Maternity, Kirfi, LGA, Bauchi state. While her mother could not take a proper family planning method for childbearing and spacing, she is also left to suffer malnutrition due to ignorance and poverty.

And there is baby Zainaf Dahiru from Wanka Ward, Chaledi, in Kirfi Local Government Area whose mother only attended Ante Natal Clinic (ANC) twice during pregnancy and 7 months after delivery, has never taken any vaccine from the Routine Immunization programme. Her mother, acting on the orders of her father, refused to take her for any Routine Immunization, thus exposing her to several avoidable diseases.

These kids are all, at the mercy and intervention of the Bauchi state government in order to not just live, but live a life free from diseases. For them, the UNICEF Early Childhood programme of #LivePlayLove, does not apply. Their mothers also need to attend health talks and enroll in a family planning centre, while availing them to routine immunizations. These, all fall under the Primary Health Care Development Agency and the state health budget for these programmes will determine the life or death of the children, taking into consideration, their parents occupation, settlement, and proximity to health care facilities.

These are some of the peculiarities the 2017 health budget for Bauchi state will try to address. At the end of the year, Little Zainaf and many others like her would be worst, or better off, courtesy the 2017 health budget allocation and actual approved estimate.

National Budget

While the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends either a 13 percent involvement of the national budget for health, or the Abuja Declaration by the African Union of 15 percent, Nigeria lags way behind with a meagre 4.17 percent as seen in the 2017 national budget of N7.298 trillion presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.

For a very critical sector like the health industry where the lives of all the populace depend on, which drives economic and social development, it is a sad tale and calls for concern as to what becomes of healthy people can plan for security, development or economic advancement.

The Federal Government, hopes to spend N304 billion on the health of over 180 million Nigerians, with this figure, one is left to ask: how adequate is this sum for a teeming population of over 180 million Nigerians?

No doubt, this is grossly inadequate to carter for such a population. While at the national level, things seem to fall apart for the health sector, it is not so at state levels where the state government has the power to determine the main focus of the budget. This, is where many hopes lie.

Bauchi State Budget

The Bauchi State House of Assembly has accented the 2017 Appropriation Bill law, reviewing the proposal sent by the executive from N145 billion to N147.950 billion.

This, covers key sectors and directorates like the Ministry of Health which has an approved estimate of N11, 788,176,676 while the Primary Health Care Development Agency will gulp in a total sum of N4, 507, 262, 440. Hospitals Management Board has earmarked N4, 407, 463, 873 for its activities with the College of Nursing and Midwifery having an approved estimate of N549, 219, 440.

For the College of Health Technology, Ningi, N922, 709, 790 will be its guiding light to pilot its affairs for the year, while the Drugs and Medical Consumables Management Agency will work with N438, 270, 147. Specialist Hospital, Bauchi takes the sum of N496, 701, 215 and BACATMA having an approved estimate of N670, 723, 508.

These sums up the 2017 health budget for the state at N23.780, 527, with a 16.07 %. While it is recommendable that this sum exceeds the 15% benchmark, more focus is placed on the actual expenditure for these budgeted and approved estimates.

Will this just be a normal exercise of inflating figures and gaining commendations and applauses from concerned communities, will these budgeted sums be approved for expenditure? What are the mechanisms put in place to ensure proper accountability for these sums, and how can the progress of each sector or directorate be tracked, seeing that some of them are self-accounting agencies?

2016 and 2017 health budget (Primary Health Care Development Agency)

The state government, in the 2017 health budget, under the Primary Health Care Development Agency, records N820,290,027 under Approved Estimates in Aids and Grants for UNICEF-(Support to Nutrition, Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM),  Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), Routine Immunization, (RI),  Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), Family Planning ( FP) and Social Mobilization.

This is slightly higher than the 2016 Approved estimate which earmarked N500, 000 000 and had Actual Expenditure of N226, 371, 585, 98. Then, one asks: Why the increase? Were there significant developments from the 2016 budget that necessitated more budgetary allocations to these programmes? How far did the 2016 budget far?

Why the 16% increase for Bauchi state?

Bauchi state HEALTH BUDGET
Bauchi state five-point health agenda.

Like every other government in power, funds are allocated to specific sectors to reflect the areas of interest and focal point of attention the government places on key sectors. While the Education sector carries the major bulk of 23% of the total 2017 state budget, the government also placed key emphasis on health, thus the 16.07 % allocation.

In an interview with Edufrica in Bauchi, the Commissioner of Health, represented by the Director, Admin and Human Resource, Ministry of Health, Bauchi state, Habib Yelwa Yawa Mohammed, said the 2017 budget was crafted to reflect the key areas of the 5 point health agenda of the governor. He also stated that with the Abuja declaration, and considering a number of factors like the population dynamics of the state(where there is a steady influx of immigrants from neighboring countries, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Insurgent-ridden states ), the need to have a budget which exceeds the Abuja declaration was important.

According to him, the goal is to ensure amongst other things, that the budget reflects the focal areas of the government’s plan, while focusing on the 5 point health agenda of the government which speaks to the national strategic development plan, the health strategy plan, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Initiatives, WHO building blocks, etc.

The 2016 health budget of the state is anchored on the five-point health agenda of the Governor Mohammed Abubakar led administration. These include:

  • Strengthening Primary Health Care including Routine Immunization, reproductive and maternal, newborn and child health services.
  • Access to quality and cost effective essential and lifesaving drugs including consumables and laboratory services.
  • Motivation, Retention, and retraining of frontline health workers for effective service delivery.
  • Improving funding to health sector through innovative financing mechanisms, accountability and transparency and;
  • Demand creation via health education, awareness creation, and strategic communication

Yawa Mohammed further explains that executing these, requires enormous resources for implementation, as the budget not only focuses on physical infrastructures and rehabilitation of Colleges of Medicine, but also key areas of nutrition, family planning, routine immunization, etc. which falls under the Primary Health Care Development Agency.

 Nutrition

Karima Abubakar, a chubby healthy chocolate looking child of 11 months was strapped at her mother’s back while the latter made her way to Chaledi, in Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi state from Bauchi town. Her mother’s mission is to introduce her Sister-in-law to the Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition Centre (CMAM) clinic in Kirfi where Karima had earlier been enrolled for 7 weeks. Karima, at the age of 8 months, had developed complications visible with severe weight loss and was diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition.

She made the 3 hours return journey to the closest CMAM clinic in Bauchi state (Kirfi Town Maternity) and 7 weeks into the recovery programme, Karima had met the requirement for discharge as her health had not only improved, but her weight had met the 12 kg requirement. Now, her cousin seems to face the same dilemma, and she thus, her mother agreed to lead her to the centre for treatment.  Also on the in-law’s back, is a little girl aged 21 months who also seems to be suffering from Acute Malnutrition.

Severe Acute Malnourished patients CMAM
A Severely Malnourished Child at the Kirfi Town Maternity in Chaledi, Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

She, and many others yet to be admitted into the CMAM programme for 2017 are very much dependent on the UNICEF/ Bauchi government collaboration as their lives hang in the balance, awaiting more availability of Ready to Use Therapy Food’s (RUTF) and trained personnel to administer the dosages to them.

The centre located at the Kirfi Town Maternity, in Kirfi LGA, is a beehive of activities. Mothers with sickly and severely malnourished crying babies, health workers and volunteers trying to put the mothers in order, children hawking edibles and water, health volunteers, arranging the babies to be weighed on a scale, others giving health talks to mothers, and other onlookers, just staring at the activities on display.

To ascertain if a baby is acutely malnourished, they are first screened to determine the severity of malnutrition. Some ways to achieve this include: checking for unusual swelling of the legs, arms or parts of the body (Oedema) and most importantly, mid-upper arm measurement. If a baby’s measurement falls under 11.5 and below (showing red on the measurement rule,) they are admitted into the programme. But if it shows 12, the parents are educated on proper food preparation methods and combinations, and asked to go home (a situation most parents are unhappy about).

To begin the recovery process, each acutely malnourished child must take Albendazole (for deworming), Amoxil Syrup, Vitamin A, free ACT (malaria drugs), and in cases of diarrhoea ZINC tabs and ORT solutions.

The admitted children undergo a recovery process of at least 8 weeks in which they are fed with packs of RUTFs (at least 2 per day), given Free of Charge, courtesy UNICEF. While UNICEF provides the Food, the state government manages the clinic, staff and personnel’s. On average, a fully recovered child eats a carton of RUTF which contains 150 small packs worth over N23, 000.

The mothers are also given proper health talks and advised on hygienic food preparation and combination methods.

The UNICEF Nutrition Officer, Bauchi Field Office, Dr Martins Jackson, while giving a breakdown of the statistics for the 2016 CMAM project to Edufrica in Bauchi state, said 20, 121 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition were admitted into the CMAM clinic out of which 18, 820 (89.1%) were recovered while 1, 140 (6.7%) defaulted in their treatment. About 171 children, accounting for 1% died in the course of treatment while 503 with 3% were none recovered.

CMAM Malnourished children
Checking the mid-upper arm to of a child to ascertain his eligibility to enroll in the CMAM clinic in Kirfi LGA, Bauchi state. Photo: Esther Mark

Bauchi state has just 3 local governments offering CMAM services comprising Kirfi, Dambam and Katagum LGA’s. The state government, alongside UNICEF, envisage an increment in the number of local governments where CMAM will be sighted.

The 2017 health budget under the Primary Health Care Development Agency, and also with the inclusion of Aids and Grants, proposes three more local governments where CMAM centres will be located. When done, this will increase the number of CMAM centres from 15 to 30 or more (on average, one local government, 5 centres). This then ensures that more people have access to the Ready to Use Food Therapy, and those travelling as long as 10 hours walking distance, just to obtain the free therapy food, will have a centre closest to them.

The state government in 2016, provided drugs and consumables to carter for the need of newly admitted patients who must take in no particular order, Vitamin A, Deworming drugs, LLIN, Iron Folote Tabs, ORS/Zibnc and Arthemithe/Lumphantrine tabs (depending on the severity of their conditions, and whether they suffer from diarrhoea).

To this end, UNICEF in its budget for 2017 nutrition programme, says it has earmarked N194, 421,000 for its activity budget while N78, 846,000 is for supply budget. It also expects the government to contribute the sum of N315, 124,000 for the overall nutrition programme in the state.

While it is uncertain how long it may take to completely have a society free from malnourished children, the best ought to be done to put those suffering from this childhood disease, at ease. UNICEF says it also has donor funding from Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), AND European Union (EU).

More collaborations are sought between the state government and donor agencies, leading to stronger partnerships formed to ensure that the accented budget be released to ensure that more lives are saved, going by the success story of the 2016 health allocation for nutrition.

 Routine Immunization

Many nursing mothers who are strictly observing the six months exclusive breastfeeding plan for their children, hardly complain of sickness, let alone, acute malnutrition. One of such mothers, is Usaiba Suleiman, aged 22 years. Carrying a very healthy child of 6 months, the ever smiling Fatima Suleiman is oblivious of her environment. She plays and coos and laughs with anyone who willingly smiles or extends a loving hand to her. This is in contrast to the many children at the CMAM centre who are sick and cry with cracked voices-a result of the persistent cries arising from pains they suffer.

Usaiba is at the Kirfi Town Maternity for regular immunization and though she admits this is the first time she is exclusively breastfeeding her baby, she testifies to the all-around mental alertness of the child.

According to her, ‘‘I came all the way from Gawu community and though I did not exclusively breastfeed my first two children, I was told during antenatal visits that it is the best for children. So, with the support of my husband, I decided to exclusively breastfeed my baby. I ate all I was asked to eat and made sure I took all the vaccines she needs. I am happy I did this because my baby is well different from other children, even her siblings. She is almost 6 months old and I have also been told of what to feed her with, so she does not become malnourished.

‘‘We actually came for our routine immunization and I must say that my husband has been helpful in this. He allows us come for each routine and gives me transport money. We get it free of charge here, and no one charges us for anything. I will definitely do this again when I become pregnant again for my fourth baby, ’’ she says.

But while she seems to be ‘lucky’ to have an understanding husband, Lami Dahiru is so not ‘fortunate’. With a 7 months old baby who weighs 3.5kg (a weight newborn babies usually exceed,), it’s not too far to trace where her problem lies. Her baby is sick, and also suffers from Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Tracing her baby’s history, Lami says she came for ante-natal visits once during her pregnancy and has never taken the baby Zainaf for any routine immunization.

‘‘Her father refused. This is my 8th child and she just keeps losing weight. She is not sick, does not suffer Diarrhoea but her weight loss is scary. Her father said no more routine immunization for his children and since I gave birth to her, she has not taken any.”

She comes from Wanka Ward in Chaledi, Kirfi Local Government Area and her baby has been admitted into the Out-Patient CMAM clinic in Kirfi.

The Kirfi Town Maternity in Kifi Local Government Area, conducts routine immunizations for women in areas around Kirfi. The turnout, the officials say, is high as more women are being reached daily via health workers who go on campaigns around villages and other rural areas.

At the Maternal and Child Health Clinic, Domiciliary Yelwa, Bauchi state, Tuesdays, and Fridays have been ear-marked for routine immunizations for both babies and their mothers. Also, they carry out home visitations, tracking of defaulters, immunization and Family Planning consultations on Fridays.

As early as 7.00am, mothers, some in the company of their husbands, throng into the clinic to catch turns for routine immunizations. By 8.00am, the health workers and nurses, begin serial health talks after which the babies are given vaccines against diseases. These vaccines are administered according to age. The vaccinations continue until 12: pm, when they retire for the day.

Statistics from the Primary Health Care Development Agency indicates that In 2016, the clinic had for routine immunization; BCG; 1271, OPV (0 dose to 3 dose): 4778, PENTA 1-3: 3, 358, HBV: 633, Yellow Fever: 976, Measles: 976, TT (1-5): 2, 938. These vaccines cover diseases like measles, yellow fever, meningitis, tuberculosis, hepatitis pneumonia, etc.

The 2017 accented health budget for support from donor agencies in forms of Aids and Grants is N84, 000,000. In 2016, while N164, 000,000 was the approved estimate, about N185, 728,585.00 was the actual expenditure from January to June, 2016.

While it is being hoped that the 2017 budget will also be properly expended, BMGF/Dangote Foundation is providing this sum to reach children in the state through Routine Immunization.

As the state government, with the collaboration of other international and even local donor agencies fight to raise the bar over routine immunization to ensure that all children are covered in the programme, more still needs to be done to ensure that children like Zainaf Dahiru are not left out, due to their parents ignorance in availing them for the routine vaccines.

Problems facing RI in the state still remains ignorance and rare cases of non-acceptability of the vaccines from people who mostly comprise of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) and immigrants from neighbouring countries. But on a whole, ignorance and bias towards accepting the vaccines have been greatly eradicated and more is expected to be reached with the 2017 health budget.

Vaccine coverage has gradually increased in Nigeria as one in four children aged 12-23 months are fully vaccinated, UNDFP states.

More so, it is very clear that donor agencies are the major contributors to routine immunizations and governments, even at the federal and state levels, depend largely on them for relief and funding. This, however, leaves more to be imagined on the sustainability of these projects should the donor agencies decide to back out. It will, no doubt, expose many families and children to diseases preventable by vaccines.

The Bauchi state government had in 2016, participated in the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Nigeria Immunization Financing Task Team (NIFT) Anglophone Africa Peer Review Workshop which held between April 19 and 21 at Sheraton Hotels Abuja alongside participants from some English-speaking African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

The workshop was an avenue to share experiences on policies legislation and strategies of ensuring sustainable Immunization Financing amongst the participating countries with an overall goal for each country to develop a new self-funding strategy on immunization and be able to sustain it.

Bauchi State Commissioner of Finance Dr. Nasirudden Muhammad alongside the commissioner of Health were participants in the workshop. In an interview with Health reporters, Dr. Nasirudden Muhammad said that it was not compulsory for the donor agencies to fund the routine immunizations and the onus lied on the government to seek out self-funding measures to ensure that the lives of children and all concerned, were not left at the mercies of the donor agencies.

In his words;

‘‘I think what the donor agencies and other international communities are doing is just a matter of assistance, it is not compulsory on them to come and immunize our children. It is our constitutional duty to ensure that our children are immunized, to guarantee their healthy living.  This workshop makes it clear to us, that donor support will end one day and leave us with the responsibility of solely financing immunization for the children of this nation. This is a sign for us as a nation to prepare for the task ahead.’’

Notable among donor agencies partnering with the Bauchi state government on routine immunization, include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  Aliko Dangote, to fund immunization programs.

Though funding of these programmes seem to be a major problem, it is another issue to track the release of proposed funds for Routine Immunizations. In August 2016, the state government approved the payment of the 25 percent for the quadripartite agreement on Routine Immunization and it t took the months of August to October 2016, to get these funds released in installments.

The Co-chair of Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (BaSAM), Hajiya Maryam Garba revealed in 2016 that the 25 percent payment (for 2016) will be made in two installments between the months of August and September 2016.

On Routine Immunization budget code, Hajiya Maryam stated that the state Commissioner for Health had liaised with the state Commissioner of Budget and Planning to create RI budget code, stressing that advocacy needs to be sustained to influence the Ministry of Health to intimate the State Planning Commission to make provision for a Routine Immunization budget through making collaboration with the National Planning Commission, Abuja.

These, are some of the challenges facing the 2017 health budget. While it’s easy to propose a certain sum, it is another, to track the release of the proposed funds.

So with the budgeted sum earmarked for Routine Immunization in 2017, the question remains: how much of these funds will be eventually released for immediate use? When will these funds be released and what mechanisms are put in place to ensure that they are used judiciously and not diverted by other hands?

Family Planning

Hansatu Abdullahi walked into the Admission office of the Kirfi Town Maternity. She had come to have her son admitted into the CMAM clinic. But she caught a very non-common sight. Strapped on her back, was a 3-month old baby while her younger sister aged 7, also carried a 16 months old baby girl. At first, you’d think they were children of two different mothers.

Surprisingly, these two babies belong to the same mother: Hansatu. Age 17, she is been forced to nurse two-under-two children all alone. To ease her movement, she sought the help of her younger sister, who though a kid, has become an ‘adult’ looking after a much younger child.

Family Planning Bauchi state
Hansatu Abudullahi carries her 3-month-old baby on her back while her younger sister, carries the older child aged one year, 6 months. She did not enroll for any Family Planning method and relies on the 7-year-old sister, to carry her baby. Photo: Esther Mark

Fatima is a victim of multiple factors which impedes on the overall success of the Family Planning programme in Bauchi. Although married at an early age, her husband banned her from participating in any family planning/ child spacing method and she, out of ignorance, has two children within the space of 1 year, 3 months. Life is not easy for her and as a full-time housewife to a taxi driver, she is left alone to cater for the health of these children, alone.

Global Affairs Canada- PLAN Nigeria (Born project) and the Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP) have earmarked N100, 000,000 and N250, 000,000 respectively for the 2017 approved estimate in the health budget. This is to cater for Family planning programmes in the state.

But then, a 2013 UNFDP research statistics holds that 15% of married women use any method of family planning while contraceptive use ranges from 3% in the North East to 35% in South West. Also, women in Nigeria have an average of 5.5 children while TFR in West African countries ranges from 4.0 in Ghana to 7.6 in Nigeria.

The reasons behind the statistics cannot be farfetched. From ignorance to ‘western propaganda’. Till date, many factors with religious and ethnic undertones have continued to undermine the effectiveness of Family planning campaigns in the north, with a special focus on Bauchi state.

While many have accepted this gospel and together with their partners, go for family planning sessions in government recognised institutions, there are still a few others, who have been blinded by religion and sheer ignorance.

In Bauchi state, it is a collaboration of government and other non-governmental agencies and donor partners, to curb this. Mostly, donor agencies with heir counterpart funding, do the major works. They provide the building (build FP centres), provide drugs and other commodities and even constantly carried out advocacy campaigns in the media. From radio jingles to television adverts, newspaper write-ups, and door-to-door campaigns, they are fast influencing the populace and the dividends are seen, around. The state government, on its part, does more of the human resource needs. They provide the personnel and pay the staff at these centres. This ensures a win-win situation for the clients.

There are several family planning centres scattered all around Bauchi state. From tertiary to secondary, and then primary health care centres, a unit for family planning is devoted in order to reach the populace. In these centres, clients, mostly comprising of partners or individuals, are first of all, given adequate health talks

At the Wuntin Dada Family Planning centre, the number of unmarried clients supersedes that of married ones. This can be best understood in the light of proximity. The centre is located opposite the Abubakar Tatari Polytechnic (ATAP) and as such, the influx of unmarried students who are sexually active, is understood.

But the opposite is the case at the Family Planning clinic located inside the Maternal and Child Health Clinic, Domiciliary Yelwa. Here, clients are mostly newly married couples who come for in-depth family planning education and health talk.

The nurses and health personnel’s in charge of these clinics are also aware of the human rights of the clients, and as such, render a strictly professionally based counseling, free of judgemental innuendos.

The clinic, located at Yelwan Makaranta, opposite College of Agriculture, is jointly managed by the local and state government. The location makes it favourable for patronage by residents in the settlements and catchment areas like Sabon Kaura, Gwallameji, Birshin Gandu, Birshin Fulani, Kagadama, Yelwan Makaranta, Yayeri, Kusu, Doka, Lushi, Tsakani, BDSADP, GRA, Dass park, Federal Polytechnic, ATBU Quarters, police barracks quarters, Yelwan sabon gida, etc.

Giving a breakdown of figures for 2016, Mrs. Jiliana Kwasba, the Chief Health Officer in Charge of the Maternal and Child Health Clinic, Domiciliary Yelwa, says a total number of 3, 544 clients were attended to in 2016 comprising 688 new clients and 2,856 old clients. This clinic has a staff strength of 102.

The centre was built by donor agencies, but the state government also contributes towards the running of the clinic as more funding comes from donor agencies.

The services run at the clinic are cheap, for any average person. While the commodities are free of charge, clients will have to pay for minors like syringes, injections, blades, etc at a flat rate of N300. The highest ever paid is N1000 and the client base has an age range of 25 to 40 and above.

Many are told of the side effect of the commodities and they finally chose the one that suits them or aligns with their bodies. But the focal person in charge of the Family Planning clinic in Yelwa, Mrs. Priscilla Umar says many clients abuse the drug ‘Postinor 2’, and then come when things are beginning to get out of hand. DDIC, PPFN, Engender, PLAN, BACATMA, UNFP, and the likes, provide services to the clinic and also, provide commodities like condoms for the clinic.

She also calls for more funding from the government, to help augment that gotten from the donor agencies as major drugs and commodities like Microgynon, Microlut, Male and Female condoms, IUCD, implants, Jedelle, and Depo, with Noristerat are supplied freely to the clinic by donor agencies. She maintains that these, in addition to training and seminars, were needed to boost the working capacity of staff in the units.

It is easy to trace the overall success story of Family Planning in the state. At the Kirfi Town Maternity in Chaledi, Kifi Local Government, they hold Family planning sessions weekly and nomads and others from very rural communities in Kirfi all come for the health talks and also, to try out the best family planning method that suits them.

The Primary Health Care Development Agency also conducted Routine Bi-monthly Review/Resupply Meetings with service providers and Local Government Areas for Maternal and Child Healthcare Coordinators of the 20 LGAs.

While citing the need for more collaboration with the government and other donor agencies, she maintains that bodies like

Childhood Pneumonia/Diarrhoea

Pneumonia which is a chest infection involving the lower respiratory tract, from the smallest air ducts to the air sacs of that lungs, has most often been misinterpreted as cold.

It involves inflammation of the lungs, with resultant exudation of fluid and pus into the air sacs which is thus coughed up as sputum. Suffice it to say that Pulmonary Tuberculosis is a bad kind of Pneumonia.

Many children in Bauchi state suffer more from Diarrhoea than childhood Pneumonia as most patients enrolled into the CMAM clinics in the state, complain of diarrhea. As a matter of fact, this impedes on their chances of steady recovery as they may faithfully take the Ready to Use Therapy Foods but suffer series of bowel movements, thereby dehydrating them and reducing their initial weight gained, thus elongating the recovery process for the kids.

To ensure that parents and caregivers adhere to proper health sanitary conditions, the state government in 2016, through the Primary Healthcare development Agency, trained over 120 health workers on Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses facility case management supported through GAVI/UNICEF. It also conducted 100 supportive supervision visits on Pneumonia Diarrhoea to various health facilities across the state supported by CHAI. It also carried out series of training for 204 service providers in 102 Health Facilities on CBGHE on Diarrhoea and Pneumonia management, updated the state database, amongst others.

The government had earmarked N5, 000,000 through the WHO/APOC Support to Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) but ended up with N3, 5000,000.00 as actual expenditure between January to June 2016. It, however, approved the estimate of N7, 000,000 for 2017. It is yet to be ascertained, how much will go into actual expenditure to help alleviate the sufferings of children through procurement of drugs, training of health workers and overall logistics.

Suffice it to say, that many families, especially those in rural areas, cannot afford the Zinc and Oral Rehydration Therapy Drugs meant for children suffering from Diarrhoea. To augment their sufferings, the state government, in partnership with other donor agencies, says it is doing all they can to ensure that all kids are well and healthy. This may be the reason behind the increase in this year’s approved estimate budget.

The Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Bauchi, Selamawit Negash, says the organisation has also reached a total of 42, 885 pregnant and lactating mothers in communities through support group members on IYCF key messages in 2016 in the state. This is a global strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), issued jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2002, to reverse the disturbing trends in infant and young child feeding practices.

Observations

If the 2016 budget is to serve as an indicator for 2017, then, it can be clearly stated that party bells should not yet be sounded. Approving a sum differs from actual expenditure/released fund.

Confirming this, a summary of the health budget between 2009 to 2014 indicates that on average, 50% of the budget was actually released. For 2009, 61. 35% was the Actual Released budget. While from 2010 to 2014, 75.4%, 56.7%, 51.9%, 60.75% and 61.00% formed the statistics for the actual released fund.

If this anything to go by, one wonders; what happens to the remaining funds? What becomes of the projects and lives these funds were meant to touch? What happens to the developments that the release of such funding, would have ensured?

So, while the state gets a pass mark for going beyond the average quota, the real deal, should be the release of the funds. Like it or not, for each fund which fails to see the light of the day, human lives would have to pay the price. It is not yet Uhuru, until the government ensures that every kobo budgeted, is not only released but well accounted for.

More emphasis should be placed on ensuring that the approved sums are released in right sums so as to reach the ever growing populace and meet the demands of the people.

The 16% budgetary allocation should be adequate to meet the health requirements of the state, only if the same percentage is released for projects, and utilized efficiently.

Way Forward

The state can only be able to increase more budgetary allocations to the health sector if its source of revenue generation is diversified. As it stands, the main source of its generated revenue is the federal allocation which comes monthly. After monthly payments of salaries and pensions, very little is left for other projects and developmental programmes. If the state can outsource more means to generate revenue, more allocations could go to the health sector.

While it is commendable already that the state exceeded the Abuja declaration of 15% budgetary allocation, it is also worrisome to state that by the end of 2017, one may not be proud to declare that the same amount will fall under the actual expenditure for the year. So, it’s one thing to approve a budget. It’s quite another, to actually spend the same amount.

Preferring solutions on the way forward for Bauchi state in terms of health budget allocations and actual disbursement of funds, the Deputy Director, Monetary and Evaluation, Department of Planning and Statistics, Bauchi state ministry of Health, Usman Umar Muhammed says:

‘’There should be proper monitoring of self-accounting agencies and directorates to accommodate and oversee programme implementation and budgetary issues. More still, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and NGO’s should be properly carried along during the stages of project planning so as to ensure more involvement and also, help in contributing to the overall project of the state.

‘‘There should also be proper accountability mechanism where the annual publication of the health budget and its expenditures are not just made known, but also, debated to ensure that every kobo allocated and released, was spent judiciously.’’

No doubt, the 2017 health budget of Bauchi goes well above average and if all accented funds are properly released for expenditure, Bauchi state may as well be on the path to more economic development, courtesy the overall health of the state which will in turn, translate to a better and healthier workforce and a growing generation of healthy children who will one day, take over the affairs of the state as the leaders of tomorrow.

Children like Aisha Buba, Zainaf Dahiru and Habiba Abdullahi may live to become health ministers and commissioners tomorrow. Today is the tomorrow once envisaged. Another tomorrow beckons…with the lives of millions hanging on the successful implementation of today’s policies. Will Bauchi state step up its ante in this regard? Only time shall tell!

 

What on God’s Green Earth is the Positive Impact of Big Brother Nigeria on our nation?

By Uju Okorie.

Thirteen years ago, I was at home doing what I cannot remember when my friend Uzochi knocked our door.
With her was a middle-aged man I had never met in my life.

Swinging the door open, I was beyond surprised.

Uzo was in her school uniform while the man wore an admiring smile on the corners of his lips.
I let them in, while my eyes asked Uzo all the thousands of questions that rushed into my mind within those minutes.

“Why weren’t you in school, today?” The man asked.

“We are not doing anything in school except our NECO registration and I did mine yesterday.” I nervously answered.

“But, you should have been in school.” he said. “Go in, put on something better. You are following me to the ministry of education.” he said matter-of-factly.

I panicked.
Slowly moving towards the door leading into the rest of the house, I dragged Uzo into the children’s bedroom.

“Uzo, onye wu nwoke ahu? Who is that man? Why do they want me at the ministry?” The questions rolled themselves out.

“Amaghi m. I don’t know him. He came to school with an official car from the ministry looking for you. Since you weren’t in school, teachers asked who knew your house. So, I had to bring him.”

I rushed out to the balcony to see for myself.
Parked outside was a car whose brand I can’t remember. “Ministry of education” was inscribed on it. A driver was waiting patiently.

“Confy, stop all this panic. It must be a good thing. Just follow him.” Uzo assured.

I did.
And it turned out that I was being invited to an award ceremony: Best Math Student in the state.
All assessments had been concluded without my knowledge and I had been chosen.

But the awarder was who tugged on my heart strings.
He was a man I would refer to as Mr A, a corper.

“I won this award while I was in secondary school.” he said at the award ceremony, couple of days later. “So, I wanted to recognise the student who has distinguished themselves in this subject I love very much.”

You can imagine how my Mummy, a Math teacher was swelling with pride on that day.
Ndi Nne Maama!

The money and the certificate I received from Mr A did very little for my spirit compared to what his gesture did.
His passion, his dream, his goals for a better country made a much deeper mark on my life.
Those books he donated to the ministry, his corper friends who came with him, their obvious dedication to his cause were all too evident.

Which brings me to my wahala for today.

Ladies and gentlemen of my country, what on God’s green earth is the positive impact of Big Brother Nigeria on our nation?

Apart from the loads of cash the sponsoring companies would make from your voting and all the other associated monies that would do next to nothing to develop our country, WHAT ELSE?

When you get up from watching that load of nonsense, how motivated are you to do something for your country?

Even if we want to copy from Bekee, like the copy cats we are, why can’t we copy the good things, bikonu?

Why can’t we sustain Dragon’s den, where people like Madam Folorunsho Alakija, Madam Ibukun Awosika, Oga Aliko Dangote, Oga Femi Adenuga and others, would be invited to invest in the potentialities of our youths?
Where you would learn how to conceive and pitch your business ideas before men and women that matter, all on National TV?
Why did it leave our screens after a brief appearance in 2008?

Why can’t we copy The Apprentice, where a man like Oga Femi Otedola would organise a twelve week-long gruelling business selection process to educate, motivate and inspire our youths on entrepreneurship and business development, all on National TV?

Why can’t we copy and sustain the right things, biko?

With the burden of HIV on the continent, we are still content to advertise fornication and adultery on our screens?

What is wrong with us?

Oo gini bu our problem?

A country is in recession and continues to wallow in it, while we fold our arms, waiting for oil prices to rise and save us from the mess we are in, and rubbish is being put before our faces and our youths are not angry?

There’s a merciless food crisis raging through the country. Malaria is still on a killing spree. GMO products are trying hard to make their way into our food chain. Youth unemployment is still a cackling monster, road accidents are happening as I write this, and we aren’t angry at this useless thing on our screens?

Biko, if you are not angry and you see no reasons to be, I will not ask for your permission to be angry on your behalf.

Meanwhile, Thank God for men like Tony Elumelu, who has been inviting African youths to come get investments for their businesses.
We need more men and women to do what he is doing.

Hear me, friends.
Until programmes championing economic development make it to main stream media, until we agree to sustain programmes like The Apprentice and Dragon’s den and make them huge things on our screens, until we bring back The Debaters, Zain Africa Challenge and the likes of them, making the winners get the millions of Naira we are currently dishing out to these morally bankrupt folks on BB Naija, until we stop glamourising loads of rubbish, we would get no where!

Youths in Japan are coding and moving their nation forward, and Nigerian youths are on Facebook debating fornication and nudity.

Indian women are launching rockets into space and Nigerian youths are debating who slept with who.

Shame!

If this post is annoying you, I am getting ready to get into the lab soon, in search of the cure of a currently incurable disease.
Come and beat me there.

Nonsense!

Big Brother Nigeria is a reality TV show based on the Big Brother TV series in which 12 contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a large cash prize worth $100000 at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted by viewers.

Dr Uju Okorie is a Christian, Medical Doctor, Research Scientist, Writer, and  Speaker. She writes from the UK

Six Business Lessons From Buhari-Led APC Government

By Adepoju Jaiyeoba.

Imagine Nigerians as investors and the Buhari led APC Government as an entrepreneur seeking funding, here are six business lessons every entrepreneur or fund seeker must learn from our ongoing experiences as a nation.

1. Under promise and over deliver- Many times in a bid to get funding and impress investors, we over promise and then have challenges delivering the promises when we eventually get the funding.

Failing on a promise goes to the root of trust. From the failed graduate job seekers allowance to paying 23million graduates 5,000 Naira monthly, reducing pump price to 45 Naira per litre and stabilising the Naira which currently stands at 500naira to one dollar, entrepreneurs should learn from Buhari led APC Government’s promises.

2. Make realistic promises: When you eventually identify the promises you want to make, ensure it is based on realistic need and risk assessments because integrity is key to promise making.

Two years into the APC led Government, there is an obvious difficulty keeping to promises made. As entrepreneurs, always check your fact and be sure you can deliver. Learn from Buhari.

3. Quit whining about the problem, present your solution: So imagine me constantly reporting to my investors that I’m unable to do anything because the government isn’t building infrastructure and providing for pregnant women? Imagine me repeating this excuse consistently for two years even after receiving funding?

Investors already know what the problem is. You’ve told them several times in your application for funding and countless times thereafter. It’s also the the reason you got the funding. So why are you still whining about the problem? Why not get moving and deliver on the solutions you promised investors? We all know PDP government looted us blind but this isn’t about the PDP, this is about the APC Government and delivering on its promises.

Learn from Buhari.

4. In your team, competence should trump loyalty- One thing investors are interested in is the constitution of your team and you should work to ensure you put together a competent team.

If you keep focusing on loyalty based on tribe, past relationships and other inconsequential factors, you will find yourself moving around with dead weights and defending the indefensible.

5. The courage to change or amend a failed idea or policy- Changing a failed idea or policy midway isn’t weakness, it is strength and the investors will admire you for the courage to do that.

It’s okay if economic policies or other policies aren’t working. The Government shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that the policies aren’t working and put forward a better thought out policy.

Learn from Buhari.

6. Criticism is a type of feedback, embrace it- Sometimes, just like some Nigerians wanted to protest against president Buhari, investors will disagree with some steps, ideas or action we intend taking or have taken. We must respect differing views and opinions, understanding clearly that criticism is also a type of feedback and we must embrace it.

We’ve got two more years left of this government and I’m hoping entrepreneurs will have some positive lessons to learn as we go along.

Have a great week everyone.

Much love, Peju

Adepeju Jaiyeoba is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur, WISH Young Innovator, Mandela Washington Fellow, and Founder at Mother’s Delivery Kit Ventures.

Three Ways to Kick Start Your Entrepreneurship Journey

By Adepeju Jaiyeoba.

One of the most common questions I’ve received from friends on this platform is this: ‘I have a great idea, I want to do something for my community. How do I start?’

With three simple stories, let me tell you about how I started my organisation.

starting your community outreach
Adepoju with friends

1. Believe in the possibility of your idea and be resolute in its pursuit.

See the picture attached to this post? That was the picture we took at my first ever program and community outreach event in 2011. There were just five of us but each one was there because I simply wouldn’t let them be if they refused.

In it, I had my younger sister who I compelled to attend the event and volunteer for the organisation I was just starting. I also had with me my husband, then fiancé, who had absolutely no choice than to drive me to the outreach location and act as MC at the event. See the young lady not smiling to your right? That’s my friend and colleague who couldn’t believe she traveled out of Lagos believing she was going to have fun.

My point is this, there will always be people who will do something for you, bend over backward, and simply just bear up because it’s you and they can’t say NO to you. If only two people will attend your first event, you can bet your last dime that they will be the ones seated at the front roll, cheering you on. Those are the people you need to kickstart with!

Because you see so much trust in their face for you, and the things you are doing, it will make you work extra hard to make them proud.

2. Never be afraid to take risks. The worst that can happen is you get a NO and it doesn’t kill.

See the man on your extreme right? He’s the PA to the honourable who was courageous enough to believe in my abilities and untested ideas and gave me the opportunity to work in his community. I met him and his boss, the honourable, for the first time on that day.

When I had the idea to start my organisation, I went online to find someone to give me the opportunity to try out my untested ideas. I sent out messages to a number of people but only this honourable wrote back to me, giving me the needed opportunity.

My point is this, never hesitate to reach out to people and ask for their help if you think they may be of help in some way. They either say yes and support you, write back saying NO, which surely doesn’t kill or simply ignore.

No matter the response, keep moving…

3. Seek opportunities and partnerships that will develop your expertise.

I know when starting out, we are looking at something really big. A great office space in a nice location, working partnership with multinationals and international organisations. You must, however live your own realities and draw up your scale of preference. Let’s be honest here, those multinationals and international organisations are looking for tractions that you do not have yet which is why partnerships with ourselves here makes a whole lot of sense.

I’ve shared these stories and points specifically for those who have been maintaining and updating their book of ideas for almost a decade now without taking any step to bring their ideas to live.

The best way to start is to simply START! No over planning, no over thinking, just START!

Remember, the whole world makes way for a man who knows where he’s going.

Have a great day everyone!

Adepeju Jaiyeoba is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur, WISH Young Innovator, Mandela Washington Fellow, and Founder at Mother’s Delivery Kit Ventures.

Seven Gifts to Give Your Start-Up Entrepreneur Friend This Valentine

By Adepeju Jaiyeoba.

It’s Valentine’s Day today!
Yayyy!!

Entrepreneurs love without a hassle and are so easy to love! Even though we are practically daily in valentine mood with our job, we appreciate a little more love from you, our friends, on special days like today.

Wondering what to give your start-up entrepreneur friend this valentine?

Here are top seven gifts that beat cakes, flowers, chocolates, boxers and even singlets: 

Valentine Gifts for entrepreneurs

1. Data subscription: Nothing says I love you better than a prepaid Data subscription for us to do our research, build our capacity and connect easily with others so that our work has the seamless flow edge. We will love you more for it.

2. One month prepaid uber ride: See all the butterflies and stars that appear at a romantic dinner for two with champagne under the candlelight? Honestly, a one month prepaid uber ride so we can appear at our meetings in style, forget danfo, Okada and boda boda for a while will have an even greater effect.

3. Calling credit: This looks regular and simple but it’s who we are, simple! The little things that makes our work easier and show thoughtfulness on your part is what really moves us. Because we make several calls daily in a bid to follow up on our work, you could show us your undying love by sending us Call credit

4. Co-working space rent- We know you planned a romantic getaway for us today but seriously, investing that money to meet our co-working space need will make a whole lot of sense. Any getaway that makes us leave our laptop behind is not really romantic. It’s kinda heartbreaking.

All the while we’re going to be thinking about deadlines, who called and who we should have responded to. Nah, that’s not romantic…

5. Help us show love to others. Contribute to our cause! Don’t even doubt that we love flowers but when we get your flowers, we will low-key be thinking of how many children we can keep in school with the cost of your flowers, how many more can access better healthcare and how many more teenager we can get off the street. Help us avoid this guilt trip. Get us flowers as well as a contribution to support our work.

6. Fill our surveys and help us forward to your friends: For today, be our survey evangelist. Don’t let us beg you before you fill them.

7. Be a committed Volunteer: Don’t give us excuses when we ask you to attend our programs. Don’t tell us you are attending or sign up for our event and then refuse to show up. Don’t leave our event immediately after our refreshments. At least pretend a bit you are there because you love our work. ?

See, loving us easy

Entrepreneurs in the house, did I miss out any other thing?

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Adepeju Jaiyeoba is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur, WISH Young Innovator, Mandela Washington Fellow, and Founder at Mother’s Delivery Kit Ventures.

Nigeria: Unijos UTME and Direct Entry Admission List Yet to be Released-Registrar

Management of the University of Jos has debunked rumours making rounds that the 2016/2017 UTME and Direct Entry Supplementary Admission List has been released. It further asked all concerned to beware of fraudsters parading as University staff calling for payment of clearance fees.

In a statement signed by the Registrar, University of Jos, Monday M. Danjem, the management asked prospective students to exercise patience as the 2016/2017 UTME and Direct Entry Supplementary Admission List is still being processed and has not yet been released.

The statement reads:

”It has come to the attention of Management of the University of Jos that fake text messages are currently being circulated to prospective candidates seeking admission into the University, requesting them to immediately commence registration in the University with the payment of a clearance fee.

”The text messages also provide a phone number 09034349452 purportedly from the University asking the prospective candidates to contact the number for the said payment and processing of their clearance.

”For the avoidance of doubt, Management wishes to inform members of the public that the 2016/2017 UTME and Direct Entry Supplementary Admission List is still being processed and has not yet been released. Members of the public especially prospective candidates seeking admission into the University are, therefore, enjoined to disregard any such text messages or contrary information on the current admission exercise as such did not emanate from the University.

”Members of the public are hereby assured that they will be adequately informed immediately the 2016/2017 Supplementary Admission List is released while any other relevant information will be properly communicated through the media.”