Massawa — Mr. Fsehaye Ghergish, head of non-communicable diseases prevention and control unit in the Northern Red Sea region, said that concerted efforts that have been made to prevent and control non-combinable disease have born fruitful outcome.
Mr. Fsehaye further noted that such remarkable progress has been registered through the expansion of healthcare facilities, deployment of healthcare professionals, introduction of modern medical equipment and distribution of sufficient medicine.
Due attention has been given to the prevention of diabetics, cardiac problem, asthma, cancer, blindness and other diseases that could cause dire consequences through the provision of efficient health service in Ghinda’e, Massawa, Afabet and Nakfa hospitals which are equipped with modern healthcare facilities and that of ophthalmic service in particular.
As part of preventing blindness around 1700 nationals have underwent ophthalmic surgery while 6,300 patients were provided with eye glasses.
Family of Jailed Journalist Renews Calls for His Release
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Health
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Photo: The New Times
A cargo truck at Rusumo border (file photo).
By Hilda Mhagama
The East African Community (EAC) Committee on Customs has agreed on full implementation of Single Customs Territory system (SCT) effective 31 July, this year, to enable faster clearance of goods and reduce the cost of doing business in the region.
Through this, the respective governments look forward to cutting time and resources used in collecting custom taxes at various borders. The agreement was reached in Dar es Salaam, yesterday, by respective Commissioner Generals of Revenue Authorities from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
“SCT commenced in 2014 as a pilot project and we believe that we had enough time to examine how it operates and now is the time to roll it out. This is the most important decision we have made after a week-long meeting,” said, Chairperson of the Committee, Dicksons Kateshumbwa.
He further said that implementation of SCT, in pilot areas, has reduced the cost of doing business tremendously in which turnaround time has been reduced from 21 days to between three and five days on average, at Tanzanian entry points to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
In addition, the Chairperson said EAC Secretariat in collaboration with Trade and Markets East Africa and other partner states, particularly Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), were looking into the possibility of interfacing the Electronic Cargo System platform with the existing systems along the Northern Corridor.
Presenting resolutions reached during their meeting, Mr Kateshumbwa said, on customs interconnectivity they have taken note of the progress made in the project and will also provide uniform and consistent mechanism of handling cargo and trade facilitation through risk profiling as provided for in the SCT framework.
Mr Kateshumbwa, who also doubles as Uganda Revenue Authority, Commissioner Customs, said due to the changing and dynamic business environment, the EAC has embarked on a comprehensive review of the EAC Common External Tariff to align it to the realities of trade.
“The CET is supposed to be reviewed after every five years, the review process will be completed by next year,” he noted. On operationalisation of one-stop border posts, he said that out of 15 borders earmarked to operate, 12 have been completed, of which 10 are operational, including Taveta/Holili, Kabanga/Kobero, Kagitumba/Mirama hills and Nemba/Gasinye, to mention a few.
To support capacity building for customs administration, Mr Kateshumbwa said that all partner states have already rolled out the EAC Customs post-graduate diploma and certificate programmes which are being implemented by revenue authority training institutes.
He said that the EAC was also exploring the possibility of entering into mutual recognition agreement with the rest of the world, to allow traders enjoy benefits when trading with other regions of the world. However, he said that will depend on refining operationalisation of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme with the EAC.
Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Transportation
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Photo: The Citizen
Construction workers in Tanzania.
By Rose Athumani
Dodoma — The government, yesterday, sternly warned investors who do not observe the country’s labour laws, including blacklisting workers and using humiliating methods when searching their employees.
The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Mr Anthony Mavunde, said his office has received numerous complaints of workers being humiliated during searching, while some are blacklisted, making it difficult for them to get work in other mines.
“When investors express interest to invest in the country, they are usually availed information on the country’s laws and regulations. Mr Mavunde said labour laws do not allow blacklisting of workers or using humiliating methods to search them such as making them strip and inspect their private parts.
“This is violation of human rights and measures will be taken against those found doing this.” The Deputy Minister was responding to a supplementary question from Joyce Mukya (Special Seats–Chadema) who wanted to know if there was an alternative method of searching workers instead of humiliating them such as what is currently being done at Tanzanite One in Arusha.
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Mr Mavunde confirmed that he received such reports when he visited Tanzanite One in Arusha and issued directives, and a report by a committee formed to investigate mines in the country will shade more light on weather that method is still being used or not.Earlier, the Deputy Minister said his office continues to oversee implementation of labour laws through conducting inspections at workplace. “Labour law education is also dispensed to workers and workers’ unions in an effort to increase their knowledge on the issue.Measures have been taken including dragging to court, employers who go against the laws,” he explained. Mr Mavunde was responding to a basic question from John Kadutu (Ulyankulu – CCM), who wanted to know when the government will conduct inspection of contracts of companies contracted by mines and if the government will remove employers who humiliate their employees.The Deputy Minister said the government formed a taskforce comprising officers from the PMO, National Social Security Fund, Social Security Regulatory Authority, OSHA, Tanzania Revenue Authority and Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA) to conduct in-depth assessment on whether labour laws are being implemented, among other issues, in the Lake Zone and Northern mines.”The government recognizes the importance of investors in increasing job opportunities to Tanzanians as well as contributing to the country’s economic growth. We will continue to ensure labour laws are implemented at workplaces,” he stressed.More on ThisTanzania Among Top Countries for Investment
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Tanzania
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Photo: Daily Monitor
The fall armyworms that have mainly been attacking cereal crops such as maize and sugar cane have now turned to bananas and several vegetables.
By Paul Tajuba
Kampala — The fall armyworms that have mainly been attacking cereal crops such as maize and sugar cane have now turned to bananas and several vegetables sending panic among stakeholders on future food security and incomes.
Ministry officials and farmers who spoke to this newspaper yesterday confirmed the invasion of bananas, vegetables, watermelon gardens, among other crops, by the crop-destroying caterpillars despite the ministry procuring and disturbing pesticide Striker 247 SC to contain the pests.
“The pests have also attacked vegetables. I am going for a sectorial meeting to see if we can carry out aerial spray,” State minister for Agriculture Christopher Kibanzanga told this paper by telephone.
Farmers in Luweero, Mubende, Ntugamo and Buikwe districts, have all confirmed the pests on their bananas which Mr Andrew Ssewanyana, a farmer said the pests first attacks the middle leaves making bearing banana impossible.
“The pest attacks the middle part and whatever leaves the banana attempts to bring, they are eaten,” Mr Ssewanyana said adding that they are now using a new black off pesticide to tackle the pests which has shown positive results.
Banana is one of the staple foods in Uganda. Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2015 abstract report indicates that Western Uganda produced 2,883,653 metric tonnes of banana, while the Central region produced 1,039,834 metric tonnes. Central was followed by east with 342,236 metric tonnes, while Northern Uganda produced a paltry 31,626 tonnes.
Exports at risk
Last week, Mr Kibanzanga told this paper that “I believe we can successfully fight this worm,” “But if we do not, it will be a disaster. Countries which import our crops will fear to import our tomatoes, maize, cabbages, beans … thinking our export will carry these pests into their countries,” he said.
Earlier, the ministry had asked for Shs25b from the Finance ministry to fight the worm but so far, Mr Kibanzanga said Shs10b has been received and with that budget, officials should be able to stop the spread of the worm. “Let our officials be creative to cut costs. They should use police, army and district vehicles to reach farmers in remote villages urgently because money can never be enough. Let them also sensitise farmers through our free airtime on radios,” he said last week.
Bank of Uganda and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) statistics show that the country in 2011 earned $2.8 billion (Shs10 trillion) worth of exports, this rose to about $3.6 billion (Shs13 trillion) in 2012.
The exports then declined to $3.14 billion (Shs11 trillion) and more seriously went down to $3 billion (Shs10.8 trillion) at the end of 2015.
Eighty per cent of the said total exports earnings are agricultural products such as maize, tobacco, tea, hides and skins, cocoa beans, other livestock/dairy, sim sim, flowers, beans, and cotton.
Uganda produces nearly 4 million metric tons of maize grain annually, making it the third highest crop produced. Maize contributes to the livelihoods of more than 3.6 million households according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2014
To control the pest, Mr Okaasai Opolot, the director for Crop Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture, says the only available means now is by spraying the affected gardens with two tested pesticides types; Striker 247 SC and Rockett 44EC.
Striker cost Shs32, 000 and Rockett 44EC not more than Shs20, 000.
He says 20-50mls of the said pesticides should be mixed in 15 – 20 litres of water before spraying. Spraying should be done between 7-8am and 5-7pm when the caterpillar is active and should be done twice a week.
Although government has already distributed more than 2,500 litres of Striker to farmers in badly affected districts across the country, Mr Opolot encouraged farmers to procure their own pesticides and not wait on government. “Government cannot afford to give free pesticides to all farmers. What we procured was for demonstration purposes and to let farmers know which pesticides work. We expect them to buy their pesticides,” Mr Opolot said.
Other African countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Malawi are experiencing the same problem of the worm whose adult moths move in large swarms at night with each female laying up to 2000 eggs and the emerging caterpillars are aggressive feeders with the potential to destroy a hectare within 72 hours in its later stages, according to the Agriculture ministry.
Apr 26 2017 | Posted in Agriculture
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Some of transport and logistics systems in Africa.
By Abela Msikula
Tanzania is set to host a fourday Global Logistics Summit (23 -26 August, 2017) this year in Dar es Salaam, where President John Magufuli is expected to honour the inaugural event.
Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) president, Mr Stephen Ngatunga said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the global trade event would host some 350 participants, among them, senior clearing and freight forwarding agents, government officials, ambassadors and trade representatives from Africa and the Middle East regions.
“At TAFFA, we are making strides in empowering businesses through this programme wherein renowned professors from Harvard University, among many others, will impart the knowledge on global freight forwarding industry and best practices,” said Mr Ngatunga.
He further noted that the president of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), Mr Stanley Lim and other federation dignitaries and country representatives would attend, as well as manage, the programme — wholly focused on freight forwarding and trade issues in Africa and Middle East regions.
In particular, The TAFFA president cited Tanzania as “an ideal freight transport hub” tailor-made to creating business networking among participants, even as it advertises it’s own tourist attractions.
Through its conference website, the Association had already marketed numerous sites that Tanzania could offer, enticing delegate to savour of these during a half-day tour on the final day of the meeting.
TAFFA confirmed that the delegate also expressed the need to visit the world-class Serengeti and Selous wildlife sanctuaries, as well as the spice islands of Zanzibar and the roof of Africa, Mt.Kilimanjaro. Dubbed, “Harnessing Logistics for Sustainable Economic Growth”, the meeting had mentioned as an essential event for Tanzanian businesses expansion, at a time when the government pushes hard for increasing trade into Africa and beyond.
“This Summit comes at a time when Tanzanian businesses need to increase awareness and knowledge on best practices to use especially in a digitally inclusive world where technology is king,” said TAFFA president, adding: “There are opportunities for business growth to be unlocked in Tanzania in terms of clearing and freight forwarding especially if landlocked countries like Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda plus Southern African countries utilize Dar es Salaam through Northern route and vice versa as a freight cargo transportation hub.
” For his part, the Assistant Director for Railway Transport Services in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Mr Festo Mwayika, commented that the government was well pleased to facilitate the Summit, following its enormous advantages to the country.
“The most important advantage is using the opportunity to continue ‘showcasing’ to the world that Tanzania remains an ideal gateway for regional trade,” he commented.
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Apr 25 2017 | Posted in Tanzania
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By Diane Uwimana
Residents from different neighborhoods of the capital Bujumbura say green spaces, which are currently threatened by unregulated constructions, should be protected. They say that while the world celebrates the Earth Day on 22 April each year.
“There are no sufficient spaces for games. Unplanned constructions are the main cause of the disappearance of green spaces in our locality”, says a resident of “Mutanga Sud” neighborhood in the center of the capital Bujumbura. Carama neighborhood residents in the northern area of the Burundian capital also denounce the illegal allocation of green spaces to individuals for residential use. “Green spaces disappear day after day”, says a resident.
Albert Mbonerane, Environmentalist and former Environment minister, says green spaces also play a role in the protection against natural catastrophes besides the fact that they constitute nice relaxation places for residents of the neighborhood.
Mbonerane says green spaces disappeared due to the population growth and the fact that people value building spaces over green ones. “A survey conducted in 2014 shows that 20 green spaces have been identified in the capital Bujumbura.
Emmanuel Ndereyimana, the head of the Department of Forest Resource and Development in the Environment Ministry, says the neighborhoods extended since 2014 have got no green spaces. He, however, recognizes that existing green spaces are not protected. “The environment code stipulates that each neighborhood must have a green space. Unfortunately, some are gradually disappearing while others remain unprotected”, says Ndereyimana. He also says impunity is the cause of the disappearance of green spaces in the capital Bujumbura.
The environment official calls on the state agents in charge of distributing and managing parcels to ensure construction activities respect the environmental code which recommends reserving green spaces in all neighborhoods.
“Residents must also contribute to the protection and maintenance of green spaces”, he says. Iwacu contacted urban management officials for more details but in vain.
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Apr 25 2017 | Posted in Burundi
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By Moses Opobo
Two years ago, Esther Niyifasha knew little about the Inanga, a traditional Rwandan music instrument. Even much less was her knowledge of ‘Inanga music’, a term that describes music composed or played using the instrument.
Today, it’s a different story as the 18-year-old now joins the ranks of the few gifted and recognisable faces on the Inanga music scene. What’s more, she is a girl in a virtual man’s world. Actually, she is only the second commercially practicing female Inanga player to emerge on the local music scene after Sophie Nzayisenga.
As an Inanga player, Niyifasha confesses that Nzayisenga is one of her role models. The others are Daniel Ngarukiye, and Emmanuel Habimana.
But as far as Inanga influences go, there is one person she values over and above all the rest. It’s her elder brother, the gifted young inanga maestro Deo Munyakazi. At the moment, Munyakazi is the most recognisable inanga player in the country and, for introducing her to Inanga music, Niyifasha describes him as a “mentor”.
Incidentally, the first musical instrument she laid hands on was a guitar.
“I grew up feeling the passion for music, and I started to play the guitar in 2014 with the help of my brother Deo before he went on to teach me Inanga,” Niyifasha says.
“I first learned about the Inanga from Deo in 2015. Deo is my great brother, a passionate artist, excellent, successful, and hardworking, an achiever and above all, my mentor. He always inspires me, he taught me the Inanga and he offered it to me like a gift,” she says.
Munyakazi is all praises for his sister, “My sister Esther, our last born, is a gifted girl, she never fails in what she wants. I decided to teach her Inanga in 2015, after playing many other instruments and realising that Inanga is unique, so I made her to like it too.”
He explains that teaching his little sister wasn’t a hustle. “We used to take time during the holidays; in the morning I would give her some exercises and strumming techniques and when I returned home in the evening, she had got it. And when she came back for holidays I tried to make her remember, then we would continue. After one year (three holidays) she was able to do something. I taught her some cover songs and now she can impress an audience.”
Niyifasha explains that she took to Inanga because of her love for Rwandan culture, and how the instrument embodies it.
“In terms of our culture it is a unique instrument. I have found out that there is only one lady who plays Inanga, Sophie Nzayisenga, and she inspired me to play it. I felt that I can do it like her! So I went for it to promote Rwandan culture as a young lady,” she says.
Niyifasha is currently a student at GPS AIPER Nyandungu, although at school she plays the piano and does vocals instead.
“I don’t go with my Inanga so as to deal with my academic studies perfectly,” she quips.
She was born and raised in Gakenke District in the Northern Province, and attended primary school at Tare, in Rulindo District, before moving to College Foundation Sina Gérard Rulindo for her O-Level. In 2015 she enrolled at Nyundo Music School but only studied for one year, before deciding to continue with her A-Level studies at GS AIPER Nyandungu Accounting.
“I have performed at different weddings, ceremonies, and concerts,” she reveals.
Niyifasha longs for the day when more girls and women will embrace Inanga music as a career. She has a few tips for the interested.
“What you need is just confidence, what our brothers can, we are able to do, too. Everything needs focus, confidence, and time management; try to fail but not fail to try. Together we can promote our culture!”
“She has a bright future as the second lady playing Inanga in Rwanda and also, she is excellent at school,” Munyakazi interjects.
“Yes there are few female Inanga players and it’s a problem. Some girls think that they aren’t able to but they are wrong, just trying can make a difference. This will make them proud. At home we are always doing gigs and sometimes I take her for performances during holidays,” he says.
Apr 21 2017 | Posted in Rwanda
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By Andrew Mwanguhya
Kampala — “So you decided to leave the team to us!” Brian Umony accused Geoffrey Massa.
“Brian,” Massa countered, “I had to. It was long coming. I had to leave. It was the right time; right time for me, and for my family.
“I needed to concentrate on club football, but also most importantly to have more time with my family.”
Umony, a sly smile escaping his bearded face, seemed not convinced. “Now who is going to score the goals?”
“You,” came back Massa, the response as if pre-recorded, “I know you will come back stronger and score the goals.
“There is you, Emma (Okwi), Miya (Farouk) and many others. I know you are a strong man and you will come back stronger and play for Cranes again.”
Massa, the former Uganda Cranes captain who recently called time on his decade-plus career after scoring 29 goals for the national team – 13 of them coming from Nations Cup and World Cup qualification – was visiting Umony at the striker’s home in Namugongo.
Umony is recovering from a knee surgery, which was a follow-up to a major operation on his broken foot last year.
He broke his lower leg in a collision with an opposition goalkeeper while playing for St George of Ethiopia in a league match February 2016.
This latest corrective knee operation, done on March 30 this year, was to repair the damaged upper knee ligaments, which process was done organically to allow for natural healing.
“The doctors told me I should be back on my feet playing in five months, but I’m expected to be walking without much of the crutches by end of this month,” Umony told Daily Monitor.
What next for Massa?
Umony, 28, is already practicing to exert some weight on his knee by walking about the house and walking his army of young German Shepherds outside.
The player, who scored in the 2-0 victory over Botswana – together with Massa – as Uganda started the 2017 Nations Cup qualification campaign at Namboole, last played competitive football last year in February.
While Umony will be looking for a new club after his contract with St George expired during his injury, Massa has secured a two-year deal with Yenicami, a Northern Cyprus club he once distinctively played for.
“I travel in June to prepare for a new season with them,” said Massa, “I’m looking forward.”
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Apr 21 2017 | Posted in Uganda
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By Appolonia Uwanziga
You will have to dig deep into your pockets to be able to buy some of your favourite foodstuffs or even suspend them altogether as prices continue to rise. According to a mini market survey by The New Times, prices of Irish potatoes, cassava and bananas have continued to increase in Kigali city and its suburbs over the past few weeks.
A kilogramme of Irish potatoes (Kinigi variety) goes for Rwf400 in markets across Kigali, from Rwf350 last week. It costs Rwf340 per kilo on wholesale, up from Rwf300. The other types of Irish potatoes cost Rwf380 a kilo from Rwf300 in Nyarugenge Market. Potatoes are going for Rwf400 in Nyabihu district, from Rwf350. A bunch of bananas is now at Rwf10,000 on average, from Rwf6,000 previously, while a kilogramme of banana fingers costs Rwf350 in Batsinda and Nyabugogo markets, up from Rwf300 last week. Cassava increased by Rwf50 to Rwf400 per kilogramme in Kimironko Market, from Rwf350.
Placide Nsabimana, a vendor in Nyarugenge Market, attributed the increase in potato prices to low supply from Northern Province, which is the main Irish potato growing area in the country.
Banana traders said Kirehe and Ngoma districts in Eastern Province, the main banana suppliers are experiencing shortages presently, a situation that has pushed up prices. Bananas are also the staple food for most of the residents in the area.
Rosine Uwineza, a Kimironko resident, said her family no longer eats bananas as she cannot afford them, adding that the problem has been compounded by the rise in Irish potato and maize flour prices.
Vedaste Hakizimana, the managing director of Nyabihu Potato Company in Nyabihu District, said stock from the first harvest season has been completed, but expects potato prices may drop in the coming two weeks after the crop from the new harvest comes to the market.
Meanwhile, prices of other foodstuffs are stable. Ground nuts range from Rwf1,400 to Rwf1,500 a kilo, that of sorghum flour costs Rwf900, and millet flour is at Rwf1,400 per kilogramme in Nyarugenge and Kinamba markets. A kilogramme of beans is at Rwf350 in different markets across the city, yellow bananas are between Rwf500 and Rwf1,000 per cluster, depending on size; pineapples (medium-sized) cost Rwf500 each. Mangoes go for Rwf2,300 a kilo in Nakumatt Supermarket, and range from Rwf1,600 to Rwf1,800 per kilogramme in grocery stores and markets, while that of passion fruits costs Rwf1,200 in Kimironko Market.
A litre of fresh milk is at Rwf350 across the city, while packed milk is at between Rwf500 (half litre) and Rwf1,300 (litre), and bread goes for between Rwf900 and Rwf2,000, depending on brand, size, type and whether one buys from a supermarket or small shops. Sugar ranges from Rwf1,000 to Rwf1,100 per kilo.
Apr 20 2017 | Posted in Rwanda
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By Judd-Leonard Okafor
Death toll in the ongoing epidemic of meningitis C climbed to 745 on Monday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said.
That’s more than 300 additional deaths in the last two weeks.
Some 8,057 cases suspected to be meningitis have been reported across the country.
Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) serotype C–Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger, according to NCDC.
The Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care convened a meeting of governors and traditional leaders from all northern Nigerian states with federal government and development partners in efforts to end the outbreak.
Enhanced surveillance in several states in partnership with NCDC and partners has helped find and report more cases.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) coordinated mass vaccination for 2-29-year-olds in Katsina and Zamfara, where the outbreak started.
Similar vaccination is planned for Sokoto, while distribution of medicines continues.
The NCDC’s emergency operations centre for meningitis leads national coordination of response to the outbreak.
The incident manager, Dr John Oladejo, who heads the centre, said, “We are grateful to all Rapid Response Team members, including government agency and partner staff who have remained at their different field posts, through the Easter period working on this outbreak response and control.”
NCDC chief executive officer Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said, “The NCDC will continue to engage proactively through all our channels of communication online and offline.
“We will also continue to work with our health reporters and journalists across the country to ensure easy reporting of facts. We need all hands on deck,” he added.
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The Nigerian anti-graft agency has reportedly been told by whistle blowers that looters are hiding money at cemeteries. Read more »
Apr 20 2017 | Posted in Health
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