NYSC members are safe… FEC says

At its weekly meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), assured corps members of their safety anywhere in the country.

The assurance by the council was a reaction to the resolution of the House of Representatives that the National Youth service Corps (NYSC) desist from posting corps members to troubled states.

According to the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, the “Federal Government is already addressing the fear raised by the people, as President Goodluck Jonathan places premium on safety of corps members”.

The information minister said that the government will ensure the safety of the corps. members no matter where they are deployed.

“The Minister of Youth Affairs was not in the council meeting today but I believe the ministry is handling the issue appropriately,” Mr. Maku said.

Stop importing bullet proof vests

Another decision taken at the council meeting was the directive given to security outfits in the country to stop importing bullet proof vest.

The Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, who joined Mr. Maku to brief state house correspondents said that with the commissioning of a bullet proof vest production line at the Defence Industrial Corporation (DICON) in Kaduna,on Monday, the reliance on foreign security apparatus will diminish.

Ms. Obada cited some examples of the country’s military exploit which include locally constructed seaward defence boat by the Nigerian Navy which was commissioned last month in Lagos; and the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs),locally produced by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps which President Goodluck Jonathan also commissioned, Monday, at the Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna.

Mr. Obada said DICON which has “more or less been moribund before the transformation agenda, will not only save the country  a lot of money in terms of hard currency but will as well create jobs for the locals in the state.”

She held that the local production of these security equipment will help reduce the amount of time it takes to import, adding that it will also aid quick response to internal security issues because “we are becoming more and more self sufficient in our armed forces.”

“The alpha jets that have been grounded for seven years have been rehabilitated and back in the air. We have started with the first steps and the journey has really began.”

Health ministry to save 1million lives

The Minister of State for Health, Ali Pate, also presented a report to Council on how the ministry plans to save at least a million Nigerians from preventable diseases like HIV/AIDs and maternal/child mortality, through better government intervention.

Mother-to-child infection of HIV/AIDS, he said, will be tackled vigorously by the federal government but with invaluable cooperation of state and local governments to ensure success.

Mr. Pate said a meeting, slated for next week, has been scheduled between the Minister of Health and the state commissioners of Health, to fine-tune strategies on the way forward.

“The truth is that we can save one million lives in this country from now until 2015 and the methodology tells us that with specific intervention that are cost effective, we can save those lives,” Mr. Pate said

“For instance, based on what we are doing on maternal  health, through front line health workers, midwives, and community health workers, who provide basic commodities for new born care and post natal visits, we can save up to  84,000 maternal lives from now to 2015; and up to 252,000 new born lives from now to 2015,” the minister added.

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