N4.5bn for one song, social media reacts to Rema’s unprecedented deal

The news of Rema’s record-breaking performance fee at Anant Ambani’s wedding has sent shockwaves across social media, with many users hailing music as a lucrative career path.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian Afrobeats sensation reportedly pocketed a whopping N4.5 billion (three million dollars) for performing just one of hit songs, ‘Calm Down’, at the high-profile event, leaving many in awe.

Rema performed at the wedding of Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani’s son, Anant Ambani, and daughter of pharma tycoons, Viren and Shaila Merchant, Radhika Merchant.

The event held on Friday at the Jio World Centre in Bandra Kurla Centre (BKC) in Mumbai.

Canadian singer, Justin Bieber, was also paid 10 million dollars for his performance at the event, according to reports.

Pop star, Rihanna, also performed at the event for an undisclosed fee.

Social media platforms are buzzing with excitement as aspiring musicians and music enthusiasts alike are drawing inspiration from Rema’s achievement.

he news has also sparked a renewed interest in the music industry, with many youths seeing Rema’s success as a motivation to pursue their own careers.

@Solomon_King says on X, ‘Hold up, let us get this straight, Rema just bagged a whopping N4.5 billion ($3 million) for singing one song at some rich kid’s wedding?!

‘One song? We’re talking about a sum that could solve Nigeria’s economic problems, okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.

‘Rema just made more money than I’ll see in a lifetime and I’m still struggling to pay my rent.

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‘I need to start @OlamideAngel said, ‘I’m quitting my job to become a musician, or maybe just a wedding singer.

According to @blacktribemusic, ‘ Only this Rema’s song alone has made him one of the biggest artistes in Africa. Bigger than the top guys una dey reason self.

‘Rema is too big to be underrated by Nigerians, he’s just 22 but making more money.

‘Another day to remind y’all that music m
oney is longer than football own.’

On the contrary, @cassandra mentioned that the billionaire should have used the money to feed all the poor Indian citizens.

‘That country dey suffer, why can’t he donate this money to the poor. Isn’t India one of the poorest countries in the world?

‘I swear the billionaires don’t think of the poor chaii!

‘Just $1k is enough for like 1 million people and

they will appreciate it and pray for you, it is more than all this show off,’ she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NITDA, GetBundi to equip corps members, 5,000 others with digital skills

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in collaboration with GetBundi Education Technology, has concluded plans to train selected members of the National Youth Service Corps on digital literacy.

‘Additionally, 5,000 youths from the creative industry will also participate in the training, designed to make the beneficiaries Digital Literacy Champions,’ the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, has said.

Abdullahi, who was represented by the Director Corporate Planning and Strategy, Dr Aristotle Onumo, disclosed this while speaking with members of the creative industry in Lagos.

According to him, the move was to propel Nigeria toward achieving 70 per cent digital literacy level by 2027.

He said that the training was designed to provide the youths with valuable skills for their professional development, make them employable and eligible for enlistment into the digital job portal.

‘They will also be onboarded as Digital Literacy Champions and become NITDA ambassadors by trai
ning and sharing their knowledge with peers, community, family, and friends,’ he added.

The director general said that the training, under the Digital Literacy for All Initiative (DL4ALL), would begin with selected individuals in the informal sector from 12 states under the pilot phase.

He added that the pilot phase would last till December, adding that subsequently, it would be carried out nationwide.

The NITDA boss, who said that the beneficiaries would undergo a comprehensive two-week digital literacy training programme, added that they would also receive a 10-week online training in either graphics, video editing or digital marketing.

Abdullahi explained that the DL4ALL initiative aims at training a critical mass of Nigerians in the informal sector in foundational digital literacy skills.

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‘This will equip them with the necessary tools to access and utilise online resources for education, employment, and financial service
s safely.

‘It will also help them to protect themselves from cyber threats and misinformation, communicate and collaborate effectively using digital tools and develop the digital fluency required for many in-demand jobs.

‘To achieve this, NITDA is collaborating with GetBundi Education Technology, an edtech platform that is poised to equip Africans with digital skills relevant for the 21st-century digital economy.

‘Already, GetBundi has developed a digital literacy framework for Africa, as well as an implementation model, which necessitated a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding signed between NITDA and GetBundi,’ he said.

Abdullahi said that the NITDA’s DL4ALL initiative seeks to deliver six core competency areas namely devices and software operation, information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving.

He explained that the competency areas would provide a foundational understanding of essential digital literacy required in today’s te
chnology-driven world.

According to him, the initiative would be implemented through a multi-stakeholder approach that will leverage the expertise from the reach of a diverse group of actors across Nigeria

‘As part of the collaboration, GetBundi will use its digital literacy framework to create learning videos and infographics in the six competency areas of the DL4ALL in English, Pidgin English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo by December 31.

‘The pilot phase, to be launched in 12 states, will run between July and December. It will be based on English language only.

‘The digital literacy videos will be available on the NITDA DL4ALL portal and GetBundi portal, while the learning videos on graphics, video editing and digital marketing will be available on GetBundi platform.’he said

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The NITDA boss said that the Federal Government had acknowledged the contribution of the creative industry to the overall economic growth of the na

He added that the government was willing to support the sector by empowering youth in the creative industry with digital skills to improve on content delivery and gain more visibility.

He further said: ‘Digital literacy serves as the foundation upon which creativity and innovation are built, enabling individuals to not only adapt to but also shape the future.

‘This programme is a testament to the government’s commitment to ensuring that every member of the creative industry has the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in this dynamic digital landscape’.

‘The creative industry has always been a vital part of our cultural and economic fabric, driving growth, fostering innovation, and enriching our lives with its boundless creativity.

‘By equipping creatives with digital skills, we are unlocking new opportunities for expression, collaboration, and business growth.

‘We are, therefore, paving the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future where digital literacy is a cornerstone of success.’

his remarks, Osita Oparaugo, founder of GetBundi Education Technology, described digital literacy as the cornerstone of successful digital transformation in governance and society.

Oparaugo pointed out that without digital literacy, the true potential of digital transformation would remain untapped, leaving individuals and communities at a disadvantage.

He commended NITDA boss for recognising the importance of competency and capacity building in digital skills through collaborative efforts.

He also commended the dedicated NITDA team, Tripod Consulting and other partners involved in the pilot phase of the training.

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Speaking on behalf of the creative industry actors, Mr Teco Benson, acknowledged the importance of equipping players in the creative industry and newcomers in the industry with the right skills.

‘I can assure you that this initiative will renew trust between the creative industry and the government,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Niger

Ramping up action against cholera in Nigeria

Every year, as the rains transform sunbaked roads into muddy rivers, a different kind of storm gathers across Nigeria.

Cholera, a ruthless bacterial infection, silently spreads through contaminated public wells, overflowing gutters and pit latrines.

Unlike the wars and famines that dominate headlines, this silent scourge claims lives relentlessly; hence, the need for a holistic approach to address it.

According to public health experts, recurring cholera outbreaks can be attributed to lack of access to potable water, which is essential for maintaining good hygiene practices, lack of continued surveillance even after outbreaks have ended, flooding and poverty.

Malam Ibrahim Isa’s experience is an excruciating account of the menace of cholera.

Rabi, Isa’s seven-year-old daughter clutched her stomach; her whimpers echoing through their cramped one-room shack in Maiduguri, Borno.

Isa watched helplessly as his daughter’s once-bright eyes dimmed with dehydration.

‘It started with a few cramps; then came the
relentless vomiting and diarrhea.

‘We have nothing; no clean water, no proper toilet; how can I fight this invisible enemy,’ he said.

His tragic story is common across the country; it reflects the devastating impact of poor sanitation and hygiene.

According to the 2021 WASHNORM III report, nearly 90 per cent of Nigerians lack access to complete basic water, sanitation and hygiene services, leaving millions vulnerable, particularly children and women.

The report indicates that cholera has been endemic in Nigeria since it first appeared in 1972.

It shows that the 1991 outbreak was the most severe on record; resulting in 59,478 cases and 7,654 deaths, a case fatality rate of 12.9 per cent.

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recommended benchmark case fatality rate is less than one per cent.

This rate represents the number of deaths as a percentage of the total confirmed cases, both alive and dead.

Rates of outbreak in Nigeria have mostly fluctuated between one per cent and about four per cent.

Dr Emm
anuel Agogo, Director of Pandemic Threats at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), explained the high fatality rate during the 1991 outbreak.

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‘The 1991 rate was high due to very poor sanitation and hygiene strategies.

‘Little or no surveillance was in place; and there was no community engagement or education on the dangers of the disease,’ he said.

Agogo explained the importance of a unified approach.

‘A whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach is needed.

‘We must involve multiple sectors and stakeholders to prevent, prepare for, detect and respond to public health threats like cholera,’ he said.

Although, currently, cholera treatment is free in all government facilities, shortage of health facilities, illiteracy, lack of infrastructure for water supply and waste disposal and conflict, leading to overcrowded conditions for displaced people are also major predisposing factors.

Data from the Nigeria Centre
for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reveals a grim reality.

‘In the past four years (2021-2024), about 139,730 Nigerians are suspected to have contracted cholera, with a staggering 4,364 deaths.

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) https://ncdc.gov.ng/

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) https://ncdc.gov.ng/

‘However, as of June 23, a total of 1,579 suspected cases, including 54 deaths (Case Fatality Rate of 3.4 per cent) have been reported from 32 states.

‘Of the suspected cases since the beginning of the year, age group five is mostly affected, followed by the age groups five years to 14 years in aggregate of both males and females.

‘Of all suspected cases, 50 per cent are males and 50 per cent are females.

‘Lagos state (537 cases) accounts for 34 per cent of all suspected cases in the country, out of the 32 States that have reported cases of cholera.

‘Southern Ijaw Local Government in Bayelsa (151 cases) accounts for 10 per cent of all
suspected cases reported in the country,” the data indicates.

Available statistics further show Bayelsa (466 cases), Abia (109), Zamfara (64 cases), Bauchi (46 cases), Katsina (45 cases) and Cross River (43 cases).

Others are Ebonyi (38 cases), Rivers (37 cases), Delta (34 cases), Imo (28), Ogun (21), Nasarawa (19 cases), Ondo (17 cases), Kano (13 cases), Niger (11 cases) and Osun (11 cases).

These account for 97.5 per cent of the suspected cases this year.

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Comparatively, suspected cases of Cholera have decreased by 37 per cent compared to what was reported at Epi-week 25 in 2023.

More so, cumulative deaths recorded have decreased by 21 per cent.

In Nigeria, the availability of Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) can vary across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

During a cholera outbreak, EHOs are crucial for controlling the spread by ensuring proper sanitation, safe drinking water and effective waste disposal.

The impact o
f EHOs was evident during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

While EHOs are generally present in all states, the effectiveness and reach of their work can be influenced by factors such as funding, infrastructure, and local government support.

In some areas, there may be shortages or limited capacity to respond adequately to outbreaks.

Efforts to control cholera often involve collaboration between EHOs, public health officials, and community organisations to ensure comprehensive coverage and response.

Principally, in the discussion around cholera, appropriate waste disposal becomes pivotal.

Mallam Kabiru Usman’s stall in Sabon Gari market in Kano exemplifies the sanitation challenges contributing to the outbreak.

The pungent odour of rotten vegetables mixes with the scarce, murky water used for washing – a stark reminder of the lack of clean water and proper waste disposal.

Usman’s story highlights just one aspect of the problem.

Open defecation, prevalent in rural areas like Bauchi, where Mrs Sarah Abubakar,
a retired nurse resides, exposes individuals, especially women and children, to waterborne diseases like cholera.

The 2021 WASHNORM III report revealed a worrying rise in open defecation – from 46 million Nigerians in 2019 to 48 million in 2021.

Dr Amina Mohammed, a public health physician based in Kano, stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach.

‘Cholera thrives in a web of neglect; we need immediate interventions like improved sanitation facilities in markets and slums, access to clean water, and a robust public awareness campaign.’

Mohammed pointed out the need for residents to work with local authorities to install handwashing stations at strategic points within the Sabon Gari market.

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‘Simple solutions like these, coupled with education on proper hygiene practices, can make a significant difference,’ she said.

Dr Salman Samson Polycarp, an epidemiologist, stressed the critical role of market hygiene.

According to
Polycarp, contaminated water and poor waste management can quickly escalate the situation.

He highlighted the lack of proper infrastructure in markets across the country as a significant factor.

Dr Jay Osi Samuel, a public health expert, warned of the dangers of improper abattoir management, where contaminated water can spread the bacteria far and wide.

Samuel explained the importance of strong public health surveillance to swiftly identify and address outbreaks.

‘The fight against cholera is not just about battling bacteria; it is a fight for dignity, health and a brighter future for Nigerian communities,’ he said.

Dr Jide Idris, Director General of NCDC, highlighted the need to address the root causes.

‘Open defecation is a major challenge. It requires infrastructure and education. Building toilets is not enough; people need to understand why they must use them,’ he said

He underscored the importance of local solutions and mobilising resources from state and local government levels.

Experts hold tha
t the future of Nigerian communities depends on decisive actions.

Together, government agencies, healthcare professionals, NGOs, and ordinary citizens can turn the tide against cholera and build a healthier future for all.

People can be part of the solution by supporting relevant NGOs or volunteering their time to organisations working on sanitation projects and hygiene education in Nigeria.

Concerted efforts are required in the onslaught against cholera including raising awareness and sharing information about cholera prevention measures at family and community levels.

What’s more, it is critical to mobilise local representatives to prioritise sanitation and healthcare initiatives.

Public health specialists say that synergy among Nigerians can break the cycle of cholera and ensure a healthier future for all. (NANFeatures)(www.nannews.ng)

**If used, please, credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Arewa group rejects proposed protests, urges support for Tinubu, CDS

The Arewa Concerned Citizens Forum (ACCF), has kicked against plans for nationwide protests by some persons in some parts of the country.

The Kaduna-based group, in a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, alleged that the proposed protests were being sponsored by ‘some individuals working against the incumbent government’.

The press conference was addressed by Dr. Victor Bobai, its National Coordinator.

‘We firmly believe that these plans are nothing more than a poorly conceived ploy to hinder President Bola Tinubu’s re-election in 2027.

‘It is baffling that those organising these protests have chosen to target the Tinubu administration without even looking at what previous administrations did.

‘We find such evil plans absurd; their focus is misplaced, and we call for a re-evaluation of their priorities,’ he said.

While commending Tinubu and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, for their efforts to secure Nigeria against bandits, ethnic militia, kidnappers and terrorists, he cautioned Nige
rians against distracting them.

He said it was gratifying to note that most Nigerians were behind the leaders and urged the silent majority to begin to speak out in support of the Tinubu administration.

‘We cannot remain silent while a minority seeks to undermine the incredible progress made under the Tinubu leadership.

‘Majority of people in the North want Tinubu to succeed. As a group, the ACCF stands united in our unwavering support to the President and his administration.

‘We fervently pray that President Tinubu remains steadfast in his mission to deliver good governance to all Nigerians through his first and second tenures, God willing,’ Bobai said.

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He urged Nigerians to pray for, and support, the military who bear the burden of maintaining the nation’s unity, and regretted the activities of conflict entrepreneurs who promote violent crimes across the country.

Bobai urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and not succumb to ‘the dece
ptive agenda of conflict entrepreneurs’.

‘Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we unite as a nation and rally around the Tinubu’s administration in its unrelenting pursuit of a better Nigeria for all,’ he declared.

He urged the media to unite behind Tinubu as everyone would reap the fruits of his efforts toward building a great country.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

CDC, CIHP sensitise pregnant women on HIV, test 284 in Lagos

The Centre For Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with the Centre For Integrated Health Programs (CIHP) on Friday sensitised and tested no fewer than 248 pregnant women and others for HIV.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was held to implement the Baby Shower Toolkit in Congregational Settings for the Prevention Of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, unveiled in Lagos recently.

NAN reports that beneficiaries were given hospital child delivery packs at the programme, held at the Ilupeju Central Mosque in Lagos.

Dr Timothy Efuntoye, Prevention Branch Chief, CDC, Nigeria, in an interview, said that the aim of the programme was to achieve free transmission of HIV from pregnant women to their unborn children.

Efuntoye stated that the health programme centres embarked on an adaptation of the Baby Shower toolkit into a muslim dominated setting.

‘This is part of the activities to mark the baby shower toolkit which was launched on Wednesday.

‘For the very fir
st time, we are deploying what was adapted in this muslim community to sensitise women and also provide them with test and education on how to prevent Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV,’ he said.

As part of sustainability of the programme, the CDC official said that major gate keepers for the programme had been engaged and they included the Chief Imam of Lagos state and good-spirited individuals among the congregation for support.

Efuntoye noted that CIHP would also engage multilateral agencies within Lagos state, as well as the state government to provide some of the basic supplies that would help to sustain the programme.

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According to him, this will help every woman to do her HIV screening and know her status before the birth of her child before delivery.

Dr Francis Ogirima, Director For Clinical Services, CIHP, said that the launch of the baby shower toolkit was to unveil a document that standardised the approach, wh
ile the programme at the religious centre was to domesticate the approach.

Ogirima explained that the baby shower was actually an approach that leveraged congregational settings including the mosque, church and traditional worship centres.

According to him, the programme which started years ago, began with the churches, hence, the need to also extend it to the mosques to capture the Islamic worshippers also.

‘What we do as health programme centres is to leverage those settings where they already go to for faith information to provide them with additional health information.

‘This is to ensure that the muslim women are also reached with critical heath services.

‘Today, we are at the mosque; tomorrow we can be in the church and subsequent days in the traditional centres,’ he said.

Ogirima advised the religious leaders and the traditional health services providers to encourage their congregations to access antenatal care services as much as possible.

He noted that the baby shower was not a substitute to g
oing to the hospital, but a collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, and Lagos State AIDS Control Agency to refer them to the appropriate healthcare facilities.

Imam Ibrahim Muhammad, Resident Cleric of Ilupeju Central Mosque, lauded CHIP and CDC for organising the programme for the pregnant women, noting that most of them were ignorant of how to contract and also transmit the virus.

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Muhammadu noted that the information circulated at the programme revealed that ‘HIV is not a death sentence and we must all know our status and prevent its transmission, especially to the unborn children.’

He pledged to sustain advocacy among the women and also collaborate with other muslim clerics within the state to continue educating their congregation on the virus.

A beneficiary, Mrs Saeedat Balogun, also thanked the organisers for the opportunity, while assuring to always go for checkups to know her health status and
also sensitise her family members and friends on the virus and its preventive measures.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Tinubu condemns attack on Trump

President Bola Tinubu has condemned the attack on former President of the United States, Donald Trump during a political rally in Pennsylvania.

The President, in a message on his official X handle on Sunday, described the attack as ‘distasteful and beyond the pale of democratic norms.

‘Violence has no place in democracy.

‘I extend my sympathies to the former President and wish him relief. I also condole with the family of the deceased and those wounded and wish them a quick recovery.

‘Nigeria stands in solidarity with the United States of America at this time,’ said Tinubu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Trump was attacked by an assassin days before he was due to accept the formal Republican nomination.

Trump, 78, had just begun a campaign speech in Butler, Pennsylvania, U.S, on Saturday when shots rang out, hitting his right ear and streaking his face with blood.

It is feared that the attack will further inflame the U.S political divide and has raised questions about the security lapses

Source: News Agency of Nigeria