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Get your NIN ready to board trains from May – NRC

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Intending railway passengers should get their National Identity Number (NIN) ready as it will be a requirement from May.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, stated in Abuja on Thursday that the NIN would be needed to enhance profiling of passengers.

This, he explained, would also enhance safety and security of rail users.

“The process of linking passengers to their NIN for improved profiling is on-going. This layer of passenger screening will commence by May.

“The Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) will resume as soon as possible with additional security measures put in place,’’ Okhiria stated.

The NRC suspended the Abuja-Kaduna route following a March 28 attack by assailants, who injured passengers and kidnapped some.

Okhiria said the security agencies were working tirelessly to ensure the rescue and release of all abducted passengers.

He stressed that 362 passengers and 20 crew members were on board the train when it was attacked.

“While we continue to sympathise with families of those who lost or have not seen their loved ones, we encourage anyone still looking for a loved one to please call us.

“The numbers to call are: 08033546208, 08060044600 and 07066700150.

“The corporation will continue to update the general public of latest developments,’’ he stated.

Okhiria added that the NRC had re-railed the last rolling stock affected in the attack.

“This means that all the 14 de-railed rolling stock (11 coaches, two rescue coaches and one Locomotive engine on the Rescue Train) have all been re-railed from the incident site to our stations at Idu, Abuja and Rigasa, Kaduna.

“Intensive track repair work continues at site. An advanced level of track repairs has been achieved and hopefully it will be rounded off in 10 days,’’ he explained.

“The NRC expresses its profound gratitude to security agencies for the continued support, especially for the security cover availed our officials and staff at the incident site,’’ Okhiria stated.

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Corps member empowers ex-convicts in Ekiti, warns against stigmatisation

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A serving corps member in Ekiti State, Anuoluwa Elizabeth Balogun, has empowered ex-convicts in the state with tools in various skills, as her Personal Community Development Service (CDS) project in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Balogun, whose passion was borne out as a result of the numerous psychological challenges ex-convicts faced when released from prison, such as stigmatisation, discrimination, isolation, and instability, embarked on the seamless project to make an impact in her immediate environment.

The ex-convicts were presented with the tools at the one-day sensitisation programme tagged “Sensitisation of the Public Against Stigmatisation of the Ex-Convicts,” in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday.

Balogun said that the project is to rehabilitate, reform and reintegrate the ex-convicts, while urging the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to map out programmes towards their proper reintegration into the society.

She added that during her pre-release counselling sessions with the ex-convicts, she discovered that the various offenses they committed were as a result of poverty and improper upbringing.

According to her, “This project is set to rehabilitate, reform, and reintegrate a sizeable number of ex-convicts in Ekiti State. It is a smaller version of the big institution I have in mind, which the Federal Government and the State Government should take up, being also ably supported by individuals in the society.

“During the one month pre-release counselling sessions with the inmates, with the professional services, I realised that most of the crimes committed was as a result of poverty, poor upbringing and a bad influence.

“It is on this note that I urge the government to have a well structured rehabilitation centre for them in the custodial centre, so that the psychology of the name is not just being changed but a lot being changed about them by getting them upskilled with also a lot of therapy sessions.”

On her part, the NYSC Ekiti State Coordinator, Mary Chikezie, lauded the efforts of Balogun noting that it is in tandem with the reasons behind the formation of the scheme.

Chikezie enjoined the public to assist corps members who are embarking in their personal CDS projects while urging them to desist from stigmatising ex-convicts.

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ECOWAS Youth Council appoints Osungbade youth ambassador

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The Youth Council of the Economic Community of West African States (EYC), has announced the appointment of Osungbade Akeem as its youth ambassador.

This was made known in a letter released recently by the president of EYC, Ambassador Seun Williams, and seen by Tribune Online.

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The letter stated, “This appointment is not unconnected to his laudable antecedents, hardwork and diligence in the area of service to humanity even in the face of oppression and intimidation.

“As a relentless crusader of promoting entrepreneurship for African youths, we are optimistic of his positive impacts in the region and organisation.”

Ambassador Osungbade Akeem, when reached for comments on his appointment, stated that, “Service to humanity is one that I’ve dedicated my life and this is just a call for more innovative actions that would create values among West African youths. I’m glad to accept this as a challenge.”

Akeem is the founder and CEO of Cyberxox, a remote website, application and logo designing agency. He is also the Head of Marketing of Cudium, a cross-border payment technology company.



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